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Old Sunday, September 16, 2007
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Lightbulb Idioms, meaning, use !




abide by (something)
- to follow the rules of something
The cleaning staff were forced to abide by the rules of the school.
able to breathe easily again
- to be able to relax and recover from a stressful time
My friend was able to breathe easily again when his company did not go out of business.
able to do (something) blindfolded
- to be able to do something easily and quickly
The car was easy to fix and we were able to do it blindfolded.
able to do (something) standing on one's head
- to be able to do something easily and quickly
The boy is good at fixing his bicycle and he can do it standing on his head.
able to take a joke
- to be able to let others laugh and joke about you
Our boss is not able to take a joke and we must be careful what we say to him.
about time
- to be something that should have happened earlier
"It is about time that you returned that book to me."
about to (do something)
- to be on the point of doing something
She was about to leave when the phone rang.
above and beyond
- to be more than is required
The work that the man did on our house was above and beyond what was required.
above reproach
- to be not deserving of blame or criticism
The actions of the police officer were above reproach.
above suspicion
- to be very honest so that nobody would suspect you
The man's actions are always above suspicion.
absent-minded
- to be forgetful
My grandfather is very absent-minded and often forgets his keys.
according to Hoyle
- doing something strictly by the rules, doing something the usual and correct way
According to Hoyle we are not allowed to use this room but if nobody knows it should be okay.

according to (someone or something)
- as said or told by someone, in agreement with something, in the order of something, in proportion to something
According to our teacher, there will be no class next week.
We did everything according to the terms of our agreement.

acid test
- a test where the conclusions are beyond doubt
The problem was an acid test of our faith in the manager.
acquire a taste for (something)
- to learn to like something
We acquired a taste for classical music during our trip to Europe.
across the board
- equally for everyone or everything
The taxes were increased across the board and everyone had to pay more.
act high and mighty
- to act proud and powerful
The woman always acts high and mighty and nobody likes her.
act one's age
- to behave as a mature person or at least to behave equal to one's age
My friend never acts her age in public.
act up
- to misbehave
The children began to act up during the field trip.
add fuel to the fire
- to make a problem worse, to make an angry person angrier
The company added fuel to the fire when they criticized the angry workers.
add insult to injury
- to make a person who feels bad feel worse, to make a bad situation worse
Our boss added insult to injury when she refused to let us use the telephone as well as the computers during lunch.
add up
- to total up to a certain amount
I began to add up the money that I owed my father.
add up (to something)
- to mean something, to result in something
The things that he said about his boss do not add up.
advise against (something)
- to suggest that something should not be done
We were advised against swimming in the river.
afraid of one's own shadow
- to become frightened easily
The small dog is afraid of his own shadow.


after Idioms
after a fashion
- poorly, barely adequate
The cleaning staff cleaned the room after a fashion but certainly not very well.
after all
- in spite of what has been decided
I decided to take the swimming course after all.
after all
- considering the fact that something happened or is usually assumed
"You don't need to phone him. After all, he never phones you."

after all is said and done
- finally, when everything is settled
After all is said and done the mayor of our city is doing a very good job.
after hours
- after the regular closing or finishing time
The library has a place to leave books after hours.
after the fact
- after something (often a crime) has happened
Although the man said he was sorry, it was after the fact and he had already caused a big problem.
.


against one's will
- to be without a person's consent or agreement
The police took the man to jail against his will.
against the clock
- to be in a hurry to do something before a particular time
We worked against the clock to finish the project.
ahead of one's time
- to have ideas or attitudes that are more advanced than those of others
The ideas of the politician were very much ahead of his time.
ahead of the game
- to do more than necessary
We worked hard all week in order to be ahead of the game on Monday morning.
ahead of time
- early
We started the meeting ahead of time so that we could go home early.
air one`s dirty laundry/linen in public
- to make public something embarrassing that should be kept secret
The dinner party became uncomfortable when the host began to air his colleague's dirty laundry in public.
air one's grievances
- to complain (often publicly)
We spent the meeting airing our grievances to the new supervisor.
air (something) out
- to freshen something by putting it out in the open air
We put the blankets outside in order to air them out.
alive and well/kicking
- to be well and healthy
My aunt is 87 years old and she is very much alive and kicking.

all Idioms


all along
- all the time
I knew all along that my friend would not get the promotion.
all at once
- suddenly, without warning
All at once the fire alarm rang and we had to leave the building.
all day long
- the whole day
She has been sitting and waiting for the mail to arrive all day long.
all ears
- to be eager to listen to someone
"I`m all ears, please tell me about the party."
all for (someone or something)
- to be very much in favor of someone or something
The woman is all for the manager and she never criticizes her.
all in
- to be tired, to be exhausted
I am all in and will go to bed early tonight.
all in a day's work
- to be part of what is expected
It was all in a day's work when the firefighters rescued the cat.
all in all
- in summary, after considering everything
We had a few problems but all in all the meeting was successful.
all in one piece
- safely, without damage
When we moved, our furniture arrived all in one piece.
all manner of (someone or something)
- all types of people or things
There were all manner of people at the party.
all night long
- throughout the whole night
We could hear the people next door talking all night long.
all of a sudden
- suddenly, without advance warning
All of a sudden it became cloudy and began to rain.
all-out-effort
- a very good and thorough effort
We made an all-out-effort to finish our work.
all over but the shouting
- to be decided and finished
It was all over but the shouting for the football fans when their team moved to another city.
all over the place
- everywhere
We travelled all over the place on our holiday.
all right
- okay, satisfactory
She said that it would be all right for me to bring my friend to the party.
all set
- to be ready to begin, to be okay
Everything was all set when the meeting began.
all sweetness and light
- to be very sweet, to be innocent and helpful
The girl is all sweetness and light whenever she does something bad.
all systems go
- everything is ready (originally used when a rocket was launched)
It was all systems go so we began the installation of the new computer system.
all talk (and no action)
- to talk about doing something but never really do it
Our boss was all talk and no action and nothing new was ever done in our department.
all the rage
- to be in current fashion
The new sneakers were all the rage during the summer.
all the time
- continually
My sister asks for money all the time but I do not like to give it to her.
all thumbs
- to have difficulty fixing things or working with one`s hands, to be clumsy
My friend is all thumbs when fixing things around his house.
all to the good
- for the best, for one's benefit
It was all to the good that my sister left her job.

all told
- including everything/everyone, totaled up
All told, there were at least twelve candidates for the job.

.


allow for (someone or something)
- to plan to have enough of something, to plan on the possibility of something
We must allow for enough time to go to the stadium.
along with (someone or something)
- in addition to someone or something
I went to the concert along with my friend.
amount to (something)
- to become successful
The boy will never amount to anything if he does not change his behavior.
amount to the same thing
- to be the same or have the same effect as something
Going by taxi or bus amounts to the same thing. We are still going to be late for the concert.
an arm and a leg
- (to cost) a large amount of money
His new car cost him an arm and a leg.
answer to (someone)
- to explain or justify one's actions to someone
The manager had to answer to the company president about the problems in the office.
any number of (someone or something)
- a sufficiently large number
I had any number of reasons not to buy the computer.
appear out of nowhere
- to appear suddenly, to appear without warning
The dog appeared out of nowhere during our walk on the beach.
apple of (someone`s) eye
- to be someone`s favorite
His youngest daughter is the apple of his eye.
argue for the sake of arguing/argument
- to argue only to be different and to not agree
My friend's brother always argues for the sake of arguing.
arm in arm
- to be linked together by the arms
The young girls walked arm in arm to school.
armed and dangerous
- to have a weapon that may be used (usually by a suspected criminal)
The criminal was armed and dangerous when the police arrested him.
armed to the teeth
- to be armed with many weapons
The police were armed to the teeth during the drug raid.
around the clock
- all day and all night
We worked around the clock to get the store ready to open.
arrive on the scene
- to appear in a certain place
When the fire department arrived on the scene the fire was almost out.

as Idioms
as a last resort
- if everything else fails
As a last resort we decided to borrow some money from my father to buy the car.
as a matter of fact
- actually
As a matter of fact we have been to the history museum many times.
as a result of (something)
- because of something that has happened
As a result of the car accident my friend could not work for several months.
as a rule
- usually, as a habit
As a rule I get up at 70 every morning.
as far as
- to the extent or degree of something
As far as I know the movie will start in a few minutes.
as far as possible
- as much as possible
We went as far as possible with the project before we had to stop.
as good as one's word
- to be dependable in keeping one's promises
My friend is always as good as his word and you can always trust him.

as if
- in the same way that something would be, that
The drink tastes as if it were made with orange juice.
It seemed as if the whole town came to the concert.

as long as
- provided that, on condition that
"As long as you promise to be careful you can borrow my car."
as luck would have it
- by chance
As luck would have it I was able to borrow some clothes to wear to the party.
as one
- as if a group were one person
The crowd stood up as one and began to cheer for the team.

as soon as
- just after something, when
I phoned my friend as soon as I finished dinner.

as such
- the way something is
"As such, I will not be able to approve your application for a loan."
as the crow flies
- by the most direct way, along a straight line between two places
As the crow flies, it is about 6 kilometers between my house and my office.

as to
- with regard to, according to
"As to your question, I will answer it tomorrow."
The players were put into groups as to their ability.

as usual
- most of the time, following the usual pattern
As usual, the girl forgot to bring her book to class.

as well
- in addition, also, too
I plan to take a computer course this summer as well.

as well as
- in addition to
"Please bring your swimming suit as well as your towel."
as yet
- until now, up to the present
As yet, our secretary has not told us about her plans to leave the company.

.


ask for the moon
- to ask for too much
The woman asks for the moon but is never able to get what she wants.
ask for trouble
- to behave in a way that trouble is likely
The boy is asking for trouble if he misses another class.
ask (someone) out
- to ask a person for a date
My friend finally asked out the woman at the bank.
asleep at the switch
- to not be alert to an opportunity
I think I was asleep at the switch. I did not know that the job was available so I never applied for it.
assault and battery
- a criminal charge where one violently attacks and beats someone
The man was arrested for assault and battery after the fight outside of the store.

at Idioms


at a loss
- to be in a state of uncertainity or bewilderment
We were at a loss about what to do with the computer that was having problems.

at a loss (for words)
- to be speechless, to be unable to speak
I was at a loss for words when I finally saw my mother after several years.
at a sitting
- at one time
We finished all of the food at a sitting.
at a stretch
- continuously
My friend sometimes works for three weeks at a stretch.
at all costs
- no matter what, regardless of the cost or difficulty
The company decided to protect their market share at all costs.
at any rate
- anyway
"At any rate whether you go or not, I am not going."
at bay
- at a distance
We were able to keep the dog at bay when we entered the building.
at best
- as the best one can say, in the best view
The doctors told the man that he had ten months at best to live.
at cross-purposes
- to have opposite ways to do something, to have opposing goals
They are at cross purposes and are always arguing about what to do.
at death's door
- to be near death
The young woman was at death's door after the accident.
at ease
- to be relaxed and comfortable
The team felt at ease after the coach talked to them.
at every turn
- everywhere one looks
There was a tour group at every turn when we visited Rome.
at face value
- from outward appearances
The antique table is worth very little money at face value.
at fault
- to be responsible or to be to blame for something
The truck driver was at fault for the terrible accident.
at first
- at the beginning
At first I did not want to go to a movie but later I changed my mind.
at first blush
- when first seen, without careful study
At first blush the man seemed like a good worker but later we had many problems with him.
at hand
- to be close by
I stopped working because I did not have any good tools at hand.
at heart
- basically, fundamentally
She is a very nice person at heart although many people dislike her.
at home
- to be in one`s house
"I`m sorry but I left my money at home. Can you lend me some money?"
(feel) at home
- to feel comfortable and relaxed
I was able to make myself at home while waiting for my friend.
at it again
- to be doing something again
The two boys were at it again and we could hear them fighting.
at large
- to be free, to be uncaptured
The criminal was at large for over three months.
at last
- finally, after a long time
I waited all morning for my friend's call but at last it came.
at least
- no less than
There were at least 60,000 people in the stadium.
at length
- after a long time, in detail
The speaker talked at length before stopping.
at loggerheads with (someone)
- to be having a quarrel with someone, to oppose someone
We have been at loggerheads with the company over their plans to build a new office complex.
at loose ends
- to be restless and unsettled
My friend's mother was at loose ends after her husband died.
at odds (with someone)
- to be in disagreement with someone
The man has been at odds with his boss over his new sales territory.
at once
- immediately
The police came at once when we called them.
at peace
- to be peaceful, to be happy
The woman was relaxed and at peace after her friend's funeral.
at random
- without sequence or order
The members of the team were chosen at random from among the regular players.
at risk
- to be in danger
The children were at risk of getting sick when the disease spread in the school.
at sea
- to be on the sea, to be away on a voyage on the ocean
When my grandfather was a young man he was at sea for several months.
at sea (about something)
- to be confused, to be lost
Most of the class was at sea when the difficult theory was explained.
at sixes and sevens
- to be lost and bewildered
We were at sixes and sevens when we heard that the grocery store would close.
at (someone`s) beck and call
- to be always ready to serve somebody
His eldest daughter is always at his beck and call when he spends an evening at home.
at (someone's) earliest convenience
- as soon as it is convenient for someone
I went to the bank at my earliest convenience to speak to the bank manager.
at (someone's) service
- to be ready to help someone in any way possible
A member of the hotel staff was at our service during our stay.
at stake
- to be able to be won or lost, to be at risk
Much money was at stake during the negotiations for the oil pipeline.


at the appointed time/hour
- at the announced time
We went to meet the legal advisor at the appointed time.
at the bottom of the hour
- on the half hour (10:30, 11:30 etc.)
At the bottom of the hour they opened the store for the customers.
at the bottom of the ladder
- to be at the lowest level of pay and status
I had to start at the bottom of the ladder at my new job.
at the crack of dawn
- when the first light of the day appears
We left for our holiday at the crack of dawn.
at the drop of a hat
- immediately and without any pressure
My friends are willing to help me at the drop of a hat.
at the eleventh hour
- at the last possible moment
The company and union settled the strike at the eleventh hour.
at the end of one`s rope
- to be at the limit of one`s ability to cope
I am at the end of my rope about what to do about my current situation at work.
at the end of the day
- when everything else has been taken into consideration
At the end of the day, it was impossible to continue with our plans to build the house.
at the expense of (someone or something)
- to be to the harm of (someone or something)
The man worked very hard and made much money but it was at the expense of his family life and health.
at the latest
- no later than
The tour was going to start at noon at the latest.
at the present time
- now, at present
At the present time there are no extra helpers available.
at the top of one's lungs
- with a very loud voice
I cried out for my friend at the top of my lungs.
at the top of the hour
- at the exact beginning of the hour (120, 10 etc.)
The radio news always starts at the top of the hour.
at this juncture
- at the present time
We were told that at this juncture there was no point to continue with the meeting.
at this stage of the game
- currently, at the current point in some event
At this stage of the game it was not possible to change the plans for the class trip.
at times
- sometimes, occasionally
At times, our teacher is very nice but at other times she is very mean.
at will
- whenever one wants, freely
The little boy was able to do what he wanted at will.

attend to (someone or something)
- to take care or deal with someone or something
The doctor attended to the other patient before he got to my mother.
attract (someone's) attention
- to cause someone to take notice
- The strange behavior of the man attracted the attention of the police.
augur well for (someone or something)
- to predict good things for someone or something
The poor business conditions do not augur well for the workers in the country.
avail oneself of (something)
- to help oneself by using something that is available
We availed ourselves of the office space to prepare for the school festival.
avenue of escape
- the route along which someone or something escapes
There was no avenue of escape for the group of bank robbers.
avoid (someone or something) like the plague
- to avoid someone or something totally
The girls avoided the new student like the plague.
__________________
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."

Last edited by Omer; Sunday, September 16, 2007 at 04:24 PM.
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  #2  
Old Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Omer's Avatar
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Default B idioms

B



back Idioms



back and forth
- backwards and forwards, first one way and then the other way
The argument went back and forth before the judge made a decision.


back down (from someone or something)
- to fail to carry through on a threat to do something
The government backed down from their plan to sell the national airline.


back in circulation
- to be available to the public again (a library book)
The books were back in circulation after we returned them to the library.


back in circulation
- to be socially active again (after the breakup of a relationship between two people)
My friend stopped seeing his girlfriend and he is now back in circulation.


back of beyond
- somewhere very remote
Every summer we go to the back of beyond for a camping trip.


back on one`s feet
- to return to good financial or physical health
My friend is back on his feet after his company went out of business.


back out (of something)
- to withdraw from an agreement or promise
The company backed out of the agreement with the foreign firm.


back the wrong horse
- to support someone or something that cannot win or succeed
We backed the wrong horse in the election and our candidate lost badly.


back-to-back
- something follows immediately after something else, two people touching backs
There were two back-to-back games today because of the rain last week.


back to square one
- to go back to the beginning of something
The city was back to square one in their effort to build a new bridge.


back to the drawing board
- to go back and start a project or idea from the beginning
The boss does not like our idea so we must go back to the drawing board.


back to the salt mines
- to return to work or return to something else that you do not want to do
We finished our lunch and went back to the salt mines.


back up (someone or something)
- to support someone or something
The doctor made a mistake and the hospital refused to back him up.


.



bad blood (between people)
- unpleasant feelings between people
There was much bad blood between the three brothers.


bad-mouth (someone or something)
- to say bad things about someone or something
The supervisor has the habit of bad-mouthing her boss.


bag of tricks
- a collection of special techniques or methods
The teacher has a bag of tricks to keep her students occupied.


bail out (of something)
- to abandon a situation, to jump out of an airplane
The plan to buy a summer home with our friends was becoming too expensive so we decided to bail out.


bail (someone) out
- to pay a sum of money that allows someone to get out of jail while waiting for a trial
The singer had to pay much money to bail himself out of prison.


bail (someone or something) out
- to help or rescue someone or something
The government decided to bail out the troubled bank.


balance the books
- to check that all the money in a business is accounted for
The accountant spent several days trying to balance the books of his company.


ball of fire
- an active and energetic person
The woman is a ball of fire and is always busy doing something.


bang/beat one's head against the wall
- to try to do something that is hopeless
I am banging my head against the wall when I try to ask my boss for something.


bank on (someone or something)
- to be sure of someone or something, to count on someone or something
You can bank on my sister to help you.


baptism of fire
- a first experience of something (often difficult or unpleasant)
We went through a baptism of fire when we had to learn how to operate the small business.


bargain for (something)
- to anticipate something, to take something into account
The difficulty of the job was more than I had bargained for.


bargain on (something)
- to plan or expect something
We did not bargain on having heavy rain during our summer birthday party.


barge in on (someone or something)
- to interrupt someone or something, to intrude on someone or something
My sister often barges in on me when I am with my friends.


bark is worse than one`s bite
- someone is not as bad as they sound
"Don`t worry if the boss gets angry - his bark is worse than his bite."


bark up the wrong tree
- to make a wrong assumption about something
The police are barking up the wrong tree in their investigation of the criminal.


base one's opinion on (something)
- to form an opinion from something
I based my opinion on the man's previous work and decided not to give him a job.
batten down the hatches
- to prepare for difficult times, to close the hatches in a boat before a storm
A big storm was coming so we decided to batten down the hatches and stay home.


bawl out (someone)
- to scold someone loudly
The woman bawled out her child in the supermarket.
be Idioms



be a new one on (someone)
- to be something one has not heard before and something that is difficult to believe
It was a new one on me when my friend said that he was studying Russian.


be all ears
- to listen eagerly and carefully
The boy was all ears when the teacher described the circus.
be all things to all people
- to be everything that is wanted by all people
The politician tries to be all things to all people and it is difficult to know what she really believes.
be curtains for (someone or something)
- to be the end or death for someone or something
It was curtains for my old car when it finally broke down last week.
be game
- to be ready for action or agreeable to participate in something
All of the students were game to go to the science exhibition.
be into (something)
- to be interested or involved in something
My friend is very much into music and writing songs.


be of the persuasion that (something) is so
- to believe that something is true or exists
My grandfather is of the persuasion that it is more important to work than to go to school.


be off
- to leave or depart
I plan to be off very early tomorrow morning to go to the airport.


be off to a bad start
- to start something under bad circumstances
The production of the play was off to a bad start when the lights did not work.


be off on the wrong foot
- to start something under bad circumstances
I tried to talk to my new neighbor but it seems that we are off on the wrong foot already.


be that as it may
- even if what you say is true
"Be that as it may, we are not going to permit the school dance to take place."


be the case
- to be true, to be an actual situation
"I do not care if it was the case last year, this year we will do things differently."
be the death of (someone)
- to be the ruin/downfall/death of someone (often used for some kind of problem)
The woman said that her young son's bad behavior would be the death of her.


be to blame
- to be responsible for something bad or unfortunate
He is not to blame for breaking the computer.
.



bear/hold a grudge (against someone)
- to continue to be angry at someone, to resent someone
The woman continued to bear a grudge against her friend for many years.
bear fruit
- to yield or give results
The girl's hard work began to bear fruit when she won the dance contest.
bear in mind
- to consider that something is so
We have to bear in mind that the child is only three years old when he does something bad.
bear one's cross
- to carry or bear a burden
Raising three children on her own was the way that the woman had to bear her cross.
bear (someone or something) in mind
- to remember and think about someone or something
We had to bear in mind that the child was only three years old.
bear (something) out
- to prove that something is right
The man's constant lateness bore out the fact that he could never continue with one job for a long time.
bear the brunt of (something)
- to withstand the worst part or the strongest part of something
The small island bore the brunt of the tropical storm.
bear with (someone or something)
- to be patient with someone or something, to endure someone or something
We had to bear with our teacher as she explained the material to the new students.
beat Idioms
beat a hasty retreat
- to retreat or withdraw very quickly
The soldiers beat a hasty retreat when the guerrillas attacked them.


beat a path to (someone's) door
- to come to someone in great numbers
The customers beat a path to the door of the computer game store.


beat around the bush
- to speak indirectly or evasively
"Stop beating around the bush and give us your final decision."


beat one's brains out
- to work very hard (to do something)
We beat our brains out in order to think of a name for the new magazine.


beat one's head against the wall
- to waste one's time trying to do something that is hopeless
I was beating my head against the wall to try and convince my friend to come to the restaurant.


beat (someone) to the punch/draw
- to do something before others
My friend beat me to the punch and arrived at the interview first.


beat (something) into (someone's) head
- to force someone to learn something
The teacher thinks that she must beat the material into the heads of the students.


beat the clock
- to finish something before the time is up
The basketball team worked hard to beat the clock and win the game.


beat the living daylights out of (someone)
- to beat someone severely
The two men beat the living daylights out of the man at the gas station.


beat the rap
- to escape conviction and punishment (for a crime)
The man beat the rap and did not have to go to jail.


beat the tar out of (someone)
- to beat someone severely
The older boy beat the tar out of the young boy in the schoolyard.


beat up (someone)
- to harm someone by hitting or beating them
The young boys beat up one of the older students.


.



becoming on/to (someone)
- to make someone look good
The red dress looked very becoming on my girlfriend.


(no) bed of roses
- a situation that is happy and comfortable (usually used in the negative)
The new job was very difficult and certainly no bed of roses.


(have a) bee in one`s bonnet
- to have an idea that continually occupies one`s thoughts.
My friend has a bee in her bonnet about going to Europe next year.


beef up (something)
- to make something stronger
The police beefed up the security around the convention site.


before long
- soon
I had to wait a few minutes but before long my friend arrived to meet me.


beg the question
- to invite the question that follows
The purchase of the expensive car begged the question of where the man got the money.


beg to differ with (someone)
- to politely disagree with someone
"I'm sorry but I beg to differ with you about what happened."


begin to see the light
- to begin to understand (something)
My sister began to see the light and decided to leave her boyfriend.


behind closed doors
- in secret
The meeting to settle the dispute took place behind closed doors.


behind in/on (something)
- to be late with something
I was behind in my studies and stayed home all weekend to study.


behind schedule
- to fail to do something by the time on the schedule
The trains were behind schedule because of the accident early in the morning.
behind (someone`s) back
- without someone`s knowledge, secretly
The man is very angry because his friend borrowed his car behind his back.


behind the scenes
- privately, out of public view
The diplomats worked behind the scenes to try and solve the crisis.


behind the times
- to be old-fashioned
My aunt is behind the times.


belabor the point
- to spend too much time on a point of discussion
I tried not to belabor the point but I needed to explain things in detail for everyone to understand.


below average
- to be lower or worse than average
The amount of rain was below average during the winter.


belt (something) out
- to sing/play a song with lots of energy
The man stood up and belted out several old songs.


bend (someone's) ear
- to talk to someone (maybe annoyingly)
I did not want to go into my supervisor's office and have him bend my ear for a long time.


bend over backwards (to do something)
- to try very hard to do something
"I will bend over backwards to help you get a job in this company."


bent on doing (something)
- to be determined to do something
The young boys were bent on buying the old car to fix it up.


beside oneself (with something)
- to be very upset or excited about something
The boy was beside himself with joy after winning the contest.


beside the point
- to be not relevant to the subject that you are considering or discussing
"What you are saying is beside the point. We are not talking about salary now."


best/better part of (something)
- to be almost all of something
We spent the best part of a day trying to fix the vacuum cleaner.


bet on the wrong horse
- to misjudge a coming event, to misread the future
I think that he bet on the wrong horse by investing all of his money into the new stock.


bet one's bottom dollar
- to be very certain about something
I would bet my bottom dollar that my friend will be late for the movie.


better off
- to be in a better situation than before
He would be better off if he sold his old car and bought a new one.


between a rock and a hard place
- to be in a very difficult position
We were between a rock and a hard place in our effort to solve the problem.


between the devil and the deep blue sea
- to be in a very difficult position
The mayor was between the devil and the deep blue sea when he tried to keep the two groups happy.


betwixt and between
- to be undecided, to be between two decisions
We were betwixt and between in our effort to try and decide which school to send our child to.


beyond a shadow of a doubt
- to be completely without doubt
Everyone believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the man had stolen the money.


beyond measure
- to be more than can be measured
The man's love for his city was beyond measure.


beyond one's depth
- to be beyond one's ability, to be in deep water
The apartment manager was beyond her depth in her effort to manage the apartment.


beyond one's means
- to be more than one can afford
The expensive boat was very much beyond our means.


beyond the pale
- to be outside the bounds of acceptable behavior
What they are doing is totally unacceptable and beyond the pale.


beyond words
- to be more than one can say
Our love for our new baby is beyond words.


bid adieu to (someone or something)
- to say good-bye to someone or something
Everybody gathered to bid adieu to the popular supervisor.


bide one`s time
- to patiently wait for an opportunity to occur.
The man is biding his time as he waits to become president of the company.


big frog/fish in a small pond
- an important person in a less important place
The woman was a big fish in a small pond when she moved to the small town.


big of (someone)
- to be generous of someone
It was very big of the man to share his house with the other people.


big shot
- an important and powerful person
The man is a big shot in the oil and gas industry.


bird in hand is worth two in the bush
- something that you already have is better than something that you might get
A bird in hand is worth two in the bush so we decided to sell the car to our neighbor rather than wait to get a higher price.


birds and the bees
- human sex and reproduction
The father tried to tell his son about the birds and the bees.


birds-eye view
- a view from high above, a brief look at something
We had a birds-eye view of the playing field from our seats high up in the stadium.


birthday suit
- a completely naked body
The little boy was running down the street in his birthday suit.


bite off more than one can chew
- to try to do more than one is able to do
I bit off more than I can chew by agreeing to do another assignment.


bite one's nails
- to be nervous or anxious about something
The children were biting their nails as they waited for the results of the test.


bite one's tongue
- to try not to say something that you really want to say
I had to bite my tongue and not tell our boss what had happened.


bite (someone's) head off
- to speak angrily to someone
I am afraid to speak to my teacher when she is in a bad mood because she may bite my head off.


bite the bullet
- to endure a difficult situation, to face a difficult situation bravely
I have decided to bite the bullet and begin to study for my Master`s degree.


bite the dust
- to be killed, to break down, to be defeated
I think that my car will bite the dust soon.


bite the hand that feeds you
- to harm or turn against someone who does good things for you
He is biting the hand that feeds him when he criticizes and fights against his boss.


bitter pill to swallow
- an unpleasant fact that one must accept
Losing the election was a bitter pill to swallow for the candidate.


black out
- to faint or pass out
Suddenly the young woman blacked out while she was standing in front of the computer.


black sheep of the family
- the worst member of a family
The boy was the black sheep of the family and nobody liked him.


blast off
- to shoot into the sky (used for a rocket)
The rocket blasted off at noon.


blaze a trail (in something)
- to create or develop a new area of study
The soccer player blazed a trail for the other players to follow with his unique way of playing soccer.


bleep (something) out
- to replace a word in a radio or television broadcast with a musical tone (often used to bleep out a bad word)
The remarks of the coach were bleeped out during the television interview.


blessing in disguise
- something that turns out to be good but which seemed to be bad at first
The elderly woman was in very much pain and it was a blessing in disguise when she quietly passed away.


blind leading the blind
- someone who does not understand something but tries to explain it to others
It is like the blind leading the blind to watch the man try to explain how to operate the new computer.


blood, sweat and tears
- signs of great personal effort
We put much blood, sweat and tears into building the small cabin.


blow Idioms
blow a fuse
- to burn out a fuse, to become angry
We quickly replaced the old fuse when our house blew a fuse last night.
My friend blew a fuse when I told him that I had lost his book


blow one`s own horn
- to praise oneself
My friend is always blowing his own horn and is very annoying at times.


blow one's top/stack
- to become very angry
The customer blew his stack when they refused to exchange his purchase at the store.


blow over
- to die down, to calm down
The problem with the lost invoices has blown over and everybody is happy again.


blow (someone) away
- to overcome someone emotionally
The performance was so wonderful that it blew me away.


blow (someone's) cover
- to reveal someone's true identity or purpose
The police blew the officer's cover by mistake.


blow (someone's) mind
- to overwhelm or excite someone
The beauty of the African wildlife parks blew my mind during our holiday.


blow (someone or something) off
- to avoid someone, to not attend something
We blew off the chance to go to the general meeting.


blow (something)
- to fail at something, to ruin something
I think that I blew the final math exam last week.


blow (something) out of all proportion
- to make a bigger issue about something than it really is
The problem was very small but the manager blew it out of all proportion.


blow the lid off (something)
- to reveal something (often a wrongdoing)
The government investigation blew the lid off the illegal activities.


blow the whistle (on someone)
- to report someone's wrongdoing to the police or other authorities
The employee blew the whistle on the illegal practices of the company.


blow to smithereens
- to explode into tiny pieces
The gas tanker was blown to smithereens during the accident.


blow up (at someone)
- to get angry, to lose one's temper
The passenger who was waiting in the line blew up at the ticket agent.


blow up in (someone's) face
- to be ruined while one is working on it (a plan/project etc.), to explode suddenly
The secret plan blew up in our face when we discovered that everybody already knew about it.


.



blue blood
- someone from a noble or aristocratic family
The art exhibition attracted many of the blue bloods in the town.
blue in the face
- to be exhausted and speechless
You can argue with him until you are blue in the face but you will never change his mind.


bog down
- to slow down, to become stuck
I quickly became bogged down with all of the work that I had to do.


boggle (someone's) mind
- to confuse or overwhelm someone
The amount of waste in the city program really boggles my mind.


boil down to (something)
- to reduce something to its essential or main part
The reason that we could not go on a holiday boiled down to the fact that we did not have enough money.


bone of contention
- a reason for quarrels, the subject of a fight
The family cottage was a major bone of contention after the father died.


bone up (on something)
- to study or review (something)
I decided to take a course at night to bone up on my Spanish.


boot out
- to make someone leave, to get rid of someone
The boy was booted out of high school for smoking on the school grounds.


bore (someone) stiff/to death
- to bore someone very much
Most of the guests at the wedding were bored stiff with the long speeches.


born out of wedlock
- to be born to an unmarried mother
The young mother had two children born out of wedlock.


born with a silver spoon in one`s mouth
- to be born rich, to have more than everything that you need since birth
The boy was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has never worked in his life.


boss (someone) around
- to keep telling someone what to do
The little girl always wants to boss her friends around.


bottle (something) up
- to hold one's feelings inside of you
My aunt bottles up all of her feelings and has much stress because of it.


bottom line
- the result or final outcome of something, the last figure on a financial statement
Although I do not want to buy a new car, the bottom line is that I need a car for work.


bottom out
- to reach the lowest point
The stock market bottomed out at its lowest level in many months.


bound and determined
- to be determined
The man's wife is bound and determined to visit her sister this summer.


bound for somewhere
- to be on the way or planning to go somewhere
My friend was bound for college when I last met him.


bound to (do something)
- to be certain to do something
"If you ask your father he is bound to try and help you with your problem."


bow and scrape
- to be very humble and subservient
I was forced to bow and scrape to get some money from my parents.


bow out
- to quit, to resign from something
I wanted to join the tour but at the last minute I had to bow out.


bowl (someone) over
- to surprise or overwhelm someone
The salesman bowled me over with his energetic sales talk.
brand-new
- absolutely new
I was finally able to buy a brand-new car.


break Idioms
break a habit
- to end a habit
My sister worked very hard to break her habit of eating too much chocolate.


break a law
- to fail to obey a law
The young man broke the law when he drove his friend's car without a proper license.


break a record
- to set a new record that is better than an old one
The team tried hard to break a record during the last week of the season.


break camp
- to close down a campsite and move on
We decided to break camp and begin on our journey.


break down
- to lose control of one's emotions
The woman broke down while the lawyer questioned her at the trial.
break down
- to stop working because of mechanical failure
The car broke down on the lonely road and nobody knew about it.


break down (something)
- to analyze something
We must break down these figures for further study.


break down (something)
- to divide into parts, to separate into simpler substances
We tried to break down the sentence for further study.
The sugar began to break down soon after it was swallowed.


break even
- to have income equal to expenses
After only a few months our business began to break even and we started to make money.


break fresh/new ground
- to deal with something in a new way
The researchers were able to break fresh ground in their search for a cancer cure.


break ground for (something)
- to start digging the foundation for a building
The hospital will break ground for the new building soon.


break in (someone or something)
- to train someone to do a job, to make something the right size or feel comfortable by wearing or using it
It took me a long time to break in my new shoes.


break into tears
- to start crying suddenly
The woman broke into tears when she heard the bad news.


break loose (from someone or something)
- to get away from someone or something that is holding you
The horse broke loose from the rope and began running through the town.


break one's word
- to not keep one's promise
The young child promised his parents that he would not break his word.


break out in a cold sweat
- to perspire from fever or anxiety
I usually break out in a cold sweat when I have to make a speech.


break out in (something)
- to erupt in a rash or pimples
The girl always breaks out in a rash when she eats shrimp.


break out of (something)
- to escape from something
Several prisoners tried to break out of prison last month.


break (someone's) fall
- to lessen the impact of a falling person
The baby fell out of the window but thankfully the bushes broke her fall.


break (something) down
- to explain something to someone in simple terms
My teacher broke down the scientific theory so that the class could understand it easily.


break (something) to (someone)
- to tell bad news to someone
The man broke the bad news to his sister.


break the back of (something)
- to reduce the power of something
The company tried very hard to break the back of the union.


break the bank
- to win all the money at a casino gambling table
The man did not break the bank but he did win a lot of money.


break the ice
- to relax and start a conversation in a formal situation
Nobody was enjoying the party until the host was able to break the ice.


break the news (to someone)
- to tell someone some information first
He is planning to break the news about his transfer tomorrow.


break up
- to separate, to divide into groups or pieces, to put an end to something
Nobody wanted to break up their groups.
We usually break up into small groups during our class.


break up with (someone)
- to end a relationship with someone
My niece broke up with her boyfriend last June.


.



breath of fresh air
- a fresh and imaginative approach to something
The manager's coaching style was a breath of fresh air compared to that of the previous coach.


breathe down (someone's) neck
- to watch someone closely, to try to make someone hurry
The supervisor is always breathing down the necks of the employees.


breathe easy
- to relax after a stressful situation
I was able to breathe easy after I found my lost wallet.


breathe one's last
- to die
The woman breathed her last several days after she became ill.


brew a plot
- to make a plot
The generals in the small country were brewing a plot to take control of the government.


bright and early
- very early
The woman likes to get up bright and early every morning.


bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
- to be eager and cheerful
Everybody was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed when we started out on the trip.


brimming with (something)
- to be full of some kind of happy behavior
The children were brimming with energy on the morning of the festival.


bring Idioms



bring about (something)
- to make something happen
The two company presidents worked hard to bring about the joining of their two companies.


bring around (someone)
- to bring someone for a visit
I asked my friend to bring his new girlfriend around for a visit.


bring down the house
- to cause much laughter in the audience
The comedian brought down the house with his jokes about the lost dog.


bring home the bacon
- to work and earn money for your family
My friend is bringing home the bacon for his family and is very busy.


bring home the importance of (something) to (someone)
- to make someone fully realize something
I was unable to bring home the importance of arriving early for the meeting.


bring some new facts to light
- to discover some new facts, to make some new facts known
The lawyers were able to bring some new facts to light in the trial of the killer.


bring (someone) into line
- to persuade someone to agree with you
The woman was able to bring the other members of the committee into line.


bring (someone) to
- to wake someone up, to bring someone to consciousness
The medical doctor tried to bring the small boy to after he fell into the swimming pool.


bring (something) home to (someone)
- to cause someone to realize the truth of something
The dry conditions are bringing home to the farmers the importance of saving water.


bring (something) into question
- to raise a question about something
The actions of the government bring into question their interest in the case.


bring (something) off
- to make something happen
The students tried hard to bring off a successful dance to collect money for their club.


bring (something) on
- to cause something to develop rapidly
I do not know what brought on his anger but you should avoid him until he calms down.


bring (something) to a head
- to cause something to reach a point where a decision or some action is necessary
The accident will bring the issue of safety to a head during the next meeting.


bring (something) to (someone's) attention
- to make someone aware of something
There was a mistake in the textbook which the student brought to the teacher's attention.


bring to mind
- to recall something
Her acting brought to mind some of the great actresses of the past.


bring up
- to introduce a subject into a discussion
They brought up the subject at the meeting but nobody wanted to talk about it.


bring up
- to raise or care for a child
My sister is bringing up three children.


bring up the rear
- to be at the end of the line or in the last position
The runner from the other school was bringing up the rear in the school relay race.


.



to be broad in the beam
- to have wide hips or large buttocks
The woman in the store was broad in the beam.
to be broke
- to have no money
I spent all of my money on my holiday and now I am broke.


brush up on (something)
- to review something that one has already learned
I am going to brush up on my English before my trip to New York.


a brush with the law
- a brief encounter or experience with the police because of a crime
The man had a brush with the law when he was young but now he is totally honest.


buck for (something)
- to aim/try for a goal
The soldier was bucking for a promotion.


buckle down (to something)
- to begin to work seriously at something
I have to buckle down and study or I will fail the exam.


bug (someone)
- to irritate or bother someone
The boy's rude behavior is beginning to bug me.


build a fire under (someone)
- to stimulate someone to do something
We keep trying to build a fire under our friend but he refuses to study or look for a job.


build castles in the air/in Spain
- to make plans that are impossible
The girl is always building castles in the air and none of them have any chance to succeed.


build (something) to order
- to make something especially for a customer
The family wanted to build their kitchen table and chairs to order.


build up (someone or something)
- to make someone or something bigger or stronger, to promote something
The woman is always trying to build up her boss which makes her very well-liked by him.


build up to (something)
- to lead up to something
Things were building up to be a very serious situation.


bull in a china shop
- someone who is clumsy and upsets other people or plans
Our boss was like a bull in a china shop when I saw him at the meeting last week.


bump into (someone)
- to meet someone by chance
I bumped into my friend at the department store yesterday.


bump off (someone)
- to kill someone
The criminal gang bumped off the leader of the other gang.


bundle of nerves
- a very nervous or anxious person
The woman has become a bundle of nerves after looking after her three children.
bundle up
- to put on warm clothes, to dress warmly
We bundled up and went for a walk in the park.


burn Idioms
burn a hole in one`s pocket
- to stimulate someone to spend money quickly
I got paid today and the money is burning a hole in my pocket.


burn down
- to burn completely (usually used for buildings)
My neighbor`s house burned down last night.


burn one`s bridges behind one
- to do something that makes going back impossible
He burned his bridges behind him and is unable to work in the same industry again.


burn (oneself) out
- to become very tired and almost sick from doing something for a long time or because of working too hard
After working long hours for many months the woman finally burned herself out.


burn (someone) in effigy
- to burn a dummy that represents a hated person
The crowd of people burned the Prime Minister in effigy.


burn the candle at both ends
- to work or play too hard without enough rest
The man has been burning the candle at both ends with his work and he is now sick.


burn the midnight oil
- to study until very late at night
We burned the midnight oil for three nights in order to study for the exam.


burn up
- to burn completely (usually things and not buildings)
The uniforms burned up in the fire.


.



burst at the seams
- to explode with pride or laughter, to be full to the breaking point
The train was bursting at the seams as it entered the station.


burst in on (someone or something)
- to enter a room and interrupt someone or some activity
The woman burst in on the meeting just as it started.


burst into flames
- to catch fire suddenly
The curtains burst into flames after touching the small stove.


burst into tears
- to begin to cry suddenly
The parents burst into tears of happiness when their daughter graduated.


burst onto the scene
- to appear suddenly in some location
The young singer burst onto the scene when she was a teenager.


burst out laughing
- to begin to laugh suddenly
We burst out laughing when the man screamed after seeing the mouse.


burst with joy
- to be full of happiness and ready to burst
My grandmother burst with joy when she saw her new baby granddaughter.


burst with pride
- to be full of pride and ready to burst
The girl's parents were bursting with pride at the graduation ceremony.
bury/hide one`s head in the sand
- to refuse to see something, to face or know something unpleasant
He always buries his head in the sand and never wants to hear about family problems.


bury the hatchet
- to stop arguing and become friendly with someone
He buried the hatchet with his brother and they are now friendly again.


business as usual
- to continue as usual
It was business as usual for the small stores soon after the fire destroyed the shopping area.


busman's holiday
- a holiday where you spend your time doing the same thing that you would do if you were working
The doctor felt that he was on a busman's holiday when everyone at the meeting began to ask him about their medical problems.


but for (someone or something)
- if it were not for someone or something
The man would have easily got the new job, but for the fact that he was not honest about his previous experience.


butt in (on someone or something)
- to interrupt someone or something
I do not like that woman because she always butts in on our conversations while we are talking.


butter (someone) up
- to flatter someone
He is trying to butter up his boss so that he can leave early on Friday.


button one's lip
- to become quiet
I decided to button my lip rather than give my opinion of our supervisor.


buy a pig in a poke
- to buy something without seeing it or knowing if it will be satisfactory
It is like buying a pig in a poke if you buy that car without first inspecting it.


buy off (someone)
- to bribe someone
The union tried to buy off the politician.


buy (something) for a song
- to buy something cheaply
We were able to buy the boat for a song.


buy (something) on credit
- to buy something now and pay for it later
We decided to buy the computer on credit because we did not have much money.


buy (something) sight unseen
- to buy something without seeing it first
My sister made a big mistake when she bought the used car sight unseen.


by Idioms



by a mile
- by a great distance
The runner won the race by a mile.


by a whisker/hair
- just barely, by a very small amount
The marathon runner won the race by a whisker.


by all accounts
- from all reports, from what everyone is saying
By all accounts the new manager is a very good person.


by all appearances
- apparently, according to what one sees
By all appearances the small car was the cause of the accident that killed two people.


by all means
- certainly, yes
"By all means, I will come to dinner next week."


by and by
- before long, after some time has passed
By and by all of the family moved back to the city.


by and large
- on the whole, considering everything
By and large we had a good meeting even though it was very short.


by any means
- by any way possible
We decided to try to find a computer to use by any means.


by chance
- without planning
By chance I saw my father's friend in the supermarket.
by far
- greatly, by a great margin
He is by far the smartest person in his company.


by fits and starts
- irregularly, with many stops and starts
By fits and starts the company was finally able to begin business.


by hook or by crook
- in any way necessary
My sister wants to go to Italy this year by hook or by crook.


by leaps and bounds
- rapidly, by large movements forward
The construction of the new airport is progressing by leaps and bounds.


by means of
- with the use of something
We were able to enter the old building by means of a small window in the back.


by no means
- absolutely not
By no means will I permit my child to play with the new video game.


by the book
- according to the rules
The police officer does everything by the book when he arrests someone.


by the day
- one day at a time
My father was very sick but now he is getting better by the day.


by the dozen
- twelve at a time
We usually buy bottles of water by the dozen.


by the handful
- in measurements equal to a handful
We were eating fresh blueberries by the handful.


by the hour
- after each hour, one hour at a time
We had to pay for our parking space by the hour.


by the month
- one month at a time
The rent for our apartment is paid by the month.


by the same token
- similarly, moreover
"By the same token, I don't want to go downtown again today."


by the seat of one's pants
- by luck and with very little skill
I was able to complete the course by the seat of my pants.


by the skin of one`s teeth
- by a very small margin, barely
I arrived at the train station and was on time by the skin of my teeth.


by the sweat of one`s brow
- by hard work
He managed to make enough money to buy the farm by the sweat of his brow.


by the way
- incidentally
"By the way, could you please bring your computer tomorrow."


by the week
- one week at a time
We rented the car by the week.


by the year
- one year at a time
The contract for the garbage pickup is renewed by the year.


by virtue of (something)
- because of something
My father got his new job by virtue of his volunteer work in the community.


by way of (something)
- as a substitute for something, as a form/example of something
By way of introduction the man gave everyone his business card.


by way of (something or somewhere)
- passing through or by a place
We drove to the airport by way of the small town.


by word of mouth
- by speaking rather than writing
We learned about the party by word of mouth.
__________________
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
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Old Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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Default C idioms

C
calculated risk
- an action that may fail but has a good chance to succeed
The company took a calculated risk when they opened a new store in a very quiet area.


call Idioms



call a meeting
- to request that a meeting be held
The board of directors will call a meeting for next week.


call a meeting to order
- to officially start a meeting
The president called the meeting to order at 70 PM.


call a spade a spade
- to speak bluntly
The supervisor called a spade a spade when he criticized the employee for being lazy.


call for (someone)
- to come and get someone
"Could you please come and call for me before you go to the game."


call for (someone or something)
- to require something, to need the services of someone
Our problems with the toilet call for a good plumber.


call it a day/night
- to quit work and go home
I called it a day and decided to go home early.


call it quits
- to stop, to finish
I called it quits and went home for the day.


call of nature
- the need to go to the toilet
The driver stopped his truck to answer the call of nature.


call off (something)
- to cancel something
The game was called off because of the rain.
call on (someone)
- to visit someone
I plan to call on my brother during my holidays.
call on (someone)
- to ask someone to participate in something or contribute something
The teacher called on me three times to answer questions in the class.


call out to (someone)
- to shout to someone
We called out to our friend at the concert but she did not hear us.


call (someone) in
- to ask someone for help, to call for special advice
We called in a special doctor to look at the patient.


call (someone or something) into question
- to dispute or cast doubt upon someone or something
The lawyer called the man's statement about his neighbor into question.


call (someone) names
- to call a person unpleasant names
The children began to call the new student names.


call (someone) on the carpet
- to call someone before an authority to be scolded or reprimanded
The salesman was called on the carpet by his boss for losing the big sale.


call (someone`s) bluff
- to challenge someone to prove that what they are saying is true
I decided to call the man's bluff and I asked him to show me the evidence.


call (something) in
- to collect something for payment, to withdraw something from circulation
The bank decided to call in the business loan.


call the shots
- to be in charge, to give orders
The vice-president is now calling the shots and is in control of the company.


call up (someone)
- to telephone someone
My friend said that he will call up his parents tomorrow night.
.



calm down
- to relax
The woman finally calmed down after the accident.
cancel (something) out
- to destroy the effect of something
The overeating by the girl cancelled out the benefits of her exercise.
can of worms
- a complicated situation or problem
The lawsuit opened up a can of worms for the company.


can't do anything with (someone or something)
- to be unable to manage or control someone or something
My sister is always complaining that she can't do anything with her daughter.


can`t see the forest for the trees
- to be unable to understand the whole picture of something because you are only looking at small parts of it
He has no understanding of most problems because he can't see the forest for the trees.


can't stand/stomach (someone or something)
- to dislike someone or something very much
My uncle cannot stand his daughter's boyfriend.


card up one`s sleeve
- a plan or argument that is kept back to be used later if needed
I think that our boss has a card up his sleeve and he will be able to help us later.


cards are stacked against (someone)
- luck is against someone
The cards have been stacked against the young boy since he was born.


(in) care of (someone)
- (send something) to one person at the address of another person
I sent the parcel to my sister in care of her friend at the university.
carrot and stick
- a reward or a threat of punishment at the same time
The trade negotiators took a carrot-and-stick approach to the automobile talks.
carried away
- to lose one's control or judgement due to strong feelings
I got carried away and yelled at my friend for losing my textbook.


carry Idioms



carry a lot of weight with (someone or something)
- to be very influential with someone or a group of people
The man's education and experience carry a lot of weight in the university.


carry coals to Newcastle
- to bring something of which there is plenty, to duplicate something (Newcastle is a town in England where there is a lot of coal)
Bringing extra food to the farmer`s picnic was like bringing coals to Newcastle.


carry on
- to continue, to keep doing something as before
We were permitted to carry on with the party after we talked to the apartment manager.
carry (something) out
- to put something into action, to accomplish something
The move to the new headquarters was carried out with few problems.
carry over (something)
- to save for another time or location
The store will carry over the sale until next week.
carry the ball
- to be in charge of something
The vice-president was forced to carry the ball while the president was away.
carry the day
- to win or be successful
His fine performance in our company carried the day for us.
carry the torch
- to show loyalty to a cause or a person
The man has been carrying the torch for the candidate for a long time.


carry the weight of the world on one's shoulders
- to appear to be burdened by all the problems of the world
My aunt feels that she is working too hard and that she is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.


carry through with (something)
- to put a plan into action
The company carried through with its plan to open a new factory.
.



a case in point
- an example that proves something or helps to make something clear
What the man said is a case in point about what I have been saying all year.


a case of mistaken identity
- an incorrect identification of someone
It was a case of mistaken identity when the police arrested the wrong person.


cash-and-carry
- a system where you pay cash for some goods and then carry them away
The supermarkets in our city always operate on a cash-and-carry basis.


cash cow
- a good source of money
His new business is a cash cow and he is making much money.
cash in (something)
- to exchange something for money
We decided to cash in the coupons because we needed some money.
cash in on (something)
- to make a lot of money at something
The small city cashed in on their success after the winter Olympics.
cash on the barrelhead
- to pay cash to buy something
It was cash only at the store and we were forced to pay cash on the barrelhead for everything.


cast Idioms



cast around/about for (someone or something)
- to look for someone or something
We have been casting around for a new file clerk in our company.


cast aspersions on (someone)
- to make insulting remarks about someone
The woman is always casting aspersions on her colleagues at work.


cast doubts on (someone or something)
- to cause someone or something to be doubted
The first witness at the trial cast doubts on the testimony of the main witness.


cast in the same mold
- to be very similar
The two sisters were cast in the same mold and were almost identical.


cast one's lot in with (someone)
- to join with someone and accept whatever happens
The woman cast her lot in with the company and worked hard to keep the business going.


cast one's vote
- to vote
We arrived early to cast our vote in the election.


cast pearls before swine
- to waste something valuable on someone who does not appreciate it
Giving the woman the gold earrings was like casting pearls before swine.
cast the first stone
- to be the first to blame someone
The man was the one to cast the first stone and now he is fighting with his neighbor.
.



castles in the air
- daydreams
My sister is always building castles in the air and is very unrealistic.
cat burglar
- a burglar who enters a building by climbing a wall etc.
Our stereo was stolen when a cat burglar entered our apartment.
cat gets one`s tongue
- the inability to say something
I think that the cat got our supervisor's tongue. She has not said anything since the meeting started.
catch Idioms



catch-22
- a situation which contradicts itself, a paradoxical situation
It was a catch-22 situation and if I went to work there would be problems but if I did not go to work there would also be problems.
catch a cold
- to become sick with a cold
I caught a cold because of the rain and the cold weather.
catch-as-catch-can
- in any way possible
We are in the middle of moving house so our meals are catch-as-catch-can.


catch fire
- to begin to burn
We were very careful that the wooden house would not catch fire.


catch forty winks
- to get some sleep
I was very tired so I stopped my car in order to catch forty winks.


catch on
- to understand something, to learn about something
I was finally able to catch on and understand the math problem.
catch on
- to become popular
Recently ballroom dancing has begun to catch on with many people.
catch one`s breath
- to stop to rest and regain one`s normal breathing
After running from the station it took a moment to catch my breath.
catch (someone`s) eye
- to attract someone`s attention
I tried to catch my friend's eye but she did not notice me.


catch some Z's
- to get some sleep
I needed to catch some Z's after working hard all weekend.


catch sight of (someone or something)
- to see someone or something briefly
The police caught sight of the robber and began to chase him.


catch (someone) in the act of (doing something)
- to catch someone doing something illegal or private
The police caught the politician in the act of taking money from the business owner.


catch (someone) napping
- to find someone asleep, to find someone unprepared for something
The boss caught the employee napping and became very angry.


catch (someone) off balance
- to surprise someone who is not prepared
We were caught off balance when we discovered that our business license was no good.


catch (someone) off guard
- to catch a person at a time of carelessness
I was caught off guard when the teacher asked me about my homework.


catch (someone) red-handed
- to find someone in the middle of doing something wrong
The clerk caught the boy red-handed when he was stealing the candy.
catch up with (someone or something)
- to become even with someone (in a race or in schoolwork etc.)
I think that it is too late to catch up with the rest of the class now.


.



caught in the middle/cross fire
- to be caught between two opposing people or groups so it is difficult to remain neutral
I was caught in the middle when my friend and his girlfriend had a big fight.


caught short
- to not have enough of something (usually money) when you need it
I was caught short last month and could not pay my credit card bill.


caught unaware
- to be surprised and unprepared for something
Everybody was caught unaware by the sudden change in government policy.


cause a stir
- to cause people to become agitated and alarmed about something
The soccer player caused a stir when he began to criticize the referee.


cause eyebrows to raise
- to shock people
I caused eyebrows to raise when I decided not to accept the award from my company.


cause tongues to wag
- to give people something to gossip about
My sister caused tongues to wag when she came to the party without her husband.


cave in
- to weaken and be forced to give something up
The company caved in to the union`s demand for more money.


chalk (something) up to (something)
- to recognize something as the cause of something else
We were able to chalk our success up to our new boat.


chalk up (something)
- to record something
The stock prices of the company chalked up a big increase last week.


champ at the bit
- to be ready and anxious to do something
Everybody was champing at the bit to start writing the test.


chance (something)
- to risk doing something
We did not want to chance driving during the storm so we stayed home.


chance upon (someone or something)
- to find someone or something by chance
I chanced upon a very interesting book during my research.


change hands
- to be transferred from one person to another
The small business changed hands many times during the last several years.


change horses in midstream
- to make new plans or choose a new leader in the middle of an important activity
The company changed horses in midstream and totally changed their policy.


change of heart
- a change in the way one feels about something
The woman had a change of heart and decided to let her child go to the circus.


change of pace
- the addition of some variety to one's life
We decided to go to the lake for a change of pace and to get away from our busy schedules.


change of scenery
- a move to a different place where things are different
My sister and her husband have decided to move because they want a change of scenery.


change one`s mind
- to change one`s decision
My friend changed his mind and said that he would not go to the movie tonight.


change one`s tune
- to make a change in one`s story/statement/opinion/policy
Our supervisor has changed his tune recently and agrees that we need to do things differently.


change the subject
- to begin talking about something different
I tried to change the subject when my friend began to talk about the money that I owed him.


in charge of something
- to be responsible for an activity or group of people
Our teacher is in charge of selling tickets for the school dance.


cheat on (someone)
- to be unfaithful to someone
The man began cheating on his wife which was the cause of their divorce.


cheek by jowl
- side by side, in close intimacy
The fans entered the stadium cheek by jowl.


(have the) cheek to do something
- rudeness, impudence
The woman had the cheek to tell me that she was sick and could not come to work today.


cheer (someone) on
- to encourage someone who is trying to do something
Everybody came to the stadium to cheer on the home team.


cheer (someone) up
- to make a sad person happy
We took our friend to a nice restaurant to cheer her up.


chew out (someone)
- to scold someone roughly
The teacher chewed out the student for talking in class.


chew the fat
- to chat
The two men were chewing the fat in front of the house.


chicken feed
- a small amount of money
The man sold his car for chicken feed because he needed the money.


chicken out (of something)
- to stop doing something because of fear
I chickened out of jumping into the lake from the high diving board.


(one's) chickens have come home to roost
- one's words or acts come back to cause trouble for a person
Her chickens came home to roost and now she must take responsibility for what she did.


chilled to the bone
- very cold
I was chilled to the bone when I came in out of the rain.


chime in
- to join in a song or conversation
We were having a nice conversation until our friend chimed in and started complaining about everything.
chip in
- to contribute or pay jointly for something
We chipped in and bought our father a birthday present.
chip off the old block
- a person who looks or acts like one of his parents
The boy is a chip off the old block and acts exactly like his father.
chips are down
- the time when one faces the greatest obstacles
When the chips are down the boy goes to his father for advice and encouragement.


chisel (someone) out of (something)
- to cheat someone to get money
My friend tried to chisel his brother out of some money.


choke (someone) up
- to make someone cry or become overemotional and speechless
I became choked up when I heard the story of the boy's illness.


choke (something) off
- to force something to an end/stop
The government was able to choke off the flow of money to the criminal gang.


circle the wagons
- to set up a defense against an enemy
The management team began to circle the wagons as the accounting scandal became worse.


claim a life
- to take the life of someone
The accident on the freeway claimed the life of two people.


clam up
- to stop talking
The girl clammed up when her boyfriend entered the room.


clamp down on (someone or something)
- to become strict with someone or about something
The police plan to clamp down on drivers who drive too fast.


clean bill of health
- the assurance that an animal or person is healthy
The astronaut was given a clean bill of health before he began training.
clean slate
- a record that shows no bad behavior or other problems or past bad acts
The man started off with a clean slate after he lost his previous job.


clean up one's act
- to improve one's performance
The mayor will have to clean up his act if he wants to get elected again.
clear Idioms



clear of (something)
- to be not touching something
We checked that the ladder was clear of the electrical wires before we painted the house.


clear out (of somewhere)
- to leave, to get out (usually quickly or abruptly)
We cleared out of the building as soon as our class was over.


clear out (something)
- to clean somewhere, to remove something
We cleared out the room before we could start painting.


clear sailing
- to be an easy situation
It was clear sailing when we finished work and began our journey.


clear (someone's) name
- to prove that someone is not guilty of something
The man tried very hard to clear his name regarding his past criminal activity.


clear the air
- to calm down and remove bad feelings
We had a big argument but now it is time to clear the air.
clear the decks
- to clear away things and prepare for action, to get out of the way
"Let`s clear the decks and get everyone out of the house so that we can begin work."


clear the table
- to remove the dishes and eating utensils from a table
After we finished eating we quickly cleared the table.


clear up (something)
- to solve or explain (a problem etc.)
We finally cleared up the problem that we were having with our computers.
.



cliffhanger
- a sports event/movie/election where the outcome is uncertain until the very end
The playoff game was a cliffhanger and the most exciting game of the year.
climb the wall
- to be so bored that you become anxious and frustrated
The woman began to climb the wall after only a few days at her new job.
clip joint
- a low-class business where people are cheated
The men went into a clip joint near the bus station and had to pay a lot of money.
clip (someone`s) wings
- to limit someone`s activities or possibilities
The company decided to clip the manager's wings and took away his expense account.


cloak-and-dagger
- involving secercy and plotting
The agents were involved in cloak-and-dagger diplomacy over the spy scandal.


close Idioms



close at hand
- to be within reach
The day that the new coach would be chosen was now close at hand.


close call/shave
- an accident that almost happens but does not happen
I had a close call this morning when the truck almost hit me.


close in on (someone or something)
- to overwhelm or surround someone or something
The soldiers quickly closed in on the enemy position.


close one's eyes to (something)
- to ignore something
The teacher closed her eyes to the misbehavior of the students.


close ranks
- to come together for fighting, to unite and work together
The political parties closed ranks and stopped arguing among themselves.


close the books (on someone or something)
- to put an end to something (like the books in accounting records)
The owners of the team closed the books on the idea of building a new stadium.


close to home
- to be near to someone`s personal feelings/wishes/interests
My statement about the woman's work habits hit close to home and she became very quiet.


close to (someone)
- to be fond of someone
The boy is very close to his grandfather.


.



cloud up
- to become cloudy
It began to cloud up and soon started raining.


clue (someone) in
- to inform someone about something
We tried to clue the principal in about why the students were absent.


the coast is clear
- no danger is in sight, no one can see you
When the coast is clear we will try to enter the building.


cock-and-bull story
- a story that is not true
The boys gave us a cock-and-bull story about the tire marks in front of our house.


cog in the machine
- a small and unimportant part of a large organization
The employees felt like they were only cogs in the machine so the atmosphere at the company was not very good.


cold comfort
- no comfort at all
The government offered money to the victims of the fire but it was cold comfort to those who had lost their families.


cold fish
- a distant and unfeeling person
The man was a cold fish and cared little about his family.


cold snap/spell
- a sudden short period of cold weather (usually in winter)
The cold snap lasted for five days.


cold turkey
- abruptly and without medical aid (to stop using heroin or other drugs)
The woman stopped using drugs cold turkey and became very sick.


come Idioms



come a cropper
- to fail
The man came a cropper in the chess tournament and that is why he is sad.


come a long way
- to make great progress
The manager has come a long way and has learned many things about his new company.


come about
- to happen
Everybody believes that the plans for the new community center will never come about.


come across (someone or something)
- to find something or meet someone by chance
I came across an interesting story in the newspaper last week.


Come again.
- Please repeat or say that again.
"Come again. I did not hear you the first time."


come alive
- to brighten up and become active
The girl finally came alive and began to enjoy the party.


come along
- to make progress, to thrive
The work on our new house is coming along very well.


come around
- to finally agree to something, to return to consciousness or wake up
My father finally came around and agreed to let me go to Germany to study.


come as no surprise
- to not be surprising
It came as no surprise when the government decided to have an election.


come away empty-handed
- to return without anything
Nobody came away empty-handed at the end of the birthday party.


come back
- to return to the place where you are now
My cousin came back from her holidays last week.


come back (into fashion)
- to become popular again
Recently bell-bottom pants have come back into fashion.


come back to (someone)
- to return to one`s memory
The strange events of last year are slowly coming back to me.


come between (two people)
- to disrupt the relationship between (two people)
The mother's constant interfering finally came between the man and his wife.


come by (something)
- to get/obtain/acquire something
My aunt came by a lot of money recently and is now enjoying her life.


come clean
- to tell the truth
The president of the company was forced to come clean and tell what really happened to the business.


a come-down
- a lowering in status/income/influence/energy
Her new job is a come-down from her last one and she is not very happy.


come down hard on (someone)
- to scold or punish someone severely
The police have been coming down hard on drunk drivers recently.


come down in the world
- to lose one's social position
My father came down in the world when he decided to change jobs.


come down to earth
- to stop imagining or dreaming
My friend has finally come down to earth and is seriously looking for a job.


come down to (something)
- to be reduced to something
The man's decision about the job came down to how it would affect his family.


come down with (something)
- to become sick with a cold etc.
My mother came down with a cold so was unable to attend the dinner.
come from (somewhere)
- to be a native of a place
Several of the new students come from Mexico.


come from far and wide
- to come from many different places
The people came from far and wide to hear the new band.


come from nowhere
- to come as a surprise and with no warning
The truck came from nowhere as we were driving along the road.


come full circle
- to be completely opposite from one`s starting point
The university has come full circle with its policy on foreign students.


come hell or high water
- no matter what happens
Come hell or high water I plan to go to the concert next week.


come home to (someone)
- to become apparent to someone
It suddenly came home to the young family that their house had been destroyed in the fire.


come in handy
- to be useful or convenient
I think that the small hammer will come in handy to fix the desk.


come into (some money)
- to get possession of some money, to inherit some money
The man came into a lot of money which he donated to charity.


come into fashion
- to become fashionable
My sister says that although bell-bottom pants have come into fashion again she will never wear them.


come into one`s own
- to begin to perform or work well because of good circumstances
The player has come into his own as a basketball player since he changed positions.


come of age
- to be old enough to vote/marry/sign legal contracts etc.
When the members of our class came of age everyone started to vote.


come off
- to be successful, to happen
The party came off without any problems so everyone was very happy.


come on!
- please, hurry, go faster
"Come on, I only have a few minutes before I must go."
"Come on, stop doing that."


come on strong
- to overwhelm others with a strong personality
The man came on too strong during the job interview and was unable to get the job.


come on the scene
- to appear in a certain area or place
When the new DVD player came on the scene everybody wanted one.


come out ahead
- to improve one's situation
Although our new car was expensive, we came out ahead as it is very cheap to operate.


come out for (someone or something)
- to announce one's support for (someone or something)
The mayor recently came out for legal gambling in the city.


come out in the wash
- to work out all right
Everything came out in the wash as the students worked out their problems.


come out of left field
- to come from an unexpected place
The manager's new idea came out of left field and we have no idea what it means.


come out of nowhere
- to appear suddenly
The eagle came out of nowhere and captured the small mouse.


come out of one's shell
- to become more friendly or sociable
My sister's little boy came out of his shell and began to talk to everybody around him.


come out of the blue
- to appear suddenly (as if from the sky)
My idea for making money suddenly came out of the blue.


come out of the closet
- to reveal one's secret interests, to reveal that one is gay
Nobody was surprised when my cousin came out of the closet.


come out with (something)
- to say something, to make something known
The child has recently come out with many strange and funny expressions.


come over
- to come for a visit
My friend is going to come over for a visit next week.


come over
- to change sides
The politician supports the opposition but we hope that he will soon come over to our side.


come (someone's) way
- to come to someone
A small blue car came my way while I waited on the highway.


come through
- to do what one is expected to do (often under difficult circumstances)
My friend will always come through when we need his help.


come to
- to regain consciousness
The woman came to a few hours after the accident.


come to do/feel (something)
- to begin/learn to do or feel something
At first I disliked the girl but recently I have come to accept her.


come to a bad end
- to have a disaster, to die
The man and his family came to a bad end when they moved to the country.


come to a dead end
- to be unable to go any further
We kept driving on the dirt road until we came to a dead end.


come to a head
- to come to a point where a problem must be solved
The issue came to a head and everyone was forced to talk about the problem.


come to an end
- to stop, to finish
When the story came to an end both of the children had fallen asleep.


come to a pretty pass
- to develop into a bad or difficult situation
Things came to a pretty pass and nobody knew what to do about the problem.


come to a standstill
- to stop
The circus came to a standstill when the elephant escaped from his cage.


come to blows
- to begin to fight
The two men came to blows when they were trying to fix the car.


come to grief
- to have a bad accident or disappointment
The man has recently come to much grief because of his son`s problems with the police.


come to grips with (something)
- to struggle (successfully) with an idea or problem
The woman has finally come to grips with her husband`s gambling.


come to life
- to become alive or lively
The party came to life when the host and hostess entered the room.


come to light
- to be discovered, to become known
It has come to light that the company recently lost millions of dollars.


come to mind
- to enter into one's consciousness
Nothing came to mind when I tried to remember the names of the actors.


come to nothing/naught
- to end in failure
All of my efforts to help my sister find a job came to nothing.


come to one`s senses
- to begin to think clearly or act sensibly
He came to his senses and decided to buy a cheap car rather than an expensive one.


come to pass
- to happen, to occur
I do not know what will come to pass but for now the company has many financial problems.


come to terms with (someone or something)
- to reach an agreement with someone, to accept something
We finally came to terms with the bank and were able to buy the house.


come to the fore
- to come into an important place or position, to come to the front
Several members of the class came to the fore and decided to take important positions in the club.


come to the point
- to be direct
His speech was interesting but he never really came to the point.


come true
- to actually happen
The young girl is working hard to make her dreams come true.


come unglued
- to lose emotional control
The woman came unglued when she learned that she had lost her job.


come up
- to happen unexpectedly
I know that I will not be able to go to the party if something comes up.


come up in the world
- to improve one's status or situation in life
I knew that I had come up in the world when I was invited to dinner with the president of our company.


come up smelling like roses
- to look good after a difficult or bad time
Everybody in the company looked bad except for my friend who came up smelling like roses.
come up with (something)
- to produce or find a thought/idea/answer
I tried to come up with a name for the new magazine.


come what may
- no matter what might happen
Come what may I was determined to go to Spain for my holidays.


come with the territory
- to be expected under the circumstances (like something that comes with a sales territory)
The fact that the man has no free time comes with the territory with his work as a news reporter.


.



commit (something) to memory
- to memorize something
I worked hard to commit the names to memory.


common touch
- a friendly manner with everyone
He has a common touch and everyone likes him a lot.


con (someone) out of (something)
- to trick someone out of money or something valuable
The man on the street corner tried to con the woman out of some money.


confide in (someone)
- to tell secrets or personal matters to someone
I usually confide in my friend when I have a problem.


conk out
- to fall asleep quickly with great fatigue
As soon as we returned from the hike I conked out in front of the TV.


conspicuous by one's absence
- to have one's absence noticed
The teacher was conspicuous by her absence and everyone asked where she was.


contradiction in terms
- a statement that seems to have a contradiction
It was a contradiction in terms for the woman to pretend that she had no money while living in a mansion.


contrary to (something)
- in spite of something
Contrary to what everybody thought, my friend had already quit his job.


control the purse strings
- to be in charge of the money
My mother always used to control the purse strings in our family.


cook one`s goose
- to ruin one`s chances
The girl cooked her goose and has no chance of getting the new job.


cook (something) up
- to invent something, to plan or plot something
I do not know what kind of plan she is cooking up but it should be quite interesting.


cook the books
- to cheat in bookkeeping
The accountant was fired when someone discovered that he was cooking the books.


cool as a cucumber
- to be very calm and brave, to be not worried or anxious
The woman was as cool as a cucumber when her canoe turned over in the river.


cool off/down
- to let one's anger die away
When the basketball players began to cool down they were allowed to play again.


cool one`s heels
- to be kept waiting
The man was forced to cool his heels in the waiting room before his boss would talk to him.
cop a plea
- to plead guilty to a crime in order to get a lesser penalty
The man was forced to cop a plea when the evidence against him became too strong to dispute.
cop out
- to avoid doing something that you were planning to do
My friend copped out from our plan to go to to the beach for the day.
a copycat
- someone who copies another person`s work or actions
The little boy was accused of being a copycat by the other children.


cost a pretty penny
- to cost a lot of money
I believe that my aunt's new coat cost a pretty penny.


cost an arm and a leg
- to cost too much
The new motorcycle cost my brother an arm and a leg.


cough up
- to give something unwillingly
The man finally coughed up enough money to pay for the bicycle.


could do with (someone or something)
- to want or need someone or something
I could do with a new computer now that mine is getting old.


count noses
- to count people
After the teacher finished counting noses everyone got on the bus.


count on (someone or something)
- to depend on someone or something
You can count on our boss to do everything right.
count one`s chickens before they`re hatched
- to assume that something will be successful before it is certain
"Don`t count your chickens before they`re hatched. You are spending your money and you do not have a job yet."


count (someone) in
- to include someone in something
I know that my friends will count me in if they go to the zoo.


count (someone) out
- to exclude someone from something
"Please count me out of your plans to go skiing for the weekend."


a course of action
- the procedures that will be followed to do something
We decided on our course of action before we told our boss about our decision.


cover a lot of ground
- to deal with much information or facts, to travel a great distance
We covered a lot of ground in our history class at school.


cover for (someone)
- to make excuses for someone, to cover someone's errors
I covered for my friend when the boss saw that she was away from her desk.


cover for (someone)
- to do someone else's work
We always cover for each other when someone at work is sick.


cover one`s tracks
- to hide where one has been, to hide what one has done
The man was trying to cover his tracks but it was easy to see where he had been.
cover up (something)
- to hide something wrong or bad
They tried to cover up the facts regarding the illegal election campaign funds.
cozy up to (someone)
- to try to be extra friendly to someone
I do not know what my neighbor wants but recently he has been trying to cozy up to me.


crack a book
- to open a book to study
I did not crack a book until the last week of classes.


crack a joke
- to tell a joke
The man was a lot of fun at the party because he was always cracking jokes.
crack a smile
- to let a smile show on one`s face
Our boss never cracked a smile during the meeting.
crack down on (someone or something)
- to enforce laws or rules strictly
The school principal decided to crack down on people running in the halls.
crack of dawn
- daybreak, early in the morning
We got up at the crack of dawn to go fishing.


crack the whip
- to try to make someone work hard or obey you by threatening them
We had to crack the whip in order to get the job finished before the weekend.


crack up
- to burst into laughter
I cracked up when the man started talking about the incident with the taxi driver.


crackpot
- an eccentric person with ideas that do not make sense to others
The man is a crackpot and you never know what he will do next.


cramp one`s style
- to limit one`s talk or action
Working in the new department is beginning to cramp my style.


crank (something) out
- to produce or make something
I was able to crank out two very good papers before the end of the year.


crash and burn
- to fail spectacularly
We did not want to crash and burn so we were very careful about how we proceeded with the project.


crash the gate
- to enter someplace without a ticket or without paying
Many people did not have a ticket for the concert so they decided to crash the gate.


crazy about (someone or something)
- to like someone or something very much
My sister is absolutely crazy about rap music.


cream of the crop
- the best
When our company hires new employees we always look for the cream of the crop.


create a stink
- to make a big issue out of something
The woman decided to create a stink when she found the bad product at the supermarket.


create an uproar
- to cause a sensation
The referees created an uproar when they asked the star player to leave the game.


creature comforts
- things that make people comfortable
We had no creature comforts during our trip to South America.


a credit to (someone or something)
- to be invaluable or beneficial to someone or something
The doctor was a credit to the hospital where he had trained.


the creeps
- a strong feeling of fear or disgust
I get the creeps every time that I see a spider or snake.


creep up on (someone or something)
- to crawl quietly toward someone or something
The thief crept up on the elderly woman in the supermarket.


crocodile tears
- a show of sorrow that is not real
The man said that he was very sorry but his tears were only crocodile tears.


crop up
- to appear or happen unexpectedly
I will meet him early next week unless something crops up that keeps me busy.


cross a bridge before one comes to it
- to think and worry about future events or problems before they happen
We should not worry about that problem now. We can cross that bridge when we come to it.


cross one`s heart and hope to die
- to promise that what you are saying is true
"I promise that I will pay back the money next week. Cross my heart and hope to die."


cross one`s mind
- to think of something, to occur to someone
It crossed my mind that I would see him in the evening so I did not need to phone him.


cross out (something)
- to eliminate something by drawing a line through it
I crossed out my name from the list of volunteers.


cross swords with (someone)
- to have an argument with someone
I do not want to cross swords with the head teacher again.


cross the Rubicon
- to do something where you cannot go back (Julius Ceasar crossed the Rubicon and made a fight with the Roman Senate inevitable)
The man crossed the Rubicon when he began on a course that he could never turn back from.


cross to bear/carry
- something that you must do or continue with even though you are suffering
Looking after my sister`s children is my cross to bear.


crux of the matter
- the central issue of a matter
The crux of the matter is that we no longer have enough money to go on a holiday.


cry bloody murder
- to scream like something very serious has happened
The woman cried bloody murder when the young man tried to steal her purse.


cry out for (someone or something)
- to need someone or something badly, to lack something
The new room that we built cries out for new furniture.
The baby cried out for her mother.


cry over spilt milk
- to cry or complain about something that has already happened
"Don`t cry over spilt milk. You can never change the past."


cry uncle
- to admit defeat or that you have lost
He finally had to cry uncle when the other wrestler pinned him to the mat.


cry wolf
- to warn of danger that is not there
The man has been crying wolf for many years and now nobody believes him.


crying need for (someone or something)
- a desperate need for someone or something
There is a crying need for nurses in the local hospital.


a crying shame
- a very unfortunate situation
It was a crying shame that the class trip to Spain was cancelled.


cue (someone) in
- to tell someone what is going on
I did not know what to do until somebody cued me in on what was happening.


(not one`s) cup of tea
- (not) something that one enjoys
It is not my cup of tea so I think that I will stay home and not go to the art gallery.


curiosity killed the cat
- being nosy and interested in the business of other people may cause someone trouble
"Don`t keep asking so many questions. Remember curiosity killed the cat."


curl up and die
- to retreat and die
I wanted to curl up and die when I saw my old boyfriend at the party.


curry favor with (someone)
- to flatter someone to get his or her help or friendship
Our boss has been working hard to curry favor with the other members of the committee.


cut Idioms



cut a fine figure
- to look good
I plan to cut a fine figure when I go to the job interview next week.


cut a wide swath
- to attract a lot of attention
The man cuts a wide swath when he enters a room.


a cut above (someone or something)
- a little better than someone or something
The new principal is a cut above the previous one.


cut across
- to cross or go through something instead of going around it
We decided to cut across the field because we were in a hurry to get to school.


cut and run
- to leave as quickly as possible
We cut and run as soon as we had finished delivering the goods.


cut and dried
- to be previously decided, to be prearranged
The decision was cut and dried and nobody asked for our opinion.


cut back on (something)
- to use fewer or use less of something
We were forced to cut back on the number of people who were invited to the party.


cut both ways
- to serve both sides of an argument
What the man said cuts both ways and we should carefully think about it.


cut class
- to not go to class
I cut class last week and went to a movie.


cut corners
- to economize
We will have to cut corners in order to save money for our holiday.


cut down on something
- to use less of something
Recently the man has cut down on his smoking in order to become more healthy.


cut from the same cloth
- to share a lot of similarities
The two cousins were cut from the same cloth and were similar in every way.


cut no ice with (someone)
- to have no influence on someone
The excuses of the girl cut no ice with her teacher or the principal.


cut off one`s nose to spite one`s face
- to make things worse for oneself because one is angry at someone else
The man is cutting off his nose to spite his face. Taking revenge on his neighbor will only cause him more problems.


cut one's eyeteeth on (something)
- to have done something since one was very young
The man cut his eyeteeth on fixing bicycles and he is now an expert.


cut one's losses
- to reduce one's losses
We decided to cut our losses and sell our business before it lost too much money.


cut out for (something)
- to have a talent for something, to be suited for something
I do not think that I am cut out for all of the travelling that is required for this job.


cut out (something)
- to eliminate something
My cousin decided to cut out chocolate in order to lose weight.


cut out the deadwood
- to remove unproductive people from a job
The company began to cut out the deadwood and fired many people.


cut (someone) a check
- to write a check to someone
We cut the man a check for the work that he had done.


cut (someone) down to size
- to prove that someone is not as good as he or she thinks
I cut my colleague down to size when I criticized what he had said at the meeting.


cut (someone) in
- to give someone a share of something
I cut my friend in on the profits from selling the computers.


cut (someone) off
- to stop someone from saying something, to disconnect someone on the phone
I tried to tell my father about the accident but he cut me off before I had a chance.


cut (someone) to the quick
- to hurt someone's feelings very badly
The woman cut her friend to the quick when she criticized her new clothes.


cut the mustard
- to reach the required standard for something
The man does not cut the mustard and he will never be able to work here.


cut to the chase
- to get to the important matter of something
The lawyer cut to the chase and was able to get all of the information quickly.
__________________
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
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Old Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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Default D idioms

D



daily grind
- the everyday work routine
My father is tired of the daily grind of working and will retire soon.


dance to a different tune
- to change one's behavior or attitude
Our boss began dancing to a different tune when his head salesman decided to quit.


dance with death
- to do something that is very risky
The teenagers were dancing with death when they began to race their cars.


dare (someone) to do (something)
- to challenge someone to do something
The little boy dared his friend to throw a rock at the window.


dark horse
- a political candidate who is little known to the general public
The woman candidate was a dark horse but she won the election easily.


darken (someone's) door
- to visit someone or somewhere
The man has never darkened the door of the library in his town.


dash off
- to leave quickly
We dashed off as soon as the concert ended.


dash off (something)
- to do or finish something quickly
I plan to dash off a letter before I go to work.


date back to (a previous time)
- to go back to a previous time
The old building dates back to 1850.


Davy Jone's locker
- the bottom of the sea (as a grave)
When the boat sank all of the crew members went to Davy Jone's locker.


dawn on (someone)
- to become clear or occur to someone
It finally dawned on me why my friend was angry.


day after day
- everyday
Day after day the woman goes to the school to meet her child.


day and night
- all of the time
We worked day and night to finish the project before the end of the month.


day in and day out
- regularly, all of the time
My father goes to that restaurant for lunch day in and day out and he never gets tired of it.


day-to-day
- daily, everyday
The president was not involved in the day-to-day running of the university.


daylight robbery
- the extreme overcharging of money for something
The amount of money which they charged for the gasoline was daylight robbery.


days running
- several days in a row
There were concerts at the auditorium for six days running.


dead Idioms



dead ahead
- to be directly ahead
There was a truck dead ahead so we put on the car brakes suddenly.


dead as a doornail
- to be very dead
The man was as dead as a doornail after the car accident.


dead center
- the exact middle
I easily hit the target dead center.


dead duck
- a person or a thing in a hopeless situation
The man is a dead duck and he has no hope of recovering his former position.


dead end
- the end of a road, an impasse
The negotiations between the players and the owners have come to a dead end.


dead in one's/its tracks
- to be stopped exactly where someone or something is at the moment
The police stopped the robber dead in his tracks.


dead letter
- a piece of mail that cannot be delivered or returned to the sender
The letter with no return address went back to the post office as a dead letter.


dead loss
- a total loss
The money that I gave to my friend is a dead loss and none of it will be returned.


dead on one's feet
- to be exhausted
I was dead on my feet after working all day in my garden.


dead set against (something)
- to be determined not to do something
The parents are dead set against their son going to Europe for a year.


dead tired
- to be very tired, to be exhausted
I was dead tired so I went to bed when I got home.


dead to the world
- to be sleeping soundly
The little boy was dead to the world when his father took him out of the car.


dead wrong
- to be totally wrong
I was dead wrong in my calculations to build the table.


deadbeat
- a person who never pays his debts
There is a new government policy to penalize deadbeat fathers.


deadpan
- an expressionless or emotionless face
My friend had a deadpan expression when he told us the story.


.



deaf and dumb
- to be unable to hear or speak
The man was deaf and dumb and could not communicate with the woman on the train.


deal in (something)
- to buy and sell something
The man has been dealing in antiques for many years.


deal with (someone)
- to act in a specific way toward someone, to do business with someone
The company is planning to deal with the late employee soon.


deal with (something)
- to be concerned with something, to take action about something
We will deal with the boxes tomorrow.


decide in favor of (someone or something)
- to determine the winner of something, to decide who is right
The city decided in favor of building a new bridge over the river.


decked out
- to be dressed in fancy clothes
My sister was decked out in her best clothes for the party.


deem it to be necessary
- to believe that something is necessary
The judge deemed it to be necessary to postpone the trial for a week.


deep-six (something)
- to throw away something, to dispose of something
I decided to deep-six the videos as I did not want them any longer.


deep water
- serious trouble or difficulty
The boy will be in deep water if he does not tell us where he spent the money.


deliver the goods
- to do a good or successful job of something
He is the best manager that we have had. He knows how to deliver the goods.


desert a sinking ship
- to leave a situation or place when things become difficult or unpleasant
Many employees decided to desert a sinking ship when their company began to have problems.


devil of a job
- a very difficult job
Everybody thought that unloading the truck was a devil of a job.


devil-may-care attitude
- an unworried attitude, an attitude where one does not care what happens
The man has a devil-may-care attitude to his job and nothing bothers him.


diamond in the rough
- a good person or thing that is hidden by a rough exterior
The man is a diamond in the rough and a very gentle person under his harsh exterior.


die down
- to come slowly to an end, to grow weaker
When the sound of the music died down we were able to go to sleep.


die in one's boots
- to die fighting
The soldiers died in their boots after fighting very hard.


the die is cast
- something has been decided and you cannot change the decision
The die is cast and now that we have sold our house we must move.


die laughing
- to laugh very loud and hard
We almost died laughing when we saw the comedy at the theater.


die off
- to die one after another until the number is small
The house plants began to die off as soon as we moved to a new apartment.


die out
- to die or disappear slowly until gone
The campfire slowly died out and we went to bed.


dig in
- to begin eating
"Let`s dig in and eat before the food gets cold!"


dig one's heels in
- to refuse to change one's course of action or opinions
Our boss dug his heels in and refused to give us time off.


dig one's own grave
- to be responsible for one's own problems
My sister dug her own grave when she fought with her boss. Now she is having many problems at work.


dig some dirt up on (someone)
- to find out something bad about someone
The newspaper worked hard to dig some dirt up on the politician.


dig (someone or something) up
- to make an effort to find someone or something
I tried to dig up some blankets for my friend when he stayed at our house.


dig (something) out
- to locate something
I dug out last year's income tax forms to look at.


a dime a dozen
- common, easy to get and of little value
Used books are a dime a dozen and it is dificult to sell them.


dip into (something)
- to borrow from a supply of something
We had to dip into our savings to get enough money for a holiday.


dirt cheap
- to be extremely cheap
The denim jackets were dirt cheap so I decided to buy two of them.


a dirty look
- a look that shows dislike or disapproval
The boy's mother gave the boy a dirty look when he began to run in the kitchen.


dirty work
- unpleasant or uninteresting work
I refused to do the dirty work which my friend wanted me to do.


dish out (food)
- to serve food from a large bowl or plate
I began to dish out the food when the guests arrived.


dish out (criticism)
- to criticize someone roughly, to treat someone roughly
Our supervisor likes to dish out criticism to others but he does not like to hear criticism about himself.


divide and conquer
- to split an opposing side into two groups so that you can win against them
The government was trying to divide and conquer the opposition parties.


divide (something) fifty-fifty
- to divide something into two equal parts
We divided the money that we won fifty-fifty.


do Idioms



do a double take
- to look again in surprise at someone or something
The girl did a double take when she saw her old boyfriend with another woman.


do a job on (someone or something)
- to harm or damage someone or something
We really did a job on the bookcase that we were trying to move.


do a land-office business
- to do much business in a short time
The children are doing a land-office business by selling the cold drinks next to the stadium.


do a number on (someone or something)
- to hurt or damage someone or something
The students did a number on the spectator stands during the soccer game.


do a snow job on (someone)
- to deceive or confuse someone
The salesman tried to do a snow job on me but I did not believe him.


do an about-face
- to suddenly reverse one's opinion
We had to do an about-face on our decision to permit drinking coffee in the library.


do away with (something)
- to stop something, to get rid of something
The company decided to do away with their policy of working one weekend a month.


do credit to (someone)
- to add to someone's reputation
The woman's graduation thesis did credit to her hard work and patience.


do in (someone)
- to make someone tired, to exhaust someone
I was done in by the time that I finished the marathon.


do in (something)
- to ruin/destroy something
The boy quickly did in the new shoes that he had received for his birthday.


do justice to (something)
- to do something well, to represent something accurately
The painting of my grandfather does not do justice to his extremely good looks.


do one`s best
- to try to do something as well as one can
I tried to do my best on the exam.
do one`s bit/part
- to share in a group project by contributing one`s time and effort
Our teacher did his bit to help plan for the party.


do one's duty
- to do one's job or what is expected of one
The guard was only doing his duty when he began to ask the customer questions.


do one`s thing
- to do what one wants to do and enjoys doing
My friend enjoys doing his thing when and where he chooses.


do or die
- to make a great effort
It was do or die for the man when he started his new job.


do (someone) good
- to be good or beneficial for someone
It will do me good to go on a holiday.


do (someone) out of (something)
- to cheat someone out of something
The man was worried that the company would do him out of the large bonus that he was expecting.


do (someone's) bidding
- to do what someone else wants
The principal was able to get the head teacher to do his bidding with the other teachers.


do something rash
- to take drastic action (usually without thinking)
My friend is extremely angry and she may do something rash.


do the dishes
- to wash and dry dishes
We did the dishes soon after eating dinner.


do the honors
- to perform the duty of a host (when serving a drink etc.)
"Would you like to do the honors and pour everybody a drink?"


do the trick
- to work well, to achieve a good or desired result
I think that the new piece of equipment should do the trick and solve our problem.


do time
- to spend time in prison
The man was doing time when we first heard about him.


do with (someone or something)
- to be acquainted/involved/associated with someone or something
I did not have anything to do with the meeting this year.


do with (something)
- to benefit from (something)
I have been working hard all day so now I could do with a cold drink.


do without (something)
- to manage without something
We will have to do without sugar if there is none.


do wonders
- to produce excellent results
If you begin to do some exercise it will do wonders for your health.


.



dog and pony show
- a display or demonstration of something
The politicians put on a dog and pony show to make everyone forget about the scandal.


dog-eat-dog
- to be ready or willing to fight and hurt others to get what you want
It is a dog-eat-dog world in the advertising and public relations business.


dog in the manger
- someone who prevents others from doing what he does not want them to do (from Aesops Fables)
The girl was a dog in the manger when she cancelled the dinner because she could not attend.


doll (oneself) up
- to dress in fancy clothes
She was all dolled up for the party at the downtown hotel.


dollar for dollar
- considering the cost
Dollar for dollar, going to the mountains for a holiday is a good deal.


done for
- to be ruined/defeated/dying
I think that our team is done for this season.


done in
- to be tired, to be exhausted
I was done in so I went to bed early.


done to a T
- to be cooked just right
The steaks were done to a T and everybody was very happy with them.


done with (something)
- to be finished using something
I was done with the computer so I let my sister use it.


doomed to failure
- to be certain to fail
The policy of the school was doomed to failure because nobody would support it.


a dose of one's own medicine
- the same kind of treatment that one gives to other people
The man got a dose of his own medicine when his boss began to treat him the same way that he treated others.


double back
- to turn back from where you are going or where you have been
We decided to double back from the arena and return home for a few minutes.


double-check (something)
- to check again to be sure that something is correct
I double-checked the price of the airplane ticket.


double-cross (someone)
- to deceive someone, to promise one thing and then do another
The man tried to double-cross his partner but was caught and sent to jail.


double-talk
- talk or words that appear to mean something but do not
The speaker gave the audience much double-talk and nobody knew what he wanted to say.


double up
- to share a room with someone
The passengers had to double up in hotel rooms when the plane landed because of the weather.


a doubting Thomas
- someone who needs strong proof to believe something
My friend is a doubting Thomas and you must tell him many times before he will believe something.


down Idioms



down and dirty
- unfair/nasty/sneaky
The team decided to get down and dirty in order to try and win the tournament.


down and out
- to have no money
My friend has been down and out before but usually he can find a job.


down at the heels
- to be shabby, to be poorly dressed
The man looked down at the heels after he was fired from his job.


down for the count
- to be finished for now
The boxer was down for the count but everybody expected him to get up and fight again.


down in the dumps
- to be unhappy
The girl has been down in the dumps since her boyfriend moved away.


down on one's luck
- to be unlucky, to have no money
The man was down on his luck and did not even have a place to live.


down on (someone)
- to be critical of someone, to be angry at someone
The girl is down on her friend but I do not know the reason.


down one`s alley
- to be suited to one`s tastes and abilities
Computers are down my alley so I am sure that I will be interested in the job.


down the drain
- to be wasted or lost
My uncle is throwing money down the drain when he goes to the horse races.


down the hatch
- to swallow a drink or eat something
The captain says down the hatch whenever he gives the sailors a drink.


down the line
- straight ahead, in the future
There will be many changes in our company down the line.


down the tubes
- to be ruined/wasted
All of our plans went down the tubes after my friend refused to join us.


down to earth
- to be sensible and practical
My mother is very down to earth.


down to the last detail
- considering all of the details
We fixed up everything on the boat, right down to the last detail.


down to the wire
- to be nearing a deadline, to be running out of time
We went down to the wire but we were able to finish the job on time.


down with (an illness)
- to be ill, to be sick at home
My sister was down with a cold so she could not go out for a few days.


.



drag in (someone or something)
- to insist on bringing someone or something into a discussion
Th employee always drags in his personal problems when we talk about his job performance.


drag on
- to pass very slowly, to make something longer
The speech was dragging on so we decided to leave early.


a drag on (someone)
- a burden to someone
The problems at work were a drag on my friend and he became sick because of them.


drag one`s feet/heels
- to act slowly or reluctantly
The man has been dragging his feet about whether or not to take the job.


draw Idioms



draw a blank
- to get no response to something, to get a negative result
The manager drew a blank when he went to the head office to get information about the merger.


draw a line betwen two things
- to separate two things
We must draw a line between using the internet for work and using it for personal use.


draw blood
- to make a wound that bleeds, to anger someone
The politician was very careful not to draw blood during the debate.


draw fire
- to receive criticism for something
The government began to draw fire when they announced changes in the health care system.


draw fire
- to be a target, to attract or provoke shooting
The soldiers drew fire when they entered the small village.


draw in one`s horns
- to spend less money
The company is not doing well so everybody must draw in their horns.


draw interest
- to appear interesting and attract someone's attention
The singers drew much interest when they performed at the festival.


draw interest
- to earn interest when money is deposited in a bank
The money that we put in the bank draws interest every month.


draw lots/straws
- to choose from a group of things to decide who will do something
We decided to draw lots to see who would wash the dishes.


draw (someone) out
- to make a person talk or tell something
The girl was very quiet but we were able to draw her out and she began talking.


draw the line (at something)
- to set a limit for something
We have to draw the line somewhere to limit the costs of the party.


draw to a close
- to end
The tournament was drawing to a close and everybody was going back to their homes.


draw up (something)
- to put something in writing
They were able to draw up the contract while we were waiting.


.



dredge (something) up
- to uncover something unpleasant and remind people about it
The newspaper is always trying to dredge bad things up about the government.


dress (someone) down
- to scold someone
The supervisor took the clerk into her office to dress her down.


dressed to kill
- to wear one`s finest clothes
The woman was dressed to kill when I saw her at the concert last week.


dressed to the nines/teeth
- to be dressed elegantly
The movie stars were dressed to the nines during the awards ceremony.


dress up
- to put on one`s best clothes
I decided to dress up for dinner at the restaurant.


drive a hard bargain
- to conclude a bargain without making any concessions
Although the man drives a hard bargain, I like doing business with him.


drive at (something)
- to try/want to say something
I do not know what the man was driving at in his speech.


drive (someone) up a wall
- to irritate or annoy someone greatly
My neighbor's constant complaining is driving me up a wall.


drive (something) home
- to make something clearly understood
The high price of gasoline drove home to us the necessity of driving less.


the driving force behind (someone or something)
- the motivating force behind someone or something
The potato farmers were the driving force behind the efforts to get people to eat more potatoes.


drop Idioms



drop a bombshell
- to announce some shocking news
The government dropped a bombshell when they announced that they were going to close the hospital.


drop a hint
- to casually make a hint or suggestion about something
The clerk dropped a hint that he wanted to transfer to the new department.


drop around
- to come for a visit
My friend plans to drop around for a visit tomorrow.


drop back
- to move or step backwards, to retreat
During the hike my foot began to get sore so I decided to drop back and rest for awhile.


drop by
- to visit someone
My uncle dropped by after work for a visit.


drop by the wayside
- to give up or fail before the finish of something
Many runners dropped by the wayside during the marathon.


drop dead
- to die suddenly
The bus driver dropped dead while driving the bus.


Drop dead!
- Go away!, to stop bothering someone
I told my brother to drop dead when he came into my room and now he is angry at me.


drop everything
- to stop doing what you are doing
When the fire alarm rang we dropped everything and went outside.


drop in (on someone)
- to make a short or unplanned visit to someone
I decided to drop in on my friend after I finished work for the day.


drop in one's tracks
- to collapse from exhaustion
The runner dropped in his tracks during the last part of the race.


drop in the bucket
- a small amount
The money that my friend repaid me was a drop in the bucket compared to what he owes.


drop names
- to mention the names of famous people as if they were your friends
Nobody likes the girl because she is always dropping names when she meets her friends.


drop out of (something)
- to quit school or a course of some kind
I dropped out of the class after three months.


drop (someone) a line
- to write or mail a note or letter to someone
My friend promised that she would drop me a line when she gets to Singapore.


drop the subject
- to stop talking about something
My friend was getting angry while we were talking about money so I decided to drop the subject.


.



drown one`s sorrows
- to drink alcohol or do something to forget one`s problems
The man is in the bar drowning his sorrows with a drink.


drown (someone) out
- to make so much noise that it is impossible to hear someone
The team captain was drowned out by the cheering fans.
drum up (something)
- to encourage something by making an effort
The company was able to drum up a lot of business during the summer.


drum (something) into (someone's) head
- to make someone learn something by force
The teacher worked hard to drum the formulas into the heads of the students.


dry run
- an attempt or rehearsal for something
The marriage ceremony was on Saturday so we had a dry run on Thursday night.


dry up
- to become dry
The river began to dry up early in the summer.


duck soup
- easy, effortless
"How was the test last week?"
"It was duck soup - no problem at all."


dumb bunny
- a stupid gullible person
He is a dumb bunny and you never know what he will do next.


Dutch auction
- an auction where you start off with a high price and then reduce it
They always sell the flowers at a Dutch auction at the downtown market.


Dutch courage
- unusual or artificial courage (often because of alcohol)
The man was full of Dutch courage when he began to criticize his boss.


Dutch treat
- a meal/movie etc. where each person pays his or her own way, to contribute equally to something
When he goes out with his girlfriend it is always a Dutch treat as he does not have much money.


Dutch uncle
- someone who gives you advice like a parent or relative would
My friend is like a Dutch uncle and he is always giving me advice about how I should act.


duty bound (to do something)
- to be forced by duty or honor to do something
I was duty bound to talk to my friend about the money that I had lost.


dwell on (something)
- to think or talk about something all the time
I wish that my friend would not dwell on his personal problems.


dyed-in-the-wool
- permanent, stubborn
My father is a dyed-in-the-wool conservative and will never change.


dying to (do something or go somewhere)
- to be very anxious to do something or go somewhere
I am dying to go and visit my friend in the country.

__________________
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
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  #5  
Old Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Omer's Avatar
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Default E idioms

E
each and every
- every
"I want each and every student to bring his or her textbook tomorrow."


eager beaver
- a person who is always eager to work hard or do extra work
My colleague is an eager beaver and is always ready to work hard when we need him.


eagle eye
- an eye with sharp visual powers
The woman watched her young child with an eagle eye.


an ear to the ground
- attention that is paid to the way things are going or the way people feel and think
The president has an ear to the ground and knows everything that is going on in our company.


earful
- a scolding, much talking in the form of complaints
The man gave his daughter an earful when she came home late.


early bird
- a person who gets up early or arrives early for something
My sister is an early bird and gets up very early every morning.


early bird catches the worm
- a person who gets up early in the morning has the best chance of success
Our supervisor always goes to work before his colleagues because he knows that the early bird catches the worm.


early on
- at an early stage
We had a meeting early on to try and solve the problem.


earn one's keep
- to earn one's pay or a place to live by doing some work
I work hard in my uncle's garden in order to earn my keep when I stay with him.


ease off/up on (someone or something)
- to put less pressure on someone or something, to relax
The president was asked to ease off on his efforts to cut staff in the company.


easier said than done
- to be easier to talk about than to do
I would like to change jobs but it is easier said than done.


easy come, easy go
- something that you get easily can be lost easily
My cousin does not care if he loses his job or not. For him everything is easy come, easy go.


easy does it
- doing something slowly or without sudden movements
"Easy does it," I said as we moved the large piano.


easy-going
- to be tolerant and relaxed
Our boss has a very easy-going management style.


easy to come by
- to be easy to find
Money is not easy to come by for many people with no education.


eat Idioms



eat and run
- to eat a meal quickly and then leave
We had to eat and run in order to arrive at the soccer field early.


eat away at (someone)
- to bother someone
Money problems have been eating away at the man recently.


eat away at (something)
- to rot/destroy something
The mildew has been eating away at the window frame all year.


eat crow
- to admit that one is mistaken or defeated
Our boss was forced to eat crow when the figures that he presented at the meeting were wrong.


eat dirt
- to accept another`s insults or bad treatment
The accountant had to eat dirt because of the problems that he had caused.


eat humble pie
- to admit one`s error and apologize
The boy had to eat humble pie when his friends discovered his mistake.


eat like a bird
- to eat very little
He eats like a bird. That is why he cannot gain enough weight to join the football team.


eat like a horse
- to eat a lot
My friend eats like a horse but he never gains any weight.


eat one`s cake and have it too
- to use or spend something but still keep it
The man wants to eat his cake and have it too and he will never give up anything.


eat one`s heart out
- to be envious, to be very sad
"You can eat your heart out. I am going to Hawaii for three weeks!"
eat one`s words
- to admit being wrong in something that one has said
The worker was forced to eat his words after his boss proved that he was wrong.


eat out
- to eat in a restaurant
I eat out three or four times a week.


eat out of (someone's) hand
- to do what someone else wants
The secretary had her boss eating out of her hand and she could do whatever she wanted.


eat (someone) out of house and home
- to eat much food in someone's home
The two teenage boys were eating their parents out of house and home.


eat (something) up
- to enjoy something, to absorb something
The children ate up the stories that the teacher was telling.


.



eating someone
- to be bothering or worrying someone
I do not know what is eating my friend but she is not in a good mood today.


ebb and flow
- the decrease and increase of something like the tide
The ebb and flow of the singer's popularity was always a topic of conversation.


edge (someone) out
- to win a competition against someone and get a job or position
I was able to edge out the other applicants to get the job.


egg (someone) on
- to urge or push someone to do something
The boy is always egging his friend on to do stupid things.


either feast or famine
- to be/have either too much or not enough of something
It is either feast or famine for the woman. Sometimes she has lots of money and sometimes she has none.


eke out (a living)
- to earn one's living with difficulty
My uncle was unable to eke out a living on the farm so he sold it.


elbow grease
- the effort and strength to clean something
We will have to use a lot of elbow grease to clean the kitchen.


elbow room
- enough space to be comfortable
The couple moved to the country in order to have more elbow room.


elbow (someone) out of (somewhere)
- to pressure someone out of somewhere
The woman elbowed the other shoppers out of the way so that she could buy some shoes.


eleventh-hour decision
- a decision that is made at the last possible minute
The government made an eleventh-hour decision to save the hospital.


an end in itself
- something that one wants for itself alone and not as a way to get/do something else
For many people travelling is an end in itself and the destination is not important.


end of one`s rope
- the last of one`s ability or ideas about how to do something
I am at the end of my rope regarding what to do about my job.


end up (doing something or going somewhere)
- to do something that one had not planned to do, to go somewhere one had not planned to go
We ended up going to a restaurant after the movie last night.


end up (somewhere)
- to finish at a certain place
We ended up at a small coffee shop near the restaurant.


engage in small talk
- to talk about minor things rather than more important things
The sale staff engaged in small talk before the meeting.


enough to go around
- to be enough of something to serve everyone
There was enough cake to go around and everybody had a piece.


enter one's mind
- to come into one's consciousness (an idea)
It never entered my mind to make a reservation at the restaurant.


equal to (something)
- to be able to deal with something
The apartment manager was more than equal to the task of managing the building.


escape (someone's) notice
- to go unnoticed
The fact that my library books were overdue escaped my notice.


even so
- nevertheless, however
My friend always works but even so he has no money saved.


even steven
- even with (someone or something)
Both teams were even steven by the middle of the game.


every Idioms



every cloud has a silver lining
- there is something good in every bad thing
Every cloud has a silver lining and although I lost my job other good things have happened.


every dog has his day
- everyone will have a chance for success someday
You should be patient and wait until you get a chance. Remember every dog has his day.


every inch a (something)
- completely, in every way
Jack was every inch a sailor and loved to go out on the ocean with his boat.


every last one
- every single one
Every last one of the children received a certificate from the swimming club.


every living soul
- everybody
We gave a free newspaper to every living soul in the apartment building.


every minute counts
- time is very important
Every minute counts when the fire department goes to fight a fire.


every nook and cranny
- every small hiding place where you can put something
I looked in every nook and cranny of my apartment but I could not find my house keys.


every other
- every second one
I have to work every other Saturday evening.


every so often
- occasionally
You should stand up every so often when you are on a long plane trip.


every time one turns around
- frequently
Every time I turn around my little boy asks me a question.


every Tom, Dick and Harry
- the average person
The man said that he is not the same as every Tom, Dick and Harry.


every which way
- in all directions
The small children at the birthday party were running every which way.


.



everything but the kitchen sink
- almost everything
We took everything but the kitchen sink on our camping trip.


everything humanly possible
- everything in the range of human powers
The doctors did everything humanly possible to save the man after the accident.


the exception that proves the rule
- an exception to a rule proves that the rule exists
The salesman is very quiet and shy and he is the exception that proves the rule in his company. Everybody else is very talkative.


excuse (someone)
- to forgive someone
We excused the man for his rude comments because he did not know any better.


explain (oneself)
- to give an explanation for something wrong that you may have done
The director was forced to explain himself after the accounting problems were discovered.


explain (something) away
- to explain something so that it seems less important
The sales clerk tried to explain away the problem with the sales receipt.


express (one's) anger
- to release one's anger
The man often loses his temper which is not a good way to express his anger.


extend credit to (someone)
- to permit someone to buy something on credit
The bank extended credit to the small company so that they could continue to operate.


extend one's sympathy to (someone)
- to express sympathy to someone
We extended our sympathy to the family of the dead woman.


extenuating circumstances
- the special circumstances that cause something to happen
We were able to avoid paying the parking ticket because of extenuating circumstances.


eye of the storm
- the center of a problem
The politician was in the eye of the storm because of the accounting scandal.


eyeball-to-eyeball
- face to face
I sat eyeball-to-eyeball with our boss during the meeting.


eyes are bigger than one`s stomach
- to take or want more food than you can eat
The man's eyes are bigger than his stomach. He will never finish all of the food that he took.


eyes in the back of one`s head
- the ability to know what is happening behind one`s back
He has eyes in the back of his head and you can never borrow anything without him knowing about it.
eyes pop out
- much surprised
Her eyes popped out when she saw her name in the newspaper.
__________________
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
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  #6  
Old Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Omer's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Posts: 521
Thanks: 377
Thanked 306 Times in 187 Posts
Omer will become famous soon enough
Default F idioms

F



face down (someone)
- to confront someone boldly, to defy someone
We decided to face down our competitors and were able to stay in business.


face the music
- to accept the consequences of something
The boy must face the music for his actions very soon.


face to face
- in person
I had a face-to-face meeting with my supervisor to talk about my job performance.


face up to (something)
- to accept something that is not easy to accept
My friend must face up to the fact that he will never have enough money to buy a car.


face value
- the value or price printed on a stamp/bond/paper money etc.
I sold the postage stamps for their face value.


face value
- the truth of something on the surface
The woman is a very nice person but you must take what she says at face value.


facts of life
- the facts about sex/marriage/birth that one should know
The boy seems to be too young to know about the facts of life.


fair and impartial
- fair and unbiased
The criminal was given a fair and impartial trial by the court.


fair and square
- completely fair, honestly
The British team won the game fair and square.


fair game
- someone or something that you feel you can easily attack
Our company is fair game as a takeover target by other companies.


fair play
- justice, equal and right action
The boy believes in fair play and is a good person to have on our team.


a fair shake
- honest treatment
The woman was not given a fair shake at the inquiry into her behavior.


fair to middling
- a little better than acceptable, so-so
I said that I was feeling fair to middling when my friend asked me how I was.


fair-weather friend
- a person who is a friend only during good times
He is a fair-weather friend and you cannot rely on him if you have a problem.


fall Idioms



fall apart
- to become to not work properly
The equipment fell apart soon after I bought it.


fall apart at the seams
- to break into pieces, to fall apart
My backpack was falling apart at the seams so I bought a new one.


fall asleep
- to go to sleep
I fell asleep as soon as I arrived home.


fall back
- to move back, to go back
The runner fell back from the other runners during the race.


fall back on (someone or something)
- to seek help when other things have failed
The woman had to fall back on her father when her business began to have problems.


fall behind
- to fail to keep up with work/studies/payments etc.
I fell behind with my homework at the beginning of the term and had problems throughout the year.


fall by the wayside
- to give up or fail before the end of something
The man fell by the wayside and could no longer compete in the design competition.


fall down on the job
- to fail to do something properly
The man fell down on the job so they replaced him with another worker.


fall flat (on one's face)
- to be unsuccessful, to fail
My attempt at humor fell flat and now the girl does not like me.


fall for (someone or something)
- to begin to like or love someone or something
The man fell for the woman at the bank but was afraid to ask her for a date.


fall from grace
- to lose approval
The politician fell from grace with the public during the money scandal.


fall head over heels
- to fall down
The little boy fell head over heels down the hillside.


fall head over heels in love with (someone)
- to fall deeply in love with someone
My sister fell head over heels in love with a boy in her English class.


fall ill
- to become ill
My father fell ill with a cold last week.


fall in love with (someone or something)
- to begin to love someone or something
I fell in love with the girl the first time that I saw her at the restaurant.


fall in with (a group of people)
- to become associated with a bad group of people
The boy fell in with a bad group of friends and began to have problems at school.


fall into a trap
- to become caught in someone's scheme
The criminals fell into a trap that the police had prepared for them.


fall into line
- to stand properly in a row (like soldiers)
The soldiers fell into line as they waited for the inspection.


fall into line
- to conform to a certain course of action
The players fell into line after the coach became more strict during practice.


fall into place
- to fit together, to become organized
Everything fell into place and we were able to prepare for our trip to Brazil.


fall off
- to decrease
The number of tourists to the island is falling off.


fall off the wagon
- to return to use alcohol or drugs after stopping for awhile
The man fell off the wagon after he had stopped drinking for three years.


fall on deaf ears
- to ignore something that is intended for you
My complaints to my boss always fall on deaf ears.


fall on hard times
- to meet many troubles
The town fell on hard times after the computer company moved to another town.


fall out of use
- to be no longer used
Video recorders have fallen out of use recently.


fall out with (someone) over (something)
- to disagree or quarrel with someone about something
I fell out with my roommate over who should clean the bathroom.


fall over backwards (to do something)
- to do everything possible to do something to please someone
The teacher fell over backwards to help his students.


fall over oneself to do something
- to be extremely eager to do something or please someone
The couple fell over themselves in their effort to please their host.


fall short of (one`s expectations)
- to be not be as good as one expected
The new movie fell short of everyone`s expectations and attendance is very low.


fall short of (something)
- to not have enough of something
The campaign fell short of the amount of money that it had hoped to gather.
fall through
- to fail, to not happen
My plan to go abroad fell through when my father refused to lend me some money.


fall to (someone) to do (something)
- to become the responsibility of someone
It usually falls to me to tell my roommates to be quiet.


fall upon/on (someone or something)
- to attack someone or something
The wolves fell upon the deer and quickly killed it.


.



a falling-out (with someone)
- a disagreement or quarrel with someone
We had a falling-out during our holiday and we have not spoken since.


familiar with (someone or something)
- to have knowledge of someone or something
My friend is familiar with the streets in the city and can drive there easily.


fan the flames of (something)
- to make a situation worse
The speech by the labor leader fanned the flames of the protesting workers.


far and away the best
- without doubt the best
The basketball player is far and away the best player on the team.


far and wide
- everywhere, in all directions
We looked far and wide for the book but could not find it.


far be it from (someone) to do (something)
- it is not really someone's place to do something
Far be it from me to tell the cleaning lady how to do her job.


a far cry from (something)
- something very different from something
The man's statement is a far cry from what he told me over the telephone.


far from it
- not at all
"Far from it," I answered when the supervisor asked me if I was finished my work.


far into the night
- late into the night
I studied far into the night because I had a big test the next day.


far out
- to be strange
The man's sense of humor was far out and nobody understood him.


farm (something) out
- to have someone else do something, to send something away to have it done
We farmed out the printing to another company in order to save money.


fast buck
- money earned quickly and easily
The man is always trying to make a fast buck without working very hard.


fast talker
- a con artist, a clever talker who convinces others easily
The man is a fast talker and you should be careful not to believe everything that he says.


fat chance
- little or no possibility, almost no chance
Fat chance that my friend will let me borrow his car. He never lets me borrow anything.


fat of the land
- the best of everything (without having to work for it)
My friend wants to move to the country and live off the fat of the land.


favor (someone) with (something)
- to provide someone with something good
The queen favored the charity workers with her presence.


favorite son
- a political candidate supported by his home area
We voted for the candidate because he is the favorite son of our state.


feast one's eyes on (someone or something)
- to look at someone or something with pleasure
We stood at the top of the canyon to feast our eyes on the most beautiful scenery in the world.


a feather in one`s cap
- something that you achieve and are proud of
Winning the spelling contest was a feather in the boy's cap.


feather one`s nest
- to enrich oneself (while holding public office or a trusted job etc.)
The mayor has been feathering his nest for many years and is now very rich.


fed up with (someone or something)
- to be disgusted or bored with someone or something
I think that he is fed up with the constant complaints of his boss.


feed one's face
- to eat
We stopped at the small restaurant to feed our face.


feed (someone) a line
- to deceive someone
The man was feeding me a line about his plans to open a new restaurant downtown.


feed the kitty
- to contribute money to a special collection
Everyone had to feed the kitty to collect money for the coffee fund.


feel Idioms



feel at home
- to feel accepted, to feel as if you are at home
The woman always makes her guests feel at home.


feel dragged out
- to feel exhausted
I was feeling dragged out so I went home and went to bed.


feel fit
- to feel well and healthy
I feel fit so I plan to go for a long walk this weekend.


feel free to do (something)
- to feel like you are permitted to do something
Everybody felt free to walk around the restaurant after the party started.


feel it beneath oneself to do (something)
- feel that one would be lowering oneself to do something
The young girl feels it beneath her to help clean the classroom.


feel like a million dollars
- to feel wonderful
I feel like a million dollars today so I think that I will go for a long walk.


feel like a new person
- to feel refreshed and renewed
I felt like a new person after I had a shower.


feel like doing (something)
- to be in the mood to do something, to want to do something
I do not feel like doing the dishes now.


feel like going (somewhere)
- to be in the mood to go somewhere, to want to go somewhere
I did not feel like going to a movie so I stayed home.


feel like having (something)
- to want to have something
I did not feel like having milk so I had water.


feel on top of the world
- to feel very good
I feel on top of the world and I plan to go dancing tonight.


feel out of place
- to feel that one does not belong in a place
I sometimes feel out of place when I go to an expensive restaurant.


feel out (someone)
- to talk or act carefully with someone in order to find out what he or she thinks
I will feel out my boss this weekend and see about my chance for a promotion.


feel put upon
- to feel that someone is taking unfair advantage of you
My sister always feels put upon when her husband's friends visit.


feel (something) in one's bones
- to sense something
I feel it in my bones that I will win the lottery this month.


feel sorry for (someone)
- to pity someone
I feel sorry for my friend who recently lost his job.


feel the pinch
- to have problems caused by having too little money
The family is beginning to feel the pinch since the husband lost his job.


feel up to (do something)
- to feel healthy enough or rested enough to do something
I do not feel up to going to the game.


.



one's feet are on the ground
- one has sensible ideas
My father is a good man and always has his feet on the ground.


fence (someone) in
- to restrict someone in some way
I always feel fenced in when I visit my friend on the small island.


ferret (information or something) out of (someone)
- to get something from someone by being persistant
I tried hard to ferret out the time of the party from my friend.


few and far between
- not many, rare
The gas stations were few and far between on the highway through the mountains.


fiddle around
- to tinker with something, to do something in an unplanned way
I tried fiddling around with the computer printer but it still would not work.


fiddle while Rome burns
- to do nothing while a disaster is happening
The economy became worse as the government did nothing. They seemed to fiddle while Rome burned.


field questions
- to answer questions
The speaker began to field questions as soon as he finished talking.


fifty-fifty
- equally, evenly
We divided the cost of the trip fifty-fifty.


fight against time
- to hurry to do something quickly, a fight to do something quickly
The rescue party was fighting against time to save the men who were trapped in the coal mine.


fight tooth and nail
- to fight fiercely or with all one`s strength
I am fighting tooth and nail to get a transfer to another department.


fighting chance
- a good possibility of success if you try hard
I did not have a fighting chance to get my job application finished on time.


figure on (something)
- to depend on something, to be sure about something
You can figure on many people coming to the party next week.


figure out (someone or something)
- to try to understand someone or something, to solve something
I finally figured out how to use the new DVD recorder.


fill (someone`s) shoes
- to substitute for someone and be able to do a satisfactory job
Although he is a good supervisor he is unable to fill the shoes of those who came before him.


fill out (something)
- to write down the facts that are asked for (in a report/form etc.)
We were asked to fill out the forms before we could have an interview for the job.


fill (someone) in
- to tell someone the details about something
"I will fill you in later about our plans for the weekend."


fill (something) in
- to write words in blanks
"Please fill in this form and give it to the receptionist."


fill the bill
- to be suitable for what is required
I think that the new equipment should fill the bill for us.


filled to the brim
- to be filled up to the top edge of something
The coffee cup was filled to the brim.


find Idioms



find fault with (someone or something)
- to criticize someone or something
My boss finds fault with everything that I do.


find it in one's heart to (do something)
- to have the courage or compassion to do something
I could not find it in my heart to tell the little boy about his dead dog.


find one's feet
- to become used to a new situation or experience
My uncle is finally finding his feet in his new job.


find one's own level
- to find the position to which one is best suited
The teacher helped the child find his own level in the reading class.


find one's tongue
- to begin to be able to talk
I could not find my tongue when I stood in front of the crowd of people.


find one's way
- to discover the route to a place
We were lost for over an hour but we finally found our way.


find oneself
- to discover what one's talents and preferences are
The woman went to Europe in order to try and find herself.


find out (something)
- to learn or discover something
My mother is angry at me because she found out that I had quit my French class.


.



fine and dandy
- all right, okay
It is fine and dandy for me that the sale will be held next Saturday.


a fine how-do-you-do
- a predicament
We were in a fine how-do-you-do when the car stopped working.


fine kettle of fish
- an unsatisfactory situation
It was a fine kettle of fish when my friend phoned and said that he could not come to dinner.


fine state of affairs
- an unpleasant situation
The mess in the bathroom was a fine state of affairs and I had to deal with it quickly.


a fine-toothed/tooth comb
- a very careful check of something
We went over the apartment with a fine-toothed comb but I could not find my watch.


finger in the pie
- a part ownership of something or responsibility for something
My uncle has his finger in the pie of many small companies in our town.


fire a gun
- to shoot a gun
I fired a gun for the first time at my uncle's farm.


fire away at (someone or something)
- to shoot at someone or something, to ask many questions
The students began to fire away at the speaker after he finished his speech.


firing on all cylinders
- to be working and making every possible effort
We were firing on all cylinders when we began work on the new drop-in center.


first and foremost
- the first and most important
First and foremost we need a new computer for our office.


first come, first served
- the person who comes first will have his turn first
"First come, first served" my aunt called as she put the food on the table.


first of all
- the very first thing
First of all we prepared the garden before we planted the seeds.


first off
- the first thing
First off the policeman told us that we had been driving too fast.


first-run
- new, shown for the first time
There are many first-run movies that I have not seen yet.


first things first
- the most important things must be taken care of first
We did first things first and cleaned the kitchen before cleaning the living room.


firsthand
- directly
I learned the news from my sister firsthand.


fish for a compliment
- to try and get someone to give you a compliment
The girl was fishing for a compliment when she asked her friend if she liked her new dress.


fish for (something)
- to try to find information etc. about something
The woman is always fishing for information when I meet her at work.


fish in troubled waters
- to involve oneself in a difficult or dangerous situation in order to gain an advantage
The politician was fishing in troubled waters in order to gather information related to the scandal.


fish or cut bait
- to do something yourself or quit and let someone else do it, to stop trying to do something
We told the men to fish or cut bait. If they did not want to buy the car then they should stop asking questions about it


a fish out of water
- someone who does not fit in
The man was like a fish out of water at the expensive restaurant.


fishy
- to be strange and suspicious
Something is fishy with the man's excuse for being late for work.


fit Idioms



fit and trim
- to be slim and in good physical shape
My sister looked fit and trim after spending six months at the spa.


fit as a fiddle
- to be in good athletic condition or health
My grandfather is 92 years old but he is as fit as a fiddle.


fit for a king
- to be totally suitable (especially suitable for a king)
The food at the wedding was fit for a king.


fit in with (someone or something)
- to be comfortable or in harmony with someone or something
The new boy fits in with the other children very well.


fit like a glove
- to fit perfectly
The new pair of jeans that I bought fit like a glove.


fit (someone or something) in
- to make time for someone or something
I try hard to fit some exercise in everyday.


fit (someone) into a schedule
- to be able to enter someone into a schedule and have time to see him or her
The doctor was not able to fit me into her schedule.


fit (someone) out with (something)
- to provide someone with something
The store helped to fit us out with camping equipment for our holiday.


fit (someone) to a T
- to fit a person very well
My cousin's new job fits her to a T.


fit the mold
- to do what you expect, to do what is considered usual (usually used in the negative - does not fit the mold)
Our teacher does not fit the mold of someone who volunteers to help homeless people every Saturday.


fit to be tied
- to be very angry or upset
My boss was fit to be tied when he heard that I was going to take a month off from work this summer.


fit to kill
- to be wearing very fancy clothes
I looked fit to kill when I went to the restaurant to meet my friend.


.



fix (someone) up with (someone)
- to help someone get a date by arranging a meeting between the two people
I am trying to fix my sister up with my best friend.


fix (someone's) wagon
- to punish or get even with someone
I decided to fix the woman's wagon after she complained to my boss about me.


fizzle out
- to fail after a good start, to end in failure
The party began to fizzle out at midnight when many people went home.


flare up
- to become suddenly angry, to begin again suddenly
The fighting flared up again after the United Nations soldiers left the town.


flash in the pan
- someone or something that makes a flashy start and then fails
The man's sports career was a flash in the pan. Recently I have not heard of him at all.


flat broke
- to have no money
I have been flat broke since I stopped working last month.


flat out
- without hiding anything, openly
I told my friend flat out that I would not go to the party with her.


flea in one`s ear
- an annoying hint, an idea or answer that is not welcome
Our boss has a flea in her ear about changing the way that the business operates.


flea market
- a place where antiques or secondhand goods are sold
We went to a flea market last Saturday to try and buy some dishes.


one's flesh and blood
- a close relative
She is my flesh and blood so I felt terrible when she got into trouble.


flesh (something) out
- to make something more detailed or bigger
We worked hard during the weekend to flesh out our agreement.


a flight of fancy
- an idea that is out of touch with reality or possibility
It was a flight of fancy for us to think of trying to climb Mt. Everest.


flip one`s lid
- to become very excited, to lose one`s temper
My father flipped his lid when I told him about the large telephone bill.


flip out
- to go crazy, to become very angry
She flipped out when she heard that I had damaged her car.


flirt with the idea of (doing something)
- to think about doing something
We flirted with the idea of buying a new house but we decided not to.


float a loan
- to initiate or make a loan
The bank agreed to float a loan for the new business.


flora and fauna
- plants and animals
We took some books to the cottage so that we could learn about the flora and fauna of the area.


flunk out
- to fail a course, to fail school
My friend flunked out of the computer course at school.


flush with (something)
- to be even with something
The two pieces of wood were flush with each other so we glued them together.


flush with (something)
- to have lots of something
We were flush with cash so we decided to go on a nice holiday.


fly-by-night
- an unreliable business or person
The new company is a fly-by-night operation.


fly by the seat of one`s pants
- to do a job instinctively rather than by using concrete information
I had to fly by the seat of my pants when my boss left me alone for a week.


fly in the face of (someone or something)
- to disregard/defy someone or something
The complaints of the woman were beginning to fly in the face of a reasonable conversation.


fly in the ointment
- a small thing that spoils one's enjoyment of something
The problem with the music was a fly in the ointment during the wedding ceremony.


fly into the face of danger
- to take great risks
The pilot was flying into the face of danger when he went to fight the forest fire.


fly off the handle
- to become angry
My friend flew off the handle when he saw the bill for the meal.


fly the coop
- to escape
The prisoner was able to fly the coop when the guard was not looking.


flying high
- to be very happy, to be joyful
My neighbor has been flying high since she heard that she had won a car.


foam at the mouth
- to be very angry (like a mad dog)
My father was foaming at the mouth when I told him that I had damaged his car.


foist (something) off on (someone)
- to force someone to take something that they do not want
I tried to foist my old bicycle off on my friend but he would not take it.


fold (something) up
- to put an end to something (a business etc.)
The number of people coming to the exhibition was very low so we decided to fold up our exhibit and go home.


follow Idioms



follow in (someone`s) footsteps/tracks
- to follow someone`s example, to follow someone exactly
The boy is following in his father`s footsteps and has decided to work for a bank.


follow one's heart
- to act according to one's feelings
I decided to follow my heart and study art rather than computer science.


follow one's nose
- to go straight ahead
We followed our nose until we found the train station.


follow orders
- to do as one has been instructed
The soldiers said that they were following orders when they attacked the village.


follow (someone's) lead
- to do as someone else does
Everybody followed my lead and came to work early.


follow suit
- to do as someone else has done, to follow someone`s example, to play a card of the same suit that someone else has put down
I followed suit and left work early on Friday just as my boss had done.


follow the crowd
- to do what everyone else is doing
Most of the high school students like to follow the crowd.


follow through with (something)
- to continue or finish an action that one has started
My neighbor said that he would help me paint my house but he has never followed through with his offer.


follow up (something)
- to make (one action) more successful by doing something more
The doctor followed up his phone call in the morning with a visit in the afternoon.


.



fond of (someone or something)
- to like someone or something
Our daughter is very fond of her grandfather.


food for thought
- something worth thinking about
I do not agree with his proposal but at least it is food for thought.


fool around
- to spend time playing rather than working, to waste time
If the man would spend less time fooling around he would be able to get more work done.


a foot in the door
- an opening or opportunity
I finally got a foot in the door when the company accepted my application.


foot the bill
- to pay for something
The company will foot the bill for my move to Paris.


footloose and fancy-free
- to be without responsibilities or commitments
The couple were footloose and fancy-free and they could do whatever they wanted.


for Idioms



for a song
- for very little money, very cheaply
I was able to buy my new car for a song.


for all (something)
- in spite of something, even with something
For all the time that the boy spends studying his marks are very low.


for all I care
- I do not care if something happens
"For all I care, you can spend all of your money today."


for all I know
- according to the information that I have
"For all I know, my friend may have already quit his job."


for all intents and purposes
- practically speaking
For all intents and purposes the meeting was finished and everybody went home.


for all one is worth
- as hard as one can
"I will try for all I am worth to help you get the job at the supermarket."


for all practical purposes
- for what might be reasonably expected
For all practical purposes our car was no longer suitable for our large family.


for all the world
- for anything, for any price
For all the world I do not know what my friend is trying to tell me.


for better or worse
- depending on how one looks at a matter, including both the good or bad effects of something
For better or worse I have decided to quit my job and move to Brazil.


for certain
- without doubt, certainly, surely
He will not be playing in the game tonight for certain.


for crying out loud
- used to show that you are surprised or angry
"For crying out loud please turn your radio down a little."


for days/hours on end
- for many days/hours
The man is able to go without sleep for days on end.


for dear life
- as though afraid of losing one`s life
The mountain climber held on to the rock for dear life as he waited for someone to rescue him.


for fear of (something)
- because of the fear of something
We stayed home all weekend for fear of the big hurricane that was coming.


for free
- for no charge or cost
We were able to get a television set from our neighbor for free.


for good
- permanently
We have decided to move to Los Angeles for good.


for good measure
- a little extra, as a little more
The recipe called for one piece of garlic but for good measure we put in four pieces.


for instance
- for example
"For instance, you can go to the island by boat, plane or helicopter."


for keeps
- always, forever
I told the boy that he could have the baseball bat for keeps.


for kicks
- for fun
We decided to go to the airport to watch the airplanes for kicks.


for life
- for the remainder of one's life
They got married last year and they plan to stay married for life.


for love or money
- by any means available
We were not able to get our boss to agree to the proposal for love or money.


for once
- only one time
For once my friend listened to what I was saying. Usually he ignores me.


for one's (own) part
- from one's point of view
For my part I do not plan to help with the staff dinner.


for one's (own) sake
- for one's benefit
I told my aunt that for her own sake she must stop smoking.


for openers
- to start with
For openers we decided to start the weekend with a nice meal.


for real
- to be genuine, to be real
The attitude of the woman was not for real and nobody believed her.


for safekeeping
- in order to keep something safe
I put the valuable stamps in the bank for safekeeping.


for sale
- to be available to buy
There was a sign in front of the house that said it was for sale.


for short
- in a short form
The man always uses his nickname for short.


for sure
- without doubt, certainly, surely
I will go to the movie with you for sure next week.


for that matter
- about something, with regard to something
"I do not want to go shopping with you and for that matter I do not want to go anywhere with you."


for the asking
- by asking, on request
You can get a free ticket to the concert from the sales manager for the asking.


for the better
- an improvement
It was for the better that the old hospital was closed down.


for the birds
- something you do not like, something that is not to be taken seriously
Getting up early every morning is for the birds.


for the duration (of something)
- for the whole time that something continues
We were forced to use the outside classroom for the duration of the semester.


for the good of (someone or something)
- for the benefit of someone or something
They added the physical fitness class to the school curriculum for the good of the students.


for the heck/hell of it
- just for fun
We went down to the river to throw stones just for the heck of it.


for the life of (someone)
- even if one's life were threatened (used with a negative and usually used when trying to remember something)
For the life of me I could not remember where I had put my house keys.


for the most part
- mostly, in general
I was finished my work for the most part so I decided to go home.


for the record
- a record of a particular fact is made
For the record I told the police officer about some of the events of the previous year.


for the sake of (someone or something)
- for the good of someone or something
My father decided to quit his job for the sake of his health.


for the time being
- for now, for awhile
We really need a new car but for the time being we will have to continue using our old one.


for the world
- under any conditions
I would not want to sell my car for the world.


.



force (someone`s) hand
- to make someone do something sooner than planned
I forced the manager's hand and made him tell me about his plans for our company.


force (someone) to the wall
- to push someone to an extreme position
We were forced to the wall during the negotiations for the new contract.


a force to be reckoned with
- someone or something that is important and should not be ignored
The young man is a force to be reckoned with in the boxing world.


foregone conclusion
- a conclusion that is already decided
It was a foregone conclusion that the opposition party would win the election.


forever and a day
- forever, always
It took forever and a day to get the book that we ordered from the bookstore.


forever and ever
- forever
The little boy promised that he would be a good boy forever and ever.


fork out money for (something)
- to pay money for something
I had to fork out much money to have my car fixed.


fork over (something)
- to hand over something, to give something
The robber told me to fork over my money or he was going to shoot me.


form an opinion
- to make an opinion
Everybody quickly formed an opinion about the new teacher.


forty winks
- a short nap, a short sleep
I grabbed forty winks as soon as I got home from work.


foul one's own nest
- to harm one's own interests
The union fouled their own nest with their dishonest behavior.


foul up
- to do badly, to mess something up
There was a problem with our tickets and our plans became fouled up.


one's frame of mind
- one`s mental state - either good or bad
I made sure that my boss was in a good frame of mind before I asked him for a holiday.


fraught with danger
- to be full of something dangerous and unpleasant
Their adventure was fraught with danger when the two boys went to the mountains.


freak out
- to become angry or lose control of oneself
I freaked out when I discovered that my reservation had not been made.


free and clear
- without owing any money
The couple finally owned their house free and clear.


free and easy
- informal
The man's attitude toward his work is free and easy.


free as a bird
- completely free
We were as free as a bird so we decided to go on a long holiday.


free-for-all
- a disorganized fight or contest involving everyone
The players were involved in a free-for-all during the game and seven players were suspended.


a free hand
- great freedom to do something
We had a free hand to design the sport`s program for the university.


a free translation
- a translation that is not totally accurate
The newspaper printed a free translation of what the foreign diplomat said.


freeload
- to accept food and housing at someone else`s expense
The boy was angry at his brother for freeloading and never trying to find a job.


freeze (someone) out
- to prevent someone from getting a share in something by unfriendly or dishonest treatment
They froze the man out of the profits that they had made on the sale of the land.


fresh out of (something)
- to have used up all of something, to have sold the last of something
The bakery was fresh out of brown bread so we had to go to the supermarket.


frighten (someone) out of his or her wits
- to frighten someone severely
The little boy was frightened out of his wits by the big dog.


frighten (someone) to death
- to frighten someone severely
I almost frightened the woman to death when I met her on the dark stairs.


frighten the living daylights out of (someone)
- to frighten someone very badly
The horror movie frightened the living daylights out of the young girl.


fritter (something) away
- to waste something little by little
The man frittered away all of the money that he had won in the contest.


from Idioms



from A to Z
- everything about something
The man knows about cars from A to Z.


from cradle to grave
- from birth to death
The government looks after its citizens with good medical care from cradle to grave.


from dawn to dusk
- from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun
The farmworkers worked from dawn to dusk everyday in order to pick the lettuce crop.


from day to day
- one day at a time
We did not know from day to day if the weather would be good enough for the birthday picnic.


from door to door
- moving from one door to another
The children went from door to door to collect money for the earthquake victims.


from hand to hand
- from one person to another person and then to another
We passed the papers from hand to hand until they were all distributed.


from head to toe
- from the top of one's head to one's feet
The boy was covered in mud from head to toe.


from near and far
- from all around
The people came from near and far to see the new stadium.


from now on
- from this moment forward
From now on I will study Italian every day.


from rags to riches
- from poverty to wealth
The family went from rags to riches when oil was discovered on their farm.


from scratch
- from the very beginning
He decided to build the house from scratch.


from side to side
- moving from one side to the other again and again
The boat was rocking from side to side during the big storm.


from start to finish
- from the beginning to the end
The welcoming dinner was a great success from start to finish .


from stem to stern
- from one end to the other, from the front to the back of a ship
The boat was damaged from stem to stern after the big storm.


from the bottom of one`s heart
- with great feeling, sincerely
I thanked the doctor from the bottom of my heart for helping my daughter when she was sick.


from the ground up
- from the beginning (as in building a house or other building or a business)
My uncle built his business from the ground up.


from the heart
- sincerely, honestly
The boy gave his girlfriend some flowers with a message from the heart.


from the outset
- from the beginning
I knew from the outset that the recipe would be loved by everybody.


from the top
- from the beginning
"Let's take it from the top and begin again."


from the word go
- from the beginning
From the word go we knew that there would be problems with the new contract.


from time to time
- occasionally
We go to that restaurant from time to time.


from tip to toe
- from the top to the bottom
We made an effort to clean the statue from tip to toe.


from way back
- since a long time ago, for a long time
I know my friend from way back. In fact, we went to elementary school together.


.



fruits of one's labor
- the results of one's work
We decided to enjoy the fruits of our labor so we went on a long holiday to Europe.


full-fledged
- complete, having everything that is needed to be something
My cousin became a full-fledged nurse before she went to Saudi Arabia to work for a year.


full of beans
- to be in high spirits, to be energetic
My aunt is full of beans today. She must be excited about something.


full of hot air
- to be full of nonsense, to be talking nonsense
I knew that the man was full of hot air when he began to tell us how to make lots of money.


full of it
- to be full of nonsense
I thought that the woman was full of it when she told me that the business was closed.


full of oneself
- to be conceited, to be self-important
The girl was full of herself and would only talk about things that were important to her.


full steam ahead
- with as much energy and enthusiasm as possible
It was full steam ahead with the project to build the new stadium.


fun and games
- a very difficult task (often used ironically)
It was fun and games today when I wrote my two final exams.


funny bone
- the place at the back of the elbow that tingles when hit
I hit my funny bone today and it still hurts a little.


funny business
- illegal activity
The truck driver was involved in some funny business that was probably illegal.


funny ha-ha
- amusing, comical
It was not funny ha-ha but it was still a little bit amusing.

__________________
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
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Old Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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Default F idioms

F



face down (someone)
- to confront someone boldly, to defy someone
We decided to face down our competitors and were able to stay in business.


face the music
- to accept the consequences of something
The boy must face the music for his actions very soon.


face to face
- in person
I had a face-to-face meeting with my supervisor to talk about my job performance.


face up to (something)
- to accept something that is not easy to accept
My friend must face up to the fact that he will never have enough money to buy a car.


face value
- the value or price printed on a stamp/bond/paper money etc.
I sold the postage stamps for their face value.


face value
- the truth of something on the surface
The woman is a very nice person but you must take what she says at face value.


facts of life
- the facts about sex/marriage/birth that one should know
The boy seems to be too young to know about the facts of life.


fair and impartial
- fair and unbiased
The criminal was given a fair and impartial trial by the court.


fair and square
- completely fair, honestly
The British team won the game fair and square.


fair game
- someone or something that you feel you can easily attack
Our company is fair game as a takeover target by other companies.


fair play
- justice, equal and right action
The boy believes in fair play and is a good person to have on our team.


a fair shake
- honest treatment
The woman was not given a fair shake at the inquiry into her behavior.


fair to middling
- a little better than acceptable, so-so
I said that I was feeling fair to middling when my friend asked me how I was.


fair-weather friend
- a person who is a friend only during good times
He is a fair-weather friend and you cannot rely on him if you have a problem.


fall Idioms



fall apart
- to become to not work properly
The equipment fell apart soon after I bought it.


fall apart at the seams
- to break into pieces, to fall apart
My backpack was falling apart at the seams so I bought a new one.


fall asleep
- to go to sleep
I fell asleep as soon as I arrived home.


fall back
- to move back, to go back
The runner fell back from the other runners during the race.


fall back on (someone or something)
- to seek help when other things have failed
The woman had to fall back on her father when her business began to have problems.


fall behind
- to fail to keep up with work/studies/payments etc.
I fell behind with my homework at the beginning of the term and had problems throughout the year.


fall by the wayside
- to give up or fail before the end of something
The man fell by the wayside and could no longer compete in the design competition.


fall down on the job
- to fail to do something properly
The man fell down on the job so they replaced him with another worker.


fall flat (on one's face)
- to be unsuccessful, to fail
My attempt at humor fell flat and now the girl does not like me.


fall for (someone or something)
- to begin to like or love someone or something
The man fell for the woman at the bank but was afraid to ask her for a date.


fall from grace
- to lose approval
The politician fell from grace with the public during the money scandal.


fall head over heels
- to fall down
The little boy fell head over heels down the hillside.


fall head over heels in love with (someone)
- to fall deeply in love with someone
My sister fell head over heels in love with a boy in her English class.


fall ill
- to become ill
My father fell ill with a cold last week.


fall in love with (someone or something)
- to begin to love someone or something
I fell in love with the girl the first time that I saw her at the restaurant.


fall in with (a group of people)
- to become associated with a bad group of people
The boy fell in with a bad group of friends and began to have problems at school.


fall into a trap
- to become caught in someone's scheme
The criminals fell into a trap that the police had prepared for them.


fall into line
- to stand properly in a row (like soldiers)
The soldiers fell into line as they waited for the inspection.


fall into line
- to conform to a certain course of action
The players fell into line after the coach became more strict during practice.


fall into place
- to fit together, to become organized
Everything fell into place and we were able to prepare for our trip to Brazil.


fall off
- to decrease
The number of tourists to the island is falling off.


fall off the wagon
- to return to use alcohol or drugs after stopping for awhile
The man fell off the wagon after he had stopped drinking for three years.


fall on deaf ears
- to ignore something that is intended for you
My complaints to my boss always fall on deaf ears.


fall on hard times
- to meet many troubles
The town fell on hard times after the computer company moved to another town.


fall out of use
- to be no longer used
Video recorders have fallen out of use recently.


fall out with (someone) over (something)
- to disagree or quarrel with someone about something
I fell out with my roommate over who should clean the bathroom.


fall over backwards (to do something)
- to do everything possible to do something to please someone
The teacher fell over backwards to help his students.


fall over oneself to do something
- to be extremely eager to do something or please someone
The couple fell over themselves in their effort to please their host.


fall short of (one`s expectations)
- to be not be as good as one expected
The new movie fell short of everyone`s expectations and attendance is very low.


fall short of (something)
- to not have enough of something
The campaign fell short of the amount of money that it had hoped to gather.
fall through
- to fail, to not happen
My plan to go abroad fell through when my father refused to lend me some money.


fall to (someone) to do (something)
- to become the responsibility of someone
It usually falls to me to tell my roommates to be quiet.


fall upon/on (someone or something)
- to attack someone or something
The wolves fell upon the deer and quickly killed it.


.



a falling-out (with someone)
- a disagreement or quarrel with someone
We had a falling-out during our holiday and we have not spoken since.


familiar with (someone or something)
- to have knowledge of someone or something
My friend is familiar with the streets in the city and can drive there easily.


fan the flames of (something)
- to make a situation worse
The speech by the labor leader fanned the flames of the protesting workers.


far and away the best
- without doubt the best
The basketball player is far and away the best player on the team.


far and wide
- everywhere, in all directions
We looked far and wide for the book but could not find it.


far be it from (someone) to do (something)
- it is not really someone's place to do something
Far be it from me to tell the cleaning lady how to do her job.


a far cry from (something)
- something very different from something
The man's statement is a far cry from what he told me over the telephone.


far from it
- not at all
"Far from it," I answered when the supervisor asked me if I was finished my work.


far into the night
- late into the night
I studied far into the night because I had a big test the next day.


far out
- to be strange
The man's sense of humor was far out and nobody understood him.


farm (something) out
- to have someone else do something, to send something away to have it done
We farmed out the printing to another company in order to save money.


fast buck
- money earned quickly and easily
The man is always trying to make a fast buck without working very hard.


fast talker
- a con artist, a clever talker who convinces others easily
The man is a fast talker and you should be careful not to believe everything that he says.


fat chance
- little or no possibility, almost no chance
Fat chance that my friend will let me borrow his car. He never lets me borrow anything.


fat of the land
- the best of everything (without having to work for it)
My friend wants to move to the country and live off the fat of the land.


favor (someone) with (something)
- to provide someone with something good
The queen favored the charity workers with her presence.


favorite son
- a political candidate supported by his home area
We voted for the candidate because he is the favorite son of our state.


feast one's eyes on (someone or something)
- to look at someone or something with pleasure
We stood at the top of the canyon to feast our eyes on the most beautiful scenery in the world.


a feather in one`s cap
- something that you achieve and are proud of
Winning the spelling contest was a feather in the boy's cap.


feather one`s nest
- to enrich oneself (while holding public office or a trusted job etc.)
The mayor has been feathering his nest for many years and is now very rich.


fed up with (someone or something)
- to be disgusted or bored with someone or something
I think that he is fed up with the constant complaints of his boss.


feed one's face
- to eat
We stopped at the small restaurant to feed our face.


feed (someone) a line
- to deceive someone
The man was feeding me a line about his plans to open a new restaurant downtown.


feed the kitty
- to contribute money to a special collection
Everyone had to feed the kitty to collect money for the coffee fund.


feel Idioms



feel at home
- to feel accepted, to feel as if you are at home
The woman always makes her guests feel at home.


feel dragged out
- to feel exhausted
I was feeling dragged out so I went home and went to bed.


feel fit
- to feel well and healthy
I feel fit so I plan to go for a long walk this weekend.


feel free to do (something)
- to feel like you are permitted to do something
Everybody felt free to walk around the restaurant after the party started.


feel it beneath oneself to do (something)
- feel that one would be lowering oneself to do something
The young girl feels it beneath her to help clean the classroom.


feel like a million dollars
- to feel wonderful
I feel like a million dollars today so I think that I will go for a long walk.


feel like a new person
- to feel refreshed and renewed
I felt like a new person after I had a shower.


feel like doing (something)
- to be in the mood to do something, to want to do something
I do not feel like doing the dishes now.


feel like going (somewhere)
- to be in the mood to go somewhere, to want to go somewhere
I did not feel like going to a movie so I stayed home.


feel like having (something)
- to want to have something
I did not feel like having milk so I had water.


feel on top of the world
- to feel very good
I feel on top of the world and I plan to go dancing tonight.


feel out of place
- to feel that one does not belong in a place
I sometimes feel out of place when I go to an expensive restaurant.


feel out (someone)
- to talk or act carefully with someone in order to find out what he or she thinks
I will feel out my boss this weekend and see about my chance for a promotion.


feel put upon
- to feel that someone is taking unfair advantage of you
My sister always feels put upon when her husband's friends visit.


feel (something) in one's bones
- to sense something
I feel it in my bones that I will win the lottery this month.


feel sorry for (someone)
- to pity someone
I feel sorry for my friend who recently lost his job.


feel the pinch
- to have problems caused by having too little money
The family is beginning to feel the pinch since the husband lost his job.


feel up to (do something)
- to feel healthy enough or rested enough to do something
I do not feel up to going to the game.


.



one's feet are on the ground
- one has sensible ideas
My father is a good man and always has his feet on the ground.


fence (someone) in
- to restrict someone in some way
I always feel fenced in when I visit my friend on the small island.


ferret (information or something) out of (someone)
- to get something from someone by being persistant
I tried hard to ferret out the time of the party from my friend.


few and far between
- not many, rare
The gas stations were few and far between on the highway through the mountains.


fiddle around
- to tinker with something, to do something in an unplanned way
I tried fiddling around with the computer printer but it still would not work.


fiddle while Rome burns
- to do nothing while a disaster is happening
The economy became worse as the government did nothing. They seemed to fiddle while Rome burned.


field questions
- to answer questions
The speaker began to field questions as soon as he finished talking.


fifty-fifty
- equally, evenly
We divided the cost of the trip fifty-fifty.


fight against time
- to hurry to do something quickly, a fight to do something quickly
The rescue party was fighting against time to save the men who were trapped in the coal mine.


fight tooth and nail
- to fight fiercely or with all one`s strength
I am fighting tooth and nail to get a transfer to another department.


fighting chance
- a good possibility of success if you try hard
I did not have a fighting chance to get my job application finished on time.


figure on (something)
- to depend on something, to be sure about something
You can figure on many people coming to the party next week.


figure out (someone or something)
- to try to understand someone or something, to solve something
I finally figured out how to use the new DVD recorder.


fill (someone`s) shoes
- to substitute for someone and be able to do a satisfactory job
Although he is a good supervisor he is unable to fill the shoes of those who came before him.


fill out (something)
- to write down the facts that are asked for (in a report/form etc.)
We were asked to fill out the forms before we could have an interview for the job.


fill (someone) in
- to tell someone the details about something
"I will fill you in later about our plans for the weekend."


fill (something) in
- to write words in blanks
"Please fill in this form and give it to the receptionist."


fill the bill
- to be suitable for what is required
I think that the new equipment should fill the bill for us.


filled to the brim
- to be filled up to the top edge of something
The coffee cup was filled to the brim.


find Idioms



find fault with (someone or something)
- to criticize someone or something
My boss finds fault with everything that I do.


find it in one's heart to (do something)
- to have the courage or compassion to do something
I could not find it in my heart to tell the little boy about his dead dog.


find one's feet
- to become used to a new situation or experience
My uncle is finally finding his feet in his new job.


find one's own level
- to find the position to which one is best suited
The teacher helped the child find his own level in the reading class.


find one's tongue
- to begin to be able to talk
I could not find my tongue when I stood in front of the crowd of people.


find one's way
- to discover the route to a place
We were lost for over an hour but we finally found our way.


find oneself
- to discover what one's talents and preferences are
The woman went to Europe in order to try and find herself.


find out (something)
- to learn or discover something
My mother is angry at me because she found out that I had quit my French class.


.



fine and dandy
- all right, okay
It is fine and dandy for me that the sale will be held next Saturday.


a fine how-do-you-do
- a predicament
We were in a fine how-do-you-do when the car stopped working.


fine kettle of fish
- an unsatisfactory situation
It was a fine kettle of fish when my friend phoned and said that he could not come to dinner.


fine state of affairs
- an unpleasant situation
The mess in the bathroom was a fine state of affairs and I had to deal with it quickly.


a fine-toothed/tooth comb
- a very careful check of something
We went over the apartment with a fine-toothed comb but I could not find my watch.


finger in the pie
- a part ownership of something or responsibility for something
My uncle has his finger in the pie of many small companies in our town.


fire a gun
- to shoot a gun
I fired a gun for the first time at my uncle's farm.


fire away at (someone or something)
- to shoot at someone or something, to ask many questions
The students began to fire away at the speaker after he finished his speech.


firing on all cylinders
- to be working and making every possible effort
We were firing on all cylinders when we began work on the new drop-in center.


first and foremost
- the first and most important
First and foremost we need a new computer for our office.


first come, first served
- the person who comes first will have his turn first
"First come, first served" my aunt called as she put the food on the table.


first of all
- the very first thing
First of all we prepared the garden before we planted the seeds.


first off
- the first thing
First off the policeman told us that we had been driving too fast.


first-run
- new, shown for the first time
There are many first-run movies that I have not seen yet.


first things first
- the most important things must be taken care of first
We did first things first and cleaned the kitchen before cleaning the living room.


firsthand
- directly
I learned the news from my sister firsthand.


fish for a compliment
- to try and get someone to give you a compliment
The girl was fishing for a compliment when she asked her friend if she liked her new dress.


fish for (something)
- to try to find information etc. about something
The woman is always fishing for information when I meet her at work.


fish in troubled waters
- to involve oneself in a difficult or dangerous situation in order to gain an advantage
The politician was fishing in troubled waters in order to gather information related to the scandal.


fish or cut bait
- to do something yourself or quit and let someone else do it, to stop trying to do something
We told the men to fish or cut bait. If they did not want to buy the car then they should stop asking questions about it


a fish out of water
- someone who does not fit in
The man was like a fish out of water at the expensive restaurant.


fishy
- to be strange and suspicious
Something is fishy with the man's excuse for being late for work.


fit Idioms



fit and trim
- to be slim and in good physical shape
My sister looked fit and trim after spending six months at the spa.


fit as a fiddle
- to be in good athletic condition or health
My grandfather is 92 years old but he is as fit as a fiddle.


fit for a king
- to be totally suitable (especially suitable for a king)
The food at the wedding was fit for a king.


fit in with (someone or something)
- to be comfortable or in harmony with someone or something
The new boy fits in with the other children very well.


fit like a glove
- to fit perfectly
The new pair of jeans that I bought fit like a glove.


fit (someone or something) in
- to make time for someone or something
I try hard to fit some exercise in everyday.


fit (someone) into a schedule
- to be able to enter someone into a schedule and have time to see him or her
The doctor was not able to fit me into her schedule.


fit (someone) out with (something)
- to provide someone with something
The store helped to fit us out with camping equipment for our holiday.


fit (someone) to a T
- to fit a person very well
My cousin's new job fits her to a T.


fit the mold
- to do what you expect, to do what is considered usual (usually used in the negative - does not fit the mold)
Our teacher does not fit the mold of someone who volunteers to help homeless people every Saturday.


fit to be tied
- to be very angry or upset
My boss was fit to be tied when he heard that I was going to take a month off from work this summer.


fit to kill
- to be wearing very fancy clothes
I looked fit to kill when I went to the restaurant to meet my friend.


.



fix (someone) up with (someone)
- to help someone get a date by arranging a meeting between the two people
I am trying to fix my sister up with my best friend.


fix (someone's) wagon
- to punish or get even with someone
I decided to fix the woman's wagon after she complained to my boss about me.


fizzle out
- to fail after a good start, to end in failure
The party began to fizzle out at midnight when many people went home.


flare up
- to become suddenly angry, to begin again suddenly
The fighting flared up again after the United Nations soldiers left the town.


flash in the pan
- someone or something that makes a flashy start and then fails
The man's sports career was a flash in the pan. Recently I have not heard of him at all.


flat broke
- to have no money
I have been flat broke since I stopped working last month.


flat out
- without hiding anything, openly
I told my friend flat out that I would not go to the party with her.


flea in one`s ear
- an annoying hint, an idea or answer that is not welcome
Our boss has a flea in her ear about changing the way that the business operates.


flea market
- a place where antiques or secondhand goods are sold
We went to a flea market last Saturday to try and buy some dishes.


one's flesh and blood
- a close relative
She is my flesh and blood so I felt terrible when she got into trouble.


flesh (something) out
- to make something more detailed or bigger
We worked hard during the weekend to flesh out our agreement.


a flight of fancy
- an idea that is out of touch with reality or possibility
It was a flight of fancy for us to think of trying to climb Mt. Everest.


flip one`s lid
- to become very excited, to lose one`s temper
My father flipped his lid when I told him about the large telephone bill.


flip out
- to go crazy, to become very angry
She flipped out when she heard that I had damaged her car.


flirt with the idea of (doing something)
- to think about doing something
We flirted with the idea of buying a new house but we decided not to.


float a loan
- to initiate or make a loan
The bank agreed to float a loan for the new business.


flora and fauna
- plants and animals
We took some books to the cottage so that we could learn about the flora and fauna of the area.


flunk out
- to fail a course, to fail school
My friend flunked out of the computer course at school.


flush with (something)
- to be even with something
The two pieces of wood were flush with each other so we glued them together.


flush with (something)
- to have lots of something
We were flush with cash so we decided to go on a nice holiday.


fly-by-night
- an unreliable business or person
The new company is a fly-by-night operation.


fly by the seat of one`s pants
- to do a job instinctively rather than by using concrete information
I had to fly by the seat of my pants when my boss left me alone for a week.


fly in the face of (someone or something)
- to disregard/defy someone or something
The complaints of the woman were beginning to fly in the face of a reasonable conversation.


fly in the ointment
- a small thing that spoils one's enjoyment of something
The problem with the music was a fly in the ointment during the wedding ceremony.


fly into the face of danger
- to take great risks
The pilot was flying into the face of danger when he went to fight the forest fire.


fly off the handle
- to become angry
My friend flew off the handle when he saw the bill for the meal.


fly the coop
- to escape
The prisoner was able to fly the coop when the guard was not looking.


flying high
- to be very happy, to be joyful
My neighbor has been flying high since she heard that she had won a car.


foam at the mouth
- to be very angry (like a mad dog)
My father was foaming at the mouth when I told him that I had damaged his car.


foist (something) off on (someone)
- to force someone to take something that they do not want
I tried to foist my old bicycle off on my friend but he would not take it.


fold (something) up
- to put an end to something (a business etc.)
The number of people coming to the exhibition was very low so we decided to fold up our exhibit and go home.


follow Idioms



follow in (someone`s) footsteps/tracks
- to follow someone`s example, to follow someone exactly
The boy is following in his father`s footsteps and has decided to work for a bank.


follow one's heart
- to act according to one's feelings
I decided to follow my heart and study art rather than computer science.


follow one's nose
- to go straight ahead
We followed our nose until we found the train station.


follow orders
- to do as one has been instructed
The soldiers said that they were following orders when they attacked the village.


follow (someone's) lead
- to do as someone else does
Everybody followed my lead and came to work early.


follow suit
- to do as someone else has done, to follow someone`s example, to play a card of the same suit that someone else has put down
I followed suit and left work early on Friday just as my boss had done.


follow the crowd
- to do what everyone else is doing
Most of the high school students like to follow the crowd.


follow through with (something)
- to continue or finish an action that one has started
My neighbor said that he would help me paint my house but he has never followed through with his offer.


follow up (something)
- to make (one action) more successful by doing something more
The doctor followed up his phone call in the morning with a visit in the afternoon.


.



fond of (someone or something)
- to like someone or something
Our daughter is very fond of her grandfather.


food for thought
- something worth thinking about
I do not agree with his proposal but at least it is food for thought.


fool around
- to spend time playing rather than working, to waste time
If the man would spend less time fooling around he would be able to get more work done.


a foot in the door
- an opening or opportunity
I finally got a foot in the door when the company accepted my application.


foot the bill
- to pay for something
The company will foot the bill for my move to Paris.


footloose and fancy-free
- to be without responsibilities or commitments
The couple were footloose and fancy-free and they could do whatever they wanted.


for Idioms



for a song
- for very little money, very cheaply
I was able to buy my new car for a song.


for all (something)
- in spite of something, even with something
For all the time that the boy spends studying his marks are very low.


for all I care
- I do not care if something happens
"For all I care, you can spend all of your money today."


for all I know
- according to the information that I have
"For all I know, my friend may have already quit his job."


for all intents and purposes
- practically speaking
For all intents and purposes the meeting was finished and everybody went home.


for all one is worth
- as hard as one can
"I will try for all I am worth to help you get the job at the supermarket."


for all practical purposes
- for what might be reasonably expected
For all practical purposes our car was no longer suitable for our large family.


for all the world
- for anything, for any price
For all the world I do not know what my friend is trying to tell me.


for better or worse
- depending on how one looks at a matter, including both the good or bad effects of something
For better or worse I have decided to quit my job and move to Brazil.


for certain
- without doubt, certainly, surely
He will not be playing in the game tonight for certain.


for crying out loud
- used to show that you are surprised or angry
"For crying out loud please turn your radio down a little."


for days/hours on end
- for many days/hours
The man is able to go without sleep for days on end.


for dear life
- as though afraid of losing one`s life
The mountain climber held on to the rock for dear life as he waited for someone to rescue him.


for fear of (something)
- because of the fear of something
We stayed home all weekend for fear of the big hurricane that was coming.


for free
- for no charge or cost
We were able to get a television set from our neighbor for free.


for good
- permanently
We have decided to move to Los Angeles for good.


for good measure
- a little extra, as a little more
The recipe called for one piece of garlic but for good measure we put in four pieces.


for instance
- for example
"For instance, you can go to the island by boat, plane or helicopter."


for keeps
- always, forever
I told the boy that he could have the baseball bat for keeps.


for kicks
- for fun
We decided to go to the airport to watch the airplanes for kicks.


for life
- for the remainder of one's life
They got married last year and they plan to stay married for life.


for love or money
- by any means available
We were not able to get our boss to agree to the proposal for love or money.


for once
- only one time
For once my friend listened to what I was saying. Usually he ignores me.


for one's (own) part
- from one's point of view
For my part I do not plan to help with the staff dinner.


for one's (own) sake
- for one's benefit
I told my aunt that for her own sake she must stop smoking.


for openers
- to start with
For openers we decided to start the weekend with a nice meal.


for real
- to be genuine, to be real
The attitude of the woman was not for real and nobody believed her.


for safekeeping
- in order to keep something safe
I put the valuable stamps in the bank for safekeeping.


for sale
- to be available to buy
There was a sign in front of the house that said it was for sale.


for short
- in a short form
The man always uses his nickname for short.


for sure
- without doubt, certainly, surely
I will go to the movie with you for sure next week.


for that matter
- about something, with regard to something
"I do not want to go shopping with you and for that matter I do not want to go anywhere with you."


for the asking
- by asking, on request
You can get a free ticket to the concert from the sales manager for the asking.


for the better
- an improvement
It was for the better that the old hospital was closed down.


for the birds
- something you do not like, something that is not to be taken seriously
Getting up early every morning is for the birds.


for the duration (of something)
- for the whole time that something continues
We were forced to use the outside classroom for the duration of the semester.


for the good of (someone or something)
- for the benefit of someone or something
They added the physical fitness class to the school curriculum for the good of the students.


for the heck/hell of it
- just for fun
We went down to the river to throw stones just for the heck of it.


for the life of (someone)
- even if one's life were threatened (used with a negative and usually used when trying to remember something)
For the life of me I could not remember where I had put my house keys.


for the most part
- mostly, in general
I was finished my work for the most part so I decided to go home.


for the record
- a record of a particular fact is made
For the record I told the police officer about some of the events of the previous year.


for the sake of (someone or something)
- for the good of someone or something
My father decided to quit his job for the sake of his health.


for the time being
- for now, for awhile
We really need a new car but for the time being we will have to continue using our old one.


for the world
- under any conditions
I would not want to sell my car for the world.


.



force (someone`s) hand
- to make someone do something sooner than planned
I forced the manager's hand and made him tell me about his plans for our company.


force (someone) to the wall
- to push someone to an extreme position
We were forced to the wall during the negotiations for the new contract.


a force to be reckoned with
- someone or something that is important and should not be ignored
The young man is a force to be reckoned with in the boxing world.


foregone conclusion
- a conclusion that is already decided
It was a foregone conclusion that the opposition party would win the election.


forever and a day
- forever, always
It took forever and a day to get the book that we ordered from the bookstore.


forever and ever
- forever
The little boy promised that he would be a good boy forever and ever.


fork out money for (something)
- to pay money for something
I had to fork out much money to have my car fixed.


fork over (something)
- to hand over something, to give something
The robber told me to fork over my money or he was going to shoot me.


form an opinion
- to make an opinion
Everybody quickly formed an opinion about the new teacher.


forty winks
- a short nap, a short sleep
I grabbed forty winks as soon as I got home from work.


foul one's own nest
- to harm one's own interests
The union fouled their own nest with their dishonest behavior.


foul up
- to do badly, to mess something up
There was a problem with our tickets and our plans became fouled up.


one's frame of mind
- one`s mental state - either good or bad
I made sure that my boss was in a good frame of mind before I asked him for a holiday.


fraught with danger
- to be full of something dangerous and unpleasant
Their adventure was fraught with danger when the two boys went to the mountains.


freak out
- to become angry or lose control of oneself
I freaked out when I discovered that my reservation had not been made.


free and clear
- without owing any money
The couple finally owned their house free and clear.


free and easy
- informal
The man's attitude toward his work is free and easy.


free as a bird
- completely free
We were as free as a bird so we decided to go on a long holiday.


free-for-all
- a disorganized fight or contest involving everyone
The players were involved in a free-for-all during the game and seven players were suspended.


a free hand
- great freedom to do something
We had a free hand to design the sport`s program for the university.


a free translation
- a translation that is not totally accurate
The newspaper printed a free translation of what the foreign diplomat said.


freeload
- to accept food and housing at someone else`s expense
The boy was angry at his brother for freeloading and never trying to find a job.


freeze (someone) out
- to prevent someone from getting a share in something by unfriendly or dishonest treatment
They froze the man out of the profits that they had made on the sale of the land.


fresh out of (something)
- to have used up all of something, to have sold the last of something
The bakery was fresh out of brown bread so we had to go to the supermarket.


frighten (someone) out of his or her wits
- to frighten someone severely
The little boy was frightened out of his wits by the big dog.


frighten (someone) to death
- to frighten someone severely
I almost frightened the woman to death when I met her on the dark stairs.


frighten the living daylights out of (someone)
- to frighten someone very badly
The horror movie frightened the living daylights out of the young girl.


fritter (something) away
- to waste something little by little
The man frittered away all of the money that he had won in the contest.


from Idioms



from A to Z
- everything about something
The man knows about cars from A to Z.


from cradle to grave
- from birth to death
The government looks after its citizens with good medical care from cradle to grave.


from dawn to dusk
- from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun
The farmworkers worked from dawn to dusk everyday in order to pick the lettuce crop.


from day to day
- one day at a time
We did not know from day to day if the weather would be good enough for the birthday picnic.


from door to door
- moving from one door to another
The children went from door to door to collect money for the earthquake victims.


from hand to hand
- from one person to another person and then to another
We passed the papers from hand to hand until they were all distributed.


from head to toe
- from the top of one's head to one's feet
The boy was covered in mud from head to toe.


from near and far
- from all around
The people came from near and far to see the new stadium.


from now on
- from this moment forward
From now on I will study Italian every day.


from rags to riches
- from poverty to wealth
The family went from rags to riches when oil was discovered on their farm.


from scratch
- from the very beginning
He decided to build the house from scratch.


from side to side
- moving from one side to the other again and again
The boat was rocking from side to side during the big storm.


from start to finish
- from the beginning to the end
The welcoming dinner was a great success from start to finish .


from stem to stern
- from one end to the other, from the front to the back of a ship
The boat was damaged from stem to stern after the big storm.


from the bottom of one`s heart
- with great feeling, sincerely
I thanked the doctor from the bottom of my heart for helping my daughter when she was sick.


from the ground up
- from the beginning (as in building a house or other building or a business)
My uncle built his business from the ground up.


from the heart
- sincerely, honestly
The boy gave his girlfriend some flowers with a message from the heart.


from the outset
- from the beginning
I knew from the outset that the recipe would be loved by everybody.


from the top
- from the beginning
"Let's take it from the top and begin again."


from the word go
- from the beginning
From the word go we knew that there would be problems with the new contract.


from time to time
- occasionally
We go to that restaurant from time to time.


from tip to toe
- from the top to the bottom
We made an effort to clean the statue from tip to toe.


from way back
- since a long time ago, for a long time
I know my friend from way back. In fact, we went to elementary school together.


.



fruits of one's labor
- the results of one's work
We decided to enjoy the fruits of our labor so we went on a long holiday to Europe.


full-fledged
- complete, having everything that is needed to be something
My cousin became a full-fledged nurse before she went to Saudi Arabia to work for a year.


full of beans
- to be in high spirits, to be energetic
My aunt is full of beans today. She must be excited about something.


full of hot air
- to be full of nonsense, to be talking nonsense
I knew that the man was full of hot air when he began to tell us how to make lots of money.


full of it
- to be full of nonsense
I thought that the woman was full of it when she told me that the business was closed.


full of oneself
- to be conceited, to be self-important
The girl was full of herself and would only talk about things that were important to her.


full steam ahead
- with as much energy and enthusiasm as possible
It was full steam ahead with the project to build the new stadium.


fun and games
- a very difficult task (often used ironically)
It was fun and games today when I wrote my two final exams.


funny bone
- the place at the back of the elbow that tingles when hit
I hit my funny bone today and it still hurts a little.


funny business
- illegal activity
The truck driver was involved in some funny business that was probably illegal.


funny ha-ha
- amusing, comical
It was not funny ha-ha but it was still a little bit amusing.

__________________
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
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Old Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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Default G idioms

G
gain ground
- go forward, make progress
The toy company is gaining ground in their effort to sell more products.


a game that two can play
- a strategy that competing sides can both use
The insults from my boss are a game that two can play and if she wants to do it then so can I.


gang up on (someone)
- attack someone in a group
The children tried to gang up on the boy but he ran away.


gas up
- fill up a gas tank
We should gas up before we leave on our holiday tomorrow.


gear up for (something)
- prepare for something
The city is gearing up for the Olympic games.


gee whiz
- used as an exclamation to show surprise or other strong feelings
"Gee whiz! Are we really going to go to France for our holiday?"


generous to a fault
- too generous
My friend was generous to a fault and sometimes gave away too much money.


get Idioms



get a bang out of (someone or something)
- receive special pleasure from someone or something
My father gets a bang out of the funny birthday cards that we send him.


get a break
- get an opportunity or good deal
I got a break when my friend sold me his car for a cheap price.


get a bright idea
- a clever thought or idea occurs to someone (often used as sarcasm)
My father got the bright idea that he should buy a motorcycle.


get a checkup
- have a physical examination by a doctor
I go to the doctor every year to get a checkup.


get a clean bill of health
- be pronounced healthy by a doctor
I got a clean bill of health when I went to see the doctor.


get a dirty look from (someone)
- get frowned at by someone
I got a dirty look from the man who was sitting next to my child.


get a feel for (something)
- become accustomed to something and learn how something works
I am beginning to get a feel for my new job.


get a fix on (something)
- receive a reading of a distant object by electronic means
We were able to get a fix on the island and took the boat safely to the harbor.


get a foothold/toehold (somewhere)
- a starting point
The new political party is beginning to get a foothold in the big cities.


get a grasp of (something)
- understand something
I am beginning to get a grasp of how to operate the new computer system.


get a grip of oneself
- take control of one`s feelings
He got a grip of himself and calmed down.


get a head start (on someone or something)
- start earlier than someone or something
We tried to get a head start on our holiday.


get a kick out of (someone or something)
- enjoy someone or something
My father got a kick out of seeing his old school friend.


get a load of (someone or something)
- see/take a good look at someone or something
"Get a load of that man over there with the four dogs."


get a load off (one's) feet
- sit down and relax
I sat down for awhile and tried to get a load off my feet.


get a load off (one's) mind
- say what one is thinking or worried about
I talked with my supervisor and was able to get a load off my mind regarding our recent conflict.


get a lot of mileage out of (something)
- get much use from something (like a car)
I hope to get a lot of mileage out of the new sneakers that I bought last week.


get a lump in one's throat
- feel like there is something in one's throat (like you are going to cry)
My sister got a lump in her throat when she watched her daughter's graduation.


get a move on
- hurry up
"Please get a move on. We are already three hours late."


get a raw deal
- receive unfair or bad treatment
The secretary got a raw deal when she had to work late everyday.


get a rise out of someone
- tease/have fun with someone by making him or her angry
We got a rise out of the teacher when we opened the windows while it was raining.


get a slap on the wrist
- receive a light punishment for doing something wrong
The judge gave the boy a slap on the wrist and decided not to punish him severely for his crime.


get a whiff of (something)
- learn about something (almost by chance)
Whenever the media gets a whiff of a scandal they become excited and start asking questions.


get a wiggle on
- hurry up, get going
"Get a wiggle on. I want to arrive at the party before the other guests."


get a word in
- find a chance to say something when others are talking
The customer couldn`t get a word in while talking to the salesman.


get a word in edgewise
- manage to break into a conversation
I couldn`t get a word in edgewise so I left the meeting.


get across
- explain, make something understood
I tried to get across the importance of taking care of one's computer discs.


get after (someone) to do (something)
- urge someone to do something he should do but has neglected
I`ll get after him to fix the computer as soon as he returns.


get ahead
- advance or be successful
She works hard at her job in order to get ahead.


get ahead of (oneself)
- do or say something sooner than you should
I was getting ahead of myself when I started asking questions about the job that I didn't have.


get ahold of (someone or something)
- make contact with someone, obtain something
I have been trying very hard to get ahold of my old high school teacher.


get along
- leave
It`s late so I must get along now.


get along in years
- grow older
My parents are getting along in years but they are still very healthy.


get along on (a small amount of something)
- manage on a small amount of something
He is able to get along on very little money.


get along on a shoestring
- manage with very little money
I had to get along on a shoestring during university.


get along with someone
- have a good relationship with someone
I don`t get along with the woman who I work with.


get an earful
- hear much talk/criticism/complaints
Our boss got an earful when he asked the employees if they had any complaints.


get around
- go to different places, move about
He really gets around and has been to many different cities.


get around to (something)
- finally find time to do something
The apartment manager finally got around to fixing the bath.


get at (someone or something)
- attack or hit someone or something
Our dog tried to get at the other dog which was tied up.


get at (something)
- mean
I don`t know what he was trying to get at during the meeting.


get away
- succeed in leaving, escape
I was able to get away from work early so I went shopping.


get away from it all
- go on a holiday
We want to get away from it all this summer and relax somewhere.


get away with murder
- do something very bad without being caught or punished
The child was able to get away with murder while the substitute teacher was in the school.


get away with (something)
- do something one shouldn`t and not get caught
The criminal got away with stealing the money and was never caught.


get back
- return
We got back from London early yesterday afternoon.


get back at (someone)
- do something bad to someone who has done something bad to you
She is angry at her boyfriend and is getting back at him by not answering the telephone.


get back to (someone)
- find out something and then tell it to someone
We were very careful that our complaints did not get back to the school principal.


get behind
- go slow while doing something, be late
If you get behind with your homework you will never pass the course.


get behind (a person or idea)
- support, help
They decided to get behind the candidate who promised to cut taxes.


get better
- improve
The little boy is getting better at riding his bicycle.


get by (on something)
- satisfy your needs or demands (usually related to money)
He is able to get by on his salary because he doesn`t spend much money.


get carried away
- be overcome by emotion or enthusiasm
I got carried away yesterday and cleaned all of my apartment.


get close to (someone)
- become close friends with someone
The woman tried very hard to get close to her youngest daughter.


get close to (something)
- be almost as good as something, almost reach or arrive at a goal
The charity is getting close to the amount of money that they expect to collect.


get cold feet
- become afraid at the last minute
He got cold feet and cancelled his plan to go to China.


get cracking
- hurry up, start moving fast, get started
We must get cracking on this job if we want to finish it before dinner.


get down to brass tacks
- begin discussing/doing the essential matters of something immediately
"Let`s get down to brass tacks and finish this job."


get down to business
- begin to get serious
When the meeting started everyone got down to business and began to discuss the issues.


get down to (something)
- get started to do something
"Let`s get down to work so we can go home early."


get down to the nitty-gritty
- get down to the facts
The teacher called us into her office to get down to the nitty-gritty of what had happened.


get even (with someone)
- get revenge
My sister wants to get even with her friend for being late for the concert.


the get-go
- the beginning
Right from the get-go I didn't like the way that the new manager acted.


get going
- become excited/angry
Once the man gets going he will never stop complaining.


get hold of (someone)
- find a person so you can speak with him or her
I tried to get hold of my brother last week but he was out of town.


get hold of (something)
- get possession of something
"If you get hold of a dictionary could you please let me borrow it for a few minutes."


get in on (something)
- become involved in something
My friend wants to get in on the planning of the summer barbecue.


get in on the ground floor
- start at the beginning (in hopes of future gain)
I was able to get in on the ground floor of the new company.


get in (someone's) hair
- bother or irritate someone
The woman complained that her young child was always getting in her hair.


get in touch with someone
- contact someone
I plan to get in touch with my friend when I arrive in New York in August.


get into
- to enter, to go into something
I do not want any water to get into my car.


get into
- to secure a place in a college or university or course
My friend wants to get into a good university.


get into a stew over (someone or something)
- be worried or upset about someone or something
My aunt didn't phone last week and my mother is now getting into a stew over that.


get into hot water
- get into trouble or difficulty
We got into hot water when they found us in the building after it had closed.


get into the act
- try to be part of whatever is going on
Everybody at the party wanted to get into the act and join with the singers.


get into the swing of things
- adapt to a new environment or situation
My friend got into the swing of things after the party started.


get involved with (someone)
- become associated with someone (often romantically)
The bank teller got involved with the bank manager several months ago .


get it
- understand something, understand a joke
Everybody was laughing at the joke but I didn't get it.


get it all together
- be in full control of oneself
He finally got it all together and applied for the job at the supermarket.


get it through one`s head
- understand/believe something
He has got it through his head that he will get a job without making any effort.


Get lost!
- Go away!
The girl told her brother to get lost so she could finish doing her homework.


get mad at (someone or something)
- become angry with someone or something
I often get mad at my friend when he is late.


get married
- become married
We got married in June of last year.


get mixed up
- become confused
"I`m sorry but I got mixed up with the dates. That`s why I came today."


get nowhere fast
- make no progress
We are getting nowhere fast in our effort to convince our boss to give us a holiday.


get off
- escape or avoid punishment
The criminal got off with a very short sentence from the judge.


get off
- leave or exit from a bus or train etc.
We decided to get off the train at the next station.


get off easy
- escape a serious punishment
The criminals got off easy after they robbed the bank.


get off on the wrong foot
- make a bad start
I got off on the wrong foot with my boss and our relationship is not good.


get off one`s back
- leave someone alone and not bother them
I wish that my supervisor would get off my back.


get off one`s butt
- get busy, start working
My friend should get off his butt and try and find a job.


get off one's high horse
- become less arrogant
The manager was forced to get off his high horse and act better towards the employees.


get off the ground
- make a successful beginning
His new business never got off the ground and he must look for a new job.


get off the hook
- free oneself from an obligation
I got off the hook and I didn't have to clean the classroom after school.


get off to a flying start
- have a successful beginning
The new restaurant got off to a flying start when many people came during the first weekend.


get on in years
- become older
He is getting on in years and is not very healthy.


get on one`s high horse
- behave with arrogance
Our boss likes to get on his high horse and give orders to everyone.


get on one`s nerves
- irritate someone
His constant complaining is beginning to get on my nerves.


get on (someone) to do (something)
- ask/pressure someone to do something
I will get on my friend to bring your book back tomorrow.


get on the good side of (someone)
- get in someone's favor
I took my aunt to a nice restaurant in order to get on her good side.


get one's act together
- become more organized
My sister finally got her act together and was able to find a new job.


get one's bearings
- determine where one is
When I got my bearings I was able to easily find my way around the department store.


get one's comeuppance
- get the punishment one deserves
The woman got her comeuppance when she was forced to apologize to the other woman in the company.


get one`s dander up
- become angry
You shouldn`t talk to him early in the morning or you will get his dander up.


get one's ducks in a row
- put one's affairs in order, get things ready
I got my ducks in a row and was able to get the job easily.


get one`s feet wet
- begin something, do something for the first time
He was able to get his feet wet in the publishing business and is now ready to start his own business.


get one's fill of (someone or something)
- receive enough of someone or something
I have got my fill of fresh corn and I don't want to eat any for awhile.


get one's foot in the door
- begin to do something that you hope will lead to future success (often used with jobs/careers)
I got my foot in the door of the banking industry when I found a job at a bank.


get one's hands on (someone or something)
- get someone or something in one's grasp
When I get my hands on a hammer I will help you fix the door.


get one's head above water
- get in control of one's situation (often money problems)
When I get my head above water I will be able to spend less time working.


get one's just deserts
- get what one deserves
The apartment manager got her just deserts when she was fired for bothering the tenants.


get one's money's worth
- get value for what you have paid for
We got our money's worth when we stayed on the golf course for seven hours.


get one's nose out of (someone's) business
- stop interfering in someone else's business
The school secretary was told to get her nose out of the teacher's business.


get one`s own way
- be able to do what you want
He always gets his own way with his younger brothers.


get one`s rear in gear
- hurry up, get going
"Let`s get our rear in gear before it is too late to go to a movie."


get one's say
- be able to say what one thinks
The meeting was over very quickly and everyone got their say.


get one's sea legs
- become accustomed to something (like the movement of a ship)
As soon as we got our sea legs we were able to get up and walk around the boat.


get one's start
- receive the first major opportunity of one's career
The newspaper owner got his start by selling papers when he was a child.


get one's walking papers
- get fired
The young man got his walking papers for being late too often.


get one's wires crossed
- get confused about something
We got our wires crossed and we both went to different places for our meeting.


get out from under (someone or something)
- escape from a situation that one doesn`t like
I would like to get out from under my boss who is always watching my work.


get out of a jam
- get free from a problem or bad situation
We got out of a jam this morning when enough people came to finish the job.


get out of bed on the wrong side
- be in a bad mood
I think that she got out of bed on the wrong side as she isn't talking to anyone today.


get out of hand
- lose control
The party was beginning to get out of hand so they asked everyone to leave.


get out of the way
- stop obstructing or interfering with someone or something, escape from something
The car was unable to get out of the way of the truck and was hit.


get over (something)
- overcome a difficulty, recover from an illness or shock
She is having trouble getting over her father`s death.


get ready
- prepare yourself
"First I must get ready for work, then I will help you."


get religion
- develop a strong religious belief
My uncle recently got religion and is very peaceful now.


get rid of (something)
- give or throw something away, sell or destroy something, make a cold or fever disappear
I bought a new television set so I want to get rid of the old one.


get rolling
- get started
"Let's get rolling and try and finish this project today."


get set
- get ready to start
Everybody is getting set for the wedding ceremony.


get sick
- become ill
I got sick yesterday and didn't go to the movie.


get sidetracked
- become diverted from one's task
I started to watch the news and got sidetracked in what I had planned to do.


get (someone) down
- make (someone) unhappy, cause discouragement
The long commuting time is getting my friend down so she wants to quit her job.


get (someone`s) goat
- irritate someone
My friend is getting my goat and I am tired of him.


get (someone or something) out of one's mind/head
- manage to forget about someone or something
It took me several months to get my old girlfriend out of my mind.


get (something) off one's chest
- talk about something that has been bothering you
I told my father about my problem at work so I could get it off my chest.


get (something) out in the open
- make something public
We had a frank discussion in order to get everything out in the open.


get (something) out of one's system
- get rid of the desire to do something
I went on a short holiday so that I could get travelling out of my system.


get (something) out of (something)
- get some kind of benefit from something
My mother does not understand why my aunt can get anything out of going to an opera.


get (something) out of the way
- take care of some business, do/finish something
We got our work out of the way and began to plan for the weekend.


get (something) over with
- finish something (often something that you don't want to do)
I was very happy to get my exams over with.


get (something) straight
- understand something clearly
I couldn't get straight what my friend was trying to tell me.


get (something) through (someone's) thick skull
- manage to get someone to understand something
I couldn't get it through my friend's thick skull that I was not going to be able to go on a holiday with him.


get the ax
- be fired
He got the ax last week and now has no job.


get the ball rolling
- start something
"Let`s get the ball rolling and start planning the party."


get the benefit of the doubt
- receive a decision in your favor when the evidence in neither for you or against you
I got the benefit of the doubt when I complained about my parking ticket.


get the better of (someone)
- win against/beat/defeat (someone)
My friend got the better of me and won the tennis match.


get the blues
- become sad or depressed
Every winter my neighbor seems to get the blues.


get the boot
- be fired, be told to leave a place
I got the boot from my first job in high school.
The man got the boot from the restaurant for smoking.

get the brush-off
- be ignored or sent away
I got the brush-off when I asked the girl to dance.


get the cold shoulder
- be ignored or rejected
My friend got the cold shoulder when he went to the expensive restaurant.


get the day off
- have a free day from work
I hope to get the day off tomorrow so I can visit my grandfather in the hospital.


get the facts straight
- get a good understanding of the facts
I don't believe that our supervisor got the facts straight when she heard about our argument.


get the feel of (something)
- become used to or learn about something
After you get the feel of the new computer it is very easy to use.


get the floor
- receive official permission to address an audience
When the principal finally got the floor everybody was ready to go home.


get the go-ahead
- receive a signal to start
The city got the go-ahead to begin work on the new station.


get the goods on (someone)
- find out true but often negative information about someone
I think that I have got the goods on the man and will talk to the police soon.


get the hang of (something)
- learn how to do something
The boy was asked to help with the sound system after he got the hang of it.


get the jump on (someone)
- get ahead of someone
We left home early so that we could get the jump on the other travellers.


get the last laugh
- laugh at someone who has laughed at you
We got the last laugh when the car that had passed us on the highway got a speeding ticket.


get the lead out
- hurry
"Get the lead out," I said to my slow friend.


get the low-down on (someone or something)
- receive the full story about someone or something
I met a friend for coffee to get the low-down on our friend who was getting married.


get the message
- clearly understand the meaning of something
I told him three times but I don`t think that he got the message.


get the nod
- get chosen for something
My favorite candidate got the nod to represent our area in the election.


get the once-over
- receive a quick visual examination
I got the once-over when I arrived for the job interview.


get the picture
- understand the whole situation
I didn't get the picture of what my friend was saying about his new girlfriend.


get the red-carpet treatment
- receive very special treatment
The Queen of England got the red-carpet treatment during her trip to Australia.


get the runaround
- receive a series of excuses and delays
I got the runaround when I went to talk to the company about my parking ticket.


get the sack
- be fired from a job
I told him that if he doesn`t change his work habits he will get the sack.


get the shock of one's life
- receive a serious (emotional) shock
I got the shock of my life when I saw my teacher on TV.


get the short end of the stick
- end up with less than others
I sometimes get the short end of the stick and I have to do more work than the other students.


get the show on the road
- start working on something
"Let`s get the show on the road and begin work for the day."


get the third degree
- be questioned in great detail for a long period of time
The boy got the third degree when he came home late for dinner.


get the upper hand (on someone)
- get into a position superior to someone
I got the upper hand in my dispute with the apartment manager.


get the worst of (something)
- be defeated, receive less benefit than someone else
He got the worst of the deal when the salesman sold him the used car.


get through (something)
- to complete something, to finish something
My friend is having trouble getting through her final exams.
I have much reading that I must get through before tomorrow.


get through (something)
- succeed in passing an exam or ordeal
She is having trouble getting through her final exams.


get through to (someone)
- make someone understand something
I tried talking to her but I couldn`t get through to her.


get time off
- receive a holiday from work
I can never get time off in the summer.


get to do (something)
- have a chance or be able to do something
I didn`t get to go to the circus last year.


get to first base
- make a start, succeed
I tried to meet the company president but I couldn`t get to first base.


get to the bottom of (something)
- find out the real cause of something
The government wants to get to the bottom of the financial problems in the company.


get to the heart of (something)
- understand the most important thing about something
We were in the meeting for three hours trying to get to the heart of the problem.


get to the root of the problem
- get an understanding of the causes of a problem
The purpose of the meeting was to get to the root of the problem about the money.


get through (something)
- to complete something, to finish something
My friend is having trouble getting through her final exams.
I have much reading that I must get through before tomorrow.


get tough with (someone)
- become firm/strict with someone
The school will soon get tough with students who are late.


get under one`s skin
- bother or upset someone
The woman always gets under my skin although I don`t really know why.


get under way
- start
The festival got under way early this morning.


get up
- get out of bed, get to one`s feet
I got up early today so that I would be able to go fishing with my friend.


get-up-and-go
- energy, enthusiasm, drive
He has lots of get-up-and-go and it is difficult to follow him around.


get up enough nerve (to do something)
- get brave enough to do something
I finally got up enough nerve to ask the woman for a date.


get up on the wrong side of the bed
- be in a bad mood
He got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and won`t talk to anyone.


get up the nerve to (do something)
- become brave enough to do something
I tried to get up the nerve to ask my friend about his new job.


get used to (someone or something)
- become accustomed to someone or something
I am slowly getting used to my new job.


get what`s coming to one
- receive the good or bad that one deserves
The criminal got what was coming to him when he was sent to jail for two years.


get wind of (something)
- hear about something
I got wind of the changes in the company from my friend.


get wise to (someone or something)
- learn about something that is a secret
The man got wise to the fact that they were stealing his money.


get with it
- pay attention, get busy
I told him to get with it or he would get in trouble with his boss.


get worked up about/over (something)
- get excited about something
My friend always gets worked up about his problems at work.


.



getup
- fancy dress or costume
"What was that strange getup that your friend was wearing the other day?"


ghost of a chance
- very little chance, (not) the smallest chance
He doesn`t have a ghost of a chance to finish his homework before class.


gift of the gab
- be good at talking
He has the gift of the gab and is great at parties.



give Idioms



give a wide birth to (someone or something)
- keep away from, keep a safe distance from
I usually give a wide birth to my boss when he is angry.


give-and-take
- sharing, giving and receiving between people
You must be willing to give-and-take if you want to have a good marriage.


give away (a secret)
- let a secret become known
I tried to stop my friend before she gave away my plans to go to Mexico for a holiday.


give away (something)
- give something to someone
I decided to give away my bicycle because I didn`t need it anymore.


give birth
- bring a baby into the world
My wife gave birth to a baby boy last night.


give chase
- chase or run after someone or something
The police gave chase to the man who robbed the store.


give credence to (someone or something)
- believe someone or something, credit someone or something
We didn't want to give credence to the man's statement so we didn't respond to it.


give credit where credit is due
- acknowledge or thank someone who deserves it
We gave credit where credit is due and thanked the cook for all of the work that she had done.


give free rein to (someone or something)
- allow someone to be completely in charge of something
The man was given free rein to do what he wanted in his new job.


give ground
- move back, retreat, stop opposing someone
Our boss refused to give ground on his plan to change the system of office management.


give in to (someone or something)
- give someone his or her own way, stop opposing someone or something
The company gave in to the union`s demand for more money.


give it to (someone)
- punish or scold someone
The father really gave it to his son when the boy came back late with the car.


give it to (someone) straight
- tell something to someone directly
My boss gave it to me straight about my chance to get a promotion.


give off (something)
- send out, let out
The garbage was beginning to give off a bad smell because of the hot weather.


give one`s right arm
- give something of great value
I would give my right arm to be able to go to Italy with the rest of the group.


give oneself away
- show guilt, show that you have done wrong
The girl gave herself away when she said that she hadn`t been downtown although her boyfriend had seen her there.


give oneself up
- surrender, stop hiding or running away
The robbers gave themselves up when the police surrounded the house.


give oneself up to (something)
- let oneself enjoy something, not hold oneself back from something
He gave himself up to enjoy the party although he was feeling sick.


give or take
- plus or minus a small amount
I think that the man is about 45 years old give or take five years.


give out
- give to people, distribute
We gave out more than 600 free baseball caps at the shopping center.


give out
- fail, wear out
We went hiking last week but my legs gave out so we had to return early.


give out
- be finished/gone
We went camping for a week but our food gave out after only three days.


give out
- utter
She gave out a loud scream when she saw the big spider.


give rise to
- be the cause of something
The problems with the heating system gave rise to several other problems.


give (someone) a black eye
- hit someone near the eye so it becomes dark, harm someone's reputation
I bumped into the door and it gave me a black eye.


give (someone) a blank check
- give someone the freedom or permission to do what they think is necessary
The coach of the team was given a blank check by the university to try and improve the team.


give (someone) a break
- give someone a chance
We decided to give the woman a break and not complain about her bad manners.


give (someone) a bum steer
- make a misleading suggestion
The store owner gave the police a bum steer when he told them where the robber may have gone.


give (someone) a clean bill of health
- a doctor declares that someone is healthy
My doctor gave me a clean bill of health during my recent checkup.


give (someone) a dirty look
- frown or make an angry face at someone
I gave the woman a dirty look when she talked loudly on her cell phone.


give (someone) a fair shake
- treat someone fairly
The company made a great effort to give the new employee a fair shake.


give (someone) a free hand (with something)
- give someone complete control over something
The city gave the homeowners a free hand to grow flowers along the street.


give (someone) a hand
- help someone do something
Please give me a hand to move this piano.


give (someone) a hard time
- make trouble for someone, tease someone
The girl gave her boyfriend a hard time about his new haircut.


give (someone) a head start
- allow someone to start earlier than others
We gave my friend a head start in the treasure hunting contest.


give (someone) a piece of one's mind
- scold or become angry with someone
When I met my friend yesterday I gave her a piece of my mind.


give (someone) a ring/buzz
- call someone on the telephone
I will give my friend a ring when I get home tonight.


give (someone) a run for their money
- give someone a challenge
Our team gave the stronger teams a run for their money during the championship finals.
give (someone) a start
- startle or surprise someone
The dog gave me a start when it suddenly ran out from the trees.


give (someone) an earful
- scold someone, tell someone much information/gossip
I gave my sister an earful when she phoned a week later than she had promised.


give (someone) an inch and they will take a mile
- if you give someone a little they will want more and more, some people are never satisfied
If you give him an inch he will take a mile so you shouldn`t give him any more money.


give (someone) enough rope and they will hang themself
- give someone enough time and freedom to do what they want and they will make a mistake or get into trouble and be caught
"Don`t worry about trying to control him. If you give him enough rope he will hang himself."


give (someone) one`s word
- make a promise or assurance
My friend gave me his word that he would meet me at the library.


give (someone) pause to think
- cause someone to stop and think
The accident on the highway gave everyone pause to think.


give (someone) the ax
- fire an employee (usually abruptly)
We gave the new employee the ax because he was always late for work.


give (someone) the benefit of the doubt
- believe someone is innocent rather than guilty when you are not sure
I gave him the benefit of the doubt but I still think that he is lying.


give (someone) the boot
- fire someone, kick someone out of a place
We thought that the manager would give our friend the boot when he started yelling in the restaurant.


give (someone) the brush-off
- send someone away
I gave the woman the brush-off when I saw her in the supermarket.


give (someone) the bum's rush
- make someone leave a place quickly
The club owners gave us the bum's rush when we began to make too much noise.


give (someone) the cold shoulder
- be unfriendly to someone
I gave the woman the cold shoulder at the party.


give (someone) the creeps
- make someone feel uncomfortable
The girl next door is very strange and gives me the creeps.


give (someone) the eye
- look or stare at someone (especially in a cold or unfriendly way)
The man in the store began to give me the eye so I left.


give (someone) the green light/the go-ahead
- give someone permission to go ahead with a project
He was given the green light to begin work on the new housing project.


give (someone) the low-down (on someone or something)
- tell someone the full story about someone or something
I went to the restaurant so that I could give my friend the low-down on our plans for the weekend.


give (someone) the once-over
- visually examine someone quickly
We gave the man the once-over when he walked into the restaurant.


give (someone) the red-carpet treatment
- give someone very special treatment
The government gave the President the red-carpet treatment when he arrived for a visit.


give (someone) the runaround
- give someone excuses and delays
We tried to get the money back from our airplane tickets but the company gave us the runaround.


give (someone) the shirt off one's back
- be very generous to someone
My uncle is very kind and will happily give you the shirt off his back.


give (someone) the slip
- escape from someone
The bank robbers tried to give the police the slip but they were soon caught.


give (someone) the third degree
- question someone in great detail for a long period
The mother gave her son the third degree when he got home.


give (someone) their due
- give someone the credit that they deserve
You have to give him his due. He has successfully saved the company from bankruptcy.


give (someone) what's coming to him or her
- give someone what they deserve
I gave my neighbor what's coming to her when I complained to the police about her dog.


give (something) a shot
- try something
I plan to give golfing a shot during my summer holidays.


give (something) a whirl
- attempt to do something
I decided to give singing a whirl so I joined a singing club.


give (something) one's best shot
- try very hard
Although he didn`t have much experience he decided to apply for the job and give it his best shot.


give the devil his due
- be fair (even to someone who is bad and who you dislike)
I don`t like to work with him because he is lazy. However, you have to give the devil his due. He always gets the job done.


give up
- abandon, stop
He has decided to give up his plan to work in Hong Kong for a year.


give up the ghost
- stop working, die
My old car finally gave up the ghost so I must buy another one.


(don`t) give up the ship
- (don`t) stop fighting, (don`t) stop trying or hoping to do something
"Please don`t give up the ship and quit this company. You still have a useful role to play."


give voice to (one's feelings)
- express what one feels or thinks
He has begun to give voice to his feelings about his new job.


give way
- collapse, fail
The dam gave way and the water flooded the farmland below.


.



giveaway
- unintentionally make something known, a sale where items are sold very cheap
His speech was a giveaway. Now I know that he is planning to retire.


given to understand (something)
- understand something plainly and clearly
I was given to understand that I could rent an apartment very easily here.


glad hand
- shake hands in a friendly way
The politician spent the morning glad handing people at the shopping center.


gloss (something) over
- try to make what is wrong or bad seem unimportant, hide something
The accountant tried to gloss over the amount of money that the company lost last year.


glutton for punishment
- someone who likes difficult or unpleasant tasks
My friend is a glutton for punishment and will always do the most difficult jobs available.


gnash one's teeth
- grind one's teeth
I gnashed my teeth and went in to talk to my boss.



go Idioms
go a long way toward (something)
- be almost enough, contribute much to something
The money from the government will go a long way toward building a new downtown library.


go about one's business
- be busy or start working on something
He is going about his business again after being sick for a week.


go after (someone)
- try to get or catch someone
The police decided to go after the cars that were speeding near the school.


go against the grain
- go against the natural direction or inclination of something
The man's unfriendly attitude goes against the grain of the usually friendly company.


go ahead
- to begin to do something
"Let`s go ahead and start now. We can`t wait any longer."


go all out
- use all of one's energy/resources
We decided to go all out for my sister's wedding.


go along
- move along, continue
The man invents his stories as he goes along.


go along with (someone or something)
- agree, co-operate
Everybody went along with my idea to have a party on the weekend.


go ape
- become very excited or behave in a crazy way
My father went ape when he heard how much money I had spent.


go around
- go from one place or person to another
We decided to go around from one shop to another until we found a cheap price.


go around in circles
- do something without making any progress
He has been going around in circles and hasn`t made any progress with his essay.


go around the bend
- go crazy
The apartment manager went around the bend and began to evict the tenants.


go astray
- be led into error or wrongdoing (a person), be mislaid (an object)
The young boy went astray after meeting the older boys.
My calculator went astray and I couldn't find it.


go at it
- fight or argue with someone
When I entered the room the two men were going at it loudly.


go at it tooth and nail/hammer and tongs
- fight or argue with great strength or energy
They were going at it tooth and nail when the police came to their house.


go away empty-handed
- depart with nothing
The children went away empty-handed when they asked their parents for more money.


go back on one's word
- break one's promise
My supervisor went back on his word when he refused to give me a day off.


go bad
- become rotten/bad
The apples will go bad if they are not eaten soon.


go bananas
- go crazy or become silly
The parents went bananas when they discovered that their son had taken the car.


go begging
- be unwanted or unused
Several plates of food went begging when fewer people than expected came to the dinner.


go broke
- lose all of one`s money
His company went broke and he quickly lost his job.


go by the book
- follow the rules exactly
The police officers always go by the book when they arrest a criminal.


go cold turkey
- stop doing something (a habit) suddenly
I decided to go cold turkey and quit smoking.


go down fighting
- continue to struggle until one is defeated
The politician plans to go down fighting to try to keep his position.


go down in history
- be remembered as an important historical event
The concert will go down in history as the biggest in the world.


go downhill
- become worse and worse
The local economy has been going downhill for many years.


go Dutch
- two people each pay for themselves
We always go Dutch when we go on a date.


go easy on (someone or something)
- be kind or gentle with someone or something
I asked my friend to go easy on my car when he borrowed it.


go for broke
- risk everything on one big effort, try as hard as possible
We are going for broke to try and win the new contract.


go for it
- decide to do something, try for something
We decided to go for it and prepare to climb the mountain.


go for (something)
- try to get something, desire something
I have decided to go for the new job at the computer center.


go from bad to worse
- get worse, deteriorate
Things are going from bad to worse in our company.


go-getter
- an ambitious person who works hard to become successful
He is a go-getter. He always works hard and is very successful.


go great guns
- do something very fast or with great energy
The workers were going great guns when I saw them this morning.


go halves
- share equally
We decided to go halves on buying a new computer.


go haywire
- become damaged, stop working properly
At first things were going well but later our plans began to go haywire.


go hog-wild
- behave wildly
The boys went hog-wild and ate all the cake.


go in for (something)
- decide to do or take part in something
He is going to university and has decided to go in for medicine.


go in one ear and out the other
- something is heard but soon forgotten
Everything that the teacher says goes in one ear and out the other.


go into detail
- present and discuss the details of something
The lawyer refused to go into detail about his client's problems.


go into effect
- become effective (a law or a rule), start to function
The new parking regulations will go into effect next week.


go into hiding
- conceal oneself in a hiding place for a period of time
The bank robbers went into hiding after the bank robbery.


go into hock
- go into debt
I did not want to go into hock to buy a new stereo system.


go into orbit
- lose one`s temper, become very angry
He went into orbit when he heard about the missing money.


go it alone
- do something by oneself
Our boss wouldn't help us so we had to go it alone with our favorite project.


go jump in a lake
- go away and quit bothering someone
She asked me to borrow some money but I told her to go jump in a lake.


go like clockwork
- progress in a regular and dependable way
Everything was going like clockwork when suddenly the lights went out.


go off
- leave, depart
He went off on a trip and didn't bother to phone and say good-bye.


go off
- explode, be ignited
The firecracker went off in his hand before he had a chance to put it down.


go off
- begin to ring or buzz
The fire alarm started to go off just as we entered the building.


go off half-cocked
- act or speak without thinking
He often goes off half-cocked when he is at a meeting.


go off on a tangent
- suddenly change one's line of thought or course of action
The speaker suddenly went off on a tangent and began to speak about something totally different.


go off the deep end
- become angry or emotional
He went off the deep end when he saw his picture in the paper.


go on
- continue
The game went on for an hour after I left.


go on
- talk for too long
He started to go on about his problems so I decided to leave.


go on
- put on, fit on
The top of the jar wouldn`t go on so I threw it in the garbage.


go on a binge
- do too much of something
My cousin went on a binge and ate four chocolate bars.


go on a rampage
- rush around destroying things
The football players went on a rampage and destroyed many buildings.


go on and on
- continue for a long time
My friend went on and on with his speech until finally I fell asleep.


go one`s own way
- go or act the way one wants
He decided to go his own way and will start his own business next year.
go out for (something)
- try out for something (usually a sport)
My friend is going out for rugby this summer.


go out of fashion/style
- become unfashionable
Striped pants have recently gone out of fashion.


go out of one`s way
- make an extra effort
She went out of her way to help me when I visited her in October.


go out the window
- be abandoned, go out of effect
The school dress code went out the window when the new principal took over.


go out with (someone)
- date or be dating someone
She went out with her boyfriend for two years before they got married.


go over like a lead balloon
- fail, do badly
My idea for a four-day workweek went over like a lead balloon at the meeting.


go over (someone's) head
- be too difficult for someone to understand
The explanation of how to operate the machinery went over my head.


go over (something)
- to examine or review something
The accountant will go over the books tomorrow.


go over (something) with a fine-toothed comb
- search through something very carefully (also fine-tooth comb)
We went over the room with a fine-toothed comb to look for the earring.


go over well/big with (someone)
- be liked, be successful
I am sure that the party will go over well. You have done a lot of preparation for it.


go over with a bang
- succeed in a spectacular way
The opening ceremony went over with a bang and everybody was very happy.


go overboard
- do something in excess
He went overboard with the birthday party preparations.


go places
- have a good future
The young man should go places with his good looks and good education.


go sky-high
- reach a very high price etc.
The price of gasoline has gone sky-high recently.


go so far as to say (something)
- put something into words
The company president went so far as to say that he may be leaving very soon.


go (someone) one better
- do something better than someone else, do more than someone
I decided to go my friend one better and bought a more expensive present for my girlfriend.


go stag
- go to an event by oneself (without a date - usually used for men)
I decided to go stag to the wedding.


go steady with (someone)
- date the same person all the time
My sister has been going steady with her boyfriend for two years.


go stir-crazy
- become anxious because one is confined to a small space
After three months of rain I began to go stir-crazy because I couldn't leave the house.


go straight
- become an honest person, lead an honest life
He was in prison for two years but now he has decided to go straight.


go the distance
- do the whole amount, finish something
I was able to go the distance and finished the project without any help.


go the extra mile
- do more than one is required to do to reach a goal
I always try to go the extra mile and help my friends when they need help.


go the limit
- do as much as possible
I plan to go the limit and try to get the job.


go through
- be approved, pass, be agreed upon
The law finally went through last week.


go through (an experience)
- experience/suffer/live through something
He has gone through some hard times since he lost his job.


go through changes
- be involved in changing circumstances
The woman has gone through many changes since her divorce.


go through (something)
- examine or think about something carefully
The police went through his house to look for a gun.


go through (something)
- to discuss something, to look at something, to do something
The teacher decided to go through the exercise before the test.


go through the motions
- do something insincerely
The manager went through the motions of apologizing but was not sincere at all.


go through the roof
- go very high
The price of oil and gasoline is going through the roof.


go through with (something)
- finish, do as planned or agreed
He has decided to go through with his plans to go back to school.


go to any length
- do whatever is necessary
The man will go to any length to get what he wants.


go to bat for (someone)
- support or help someone
I plan to go to bat for my friend if he has problems at work.


go to one`s head
- become conceited
He new position has gone to his head and he won`t speak to us now.


go to pieces
- lose one's self-control
She went to pieces when she received the letter about her father`s death.


go to pot
- deteriorate
The business has gone to pot since the new president came.


go to rack and ruin
- reach a very bad state of repair
The building has gone to rack and ruin since the new owners took over.


go to (someone's) head
- make someone too proud
The girl won the beauty contest and now it has gone to her head.


go to the expense (of doing something)
- pay the (large) cost of doing something
We decided to go to the expense of buying a new truck for camping.


go to the trouble (of doing something)
- make an effort to do something
My aunt went to the trouble of buying a new sofa bed for her guests.


go to town
- work fast or hard, do something with much energy
They went to town last night and finished painting the bedroom.


go to waste
- be wasted, be unused
I did not want the extra food to go to waste so I called my friend to come and visit.


go together
- things that look/sound/taste good together
The red wall and the green sofa do not go together in the woman's apartment.


go too far
- do more than is acceptable
The man went too far when he accused his boss of lying.


go under
- fail
The small company went under after only a few months in business.


go under the knife
- have surgery
My father will go under the knife on Monday.


go up in smoke/flames
- burn or be destroyed by fire, fail, not come true (dreams)
His plans to open a new restaurant went up in smoke after he lost his job.


go whole hog
- do everything possible
We plan to go whole hog to make my parent's visit successful.


go with (something)
- go well with something
My green shirt does not go with my red hat.


go with (something)
- choose one thing rather than another
We decided to go with the small rental car rather than the large one.


go with the flow
- proceed in an easy manner with what others are doing
I usually go with the flow and never disagree with my friends.


go without (something)
- manage to get along without something
We had to go without water for two days in our apartment.


go without saying
- be so easy to understand that it doesn`t have to be mentioned
He is a hard worker so it goes without saying that his boss is very happy with him.


go wrong
- fail
Things began to go wrong as soon as our camping trip began.


.



(it/something) goes to show
- something serves to prove a point
His success goes to show that hard work equals success.


(be/have something) going for (one)
- be or have something in one`s favor
She should do very well as she has many things going for her.


going rate
- the current rate
The going rate for carpenters is very high and it will cost much money to build the house.


gold mine of information
- someone or something that is full of information
The woman is a gold mine of information and is very effective in her company.


golden opportunity
- an excellent and rare opportunity
The hot weather was a golden opportunity for the ice cream seller to make money.


gone but not forgotten
- gone/dead but still remembered
Our grandfather is gone but not forgotten.


gone to meet one's maker
- dead
The car accident was terrible and the driver has gone to meet his maker.


gone with the wind
- gone
The woman is gone with the wind and we will probably never see her again.


good deal
- good quality and a cheap price
You can usually get a good deal on stereos at that discount store.


good-for-nothing
- worthless
The man is a good-for-nothing and lazy worker.


Good grief!
- used to show surprise (good or bad)
"Good grief! It`s 60 and I still have not finished this job."


good old days
- earlier times which everyone remembers as being better than the present
In the good old days everyone could buy a house very easily.


good riddance
- used when you lose/break something and you are happy about it, used when someone that you don't like leaves
He said good riddance when the old computer broke down and he had to buy a new one.


good riddance to bad rubbish
- used to show that you are happy that someone or something has been taken or sent away
"Good riddance to bad rubbish! I never liked him and I am glad that he has finally left."


good sport
- a person who loses a competition without complaining
He is a good sport and never complains about losing.


goof off
- fool around, not work or be serious
He has been goofing off all afternoon and has not done any work.


gospel truth
- the undeniable truth
The man told the gospel truth at the court trial.


(have) got a thing going
- be engaged in an activity with someone (in romance or business)
He's got a thing going with computer repairs and is making a lot of money.


grab a bite (to eat)
- get something to eat
We stopped at a small restaurant to grab a bite to eat.


grace (someone or something) with one's presence
- honor someone or something by being present
The Queen graced the opening of the hospital with her presence.


grain of truth
- the smallest amount of truth
There was not a grain of truth in what the man said.


grasp at straws
- try something with little hope of success
He is grasping at straws and will not find enough money to pay next month`s rent.


grass is always greener on the other side
- something that is far away or different seems better than what we have or where we are
She is always changing jobs because she thinks that the grass is always greener on the other side.


grate on (someone's) nerves
- annoy/bother someone
The woman's singing is beginning to grate on my nerves.


gravy train
- a job that gives one a lot of money compared with what you do
The cleaning contract was a gravy train. We worked for 3 hours but we got paid for 8 hours.


gray area
- difficult to define or put into a particular category
The situation with the two children living in the apartment was a gray area and nobody knew what to do about it.


grease one`s palm
- pay money for some special favor
We had to grease the border guard`s palm in order to enter the country.


greasy spoon
- a small, cheap eating place with basic but not great food
We went to a greasy spoon for breakfast as the other restaurants were closed.


a great deal
- much, a lot
There was a great deal of water in the houses after the flood.


greatest thing since sliced bread
- the best thing there ever was
The new digital cameras are the greatest thing since sliced bread.


(to be) green
- to be inexperienced or immature
The new employee is green and doesn`t know his job very well.


a green thumb
- the skill to make plants grow
He has a green thumb and has a very beautiful garden.


green with envy
- very jealous, full of envy
The little girl was green with envy when she saw her friend`s new bicycle.


grin and bear it
- endure something unpleasant with good humor
I had to grin and bear it when my supervisor became angry with me.


grind to a halt
- slow down and stop (like a machine when it is turned off)
The city ground to a halt when the power was off for five hours.


grist for the mill
- something that can be used for one's advantage
The information was grist for the mill of the salesmen.


grit one's teeth
- grind one's teeth together in anger and determination
I grit my teeth and phoned my father to ask if I could borrow some money.


gross out (someone)
- make someone sick
The movie was very violent and grossed out my sister.


ground floor
- the first or best chance (especially in a business)
The video store was a good investment and I was happy to get in on the ground floor.


to ground (someone)
- take away someone's privileges (usually used for teenagers)
The girl was grounded by her parents because she came home late too many times.


grounds for (something)
- the basis for legal action or something similar
The fact that the man stole the money was grounds for his dismissal from the company.


grow on someone
- become commonplace or acceptable to someone
At first I didn't like the strange music but now it is beginning to grow on me.


grow out of something
- abandon something as one matures
The little boy is beginning to grow out of his baby chair.


grow to do/like something
- gradually begin to do something
Little by little I am growing to like the people who live next door to me.


grunt work
- hard and thankless work
I am usually forced to do the grunt work at my company.


guard against (someone or something)
- take care to avoid someone or something
When we go to the beach we are careful to guard against the hot sun.


guest of honor
- the special person for whom a party or ceremony is held
My father was the guest of honor at the company banquet.


gulp for air
- desperately try to get air or a breath
After falling into the lake the man quickly began gulping for air.


gum up
- cause something not to work, make something go wrong
The computer printer became gummed up just as I was about to print my resume.


gun for (someone)
- look hard for a chance to harm or defeat someone
My supervisor has been gunning for me for a long time and I don`t know why.


gun for (something)
- try very hard to get a prize or promotion etc.
I have been gunning for the sales job for a long time.


gung-ho
- enthusiastic, full of eagerness
She is gung-ho about her new job at the library.


gut feeling/reaction
- a personal/intuitive feeling or response
I had a gut feeling that my friend would not get the job that he wanted.


gyp (someone) out of (something)
- cheat someone
The woman at the store gypped the man out of some money.
__________________
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
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Old Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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Default H idioms

H
had best (do something)
- should do something, ought to do something
I had best go home soon as I want to get up early tomorrow morning.


had better (do something)
- should do something, ought to do something
I had better go now or I will be late for class.


hail from (somewhere)
- originally come from somewhere
My father hails from a small farming community.


the hair of the dog that bit you
- a drink of alcohol taken when one is recovering from drinking too much
My friend got up early and had the hair of the dog that bit him to start the day.


(one's) hair stands on end
- become frightened or afraid of something
My hair stood on end when I saw the scene after the automobile accident.


(to be) hale and hearty
- to be in very good health, to be well and strong
My uncle is a hale and hearty fellow who never gets sick.


half-baked
- foolish
I don't really like his half-baked idea about the new delivery system.


(to be) half the battle
- to be a large part of the work
Writing the letters will be half the battle. We can finish the rest of the work next week.


(to be) halfhearted about (someone or something)
- (to be) unenthusiastic about someone or something
I was halfhearted about joining the group to go hiking.


ham it up
- do something silly or try to exaggerate something in a funny way
I was hamming it up with my friend in front of the principal's office.


hammer away at (someone or something)
- be persistent in trying to do something
I worked all weekend to hammer away at my final essay for university.


hammer out (something)
- work something out by discussion and debate
The union and managers were able to hammer out an agreement before midnight last night.


hammer (something) home
- try hard to make someone understand something
The speaker tried to hammer home the importance of treating the customers with respect.



hand Idioms
hand down a decision
- announce a legal decision
The judge handed down his decision early in the afternoon.


hand down (something)
- arrange to give something to someone after your death
My grandmother handed down her silver jewellery to my mother.


hand in (something)
- give something to someone, hand something to someone
I went to the company early to hand in my job application.


(work) hand in glove with (someone)
- (work) very close to someone
The supervisor and manager work hand in glove to create a good atmosphere in the company.


be hand in hand
- be holding hands
I walked to the movie hand in hand with my girlfriend.


to hand it to (someone)
- to give credit or praise to someone
You have to hand it to our manager for working hard and being successful with his business.


a hand-me-down
- something given away after another person doesn`t need it (especially clothing)
She was very poor when she was a child and always wore hand-me-down clothing.


a hand-out
- a gift (usually from the government)
The government stopped giving hand-outs to the university students because they had no money.


a hand-out
- a sheet of paper given to students or people who attend a meeting etc.
Everyone at the meeting was given a hand-out on how to invest money.


to hand out (something)
- to give something of the same kind to several people
The teacher decided not to hand out the tests until everybody in the class stopped talking.


hand over fist
- quickly
His new company is making money hand over fist.


hand over (someone or something) to (someone)
- give control or possession of something to someone, give something to another person
The criminals were forced to hand over the stolen money to the police.


hand (something) down to (someone)
- give something to a younger person
The girl always handed her old clothes down to her younger sister.


hand (something) to (someone) on a silver platter
- give a person something that has not been earned
The man handed a job to his son on a silver platter and he never had to make any effort at all.


(live) hand-to-mouth
- have only enough money for basic living
He was living a hand-to-mouth existence until he was finally able to find a job.


(one's) hands are tied
- one is unable to help
I am sorry that I can`t help you but my hands are tied at the moment.


hands down
- easy, unopposed
They won the game hands down over the other team.


hands off
- leave alone, don`t interfere
The government decided to take a hands-off approach to the teachers during the strike.


.




handle with kid gloves
- be very careful handling someone or something
He is very sensitive so you have to handle him with kid gloves when you speak to him.


the handwriting is on the wall
- a sign that something bad or significant will happen
The handwriting is on the wall. Business conditions are bad so nobody will get a pay raise this year.


handy
- can easily fix things
He is very handy around the house and is always fixing or building something.



hang Idioms
hang a left
- turn to the left
We drove to the end of the block and hung a left there.


hang a right
- turn to the right
We decided to hang a right when we came to the main street.


hang around
- pass time or stay someplace without any real purpose or aim
We decided to stay home and hang around rather than go to the game.


hang back
- stay some distance behind or away, hesitate or be unwilling to do something
He lacks self-confidence and always hangs back when his boss asks for volunteers.


hang by a thread/hair
- be in doubt, depend on a very small thing
The outcome of the election was hanging by a thread until late at night.


hang in the balance
- have two equally possible results, be uncertain
After the opposition party won the election whether or not the new highway will be built hangs in the balance.


hang in (there)
- persevere, don`t give up
"You should hang in there and not quit your job even if you hate the supervisor."


Hang it!
- a rather old expression used to express annoyance or disappointment
"Hang it", the man said when he hit his finger with the hammer.


hang loose
- relax, remain calm
I want to stay at home this weekend and hang loose.


hang on
- continue
Although conditions were very bad he decided to hang on and fight to keep his business going.


hang on
- wait, continue listening on the telephone
"Hang on for a minute while I go and get some paper and a pen."


hang on (someone's) every word
- listen with complete attention to everything someone says
The audience hung on every word of the speaker.


hang on to (something)
- hold tightly, keep firmly
"Please hang on to your hats or the strong wind will blow them off."


hang one on
- get very drunk
He hung one on last night after he heard about his promotion.


hang one's hat (somewhere)
- live or take up residence somewhere
I want to move and hang my hat in a small town somewhere.


hang out one`s shingle
- notify the public of the opening of an office - especially an office of a doctor, lawyer or other professional
He has decided to hang out his shingle now that he has graduated from law school.


hang out (somewhere/with someone)
- spend one`s time with no great purpose, spend leisure time with friends
Recently my friend has been hanging out with a group of people who are not a good influence on him.


hang (someone) in effigy
- hang a dummy of a hated person
The demonstrators hung the dishonest politician in effigy.


hang tough
- stick to one's position
I decided to hang tough and stop negotiating with the lawyer.


hang up (something)
- place something on a hook/peg/hangar
Everyone was forced to hang up their jackets before they entered the room.


hang up (the telephone)
- place a telephone receiver back on the telephone and end the call
After I hung up the telephone I left home to go to work.


a hang-up
- a delay in some process
There was a hang-up in the construction of the office tower because of the fire.


a hang-up
- an inhibition, a neurotic reaction to some life situation
The girl has a serious hang-up about the dark and is afraid to go out at night.


.



happen upon (someone or something)
- meet someone or find something unexpectedly
I happened upon a very valuable book when I was cleaning up my grandfather's house.


happy hour
- a time in bars or restaurants when drinks are served at a discount
We stopped at the restaurant during happy hour and had a drink.



hard Idioms
a hard-and-fast rule
- a rule that cannot be altered to fit special cases
There is no hard-and-fast rule that says you can`t use a cellular phone in the train.


as hard as nails
- physically very fit and strong, rough
He is as hard as nails and is not a good person to have an argument with.


hard feelings
- angry or bitter feelings
I don`t have any hard feelings toward my boss even though he fired me.


hard-nosed
- not weak or soft, stubborn - especially in a fight or contest or negotiations
The company had a hard-nosed attitude while bargaining with the union.


a hard nut to crack
- a person or thing not easily understood or influenced
He is a hard nut to crack and is not close to many people.


hard of hearing
- unable to hear well
The man is hard of hearing so you must speak loudly when talking to him.


hard on (someone or something)
- treat someone or something roughly
His son is very hard on shoes.


(to be) hard on (someone's) heels
- to be following someone very closely
The police officer was hard on the heels of the criminal.


hard-pressed
- burdened with urgent business
"I am hard-pressed for time. Can we meet later?"


a hard sell
- an attitude where you pressure someone to buy something
The car dealer gave me a hard sell on the new car so I went to another dealer.


be hard up
- be short of money
I am hard up for money at the moment so I can`t go to the movie.


.



harken back to (something)
- have started out as something
The new building harkens back to a style that appeared over 100 years ago.


to harp on (something)
- to talk repeatedly and tediously about something
He has been harping on his lack of money for several weeks now.


hash (something) over
- discuss something in great detail
We stayed after school to hash over the new contract.


a hassle
- a bothersome thing
It is a hassle to have to report to my boss two times a day.


a hatchet man
- a politician whose job it is to say negative things about the opposition, a person in a company who must fire extra workers or cut other expenses
He is acting as a hatchet man for the leader but I don`t think that he really believes what he is saying.


hate (someone`s) guts
- feel very strong dislike for someone
I absolutely hate the apartment manager's guts after she caused me so many problems.


haul (someone) in
- take someone to the police station, arrest someone
The police hauled the man in because he was drinking while driving.



have Idioms
have a ball
- have a good time
She had a ball at the party last night.


have a bee in one's bonnet
- have an idea or thought that stays in one's mind
My sister has a bee in her bonnet about going to Mexico to teach.


have a big mouth
- be a person who gossips or tells secrets
My friend has a big mouth so I don't like to tell him any secrets.


have a blowout
- have a big wild party or sale
The university students had a big blowout on their graduation day.


have a blowout
- one's car tire bursts
Our car had a blowout on the road up the mountain.


have a bone to pick with (someone)
- have a disagreement to discuss with someone
I have a bone to pick with my boss because of his criticism of me.


have a brush with (the law or something)
- have a brief experience with the law or something
I had a brush with the law when my car was stopped for speeding.


have a case (against someone)
- have much evidence that can be used against someone
The police have a very good case against the man who is selling the stolen cars.


have a change of heart
- change one's attitude or decision (usually from negative to positive)
I had a change of heart and will let my friend use my car tomorrow.


have a chip on one's shoulder
- seem to want to start a conflict
Our neighbor has a chip on his shoulder and is always trying to start a fight.


have a clear conscience
- be free of guilt
I have a clear conscience and am not worried that I did anything wrong.


have a close call/shave
- almost be involved in an accident or something similar
I had a close call this morning when I was almost hit by a car.


(not) have a clue (about something)
- (not) know anything about something
I do not have a clue who took the laptop computer.


have a crush on (someone)
- to be attracted to someone
The girl has a crush on someone at her university.


have a familiar ring
- to sound familiar
The complaints of our supervisor have a familiar ring and we have heard them before.


have a feeling about (something)
- have an intuition about something
I have a strange feeling about the new man in our company.


have a field day
- have a wild time
The media had a field day with the scandal in the local city government.


have a finger in the pie
- be involved in something
The man has his finger in the pie of many businesses.


have a fit
- become upset
The woman had a fit when she saw what her son had done to her car.


have a foot in both camps
- support each of two opposing groups of people
The mayor of the city has a foot in both camps of the opposing groups.


have a frog in one's throat
- have a feeling of a hoarse throat, be unable to speak
I had a frog in my throat and couldn't speak easily in front of the class.


have a go at (something)
- try to do something
I decided to have a go at applying for the job after my boss told me about it.


have a good command of (something)
- know something well
The girls have a good command of French.


have a good mind to (do something)
- be tempted to do something
I have a good mind to tell my friend that I will not lend him any money.


have a good thing going
- have or do something that is beneficial
I have a good thing going with my company and my schedule is very good.


have a green thumb
- be able to grow plants well
My sister has a green thumb and has a beautiful garden.


have a hand in (something)
- be partly responsible for something
I think that the woman had a hand in getting her friend fired from her job.


have a handle on (something)
- have control or an understanding of something
I finally have a handle on my work and it is going very well.


have a head for (something)
- have the mental capacity for something
My father has a head for numbers and is very good at mathematics.


have a (good) head on one`s shoulders
- be smart or sensible
That new salesman really has a head on his shoulders.


have a heart
- be generous and forgiving
The woman doesn't have a heart and everybody dislikes her.


have a heart of gold
- be generous/sincere/friendly
The woman has a heart of gold and is always willing to help her friends.


have a heart of stone
- be cold and unfriendly
The man has a heart of stone and he will never help anybody.


have a heart-to-heart talk (with someone)
- have a sincere and intimate talk with someone
I had a heart-to-heart talk with my sister about my girlfriend.


have a hold on (someone)
- have a strong and secure influence on someone
The coach has a very strong hold on the members of the team.


have a hunch about (something)
- have a feeling that something will or should happen
I had a hunch that my friend would not come to meet me.


have a keen interest in (someone or something)
- be very interested in someone or something
I have always had a keen interest in hiking and camping.


have a lot going (for one)
- have many things working to one's benefit
The woman has a lot going for her and should do well at her job.


have a lot of promise
- have a good future ahead
The young racing horse has a lot of promise and should be a winner in the future.


have a lot on one's mind
- have many things to worry about
She has a lot on her mind with her new job and her new boyfriend.


have a mind like a steel trap
- have a very sharp and agile mind
The man has a mind like a steel trap and can remember most things easily.


have a near miss
- nearly crash or collide with something
The two trucks had a near miss on the highway this morning.


have a nose for (something)
- have a talent for finding something
Our supervisor has a nose for finding ways to save money in our company.


have a notion to (do something)
- feel tempted or inclined to do something
I had a notion to go to the beach so I went to the beach.


have a one-track mind
- think only about one thing
My friend has a one-track mind and he is only interested in making money.


have a passion for (something)
- have a strong feeling of need or love for something
The student wants to become a teacher because he has a passion for teaching English.


have a pick-me-up
- eat or drink something stimulating
The carpenter bought a protein drink as a pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon.


have a price on one's head
- be wanted by the police who will pay money for one's capture
The man has a price on his head and is wanted by the police all over the country.


have a/the right to do something
- have the freedom to do something
The apartment manager does not have the right to tell the tenants when they must leave the building.


have a rough time (of it)
- experience a difficult period
My friend had a rough time of it when he was forced to leave his job.


have a run-in with (someone)
- have an unpleasant encounter with someone
I had a run-in with my boss that made us both feel bad.


have a run of bad luck
- have a period of bad luck
My uncle had a run of bad luck and he lost his business as well as his house.


have a say/voice in (something)
- have a part in making a decision
The union wanted to have a say in how the company was managed.


have a score to settle with (someone)
- have a problem to clear up with someone
I had a score to settle with the soccer coach which I wanted to talk about.


have a scrape with (someone or something)
- come into contact with someone or something
I had a scrape with the building owner and I must be very careful of what I say now.


have a screw loose
- act in a strange way, be foolish
He is a very strange person. I think that he has a screw loose somewhere.


(not) have a snowball's chance in hell
- have no chance at all
Our team didn't have a snowball's chance in hell to win the tournament.


have a soft spot in one's heart for (someone or something)
- be fond of someone or something
My grandmother has a soft spot in her heart for her youngest son.


have a sweet tooth
- have a desire to eat sweet foods
The girl has a sweet tooth and loves to eat chocolate.


have a taste for (something)
- have a desire for a particular food/drink/experience
Recently my friend has a taste for very loud and fast music.


have a thing going with (someone)
- have a romantic relationship with someone
I think that the secretary has a thing going with one of the salesmen.


have a time
- have trouble, have a hard time
She really had a time last night when her car stopped working.


have a time
- have a good time, have fun
We really had a time at the party last night.


have a try/crack at (something)
- take a turn at trying to do something
I have always wanted to have a try at scuba diving.


have a vested interest in (something)
- have a personal interest (often financial) in something
The mayor of the city has a vested interest in building the new stadium.


have a way with (someone or something)
- be able to lead/persuade/influence others
The little girl has a way with horses. They are very gentle when she is around.


have a weakness for (someone or something)
- be unable to resist someone or something
The girl has a weakness for chocolate and is always eating it.


have a whale of a time
- have an exciting time
Everybody had a whale of a time at the school picnic.


have a word with (someone)
- talk briefly with someone
I will have a word with my boss before he goes home tonight.


have an accident
- experience something that was not intended
I had an accident on my way to work this morning.


have an ace up one's sleeve
- have something that you can use to gain an advantage (in a card game the ace is often the most valuable card and a cheater could have an ace up his or her sleeve to use against an opponent)
I have an ace up my sleeve which should help me when I meet my boss tomorrow.


have an ax to grind (with someone)
- have something to complain about
My co-worker has an ax to grind with our boss and is always complaining.


have an ear for (something)
- have the ability to learn music or languages
My cousin has an ear for music and is a very good musician.


have an edge on/over (someone or something)
- have an advantage over someone or something
Our team has an edge over the other teams to win the high school football championship.


have an eye for (something)
- have good taste in something, be able to judge correctly
She has an eye for nice furniture and her apartment is absolutely beautiful.


have an in with (someone)
- have a way to request a special favor from someone
The woman has an in with her boss and can easily get time off.


have an itch to do something
- have a desire to do something
I have an itch to go fishing this summer.


have an out
- have an excuse
The teacher asked me to do my presentation tomorrow but I have an out and don't have to do it. I will go to the doctor tomorrow


(not) have anything to do with someone
- (not) want to be a friend/work/do business with someone
My father will not have anything to do with the salesman because he sold him the faulty car.


have arrived
- reach a position of power/authority/prominence
The manager thought that she had arrived when she was given a beautiful corner office.


have bearing on (something)
- affect or influence something
The company decision had much bearing on the way that the company was managed.


have been around
- have been to many places and done many things, be experienced
My brother has been around and has been overseas many times.


have been had
- have been cheated or dealt with badly
I felt that I had been had when the salesman sold me the bad product.


have been through the mill
- have become exhausted or been badly treated
The students have been through the mill and want to relax after the final exams.


have been to hell and back
- have survived a great deal of trouble
I thought that I had been to hell and back after I lost my job and couldn't find a new one.


have clean hands
- be guiltless
I felt that I had clean hands and did not need to worry about the company scandal.


have come a long way
- have accomplished much
The woman has come a long way since she lost her house and her apartment.


have contact with (someone)
- communicate with someone
The government has had no contact with the kidnappers for several weeks.


have designs on (someone or something)
- have plans for someone or something
The city has designs on the land that the railway used to occupy.


have dibs on (something)
- demand a share of something, be in line to use something
I have dibs on the computer and would like to use it as soon as possible.


have egg on one`s face
- be embarrassed
He has egg on his face after finding out about his mistake.


have eyes bigger than one's stomach
- have a desire for more food than one can eat
I had eyes bigger than my stomach when I took too much food at the buffet.


have eyes in the back of one's head
- be able to sense what is going on where you can't see
The man has eyes in the back of his head and knows everything that is going on.


have eyes only for (someone or something)
- give all of one`s attention to someone or something, be interested only in someone or something
She has eyes only for her boyfriend.


have feet of clay
- have a character defect
The candidate has feet of clay and is being criticized by many of her opponents.


have growing pains
- a child or organization has difficulties in its growth
The new company is having growing pains as it trys to meet the demands for its services.


have had enough
- have had as much as you need of something
I have had enough sun today so I will go home soon.


have had it up to here with (someone or something)
- have reached the end of one's endurance or tolerance
The teacher has had it up to here with the bad behavior of the students.


have had it with (someone or something)
- be unable to tolerate someone or something anymore
I have had it with her constant complaining.


have had its day
- be no longer useful or successful
My suitcase has had its day and I must buy a new one.


have half a mind to (do something)
- feel tempted or inclined to do something
I have half a mind to go and offer my resignation to the president.


have in mind
- intend, plan
"What do you have in mind for your wife`s birthday?"


have it
- hear or get news, understand
I have it that the new president will be coming to see us next week.


have it
- claim, say
Rumor has it that three of the supervisors will be leaving next week.


have it
- allow (usually used with will or would)
We wanted to have a party at our office next month but our boss will not have it.


have it
- get/find the answer, understand
I think I finally have it. The reason she is leaving is because she is going to have a baby.


have it all over (someone or something)
- be much better than someone or something
My new bicycle has it all over my old one.


have it both ways
- do two things, have two things
"You can`t have it both ways. You must choose one or the other."


have it coming (to someone)
- deserve punishment
He really has it coming after causing many problems in his company.


have it in for (someone)
- show ill will to someone, dislike someone
I have been having problems at work recently. I think that the new supervisor has it in for me.


have it made
- be successful, have everything
He has it made with his new job.


have it out with (someone)
- argue or fight with someone
I had it out with my friend yesterday over the problem with the money.


have mixed feelings about (someone or something)
- be uncertain about someone or something
I have mixed feelings about moving away and taking the new job.


have money to burn
- have lots of money
The man has money to burn and is always buying something new.


have never had it so good
- have never been in such a good situation
We have never had it so good since the new supervisor came to our department.


have no business (doing something)
- be wrong to do something
The apartment manager has no business asking us about our private business.


have none of (something)
- not tolerate or endure something
Our teacher will have none of our talking loudly in the class.


have nothing on (someone or something)
- have no information or evidence about someone or something
The police have nothing on the man so they could not arrest him.


have nothing to do with (someone or something)
- not be involved with someone or something
My aunt will have nothing to do with most members of her family.


have nothing/none to spare
- not have extra of something
We had none to spare so we were unable to give any books to the hospital.


have on (something)
- be wearing something
"What did she have on when you last saw her?"


have one foot in the grave
- be near death
My uncle is very sick and has one foot in the grave.


have one for the road
- have a drink before leaving
We decided to have one for the road before we walked down to the train station to go home.


have one`s ass in a sling
- be in an uncomfortable predicament, be at a disadvantage
He really has his ass in a sling now that he has quit his job and can`t find another one.


have one's back to the wall
- be in a defensive position
The boy has his back to the wall and must pass his exam or leave school.


have one's cake and eat it too
- have something both ways
The union wants to have their cake and eat it too and will not give up anything during the bad economic times.


have one's druthers
- get one's choice
If I had my druthers I would not go to the meeting this evening.


have one's ear to the ground
- listen carefully for advice or advance warning of something
Our teacher always has his ear to the ground to look for possible trouble at school.


have one`s eye on (something)
- have a wish/aim for something, look or think about something
I want to buy a present for my girlfriend and I have my eye on a dress that I saw at the department store last week.


have one`s feet on the ground
- be practical or sensible
The new sales manager really has his feet on the ground.


have one's finger in too many pies
- be involved in too many things
The woman has her finger in too many pies and is unable to do her work well.


have one's hand in the till
- be stealing money from a company or organization
The man had his hand in the till for many years before he was caught.


have one's hands full with (someone or something)
- be totally occupied with someone or something
The mother has her hands full with the two young children.


have one's hands tied
- be prevented from doing something
I had my hands tied and was unable to help my friend with his request.


have one's head in the clouds
- be unaware of what is going on
The boy has his head in the clouds and doesn't think about what is going on around him.


have one's heart go out to someone
- have compassion for someone
We had our heart go out to the woman who lost her child in the fire.


have one's heart in the right place
- have good intentions (even if the results may be bad)
The woman has her heart in the right place and is always ready to help if she can.


have one's heart set against (something)
- be totally against something
My father has his heart set against my trip to Europe.


have one`s heart set on (something)
- want something very much
The child has his heart set on getting a new bicycle for his birthday.


have one's nose in a book
- be reading a book
The boy loves reading and always has his nose in a book.


have one's nose in the air
- be conceited or aloof
The girl has her nose in the air and is unfriendly to the other members of her class.


have one's work cut out for one
- have a large and difficult task to do
We had our work cut out for us when we began to paint the house.


have oneself something
- use or consume something
I decided to have myself a drink before leaving for the movie.


have other fish to fry
- have other or more important things to do
I have other fish to fry and do not want to get involved with the small problems in my company.


have pull with (someone)
- have influence with someone
My friend has pull with his boss and often goes home early.


have rocks in one`s head
- be stupid, not have good judgement
She has rocks in her head. She should never have bought that old car.


have second thoughts about (someone or something)
- have doubts about someone or something
Recently, I am having second thoughts about buying a new motorcycle.


have seen better days
- be worn out or well-used
My bicycle has seen better days and soon I will need to buy a new one.


have (someone) in one's pocket
- have control over someone
The large union has the city mayor in their pocket.


have (someone or something) in tow
- lead/pull/tow someone or something
The boy had his brother in tow as he walked down the street.


have (someone) over
- invite someone to your house
We plan to have my parents over when we settle into our new house.


have (someone's) blood on one's hands
- be responsible for someone's death
The army general has the citizen's blood on his hands.


have (someone's) hide
- scold or punish someone
The mother promised to have her son's hide if he didn't behave.


have (something) against (someone or something)
- have a dislike for someone or something
I don't know why but my teacher seems to have something against me.


have (something) at one's fingertips
- have something within reach
I didn't have a pen at my fingertips so I couldn't write down the man's address.


have (something) coming to (someone)
- deserve punishment for something
The girl has the punishment coming to her because of what she did.


have (something) down pat
- have learned or memorized something perfectly
I have the dance routine down pat.


have (something) going for one
- have ability/talent/good looks
She has a lot going for her and I am sure that she will get the new job.


have (something) hanging over one's head
- have something worrying one
I want to finish my final essay so I don't have it hanging over my head.


have (something) in common with (someone or something)
- resemble each other in specific ways, have similar interests to someone
I have much in common with a girl in my class.


have (something) in mind
- have a plan or idea in one's mind
I don't know what my friend has in mind so I will ask him later.


have (something) in stock
- have goods available to sell
The store does not have any CD players in stock.


have (something) in store for (someone)
- have something planned for someone
I don't know what my boss has in store for me.


have (something) on
- have plans for a particular time
I have something on this afternoon so I can't go to the park.


have (something) on file
- have or keep a written record of something
I have the report on file on my computer disc.


have (something) on (someone)
- have information or proof that someone did something wrong
I think that the police have something on the man and that is why he wants to quit his job.


have (something) on the ball
- be smart/clever/skilled
She really has a lot on the ball. She should do well in her new job.


have (something) on the brain
- be obsessed with something
My sister has tennis on the brain and is always talking about it.


have (something) on the tip of one's tongue
- be almost able to remember a specific fact such as a name or place
I have the actor's name on the tip of my tongue but I can't remember it.


have (something) stuck in one's craw
- have something irritate or displease someone
The man's complaint stuck in my craw for several weeks before I forgot it.


have (something) to do with (something)
- to be about something, to be on the subject of something, to be related to something
"The book has something to do with cooking but I am not sure if you will like it."
That problem has nothing to do with me.


have (something) to spare
- have more than enough of something
We have extra blankets to spare so we gave them to our neighbors.


have (something) up one`s sleeve
- have something kept secretly ready for the right time
I`m not too worried about the meeting as I have something up my sleeve if there are any problems.


have sticky fingers
- to steal things
He was fired from the restaurant because he has sticky fingers.


have the best of both worlds
- be able to enjoy two different opportunities
The man has the best of both worlds and can enjoy the outdoors and nature while he is working at his job.


have the courage of one's convictions
- have enough courage and determination to carry out one's goals
The man has the courage of his convictions and will only do what he feels is right.


have the devil to pay
- have a great deal of trouble
I will have the devil to pay if I don't return home before dark.


have the feel of (something)
- have learned how something feels, be accustomed to something
As soon as I had the feel of the airplane, the instructor let me fly it.


have the gall to (do something)
- be arrogant enough to do something
The woman had the gall to ask me to stop talking after she had been talking loudly for an hour.


have the gift of the gab
- be able to talk and use language easily
My sister has the gift of the gab and is able to talk to others easily.


have the last laugh
- make someone seem foolish for having laughed at you first
I had the last laugh when I went home early while everyone else had to stay overnight at the airport because of the storm.


have the makings of (something)
- possess the qualities that are needed for something
The new soccer player has the makings of a great star.


have the Midas touch
- have the ability to make money easily
My uncle has the Midas touch and he makes money at whatever he does.


have the presence of mind to (do something)
- have the calmness and ability to act sensibly in a difficult situation
My aunt had the presence of mind to write a will before she passed away.


have the right-of-way
- have the right to drive in one lane while driving
The small car had the right-of-way but was hit by the large truck anyway.


have the time of one's life
- have a very good time
We had the time of our life at the party last night.


have the wherewithal to (do something)
- have the money or energy to do something
The man does not have the wherewithal to go to court and fight his case.


have them rolling in the aisles
- make an audience laugh a lot
The speaker had them rolling in the aisles when he gave his talk.


have to (do something)
- be obliged or forced to do something
I have to leave at 40 or I will be late for my appointment.


have to live with (something)
- have to endure something
Although the house is very cold we will have to live with it.


have too many irons in the fire
- be doing too many things at once
I have too many irons in the fire at the moment and I am very tired.


have turned the corner
- have passed a critical point in a process
I think that we have turned the corner and that our business will improve soon.


have two strikes against one
- have things working against one, be in a difficult situation
He already has two strikes against him and it will be very difficult for him to get the job.
have what it takes
- have the ability or courage to do something
I don't believe that my friend has what it takes to be a good teacher.


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(go) haywire
- become broken or confused
The plan went haywire when our directions became confused.


hazard a guess/opinion
- make a guess
I would not want to hazard a guess as to the age of the woman.



head Idioms
head above water
- out of difficulty, clear of trouble
Although he works very hard he is not able to keep his head above water financially.


head and shoulders above (someone or something)
- clearly superior to someone or something
I believe that our team is head and shoulders above the other teams in the league.


head for (someone or something)
- aim for or move toward someone or something
The tropical storm is heading for the large island near the coast.


head-hunting
- search for qualified individuals to fill certain positions
The head-hunting company has phoned me several times about getting a new job.


head off (someone)
- get in front of and stop someone, turn someone back
In the movie the soldiers tried to head off the gang at the mountain pass.


head off (something)
- stop, prevent
They were able to head off a strike by the union at the last minute.


head-on
- front end to front end, with the front facing something
There was a serious head-on crash on the highway last night.


head-on
- in a way that is exactly opposite, opposed to someone in an argument or fight
They decided to deal with their opponents in a head-on manner in order to win the fight.


head out
- leave, start
It is time that we head out for the movie or we will be late.


head over heels
- upside down, head first
He fell head over heels when his bicycle hit the wall.


head over heels in love (with someone)
- completely/deeply in love (with someone)
She fell head over heels in love with the guy that she met at the party.


a head shrinker
- a psychiatrist
The criminal had to go and see a head shrinker after the judge sentenced him to life in prison.


a head start
- an early start to something
They left early in order to get a head start on the trip.


to head up
- to be at the head of (a group), a leader
The president headed up a group of people going overseas to promote trade.


heads or tails
- the face of a coin or the opposite side
We decided who would start the game by throwing heads or tails with a coin.


heads will roll
- someone will get into severe trouble
I think that heads will roll because of the problems with the new employee.


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hear a peep out of (someone)
- hear the smallest word from someone
We did not hear a peep out of the children who were playing in the bedroom.


hear from
- receive a letter/phone call/news from someone
I haven`t heard from my university roommate for over one year.


(not) hear of (something)
- not tolerate or permit something
I will not hear of my aunt staying in a hotel when she visits us.


hear (someone) out
- listen to everything that someone has to say
We went to the meeting to hear the manager out about the new building.



heart Idioms
heart goes out to (someone)
- one feels sympathy for someone
My heart went out to the victims of the railway accident.


heart is in the right place
- be kindhearted/sympathetic, have good intentions
He sometimes makes mistakes but his heart is in the right place.


heart is set on (something)
- one desires and expects something
The boy's heart is set on getting a dog for his birthday.


heart of gold
- a kind/generous/forgiving personality
My grandmother has a heart of gold and everyone loves her.


heart of stone
- someone with a nature with no pity or warmth
She has a heart of stone and is not interested in how other people feel.


heart skips/misses a beat
- be startled or excited from surprise/joy/fright
My heart skipped a beat when the truck almost hit us last night.


heart stands still
- be very frightened or worried
My heart stood still when I heard the story about the little boy and the fire.


heart-to-heart
- honest or intimate
The couple had a heart-to-heart talk before they decided to get married.


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heavy going
- difficult to do
Moving the furniture was heavy going and we became tired quickly.


a heavy heart
- a feeling of sadness or unhappiness
He seems to have a heavy heart now that his wife has died.


hedge in (something)
- keep something from getting out or moving freely, block something in
My car was hedged in by the other cars and I was unable to move it this morning.


hedge one's bets
- reduce one's loss on something by counterbalancing the loss in some way
We will hedge our bets and go to a movie if the weather isn't good enough for camping.


hell and high water
- troubles or difficulties of some kind
They went through hell and high water in order to get the food to the flood victims.


hell-bent for leather
- behaving recklessly, riding a horse recklessly
The boys went hell-bent-for-leather down the path to the beach.


hell on earth
- a very unpleasant situation
The hot weather made the small town hell on earth.


hell-on-wheels
- a short-tempered/nagging/crabby person
She is hell-on-wheels in the morning so you should be careful of her.


help oneself to (something)
- take whatever one wants or needs
We went to the buffet table and helped ourselves to the food.


help out with (something)
- assist someone to do something
I helped out with carrying the luggage of the other tour members.


helter-skelter
- in a confusing group, in disorder
When we arrived at work we found the files scattered helter-skelter over the floor.


to hem and haw
- to avoid giving a clear answer, to be evasive in speech
He hemmed and hawed when I asked him if he knew where the missing money was.


hem (someone or something) in
- trap or enclose someone or something
We went to the football game but we felt hemmed in by all of the people.


here and now
- immediately
I want you to do that work right here and now.


here and there
- in various places, go to various places
We went here and there during our holidays.


Here goes.
- ready to to do something while hoping for the best results
"Well, here goes. I am going to go and ask that girl for a date right now."


Here goes nothing.
- ready to do something but think that it will probably be a waste of time and will probably fail
"Here goes nothing. I have already asked him to lend me some money and he always says no but I`ll try again."


here, there and everywhere
- everywhere
The mice were here, there, and everywhere when we entered the old house.


hide/bury one`s head in the sand
- keep from knowing something dangerous or unpleasant
He hates to talk about important matters and hides his head in the sand when I try to talk to him.


hide one's face in shame
- cover one's face because of shame or embarrassment
The man wanted to hide his face in shame after he lost his job.



high Idioms
high and dry
- stranded, abandoned
They left the manager high and dry when they moved the company to Europe.


high and low
- everywhere
We looked high and low for her watch but we couldn`t find it.


high-and-mighty
- arrogant
He always acts high-and-mighty in front of his employees.


(in) high gear
- at top speed, full activity
The preparations for his visit have been in high gear all week.


high-handed
- bossy, dictatorial, depending on force rather than what is right
My supervisor always takes a high-handed approach when dealing with her employees.


(the) high life
- a luxurious existence
They have been living the high life since they moved to Las Vegas.


high man on the totem pole
- the top person of an organization
My father is the high man on the totem pole in his company and has a very good job.


high on (something)
- intoxicated with a drug, enthusuastic about something
The young man was high on something when the police arrested him.


the high seas
- the ocean (away from the coast)
The crew of the ship spent three months on the high seas before going to shore for a visit.


(to be) in high spirits
- to have much energy, to be cheerful
They are in high spirits since their home team won the tournament.


(to be) high time
- to be time that something should already have been done
It is high time that we spent some time cleaning up our house.


.



hightail it out of (somewhere)
- run away from or leave a place quickly
We decided to hightail it out of the restaurant and go home.


highway robbery
- an extremely high price for something
The price that we had to pay for the theater tickets was highway robbery.


hinge on (something)
- depend on something
Whether or not I can enter the university hinges on my final exam score.


hire out (someone)
- accept/give a job/employment
He decided to hire himself out as a dancer while he was going to school.


hire out (something)
- rent something to someone
We hired out our boat last summer because we were too busy to use it.



hit Idioms
hit a plateau
- reach a certain level of activity/sales and then stop
The performance of the basketball team hit a plateau and then declined.


hit a snag
- run into a problem
The negotiations to end the teachers' strike hit a snag last night.


hit-and-miss
- unplanned/uncontrolled/aimless/careless
We are looking for a new apartment but it is hit-and-miss whether we can find a good one or not.


hit-and-run
- an accident where the driver of the car drives away without stopping
My sister was involved in a hit-and-run accident last Sunday afternoon.


hit-and-run
- striking suddenly and leaving quickly
The army made a hit-and-run attack on the enemy soldiers.


hit bottom
- be at the very lowest, not be able to go any lower
The economy hit bottom last year but is finally starting to improve.


hit close to home
- affect one personally
The strike by the trash collectors hit close to home when we had no place to put our garbage.


hit home
- make sense, make an impression on someone
The amount of damage from the storm hit home when we saw the houses on the beach.
hit it off with (someone)
- get along well with someone
We really hit it off at the party.


hit on/upon (something)
- think of something by chance
We hit upon the idea of going to the lake for our holiday after our airline reservations were cancelled.


hit parade
- a list of songs arranged in order of popularity
We listened to all the songs on the hit parade last night.


hit pay dirt
- discover something of value
The men hit pay dirt when they discovered oil in the farmer's field.


hit (someone) below the belt
- do something unfair or unsporting to someone
The lawyer was hitting below the belt when he asked the woman very personal questions.


hit (someone) hard
- affect someone strongly
The death of the woman's father hit her very hard.


hit (someone) like a ton of bricks
- surprise or shock someone
When the small school went out of business it hit everyone like a ton of bricks.


hit (someone) right between the eyes
- make a strong impression on someone, surprise someone
Her incredible performance really hit me between the eyes.


hit (someone) up for (something)
- ask someone for something
My friend tried to hit me up for some money but I said no.


hit the books
- study or prepare for class
He stayed home all weekend and hit the books.


hit the bottle
- drink too much alcohol
She started to hit the bottle soon after her divorce.


hit the bricks
- start walking, go out into the streets (on strike)
The post office workers hit the bricks and went on strike.


hit the bull`s-eye
- go to the most important part of a matter, reach the main question
She hit the bull`s-eye when she suggested that decreasing costs was more important than increasing sales.


hit the ceiling
- get angry
His wife is going to hit the ceiling when she sees the bill for the car repair.


hit the deck
- get up from bed, start working
"Let`s hit the deck and get this work done before supper."


hit the dirt
- fall on the ground and take cover under gunfire
We were told to hit the dirt during the bank robbery.


hit the hay
- go to bed
I decided to hit the hay early last night because I was very tired.


hit the high spots
- consider or mention only the more important parts of something
He only had time to hit the high spots in his report but still it was very interesting.


hit the jackpot
- be very lucky or successful
She hit the jackpot when she bought a lottery ticket last week.


hit the nail on the head
- make a correct guess or analysis
He hit the nail on the head when he wrote the report about the bank`s problems.


hit the road
- leave - usually in a car
We should hit the road early tomorrow morning if we want to reach the seashore before evening.


hit the roof
- become very angry, go into a rage
He hit the roof when he found out that his son had wrecked the family car.


hit the sack
- go to bed
I`m a little bit tired so I think that I will hit the sack now.


hit the sauce
- drink alcohol heavily and regularly
He has been hitting the sauce recently although he says that he doesn`t drink.


hit the skids
- decline, decrease in value
The prices of houses hit the skids recently in our city.


hit the spot
- refresh or satisfy
Drinking the lemonade after the baseball game really hit the spot.


.



hitch one`s wagon to a star
- aim high, follow a great ambition or purpose
He wants to hitch his wagon to a star and pursue his dreams of becoming an actor.


hither and thither
- in one direction and then in another, here and there
He looked hither and thither when he discovered that he had lost his wallet.


hive of activity
- a place where things are very busy
The school was a hive of activity during the school festival.


Hobson's choice
- the choice between taking what is offered or getting nothing at all (Hobson owned a stable in the 17th century in England and always offered his customers the horse nearest the door)
The customer's were given a Hobson's choice. They could buy a car of any colour but only if it was black



hold Idioms
hold a candle to (someone or something)
- be in the same class or level as someone or something (usually used with a negative)
The new restaurant can`t hold a candle to the one that I usually go to.


hold a grudge against (someone)
- not forgive someone for something
He has been holding a grudge against the company manager for many years.


hold a meeting
- meet, have a meeting
The apartment owners decided to hold a meeting last week.


hold all the trump cards/aces
- have the best chance of winning, have full control
It will be difficult to do well in the negotiations with him as he holds all the trump cards.


hold back
- stay back or away, show unwillingness to do something
He always holds back during meetings and never says anything.


hold back (someone)
- prevent someone from doing something
The police officers tried to hold back the angry woman.


hold court
- act like a king or queen among his or her subjects
He always acts like he is holding court when I see him in his office.


hold down a job
- keep a job
He has a serious drinking problem and is unable to hold down a job.


hold down (someone or something)
- keep control of someone or something
The government was able to hold down the rate of inflation for many years.


hold forth
- offer, propose
The company held forth a proposal to give all of the employees a bonus in the summer.


hold forth (on/about something)
- speak in public, talk about something
He was holding forth about taxes last night when I saw him in his office.


hold good
- continue, endure, last
The demand for air conditioners held good during July but decreased rapidly in August.


hold off
- delay, not begin
The concert will be held off until next week.


hold off
- keep away by force
The man was able to hold off the police for several hours before he was arrested.


Hold on!
- wait a minute, stop, wait and not hang up the phone
"Please hold on for a minute while I go back and lock the window."


hold on to (someone or something)
- continue to hold or keep something, hold tightly
You should hold on to your bag when you are in the bus or someone may steal it.


hold one`s breath
- stop breathing for a moment when you are excited or nervous
I had to stop and hold my breath while I was waiting for the announcement of the winning name.


hold one's end of the bargain up
- do one's part as you have agreed
The students were not holding their end of the bargain up when they didn't do their homework.


hold one`s fire
- keep back arguments or facts, keep from telling something
I tried to hold my fire during the meeting and save the rest of the information until next week.


hold one's head up
- keep one's dignity and pride
The basketball players were able to hold their heads up even though they lost the game.
hold one`s horses
- stop and wait patiently
"Hold your horses for a minute while I return to get my wallet."


hold one`s own (in an argument)
- defend one`s position
Although her boss is very aggressive she is able to hold her own in any dispute with him.


hold one`s peace
- be silent and not speak against someone or something
"Please try and hold your peace during the meeting as it will be to our disadvantage if we have a confrontation."


hold one`s tongue
- keep quiet
He decided to hold his tongue rather than give his honest opinion.


a hold-out
- someone who refuses to give something up, a non-conformist
He was the last hold-out in our effort to make sure that everyone wore a necktie to work.


hold out for (something)
- refuse to give up, insist on getting something
The basketball star is holding out for a large salary increase.


hold out on (someone)
- refuse to give something to someone, refuse to agree
The players are holding out on the owners and will not sign their contract.


hold out (one's hand)
- reach out, extend
She held out her hand to help her mother climb up the stairs.


hold out the olive branch to (someone)
- offer to end a dispute with someone
The company decided to hold out the olive branch to the workers who were on strike.


hold over (something)
- extend the engagement of something
The movie was held over for another week.


hold (someone) down
- try to keep someone from succeeding
The president of the company is trying to hold down the manager so he doesn't challenge his position.


hold (someone) hostage
- keep someone as a hostage
The bank robbers were holding the woman hostage.


hold (someone) in high regard
- have very great respect for someone
All of the students hold the principal in high regard.


hold (someone's) attention
- keep someone interested
The man standing on the bridge held everyone's attention for over an hour.


hold (something) against (someone)
- blame something on someone
My friend forgot to give me my money but I don't hold it against him as he is a nice person.


hold (something) back
- keep information or something to or for oneself
Our boss is holding back the information about the new computer system.


hold still
- to not move
"Please hold still while I fix your jacket zipper."


hold the fort
- cope in an emergency, act as a temporary substitute
He has been holding the fort at his company while his boss is on vacation.


hold the line at (something)
- not yield to pressure, limit something
Our company is holding the line on any salary increases.


hold the reins
- be the most influential person
He has been holding the reins in his company for many years.


hold true
- be true
It usually hold's true that the students who come late get the lowest marks.


hold up
- lift, raise
The students usually hold up their hands when they have a question.


hold up
- support, carry
The main beams in the house hold up the total weight of the house.


hold up
- stop, delay
The accident held up traffic for over three hours at the border crossing.


hold up
- rob at gunpoint
The criminal was able to hold up three people before he was caught.


hold up
- keep up one`s courage or spirits
Her spirits are holding up quite well even though she does not have a job now.


hold up
- remain good, not get worse
Sales during the first six months of the year are holding up very well compared to last year.


hold up
- prove true
Her story held up during the questioning by the police.


a hold-up
- a robbery
I was involved in a hold-up when I was in the supermarket last weekend.


hold up (as an example)
- point to someone or something as a good example
The student was held up as an example of an honest and good person.


hold water
- be a sound idea
His proposal for a new work scheduling system doesn`t hold water.


.



hole in the wall
- a small place to live/work/visit, a small hidden (often inferior) place
We went for a drink at a hole in the wall near the university last night.


hole up (somewhere)
- hide somewhere
I passed the weekend holed up in my bedroom with a good book.


holier-than-thou
- acting as if one is better than others in goodness or character etc.
I do not like him because he takes a holier-than-thou attitude toward everyone else.


holy cats
- used to express strong feelings of astonishment, pleasure or anger
"Holy cats, the water is rising over the river bank."


holy cow
- used to express strong feelings of astonishment, pleasure or anger
"Holy cow! There are over one hundred people standing in front of our house."


holy mackerel
- used to express strong feelings of astonishment, pleasure or anger
"Holy mackerel," cried the little boy when he saw the new bicycle that he got for his birthday present.


holy Moses
- used to express strong feelings of astonishment, pleasure or anger
"Holy Moses! It is already noon and I haven`t even started work yet."


a holy terror
- a very disobedient or unruly child
The little boy is a holy terror and his parents never want to take him anywhere.


the honeymoon is over
- the initial period of friendship and cooperation between two groups is over
The honeymoon was over for the new President after several months.


a honky-tonk
- a cheap night-club or dance hall
We went to a honky-tonk in the small town where we stopped last night.


honor a check
- accept someone's personal check
The store refused to honor the check that I tried to give them.


hook, line and sinker
- without question or doubt, completely
She fell in love with her new boyfriend hook, line and sinker.


to hook up (something)
- connect or fit something together
After we moved into our new apartment we had to hook up the phone.


a hook-up
- a connection
The new hook-up for the computer is not working very well.


hooked on (something)
- addicted to a drug or someting similar, enthusiastic about something
The man has been hooked on drugs since he was a teenager.


a hop, skip and a jump
- a short distance
The hospital was a hop, skip, and a jump from our new apartment.


hop to it
- get started, start a job
We must hop to it and try to finish this job before dinner.


to hope against hope
- to continue to hope when things look very bad
The rescue team hoped against hope that the lost hikers would be found alive.


(to be) hopeless at (doing something)
- incapable of doing something well
My sister is hopeless at mathematics.


(to be) hopped up on (something)
- to be high on a drug or on alcohol
The man who tried to rob the store was hopped up on some kind of drug.


to horn in on (someone)
- to come in without an invitation or welcome, interfere
The man horned in on our conversation although he knows that nobody likes him.


to horse around
- to play around, to join in rough teasing
The children were horsing around in the school yard when the bell rang for class.


a horse of a different color
- something totally separate and different
We should not be talking about that issue now. It is a horse of a different color.


horse sense
- good judgement, wisdom in making decisions
He has good horse sense so you can expect him to make an intelligent decision.


to horse trade
- to make a business agreement after hard negotiations
We had to horse trade but we were finally able to reach an agreement to buy the antique car.



hot Idioms
hot air
- nonsense, exaggerated talk
He is full of hot air and you can`t trust what he says.


(to be) hot and bothered
- excited and worried, displeased
I don`t know what is wrong with her but she is hot and bothered about something.


hot and heavy
- serious passion or emotions
The love scenes in the movie were hot and heavy.


hot on (someone or something)
- enthusiastic about someone or something
Recently, I am hot on some kinds of classical music.


a hot potato
- a situation that is likely to cause trouble to the person handling it
The issue of the non-union workers is a hot potato that we must deal with.


a hot rod
- an automobile that is changed so that it can go very fast
He has always loved cars and was a member of his local hot rod club when he was a teenager.


hot under the collar
- very angry
Our boss is hot under the collar today because three of the staff came late.


(to be) in hot water
- to be in trouble
He has been in hot water at work since he took a week off with no excuse.


.



a house of cards
- something badly put together and easily knocked down, a poorly made plan/action
The peace agreement between the two countries was like a house of cards and fell apart as soon as a minor problem occurred.


How about?
- will you have something or will you agree to something?
"How about some coffee before we go to work?"


How about?
- what is your feeling/thought/desire regarding something?
"She is not interested in the job but how about one of her friends?"


How come?
- why?
"How come you don`t telephone her if you want to talk to her?"


How`s that?
- what did you say?
"How`s that? I couldn`t hear you because the radio was too loud."


How so?
- how is it so?
"I know that you think that the answer is wrong but how so?"


a hue and cry
- an excited protest/alarm/outcry
The bank raised a hue and cry when we failed to notify them about our financial problems.


to huff and puff
- to breathe very hard
I was huffing and puffing after I walked up several floors in our apartment building.


(to be) hung up on (someone or something)
- to be obsessed or devoted to someone or something
My friend is hung up on one of his colleagues at work.


to hunger for (something)
- to have a strong desire for something
The men were hungering for adventure when they began their tour of Africa.


(to be) hungry for (something)
- to desire something
I was hungry for some different food so I went to a new restaurant.


hunt high and low for (someone or something)
- carefully look everywhere for something
I have been hunting high and low for my house keys but I can't find them.


hurl an insult (at someone)
- direct/make an insult to someone
The young boys stopped to hurl an insult at the older boy.


hush-hush
- something kept secret or hidden
"Why the big hush-hush? Everyone is very quiet this morning."


hush money
- money paid to persuade someone to be silent about certain information
The politician was arrested for trying to pay hush money to a victim of the scandal.


to hush up
- keep news of something from getting out, prevent people from knowing about something
The government tried to hush up the bad economic news but the media soon discovered the facts.


to hush up
- to be or make quiet, to stop talking/crying/making noise
The mother told her child to hush up when they were in the department store.


hustle and bustle
- confusion, hurry and bother
There is a lot of hustle and bustle downtown every Saturday morning.


(to be) hyped-up
- to have an excess of energy, to be excited
She has been hyped up all morning because she will go to Italy for a holiday next week.
__________________
"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done."
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Old Tuesday, September 18, 2007
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Default H idioms

H
had best (do something)
- should do something, ought to do something
I had best go home soon as I want to get up early tomorrow morning.


had better (do something)
- should do something, ought to do something
I had better go now or I will be late for class.


hail from (somewhere)
- originally come from somewhere
My father hails from a small farming community.


the hair of the dog that bit you
- a drink of alcohol taken when one is recovering from drinking too much
My friend got up early and had the hair of the dog that bit him to start the day.


(one's) hair stands on end
- become frightened or afraid of something
My hair stood on end when I saw the scene after the automobile accident.


(to be) hale and hearty
- to be in very good health, to be well and strong
My uncle is a hale and hearty fellow who never gets sick.


half-baked
- foolish
I don't really like his half-baked idea about the new delivery system.


(to be) half the battle
- to be a large part of the work
Writing the letters will be half the battle. We can finish the rest of the work next week.


(to be) halfhearted about (someone or something)
- (to be) unenthusiastic about someone or something
I was halfhearted about joining the group to go hiking.


ham it up
- do something silly or try to exaggerate something in a funny way
I was hamming it up with my friend in front of the principal's office.


hammer away at (someone or something)
- be persistent in trying to do something
I worked all weekend to hammer away at my final essay for university.


hammer out (something)
- work something out by discussion and debate
The union and managers were able to hammer out an agreement before midnight last night.


hammer (something) home
- try hard to make someone understand something
The speaker tried to hammer home the importance of treating the customers with respect.



hand Idioms
hand down a decision
- announce a legal decision
The judge handed down his decision early in the afternoon.


hand down (something)
- arrange to give something to someone after your death
My grandmother handed down her silver jewellery to my mother.


hand in (something)
- give something to someone, hand something to someone
I went to the company early to hand in my job application.


(work) hand in glove with (someone)
- (work) very close to someone
The supervisor and manager work hand in glove to create a good atmosphere in the company.


be hand in hand
- be holding hands
I walked to the movie hand in hand with my girlfriend.


to hand it to (someone)
- to give credit or praise to someone
You have to hand it to our manager for working hard and being successful with his business.


a hand-me-down
- something given away after another person doesn`t need it (especially clothing)
She was very poor when she was a child and always wore hand-me-down clothing.


a hand-out
- a gift (usually from the government)
The government stopped giving hand-outs to the university students because they had no money.


a hand-out
- a sheet of paper given to students or people who attend a meeting etc.
Everyone at the meeting was given a hand-out on how to invest money.


to hand out (something)
- to give something of the same kind to several people
The teacher decided not to hand out the tests until everybody in the class stopped talking.


hand over fist
- quickly
His new company is making money hand over fist.


hand over (someone or something) to (someone)
- give control or possession of something to someone, give something to another person
The criminals were forced to hand over the stolen money to the police.


hand (something) down to (someone)
- give something to a younger person
The girl always handed her old clothes down to her younger sister.


hand (something) to (someone) on a silver platter
- give a person something that has not been earned
The man handed a job to his son on a silver platter and he never had to make any effort at all.


(live) hand-to-mouth
- have only enough money for basic living
He was living a hand-to-mouth existence until he was finally able to find a job.


(one's) hands are tied
- one is unable to help
I am sorry that I can`t help you but my hands are tied at the moment.


hands down
- easy, unopposed
They won the game hands down over the other team.


hands off
- leave alone, don`t interfere
The government decided to take a hands-off approach to the teachers during the strike.


.




handle with kid gloves
- be very careful handling someone or something
He is very sensitive so you have to handle him with kid gloves when you speak to him.


the handwriting is on the wall
- a sign that something bad or significant will happen
The handwriting is on the wall. Business conditions are bad so nobody will get a pay raise this year.


handy
- can easily fix things
He is very handy around the house and is always fixing or building something.



hang Idioms
hang a left
- turn to the left
We drove to the end of the block and hung a left there.


hang a right
- turn to the right
We decided to hang a right when we came to the main street.


hang around
- pass time or stay someplace without any real purpose or aim
We decided to stay home and hang around rather than go to the game.


hang back
- stay some distance behind or away, hesitate or be unwilling to do something
He lacks self-confidence and always hangs back when his boss asks for volunteers.


hang by a thread/hair
- be in doubt, depend on a very small thing
The outcome of the election was hanging by a thread until late at night.


hang in the balance
- have two equally possible results, be uncertain
After the opposition party won the election whether or not the new highway will be built hangs in the balance.


hang in (there)
- persevere, don`t give up
"You should hang in there and not quit your job even if you hate the supervisor."


Hang it!
- a rather old expression used to express annoyance or disappointment
"Hang it", the man said when he hit his finger with the hammer.


hang loose
- relax, remain calm
I want to stay at home this weekend and hang loose.


hang on
- continue
Although conditions were very bad he decided to hang on and fight to keep his business going.


hang on
- wait, continue listening on the telephone
"Hang on for a minute while I go and get some paper and a pen."


hang on (someone's) every word
- listen with complete attention to everything someone says
The audience hung on every word of the speaker.


hang on to (something)
- hold tightly, keep firmly
"Please hang on to your hats or the strong wind will blow them off."


hang one on
- get very drunk
He hung one on last night after he heard about his promotion.


hang one's hat (somewhere)
- live or take up residence somewhere
I want to move and hang my hat in a small town somewhere.


hang out one`s shingle
- notify the public of the opening of an office - especially an office of a doctor, lawyer or other professional
He has decided to hang out his shingle now that he has graduated from law school.


hang out (somewhere/with someone)
- spend one`s time with no great purpose, spend leisure time with friends
Recently my friend has been hanging out with a group of people who are not a good influence on him.


hang (someone) in effigy
- hang a dummy of a hated person
The demonstrators hung the dishonest politician in effigy.


hang tough
- stick to one's position
I decided to hang tough and stop negotiating with the lawyer.


hang up (something)
- place something on a hook/peg/hangar
Everyone was forced to hang up their jackets before they entered the room.


hang up (the telephone)
- place a telephone receiver back on the telephone and end the call
After I hung up the telephone I left home to go to work.


a hang-up
- a delay in some process
There was a hang-up in the construction of the office tower because of the fire.


a hang-up
- an inhibition, a neurotic reaction to some life situation
The girl has a serious hang-up about the dark and is afraid to go out at night.


.



happen upon (someone or something)
- meet someone or find something unexpectedly
I happened upon a very valuable book when I was cleaning up my grandfather's house.


happy hour
- a time in bars or restaurants when drinks are served at a discount
We stopped at the restaurant during happy hour and had a drink.



hard Idioms
a hard-and-fast rule
- a rule that cannot be altered to fit special cases
There is no hard-and-fast rule that says you can`t use a cellular phone in the train.


as hard as nails
- physically very fit and strong, rough
He is as hard as nails and is not a good person to have an argument with.


hard feelings
- angry or bitter feelings
I don`t have any hard feelings toward my boss even though he fired me.


hard-nosed
- not weak or soft, stubborn - especially in a fight or contest or negotiations
The company had a hard-nosed attitude while bargaining with the union.


a hard nut to crack
- a person or thing not easily understood or influenced
He is a hard nut to crack and is not close to many people.


hard of hearing
- unable to hear well
The man is hard of hearing so you must speak loudly when talking to him.


hard on (someone or something)
- treat someone or something roughly
His son is very hard on shoes.


(to be) hard on (someone's) heels
- to be following someone very closely
The police officer was hard on the heels of the criminal.


hard-pressed
- burdened with urgent business
"I am hard-pressed for time. Can we meet later?"


a hard sell
- an attitude where you pressure someone to buy something
The car dealer gave me a hard sell on the new car so I went to another dealer.


be hard up
- be short of money
I am hard up for money at the moment so I can`t go to the movie.


.



harken back to (something)
- have started out as something
The new building harkens back to a style that appeared over 100 years ago.


to harp on (something)
- to talk repeatedly and tediously about something
He has been harping on his lack of money for several weeks now.


hash (something) over
- discuss something in great detail
We stayed after school to hash over the new contract.


a hassle
- a bothersome thing
It is a hassle to have to report to my boss two times a day.


a hatchet man
- a politician whose job it is to say negative things about the opposition, a person in a company who must fire extra workers or cut other expenses
He is acting as a hatchet man for the leader but I don`t think that he really believes what he is saying.


hate (someone`s) guts
- feel very strong dislike for someone
I absolutely hate the apartment manager's guts after she caused me so many problems.


haul (someone) in
- take someone to the police station, arrest someone
The police hauled the man in because he was drinking while driving.



have Idioms
have a ball
- have a good time
She had a ball at the party last night.


have a bee in one's bonnet
- have an idea or thought that stays in one's mind
My sister has a bee in her bonnet about going to Mexico to teach.


have a big mouth
- be a person who gossips or tells secrets
My friend has a big mouth so I don't like to tell him any secrets.


have a blowout
- have a big wild party or sale
The university students had a big blowout on their graduation day.


have a blowout
- one's car tire bursts
Our car had a blowout on the road up the mountain.


have a bone to pick with (someone)
- have a disagreement to discuss with someone
I have a bone to pick with my boss because of his criticism of me.


have a brush with (the law or something)
- have a brief experience with the law or something
I had a brush with the law when my car was stopped for speeding.


have a case (against someone)
- have much evidence that can be used against someone
The police have a very good case against the man who is selling the stolen cars.


have a change of heart
- change one's attitude or decision (usually from negative to positive)
I had a change of heart and will let my friend use my car tomorrow.


have a chip on one's shoulder
- seem to want to start a conflict
Our neighbor has a chip on his shoulder and is always trying to start a fight.


have a clear conscience
- be free of guilt
I have a clear conscience and am not worried that I did anything wrong.


have a close call/shave
- almost be involved in an accident or something similar
I had a close call this morning when I was almost hit by a car.


(not) have a clue (about something)
- (not) know anything about something
I do not have a clue who took the laptop computer.


have a crush on (someone)
- to be attracted to someone
The girl has a crush on someone at her university.


have a familiar ring
- to sound familiar
The complaints of our supervisor have a familiar ring and we have heard them before.


have a feeling about (something)
- have an intuition about something
I have a strange feeling about the new man in our company.


have a field day
- have a wild time
The media had a field day with the scandal in the local city government.


have a finger in the pie
- be involved in something
The man has his finger in the pie of many businesses.


have a fit
- become upset
The woman had a fit when she saw what her son had done to her car.


have a foot in both camps
- support each of two opposing groups of people
The mayor of the city has a foot in both camps of the opposing groups.


have a frog in one's throat
- have a feeling of a hoarse throat, be unable to speak
I had a frog in my throat and couldn't speak easily in front of the class.


have a go at (something)
- try to do something
I decided to have a go at applying for the job after my boss told me about it.


have a good command of (something)
- know something well
The girls have a good command of French.


have a good mind to (do something)
- be tempted to do something
I have a good mind to tell my friend that I will not lend him any money.


have a good thing going
- have or do something that is beneficial
I have a good thing going with my company and my schedule is very good.


have a green thumb
- be able to grow plants well
My sister has a green thumb and has a beautiful garden.


have a hand in (something)
- be partly responsible for something
I think that the woman had a hand in getting her friend fired from her job.


have a handle on (something)
- have control or an understanding of something
I finally have a handle on my work and it is going very well.


have a head for (something)
- have the mental capacity for something
My father has a head for numbers and is very good at mathematics.


have a (good) head on one`s shoulders
- be smart or sensible
That new salesman really has a head on his shoulders.


have a heart
- be generous and forgiving
The woman doesn't have a heart and everybody dislikes her.


have a heart of gold
- be generous/sincere/friendly
The woman has a heart of gold and is always willing to help her friends.


have a heart of stone
- be cold and unfriendly
The man has a heart of stone and he will never help anybody.


have a heart-to-heart talk (with someone)
- have a sincere and intimate talk with someone
I had a heart-to-heart talk with my sister about my girlfriend.


have a hold on (someone)
- have a strong and secure influence on someone
The coach has a very strong hold on the members of the team.


have a hunch about (something)
- have a feeling that something will or should happen
I had a hunch that my friend would not come to meet me.


have a keen interest in (someone or something)
- be very interested in someone or something
I have always had a keen interest in hiking and camping.


have a lot going (for one)
- have many things working to one's benefit
The woman has a lot going for her and should do well at her job.


have a lot of promise
- have a good future ahead
The young racing horse has a lot of promise and should be a winner in the future.


have a lot on one's mind
- have many things to worry about
She has a lot on her mind with her new job and her new boyfriend.


have a mind like a steel trap
- have a very sharp and agile mind
The man has a mind like a steel trap and can remember most things easily.


have a near miss
- nearly crash or collide with something
The two trucks had a near miss on the highway this morning.


have a nose for (something)
- have a talent for finding something
Our supervisor has a nose for finding ways to save money in our company.


have a notion to (do something)
- feel tempted or inclined to do something
I had a notion to go to the beach so I went to the beach.


have a one-track mind
- think only about one thing
My friend has a one-track mind and he is only interested in making money.


have a passion for (something)
- have a strong feeling of need or love for something
The student wants to become a teacher because he has a passion for teaching English.


have a pick-me-up
- eat or drink something stimulating
The carpenter bought a protein drink as a pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon.


have a price on one's head
- be wanted by the police who will pay money for one's capture
The man has a price on his head and is wanted by the police all over the country.


have a/the right to do something
- have the freedom to do something
The apartment manager does not have the right to tell the tenants when they must leave the building.


have a rough time (of it)
- experience a difficult period
My friend had a rough time of it when he was forced to leave his job.


have a run-in with (someone)
- have an unpleasant encounter with someone
I had a run-in with my boss that made us both feel bad.


have a run of bad luck
- have a period of bad luck
My uncle had a run of bad luck and he lost his business as well as his house.


have a say/voice in (something)
- have a part in making a decision
The union wanted to have a say in how the company was managed.


have a score to settle with (someone)
- have a problem to clear up with someone
I had a score to settle with the soccer coach which I wanted to talk about.


have a scrape with (someone or something)
- come into contact with someone or something
I had a scrape with the building owner and I must be very careful of what I say now.


have a screw loose
- act in a strange way, be foolish
He is a very strange person. I think that he has a screw loose somewhere.


(not) have a snowball's chance in hell
- have no chance at all
Our team didn't have a snowball's chance in hell to win the tournament.


have a soft spot in one's heart for (someone or something)
- be fond of someone or something
My grandmother has a soft spot in her heart for her youngest son.


have a sweet tooth
- have a desire to eat sweet foods
The girl has a sweet tooth and loves to eat chocolate.


have a taste for (something)
- have a desire for a particular food/drink/experience
Recently my friend has a taste for very loud and fast music.


have a thing going with (someone)
- have a romantic relationship with someone
I think that the secretary has a thing going with one of the salesmen.


have a time
- have trouble, have a hard time
She really had a time last night when her car stopped working.


have a time
- have a good time, have fun
We really had a time at the party last night.


have a try/crack at (something)
- take a turn at trying to do something
I have always wanted to have a try at scuba diving.


have a vested interest in (something)
- have a personal interest (often financial) in something
The mayor of the city has a vested interest in building the new stadium.


have a way with (someone or something)
- be able to lead/persuade/influence others
The little girl has a way with horses. They are very gentle when she is around.


have a weakness for (someone or something)
- be unable to resist someone or something
The girl has a weakness for chocolate and is always eating it.


have a whale of a time
- have an exciting time
Everybody had a whale of a time at the school picnic.


have a word with (someone)
- talk briefly with someone
I will have a word with my boss before he goes home tonight.


have an accident
- experience something that was not intended
I had an accident on my way to work this morning.


have an ace up one's sleeve
- have something that you can use to gain an advantage (in a card game the ace is often the most valuable card and a cheater could have an ace up his or her sleeve to use against an opponent)
I have an ace up my sleeve which should help me when I meet my boss tomorrow.


have an ax to grind (with someone)
- have something to complain about
My co-worker has an ax to grind with our boss and is always complaining.


have an ear for (something)
- have the ability to learn music or languages
My cousin has an ear for music and is a very good musician.


have an edge on/over (someone or something)
- have an advantage over someone or something
Our team has an edge over the other teams to win the high school football championship.


have an eye for (something)
- have good taste in something, be able to judge correctly
She has an eye for nice furniture and her apartment is absolutely beautiful.


have an in with (someone)
- have a way to request a special favor from someone
The woman has an in with her boss and can easily get time off.


have an itch to do something
- have a desire to do something
I have an itch to go fishing this summer.


have an out
- have an excuse
The teacher asked me to do my presentation tomorrow but I have an out and don't have to do it. I will go to the doctor tomorrow


(not) have anything to do with someone
- (not) want to be a friend/work/do business with someone
My father will not have anything to do with the salesman because he sold him the faulty car.


have arrived
- reach a position of power/authority/prominence
The manager thought that she had arrived when she was given a beautiful corner office.


have bearing on (something)
- affect or influence something
The company decision had much bearing on the way that the company was managed.


have been around
- have been to many places and done many things, be experienced
My brother has been around and has been overseas many times.


have been had
- have been cheated or dealt with badly
I felt that I had been had when the salesman sold me the bad product.


have been through the mill
- have become exhausted or been badly treated
The students have been through the mill and want to relax after the final exams.


have been to hell and back
- have survived a great deal of trouble
I thought that I had been to hell and back after I lost my job and couldn't find a new one.


have clean hands
- be guiltless
I felt that I had clean hands and did not need to worry about the company scandal.


have come a long way
- have accomplished much
The woman has come a long way since she lost her house and her apartment.


have contact with (someone)
- communicate with someone
The government has had no contact with the kidnappers for several weeks.


have designs on (someone or something)
- have plans for someone or something
The city has designs on the land that the railway used to occupy.


have dibs on (something)
- demand a share of something, be in line to use something
I have dibs on the computer and would like to use it as soon as possible.


have egg on one`s face
- be embarrassed
He has egg on his face after finding out about his mistake.


have eyes bigger than one's stomach
- have a desire for more food than one can eat
I had eyes bigger than my stomach when I took too much food at the buffet.


have eyes in the back of one's head
- be able to sense what is going on where you can't see
The man has eyes in the back of his head and knows everything that is going on.


have eyes only for (someone or something)
- give all of one`s attention to someone or something, be interested only in someone or something
She has eyes only for her boyfriend.


have feet of clay
- have a character defect
The candidate has feet of clay and is being criticized by many of her opponents.


have growing pains
- a child or organization has difficulties in its growth
The new company is having growing pains as it trys to meet the demands for its services.


have had enough
- have had as much as you need of something
I have had enough sun today so I will go home soon.


have had it up to here with (someone or something)
- have reached the end of one's endurance or tolerance
The teacher has had it up to here with the bad behavior of the students.


have had it with (someone or something)
- be unable to tolerate someone or something anymore
I have had it with her constant complaining.


have had its day
- be no longer useful or successful
My suitcase has had its day and I must buy a new one.


have half a mind to (do something)
- feel tempted or inclined to do something
I have half a mind to go and offer my resignation to the president.


have in mind
- intend, plan
"What do you have in mind for your wife`s birthday?"


have it
- hear or get news, understand
I have it that the new president will be coming to see us next week.


have it
- claim, say
Rumor has it that three of the supervisors will be leaving next week.


have it
- allow (usually used with will or would)
We wanted to have a party at our office next month but our boss will not have it.


have it
- get/find the answer, understand
I think I finally have it. The reason she is leaving is because she is going to have a baby.


have it all over (someone or something)
- be much better than someone or something
My new bicycle has it all over my old one.


have it both ways
- do two things, have two things
"You can`t have it both ways. You must choose one or the other."


have it coming (to someone)
- deserve punishment
He really has it coming after causing many problems in his company.


have it in for (someone)
- show ill will to someone, dislike someone
I have been having problems at work recently. I think that the new supervisor has it in for me.


have it made
- be successful, have everything
He has it made with his new job.


have it out with (someone)
- argue or fight with someone
I had it out with my friend yesterday over the problem with the money.


have mixed feelings about (someone or something)
- be uncertain about someone or something
I have mixed feelings about moving away and taking the new job.


have money to burn
- have lots of money
The man has money to burn and is always buying something new.


have never had it so good
- have never been in such a good situation
We have never had it so good since the new supervisor came to our department.


have no business (doing something)
- be wrong to do something
The apartment manager has no business asking us about our private business.


have none of (something)
- not tolerate or endure something
Our teacher will have none of our talking loudly in the class.


have nothing on (someone or something)
- have no information or evidence about someone or something
The police have nothing on the man so they could not arrest him.


have nothing to do with (someone or something)
- not be involved with someone or something
My aunt will have nothing to do with most members of her family.


have nothing/none to spare
- not have extra of something
We had none to spare so we were unable to give any books to the hospital.


have on (something)
- be wearing something
"What did she have on when you last saw her?"


have one foot in the grave
- be near death
My uncle is very sick and has one foot in the grave.


have one for the road
- have a drink before leaving
We decided to have one for the road before we walked down to the train station to go home.


have one`s ass in a sling
- be in an uncomfortable predicament, be at a disadvantage
He really has his ass in a sling now that he has quit his job and can`t find another one.


have one's back to the wall
- be in a defensive position
The boy has his back to the wall and must pass his exam or leave school.


have one's cake and eat it too
- have something both ways
The union wants to have their cake and eat it too and will not give up anything during the bad economic times.


have one's druthers
- get one's choice
If I had my druthers I would not go to the meeting this evening.


have one's ear to the ground
- listen carefully for advice or advance warning of something
Our teacher always has his ear to the ground to look for possible trouble at school.


have one`s eye on (something)
- have a wish/aim for something, look or think about something
I want to buy a present for my girlfriend and I have my eye on a dress that I saw at the department store last week.


have one`s feet on the ground
- be practical or sensible
The new sales manager really has his feet on the ground.


have one's finger in too many pies
- be involved in too many things
The woman has her finger in too many pies and is unable to do her work well.


have one's hand in the till
- be stealing money from a company or organization
The man had his hand in the till for many years before he was caught.


have one's hands full with (someone or something)
- be totally occupied with someone or something
The mother has her hands full with the two young children.


have one's hands tied
- be prevented from doing something
I had my hands tied and was unable to help my friend with his request.


have one's head in the clouds
- be unaware of what is going on
The boy has his head in the clouds and doesn't think about what is going on around him.


have one's heart go out to someone
- have compassion for someone
We had our heart go out to the woman who lost her child in the fire.


have one's heart in the right place
- have good intentions (even if the results may be bad)
The woman has her heart in the right place and is always ready to help if she can.


have one's heart set against (something)
- be totally against something
My father has his heart set against my trip to Europe.


have one`s heart set on (something)
- want something very much
The child has his heart set on getting a new bicycle for his birthday.


have one's nose in a book
- be reading a book
The boy loves reading and always has his nose in a book.


have one's nose in the air
- be conceited or aloof
The girl has her nose in the air and is unfriendly to the other members of her class.


have one's work cut out for one
- have a large and difficult task to do
We had our work cut out for us when we began to paint the house.


have oneself something
- use or consume something
I decided to have myself a drink before leaving for the movie.


have other fish to fry
- have other or more important things to do
I have other fish to fry and do not want to get involved with the small problems in my company.


have pull with (someone)
- have influence with someone
My friend has pull with his boss and often goes home early.


have rocks in one`s head
- be stupid, not have good judgement
She has rocks in her head. She should never have bought that old car.


have second thoughts about (someone or something)
- have doubts about someone or something
Recently, I am having second thoughts about buying a new motorcycle.


have seen better days
- be worn out or well-used
My bicycle has seen better days and soon I will need to buy a new one.


have (someone) in one's pocket
- have control over someone
The large union has the city mayor in their pocket.


have (someone or something) in tow
- lead/pull/tow someone or something
The boy had his brother in tow as he walked down the street.


have (someone) over
- invite someone to your house
We plan to have my parents over when we settle into our new house.


have (someone's) blood on one's hands
- be responsible for someone's death
The army general has the citizen's blood on his hands.


have (someone's) hide
- scold or punish someone
The mother promised to have her son's hide if he didn't behave.


have (something) against (someone or something)
- have a dislike for someone or something
I don't know why but my teacher seems to have something against me.


have (something) at one's fingertips
- have something within reach
I didn't have a pen at my fingertips so I couldn't write down the man's address.


have (something) coming to (someone)
- deserve punishment for something
The girl has the punishment coming to her because of what she did.


have (something) down pat
- have learned or memorized something perfectly
I have the dance routine down pat.


have (something) going for one
- have ability/talent/good looks
She has a lot going for her and I am sure that she will get the new job.


have (something) hanging over one's head
- have something worrying one
I want to finish my final essay so I don't have it hanging over my head.


have (something) in common with (someone or something)
- resemble each other in specific ways, have similar interests to someone
I have much in common with a girl in my class.


have (something) in mind
- have a plan or idea in one's mind
I don't know what my friend has in mind so I will ask him later.


have (something) in stock
- have goods available to sell
The store does not have any CD players in stock.


have (something) in store for (someone)
- have something planned for someone
I don't know what my boss has in store for me.


have (something) on
- have plans for a particular time
I have something on this afternoon so I can't go to the park.


have (something) on file
- have or keep a written record of something
I have the report on file on my computer disc.


have (something) on (someone)
- have information or proof that someone did something wrong
I think that the police have something on the man and that is why he wants to quit his job.


have (something) on the ball
- be smart/clever/skilled
She really has a lot on the ball. She should do well in her new job.


have (something) on the brain
- be obsessed with something
My sister has tennis on the brain and is always talking about it.


have (something) on the tip of one's tongue
- be almost able to remember a specific fact such as a name or place
I have the actor's name on the tip of my tongue but I can't remember it.


have (something) stuck in one's craw
- have something irritate or displease someone
The man's complaint stuck in my craw for several weeks before I forgot it.


have (something) to do with (something)
- to be about something, to be on the subject of something, to be related to something
"The book has something to do with cooking but I am not sure if you will like it."
That problem has nothing to do with me.


have (something) to spare
- have more than enough of something
We have extra blankets to spare so we gave them to our neighbors.


have (something) up one`s sleeve
- have something kept secretly ready for the right time
I`m not too worried about the meeting as I have something up my sleeve if there are any problems.


have sticky fingers
- to steal things
He was fired from the restaurant because he has sticky fingers.


have the best of both worlds
- be able to enjoy two different opportunities
The man has the best of both worlds and can enjoy the outdoors and nature while he is working at his job.


have the courage of one's convictions
- have enough courage and determination to carry out one's goals
The man has the courage of his convictions and will only do what he feels is right.


have the devil to pay
- have a great deal of trouble
I will have the devil to pay if I don't return home before dark.


have the feel of (something)
- have learned how something feels, be accustomed to something
As soon as I had the feel of the airplane, the instructor let me fly it.


have the gall to (do something)
- be arrogant enough to do something
The woman had the gall to ask me to stop talking after she had been talking loudly for an hour.


have the gift of the gab
- be able to talk and use language easily
My sister has the gift of the gab and is able to talk to others easily.


have the last laugh
- make someone seem foolish for having laughed at you first
I had the last laugh when I went home early while everyone else had to stay overnight at the airport because of the storm.


have the makings of (something)
- possess the qualities that are needed for something
The new soccer player has the makings of a great star.


have the Midas touch
- have the ability to make money easily
My uncle has the Midas touch and he makes money at whatever he does.


have the presence of mind to (do something)
- have the calmness and ability to act sensibly in a difficult situation
My aunt had the presence of mind to write a will before she passed away.


have the right-of-way
- have the right to drive in one lane while driving
The small car had the right-of-way but was hit by the large truck anyway.


have the time of one's life
- have a very good time
We had the time of our life at the party last night.


have the wherewithal to (do something)
- have the money or energy to do something
The man does not have the wherewithal to go to court and fight his case.


have them rolling in the aisles
- make an audience laugh a lot
The speaker had them rolling in the aisles when he gave his talk.


have to (do something)
- be obliged or forced to do something
I have to leave at 40 or I will be late for my appointment.


have to live with (something)
- have to endure somethin