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p's and q's

noun
1.
manners; behavior; conduct (usually preceded by mind or watch):
The children were told to mind their p's and q's.
Origin
1770-1780
1770-80; perhaps from some children's difficulty in distinguishing the two letters
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for watch p and q

p's and q's

plural noun
1.
behaviour within social conventions; manners (esp in the phrase to mind one's p's and q's)
Word Origin
altered from p(lea)se and (than)k-you's
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for watch p and q

p's and q's

Related Terms

mind one's p's and q's


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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