wooden


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wooden mare

An ancient torture device involving a wooden horse, typically used for military punishments. I was so terrified of what my parents would do when they found out I'd failed my exam that I had visions of them making me ride the wooden mare.
See also: mare, wooden

wooden spoonist

slang The person or team that finishes last in a competition. So-named because the imaginary prize for a last-place finish is a wooden spoon. Primarily heard in UK. Of course Roy was the wooden-spoonist in today's race—I didn't know a person could run so slow!
See also: wooden

wooden top

A beet-shaped wooden toy that spins on a metal point at the bottom. What are you kids complaining about? When I was your age, I only had a wooden top to play with!
See also: top, wooden

don't take any wooden nickels

Take care and, specifically, try not to get swindled. The phrase is thought to have originated in the early 20th century when country residents visiting the city were considered easily duped. Primarily heard in US. Have fun tonight and don't take any wooden nickels!
See also: any, nickel, take, wooden

the wooden spoon

The imaginary prize for the person finishing in last place in a competition. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I don't expect to win, but I sure hope I don't get the wooden spoon!
See also: spoon, wooden

get the wooden spoon

To finish a contest or competition in last place. (The "wooden spoon" is the hypothetical prize for the person finishing in last place in a competition.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I don't expect to win, but I sure hope I don't get the wooden spoon!
See also: get, spoon, wooden

win the wooden spoon

To finish a contest or competition in last place. (The "wooden spoon" is the hypothetical prize for the person finishing in last place in a competition.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I don't expect to win, but I sure hope I don't win the wooden spoon!
See also: spoon, win, wooden

take the wooden spoon

To finish a contest or competition in last place. (The "wooden spoon" is the hypothetical prize for the person finishing in last place in a competition.) Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I don't expect to win, but I sure hope I don't take the wooden spoon!
See also: spoon, take, wooden

a wooden nickel

AMERICAN
If you call something a wooden nickel, you mean that it is completely false or has no value. Note: A nickel is a five cent coin and a dime is a ten cent coin. He looked at the card as though it were a wooden nickel. `That doesn't prove a thing,' he said.
See also: nickel, wooden

the wooden spoon

BRITISH
COMMON If you say that someone gets the wooden spoon, you mean that they are the last in a race or competition or are the worst at a particular activity. Cosmos will almost certainly get the wooden-spoon for the second year in a row if they lose. Britain's bureaucrats won the EU's wooden spoon yesterday, as the worst linguists in Brussels. Note: You can use wooden spoon before a noun. After their third defeat, the Hawks have confirmed their place as wooden spoon contenders this season. Note: At one time, the student who got the lowest marks in their final mathematics exam at Cambridge University was given a wooden spoon.
See also: spoon, wooden

accept a wooden nickel

be fooled or swindled. US
A wooden nickel is a worthless or counterfeit coin.
See also: accept, nickel, wooden

a wooden nutmeg

a false or fraudulent thing. US
A wooden nutmeg was a piece of wood shaped to resemble a nutmeg and fraudulently sold as the real thing. This deception was particularly associated with the inhabitants of Connecticut, giving rise to the nickname ‘the Nutmeg State’.
See also: wooden

win the wooden spoon

be the least successful contestant; win the booby prize.
A wooden spoon was originally presented to the candidate coming last in the Cambridge University mathematical tripos (the final honours examination for a BA degree).
See also: spoon, win, wooden

don’t take any wooden ˈnickels

(American English) used when saying goodbye to somebody to mean ‘be careful’, ‘take care of yourself’: Well, see you around Tom. Don’t take any wooden nickels.
See also: any, nickel, take, wooden

get, win, take, etc. the ˌwooden ˈspoon

(British English, informal) come last in a race or competition: England must win this match if they are to avoid taking the wooden spoon.It was a custom at the University of Cambridge to give a wooden spoon to the student of mathematics who had the lowest mark/grade for their year.
See also: spoon, wooden

Don't take any wooden nickels

Don't let yourself be cheated. This expression was first heard in the early 20th century. Although there never were any wooden nickels as legal tender, country folk going to a city were likely to be cheated by all manner of ruses, including obviously counterfeit coins. Wooden nickels did exist, however, as bank promotions during and after the Great Depression; the “coins” were redeemable for prizes.
See also: any, nickel, take, wooden
References in classic literature ?
went his iron-shod hoofs against the wooden bodies of the Gargoyles, and they were battered right and left with such force that they scattered like straws in the wind.
Those wooden things are impossible to hurt," he said, "and all the damage Jim has done to them is to knock a few splinters from their noses and ears.
We have time, just now, and I'd rather face the invis'ble bears than those wooden imps.
This is strange," cried Copley, looking him in the face, which now, as the painter fancied, had a singular depth of intelligence, though hitherto it had not given him greatly the advantage over his own family of wooden images.
It was a beautiful, though not precisely regular and somewhat haughty aspect, but with a certain piquancy about the eyes and mouth, which, of all expressions, would have seemed the most impossible to throw over a wooden countenance.
Copley," said Drowne, quietly, "I know nothing of marble statuary, and nothing of the sculptor's rules of art; but of this wooden image, this work of my hands, this creature of my heart,"--and here his voice faltered and choked in a very singular manner,--"of this--of her --I may say that I know something.
Has that fellow' - to the man with the wooden leg -'been here again?
Creakle was in earnest, or whether he only did it to frighten me, I don't know, but he made a burst out of his chair, before which I precipitately retreated, without waiting for the escort Of the man with the wooden leg, and never once stopped until I reached my own bedroom, where, finding I was not pursued, I went to bed, as it was time, and lay quaking, for a couple of hours.
A literary man--WITH a wooden leg--and all Print is open to him
Here am I, a man without a wooden leg, and yet all print is shut to me.
And, after all, it is no more dangerous to face those reckless girls than to ride this fiery, untamed wooden horse
Presently they came to the banks of a wide river, and without a pause the wooden steed gave one final leap and launched them all in mid-air.
The red colors above faded away as the sun vanished, but a million stars were lighted, a million lamps shone; and the King's Son spread out his arms towards heaven, and wood, and sea; when at the same moment, coming by a path to the right, appeared, in his wooden shoes and jacket, the poor boy who had been confirmed with him.
We visited the two long, covered wooden bridges which span the green and brilliant Reuss just below where it goes plunging and hurrahing out of the lake.
I had been told that ours was the only wooden house west of Black Hawk--until you came to the Norwegian settlement, where there were several.