Dictionary

p's and q's

noun plural \ˌpēz-ən-ˈkyüz\

Definition of P'S AND Q'S

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>

Origin of P'S AND Q'S

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
First Known Use: 1779

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: PsaroniusPrevious Word in the Dictionary: psammosereAll Words Near: p's and q's
July 04, 2015
stringent Hear it
rigorous, strict, or severe
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears