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Glossary of Idiomatic Expressions

Glossary of Idiomatic Expressions

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Published by book_worm2013
Glossary of Idiomatic Expressions
Refined Version

By: Ashraf Amer
My Contribution:
*I have ‘cleaned’ and neatly formatted the file.
Glossary of Idiomatic Expressions
Refined Version

By: Ashraf Amer
My Contribution:
*I have ‘cleaned’ and neatly formatted the file.

More info:

Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: book_worm2013 on Jun 30, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Glossary of Idiomatic ExpressionsGlossary of Idiomatic Expressions
Refined Version
 By: Ashraf Amer 
Trans ProofEgyp My Contribution:
*I have ‘cleaned’ and neatly formatted the file.
LetteIdiomatic ExpressionExplanation
Have an ace up your sleeve.
If you have
an ace up your sleeve
, it means that youhavesomething in reserve with which you can gain anadvantage.
Hold all the aces
A person who
holds all the aces
is in a very strong positionbecause they have more advantages than anyone else."Given the high unemployment figures in some countries,employers hold all the aces."
Get your act together! 
If you tell someone to
get their act together 
, you mean thatthey need to organize their affairs more effectively in order to be more successful.
Much ado about nothing.
If people make "
much ado about nothing
", they make a lotof fuss about something which is not important.
 All ears
To say that you are
all ears
means that you are listeningvery attentively. "Of course I want to know - I'm all ears!"
 All hell broke loose
To say that
all hell broke loose
means that there was asudden angry, noisy reaction to something. " All hell brokeloose when it was announced that the plant was going toclose down."
 All thumbs/all fingers and thumbs
If you are
all fingers and thumbs,
you are awkward andclumsy and do things incorrectly. "Would you mind wrappingthis for me? I'm all fingers and thumbs!"
 Any port in a storm
When you are in difficulty,
any port in a storm
refers to asolution you accept, which in normal circumstances youwould find unacceptable. "The hotel was substandard, but itwas a case of any port in a storm; all the others were full."
The apple of your eye
If somebody is
the apple of your eye
, this means that youlike them very much : "My grandson is the apple of my eye".
To upset the applecart 
(or to overturn)
the applecart
means to spoil asatisfactory plan or situation "I hope Julie doesn't attend themeeting - she could upset the applecart!"
Give your right arm
If you say "
I'd give my right arm for that",
you mean that
you want it a lot and would do almost anything to obtain it."I'd give my right arm to have a apartment on Central Park."
Cost an arm and a leg 
If something
costs an arm and a leg
, it is very expensive!"The house cost us an arm and a leg, but we have noregrets."
To be up in arms
If you are
up in arms
about something, you are very angry."The population was up in arms over the demolition of theold theatre."
 A rude awakening 
If you get
a rude awakening
, you are forced to accept theunpleasant truth.
Have an axe to grind 
If you have
an axe to grind,
you have personal reasons for adopting a particular attitude about something. "It wasdecided that the best candidates would be selected by arecruitment agency who had no axe to grind within thecompany."
Leave somebody holding the baby 
If someone is
left holding the baby
, they are maderesponsible for a problem that others don't want to deal with."When the angry customer started to complain, mycolleague disappeared and left me holding the baby."
Get off my back! 
If you tell somebody to
get off your back
, you ask them tostop finding faults or criticizing you.
In the back of beyonds
This expression is used to describe an isolated placelocated far from any town. "It took us hours to find Jack'shouse. He lives
in the back of beyonds
On the back burner 
If you put a project or issue
on the back burner 
, youdecide to deal with it at a later date because you do notconsider it to be that urgent or important.
"When Julie wasoffered a promotion, she put her MBA plans on the backburner."
Back to square one
To say that someone is
back to square one
, means thatthey have not succeeded in what they were trying to do, andso they have to start again. "When the plans were refused, itwas back to square one for the architect."
Backhanded compliment 
A remark that appears to express admiration but could alsobe interpreted as an insult is called a
"He said my presentation was 'surprisinglyclear' - how's that for a backhanded compliment!"
Backseat driver 
backseat driver 
is a passenger in a car who givesunwanted advice to the driver.
I can't stand backseatdrivers like my mother-in-law!"
 A bad egg 
To refer to someone as
a bad egg
means that they cannotbe trusted. "I don't want my son to be friends with BobbySmith. Bobby's a bad egg."
Badger someone into doing something 
If you
badger someone into doing something
, youpersistently nag or pester them until you obtain what youwant. "Sophie badgered her parents into buying her a newcomputer."
In the bag 
If you think something is
in the bag
, you are almost certainit will be achieved.
"An hour before the polling stationsclosed, victory seemed in the bag for the Conservativecandidate."
In the balance
If something is
in the balance
, it means the situation isuncertain and it is not clear what is going to happen. "Thefuture of the company is in the balance while the takeover bid is being examined."
Be on the ball 
If you are
on the ball
, you are aware of what is happeningand are able to react to the situation quickly.
Have a ball 
If you
have a ball
, you enjoy yourself. "The party was great.We had a ball."
Start the ball rolling 
If you
start the ball rolling
, you start an activity in whichother people will join. "Let's start the ball rolling by calling onour first speaker."
Jump on the bandwagon
If a person or organization
 jumps on the bandwagon
, theydecide to do something when it is already successful or fashionable. "When organic food became popular, certainstores were quick to jump on the bandwagon and promoteit."
Bar fly 
bar fly
refers to someone who spends a lot of timedrinking in bars and pubs. "You'll find Johnny down at thepub - he's a real bar fly!"
Bare one's heart (or soul)
If you
bare your heart or soul to someone
, you revealyour innermost thoughts and feelings to them. "John couldn'tkeep things to himself any longer. He decided to bare hissoul to his best friend."
His bark is worse than his bite
This expression is used to refer to a person who soundsmuch more severe or angry than they really are. "Don't beafraid of him -
his bark is worse than his bite.
Bark up the wrong tree
A person who
barks up the wrong tree
is doing the wrongthing, because their beliefs or ideas are incorrect or mistaken.
Have bats in the belfry 
If you say that somebody has
bats in the belfry
, you aresaying that their ideas are completely mad.
Be full of beans
A person who is
full of beans
is lively, active and healthy.
Like a bear with a sore head 
If someone is behaving
like a bear with a sore head
, theyare very irritable and bad-tempered. "When his team lost thematch, Brad was like a bear with a sore head."
 At someone's beck and call 
If a person is
at somebody's beck and call
, they arealways ready to do things for them or obey orders to pleasethem. "Parents should not be at the beck and call of their children."
Have a bee in one's bonnet 
A person who has
a bee in their bonnet
has an idea whichconstantly occupies their thoughts. "She's got a bee in her bonnet about moving to New York."

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