at sixes and sevens



at sixes and sevens

Frazzled or disorganized. The phrase likely originated from a dice game in which rolling a six or a seven was unfavorable. After caring for three sick kids all week, I'm totally at sixes and sevens. I'm at sixes and sevens now that the whole schedule has been rearranged.
See also: and, seven, six

at sixes and sevens

lost in bewilderment; at loose ends. Mrs. Smith is at sixes and sevens since the death of her husband. Bill is always at sixes and sevens when he's home by himself.
See also: and, seven, six

at sixes and sevens

Confused, disorganized, disorderly, as in We've just moved in, and the office is still at sixes and sevens, or The new college admissions tests were poorly explained, leaving the students at sixes and sevens . This ancient term is thought to come from a game of dice in which throwing a six or seven had a particular significance. The name of the game has been lost, but most likely betting on such a throw was very risky, denoting disorder and confusion. [Late 1300s]
See also: and, seven, six

at sixes and sevens

In a state of confusion or disorder.
See also: and, seven, six

at sixes and sevens

In complete disorder. The most likely source of the phrase is an old dice game called hazard, in which to bet on cinque and sice (from the French words for “five” and “six”) was particularly risky business. Anyone who did so was considered careless or confused. English-speaking players misheard or chose to pronounce cinque and sice as “sixes and sevens.”
See also: and, seven, six

Common Names:

NameGenderPronouncedUsage
Nikolaos-Ancient Greek, Greek
Malakai-English (Modern)
Gerda (2)YER-dah (Swedish)Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
GÜLden-Turkish
SÉVÈRe-French
Melyssamə-LIS-əEnglish (Rare)