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Crawl out of the woodwork

verb phrase

To appear, materialize, interfere, etc, as or like something very loathsome: A lot of them are weirdos who just crawled out of the woodwork/ Any time there’s a juicy scandal a lot of creeps come out of the woodwork

[1960s+; fr the notion that worms, spiders, maggoty creatures, rats, etc, dwell in hidden places]


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  • Crawlspace

    [krawl-speys] /ˈkrɔlˌspeɪs/ noun 1. (in a building) an area accessible by , having a clearance less than human height, for access to plumbing or wiring, storage, etc.

  • Crawl with

    adjective phrase To be well provided with: The place was suddenly crawling with cops (1576+)

  • Crawly

    [kraw-lee] /ˈkrɔ li/ Informal. adjective, crawlier, crawliest. 1. that ; noting or describing things, as worms or insects, that crawl, especially imparting a queasy feeling; creepy. noun, plural crawlies. 2. a insect, small reptile, etc. /ˈkrɔːlɪ/ adjective crawlier, crawliest 1. (informal) feeling or causing a sensation like creatures crawling on one’s skin

  • Craw-thumper

    noun 1. (Irish, informal) an ostentatiously pious person

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