One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1usually nutcrackersA device for cracking nuts.
- ‘When I think of my professional life, I think of working inside the angle of a giant, open nutcracker.’
- ‘This classic tale, with its evergreen Tchaikovsky score, tells the story of a girl who receives a nutcracker as a Christmas gift from her uncle, who is known for his fascination with the enchanted.’
- ‘Scarborough Sea Life Centre is building a giant tank to accommodate 12 ‘baby’ Japanese Spider Crabs - whose infant pincers are as big as nutcrackers.’
- ‘This is not a primitive Walkman but a pseudophone, clamped like a nutcracker on the skull of its inventor, psychologist Paul T. Young, Ph.D.’
- ‘It's the nut against the nutcracker; the outcome is foreordained.’
- ‘She knew that he kept a hand nutcracker in his desk drawer and on more occasions then one she had thought about stealing it from the desk.’
- ‘A rope-tow's a generous interpretation of what it really is; it's fondly called a nutcracker because the device that hangs around your waist clamps onto the rope in the same way a nut would be cracked open.’
- ‘Generally, a girl, Clara (Mary, Made or Masha in other versions), is given a nutcracker by her godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer, at a Christmas Eve party arranged by her parents.’
- ‘The middle aged motorist shut his eyes and squeezed them like the jaws of a nutcracker.’
- ‘The nutcracker is then transformed into a handsome prince who whisks her away to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy stages a grand divertissement with them as honoured guests.’
- ‘The collection includes a ferocious Minotaur, the mythical half-human, half-bull, made from welded spoons, nutcrackers and windscreen wipers.’
- ‘Joey stood completely erect with his chin up and his arms pressed against his sides firmly, looking very stiff indeed, like a wooden nutcracker of sorts.’
- ‘Sighing intensely she looked at the first paper trying to inscribe over the walnut oil stains that had been left by Nick's little nutcracker joke.’
- ‘All nutcrackers are forbidden on the premises as these items have been found to be a potential security risk and safety hazard in the hands of inadequately trained personnel.’
- ‘Crack about 18 of the apricot stones open with a nutcracker, to get the almonds inside.’
- ‘That nutcrackers existed in prehistoric times makes sense: nuts were presumably just as nutritious then - and as maddeningly hard to break open without tools - as they are now.’
- ‘You need a nutcracker, a large bib and a bowl of warm melted butter.’
- ‘There's a Bible story which describes the use of the more gentle nutcracker principle that could be applied to the present situation.’
- ‘Some people get the same pleasure with a nutcracker and a bowl of walnuts, but, believe me, those people are not reading in bed.’
- ‘But because the ligaments are so tight, the jaws couldn't stretch very far, and soon the ligaments would begin acting like the fulcrum at the hinged end of the nutcracker.’
- 1.1as modifier Denoting a person's nose and chin with the points near each other, either naturally or as a result of the loss of teeth.
- ‘It is almost perfectly square, heavily set like a bulldog's, with huge nutcracker jaws and a pugilist's broken nose.’
2A crow that feeds on the seeds of conifers, found widely in Eurasia and in western North America.
Genus Nucifraga, family Corvidae: the Eurasian spotted nutcracker (N. caryocatactes), with white-spotted brown plumage, and the North American Clark's nutcracker (N. columbiana), with pale grey and black plumage
- ‘The Clark's nutcracker - which also has a well-developed hippocampus - can pinpoint thousands of scattered food caches up to nine months after storing them.’
- ‘There are two sub-families: The Corvinae includes crows, ravens, nutcrackers, jackdaws, and rooks, while jays, magpies, and choughs compose the Garrulinae.’
- ‘Whitebark pine provides an important food source for grizzlies, Clark's nutcracker, and red squirrels (See ‘Stalwart Species,’ American Forests, Summer 2002.)’
- ‘The explorers introduced to science Clark's nutcracker and Lewis's woodpecker, as well as the sage grouse and the lesser Canada goose.’
- ‘Balda started studying pinyon jays and Clark's nutcrackers in the late 1960s.’
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