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Published by: api-19836512 on Nov 30, 2009
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All ears
To say that you are all ears means that you are

listening very
"Of course I want to know - I'm all ears!"

Backseat driver
A backseat driver is a passenger in a car who gives
advice to the driver.
"I can't stand backseat drivers like my mother-in-law!"
Badger someone into doing
If you badger someone into doing something, you
persistently nag or pester them until you obtain what
you want.
"Sophie badgered her parents into buying her a new
Bare your heart (or soul) to
If you bare your heart or soul to someone, you reveal

innermost thoughts and feelings to them.
"John couldn't keep things to himself any longer. He

decided to
bare his soul to his best friend."
Bark up the wrong tree.
A person who barks up the wrong tree is doing the
wrong thing,
because their beliefs or ideas are incorrect or mistaken.
Blot one's copy book
Someone who blots their copy-book does something

to spoil their
good record or reputation.
"He blotted his copy-book when he was arrested for

Bide your time
If you bide your time, you wait for a good opportunity

to do
"He's not hesitating, he's just biding his time. He's

for the price to drop."
B ite the hand that feeds you
If you bite the hand that feeds you, you are unfriendly
or do harm
to someone who is kind to you.
B reak every rule in the book.
If you behave in a completely unacceptable way, you
break every
rule in the book.
"Our competitors obtained the contract by breaking
every rule in the
Breathe down someone's neck
If somebody is breathing down your neck, they are

watching you
too closely and making you feel uncomfortable.
"The atmosphere at work isn't great; the boss keeps

breathing down
our necks all the time."
Build bridges.
If a person builds bridges between opposing groups,
they help
them to cooperate and understand each other better.
B urn the candle at both ends
If you burn the candle at both ends, you exhaust
yourself by doing
too much, especially going to bed late and getting up
"Scott looks exhausted - I'll bet he's been burning the
candle at both
ends lately."
B utter someone up
When butter someone up, you flatter them or you are

very nice to
them, especially if you want to obtain something.
"He was so keen to get the job that he spent his time

buttering up
the boss."
If you use ac arrot- a nd-s tic k approach, you use the
promise of
reward and the threat of punishment to make
somebody work harder.
"Some parents use a carrot-and-stick approach to
obtain good
results from their children."
Chime in
If you chime in, you interrupt or join a conversation,

especially to
repeat or agree with something.
"As I explained to the bus driver what had happened ,

the other
passengers chimed in and gave their version. "
Clip someone's wings
If you clip someone's wings, you do something to

restrict their
"Taking away his credit card is a sure way to clip his

Come apart at the seams
To say that someone is coming apart at the seams
means that
they are extremely upset or under severe mental
"Bob has had so many problems lately, he's coming
apart at the
Come out of the woodwork
When things, or people, come out of the woodwork,
they appear or
emerge unexpectedly, as if from nowhere, and usually
in large numbers.
"As soon as we added the swimming pool, our children
had "friends"
coming out of the woodwork."
C ouch potato
If you refer to someone as a couch potato, you

criticize them for
spending a lot of time sitting and watching television.
"Don't be such a couch potato. There are better ways

of spending
your time than in front of the TV."
Cramp someone's style
If you cramp someone's style, you limit them by
preventing them
from behaving or expressing themselves freely.
"The dress code imposed at school cramped her style."
Dance attendance (on somebody)
If you dance attendance on someone, you are

constantly available
for that person and attend to their wishes.
"She's rich and famous and expects everyone to dance

on her."
D ig one's own grave
A person who digs their own grave does something

which causes
their own downfall.
"If you drop out of college now, with such high

unemployment, you'll
be digging your own grave!"
Disappear into thin air
If someone or something disappears into thin air,

they vanish in
a mysterious way.
" After being accused of embezzlement, the director

into thin air."
D o a disappearing act
If someone does a disappearing act, they simply
especially if they have done something wrong or
"Just before the police arrived, the suspect did a
disappearing act."
Do someone a good turn
If you do someone a good turn, you act in a helpful
"Mike is a great guy - always ready to do a good turn."
The done thing
The correct way to behave in a particular social
situation is called
the done thing.
"Wearing jeans to play golf is not the done thing."
Drag your feet
If you drag your feet, you delay a decision or
participate without
any real enthusiasm.
"The government is dragging its feet on measures to
reduce pollution."
At the drop of a hat
If you do something at the drop of a hat, you do it

immediately and
without hesitation
"I've got great friends. They're ready to help out at the

drop of a hat."
Excuse/pardon my French
This expression is used as an apology for using crude
or offensive
"He's a bloody nuisance, if you'll excuse my French."
F alse move
In a dangerous or risky situation, if you make a false
move, you do
something which may have unpleasant consequences.
"He is under close surveillance. If he makes one false
move he'll be

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