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"And enough with the metaphors, all right? That's an order."

A metaphor was a term or phrase used to make a comparison between two common things that were not alike. Synonymous terms included analogy or figure of speech, in which colorful metaphors might be used to express emotion.

Idioms had phrasing that had figurative meaning often unrelated to the actual phrasing, while proverbs were commonly sourced from folklore, historical allusion, or tribal memories.

Adages Edit

"Look before you leap." (VOY: "Bliss")

Specifically: "to look before I leap." Claimed to be an antiquated adage by Seven of Nine.

"Captain goes down with the ship." (VOY: "Year of Hell, Part II")

Kathryn Janeway also considered this one of three things to remember about being a starship captain on one occasion. (VOY: "Dark Frontier")

Picard also once referenced an old horse trainer's adage about putting too much weight on a young back. (TNG: "Pen Pals")


"A watched pot never boils." (TNG: "Timescape")

"The left hand does not know what the right hand is doing." (TNG: "Conspiracy")

"One cannot cheat fate." (TNG: "Time's Arrow")

The use of the word "one" might not be standard, but rather attributable to Data's speech idiosyncrasies.

Blessings Edit

Idioms Edit

"A bit" (TOS: "Wink of an Eye")

"A fool's errand" (TNG: "Unification II")

"A matter of principle" (TOS: "I, Mudd")

"A one-way street." (TOS: "Charlie X")

"A paragon of virtue" (TOS: "Mudd's Women")

"After a fashion" (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

"All in all" (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

"All right" (TOS: "The Man Trap" et al.)

"All the best" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"All the time" (TOS: "Charlie X" et al.)

"All the way" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"A rose by any other name" (TOS: "By Any Other Name")

"Around the clock" (TOS: "The Tholian Web")

"As a last resort" (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

"As a matter of fact" (TOS: "Metamorphosis", "Wolf in the Fold", "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")

"As (quickly) as the next man" (TOS: "The Apple")

"As you wish" (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

"A slip of the tongue" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"As always" (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"As a matter of fact" (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

"As you wish" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"At a loss for words" (TOS: "The Alternative Factor")

"At all costs" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"At any rate" (TOS: "Friday's Child", "Whom Gods Destroy")

"At best" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"At heart" (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

"At least" (TOS: "The Tholian Web")

"At liberty" (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

"At odds with (the ship)" (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

"At once" (TOS: "The Tholian Web", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"At that rate" (TOS: "The Empath")

"At the moment" (TOS: "Metamorphosis" et al.)

"At the time" (TOS: "Journey to Babel", "The Trouble with Tribbles")

"At the outside" (TOS: "Amok Time")

"At this point" (TOS: "Obsession")

"At will" (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles", "By Any Other Name")

"At (your) convenience" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"At your service" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"A wide berth" (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

"Back(ed) into a corner" (TOS: "The Conscience of the King")

"Bag of tricks" (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

"Barrel of laughs" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"Bear in mind" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Behind (my) back" (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

"Birds in a gilded cage" (TOS: "I, Mudd")

"Bits and pieces' (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"Bitten off more than we can chew" (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

"Bleeding heart" (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"Brave new world" (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")

"Break his heart" (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

"Bring (brought) the house down" (TOS: "Amok Time")

"Burning the midnight oil." (ENT: "First Flight"; VOY: "Waking Moments", "Pathfinder", "Fair Haven"; TNG: "All Good Things...")

"Business is business" (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

"Buttering our bread" (TNG: "Hollow Pursuits")

"By all means" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"By the way" (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

"Calculated risk" (TOS: "A Taste of Armageddon" et al.)

"Checks and balances" (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

"Chew(ed) (you) out" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Child's play" (TOS: "The Galileo Seven", "Spock's Brain")

"Climb a tree" (TOS: "Errand of Mercy")

"Climbing the walls" (TOS: "By Any Other Name")

"Cloak-and-dagger" (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")

"Cloud the issue" (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold")

"Course of action" (TOS: "The Tholian Web")

"Cut(ing) it (a bit) fine" (TOS: "The Apple")

"Display of force" (TOS: "The Tholian Web")

"Do (me) a favor" (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

"Don't mention it" (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"Draw(ing) a line" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Draw(ing) lots" (TOS: "The Galileo Seven")

"Drop (my) guard" (TOS: "The Apple")

"Either way" (TOS: "The Man Trap" et al.)

"End in view" (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")

"Even the score" (TOS: "Day of the Dove")

"Excuse me" (TOS: "The Man Trap" et al.)

"Eye-opener" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"Face up to (it)" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"Fibber" (TOS: "Miri")

"Fire away" (TOS: "Court Martial" et al.)

"Fits like a glove" (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before")

"Flesh and blood" (TOS: "Mudd's Women")

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." (TOS: "Friday's Child"; VOY: "Warhead")

"For example" (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold", "Whom Gods Destroy")

"For instance" (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"For one thing" (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion")

"For the life of me" (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

"For the moment" (TOS: "Catspaw")

"For the time being" (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold")

"For your information" (TOS: "The Apple")

"For (your) sake" (TOS: "Bread and Circuses"); "For (your) (own) sake" (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")

"For whatever it's worth" (TOS: "The Empath")

"Freak of nature" (TOS: "The Squire of Gothos")

"Gang up on (you)" (TOS: "Obsession")

"Get (my) hands on (the guy with the sledgehammer)" (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

"Get on with (the job)" (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

"Get to the point" (TOS: "I, Mudd")

"Get out" (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

"Get to the point" (TOS: "The Alternative Factor" et al.)

"Get the idea" (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

"Give the word" (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

"Give (Gave) up the ghost" (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark")

"Good day" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"Good morning" (TOS: "The Omega Glory")

"Good to see you" (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

"Go to the devil" (TOS: "Day of the Dove")

"Ham-handed" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Have a word with (you)" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"Heart of the matter" (TOS: "I, Mudd")

"Hell for leather" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"Here and now" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"Hit the broad side of a barn" (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

"If and when" (TOS: "The Empath")

"If you like" (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

"In a manner of speaking" (TOS: "Amok Time")

"In a minute" (TOS: "The Omega Glory", "Spock's Brain", "Day of the Dove")

"In a moment" (TOS: "The Omega Glory", "The Ultimate Computer"); "In just a moment" (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

"In any case" (TOS: "The Empath")

"In a pig's eye" (TOS: "Amok Time")

"In a sense" (TOS: "A Private Little War")

"In a vacuum" (TOS: "This Side of Paradise")

"In a way" (TOS: "The Paradise Syndrome")

"In advance" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"In advance of" (TOS: "The Changeling")

"In blazes" (TOS: "Patterns of Force", "The Paradise Syndrome")

"In case" (TOS: "Obsession")

"In fact" (TOS: "Metamorphosis" et al.})

"In full force" (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

"In good hands" (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

"In (his) own time" (TOS: "A Private Little War")

"In (his) own way" (TOS: "A Private Little War")

"In line" (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

"In my opinion" (TOS: "The Changeling", "Wolf in the Fold", "The Trouble with Tribbles"); "In my view" (TOS: "The Apple")

"In order" (TOS: "Catspaw")

"In order to" (TOS: "Patterns of Force", "The Ultimate Computer")

"In store (for us)' (TOS: "Day of the Dove", "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky")

"In our favor" (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")

"In (our) hands" (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold")

"In other words" (TOS: "By Any Other Name")

"In plain (non-Vulcan) English" (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine"); "In plain English" (TNG: "Pen Pals")

"In question" (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I" et al.)

"In store (for them)" (TOS: "Assignment: Earth")

"In terms of" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"In that case" (TOS: "Spock's Brain" et al.)

"In the dark" (TOS: "Patterns of Force", "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")

"In the event" (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

"In the first place" (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever", "Assignment: Earth")

"In the light of" (TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead")

"In the line of duty" (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")

"In the manner of (the people)" (TOS: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky")

"In the meantime" (TOS: "I, Mudd", "The Paradise Syndrome")

"In the midst of" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"In the name of" (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark", "Who Mourns for Adonais?"); "In the name of (heaven)" (TOS: "The Squire of Gothos", "The Gamesters of Triskelion"); "In the name of (civilization)" (TOS: "Arena"); "In the name of (my people)" (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")

"In the process" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"In the wink of an eye" (TOS: "Wink of an Eye")

"In time" (TOS: "A Private Little War" et al.)

"In view of (its size)" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"I see" (TOS: "Patterns of Force" et al.)

"It's all right" (TOS: "By Any Other Name", "Plato's Stepchildren")

"Just a minute" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Just a moment" (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow", "The Ultimate Computer", "Elaan of Troyius")

"Keep the home fires burning." (DS9: "Inquisition")

"Kind of (a ring)" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Knock your socks off." (ENT: "Marauders")

"Know the drill." (DS9: "For the Cause", "Business as Usual"; VOY: "Counterpoint", "Virtuoso")

"Let her rip" (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"Licked his boots." (DS9: "Playing God"), "Kissed her boots." (DS9: "You Are Cordially Invited")

"Like it or not" (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")

"Link in a chain" (TOS: "By Any Other Name")

"Live (it) down" (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome")

"Lose ground" (TOS: "The Apple")

"Lose our heads." (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver"); "Lose your head" (TOS: "I, Mudd")

"Lost (his) mind" (TOS: "The Alternative Factor")

"Make a statement" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"Make no mistake" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Made your point" (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")

"Mind (your) own business" (TOS: "The Apple")

"Mission accomplished" (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold")

"Multitude of sins" (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

"My goodness" (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

"My home is your home." (TOS: "The Squire of Gothos"); "This house is your house" (TOS: "The Apple")

"Nail(ed) down" (TOS: "Day of the Dove")

"Never mind" (TOS: "Patterns of Force", "By Any Other Name")

"No comment" (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow")

"No doubt" (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"No matter" (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

"No matter how" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"No matter what" (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

"No problem" (TOS: "A Private Little War")

"No sweat" (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

"Not a chance" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"Not a word" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"Not have a clue" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"Not hold water" (TOS: "The Alternative Factor")

"Not move a muscle" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Odds and ends" (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark")

"Of all people" (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

"Of a sort" (TOS: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky")

"Of course" (TOS: "The Cage" et al.)

"Of late" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"Of the essence" (TOS: "The Doomsday Machine")

"Off the beaten path" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"Off the hook" (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")

"Off the record" (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")

"Oh, my gosh" (TOS: "Assignment: Earth")

"On and off" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"Once and for all" (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

"On death's doorstep." (ENT: "A Night in Sickbay")

"One by one" (TOS: "Spock's Brain")

"One of a kind" (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"On guard" (TOS: "Day of the Dove")

"On hand" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"On schedule" (TOS: "The Empath")

"On the contrary" (TOS: "The Deadly Years" et al.)

"On the double" (TOS: "The Apple" et al.)

"On the hot seat" (TOS: "Operation -- Annihilate!")

"On (their) (own) terms" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"On the job" (TOS: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky")

"On the level" (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

"On the nose." (TOS: "Dagger of the Mind")

"On the order of" (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")

"On the one hand...on the other hand" (TOS: "Assignment: Earth")

"On the other hand" (TOS: "Court Martial", "A Private Little War")

"On the surface" (TOS: "Obsession")

"On the whole" (TOS: "Spock's Brain")

"On (your) mind" (TOS: "Journey to Babel", "The Immunity Syndrome"); "On (his) mind" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"On (your) toes" (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark"); "On (our) toes' (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Out of action" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"Out of circulation" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"Out of sorts" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"Out of style" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"Out of the ordinary" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"Out of the question" (TOS: "The Alternative Factor" et al.)

"Out of your head" (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

"Out of your mind" (TOS: "The Man Trap" et al.)

"Over my dead body" (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

"Pass up" (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome", "Spectre of the Gun")

"Pay (their) respects" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"Pay the price" (TOS: "The Squire of Gothos" et al.)

"Piece of the action" (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

"Play(ing) a hunch" (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion"); "Play a hunch" (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")

"Play(ing) cat and mouse" (TOS: "Friday's Child")

"Point of no return" (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

"Point of view" (TOS: "Metamorphosis", "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"Poppycock" (TOS: "The Omega Glory")

"Powder keg" (TOS: "The Alternative Factor")

"Put the genie back in the bottle," and variations thereof.

In 2154, Phlox used the cautionary Earth tale about the dangers of releasing a genie from the bottle to warn T'Pol that she may have to live with the emotions she was left with after ingesting trellium-D. (ENT: "The Forgotten")

In 2268, Spock told Cyrano Jones that by removing tribbles from their natural habitat, he had figuratively "removed the cork from the bottle and allowed the genie to escape." (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")

"Ride herd on (it)" (TOS: "The Devil in the Dark")

"Right down (your) alley" (TOS: "Metamorphosis")

"(Right) here and now" (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion")

"Risk his neck" (TOS: "The Galileo Seven")

"Scared to death" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"Sense of humor" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"Ship out" (TOS: "Day of the Dove")

"Shoot(ing) in the dark" (TOS: "The Squire of Gothos")

"Shoot off (their) mouth" (TOS: "Spectre of the Gun")

"Sick to death of (logic)" (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

"Sing(ing) a different tune" (TOS: "Catspaw")

"Sink(s) in" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"Sort of" (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

"Sound of wind and limb" (TOS: "Charlie X")

"Speak the same language" (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")

"Spit and polish" (TOS: "Journey to Babel")

"Stab (me) in the back" (TOS: "The Deadly Years")

"Stake out a claim" (TOS: "The Apple")

"Stay on top of (it)" (TOS: "The Apple")

"Strong as a bull" (TOS: "The Alternative Factor")

"Sweep it under the rug" (TOS: "Court Martial")

"Take it easy' (TOS: "The Man Trap" et al.)

"Take (my) word" (TOS: "I, Mudd", "Metamorphosis")

"Take (my) chances" (TOS: "The Apple")

"Talk shop" (TOS: "Court Martial")

"Thank God" (TOS: "Patterns of Force", "Spock's Brain")

"Thank heavens" (TOS: "The Omega Glory")

"Thank you" (TOS: "The Cage" et al.)

"That's all right" (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

"The best defense is a (strong) offense" (TOS: "The Empath")

"The fact is" (TOS: "I, Mudd")

"The fat is in the fire." (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")

In the episode, McCoy uses the future tense of this idiom - "the fat will be in the fire".

"The last word" (TOS: "I, Mudd", "Journey to Babel")

"The lesser of two evils" (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

"The other side of the coin" (TOS: "What Are Little Girls Made Of?")

"The status quo'" (TOS: "A Private Little War" et al.)

"The thing is" (TOS: "By Any Other Name")

"The top dog" (TOS: "Errand of Mercy", "Mirror, Mirror")

"Thereby hangs a tale" (TOS: "I, Mudd")

"Throw (him) to the wolves" (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold")

"Tiger by the tail" (TOS: "Day of the Dove")

"Tin god" (TOS: "This Side of Paradise")

"To a fine art" (TOS: "Is There in Truth No Beauty?")

"To boot" (TOS: "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky")

"To coin a phrase" (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

"To that effect" (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

"To the letter." (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I")

"Touch and go" (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"Turn(ing) tail and run(ning)" (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")

"Under consideration" (TOS: "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield")

"Under the table" (TOS: "By Any Other Name")

"Wait a minute" (TOS: "I, Mudd" et al.)

"Watching the store" (TOS: "The Enemy Within"); "Mind the store" (TOS: "Amok Time", "The Gamesters of Triskelion"); "Minding the store" (VOY: "Tsunkatse")

"Watch your tongue" (TOS: "I, Mudd")

"What the devil" (TOS: "The Cage" et al.)

"When the cat's away, the mice will play" (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

The first part of this idiom was said by the Terran Hikaru Sulu; however, the second part was not spoken as the Human Nyota Uhura interrupted him with slapping his hand away.

"What the blazes" (TOS: "Day of the Dove")

"Where the blazes" (TOS: "Wink of an Eye")

"(Who) the blazes" (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

"With (their) eyes closed" (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

"(Your) lucky day" (TOS: "Assignment: Earth")

In 2372, Kathryn Janeway believed there would be no way to "put the genie back in the bottle", after the warp 10 barrier was broken. (VOY: "Threshold")

Maxims Edit

"No one is more qualified to write your story than you are." (TNG: "Time's Arrow, Part II")

Mark Twain claimed to have always lived by this maxim.

Metaphors Edit

In 2151, Captain Jonathan Archer called a planned dinner with Vulcan Captain Vanik a "good way to break the ice."
  • "Tip of the iceberg" was a phrase meaning the smaller portion of a larger unseen object, sometimes the most obvious part of a problem.
In 2153, Commander Charles Tucker called a Vissian Cogenitor's newly-gained ability to read the tip of the iceberg. (ENT: "Cogenitor")
In 2373, Miles O'Brien tried to cover his tracks when he altered Deep Space 9's systems by telling Benjamin Sisko that it was hard to call that sabotage, since it didn't really pose a threat to the station. Sisko told him that the alterations "might be just the tip of a very large and dangerous iceberg." (DS9: "The Assignment")
This "colorful metaphor" had fallen into disuse between 1986 and 2286, as part of a general trend towards less colorful metaphors.
Said to be used where Leonard McCoy was from.
Seemingly used analogous to the current day "bull shit".
This might be a metaphor referring to the Earth fairy tale Rapunzel.
  • When convinced by Kirk and Spock to draw the Companion out into the open so that it could be neutralized, Zefram Cochrane recalled the term "Judas goat," as he regretfully knew that he was leading the Companion into a trap. (TOS: "Metamorphosis")
The term comes from the Biblical character Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus. The term was also used in the final draft script of TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", in which Kirk called Balok's pilot vessel a "Judas Goat".

Proverbs and sayings Edit

Atrean Edit

"A child born from parents who love each other will have nothing but goodness in his heart." (TNG: "Inheritance")

Bajoran Edit

"He who studies evil is studied by evil." (DS9: "The Changing Face of Evil")

Said to be an old saying.

"If you're not fighting them, you're helping them." – In the Bajoran Resistance (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals")

"The land and the people are one." (DS9: "The Storyteller")

Cardassian Edit

"Confession is good for the soul." (DS9: "Tribunal")

"Enemies make dangerous friends." (DS9: "The Search, Part II")

"One man's villain is another man's hero." (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

Denobulan Edit

"When in Fellebia, do as the Fellebians do." (ENT: "Unexpected")

This would seem to be inspired by the phrase "When in Rome, do as the Romans do."

Ferengi Edit

The Rules of Acquisition performed a function similar to proverbs in Ferengi culture.

The following were quoted as Ferengi sayings, but were not stated to be included in the Rules of Acquisition:

"Never ask when you can take." (DS9: "Babel")

"A good lie is easier to believe than the truth." (VOY: "Shattered")

"Good things come in small packages." (DS9: "Move Along Home")

"Discretion [is] the better part of valor." (DS9: "The House of Quark")

Claimed by Quark to be an old Ferengi saying.

Founders Edit

"To become a thing is to know a thing. To assume its form is to begin to understand its existence." (DS9: "The Search, Part II", "Behind the Lines")

"The drop becomes the ocean... The ocean becomes the drop..." (DS9: "Behind the Lines")

Human Edit

"A needle in a haystack." (TNG: "The Naked Now"; DS9: "Blaze of Glory")

"When in Rome... do as the Romans do." (ENT: "Babel One"; TOS: "The Savage Curtain"; TNG: "Justice"; DS9: "Let He Who Is Without Sin...")

"Fortune favors the bold." (DS9: "Favor the Bold", "Sacrifice of Angels")

"As healthy as a horse." (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday")

"Easy as pie." (VOY: "Future's End")

"Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely." (TOS: "Where No Man Has Gone Before", "Patterns of Force")

Sometimes shortened to "Power corrupts." (TNG: "Hide and Q")

"You don't kick a man when he's down." (ENT: "Judgment")

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." (TOS: "Friday's Child"; VOY: "Warhead")

Claimed to be Russian in origin by Pavel Chekov.

"No good deed goes unpunished." (ENT: "The Andorian Incident")

"Blood is thicker than water." (VOY: "Survival Instinct")

"Even the eagle must know when to sleep." (VOY: "Resolutions")

Used among Chakotay's people.

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions." (DS9: "In the Pale Moonlight")

"May you live in interesting times." (VOY: "The Cloud")

Described as "an ancient Chinese curse" by Harry Kim.

"A stranger is a friend you just haven't met yet." (VOY: "Fair Haven", "Spirit Folk")

Michael Sullivan speculated that this might be of Irish origin.

"Home is wherever you happen to be." (VOY: "Deadlock")

Attributed to Kolopak.

"The devil finds work for idle hands." (VOY: "Good Shepherd")

"Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime." (ENT: "Marauders")

"In for a penny, in for a pound." (TNG: "Pen Pals"; VOY: "Rise")

"All good things must come to an end." (TNG: "All Good Things..."; DS9: "Business as Usual")

"Nothing ventured, nothing gained." (DS9: "Move Along Home")

"The early bird gets the worm." (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")

This was transformed into "The early bird gets the gagh" by the EMH when addressing B'Elanna Torres. (VOY: "Drone")

"Best defense is a good offense." (VOY: "In the Flesh")

A virtually identical phrase was also used in the final draft script of TOS: "The Galileo Seven", when Lieutenant Boma advised Spock, regarding Taurus II anthropoids, "A good offense is the best defense!"

"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." (ENT: "Cold Front")

"The proof is in the pudding." (ENT: "Rogue Planet")

"Two heads are better than one." (DS9: "Bar Association")

"The ball's in your court." (ENT: "Cease Fire")

"A hundred thousand welcomes." (VOY: "Fair Haven")

Described as an old (in the 19th century) Irish saying.

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend." (TNG: "Legacy"; Star Trek Into Darkness)

Spock claimed this to be "an Arab proverb attributed to a prince who was betrayed and decapitated by his own subjects." (Star Trek Into Darkness)
It is unclear which prince Spock meant, and the origins of the proverb are currently unknown in real life. More information can be found here.
A version of this phrase was additionally said by Elim Garak in the first draft script of DS9: "When It Rains...", when he realized that Kira Nerys intended to help Damar's Cardassian Liberation Front fight against the Breen-Dominion Alliance. Garak specifically stated, "My enemy's enemy is my friend, that sort of thing."
The phrase was also cited in the first draft script of ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem" (written while that episode had the working title "Untitled Andorians Return"). It was said by Malcolm Reed to sum up how Andorian commander Shran believed a civil war on Coridan, in which a corrupt Coridan government was being backed by the Vulcans, with whom the Andorians had a very conflicted history, would escalate into a full-blown war between the Vulcans and Andorians. In reply to Reed using the phrase, Shran admitted, "Something like that."

"There's a warm wind blowing in from Minicoy." (DS9: "The Circle")

Described by Captain Sisko as an old saying.

"Those who can't, coach." (DS9: "Take Me Out to the Holosuite")

"A man who's always looking over his shoulder is waiting for trouble to find him." (DS9: "Captive Pursuit")

"Time flies when you're having fun." (TNG: "We'll Always Have Paris")

"Follow your heart." (ENT: "")

"The customer's always right." (ENT: "Dead Stop")

"To beard the lion in its den." (DS9: "In the Cards")

"Time heals all wounds, but absence makes the heart grow fonder." (ENT: "These Are the Voyages...")

"The angels themselves take pleasure in their bodies of light."

A holographic Lord Byron described this as something that is said.

"The way to a woman's heart is through her stomach."

Attributed by Captain Sisko to his father

"Wouldn't hurt a fly." (Star Trek Generations)

"sauce for the goose." (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

"It never rains but it pours." (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

"Waste not, want not." (DS9: "The Ascent")

"Spare the rod and spoil the child." (TNG: "The Offspring" DS9: "The Begotten")

Used in two sentenced without the word "and" also. Data associated this saying with a traditional doctrine on parenting, contrasted with more liberal ones.

"If the shoe fits, wear it."

Derived from the Russian epic of Cinderella.

Various Latin phrases and Biblical allusions served a function similar to proverbs in Human society.

Additionally, a deleted scene from "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II" established "the die is cast" as a mirror universe A cut scene from "Dramatis Personae" furthermore mentioned "cut of your jib." A deleted scene from "" referenced the expression "cut from the same cloth.

Jem'Hadar Edit

"Obedience brings victory." (DS9: "Rocks and Shoals")

"Victory is life." (DS9: "by Inferno's Light")

Klingon Edit

"Four thousand throats may be cut in one night by a running man with a knife." (TOS: "Day of the Dove")

"Only a fool fights in a burning house." (TOS: "Day of the Dove")

"Revenge is a dish that is best served cold." (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

While now often associated with Star Trek, this is a real expression predating the movie. It is sometimes claimed to originate with the Pashtun people of South Asia.

"You cannot loosen a man's tongue with root beer." (DS9: "Rapture")

"A doctor who operates on himself has a petaQ for a patient." (VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy")

"Today is a good day to die."

Said to be the battle cry of Kahless the Unforgettable (VOY: "Dragon's Teeth"). Actually originated from the Lakotan warrior Crazy Horse.

"Own the day." (VOY: "Ashes to Ashes")

Favorite saying of Lyndsay Ballard, from an old Klingon battle cry.

In addition, various sayings of Kahless served a function similar to proverbs in Klingon culture.

Mikhal Traveler Edit

"My course is as elusive as a shadow across the sky." (VOY: "Darkling")

Romulan Edit

"Never turn your back on a Breen." (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

In addition, a Romulan commander described the fact that Vulcans are incapable of lying as a well-known saying. (TOS: "The Enterprise Incident")

Talaxian Edit

"Good news has no clothes." (VOY: "Lineage")

"When the road before you splits in two, take the third path." (VOY: "Author, Author")

"The dream dreams the dreamer." (VOY: "Tinker Tenor Doctor Spy")

Terran Empire Edit

"Scared Kelpien makes for tough Kelpien." (DIS: "Will You Take My Hand?")

Vulcan Edit

"Only Nixon could go to China." (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

"One man can summon the future." (ENT: "United")

Among mirror universe Vulcans, this saying was "One man cannot summon the future." (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

"In accepting the inevitable, one finds peace." (VOY: "Once Upon a Time")

"Isik for your thoughts" (DIS: "Despite Yourself")

While described as a Vulcan saying in Despite Yourself, in Will You Take My Hand? it is revealed as something Amanda Grayson heard her (presumably Human) mother say.

Xindi Edit

"It's easier to count the stars in the sky than it is for an aquatic to reach a decision." (ENT: "The Council")

"Dealing with reptilians is like bargaining with the sun. You make no progress, and you come away burned." (ENT: "Azati Prime")

"Patience is for the dead." (ENT: "Azati Prime")

Other and of unknown origin Edit

"It's lonely at the top." – Claimed to be an Arachnian saying by Queen Arachnia.

"Stay out of harm's way." – Claimed to be a Chinese expression by Harry Kim, but disputed by Tom Paris

"Put the shoe on the right foot first, but put the left foot first into the bathtub." – quoted by Jadzia Dax while under the influence of Saltah'na energy spheres. (DS9: "Dramatis Personae")

"There's no time like the past." – In use by crews of 29th century timeships. (VOY: "Relativity")

"There's no time like the present." – In use by Starfleet's Temporal Mechanics Department in an alternative 2404. (VOY: "Endgame")

Note that given the time periods involved, these two sayings are not mutually exclusive.

"The early bird that hesitates gets wormed."

A perversion of "The early bird gets the worm", stated by the Minosian peddler. Designed to indicate the impending demise of the uncertain purchaser.

"Little birds in their nest get along." (VOY: "Real Life")

This would seem to be a 24th century variation on "Birds in their little nests agree."

"Once a thief." (DS9: "Resurrection")

On face value this might look like a Human saying, but the fact that it was quoted by a Kira, as "an old saying", without referencing Humanity, might suggest that it has come into wider use.

"Beware Romulans bearing gifts." (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

This is an obvious modification of the Roman "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts," perhaps further accentuating the link between Romulan and Roman culture.
Furthermore, a cut scene from "Dramatis Personae" had Quark mentioning "The twist of your tulamak," which was implied to be analogous to "the cut of your jib."
The phrase "practice makes perfect" was used in the final draft script of ENT: "Chosen Realm" but not in canon Star Trek. In the "Chosen Realm" script, the phrase was said in the teaser by Travis Mayweather, in reply to Charles Tucker III commenting – during the Xindi mission – that he believed the crew of Enterprise NX-01 was growing accustomed to experiencing turbulence while in cloaking barriers.

Comparisons Edit

"Healthy as a Rigellian ox." (TNG: "The Schizoid Man")

"Hot as Vulcan." (TOS: "Amok Time")

"Dry as Vulcan." (VOY: "Concerning Flight")

Referring to the Italian island.

"Colder than a Breen winter." (DS9: "Crossfire")

Referring to emotional coldness.

"Blind as a stump." (TNG: "Loud As A Whisper")

"Bigger than Elvis." (DS9: "It's Only a Paper Moon")

"Rich as Rockefeller." (DS9: "It's Only a Paper Moon")

"Poor as a church mouse." (DS9: "It's Only a Paper Moon")

"Clear as Tabalian glass." (DS9: "For the Cause")

"Busier than an Alvanian beehive." (DS9: "Rapture")

"Touchier than a raw antimatter pile." (TOS: "Journey to Babel"

"Quiet as a Zyznian church mouse." (VOY: "Q2")

"Dropping like flies." (DS9: "Business as Usual")

"Crystal clear." (TOS: "Arena"; TOS: "The Mark of Gideon"; Star Trek Into Darkness)

"Peaceful as sheep." (TOS: "Wolf in the Fold")

"As right as rain." (DS9: "Children of Time", "Time's Orphan")

Additionally, two comparisons have worked their way into episode titles: "Loud As A Whisper" and "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth"

Other expressions Edit

Be careful what you wish for Edit

In 2285, after "Mr. Adventure" complained that he wanted more challenges, adventure and surprises in his life, Uhura said "be careful what you wish for" and locked him in a closet. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

In 2373, upon Tom Paris saying to B'Elanna Torres that he wouldn't mind seeing her Klingon side again, Torres warned him to be careful what he'd wished for. (VOY: "Blood Fever")

In 2377, when 204 Klingons came aboard Voyager, Torres said that she should be careful what she wished for, after six years of feeling uncomfortable being the only Klingon aboard for. (VOY: "Prophecy")

Between a rock and a hard place Edit

Being "between a rock and a hard place" was an Earth idiom, meaning that someone was in a situation where he or she could choose between two alternatives, and neither of them were acceptable.

In 1986, Bob Briggs told Gillian Taylor, they're "between a rock and a hard place" regarding the fate of George and Gracie. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Bird in a gilded cage Edit

To be a bird in a gilded cage was to live in luxury without freedom.

In 2268, Kirk described the crew of the USS Enterprise on the planet Mudd as birds in a gilded cage and asked how they could escape, to which Pavel Chekov replied that he had no ideas but that it was a very nice gilded cage. Kirk reminded everyone that despite it containing their deepest desires, it was a cage nonetheless and that they belonged back on the Enterprise. (TOS: "I, Mudd")

Can't see the forest for the trees Edit

To say one "can't see the forest for the trees" was an Earth idiom, meaning that one was so caught up in small details that they were not able to see the bigger picture.

In 2373, Miles O'Brien felt he hadn't been able to see the forest for the trees when it was Rom who explained to him that the modifications that he had been making to equipment on Deep Space 9 on the orders of a Pah-wraith that had possessed his wife were designed to turn the station into a chroniton array aimed at the Bajoran wormhole, one which could kill the Prophets. (DS9: "The Assignment")

Caught with one's pants down Edit

To be caught with your pants/britches down was to be found in the act of doing something which left one in an embarrassing position.

In 2285, James T. Kirk characterized his having been trapped by Khan Noonien Singh as having been caught with his britches down, a fact he attributed to his own supposed senility. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

In 2366, Geordi La Forge opined that Romulan defector Alidar Jarok was correct about Romulan activity at Nelvana III, and that the Romulans would indeed be caught with their pants down. Data, unfamiliar with the phrase, questioned what he meant, and La Forge explained. (TNG: "The Defector")

Caught with one's hand in the cookie jar Edit

To be "caught with one's hand in the cookie jar" was to be found to be accessing something that was not one's own.

In 2151, Trip Tucker had Hoshi Sato decrypt a message from the Vulcans and found it was a personal letter meant for T'Pol. When expressing his embarrassment at having inadvertently snooped on her private business, he said that he felt as though he had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. (ENT: "Breaking the Ice")

C'est la vie Edit

"C'est la vie" (French: "that's life") was a Human idiom, meaning bad things happen, it was the way of life.

In 2285, when Admiral James Kirk self-destructed the USS Enterprise, killing most of Kruge's Klingon crew on board, he told the commander on the surface of the Genesis Planet: "Sorry about your crew, but as we say on Earth, ...'c'est la vie.'" (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

Chicken and the egg Edit

The "chicken and the egg" was a paradox, usually posed as the question, "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"

In an alternate anti-time future created by Q, retired captain Jean-Luc Picard, used the question of the chicken the egg as a metaphor to explain the paradox of the anti-time anomaly to Geordi La Forge, Beverly Picard, Data, and William Riker aboard the USS Enterprise-D. (TNG: "All Good Things...")

In 2372, Torres described establishing communication with a duplicate of the USS Voyager by getting them to recalibrate their comm frequency carrier wave before they'd first made contact as "the chicken and the egg." (VOY: "Deadlock")

In the 31st century, Jonathan Archer described Daniels' urgent need to restore the original timeline by returning the captain to the 22nd century while lacking the technology to do so as "a chicken or the egg problem." (ENT: "Shockwave, Part II")

Archer again said "Chicken or the egg" after Daniels had sent Enterprise NX-01 back in time to 1944 to stop Vosk's temporal incursions, and it became apparent that the timeline had changed prior to the 1940s, with Lenin's death in 1916. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

Clean their chronometersEdit

Colonel West, while proposing Operation Retrieve, assured the Federation President that should the operation precipitate a full-scale war with the Klingon Empire, Starfleet could quite frankly "clean their chronometers." (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Credits to navy beans Edit

A Federation variation on "dollars to doughnuts", this referred to wagering something of value against something relatively worthless – in other words, "I'll bet you anything..." (TOS: "Catspaw")

Dining on ashesEdit

James Kirk asked if Spock was dining on ashes after finding him seemingly reflecting on the betrayal of Valeris. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Falling on deaf earsEdit

"Falling on deaf ears" meant something that some believe should be heeded was not.

Weyoun once told Major Kira that her pleas to have Rom not executed for terrorism would fall on deaf ears. (DS9: "Favor the Bold")

In 2372, Neelix believed diplomatic negotiation with the Botha might fall on deaf ears. (VOY: "Persistence of Vision"

In 2374, The Doctor complained that his requests for a larger sickbay were falling on deaf ears. 'VOY: "Waking Moments")

For all the tea in China Edit

"For all the tea in China" meant something was so important to a person, he or she wouldn't exchange it for even the most precious things in the world.

In 1986, Gillian Taylor told time traveler Admiral James Kirk, when he explained to her that they wanted to bring George and Gracie to the 23rd century, and asked her if she was curious about the details, she said, "I wouldn't miss it for all the tea in China." (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Handing someone something on a silver platter Edit

This term referred to something that was offered to someone in a rather obvious manner.

In 2375, Neelix offered B'Elanna Torres the chance to insult his cooking by telling her to name her poison. After she missed that chance, he seemed disappointed, claiming he'd handed it to her on a silver platter. (VOY: "Extreme Risk")

Have the hide of Edit

To have the hide of someone was to chastise someone severely.

In 2269, according to Dickerson, Captain Kirk promised to have the hide of the first man to smile or otherwise react with amusement to the appearance of President Abraham Lincoln on the Enterprise. (TOS: "The Savage Curtain")

Having one's head on a platterEdit

This expression meant that the person saying it was angry at someone and intended to punish them for their actions.

In 2369, Benjamin Sisko warned Kira Nerys that he would have her head on a platter if she went over his head one more time. (DS9: "Past Prologue")

I couldn't fill your shoes Edit

"I couldn't fill your shoes" was a Human idiom, describing one being in a bad situation, which the other person couldn't bear.

In 2286, Leonard McCoy told Spock, when he suffered from memory loss after being resurrected, "What I mean is I may have carried your soul, but I sure couldn't fill your shoes," to which Spock replied, "My shoes?" (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

If we play our cards right Edit

"If we play our cards right" was a Human idiom, meaning "if things go well."

In 1986, Admiral Kirk used this idiom when talking to Spock, leading Spock to ask "How will playing cards help?" (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Joined at the hip Edit

This term referred to people being so close to one another as to appear inseparable (physically or emotionally)

In 2369, Q described himself and Vash as "A team, joined together at the hip." (DS9: "Q-Less")

After being temporarily telepathically linked with Jean-Luc Picard on Kesprytt III in 2370, Beverly Crusher remarked that she was happy not to be joined to Picard's hip anymore. (TNG: "Attached")

In an alternate version of the year 2390, Harry Kim called Chakotay and his girlfriend Tessa Omond as close as to be joined at the hip. (VOY: "Timeless")

Keep it under your hat Edit

Upon learning that Quark was aware that Odo was ill, Miles O'Brien requested that Quark keep that information under his hat. (DS9: "When It Rains...")

May God have mercy upon your soul Edit

"May God have mercy upon your soul" was a phrase used in some ancient Earth cultures upon sentencing a person to execution. It was used in that capacity during Worf's 2371 promotion ceremony, which included holodeck roleplaying on an sea vessel and involved him walking the plank. (Star Trek Generations)

A variant of the phrase, "May God have mercy on our souls," was used by Malcolm Reed to end his final log entry when stranded in Shuttlepod 1 and he believed there was no chance of rescue. (ENT: "Shuttlepod One")

Media circus Edit

"Media circus" was a Human idiom which described a news event where the coverage was out of proportion to the event itself.

In 1986, Gillian Taylor described to James T. Kirk the farewell ceremony for George and Gracie as a potential media circus. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

My mind's turned to clay Edit

This expression was used by Geordi La Forge in the running up to the battle of Wolf 359. (TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds")

Needle in a haystack Edit

"Needle in a haystack" was a Human idiom which described the long-lasting search for something in a large variety of possibilities.

In 2267, when searching for the Galileo, James Kirk remarked to High Commissioner Ferris, "Finding a needle in a haystack would be child's play." (TOS: " The Galileo Seven")

Later in the episode's script, just after Kirk decides to search Taurus II for the Galileo, Ferris disapprovingly commented, "You said something about a needle in a haystack. Useless..." and Kirk replied, "Not if you want your needle back."

In 2364, William Riker described searching Starfleet records for an instance of someone showering in their clothes as "like looking for a needle in a haystack." (TNG: "The Naked Now")

In 2369 while searching for the crash landed runabout USS Yangtzee Kiang in the Gamma Quadrant, Miles O'Brien compared the search with searching a needle in a haystack. O'Brien and Jadzia Dax had to search several planets, two dozen moons, and an asteroid belt. (DS9: "Battle Lines")

In 2370, a Paradan replicant of O'Brien commented "Needle in a haystack wouldn't do this job justice" when searching for a fault in Deep Space 9's upper pylons. (DS9: "Whispers")

In 2373, Jadzia Dax said to Benjamin Sisko "Do the words 'needle in a haystack' mean anything to you," after the USS Defiant had spent two days unsuccessfully searching the Badlands for cloaked missiles appropriated by the Maquis for a strike against Cardassia. (DS9: "Blaze of Glory")

Over my dead body Edit

This expression meant "You'll have to kill me to make that happen." It was used by Captain Christopher in 1969 and again by Brunt in 2374. (TOS: "Tomorrow is Yesterday"; DS9: "Profit and Lace")

Penny for your thoughts Edit

"A penny for your thoughts" was a Human idiom, meaning that someone was curious about what the other person was thinking.

In 2368, Doctor Beverly Crusher used the expression when she wanted to get Jean-Luc Picard to talk to her during a conversation. When Picard asked her if she has one, she told him that the replicator probably has it on file. (TNG: "The Perfect Mate")

In 2369, when Q brought back Picard to the incident at Starbase Earhart in 2327, he told him (acting as a bartender): "Penny for your thoughts? You never told me you were such a lady's man," also jokingly referring to Picard's unsuccessful date with Penny Muroc. (TNG: "Tapestry")

In 2370, Crusher used the expression again, dining with Picard, after they shared thoughts for a time via the psi-wave device on Kesprytt III. (TNG: "Attached")

Playing twenty questions Edit

Rather than playing an actual guessing game, this meant to make somebody ask questions rather than telling them directly what a problem or the answer was.

When Harry Kim claimed to be an American during the Hirogen simulation of World War II in 2374, Tom Paris became annoyed at the man's refusal to answer him, saying he didn't have time to play twenty questions. (VOY: "The Killing Game")

Kathryn Janeway told Neelix the same thing when he was less than forthcoming about the delicate issue of non-functioning lavatories on USS Voyager in 2375. (VOY: "Bride of Chaotica!")

Playing possum Edit

To "play possum" was to feign death when an enemy approached.

In 2377, when Chakotay suggested the Hirogen might be laying a trap for Voyager, Kathryn Janeway dismissed the idea, saying that the Hirogen "aren't the type to play possum". (VOY: "Flesh and Blood")

Janeway uses the term incorrectly here, as it refers to an (o)possum's tendency to play dead in the hopes that an enemy will go away, rather than lying in wait to attack. [1]

Preaching to the choir Edit

"Preaching to the choir" was a phrase used to describe someone who was trying to convince another who was already a believer.

In 2365, Phillipa Louvois told Bruce Maddox he was preaching to the choir when he attempted to explain the usefulness of having a Data aboard every starship. (TNG: "The Measure Of A Man")

Rich beyond the dreams of avarice Edit

Doctor Leonard McCoy managed to convince Dr. Nichols to accept the formula for transparent aluminum as compensation for his services by saying that once he figured out the dynamics of the matrix (which would take years), he'd be rich beyond the dreams of avarice. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Sauce for the goose Edit

The Earth idiom "what's sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander," was in part spoken by Spock following Saavik's notation that Khan Noonien Singh, aboard the USS Reliant was following the USS Enterprise into the Mutara Nebula. In response, Spock stated stated "sauce for the goose, Mr. Saavik." (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

Stone knives and bearskins Edit

"Stone knives and bearskins" was a colorful term employed by Spock to describe the 1930s technology he was forced to use to construct a tricorder interface. Vital information was locked within Spock's tricorder: How had Leonard McCoy changed history? Spock was eventually able to construct an appropriate circuit, but retrieved two separate recordings: one in which Edith Keeler lived, and one in which she died. At that point, the improvised interface erupted in sparks and flame, ruining his chance to learn which of the recordings represented McCoy's alteration, and which the correct timeline. (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")

Kathryn Janeway also used this expression when typing on a late 20th century computer keyboard trying to find out information about Henry Starling. (VOY: "Future's End")

The real McCoy Edit

"The real McCoy" described anything which was the genuine article in question, not merely a facsimile thereof.

In 2374, Vic Fontaine revealed to Odo that a new improved version of the "Lola Chrystal" hologram was in fact Kira Nerys, who the hologram's features were based on, and that the Changeling had been dancing with the real McCoy. (DS9: "His Way")

In 2375, "Boothby" classified Chakotay, unlike himself, to be "the real McCoy", (i.e. not a Species 8472 recreation of a Starfleet officer) and recommended "Valerie Archer" perform a genetic extraction in order to figure out a better way for members of Species 8472 to maintain a Human appearance. (VOY: "In the Flesh")

The whole kit and caboodle Edit

"The whole kit and caboodle" referred to the entirety of something.

In 2152, commenting that it was completely gone, Trip Tucker referred to a time travel pod from the 31st century and its contents as "the whole kit and caboodle". (ENT: "Future Tense")

In 2268, Montgomery Scott claimed to have transported "the whole kit and caboodle" of tribbles into the IKS Gr'oth's engine room. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles")

Wash my hands of it Edit

"Wash my hands of it" was an expression used to avert a wrong decision, claiming that the person could not be held responsible for it. It came from the Bible, and was said by Pilate after he sentenced Jesus Christ to crucifixion, as demanded by the crowd; however, Pilate saw he was apparently innocent.

In 2266, Doctor Simon Van Gelder accused Captain Kirk of escaping responsibility by taking him back to the Tantalus Colony, and told him, "You smart, button-pushing brass hat. Wash your hands of it. Is that your system? You're both quite sure of yourselves, aren't you?" (TOS: "Dagger of the Mind")

Wild goose chase Edit

"Wild goose chase" was an expression used to mean futile pursuit or search after something.

In 2153, Jonathan Archer told T'Pol "Maybe we're just on a wild goose chase" after their initial attempts to locate a dark matter nebula failed. (ENT: "First Flight")

In 2268, Leonard McCoy accused Spock of "run[ning] off on some wild goose chase halfway across the galaxy" when Kirk, Uhura, and Chekov disappeared from Gamma II. Spock replied, "Doctor, I am chasing the captain, Lieutenant Uhura, and Ensign Chekov, not some wild aquatic fowl." (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion")

Later that year, Spock described M-5 multitronic unit's diversionary tactics as "pursuing a wild goose." (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

After Katherine Pulaski was abducted by Professor James Moriarty in 2365, Geordi La Forge believed she planned "to lead [Data] on a wild goose chase and then recount the story to everyone between here and Alpha Centauri." (TNG: "Elementary, Dear Data")

In 2367, Data told Doctor Crusher that he "could be chasing an untamed ornithoid without a cause," describing this idiom, when examining the clues of Ambassador T'Pel's presumed death. Crusher eventually recognized the idiom, and corrected him with its common form. (TNG: "Data's Day")

In 2368, Jean-Luc Picard commented that the USS Enterprise-D's investigation of a Barolian freighter's activities at Galorndon Core "may prove to be a wild goose chase." (TNG: "Unification II")

In 2369, Picard told Deanna Troi that his continuation of Professor Richard Galen's research was not a case of his taking the Enterprise and its crew on a wild goose chase. (TNG: "The Chase")

In 2371, Kira Nerys told Tom Riker that if she had hijacked the USS Defiant as he had, she "wouldn't have gone flying off into the middle of Cardassia on some wild goose chase." (DS9: "Defiant")

In 2372, Kathryn Janeway was concerned that investigating "Planet Hell" might prove to be a wild goose chase. (VOY: "Parturition")

In a deleted scene from "Dramatis Personae", Jadzia Dax begins to recount a wild goose chase on Elanu IV, involving Curzon Dax and Benjamin Sisko.

With one's name on it Edit

Having one's name on something meant that the object in question belonged to or was reserved for them.

In 2372, Julian Bashir assured Odo that there was a Spitfire with his name on it in the hangar if he wanted to join the Battle of Britain holoprogram. Later, Joseph Sisko told his grandson there was a vat of crayfish that needed cleaning with his name on it. (DS9: "Homefront")

In 2375, Miles O'Brien told Janel Tigan he was not looking forward to seeing Captain Sisko again, as he had a boot with O'Brien's name on it. (DS9: "Prodigal Daughter")

In 2377, Reginald Barclay offered Deanna Troi a drink. When she declined, he tried to tempt her, saying he had a chocolate passion punch with her name on it. (VOY: "Inside Man")

Sight for sore eyes Edit

Something was said to be a "sight for sore eyes" when it was pleasing to look at.

In 2376, Harry Kim remarked that he would not want to bunk with the great explorers of the past. Tom Paris remarked that that would be a sight for sore eyes. (VOY: "Memorial")

Shortly thereafter, after making contact with Voyager again, Lyndsay Ballard remarked that Captain Janeway was a sight for sore eyes. (VOY: "Ashes to Ashes")

Later that year, the con artist Dala used the expression sarcastically upon seeing Tuvok. (VOY: "Live Fast and Prosper")

Furthermore, Captain Archer used the expression in a deleted scene from "The Expanse".

Be careful what you wish for Edit

In 2285, after "Mr. Adventure" complained that he wanted more challenges, adventure and surprises in his life, Uhura said "be careful what you wish for" and locked him in a closet. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

In 2373, upon Tom Paris saying to B'Elanna Torres that he wouldn't mind seeing her Klingon side again, Torres warned him to be careful what he'd wished for. (VOY: "Blood Fever")

Second wind Edit

Finding a second wind meant regaining energy after a certain activity had gotten tired.

During a 2153 engine test aboard Enterprise, field fluctuations dropped to zero, which lead captain Archer to suggest that they had gotten their second wind. That impression was incorrect. (ENT: "Similitude")

Upon James Kirk asking Montgomery Scott if the Enterprise could hold its speed while rushing to the Genesis Planet in 2285, Scott remarked in the affirmative, saying that she had just gotten her second wind. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

See also Edit

External links Edit