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Idioms
ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE
To inflame or worsen a bad situation.

Max was already upset. Your teasing him just added fuel to the fire.

ADD UP
To make sense; to be consistent (usually negative)

John's excuse for not completing his homework just doesn't add up.

AGAINST THE GRAIN
Contrary to what is expected or preferred.

Mary has a difficult time getting along with others as she is inclined to go against the grain in everything she does.

AHEAD OF ONE'S TIME
In advance of current ideas and trends.

Some people describe Albert Einstein was a physicist ahead of his time.

 

ALL EARS
Listening intently; eager to hear something.

So, you have some new gossip about Mary. I'm all ears.

ALL FIRED UP
Excited; highly enthusiastic

I'm really fired up about the party next week.

ARM AND A LEG
A very high cost; a large amount of money.

Many people are complaining that gas costs an arm and a leg nowadays.

AT THE END OF ONE'S ROPE
At the limit of one's patience.

Mary is at the end of her rope with Max. She can't take his nagging any longer.

AT THE TOP OF ONE'S LUNGS
In an extremely loud voice.

Max called out to Mary at the top of his lungs, but she didn't hear him.

BALLPARK FIGURE
A rough estimate within acceptable bounds.

Two months after the fire, the construction company gave us a ballpark figure on how much it would cost to rebuild our home.

BANG FOR THE BUCK
Value; efficiency; return on investment.

I'm not sure which car to buy. I'm trying to figure out which gives the greatest bang for the buck.

BARK UP THE WRONG TREE
Pursue the wrong thing; to take the wrong approach.

Don't ask me for a pay raise. You're barking up the wrong tree. I have no authority to give anybody a pay raise.

BEAR IN MIND
Remember; consider; note.

Bear in mind that money is not the most important thing in life.

BEAT A DEAD HORSE
To continue or persist talking about a topic or issue beyond normal interest.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but could we go over the plan just once more?

BEAT AROUND THE BUSH
To talk about a topic too indirectly or cautiously; to take a long time getting to the main point or idea.

Please stop beating around the bush and get to the point!

BEATS ME
I don't know; this puzzles me.

Do you have any idea why Mary was upset? Beats me!

BEND OVER BACKWARDS
To make a great effort; to go to great lengths.

Max bent over backwards to make sure that his boss was happy.

BESIDE THE POINT
Irrelevant, off the topic.

The color of the car is beside the point. What kind of gas mileage does it get?

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
Having the choice between two difficult or unacceptable options.

Max was between a rock and a hard place. He could fight in the war, which he didn't believe in, or go to prison.

BITE ONE'S TONGUE
To stop oneself from speaking out.

Max quit his job because he was tired of biting his tongue every time his boss announced one of his stupid ideas.

BLOW (SOMETHING) OUT OF PROPORTION
To overreact or exaggerate something.

Let's not blow the problem out of proportion. If we break it down, we'll see that it is really not that complicated.

BUY IT
To believe something.

Max told Mary that he was sorry, but she didn't buy it.

CALL IT A DAY
To stop an activity for the day.

We've done enough work today. Let's call it a day.

CALL IT A NIGHT
To go to bed to sleep.

I'm tired. I'm going to have to call it a night.

CALL IT EVEN
To declare debts paid.

You save my life five years ago, and I saved your life just now. Let's call it even.

CALL IT QUITS
To conclude; to quit or stop an activity.

I think everyone is very tired right now; let's call it quits for now and try again tomorrow.

CAN OF WORMS
A difficult problem which produces additional problems.

Max couldn't tell Mary the truth. He knew it would open a can of worms.

CARRY ON
To continue or proceed.

I'll be gone for a couple weeks. I'm sure you can carry on without me.

CATCH ON
To understand; to realize.

Max took a little extra time to catch on, but eventually he understood the situation.

CHANGE ONE'S MIND
To decide differently or have a different opinion than before.

I know I said that I wanted vanilla, but I changed my mind; I want chocolate.

CHEAT ON
To be sexually unfaithful to.

John asked for a divorce when he found out that Mary was cheating on him.

CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
A narrowly missed attempt or guess.

Nice try. Close but no cigar. Guess again.

COLD TURKEY
To stop an addiction all at once, not gradually.

Max quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey.

CROSS THAT BRIDGE WHEN ONE COMES TO IT
To not deal with a situation until one is actually in the situation.

I'm not sure what we'll do if he says no. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

CROSS THE LINE
To go too far; to violate accepted boundaries or rules.

Max really crossed the line when he ate Mary's last donut.

CUT (SOMEBODY) SOME SLACK
To be flexible or lenient with somebody.

Cut Max some slack. He didn't mean to be rude. He just had a very difficult day.

CUT TO THE CHASE
To get to the main point; to state something directly.

Let me cut to the chase. I quit. As of tomorrow, I no longer work here.

DAILY GRIND
The monotonous tasks of everyday work.

I've had enough of the daily grind. I hope I win the lottery soon.

DEAD END
A path or situation that leads nowhere or offers no prospects.

My job seems to be at a dead end.

DEEP DOWN
Basically; in essence; at the core.

Max's boss seems to be a very evil person, but deep down he's not that bad.

DIE DOWN
To fade; to gradually come to an end.

The storm seems to be dying down. Maybe we'll be able to play tennis tomorrow after all.

DO THE TRICK
To work; to cause the desired results.

I need something to quench my thirst. This bottle of water should do the trick.

DOWN AND OUT
Without money and without prospects.

Max is pretty down and out. He has lost his job, car, and home.

DOWN THE DRAIN
Wasted, lost.

Everything I spent on guitar lessons was just money down the drain. I can't play a thing.

DRAG ONE'S FEET
To deliberately hold back or delay; to intentionally go or work slowly.

Whenever I ask for the information, they say they're working on it. I think they're just dragging their feet.

DRAW A BLANK
To suddenly forget; to fail to remember a piece of information.

I know the answer to that question, but I'm drawing a blank.

DROP OUT
To leave school or a social group; to withdraw from competition.

Man, I'm tired of school. I think I'll drop out and do a little traveling.

EASY AS PIE
Very easily completed or accomplished.

That puzzle was as easy as pie.

EASY COME, EASY GO
Easily won and easily lost.

The government took half of my lottery winnings in taxes. Oh well, easy come, easy go.

EASY ON THE EYES
Attractive; beautiful.

Mary is quite easy on the eyes.

EAT LIKE A BIRD
To eat very little.

How does Mary keep such a nice figure? I bet she eats like a bird.

EAT LIKE A PIG
To eat noisily, with one's mouth open; to eat a lot.

Don't invite Max to your dinner party; he eats like a pig.

ELBOW GREASE
hard work or physical effort.

The floor is very dirty. It will take some elbow grease to get it clean.

FACE THE MUSIC
To confront the unpleasant consequences of one's actions.

The police are here to arrest Max. I guess it's time for him to face the music.

FACE TO FACE
In person; in the physical presence of somebody.

I'm tired of discussing this over the phone. Let's meet and discuss it face to face.

FALL ON DEAF EARS
To be ignored or disregarded.

Every time Mary ask Max to do something, her requests fall on deaf ears.

FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS
To be missed or overlooked.

How did they overlook that million dollar account. Somehow it just fell through the cracks.

FEEL FREE
Be my guest; be uninhibited about doing something.

Please feel free to eat anything in the refrigerator.

FEW AND FAR BETWEEN
Rare and scarce; occurring infrequently.

People who actually like Max are few and far between.

FILL SOMEONE'S SHOES
To do someone's job; to assume someone's role.

It will be very difficult to fill Max's shoes when he retires.

FILTHY RICH
Extremely wealthy.

Max married Mary because she was filthy rich. All he cared about was her money.

FIT THE BILL
To be suitable; to meet requirements.

I am looking for a new pair of earphones. These should fit the bill just fine.

FLUNK OUT
To be kicked out of school for not meeting academic standards.

Max flunked out of college in less than a year.

FOR GOOD
Permanently.

Once you quit the club, you are out for good. You can never come back.

FOR KICKS
For pleasure or excitement; for fun

For kicks, Max liked to play jokes on his friends.

FOR THE BIRDS
Worthless; no good.

Homework is for the birds. I'm not sure why my teacher gives me so much homework.

FULL OF IT
Speaking nonsense; lying, exaggerating, or boasting.

Don't listen to Miguel. He is full of it.

GET A GRIP
To control your emotions; to regain your composure.

Tell Max to get a grip. He is totally overreacting.

GET A HANDLE ON
To obtain a basic level of understanding or control.

After reading chapter four, I'm starting to get a handle on quantum physics.

GET A WORD IN EDGEWAYS
To contribute to a conversation with people who are very talkative.

When you are talking with Mary, she talks so much that you are lucky to get a word in edgewise.

GET CARRIED AWAY
To overdo; to do to excess.

Max got carried away with the balloons for the party. There must have been over a thousand.

GET CRACKING
To get started; hurry up.

Come on! Let's get cracking. We need to finish this project by next week.

GET EVEN
To get revenge.

Mary was quite upset with Jane for stealing her boyfriend. She swore that she would get even.

GET HITCHED
To get married.

Mary and Max got hitched two years ago.

GET ON ONE'S NERVES
To annoy or irritate someone.

Max may be a nice guy, but sometimes he really gets on my nerves.

GET ON SOMEONE'S CASE
To criticize, find fault, or lecture.

The boss is always getting on Max's case for everything.

GET ONE'S ACT TOGETHER
To become serious, organized.

If you want a pay raise, you are going to have to get your act together and do a better job.

GET ONE'S FEET WET
To gain new experience.

Max is just getting his feet wet. He is likely to make a few mistakes.

GET ONE'S FOOT IN THE DOOR
To begin become established in an occupation or company.

You were very lucky to get your foot in the door at ABC Company.

GET SOMETHING STRAIGHT
To understand correctly; to clarify.

Let's get this straight. We'll meet behind the back after work.

GET THE HANG OF
To become accustomed to; to learn how to do or use something.

When I moved to England, it took me a few days to get the hang of driving on the left side of the road.

GET THE POINT
To understand the general or main idea.

I don't think Max got the point. The point is that the important things in life have little to do with money.

GET TO THE BOTTOM OF
To find the underlying cause of a situation.

Max will get to the bottom of the problem sooner or later.

GET UP ON THE WRONG SIDE OF BED
To feel irritable; to be in a grouchy mood for no particular reason.

Watch out for Max. I think he got up on the wrong side of the bed today.

GIVE IT A GO
To try or attempt.

I'm not sure if I can do this, but I'll give it a go.

GIVE SOMEONE THE COLD SHOULDER
To ignore; to snub or reject someone

For some reason, Mary is giving me the cold shoulder today.

GO ALL OUT
To spare no expense or effort; to put forth all possible effort or resources.

For the last two miles of the race, Max went all out.

GO DOWNHILL
To worsen or deteriorate.

The company was having a few minor problems, and then all of a sudden everything went downhill fast.

GO FOR IT
To put maximum effort toward achieving a goal.

There is a job opening at ABC Company. Max is going for it.

GO OUT ON A LIMB
To take a risk; to put oneself in a vulnerable position.

Mary went out on a limb lending Max all of her money. I hope he repays her.

GO PLACES
To achieve progress or succeed.

With all of your talent, you are certain to go places.

GUT FEELING
An instinct or intuition.

I have a gut feeling that John and Jane are going to get married

HAND IT TO
To give someone credit or praise; to congratulate.

You have to hand it to Mary for doing such a great job planning the party.

HANDS DOWN
Unquestionably; without a doubt; without effort.

Max was hands down the best player on the team.

HAPPY CAMPER
A person who is content or satisfied.

Ever since Max started working from home, he has been a happy camper.

HAVE A BLAST
Enjoy oneself thoroughly

We had a blast playing soccer on the beach last week.

HAVE A BONE TO PICK
To have a grievance or complaint.

I have a bone to pick with my teacher about my grades.

HAVE A COW
To have a fit; to get visibly upset.

The boss had a cow when Max came back from lunch two minutes late.

HAVE A SCREW LOOSE
To be crazy; to be mentally unstable.

Max must have a screw loose to keep working for that same company after all of the abuse he has taken.

HAVE A WORD WITH
To talk, speak, or discuss with.

Max went to have a word with his boss about the working conditions in the factory.

HAVE THE BLUES
To feel depressed or sad.

Max has had the blues since his dog died two months ago.

HEAR (SOMETHING) THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
To learn through rumor.

I heard through the grapevine that Max is going to quit his job.

HIT A SNAG
To encounter an unexpected problem or obstacle.

The business won't open as soon as we had hoped. We seem to have hit a snag with one of our suppliers.

HIT IT OFF
To immediately have a good relationship with someone.

Max and Mary really hit it off from the beginning.

HIT THE BOOKS
To study intensely.

We need to hit the books before the test next Friday.

HIT THE HAY
To go to bed

It's getting late. It's time for me to hit the hay.

HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD
To be precisely right or accurate.

You hit the nail on the head when you said that the problem was the water pump.

HIT THE ROOF
To explode in anger.

The boss hit the roof when he found out that we didn't meet our quota.

HIT THE SACK
To go to bed

It's getting late. It's time for me to hit the sack.

HOLD ONE'S HORSES
To wait; to be patient; to slow down.

Hold your horses. I'll be ready in a minute.

IN A BIND
To be in a difficult situation; to be in trouble.

I'm in a bind. Could you help me out?

IN CHARGE
In the position of responsibility of leading or overseeing.

Max was in charge of the store when the fire broke out.

IN COLD BLOOD
In a ruthless and unfeeling manner.

Max was murdered in cold blood.

IN HOT WATER
In trouble with someone.

Max is in hot water with his wife for staying out so late.

IN THE DOGHOUSE
In trouble; in disfavor (usually a man in trouble with his wife).

Max is in the doghouse with his wife for forgetting her birthday.

IN THE NICK OF TIME
At the last possible moment.

Max turned in his application for the job just in the nick of time

IN THE SAME BOAT
In a similar situation or predicament.

I'd like to help you with money, but I'm in the same boat. I don't have any money either.

KEEP A LID ON
To keep something secret

No one is supposed to know our plan. Please keep a lid on it.

KEEP AN EYE ON
To watch intently.

Please keep an eye on my children for me. I need to go to the store.

KEEP IT DOWN
To be quiet; to not be noisy.

Please keep in down. I'm trying to study.

KEEP ONE'S NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE
To work hard or focus heavily on work

If you keep your nose to the grindstone, you will do very well.

KICK BACK
To relax.

After work tonight, I'm going to go home and kick back.

KID AROUND
To engage in playful joking or teasing.

Don't take Max seriously. He was just kidding around when he said that you were ugly.

KNOCK IT OFF
to stop doing something.

Would you two please knock it off? That really annoys me.

LEARN SOMETHING BY HEART
To memorize.

It took Max a long time to learn that poem by heart.

LEAVE A BAD TASTE IN ONE'S MOUTH
To create a bad feeling about something.

Working for that company left a bad taste in my mouth.

LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG
To reveal a secret.

Max let the cat out of the bag and told us that Mary was pregnant.

LIE THROUGH ONE'S TEETH
to make outrageous false statements.

Sam is almost always lying through his teeth. I wouldn't believe anything he says.

LIKE SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL
Extremely easy.

Taking that test was like shooting fish in a barrel. It was so easy.

LIKE TAKING CANDY FROM A BABY
Very easy to achieve.

Selling insurance to that family will be like taking candy from a baby.

LOOSE ENDS
Leftover items; unfinished business.

Before I go on vacation, there are a few loose ends I need to take care of.

LOSE ONE'S HEAD
To panic; To lose self-control.

Don't lose your head. The cops will never catch us.

LOSE ONE'S MARBLES
To become crazy.

I think Max has lost his marbles. He keeps muttering the same phrase over and over.

LOSE ONE'S MIND
To become crazy or insane.

I can't believe Max wants to get a job with the ABC Company. Has he lost his mind?

MAKE A LIVING
To earn enough income to support oneself.

Max makes a living as a salesman.

MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL
To exaggerate the significance of a minor problem.

A little acne is not the end of the world. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.

MAKE BELIEVE
To pretend.

In his spare time, Max likes to make believe that he is a dragon slayer.

MAKE DO
To survive or get by with what little is available.

We don't have a lot money, but we make do with what we have.

MAKE ENDS MEET
To have just enough money to cover expenses; to barely meet expenses from paycheck to paycheck.

It is hard to make ends meet on a teacher's salary.

MAKE SURE
To recheck to be certain.

Make sure that you put your name on your test before you turn it in.

MAKE UP ONE'S MIND
To make a decision; to decide between different options.

I can't make up my mind whether to go to Argentina or Chile for vacation.

MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
A place far from interesting sites and major population centers.

As I was driving across the country, my car broke down in the middle of nowhere.

MIND ONE'S OWN BUSINESS
To concern yourself only your own interests and not interfere in the affairs of others.

Why does Max care about how much money I make? Tell him to mind his own business.

MONEY DOESN'T GROW ON TREES
Money is not easily obtained.

Turn off the lights when you leave the room. You know money doesn't grow on trees.

MONKEY AROUND
To behave in a silly or playful way.

Stop monkeying around. Let's get to work.

NAIL (SOMETHING) DOWN
To precisely and firmly establish details of a plan.

We haven't nailed down an exact date for the wedding yet, but we're thinking sometime in August.

NIP SOMETHING IN THE BUD
To stop something at an early stage.

If you feel like you are catching a cold, try to nip it in the bud so that it does not cause you to miss work.

NO SPRING CHICKEN
Somebody who is not particularly young

My grandfather runs marathons, and he's no spring chicken.

NO SWEAT
It's not particularly difficult.

I need my car for a date tonight. Can you fix it? No sweat. I'll have it fixed in no time.

NOT A CHANCE
Absolutely not; not possible.

Do you think there will ever be any honest politicians? Not a chance.

NOTHING TO IT
Easy; not difficult.

Upgrading your RAM is easy. There's really nothing to it.

NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT
Not bad; worthwhile.

Max's new painting is nothing to sneeze at.

NOTHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT
Ordinary; not exceptional; not especially good.

That movie was entertaining but nothing to write home about.

ODDS AND ENDS
Miscellaneous things.

In the attic there is a box full of odds and ends.

OFF ONE'S ROCKER
To be crazy.

He's off his rocker if he thinks that I'm going to help him move again.

OFF THE CUFF
Without preparation; impromptu

At the awards ceremony his speech was completely off the cuff.

OFF THE CUFF
Without preparation; impromptu

At the awards ceremony his speech was completely off the cuff.

OFF THE MARK
Inaccurate, wrong.

The vice president's comments on the war are consistently off the mark.

OFF THE TOP OF ONE'S HEAD
Without great thought, investigation or any sort of preparation.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone who is a better painter than Max.

ON A ROLL
On a streak of continuous progress or success.

The team is on a roll. They've won five games in a row.

ON EDGE
Anxious, tense, nervous or irritable

I've really been on edge lately. I think I've been drinking too much coffee.

ON ONE'S TOES
Alert, prepared, ready, or attentive.

In this job things happen so fast that you always have to be on you toes.

ON THE BACK BURNER
Not the main priority; inactive; on hold.

I've put that project on the back burner until I have a little more time.

ON THE BLINK
Broken, out of order, inoperative (electronic or mechanical devices).

The freezer in on blink again. Everything has thawed out or melted.

ON THE BUTTON
Exactly, precisely.

We're meeting at 11:00, on the button.

ON THE DOT
Exactly, precisely.

The meeting starts at 11:00, on the button.

ON THE FENCE
To be undecided.

I am still on the fence about which job to take.

ON THE LEVEL
Honest, sincere and straightforward

I wouldn't trust Sam. He may seem like he's on the level, but he's really not.

ON THE LINE
At risk; in danger.

I really need to do well on this project because my job is on the line.

ONE'S BARK IS WORSE THAN ONE'S BITE
The particular person seems more aggressive and mean than he really is.

Don't worry about the boss. His bark is worse than his bite.

ONE'S LIPS ARE SEALED
To keep a secret; to not reveal a secret.

My lips are sealed. I won't tell anyone about it.

OUT OF LINE
Inappropriate, improper, wrong.

Max was really out of line when he asked the woman how much she weighed.

OUT OF THE BLUE
Unexpectedly; without warning; suddenly.

Out of the blue Max asked Mary for a divorce.

OUT OF THE QUESTION
Impossible; not worth even considering.

We have no money. A new car is out of the question at this point.

OUT OF WORK
Unemployed.

I'm out of work at the moment.

PAIN IN THE NECK
an annoyance or difficulty.

I wish Max would go away. He is such a pain in the neck.

PAINT THE TOWN RED
To go on a partying spree; to go wild.

Max and his friends painted the town red this past weekend.

PAY THROUGH THE NOSE
To pay an excessive amount of money.

Real estate prices are very high. For even a small house you have to pay through the nose.

PIECE OF CAKE
Something that is easy or simple to do.

Last night's homework assignment was a piece of cake.

PLAY IT BY EAR
To improvise; to do things without a plan.

I'm not sure what we'll do this weekend. We'll just play it by ear.

PLAY ONE'S CARDS RIGHT
To make the right moves; to have a good strategy.

If I had played my cards right, I might have gotten that promotion.

POINT THE FINGER
To accuse; to assign blame

I don't want to point the finger at anybody, but somebody forgot to lock the door, Jim.

PULL SOMEBODY'S LEG
To tease someone; to deceive or fool someone

Don't listen to Sam. He must have been pulling your leg.

PULL TEETH
To do something very difficult or unpleasant.

Mary says that getting Max to take out the garbage is like pulling teeth.

PUT A SOCK IN IT
To be quiet; to stop talking.

Max went on talking trash about everyone until someone finally told him to put a sock in it.

PUT ONE'S FOOT DOWN
To take a firm stand; to insist, demand, or refuse.

Mary finally put her foot down and said that she wouldn't let anyone borrow money from her again.

PUT ONE'S MIND TO IT
To apply oneself; to channel one's effort toward a particular goal.

If Max put his mind to it, he could achieve anything.

RAIN CATS AND DOGS
To rain very heavily.

You better bring an umbrella. It's raining cats and dogs out there.

RAISE A STINK
To complain loudly; to make a fuss.

Every time I go to a restaurant with Max, he has to raise a stink about something.

RAISE THE BAR
To raise standards or expectations.

It's time for the auto industry to finally raise the bar on fuel efficiency.

READ BETWEEN THE LINES
To detect a meaning that is not stated explicitly.

He is very cheerful, but if you read between the lines, you'll understand that things aren't going too well.

RIGHT ON THE MONEY
Exact; precise; exactly right.

Your prediction was right on the money.

RING A BELL
To seem or sound familiar.

The name rings a bell, but I'm not sure if I know him.

ROCK BOTTOM
The lowest possible level.

The government's credibility has hit rock bottom.

ROCK THE BOAT
To go against the status quo; to follow principle rather than go along to get along.

The company's policies are unethical, but if you rock the boat, you'll get fired.

RUB THE WRONG WAY
To irritate or annoy.

I know you say that Max is a nice guy, but something about him rubs me the wrong way.

SCARED TO DEATH
Extremely frightened

Max is scared to death of being alone with Mary.

SCOPE OUT
To scout; to investigate; to check out.

We scoped out the perfect location for our beach party.

SCRATCH THE SURFACE
To treat superficially; to barely begin.

Finished? We haven't even scratched the surface yet. There is a lot more to do.

SEE EYE TO EYE
To agree; to have similar views; to get along.

Max and Mary rarely see eye to eye on anything.

SEE RED
To become very angry; to be furious.

Max saw red when he found out that Mary went to Paris with John.

SELL LIKE HOT CAKES
To sell fast

Astronaut diapers are selling like hot cakes.

SET STRAIGHT
To correct with accurate information.

The presidential candidates seem to have their facts wrong. Someone needs to set them straight.

SHAKE A LEG
To hurry; to get going.

Let's shake a leg! We need to finish this project today.

SHOOT THE BREEZE
To talk or converse idly.

Do you want to have a cup of coffee and shoot the breeze for a while?

SHRUG OFF
To disregard; to minimize the importance of something.

Max shrugged off Mary's accusations and went on with his normal routine.

SIT TIGHT
To wait patiently.

Just sit tight; the hot dog vender will be by in a few minutes.

SITTING PRETTY
To be in a good financial situation.

Once we get the insurance money, we'll be sitting pretty.

SLIP OF THE TONGUE
A mistake in speaking.

For a politician, a simple slip of the tongue can be detrimental.

SLIP ONE'S MIND
To forget; to overlook.

I was supposed to do some homework last night, but it totally slipped my mind.

SPILL THE BEANS
To reveal a secret.

We were going to surprise Max with a party, but somebody spilled the beans.

STAND ONE'S GROUND
To firmly maintain one's opinion or position.

Everyone in the room disagreed with Mary, but she stood her ground.

TAKE A BACK SEAT
To become lower priority or less important; to let someone else take charge.

Mary reluctantly took a back seat when Mary took over the company.

TAKE A BREATHER
To take a short break; to pause and relax briefly.

I'm tired. Let's take a breather.

TAKE A CHANCE
To risk something.

Max doesn't like to take chances. He always plays it safe.

TAKE A CRACK AT
To attempt or try.

I'm not sure if I can do it, but I'll take a crack at it.

TAKE A SPILL
To fall or trip: to experience a sudden drop.

Max took a spill when he was riding his bike. He banged his head.

TAKE THE HEAT
To endure the consequences, blame, anger, or scrutiny;

Mary took the heat for Max's mistake.

TALL TALE
A greatly exaggerated story.

Miguel is notorious for his tall tales about his military service. He was just a driver but now claims to have been James Bond.

THE PITS
A miserable or unpleasant situation.

The people in the office are awful. Working with them everyday is the pits.

THINK TWICE
To reconsider something; to consider something carefully before proceeding.

Think twice before you get married.

THROUGH THE ROOF
Suddenly and excessively high.

Housing prices have gone through the roof in Southern California.

TIE THE KNOT
To get married.

Max and Mary tied the knot more than ten years ago.

TO EACH HIS OWN
Everyone is entitled to personal preferences.

I wouldn't paint my car that color, but to each his own.

TONGUE-TIED
Unable to say anything.

Every time Max sees Jane, he gets tongue-tied, and just sits there and stares.

UNDER ONE'S BREATH
softly spoken; in a whisper

Under his breath, Max called Mary a fat cow.

UNDER THE GUN
Under pressure to perform or meet a deadline.

Max was under the gun to complete the research before the end of the fiscal year.

UNDER THE WEATHER
Not feeling well; ill.

I'm a bit under the weather today. I think I'll take the day off.

UNTIL ONE IS BLUE IN THE FACE
For a hopelessly long time

You can lecture Max until you're blue in the face, but he's going to do it his way no matter what.

UP FOR GRABS
available for anyone.

Now that Mary is working from home, her office is up for grabs.

UP IN THE AIR
Undecided.

The exact date of the wedding is still up in the air at this point.

UP TO SOMETHING
Scheming or devising.

Max is a little too quiet today. He must be up to something.

UPS AND DOWNS
Good times and bad times.

We've had our ups and downs, but I'll always consider you my friend.

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE
To face reality; to stop deluding oneself; to become aware.

Wake up and smell the coffee! Unless you are extremely wealthy, the government doesn't care what you think.

WATCH LIKE A HAWK
To observe very closely.

When we were taking the test, the teacher watched us like a hawk to make sure that we weren't cheating.

WATER DOWN, TO WATER (SOMETHING) DOWN
To make weaker; to dilute.

The government has watered down the reports on global warming to make the problem seem less severe.

WET BEHIND THE EARS
Inexperienced.

I don't think I want that young doctor performing heart surgery on me. He seems a little wet behind the ears.

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE
In the end; ultimately.

When all is said and done, we may not have made a lot of money, but we had a lot of fun.

WHOLE SHEBANG
The entire thing; everything.

In the divorce, Max lost his kids, dog, house, car, timeshare property, the whole shebang.

WITH FLYING COLORS
Exceptionally well.

Mary passed the board exam with flying colors.

WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING
A person who appears innocent but really isn't.

Jane seems sweet, but watch out. She's a wolf in sheep's clothing.

WORK ONE'S BUTT OFF
To work very hard.

I've been working my butt off for years, but I have nothing to show for it.

ZERO IN ON SOMETHING
To focus on; to direct attention to.

John zeroed in on the problem and immediately found a solution.

Category: Idioms | Added by: Teacher_Koce (2014-01-17)
Views: 3598 | Tags: английски, Grammar, граматика, уроци, lessons, study, english, idioms
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