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p's and q's

manners; behavior; conduct (usually preceded by mind or watch):
The children were told to mind their p's and q's.
Origin of p's and q's
First recorded in 1770-80; perhaps from some children's difficulty in distinguishing the two letters Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for p's and q's

p's and q's

plural noun
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 p's and q's

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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