ps and qs


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p's and q's


n.pl. Idiom.
mind or watch one's p's and q's, to pay careful attention to one's own behavior or affairs; be cautious or discreet.
[1770–80; perhaps from some children's difficulty in distinguishing the two letters]
References in periodicals archive ?
SOCCER wag Coleen Rooney said being fabulously wealthy won't stop her son Kai mind- ing his Ps and Qs.
MY MUM always taught me when I was growing up to watch my Ps and Qs and always to say please and thank you as manners are important.
I'd say it's Elizabeth who needs to watch her Ps and Qs
We realize how it caused confusion, but we are looking into the Ps and Qs of what went wrong with that filing," Lounsbury told Gunderson.
He will have to mind his Ps and Qs (a phrase, incidentally, which originates from 19th-Century landlords keeping a tally, chalked on a slate, of the pints and quarts consumed by their customers - drinkers were wise to make sure their Ps and Qs matched what they had actually consumed) next season because any player who collects nine or more points in a two-year period cops an automatic suspension.
So he won't have to mind his Ps and Qs and can have some fun in a series that's due to air in the late (Northern Hemisphere) summer," the source added.
Fry and company have to mind their Ps and Qs a little more in the pre-watershed timeslot, which may muffle some of their comic edge.
We need to see the those inspectors make a welcome appearance back on the buses to remind passengers to watch their Ps and Qs and have a little bit of respect for fixtures and fittings, including the seats that many use as a foot rest to lay their grubby boots and shoes on, not forgetting all those inconsiderate buggy users parking their carriages in the wheelchair space.
Tracy's husband David must surely be watching his ps and qs from now on.
Minding their Ps and Qs earned a children's charity a cash boost.
WOOD FINISHERS who are conscientiously minding their Ps and Qs regarding VOC regulations should be aware of a new breed of environmental mandates -- restrictions against the emissions of Hazardous Air Pollutants.
While it is incontestable that the school system bottomed out just as our generation was learning its Ps and Qs, it is not, as the authors claim, a simple question of progressive ideology destroying traditional (i.