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Idioms 2

Idioms 2

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Published by Declan Max Brohan

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Published by: Declan Max Brohan on Apr 20, 2011
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03/27/2012

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ACTIONS - ATTITUDE - BEHAVIOUR IDIOMS
Idiom
 
Meaning
 
A
 
dd fuel to the flames
 If you
add fuel to the flames
, you say somethingthat makes adifficult situation worse.
 
"He forgot their wedding anniversary, and hisapologies only addedfuel to the flames."
 
All ears
 To say that you are
all ears
means that you arelistening veryattentively."Of course I want to know - I'm all ears!"
Answer the call of nature/nature's call
 When a person
answers the call of nature
, theygo to the toilet.I had to get up in the middle of the night to answer the call of nature
B
 
ackseat driver 
  A
backseat driver 
is a passenger in a car whogives unwantedadvice to the driver.
 "
I can't stand backseat drivers like my mother-in-law!"
B
 
adger someone into doings
 
omething
 If you
badger someone into doing something
,youpersistently nag or pester them until you obtainwhat you want."Sophie badgered her parents into buying her anew computer."
B
 
alancing act
 W
 
hen you try to satisfy two or more people or groups who havedifferent needs, and keep everyone happy, youperform
a balancingact.
"Many people have to perform a balancing actbetween work andfamily."
 
Bare your heart (or soul) tosomeone
 If you
bare your heart or soul to someone
, youreveal your innermost thoughts and feelings to them."John couldn't keep things to himself anylonger. He decided tobare his soul to his best friend."
 
Bark up the wrong tree
. A person who
barks up the wrong tree
is doingthe wrong thing,because their beliefs or ideas are incorrect or mistaken.
O
 
ne's best bet
 The action most likely to succeed is called
one'sbest bet.
"Your best bet would be to try calling him athome."
Blot one's copy book
 Someone who
blots their copy-book
doessomething to spoil their good record or reputation."He blotted his copy-book when he was arrestedfor speeding."
 
Bide your time
 If you
bide your time
, you wait for a goodopportunity to dosomething."He's not hesitating, he's just biding his time. He'swaitingfor the price to drop."
 
Binge drinking
 T
 
his term refers to heavy drinking where largequantities of alcoholare drunk in a short space of time,often amongyoung people inrowdy groups"Binge drinking is becoming a major problem insome Europeancountries."
 
Bite the hand that feedsyou
 If you
bite the hand that feeds you
, you areunfriendly or do harmto someone who is kind to you.
O
 
n the bottle
  A person who drinks alcoholic drinks often andregularly is
on the bottle.
"Joe went on the bottle when he lost his job."
Break every rule in thebook.
 If you behave in a completely unacceptable way,you
break everyrule in the book.
"Our competitors obtained the contract by breakingevery rule in thebook."
B
 
reathe down someone'sneck
 If somebody is
breathing down your neck
, theyare watching youtoo closely and making you feel uncomfortable.
 
"The atmosphere at work isn't great; the bosskeeps breathing downour necks all the time."
 
Build bridges
.If a person
builds bridges
between opposinggroups, they helpthem to cooperate and understand each other better.
 
Burn your bridges
 If you
burn your bridges
, you do something thatwill be impossibleto rectify in the future."If you refuse the offer, be careful not to burn your bridges by insultingthem. They make make a better proposal later."
 
Burn the candle at bothends
 If you
burn the candle at both ends
, you exhaustyourself by doingtoo much, especially going to bed late and gettingup early."Scott looks exhausted - I'll bet he's been burningthe candle at bothends lately."
B
 
ury one's head in the sand
I
 
f you
bury your head in the sand
, you refuse toface the unpleasantreality by pretending that the situation doesn'texist."It's no good burying your head in the sand. We'vegot a problem onour hands."
 
Bury the hatchet
 T
 
he expression "
bury the hatchet
" is used whenpeople who have had
 
a disagreement decide to forget their quarrel andbecome friends again."I didn't agree with my colleague's decision, but for the sake of peace,I decided to bury the hatchet."
B
 
utter someone up
 When
butter someone up
, you flatter them or youare very nice tothem, especially if you want to obtain something."He was so keen to get the job that he spent histime buttering upthe boss."
C
 
ap in hand
 
 
If you do something
cap in hand
, you ask for something in avery respectful manner."They went to the teacher, cap in hand, and askedfor more timeto complete their project."
 
Carrot-and-stick
 If you use a
carrot-and-stick
approach, you usethe promise of reward and the threat of punishment to makesomebody work harder."Some parents use a carrot-and-stick approach toobtain goodresults from their children."
 
Cheap shot
  A
 
cruel, unfair or unwarranted comment or verbalattack is calleda
cheap shot
."Referring to Tom as an 'unqualified speaker' wasreally a cheapshot."
C
 
hime in
 If you
chime in,
you interrupt or join aconversation, especially torepeat or agree with something."As I explained to the bus driver what hadhappened , the other passengers chimed in and gave their version. "
Clip someone's wings
 I
 
f you
clip someone's wings
, you do something torestrict their freedom.
 
"Taking away his credit card is a sure way to cliphis wings!"
Come apart at the seams
 To say that someoneis
coming apart at theseams
means thatthey are extremely upset or under severe mentalstress."Bob has had so many problems lately, he'scoming apart at theseams."
C
 
ome out of the woodwork
 When things, or people,
come out of thewoodwork,
they appear or emerge unexpectedly, as if from nowhere, andusually 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
, youcriticize them for spending a lot of time sitting and watchingtelevision.

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