p's and q's
noun plural Etymology: from the phrase mind one's p's and q's, alluding to the difficulty a child learning to write has in distinguishing between p and q Date: 1779 1. something (as one's manners) that one should be mindful of <
better watch his p's and q's when I get a six-gun of my own — Jean Stafford
>
2. best behavior <
being on her p's and q's for two solid days was too much — Guy McCrone
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mind one's p's and q's — {v. phr.} To be very careful what you do or say; not make mistakes. * /When the principal of the school visited the class the students all minded their p s and q s./ * /If you wish to succeed you must mind your p s and q s./ (From the old U.S.… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • mind one's p's and q's — {v. phr.} To be very careful what you do or say; not make mistakes. * /When the principal of the school visited the class the students all minded their p s and q s./ * /If you wish to succeed you must mind your p s and q s./ (From the old U.S.… …   Dictionary of American idioms

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