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Alphabetical List - G
(page 1 : gab of the gab → get cracking)

gift of the
gab

To say that somebody has the gift of the gab means that they are able
to speak confidently and easily.
As a politician, not only is he competent, but he has the gift
of the gab too!

game not
worth the
candle

To say that the game (or the cake) is not worth the candle means that
the advantages to be gained from doing something are not worth the
effort involved.
He recorded an album but sold very few copies; the game
wasn't worth the candle.

take a
gander

If you take or have a gander at something, which is generally new or
unusual, you have a look at it or go to check it out.
Let's take a gander at the new shopping centre. Sally says it's
fantastic.

gatecrash

If someone gatecrashes, they attend a private social event without
being invited.
We need volunteers to keep an eye out for gatecrashers
tonight.

gather dust

An idea, plan or project which is gathering dust is in fact stagnating or
has not attracted attention for some time.
Just before the elections, the outgoing mayor produced plans
for a new bridge which had been gathering dust for several
years.

all his geese
are swans

This expression refers to someone who constantly exaggerates the
importance or the qualities of somebody or something.
Don't let him impress you. He always exaggerates. All his
geese are swans.

gentleman's
agreement

When an agreement is neither written nor signed, because the two
parties trust each other completely, it is called a genteman's
agreement.
It was a gentleman's agreement. I can't change my mind
now!

get a grip
on yourself

get a load

If you get a grip on yourself, you try to control your feelings so as to be
able to deal with a situation.
After the initial shock, Lisa got a grip on herself a nd called an
ambulance.
This slang expression means to pay attention or take notice of

they lose their job. you organize your affairs better than you have done previously and deal with things more efficiently. I wanted to enter the competition but at the last minute I got cold feet. Hey! Get a load of that outfit! If someone tells you to get a move on. get the axe If someone gets the axe. Dad says he's going to play golf again as soon as he gets the all clear from his doctor. they start to discuss the essential aspects of a problem or situation. you get it down to a fine art.G (page 2 : get down to brass tacks → get off the hook) get down to brass tacks get it down to a fine art When people get down to brass tacks. The situation was so serious that after a few polite exchanges they quickly got down to brass tacks. get your act together If you get your act together. you begin to hesitate about doing it. you start doing something immediately. get/give the all clear If you are allowed to do something after a check-up to make sure that everything is all right. the senior staff are often the first to get the axe. When Gary lost his job after organizing the merger. get cold feet get cracking If you get cold feet about something. Entertaining her husband's business associates is not a . you get the all clear. Alphabetical List . You'd better get a move on or you'll miss the bus! If you say that someone got a raw deal.2 of get a move on get a raw deal something. I'd better get cracking or I'll never get my homework done. When a company is restructured. a raw deal! get away with murder Someone who gets away with murder can do something unacceptable without being punished or criticized. When you learn to do something perfectly. they are asking you to hurry up. She has no control over her kids. he really got. you are no longer sure whether you want to do it or not. you think they were treated unfairly or badly. Jack's plan won't work unless he gets his act together. They get away with murder. When you get cracking.

things got out of hand and several shop windows were broken. I'd like to contact the owner. or manage to contact someone. get your hands dirty If you get your hands dirty in your job. get the message When you get the message. His willingness to get his hands dirty won the respect and approval of the whole team. you get hold of them. get it down to a fine art When. . she's got that down to a fine art! get your ducks in a row If you get your ducks in a row. tell him you've got an important appointment . you become involved in all aspects of it. they suffer as a result of an unsuccessful action and are nervous about trying again. We need to get our ducks in a row if we want our project to succeed. He got his fingers burnt so badly in the last elections that he decided to withdraw from politics. they start to work or become effective. Immediately after the announcement. a group of protesters got into gear. you get it down to a fine art. they cannot be controlled any longer. get out of hand If a person or situation gets out of hand. Do you know where I can get hold of him? get/give the low-down If you get or give the low-down. get your feet wet If you get your feet wet. Next time he asks you to replace him.he'll get the message. get hold of If you obtain something. you start to do something new or unfamiliar or explore new territory for the first time. unpleasant or less interesting. It will be a totally new experience for me but I can't wait to get my feet wet! get your fingers burnt If someone gets their fingers burnt.3 problem for Jane. During the student demonstration. through practice or experience. you get or give complete information or facts about something. including work that is physical. you learn how to do something perfectly. get into gear When a person or activity gets (or cranks) into gear. She's got the use of social networking down to a fine art. I'll call you after the meeting and give you the low-down. you understand what someone is trying to tell you even if it is not stated clearly. you get things well organized.

get off the hook If you do something wrong and manage to get off the hook. My grandmother is getting on in years. they got on like a house on fire. you get a rise out of them. As soon as Sarah met her brother's girlfriend. . Liz got her just deserts when she was excluded from the committee. get on like a house on fire Two people who get on like a house on fire have similar interests and quickly become good friends. you start behaving in a haughty manner. He got on his high horse when he was asked to show his membership card. Someone who is getting on in years is growing old. After a lot of hard work. you are annoyed and ask them to stop finding faults or criticizing you. He gets a rise out of his daughter by asking her about her latest diet. get a rise out of If you make someone react angrily by jokingly saying something that you know will irritate them. we finally got the campaign off the ground. get someone's If you get someone's drift. she is totally unreliable. He was eliminated in the semi-finals but he'll get a second bite at the cherry next year. you put it into operation after having organized it. get one's just deserts When someone gets their just deserts. (page 3 : get on high horse → get skates on) get on your high horse get on in years If you get on your high horse. you avoid punishment or blame. get a second bite of the cherry This expression means that you get a second opportunity to do or try something. Get off my back Liz! You've been making comments about my work all day! get off the ground If you get something off the ground. they are rewarded or punished according to what they deserve. She needs help nowadays. as though you should be treated with more respect. Barry was questioned by the police but his lawyer managed to get him off the hook.4 get off by back! If you tell someone to get off your back. you understand in a general way what they are trying to say.

you put it into operation after having organized it. Some people get the jitters when they have to make a speech. you get the show on the road. Tell you parents how you feel . get the show on the road If you manage to put a plan or idea into action. People who keep pushing when you're standing in line really gets my goat! get something off the ground If you get something off the ground. get the better of If someone or something gets the better of you. get someone by the short hairs If you get (or have) someone by the short hairs.her love of chocolate got the better of her! get the jitters If you get or have the jitters. you put them in a difficult situation from which they cannot escape. get something out of your system This expression means that you get rid of a strong emotion or desire by expressing it openly or trying to fulfil it. you become very nervous or anxious and begin to shake. After a lot of hard work. I got the message . it defeats you. The alarm went off and people started running everywhere you get the picture I'm sure! get the sack If someone gets the sack. get the message If you get the message. usually because they have done something wrong. When Tony pointed to his watch. They are in no position to refuse. especially before an important event. Charlie got the sack when his boss caught him stealing. we finally got the campaign off the ground. so let's get the show on the road. they lose their job.it was time to leave for the airport. even if it is expressed in actions or gestures rather than words. you understand what someone is trying to tell you. She went on a diet but it didn't last long . we've got them by the short hairs! get someone's goat Something that get someone's goat annoys or irritates them. OK. so you have complete control over them. get the picture A person who gets the picture understands what is being explained or described. .it's better to get it out of your system.5 drift I didn't understand every word but I got the drift. we've got all we need.

you solve it by finding out the true cause of it. (not) give a hang If you do not give a hang about something. get worked up If you get worked up about something. honest or telling the truth because there is no evidence to the contary. but an employee gave the game away. Although he found it hard to believe Tom's explanation. annoyed or excited. you are totally indifferent to it and do not care at all about it.6 get your knickers in a twist If you get your knickers in a twist. you become upset. give the game away If you give the game away. you annoy them or make . often unintentionally. We have a problem of goods disappearing during transport. give a hard time If you give someone a hard time. He finally got wise to the fact that children were stealing apples from his garden. Hopefully the investigation will get to the bottom of it. and fight for your beliefs. you are angry. often unnecessarily. you want them to hurry up. It's his first day at school tomorrow and he's all worked up about it. You'd better get you skates on or you'll be late! Alphabetical List . give benefit of doubt If you give someone the benefit of doubt. He hoped nobody in the hotel would recognize him. you reveal a secret or a plan. you learn something that you were not aware of before. the teacher decided to give him the benefit of doubt. get wise to something If you get wise to something. I'm not interested in football so I don't give a hang about which team wins. you choose to believe that they are innocent.G (page 4 : get to bottom → give run-around) get to the bottom of If you get to the bottom of a problem or mystery. Don't get your knickers in a twist! Everything is under control. nervous or upset faced with a difficult situation. get your skates on If you tell someone to get their skates on. give as good as you get This expression means that you are prepared to treat people as badly as they treat you.

they are asking you to stop doing something such as complaining or talking continuously. If you give the slip to somebody who is following you.G (page 5 : give shirt → go against tide ) give the shirt off one's back give the slip This expression is used to describe a kind-hearted or generous person who would give you anything he/she owns to help you. give the rough edge of your tongue If you give the (rough) edge of your tongue. please! give the once-over If you give someone or something a quick visual examination.. you give them a piece of your mind. Alphabetical List . in a very angry manner. All you talk about is politics . Jack was so irritated by his neighbours' behaviour that he decided to give them a piece of his mind.7 things difficult for them. Susan says the pupils in her new school are giving her a hard time. Mike would give the shirt off his back to help a friend in difficulty.. give a piece of your mind If you tell someone exactly what you think. you give them the once-over. you present strong competition in circumstances where the other person expects to win easily.give it a rest . I'm trying to contact the manager. they deliberately give you confusing information or evasive answers. you scold someone severely or speak to them very aggressively or rudely. give the run-around If someone gives you the run-around. She gave the living-rom a quick once-over before opening the door to her guests. My boss was so angry that I really got the rough edge of his tongue. We didn't win the match but we gave the other team a run for their money. you . but every time I call the firm I'm given the run-around. to see what they are like or to check if everything is all right. give it a rest If someone tells you to give it a rest. give a run for money If you give someone a run for their money.

you give them a tonguelashing. You get seasick but you're going to travel by boat you're a glutton for punishment! This is a disparaging term for Swiss bankers who control a lot of money. My mother's old TV set has finally given up the ghost. you talk about it in a very positive way. The two candidates are out of their seats. it must be a wonderful place. glass ceiling This term refers to a discriminatory barrier perceived by women and minorities that prevents them from rising to positions of power or responsibility. Claire knew she would never break the glass ceiling and rise to a senior management position. give or take a few miles. are said to be uninterested in the provenance of . Mary talks about her home town in glowing terms. gizmo The term 'gizmo' refers to a gadget or any small technological item which is unusual or novel. give or take (quantity) This term is used when expressing an amount or estimate that is not exactly right. I'm off to buy her a new one. The police were on his trail. gloves are off This expression is used when there are signs that a fight is about to start. The nearest town is about 100 miles away. and for which the proper term is unknown or forgotten. give a tonguelashing When you scold someone severely. 'more or less'. you express your surprise that they continue to do something which they find unpleasant or difficult. they die or stop working. or 'approximately'. glutton for punishment gnomes of Zurich If you say that someone is a glutton for punishment. It means 'plus or minus'. The gloves are off! glowing terms If you speak about something in glowing terms. but he managed to give them the slip.8 manage to hide or get away from them. The teacher gave Jeremy a tongue-lashing when he arrived late for school for the third time. give up the ghost If someone or something gives up the ghost.

Having to import apples in an apple-growing region really goes against the grain! If you go against the tide (or the stream). Alphabetical List . go down in history This expression refers to an event that is so important or unusual that it will be recorded in history. go belly up If a business or project goes belly up. without wanting to take an active part in their action. The recent discovery will go down in history. go down well If an idea or proposal goes down well. your parents will go bananas! go ballistic When someone goes ballistic. The restaurant went belly up before the end of the first year. The gnomes of Zurich refuse to cooperate with the investigating officials. it is unsuccessful or goes bankrupt. you refuse to conform to current trends. they go bananas.G (page 6 : go all out → go hand in hand) go all out If you go all out to achieve or obtain something. go against the grain go against the tide If something goes against the grain. go along for the ride If you join a group of people you find interesting. go bananas If someone becomes very emotional and starts behaving in a crazy way.9 funds and protect their clients' identity. . Not all the protesters were active in the movement some just went along for the ride. My dad went ballistic when he saw the state of the garden after the barbecue. using all possible strength and resources The candidate went all out to obtain the nomination. you go along for the ride. or the opinions or behaviour of other people. he constantly goes against the tide. it is well accepted. it is difficult to accept because it is very different from what is considered normal or natural. they become very angry. If you announce that you are going to drop out of school. Bill can be difficult to work with. you make a great effort.

I was able to buy the car simply because it was going for a song. poverty and violence often go hand in hand. you do everything that is possible in order to succeed. go great guns If someone or something is going great guns. they are doing very well. go to extremes People who go to extremes behave in a way that lacks moderation. it deteriorates or gets worse little by little. go for a song If something goes for a song. When my colleagues organize an office party. The two parties went to great lengths to reach an agreement. go downhill When something goes downhill. (page 7 : go haywire → go postal) go haywire If something goes haywire.10 The new timetable went down well with the employees. I just go with the flow. You can count on Tom. In big cities. they are associated or often happen at the same time. you follow the general tendancy and go along with whatever happens. go with the flow If you go with the flow. go hand in hand If two or more things go hand in hand. They live on a tight budget and then they go on expensive holidays. It's becoming hard to get in! go to great lengths (or pains) When trying to achieve something. Fred's night club is going great guns. His health has been going downhill since the last operation. you do more than what is expected of you. he's always willing to go the extra mile. it becomes disorganized or goes out of control. . if you go to great lengths or great pains. My parents tend to go to extremes. go the extra mile If you go the extra mile. it is sold at an unexpectedly low price.

it is very successful. go off the rails If someone goes off the rails. you go somewhere or do something very fast. go off on a tangent If someone goes off on a tangent. The party went off with a bang . At the start of every new collection my imagination goes into overdrive. they begin to work very hard or start to perform intensely.everyone enjoyed it. you take particular care or make a special effort when doing something. a lot of shops will go out of business. they go out of control and begin to behave in a manner that is unacceptable to society. It's only printing half of each page! go hell for leather If you go hell for leather. they change the subject completely in the middle of a speech or conversation. . they become so angry or upset that they cannot control their emotions.11 The photocopier has gone completely haywire. Given the unstable environment. I saw Tom going hell for leather towards the station. firm or enterprise goes out of business. it closes down or goes bankrupt. I think the old lady has gone nuts! It's very hot today and she's wearing a fur coat! go off the deep end If a person goes off the deep end. it's a miracle that none of their children ever went off the rails. go nuts To say that a person has gone nuts means that they have become completely foolish. The put up a few decorations for Christmas. got out of business If a shop. then they decided to go the whole hog and buy a tree and all the trimmings. he goes off on a tangent and starts talking about his dog! go off with a bang If something such as an event or performance goes off with a bang. Aunt Betty went out of her way to make us feel comfortable. eccentric or mad. If the new road bypasses the town. Eva will go off the deep end if her kids leave the kitchen in a mess again. go the whole hog When you go the whole hog. Sometimes when he's teaching. go out of your way If you go out of your way. you do something thoroughly or completely. go into overdrive If someone or something goes into overdrive.

but don't go overboard with the decorations. When the factory closed down. is lost or abandoned. it falls into very bad condition because of lack of care. you are so upset or distressed that you cannot lead a normal life. go spare If you go spare you lose your temper completely. go overboard If you go overboard. My father went through the roof when Paul damaged his new car. the building went to rack and ruin. go postal If someone goes postal. This used to be a nice place to live but now the area is going to hell in a handcart. they become very angry. Jane organized a treasure hunt in the park for the kids but it all went pear-shaped and everyone was disappointed. go pearshaped If a plan or project goes pear-shaped. it disappears. principle or opportunity goes out the window. it either goes wrong or it produces an undesirable result. go to rack and ruin If something goes to rack and ruin. it is in a bad state and continues to deteriorate. you are over-enthusiastic about something and do too much or behave in an excessive way. they lose their temper and express their anger in a violent way.12 go out the window If a quality. My parents will go postal when they see the state of the house! Alphabetical List . go through the mill If you go through the mill. We need to prepare the dining room for Christmas.G (page 8 : go to hell in a handcart go to hell in a handcart → gone with the wind) If something is going to hell in a handcart. you experience a very difficult . go to pieces If you go to pieces. for example after a terrible shock. all hopes of finding a job went out the window. When the plant closed down. Jack nearly went to pieces when his son died in a car crash. Lea's dad would go spare if he knew how much she spent in London! go through the roof If someone goes through the roof.

golden parachute A golden parachute is a clause in an executive's employment contract stating that the executive will receive certain large benefits if their employment is terminated. when the going gets tough This expression means that when faced with a difficult or dangerous situation. golden handcuffs The term golden handcuffs refers to a large sum of money or a generous financial arrangement granted to an executive as an incentive to stay in their job. He often says 'when the going gets tough. or ends before producing a result. Even at college it was obvious that Paul was going places. the tough get going'. fails. or to ensure long-term cooperation after their departure. After his wife died. but he just went through the motions. going places To say that someone is going places means that they show talent and ability that will no doubt lead to a successful future.13 period. An internship in that company would be a golden opportunity for you . When I was an intern. go up in smoke If a plan or project goes up in smoke. When Amy and Tom separated. . they do something because they have to. strong people take action in order to solve the problem.it might lead to a permanent job later. I was put through the mill. go through the motions If someone goes through the motions. Tom has a positive attitude. They opened a coffee shop that is a going concern today. it is spoiled. golden opportunity A golden opportunity is a favourable time or an excellent occasion which should not be missed. my mother's dream of a romantic wedding went up in smoke. he tried to continue life as before. Nothing went unnoticed. or are exposed to rough treatment. but without enthusiasm. going concern A business or activity that is dynamic and successful is a going concern. golden handshake A golden handshake is a generous sum of money given to a person when they leave a company or retire (sometimes given to encourage early retirement).

If something has gone with the wind. they waste their time looking for something that there is little chance of finding. good riddance! This expression is used to express relief at becoming free of an unpleasant or unwanted person or thing. you act in a helpful way. I was so scared that I had goose pimples all through the film! wild goose chase If someone is sent on a wild goose chase. play gooseberry If you play gooseberry. the golden rule is to respect the local customs. Our horrible neighbour has moved house. it has disappeared forever. Your children are always as good as gold when I look after them. Mike is a great guy . a new house and a super job. I lost everything during the crisis. got it made Someone who has got it made is so happy and successful in life that they have no worries.14 golden rule gone with the wind The most important rule or principle to be remembered when doing something is called the golden rule. Alphabetical List . They invited me to join them but I didn't want to play gooseberry.G (page 9: good as gold →green fingers) good as gold A child who is as good as gold is obedient and well-behaved. With a happy family life. good walls make good neighbours This expression means that respecting one another's privacy helps create a good relationship between neighbours.always ready to do a good turn. We try not to disturb the people next door. When travelling abroad. and all I can say is 'good riddance'! good turn If you do someone a good turn. My savings are gone with the wind. They tried to find out who sent the anonymous complaint. you join or accompany two people who have a romantic relationship and want to be alone. . you are cold or so afraid that your skin is temporarily raised into little lumps. Good walls make good neighbours! goose pimples If you have goose pimples. but it turned out to be a wild goose chase.

he started to build. he turned to a faith healer.G (page 10 : green → gutter) . grab a bite to eat If you grab a bite to eat. in an attempt to find a solution. grasp at straws If you are in a desperate situation and you grasp at straws. My dad was born with green fingers. grass roots The term grass roots refers to the ordinary people who form the main body of an organization. He never lets the grass grow under his feet! gravy train If someone is on the gravy train. We should have time to grab a bite to eat before the show. they have found an easy way to make money. (not) let grass grow under your feet If someone does not let the grass grow under their feet. you get something to eat quickly. He's great with plants.he's on a gravy train! grease somebody's palm If you accuse someone of greasing somebody's palm. it is common practice to grease government officials' palms. Since the village has become fashionable. you facilitate something or smooth the way for its success. even if it has little chance of success. they do not delay in getting something done. he charges for every photograph taken of his house . you are accusing them of giving money to someone in order to gain an unfair advantage or to obtain something they want. In his search for a cure. Lunch was organized for the delegates before the meeting in order to grease the skids for the negotiations. knowing that he was grasping at straws.15 Sam's got it made. As soon as he received the permit. one that requires little effort and is without risk. To have green fingers means to be good at gardening. In some countries. grease the skids green fingers When you grease the skids. you try any method. Alphabetical List .

they grin like a Cheshire cat. you give or get a signal or authorization to do something. When we saw Paul grinning from ear to ear. I knew she had succeeded when I saw her with a grin like a Cheshire cat." said the teacher. and is therefore difficult to deal with. they look vey satisfied and happy. She seems to have such a grey existance. grin and bear it When faced with a difficult or unpleasant situation. . or the grey colour of brain tissue. grey existance To have a grey existance means to lead a dull. We're ready to launch the campaign as soon as we get the green light. green with envy Someone who is green with envy is a person who is very envious. The law concerning email is still a grey area in some countries. I feel sad for the old lady. Dave will be green with envy when he sees Simon's new sports car! grey area To refer to something as a grey area means that it is not clear or easy to define. The ony seat available is on a low-cost flight. we knew he had passed the exam. grey matter (US: gray) Grey matter refers to the brain. grin like a Cheshire cat When someone has a smile on their face because they are happy or satisfied about something. You'll just have to grin and bear it! grin from ear to ear If somebody grins from ear to ear. "Try using your grey matter and you might find the answer. if you say that someone will have to grin and bear it.16 green light If you give or get the green light. monotonous life. you mean that they will have to accept it without complaining.

groan inwardly If you groan inwardly. I had the gut feeling that the postman was lying . disapproval or distress.17 keep your nose to the grindstone A person who keeps their nose to the grindstone is someone who concentrates on working hard at his/her job. On his return. "What happened between Bill and harry?" "Your guess is as good as mine!" guinea pig People who are used as guinea pigs are people on whom new methods. 'your guess is as good as as mine mine' means that neither of you knows the answer. gut feeling If you have a gut feeling about something. treatment or ideas are tested. or studies. Sam has been holding a grudge against me. you have a strong intuition that you cannot explain. Of course the gutter press was quick to print a sensational version of the incident! . he groaned inwardly. but you're sure that you are right. nurse/bear a grudge If you nurse/bear a grudge against someone. To reach safety I had to grit my teeth and wade through the mud. Ever since I got a promotion. you grit your teeth. when Pete saw the pile of files on his desk.. As I read the story. grit your teeth When you are determined to do something in spite of the difficulties involved. and I was right! gutter press This term refers to newspapers that print a lot of sensational stories about people's private lives. you have a feeling of resentment or ill-will towards them.. but you remain silent. you feel like expressing despair. She was so determined to get into the college of her choice that she kept her nose to the grindstone all year. your guess is as good When talking to another person.