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mind one's Ps & Qs

Definition of mind one's Ps & Qs in English:

Be careful to behave well and avoid giving offense.
[of unknown origin; said by some to refer to the care a young student must take in differentiating the tailed letters p and q]
Example sentences
  • As such, the stealth stingers tell the bipeds to buzz off and mind their Ps & Qs before the bees make 'em R.I.P.
  • As a little girl, I was told to ‘mind your p's and q's’ and ‘be a lady’ because I was quite the tomboy.
  • He's normally a quiet, sensitive little thing (just like his mum) who minds his Ps and Qs and keeps himself to himself.
See parent entry: mind

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Pronunciation: ˌprēˈpōtnt
adjective
greater than others in power or influence