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different ball of wax

Something completely dissimilar. It's one thing to babysit your friends' kids from time to time, but having your own children is a completely different ball of wax.
See also: ball, different, of, wax

nose of wax

Someone or something that can be easily influenced or changed. You need to set some boundaries if you want them to stop treating you like a nose of wax! He is not just a nose of wax for you to bend to your whims.
See also: nose, of, wax

wax lyrical

To speak about something enthusiastically, especially by employing elegant language; to rhapsodize. It was a nice feeling when Dana waxed lyrical about the dinner I made, describing it as "sublimely scrumptious." If you're going to be a salesman, you're going to have to learn how to wax lyrical about the most mundane products to make them sound like must-haves.
See also: lyrical, wax

the whole ball of wax

Everything; the entirety of something. There's nothing more to tell you. That's the whole ball of wax.
See also: ball, of, wax, whole

wax poetic

To speak in a poetic manner, often exaggeratedly or verbosely so. The entertainer has a habit of waxing poetic during interviews, which delights some people and infuriates others. Dan always starts waxing poetic after he's had a few drinks.
See also: poetic, wax

wax and wane

Fig. to increase and then decrease, as the phases of the moon. As the moon waxes and wanes, so does the height of the tide change. Voter sentiment about the tax proposal waxes and wanes with each passing day.
See also: and, wane, wax

wax angry

 and wax wroth
Fig. to speak in anger and with indignity. Seeing the damage done by the careless children caused the preacher to wax wroth at their parents.
See also: angry, wax

wax eloquent

Fig. to speak with eloquence. Perry never passed up a chance to wax eloquent at a banquet.
See also: wax

wax poetic

Fig. to speak poetically. I hope you will pardon me if I wax poetic for a moment when I say that your lovely hands drift across the piano keys like swans on a lake.
See also: poetic, wax

whole ball of wax

 and whole shooting match
the whole thing; the whole matter or affair; the entire affair or organization. John is not a good manager. Instead of delegating jobs to others, he runs the whole shooting match himself. There's not a hard worker in that whole shooting match. I will be glad to be finished with this project. I want to be done with the whole ball of wax. I am tired of this job. I am fed up with the whole ball of wax.
See also: ball, of, wax, whole

wax and wane

Increase and decrease, as in size, number, strength, or intensity, as in Enrollments in these programs wax and wane from year to year. This expression alludes to the phases of the moon, with its periodic changes in size. It was first recorded in the 1300s.
See also: and, wane, wax

whole ball of wax, the

Also, the whole enchilada or shooting match or shebang . Everything, all the elements, the entire affair. For example, The union demanded higher wages, a pension plan, job security-the whole ball of wax, or The contract includes paperback rights, film rights, electronic media-the whole enchilada, or She lost her job, her pension, her health-care coverage, the whole shooting match. Not all the allusions in these slangy terms are clear. Ball of wax may refer to a 17th-century English legal practice whereby land was divided among heirs by covering scraps of paper representing portions of land with wax, rolling each into a ball, and drawing the balls from a hat. An enchilada combines several foods inside a tortilla; a shooting match denotes a shooting competition; and a shebang is a rude hut or shelter. The first two of these slangy terms date from the second half of the 1900s, the last two from the late 1800s. For synonyms, see whole kit and caboodle; whole megillah.
See also: ball, of, whole

the whole ball of wax

If you talk about the whole ball of wax, you mean the whole of something, including everything connected with it. Perry wanted it all the fame, the money, the glamour — the whole ball of wax. Note: The usual British expression is the whole caboodle.
See also: ball, of, wax, whole

wax lyrical about something

If you wax lyrical about a subject, you talk about it in an enthusiastic way. He waxed lyrical about the skills and commitment of his employees.
See also: lyrical, something, wax

the whole ball of wax

everything. North American informal
See also: ball, of, wax, whole

wax lyrical about (or over)

talk in an effusive or enthusiastic way about something.
Wax (from Old English weaxan ) was used to mean ‘increase in size’ right through until early modern English, but since then it has been superseded in all general contexts by grow . It now survives only in certain expressions, especially with reference to the moon's monthly increase and decrease (waxing and waning ).
1998 New Scientist Even as they wax lyrical about the perils of a changing climate, Clinton and Gore are presiding over the most massive expansion of oil exploration and drilling since…the Trans-Alaska Pipeline twenty years ago.
See also: lyrical, wax

wax and wane

undergo alternate increases and decreases.
2002 New York Times The level of security that people are psychologically able to accept changes as crisis situations wax and wane.
See also: and, wane, wax

the whole ball of ˈwax

(American English, informal) the whole thing; everything: I panicked, I cried — the whole ball of wax.
See also: ball, of, wax, whole

ˌwax and ˈwane

(literary) increase then decrease in strength, importance, etc. over a period of time: The government’s popularity has waxed and waned over the past year.
These two verbs describe the changing shape of the moon in the sky. When the moon waxes, more of it is visible, and when it wanes we see less of it.
See also: and, wane, wax

wax ˈlyrical (about something)

(written) talk or write about something with enthusiasm: He began to wax lyrical about the new car he would buy with his earnings.
See also: lyrical, wax


1. tv. to beat or defeat someone; to assault someone. The muggers waxed the vest and swiped his briefcase.
2. n. a phonograph recording; a substance onto which a recording is put. (Never singular or plural. The oldest recordings were wax cylinders. The nickname survives.) This is one of the finest pieces of music ever put on wax.


mod. alcohol intoxicated. (see also polished (up).) Sam got waxed and had to be taken home.
See also: wax

the whole ball of wax

n. everything; the whole thing. Well, that just about ruins the whole ball of wax.
See also: ball, of, wax, whole

on wax

Informal In the medium of phonograph recordings.
See also: on, wax

as much chance as a wax cat in hell

As much chance as a wax cat in hell: a New England expression meaning no chance at all.
See also: cat, chance, hell, much, wax
References in periodicals archive ?
Complete line of waxes includes Montan, PE, PP and micronized waxes, and ethylene bisstearamide.
the relocation temperature of pattern waxes increases as the heating rate increases;
Some fungi and other pests feed on those waxes, however, so from a crop protection standpoint, a farmer might prefer a black mulch, which would reduce the wax in favor of more pest-resistant alkanes (a type of pure hydrocarbon).
AquaBead Waxes - for water repellency and moisture resistance
Polysilk Waxes -- improved slip, tape release and a smooth surface.
For this reason, it should be added with low melt paraffinic waxes for ozone protection.
com/research/f62339/the_2011_import_an) has announced the addition of the "The 2011 Import and Export Market for Petroleum Jelly; Paraffin Wax, Microcrystalline Petroleum Wax, and Other Mineral Waxes Obtained by Synthesis or Other Process in Ecuador" report to their offering.
10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- This report analyzes the worldwide markets for Petroleum, Natural and Synthetic Waxes in US$ Million by the following Product Segments: Petroleum and Mineral Waxes, Natural Waxes, and Synthetic Waxes.
Petrac waxes are used as external lubricants for rigid polyvinyl chloride and as release agents for molded polyvinyl chloride.
This specialty line of waxes from Europe contains more than 60 additives for various applications such as architectural, wood, can, coil and powder coatings.
is a major supplier of specialized micronized waxes, wax dispersions and emulsions to the ink industry Micro Powders has an extensive and innovative product range and is committed to providing consistent quality products, excellent customer service and superior technical service to its customers.
Patterns produced by this method can be substituted for waxes and used for the production of prototype and limited-run investment castings.
recently commissioned a well-known independent research organization to conduct a complete experimentation and research program on waxes.
Demand for waxes in the US is forecast to reach $2.