Idiomatic expressions

IDIOMS
absent-minded: forgetful (distraído) all ears: eager to listen to someone (todo oídos) all of a sudden: suddenly, without advance warning (repentinamente) beat around the bush: speak indirectly or evasively (dar vueltas para hacer algo) behind the times: old fashioned (anticuado) blow one's own horn: praise oneself (fanfarronear, hacer alarde) brand new: absolutely new (flamante) catch one's eye: attract one's attention (llamar la atención) catch (someone) red-handed: find someone in the middle of doing something wrong (atrapar a alguien con las manos en la masa) change horses in midstream: make new plans or choose a new leader in the middle of an important activity (cambiar de caballo en la mitad del río) change (one's) mind: change one`s decision (cambiar de opinión) come across: find something or meet someone by chance (encontrarse repentinamente con algo o alguien) come into fashion: become fashionable (ponerse de moda) crocodile tears: a show of sorrow that is not really felt (lágrimas de cocodrilo) cry over spilt milk: cry or complain about something that has already happened (llorar sobre leche derramada)

EXAMPLES
My grandfather is very absentminded and often forgets his key. Okay, I'm all ears, please tell me about the party. All of a sudden it became cloudy and began to rain. Stop beating around the bush and give us your final decision. My aunt is a little behind the times. He is always blowing his own horn and is very annoying at times. He was finally able to buy a brandnew car. I tried to catch her eye but she didn`t notice me. The policeman caught the boy redhanded when he was stealing the candy.

They decided to change horses in midstream and that is probably why they lost the election. He changed his mind and said that he would not go to the movie tonight. I came across an interesting story in the newspaper the other day. She says that although bell-bottom pants have come into fashion again she will never wear them. He said that he was very sorry but his tears were just crocodile tears. Don't cry over spilt milk. You can never change the past.

die out: die or disappear slowly until all gone (desaparecer, extinguirse) doll up: dress in fancy clothes (emperifollarse, vestirse de moda) do without: manage without something (arreglárselas sin algo) dressed to the nines (teeth): dressed elegantly (elegantemente vestido, "hasta los dientes") dress up: put on one's best clothes (vestirse formalmente) drop (someone) a line: write or mail a note or letter to someone (escribirle a alguien unas líneas) easy-going: tolerant and relaxed (tolerante, de fácil convivencia) eat like a bird: eat very little (comer como un pajarito) eat like a horse: eat a lot (comer como un caballo) eat one's words: admit being wrong in something one has said, retract one's statement (tragarse las palabras) end up: finish, finally do something (terminar por) face the music: accept the consequences of something (enfrentar los problemas) fall behind: fail to keep up with work or studies or payments, etc. (atrasarse en el trabajo, estudios, pagos, etc.) fall in love with: begin to love someone (enamorarse de) fed up with: disgusted or bored with someone or something (harto de) figure out: try to understand or solve (entender, darse cuenta)

Dinosaurs died out millions of years ago. She was all dolled up for the party at the downtown hotel If there is no sugar, we'll have to do without. The stars were all dressed to the nines (teeth) during the Academy Awards ceremony. He decided to dress up for dinner at the restaurant. She promised that she would drop me a line when she gets to Singapore. He has a very easy-going management style. He eats like a bird. That's why he can`t put on enough weight to join the football team. He eats like a horse but he never puts on any weight. He was forced to eat his words after his boss proved that he was wrong.

We ended up going to the restaurant after the movie last night. He is going to have to face the music sooner or later. He fell behind with his homework at the beginning of the term and had problems throughout the year. I fell in love with her the first time that I saw her at the restaurant. I think that he is getting fed up with the constant demands of his boss. He finally figured out how to use the new video recorder.

fit as a fiddle: in good athletic condition or health (como un violín) fix someone up with someone: help someone get a date by arranging a meeting for the two (arreglar algo con alguien) for all the world: for anything, for any price (por nada del mundo) for better or worse: depending on how one looks at the matter, with good or bad effects (para bien o para mal) from hand to hand: from one person to another and another (de mano en mano) from the bottom of one's heart: with great feeling, sincerely (de todo corazón, sinceramente) from now on: from this moment forward (de aquí en más) from scratch: from the very beginning (de cero, de la nada) from time to time: occasionally (cada tanto, de vez en cuando) drop (someone) a line: write or mail a note or letter to someone (escribirle a alguien unas líneas) easy-going: tolerant and relaxed (tolerante, de fácil convivencia) eat like a bird: eat very little (comer como un pajarito) eat like a horse: eat a lot (comer como un caballo) eat one's words: admit being wrong in something one has said, retract one's statement (tragarse las palabras)

Her grandfather is 92 years old but he is as fit as a fiddle. I tried to fix my sister up with a date with my friend but she refused me.

For all the world I do not know what he is trying to tell me with the notes that he writes For better or worse he has decided to quit his job and go to live in Brazil.

The plate of food went from hand to hand until finally it was all finished. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart for helping my daughter when she was sick. From now on I will study Italian every day. He decided to build the house from scratch. We go to that restaurant from time to time. She promised that she would drop me a line when she gets to Singapore. He has a very easy-going management style. He eats like a bird. That's why he can`t put on enough weight to join the football team. He eats like a horse but he never puts on any weight. He was forced to eat his words after his boss proved that he was wrong.

end up: finish, finally do something (terminar por) face the music: accept the consequences of something (enfrentar los problemas) fall behind: fail to keep up with work or studies or payments, etc. (atrasarse en el trabajo, estudios, pagos, etc.) fall in love with: begin to love someone (enamorarse de) fed up with: disgusted or bored with someone or something (harto de) figure out: try to understand or solve (entender, darse cuenta) fit as a fiddle: in good athletic condition or health (como un violín) fix someone up with someone: help someone get a date by arranging a meeting for the two (arreglar algo con alguien) for all the world: for anything, for any price (por nada del mundo) for better or worse: depending on how one looks at the matter, with good or bad effects (para bien o para mal) from hand to hand: from one person to another and another (de mano en mano) from the bottom of one's heart: with great feeling, sincerely (de todo corazón, sinceramente) from now on: from this moment forward (de aquí en más) from scratch: from the very beginning (de cero, de la nada) from time to time: occasionally (cada

We ended up going to the restaurant after the movie last night. He is going to have to face the music sooner or later. He fell behind with his homework at the beginning of the term and had problems throughout the year. I fell in love with her the first time that I saw her at the restaurant. I think that he is getting fed up with the constant demands of his boss. He finally figured out how to use the new video recorder. Her grandfather is 92 years old but he is as fit as a fiddle. I tried to fix my sister up with a date with my friend but she refused me.

For all the world I do not know what he is trying to tell me with the notes that he writes For better or worse he has decided to quit his job and go to live in Brazil.

The plate of food went from hand to hand until finally it was all finished. I thanked him from the bottom of my heart for helping my daughter when she was sick. From now on I will study Italian every day. He decided to build the house from scratch. We go to that restaurant from time to

but not the hard times. generally as a proportionate statement. That sprained foot turns out to be a blessing in disguise. A true doubting Thomas. Actions speak louder than words Not passive. famous for asking questions and needing explanations to be convinced. A dime a dozen Common. It can apply to people. The value is the idiom. substandard. reducing the perceived value of something or someone. he insisted on seeing some proof of the whole idea. A chip on your shoulder This is a grudge for a previous experience. A drop in the ocean A very small part of something. compared to the debts. People like that are a dime a dozen. or subjects. He just went and did that. Actions do speak louder than words. The statement is used to put things into a perspective. active expression of deeds based on opinion or situation. He"s got a real chip on his shoulder about the industry retirement schemes. Something which seems like a problem. refers to the Apostle Thomas. A fool and his money are soon parted . which is usually derogatory.tanto. you weren"t in the bus crash because of that. Their revenue is a drop in the ocean. A fair-weather friend A person who"s a friend during the good times. Often relates to a response to debate or indecision. always trying to sell you something. de vez en cuando) A A blessing in disguise time. which has an unexpected beneficial effect or becomes an asset to you. A doubting Thomas Derived from the New Testament. Talk about fair-weather friend. I mentioned my problems with my phone bill and he disappeared for six months. cheap.

Usually used in relation to too much alcohol.This idiom is basically a truism. A friend in need is a friend indeed A friend who"s around when you need them is a real friend. It means stupidity costs money. . They were living in a house divided. Nobody wanted to do anything� Talk about a good man being hard to find. So she just didn"t buy the car. and was around when he was needed. the rest of it is redundant. and it did part him from his money. You shouldn"t have drunk so much. and unity is required for strength. Like many idioms. for sure. if he can do that job I"ll be astonished. but also used as a general expression for a repeat experience of something you did. have a hair of the dog. see if you can face natural light and oxygen before you go anywhere. That guy"s a legend in his own mind. In some cases idioms are reshaped into the sentence structure: That was a friend indeed. obvious. A penny saved is a penny earned The value of keeping your money or property. Something which is impossible to overlook. If you use the phrase A fool and his money. A house divided From the statement A house divided against itself cannot stand. I literally had to use a phone book. A legend in his own mind Delusive person with inflated opinion of himself. The implication is you don"t have to earn that money or property again. usually related to the overall situation being described. It means division brings weakness. A good man is hard to find This idiom operates as a context. a penny saved. A herd of elephants Noisy. nobody could get anything done to deal with the situation. A fool and his money� that was a dumb investment. unsubtle. the subject of the idiom is sometimes contracted. A hair of the dog Doing something which made you feel terrible as a cure for it. and they"d put a herd of elephants out of work. I have a two year old and a four year old. or can be used in context.

That car is an albatross around your neck. It was a piece of cake to install the new kitchen. talk about a picture painting a thousand words! A piece of cake Easy. An acquired taste Expression which refers to an unusual or distasteful experience. A toss up Based on literally tossing a coin to make a decision. not connected to the reality of others. A world of their own Insular. Understanding mobile phone plans and bills is an acquired taste. A taste of your/his/her/their own medicine Describes someone receiving the same treatment or experience they have inflicted on others. And men go down to the sea in ships . A slap on the wrist A minor penalty. but they do seem happy. They trashed a whole car park. Can be derogatory or a comment on ideals and the perspectives of the subjects of the statement. An albatross around your neck Derived from Samuel Taylor Coleridge"s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. the other side"s forwards ran straight through them. simple to do.A picture paints a thousand words Used to show the value of the obvious. don"t know what"s going on around them. The implication is that the punishment was insufficient. something where a single image or statement describes something fully without need for elaboration. An equal chance of one of two things happening It was really a toss up whether Alan or Bernard would get that job. They got a real taste of their own medicine in that game. They live in a world of their own. One look at him. and got a slap on the wrist for doing that. They live in a world of their own. almost always sarcastically. no difficulties. it means a lifetime curse.

it means After me. without being choosy. Any port in a storm The expression means getting out of danger any way you can. A rolling stone gathers no moss The idiom is based on the idea that something in motion doesn"t stagnate or collect problems. A stitch in time saves nine Doing something before hand. and will ever be� Sausages! A shot/stab in the dark An attempt based on the chance of achieving something while unsure of the possibilities of success.This statement means that some people do dangerous things as a career. The investment was a shot in the dark. la deluge! This is sometimes (hopefully) a sarcastic idiom. As it was. teachers and parents flooded the media with complaints. meaning in time. and going somewhere safer. often cynical statement of the unchanging nature of something. As it was. He had to do that. la deluge! I knew they were going to bring in an outside auditor for that business. saves having to do much more work later. it"s like men go down to the sea in ships. As the story/song goes A familiar series of events. the deluge. the world will end. . Like they say. but it paid off very well. and hid in the basement of an abandoned house. some risks have to be taken in his work. meaning after the speaker goes. something the listener will know So. Like I said. as the story goes. We saw the hurricane. and will ever be This is a fatalistic. Apr�s moi. a rolling stone gathers no moss: He wasn"t going to hang around waiting years for them to do something when the business was in trouble. Literally based on the Biblical Flood. His education policy turned out to be a real own goal. any port in a storm. An own goal Doing something which counts against yourself. he eventually proposed. Apr�s moi.

where the time is counting against you. All In The Same Boat: Everyone in the same situation. An Arm And A Leg: Too expensive. . Apple of My Eye: Favorite. and we"d already done the work before the boss wanted it. trying to deal with the economic mess. Against The Clock: Usually refers to working or doing something against a deadline. when the big rush job came in the same day. He was adding fuel to the fire about complaining about his toast while the kitchen was burning down. so we have to find another source. he's been talking about fighting this for years. but they got on to marine biology and it was all Greek to me. Idioms alphabetic list A-B Adding Fuel To The Fire: Aggravating a situation by making it worse. All Bark And No Bite: A person who talks far more aggressively than they act. because so far I haven't had a chance to do any of this. Everything with that supplier costs an arm and a leg. the best of a group of people or set of subjects. So we didn"t have to do that as well.Yeah. All Greek to me: Said when the person doesn't understand the subject. Often used to warn people against doing something. with the same problems. Look. An Axe To Grind: To have an axe to grind means to have a situation to sort out where the person has a grievance. turned out we did a stitch in time. I've got an axe to grind here. and never yet done a thing about it. We're working against the clock here. we've only got an hour to do 300 orders. We're all in the same boat. more than it's worth. That guy's all bark and no bite. We were talking about fishing.

At The Drop Of A Hat: Instantly. So after all that they wound up back to Square One. Batty Acting strangely. Old usage: I got the job. What we really needed on the legal team was a back seat driver. Back To Square One: Derived from board games. Having been unsuccessful in persuading the car salesman to accept lima beans. it was back to the drawing board for another scheme. We wanted 12. getting the basics wrong. wasting time. but we got a bakers dozen. Back To The Drawing Board: Returning to the planning stage. the best I've ever seen. referring to people who are drunk. Modern usage: No point in talking to him when he's as high as a kite.That guitar was the apple of my eye. Barking Up The Wrong Tree: Approaching a subject the wrong way. As High As A Kite: This is usually a slang term in modern usage. immediately. this refers to returning to the start of something. Baker's Dozen: From the old baking tradition of baking thirteen loaves in a batch. Bats. after previous failure. mad. you're barking up the wrong tree. . B Back Seat Driver: Someone who's not actually doing the job but giving advice and instructions. In older usage it was also a term for happiness. If you think you're going to get nicer bills by complaining to the postman. and I was high as a kite with happiness and relief. They expect us to do all this at the drop of a hat.

all photos. You're biting off more than you can chew. Between A Rock And A Hard Place: A lousy choice between tough situations. trying to make politicians do anything just because it's the law. beware of anything which comes from an enemy. . Bend Over Backwards: Go to great lengths to do something. If you think you're going to get a refund on that meal. not talking about the real subject. not a toaster! Beatup (in relation to subject) Overstatement. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts Dates from the Trojan War. Be careful what you wish for. Be careful what you wish for The expression has a slightly superstitious idiom. The original idea was that the gods would hear you and send you your wish in a way you didn't want. referring to the Wooden Horse of Troy. They bent over backwards to get the flight arrangements right. They had a choice between bankruptcy and a liquidator. you're beating a dead horse. That new celebrity is a total beatup. literally. It means. talk about being between a rock and a hard place. I'd say. making something unimportant seem important. meaning beware of what you say.If you think I'm going to that party. no person. you're batty! Beat A Dead Horse: Trying to do something about an unchangeable fact. Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: Attempting something which is beyond your abilities. Stop beating about the bush! It's a giraffe. exaggerating facts. Why would a person who you've always loathed give you a present? Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. that guy could be your new boss. Beating Around The Bush: Not dealing with the major issues. Sometimes refers to attempts to assist people.

Bite the bullet Derived from old surgical process where patients were operated upon without anesthetic. Bite Your Tongue: The expression comes from old usage. They were blind as bats about buying all that expensive rubbish. It was a dumb thing to do. They were completely blindsided by the price rise. doesn't know what they're looking at. They came out of that meeting black and blue from the flak and criticism from the shareholders. Patients were given a bullet to bite to grit their teeth against the pain. Blindsided Hit from an unexpected direction. Australian version of expression means something confirming a statement to be absolutely true. or a direction where it wasn't possible to see something coming. Blood Is Thicker Than Water: Refers to family ties. Bite the bullet. Modern usage of the expression means to accept an unpleasant situation. or something they should be ashamed of saying. The intention was to make sure the patient didn't hurt themselves by uncontrollable movements of their teeth and biting their tongue off. Derived from old methods of swearing oaths of loyalty. Blood oath An exaggerated expression of extreme commitment to a statement or cause. and situations where loyalty to family is more important than other considerations. Often refers to a person's situation or condition. You bite your tongue! How dare you say that! Black and blue Bruised and beaten. and he shouldn't have done it. ring them up and tell them. Australian version: Blood oath I did the auditing properly. Literal version: They swore a blood oath to get rid of their manager. where the speaker is told to bite their tongue as a punishment for saying something out of place. Blind as a bat Can't see things properly. but blood is thicker than water. Bloody minded . so you can do something about it. so I had to help him get out of the mess.

Struck out of nowhere. American expression based on the farmer's chance of owning his farm. Now relates to a bad product of any kind. Buy the farm: Die. contrary way of thinking. refers to being unable to achieve a result or in social contexts to make an impression . C Can't Cut The Mustard: Negative idiom. It was one of those things you wouldn't expect to see in a blue moon. that thing is a lemon. which wouldn't be until the farmer died. Winning the lottery was like a bolt from the blue for someone who'd been poor for so long. and shocking. Buy a name brand. occurrence in a long period of time. You really do look blue today. It was a bit bloody minded of his ex girlfriend to send them a wreath to their wedding. Expression relates to the blues. no kidding. Fred bought the farm last week. and as a metaphor in common usage. Look. Bolt from the blue Refers to a lightning bolt out of a blue sky. still used in acting and now in other performing arts. Blue Sad. moody. Can also be used referring to the end of something. A bloody minded person is someone trying to cause problems by their way of dealing with an issue or a situation. at least. Job interview? Break a leg! Buy A Lemon: Originally related to a postwar American car which became famous as The Lemon. a duck with freckles. Break A Leg: Originally a theatrical expression wishing good luck with a performance. Blue Moon: A rare. hated by motorists and the auto industry. almost impossible.Perverse. Hit by something very extraordinary. which was famous for its songs about troubling emotional situations.

I don't know if you could call Mary a catty person. as the symbolic predator among the harmless pigeons.All his fancy sales talk just couldn't cut the mustard with those people. and isn't quite the same idiom. Fred's sudden crisis really cast a pall over his daughter's wedding. Carrying the weight of the world Severely burdened person. if you ask me. Putting a real expert into the hedge fund was really setting the cat among the pigeons. untroubled by eating or drinking things which would affect others. information. Cast pearls before swine To give something beautiful or valuable to those who don't appreciate it. Cast Iron Stomach: A person with strong digestion. but we know she has claws. whose temper and behavior is sometimes vicious. Cast a shadow This is an idiom which refers to a different degree of situation and usage than Cast a pall. A duck and a horse are chalk and cheese. The idiom creates an expectation of further. The war in Europe cast a shadow over the world. Jack's got a cast iron stomach. developments. Chalk and cheese Two quite different things. Catty person Negative expression referring to an unpredictable person. dangerous. Shakespeare for financiers� talk about casting pearls before swine! Cat among the pigeons Introduce an element of danger or risk into the environment. The cat. with all his problems. Jim's been carrying the weight of the world. recently. can be a person. or a new development in a situation. Cast a pall To introduce a negative element into an otherwise happy occasion. . I've seen him eat two meals at once. carrying their troubles and problems.

or things generally. The cigar was once a prize for contestants in games. OK. Come again? . Albert. people. Come a cropper Land on your backside. their credit rating suffered when they got knocked back by the bank. and get it done today. we're going to get this done. Verbal lecture to someone detailing their mistakes. It was pure cock and bull. and really came a cropper. I've had Charley Horse a few times. Chow Down: To go and get food. They tried to find the money for that project. Come Hell Or High Water: Regardless of any kind of obstacle. Cock and Bull Story: A story which isn't believed by the speaker or person describing it. that story about the hedgehog orchestra. Idiom refers to Fire and Water.Charley Horse: American expression referring to a painful tightening of calf tendons. and I'm in no hurry to repeat the experience. Chew the fat Talk about something. We were just chewing the fat about the business situation. let's chow down! Close but no Cigar: To nearly achieve something or get something right. Come hell or high water. it's E=mc squared. Chew a person out: Originally a military expression. I'm sure of that. John really got chewed out by the manager about how he handled that account. Close but no cigar. a traditional expression meaning the same thing. literally or metaphorically.

it's open season for everybody here apparently. The idiom is usually from a person who is telling another to cease. so come on down! Cookie (person) American slang expression which has gone into general usage as a metaphor for a person. people. meaning a person who was cool under pressure. I think we need a cooling off period before we discuss this problem between our clients any further. calm and collected performance. situations) The word has multiple uses as an idiom. which is a hybrid of both basic meanings. Alan's actually a very tough cookie. telling me to learn to be an intellectual? Come off your high horse! Come on down American expression derived from game shows in which contestants were told to Come On Down. cooling off period This idiom has both a vernacular and a legal meaning which is used as a non-legal idiom. basically. given the situation. it was originally a Jazz expression meaning good. older European idiom. . denoting the person and/or the situation don't deserve to be taken seriously. Come again? What flood are we talking about? Come off it Cease with an action or taking a position on a subject. It means. and may also mean to make it comprehensible. You'd have to say that was a pretty cool. Cool (things. usually regarding a subject or a statement of position. You want us to relay the whole brick wall? Come off it! Come off your high horse Stop taking an exaggerated position of authority or superior social position. That version of the expression has also become a common usage. where the speaker. or a general positive. Calm down. Who do you think you are. It also means someone who plays a tough situation well. This is a satiric expression. In its modern context. a hot temper. is requesting someone to repeat the statement. The word always has some descriptor with it. The word developed into general usage to include another. referring by implication to the opposite idiom. Cool off. Yeah. Originally referred to females as cookies. acceptable.Come again is usually a conversational idiom. in his business. in the same context as Cool. It also refers to a legal requirement in contracts and sales for a mandatory period for review and reconsideration before proceeding with the next phase of the process. as the listener to a statement.

Don't cry wolf unless you've got a real problem. I'm going to try to land this thing. Cup Of Joe: American mid 20th century slang expression. in sign language. refers to coffee. and was eventually eaten by a real wolf because nobody believed him when he yelled for help. This is spilt milk. Cross your fingers. raising false alarms. uncontrollable laughter. Have a cup of Joe and relax a bit. Curiosity Killed The Cat: This idiom means that inquiring into things can be dangerous. The government took a cutesy approach to the unemployment figures. thing) Cute in these contexts is a sarcastic expression.Crack Someone Up: To make someone laugh excessively. refers to crossing your fingers for luck with a problem. You crack me up. Cute. folks. The idiom is a warning in concept. Cry Over Spilt Milk: The spilt milk analogy refers to a situation where the damage is done. Could be a case of curiosity killing the cat. where the lead character cried wolf. You think I'm going to pay two million dollars for a box of matches? Cross Your Fingers: Superstitious idiom. we have to move on and stop dwelling on the past. Cry Wolf: Refers to an old European fairy tale. when it means the idea of someone's statement is ridiculous. when it isn't. Cut the Ice Make the first move in a new situation. . because they didn't have that problem until they started checking out the company's finances. There can be a negative version of the statement. we can't waste time and resources on that. cutesy (person. and the public wasn't impressed. The fingers are literally crossed. meaning pretending to be something nice. It's usually used in context with trying to find out the facts of a situation. and irrecoverable. like trying to use milk after it's spilt and contaminated. Can literally mean hysterical.

The dark horse is the one that isn't expected to win. in terms of appearance. as dead as something with no life in it by definition. This case is a dead ringer for the Smith Jones fraud case. Dead Ringer: Exactly the same in every way. I guess I'll have to be the devil's advocate here.He cut the ice by sending them some flowers and chocolates. whether they agree with it or not. stop avoiding issues. Dead as a doornail: Literally. Pegasus was the dark horse in the race. Devil's Advocate: A person putting the negative position. The local baseball team played an away match last week. This is usually done to ensure the negative aspects of a position are examined. and we don't get that result? Dog Days of Summer: The hot days of summer. Don't count your chickens before they hatch: The idiom means don't plan or take actions on the basis of things that haven't yet happened. The dog days are here. panting and breathless. referring to an old expression regarding dogs in hot weather. and they got done like a dinner. D Dark Horse: Derived from racing slang. I'd say. . Cut to the Chase: Get to the facts. Let's cut to the chase. but is a possible threat. Done like a dinner Usually refers to sports. same spiel to the clients. Let's not count our chickens here. Can also be used to describe abstract situations. before we get confirmation. and leave out all these sidetracks and digressions. but he won strongly. what happens if this doesn't work. or someone who was decisively defeated in some way. same methods. or get back on track. The whole subject was dead as a doornail by the time he'd finished speaking.

Didn't even get out of the car yard before it broke down. remarkable or unusually difficult. usually negative. These really were drastic circumstances for Sue and Betty. because we don't have to take any risks ourselves. or driving someone else mad. irritating. The idiom refers to the way someone behaves. I don't think we should look this particular gift horse in the mouth too closely. meaning exceptional. scores are locked and it's anybody's game at this stage. because we don't know what can go wrong. or the final action. Drink like a fish: Exaggerated statement to emphasize overdrinking. and the outcome is unpredictable. and have no other options. it means the matter is undecided. or a situation which is affecting them like that. Drive someone up the wall: Process of infuriating. Down To The Wire: Till the last moment. Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket: Traditional idiom. This football game is going to be down to the wire. Putting all our eggs in one basket is a really bad idea. literally. This particular client is driving me up the wall with all that extra paperwork. derived from the old horse trading tradition of checking a horse's teeth to check the horse's age and health before buying the horse. He drinks like a fish. Doozy: American slang term. Refers to fatalities. That car was a real doozy. The risk is that if that's a mistake. so they had to take drastic measures to make sure they had enough money. all right. the person loses everything.Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth: This is an advisory idiom. Dropping Like Flies: Expression from humorous to exaggerated descriptor. to the point he looks like a fish. . The saying advises not getting too picky or critical about a gift of something either real or metaphorical. Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures: The nature of a critical situation demands a response in keeping with the seriousness of the situation. but can be deliberate overstatement. because it costs nothing. When used as an expression regarding something in progress. To over commit oneself to one thing or course of action.

Edge. It's easy peasy. Earn While You Learn: Modern expression used to describe entry level paid training. the edge of danger.They tried the salad dressing. used in context with human conditions or individual character. And Wise: Traditional moral saying meaning good practices benefit your life. Well. meaning very easy. I've got a busy day tomorrow. Idioms alphabetic list E-H E Early To Bed. using the tides ebb and flow as the analogy. Earn while you learn! Become an apprentice. Ebb and Flow: Metaphor for a cycle of events. get paid while you're learning the trade. Dry Run: Test. Just throw the ball for the dog. early to rise. early to bed. He not only lives on the edge. I'm off to get some sleep. or a descriptor. who is always sensitive or touchy. ecclesiastical and academic philosophical expression literally meaning Such Is Man. Ecce Homo: Latin. Ecce Homo. get a life and a career! Easy Peasy: Rhyming English children's expression. he didn't pay any attention to the professionals. and it didn't really work. or an edgy character. Edifice (personal): . The seasonal ebb and flow of the business was an obvious factor in their stock orders. We did a dry run on the new sales technique. referring to either a state of risk. Early To Rise Makes A Man Healthy. he's a naturally edgy person. Edgy: The expressions are part of a descriptor of a person. rehearsal. and they're dropping like flies out there. situation. Wealthy. practice attempt. Of course.

So when he started swearing like a trooper. When used in another context. Emissary (sarcastic): Sarcastic title given to a person bringing information from another source. go home. Eighty Six: To Eighty Six something is to get rid of it. Elvis has left the building. Elephant's Memory (person): Person whose memory of events is exceptional. The implication is that not all facts are being revealed. folks. lose it deliberately. that's it.A fa�ade maintained by a person as a public image. Elevator stare: To look someone up and down. Talk about an elephant's memory. the whole edifice of the sophisticated person came crashing down. We'll just have to eke out the money we have until the big money comes in. Edit (descriptor): A selective use of materials or information. Right. he remembers things I said twenty years ago. Liberace on the eighty eight is an expression used to describe a showy but good pianist putting on a big show. and still takes them personally. This is an obvious edit of the situation. because there are a lot of relevant facts missing in this report. We can't take it with us. I'd say. or in some cases exceptionally annoying. Eighty Eight: Jazz slang for a full size piano. meaning to use your resources sparingly under difficult conditions. Eke Out: Old usage. . it means the show's over. so eighty six the thing. The elevator stare he gave her wasn't much appreciated. the performers have gone. we're closing. The looking up and down is considered sexist in some contexts. Elvis has left the building: Refers to the fans staying behind in a building to get Elvis Presley's autograph.

Emo: Modern music form. lots of teenage angst. refers (usually humorously) to a person who is being described as a risk to the nation. . This audit report should do as an equalizer. all different. Now means a weapon. denoting an end to an issue is required. someone who can sense things without you even telling her there's a problem. meaning emotionally charged music. or unrealistic. a real esper. Episodic (personal related events): This is an idiom which sets a scene as a chapter in someone's life. they can't bully the figures. She's just plain exception. but can also be used as a sarcastic statement. but all special. I had a series of romantic episodes. because they apparently know more about what I like than I do.We received an emissary from the green grocer. Esper: Person with extra sensory perception. Enough Is Enough: Statement is made in context. Episode. It's very emo material. According to this brochure. Exactly how long are we going to just sit here asking for an answer and not getting one? Enough is enough! Enemy Of The State: Derived from totalitarian propaganda usage. Ethereal Person: Person who appears unreal in some way. I should change my errant ways and buy anything they think I should buy. Errant ways: Literally. the chef is more or less considered to be an enemy of the state. well. originally meaning gun. this expression means habitually mistaken ways of doing things. Yeah. Equalizer: American slang term. explaining why all our fruit was rotten. or some method of getting on equal terms with a stronger opponent.

Exception Proves The Rule: . like they come from some other reality. I'll have to do without seeing that guy's face ever again. ethnic cleansing of everyone who disagrees with you? Even Stevens: Rhyming children's expression. you give me that marble. providing subjective information and creating a scene for extrapolating a story.I know artists are supposed to be a bit strange. meaning level in a game or personal affair. We've thrown everything but the kitchen sink at this problem. Everything But The Kitchen Sink: All possible efforts have been made. when they've been doing it on Thursday for years. Ethnic Cleansing: Genocide committed against a specific group of people. OK. So George finally got that promotion! Every dog has his day. Every Dog Has His Day: Even the lowliest of people will have a moment of glory. Every cloud does have a silver lining. Ever (descriptor): Common in many languages. when used in context with another descriptor. So what's this. Every Picture Tells A Story: Relates to the content of images. The kitten and the puppy picture told a story worth telling. but they're really ethereal people. Usage has extended to create other contexts describing actions in terms of getting rid of people. the use of the word Ever creates an idiom automatically. The ever-omniscient local council has sent us a letter saying the garbage will be picked up on Wednesday instead of Thursday. and we're Even Stevens. every resource used. Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining: All bad things have an element of good in them.

or has another interpretation. The exception proves the rule. Oh. Often said as a joke. usually in a negative or sarcastic sense. That meaning has now been inverted in American usage to mean the exact opposite. indicating annoyance sarcastically. in conversation. As an idiom. OK. Fandango (descriptor): The expression means an overdone.A situation where a common phenomenon doesn't happen. a trash can wearing a silly hat. yeah. To Fathom something means to attempt to find the depth of a statement or person. performance or action. because the example is obviously unusual. directors making press statements. Fantastic Plastic: 1960s expression. the whole production number. so the fact it's an exception to the norm proves the norm is the usual event. Fathom (verb): A fathom is a nautical measure of depth. mission): An exercise in finding mistakes and flaws. Excuse language: Being polite before or after using a swear word or obscenity or something which could be interpreted as obscene. . indicating the fault finding is ignoring the positives. I don't know quite how to fathom the way she reacted to my question. It's just fantastic plastic. this isn't that easy to learn. ornate. meaning artificial fantasy. and all the others fly south. I was reading about the Wall Street (excuse language) problems yesterday. Give the new starter a fair go. it's used as a descriptor in a negative sense. Some use of the expression is facetious. Excuse me. Fault Finding (person. it was quite a fandango. do you have the time? So I shouldn't ask you the time? Well excuse me! F Fair go: Australian expression meaning natural justice. Excuse me: The original meaning of Excuse Me was to indicate your intention to be polite when addressing someone. so this duck flies north for the winter.

don't quite know what to do with it. meaning mystic person. unrestricted. unnecessary material in music. either positive or negative in context. Faux Pas: French expression meaning social blunder. Fear And Loathing: Media expression meaning negative public interest or professional sentiment. prose. now extended to describing human eating habits. used to make up volume. with girl meets boy as the story. The press had a field day with the scandal. there was a feeding frenzy. Feast your eyes on this camel. is this a phone bill. Fear and loathing is driving the markets following the latest revelations of insider trading. The novel was just about all filler material. and he won't pay any attention to anything that's going right. Feeding Frenzy: Derived from sharks feeding behavior. or stock market actions. or a message from beyond the grave? Field Day: A day out in the open. such as it was. Often means people acting as they please in relation to a topic or an issue. Wearing live rabbits instead of clothes to the Academy Awards was considered rather a faux pas. O fey person. and you're telling us where we can get free ducks.He's a fault finding sort of person on a fault finding mission. File Under Miscellaneous: Extra or uncategorized information. I think we'll file that under miscellaneous. Filler Material: Extra. Fey (person): Scottish expression. So tell me. The minute the hors d'oeuvres were served. or products. We're an electrical wholesaler. . Feast Your Eyes: To have a good look at something.

Finesse (character. Finger lickin' good: American expression made famous by Kentucky Fried Chicken. It showed a lot of finesse on Barry's part to talk them into that wholesale deal. and/or the character of a person's actions. Our fine feathered friend here apparently thinks we're made of money. 1. impermanent. Flagging: Flagging has two quite unrelated. like an old society dress ornament. the till. used to describe smooth handling of a situation. Flash In The Pan: Brief conspicuous event. . etc. method): French expression. that's a good job you're doing there. 2. sometimes sarcastic. 2. Grilled cardboard. Need I say their enthusiasm was flagging after 20 miles solid hiking I'd like to flag something for your consideration. Flagging spirits or situation.Finding Your Feet: To gain confidence in what you're doing. temporary fame. Fine Feathered Friend: Sarcastic expression referring derisively to a person as wearing the plumage of a bird. people just don't work like that any more. now in common usage meaning tasty. meaning a deteriorating process. You're too fixed in your ways. drawing attention to it.): To have one's fingers in something means to be improperly involved in obtaining money or serving one's own interests. talk about finger lickin' good� Fingers In (the pie. different meanings: 1. Flagging something. You're obviously finding your feet. Fixed In Your Ways: A person with set habits. The obvious suggestion from these figures is that someone has their fingers in the till. unchanging.

Flesh and Blood: Refers to several separate idioms: 1. attention getting. or overusing a metaphor. metaphor): Overdoing your subject. Flogging (sales): Old English slang. too. can be a negative descriptor. The local flea market will have those things.They were one hit wonders. a cousin is our own flesh and blood. for sure. 2. if the context refers to inferior products still flogging that rubbish? Flogging (a subject. meaning too conspicuous. 2. Flushed With Success: In a mental state where previous success has led to the subsequent action. they went to the pub to celebrate. but I think we can put water in glasses. It was flesh and blood against a natural disaster. After all. really. Living things One's own family Comparison in relation to circumstances Flesh and blood will only tolerate so much. 3. Flashy: Negative idiom. and cheaper. I think three hours flogging a metaphor about goldfish is enough. Gerry wears very flashy clothing. Flushed with success. just a flash in the pan. meaning selling something. Flea Market: A market where you can buy goods of any kind. 1. 3. I think it's actually pretty tasteless. Foam at the Mouth: . This may be just a flight of fancy. Flight Of Fancy: Imaginative exercise in logic or thinking.

Wow. cave in on an issue. not checking their facts. Also used as descriptor for state of mind.): To fold means to give up a position. like an accordion. If you think genuine recycled nasal hair is a commercial proposition. Used to describe false value given to a subject. Fold (like in poker. Reality is just fodder for uneducated people. Foot In Mouth: To make a self defeating statement. . Free For All: No holds barred. Follower (derogatory): As a generic term. did they fold on that issue fast. a follower is distinguished in a denigrating sense from a leader. no rules. I'd say it was fool's gold. On the phone. Yep. believing everything they hear. he's never had an idea of his own. If he ever managed to hold a conversation without putting his foot in his mouth. he was furious! I could hear him foam at the mouth! Fodder (negative context): The term refers to information as stock feed. nobody noticed.Angry expression. It was a real free for all at the post Christmas sales. and implying the information is for animals. The idea of food for thought comes with a few dietary considerations. He's just a follower. Food For Thought: Common literary and vernacular idiom referring to information which will require some further consideration. Fools' Gold: Iron sulphate. never even bothered to argue. denigrating its content. refers to ferocious dogs foaming at the mouth. Fools Rush In Where Angels Fear To Tread: Fools take risks where wiser people know better. etc. there are the fools rushing in. refers to a mineral which resembles gold.

From Rags To Riches: A move from poverty to wealth. He was given free rein to deal with the mess. they haven't done things like that in accountancy since they built the Pyramids. Well. but now means making a full effort to go through the entire process. nutcase. Oh. Frozen Out: To be deliberately excluded from a group or society. must have been a French kiss and their tongues got tangled up. with implications of geriatric senility. Funny Farm: . This is a real rags to riches story. obsolescent. if you really want to go the Full Monty on this. They were there for an hour. Full Monty: British expression. Madman. It's a free country. Literally translates as fully naked. They got so tired of the constant backstabbing that Bruce was frozen out of the group. Fuddy-duddy: Old. and a person's right to do what they wish. out of date.Free Country: The idiom refers to personal liberty. permanently. from dirt poor to global stardom. French Kiss: Tongue kissing. Sorry to say this. but your new friend would be my definition of a fruitcake. derived from movie of the same name. and I can wear this tie! Free Rein: Without restrictions. unfettered. Fruitcake (person): American slang. often as a description of someone's life story. at least. just wait until I emigrate. come on don't be such a fuddy-duddy.

not a store dummy. Should we ring the funny farm now. I'm convinced she's the genuine article.Slang expression for psychiatric institution for people with mental health problems. no real presence. descriptor of character): Part of a person's character and emotional makeup. heritage. Usually a comment. Used as a compliment or confirmation of value. I'm glad to know we have things like you swimming around in our gene pool. Gene pool (personal): Referring to ancestry. or person. . Do you always gawk like that at well dressed women. a real actress. I'm descended from a grocer. or is it just a hobby? Geek: Trivial. he said I should pay for the whole dinner! Gassing On: Talking too much. Look. my shopping is genetic. Genuine Article: The real thing. insignificant person. that's someone I'd have to describe as a geek. Gawk: Look ignorantly at something. You guys keep gassing on. or would you like to continue your anecdote about your date with Harry here? G Gasp (sarcastic): When used as part of a sentence. Genetic (subject. Get Down to Brass Tacks: Start addressing the real issues. there'll be dinosaurs complaining about the noise. Then. (gasp). it indicates total lack of surprise. Frankly.

I know Jack will get fired up by this news. they're nothing like our previous information. Get Sarky: Get sarcastic. we'll have dinner by ourselves. . You'll make it worse. dwelling on it. the guy has webbed feet. So give them their walking papers. Get Fired Up: Get emotionally motivated. Get Your Walking Papers: Termination of employment. often refers to a difficult and lengthy learning process in the course of doing something. or have a bad day. or we'll be taking a hike ourselves. Suggests falsification of appearances. Give them the slip. Getting An Education: Learning through experience.Getting down to brass tacks. become obviously derisive. often sarcastic. positively or negatively. Get over it. for your own sake. Wouldn't you say that claiming your washing machines cure acne is gilding the lily just a bit? Give The Slip: Evade someone or something. what on Earth are we going to do with a warehouse full of bathroom fittings? Get Over It: Used to tell someone to move on from an event or situation after it's happened. Must have got out of bed on the wrong side. by a situation or statement. Now don't get sarky about it you lot. Gild The Lily: To enhance something which is already beautiful unnecessarily. We're really getting an education doing these surveys. Get Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed: Start the day in a bad mood. he's been in a nasty mood all day.

Glass Jaw Literally someone who can't take a punch. but not admitting you were wrong. Go For Broke: American gambling expression. a person who is taking the blame. Goat (person): Short for scapegoat. just to be out of the rat race. but a glorified office boy does. Go Down Like A Lead Balloon: To do something which gets nowhere with an audience. Go Gaga: . I like to go bush. referring to male dominated management and the inability of females to get promotions to senior positions. Can also mean a person acting foolishly or stubbornly.Glass Ceiling: Feminist expression. meaning to go crazy. That thing about wage cuts went down like a lead balloon with the staff. taking the blame. to go all out and risk everything. where a woman with a doctorate doesn't get a management position. your expression indicating a negative reaction. but also refers to vulnerabilities of a person on certain issues. Don't just go bananas on us. Glazed Look: Describes someone looking like a museum specimen under glass. to get away from society. get it sorted out! Go Bush Australian Aboriginal expression. Seems our opposition has a glass jaw on financial reports. really put everything we have into this job. Another case of the Glass Ceiling. You're being a goat in more ways than one you know. or looking as if you've been glazed over. Go Bananas Refers to acting like an ape. Every once in a while. I say we go for broke. I know I've got your attention when I see that glazed look on your faces.

usually knowing the risk. Where do we put it? Goose That Laid The Golden Egg: A person who is perhaps annoying. buying that camel. I really appreciate your going the extra mile for us. but has developed to mean do whatever you can. usually beyond what is strictly required. to become incomprehensible. and insane. let's see what you can do. . We have to go out on a limb. Expression is derived from the children's fairy tale of the same name. but also a valuable source of things. and we're not going to kill it. Goose (person): Fool. Go nuts. Go The Extra Mile/Yard: Making an extra effort. and we have to go through the hoops. and did it for no reward. Good Samaritan: Biblical reference to the Samaritan who assisted his injured enemy when no one else did. You really are a goose. because there's no real choice. That's the way these things are done. Refers to an old circus act where animals were literally required to jump through hoops. Honestly. Go Walkabout: Australian Aboriginal expression. Go Nuts: This expression originally meant to go mad. I really felt I should help. and talked about synergies. We tried telling management about the plumbing. This is our version of the Goose That Laid The Golden Egg. where killing the goose was the terrible mistake. I wasn't trying to be a Good Samaritan. and they just went gaga.American expression. stupid person. Go Through The Hoops: Go through whatever has to be done. it's been a real help. Go Out On A Limb: Take a risk. meaning to wander with no identified destination.

Graveyard Shift: Derived from broadcasting slang. Grazing (people) 1980s expression referring to people eating together in restaurants. The late night and early morning shift when most people are asleep. conversational quip): . but making a rough quantification. Gross (thing or person): American slang term with multiple uses as an adjective and a verb. dirty. Thousands of people in malls and coffee shops. Guesstimate Compound word which as an idiom means the person making the guesstimate isn't claiming accuracy. I'm even thinking of being awake later this afternoon. Originally meaning grotesque. it evolved to include meaning squalid. That place was so grotty you wouldn't let a dog in there. It's a graveyard shift job. or unacceptable. Grind (routine): The grind refers to the wear and tear of daily work. Well. I mean it really grosses me out! Grotty: English expression from Liverpool in the 1960s.Before you go walkabout. The expression means that something is disgusting. That is absolutely gross. Habit Forming (joke. get those things on the database. Show Mr. So I took a day off and you took a day off� Great minds think alike� so who's actually at work at the moment? Green Room: Room where people are stationed prior to going on air in broadcasting. Smith to the Green Room and give him a call 5 minutes before he goes on air. grazing. Great Minds Think Alike: Usually a sarcastic reference to two or more people having the same idea. back to the grind. but I'm learning a lot about the business.

having fun is habit forming. Of all the half ass ideas anyone's ever had. mate. meaning tough luck. in case history misses seeing you. this would have to be one of the greatest. situation): Useful. Half A Loaf Is Better Than None: Traditional expression. thing. Hard Yards: American and general football expression. Stick around. have you? Hard lines. Handy (person. I'll go get Rembrandt. but we did get something out of the deal. Half Ass: Denigrates idiomatically a half formed idea. that hangdog look of yours. good to have available. action or concept. Hardline. related to at least having something. uncompromising position on a subject or issue. it's half a loaf. We got lucky. Yeah. getting our marketing ready. We're now doing the hard yards. Oh.Refers to addiction to something. It was pretty half witted. with some very handy people available to us in a very handy situation. Hard Lines: Old English expression. He's an absolute hardliner. . drawing a plan without even doing a survey. facial expression): Pitiful look. Hardliner: A person or ideology which takes an inflexible. always takes the tough line on these issues. Well. and made a lot of money. pathos. Lost your watch. the hard work required to make progress to a goal. Half Witted: Traditional denigration of someone's thinking. I find. Hangdog (look.

We can actually find our clients on the database. wrong way up. Derived from scoring three times in a sport. extreme music. They were so obviously head over heels in love the other people in the room left them in peace. Hat Trick: Do something three times consecutively. crashing directly into a situation. Always a derogatory expression. when referring to a person or case refers to a dangerous person or set of circumstances. Things are now heating up. direct opposition. additional energy in the situation. now. in terms of the publicity and the reaction to it. Also refers to people in industry with a lot of influence. situation. The new secretary is heaven sent. and means the effort is wasted. Head On: Confrontational. a hat trick Heaven Sent: An unexpected but welcome event. Heavy (person. You did all of that in record time. Heating up (situation): Escalation of events where increased action is occurring. Haste Makes Waste: Doing things too quickly causes mistakes. The guy's a hatchet man. He's done it. Haste does make waste. In music refers to non commercial. don't get too casual. Suggests friction. Head Over Heels: Disoriented. His problem is that he does everything head on.Hatchet Man: Person hired to do the dirty work. music): Derived from criminal slang. Heedless (person): . and got it all wrong. either positive or negative. and never maneuvers around situations. he's here to do the bosses' work for them. three in a row. This is a very heavy person we're dealing with here.

I'm going to be busy tomorrow. I really have to hit the hay. Hidden Agenda (character): The idiom is one of suspicion. High on the Hog: The idiom refers to living in a state of excess. Hit The Hay: To go to bed. however ridiculous or stupid. They're living high on the hog now. High Five: Basketball gesture. I'll see you later. Time to hit the books and get the notes prepared. Hit The Nail on the Head: Describe or define something exactly. Old expression dating back to when people slept on straw beds. Hit The Books: Start studying. though. . Yeah. Hell in a Handbasket: American expression referring to something in a state of rapid transition to a very bad state. High fives all round. The shoppers showed a real herd mentality with that stampede when the doors opened for the annual sale. Now a common expression. where a hidden agenda is a character reference to a person acting in a way which isn't understood. and take precautions. don't know if they can keep it up. and continues on an unwise course of action or thought. they're happy about that result. I'd say heedless is a good description of someone who simply will not listen to facts. but living well. slapping hands together over the head in congratulation for an achievement. We're not getting any answers from the contractors. Herd Mentality (human): Derogatory reference to the tendency of people to do what everyone else does. so I think we should at least consider some sort of hidden agenda. The print media is going to hell in a handbasket. and they're still doing the same old things.A person who won't take advice or act on it. accurate assessment. do the reading required.

Hit The Sack: Go to sleep. Hotheaded: Rash. however you do it. and you get a new bank account? Hold Your Horses: Don't do something. meaning there's always some hope. the basic result is we still don't have a new airport. I think all this stuff about aliens with mother ships just proves hope springs eternal. you don't know the rest of the story. The sack refers to a hammock or portable military or camping bedding. kids. Just hold your horses. yet. I didn't even recognize her at first. Hocus Pocus: Idiom refers to bogus trickery. Hot Tempered: . Hope Springs Eternal: Traditional expression. ill considered. Time to hit the sack. Yeah. Hot (person): Reference to a sexually attractive person. So after ten years of hot air. don't take an action. we're up early tomorrow. Suggests an inflated balloon. That guy is naturally hotheaded. exactly right. She was really looking hot. lacking substance. best in the business. staged magic acts.That really hit the nail on the head. sure. Hoofer: Vaudeville expression referring to a dancer. tap dancer. She was a really famous 40s hoofer. Refers to a person as a character reference. Hot Air: Meaningless and/or false talk. and acts before he thinks. done without thought. or in a state of emotional excitement. Hocus pocus.

lots of enthusiasm and energy. He's a very hot tempered person.Person likely to react aggressively due to a bad temper. Ides Of March: Refers to the assassination of Julius Caesar. who doesn't necessarily understand his skills. Now applies to a dangerous time. fine. who was warned about the time of the Ides Of March by a soothsayer. as well as the new contract. which we hadn't noticed until he did that. I'd approach him differently. they paid me my back royalties. acting at great speed with enthusiasm. and the thing's not even on the market. So you were just loafing around. energized. Hyper: A person said to be hyper is in a state of extreme excitement. but beware of the Ides Of March! Idiot Savant: A person with a talent which benefits others. blood runs cold): Situation causes fear and apprehension. There's more hype than actual product here. and we found that the battery was leaking. but she just doesn't stop. meaning exaggeration. Usually refers to advertising. I think our new mechanic is an idiot savant. You want to start a business. Susan is naturally a hyper sort of person. Idle Hands Do The Devil's Work: People with nothing to do get into trouble because of that inactivity. My blood ran cold when I realized what the Wall Street crash meant to so many people. Icing On The Cake: An addition to a good thing. and you somehow managed to blow up the restaurant? Talk about idle hands doing the devil's work! . a savant. because he took out that engine. some added benefit. As icing on the cake. Hype: Derived from hyperbole. overstatement of the virtues of a product. I Ice in the blood (blood turned to ice. if I were you. yet.

but the rhyming slang effect is also obvious. Old meaning: He was a troublesome. I had no idea we were paying for that until now. which has given the word its status as an idiom. This ill wind just blew us in a contract from the customers of our recently defunct competitors. expecting trouble from any source. It's an If . impish. child of nature.Then: This is a type of logic. Ignorance Is Bliss: Traditional saying meaning there are some things people are happier not to know. In Like Flynn: The expression is believed to refer to actor Errol Flynn. it's another! If . The meaning is more associated with a person who is removed from the norms of the human world. Current meaning: Impish behavior maybe. either romantically. but not appreciated. It's Another: Fatalistic but complaining expression. all right. depending on circumstances and the age of the reference. Illuminati: Supposed elite group of people and vested interests with privileged knowledge not available to anyone outside the Illuminati. playful. Ill Wind: The old saying was It's an ill wind which blows no good. fellow. Now more usually a contraction to the Ill wind form. as well as the other meanings. Ing�nue (person): French word meaning na�ve. It means to go straight into the middle of the action in a situation. Ignorance was bliss. after getting rid of the mice? If it's not one thing. Often used as a satiric expression. innocent. Now we've got rats. After Voltaire's book of the same name. where the premise of If creates the logic.Then situation: if the premise holds true. tricky.If It's Not One Thing. I don't know how many ing�nues are professional embezzlers. opportunistically or adventurously. Can be positive or negative. Impish (person): Old expression meaning mischievous. . meaning there's always some benefit to someone in any situation. He's one of the Illuminati who approved that budget that sent the city broke last year. the logic is right.

It's all been done. at this point. In vino. So you didn't win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Kitchen Hand. In The Buff: From previous English expression buff naked. Inner Child: Spiritual and philosophical concept of the inner innocence and child like needs of people. Are you saying that seeing you in the buff hasn't been attracting tourists? In The Heat Of The Moment: This is a conditional idiom. Veritas! 01489328228313 FORID:10 Business Letters Personal Letters Resumes CVs and more . meaning that in every life is some sadness. Can be used in multiple contexts and senses. Often used to describe conversation and thinking while drinking. My inner child tells me that the whole deal stinks. Refers to the emotions and the situations created in a previously stated scenario. They argued until late in the night. he was in like Flynn. Into each life some rain must fall. What happened to 'Innocent until proven guilty?' I wasn't even in the state when that happened! In The Bag: Certain of success. Innocent until proven guilty: Principle of justice.When he saw that chance to make some money. You and your Shiraz agree with me about this song. Veritas: Ancient Latin saying meaning literally In wine. Truth. used idiomatically as a reference to any suggestion of doing something wrong. when in the heat of the moment. and the deal is in the bag. he smashed a glass against the kitchen sink and walked out. Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall: Traditional saying. finally? In vino.

it's half a loaf. situation): . drawing a plan without even doing a survey.exampleso Questions        Business Letters Love Letters Personal Letters Language MySQL Science Math H Habit Forming (joke. but we did get something out of the deal. It was pretty half witted. I find. Half Ass: Denigrates idiomatically a half formed idea. conversational quip): Refers to addiction to something. related to at least having something. this would have to be one of the greatest. Yeah. Handy (person. having fun is habit forming. Half Witted: Traditional denigration of someone's thinking.    UTF-8 Resumes Cover Letters Search Site CVs Interview w w w . action or concept. Of all the half ass ideas anyone's ever had. Half A Loaf Is Better Than None: Traditional expression. H to T A R B S C T D E F G H I J U V W X Y Z K L M N O P Q Examples of Idioms English Grammar and Examples Idioms Jargon Body language English Grammar Semantics Syntax in writing Connotative Good customer service Probability Synesthesia Understatement Homographs Hyperbole Idioms Idioms Onomatopoeia Metaphor Puns Sarcasm Simile Irony Well. thing.

always takes the tough line on these issues. Derived from scoring three times in a sport. uncompromising position on a subject or issue. Hardliner: A person or ideology which takes an inflexible. Haste does make waste. We got lucky. I'll go get Rembrandt. facial expression): Pitiful look. Hard Yards: American and general football expression. pathos. that hangdog look of yours. Always a derogatory expression. He's done it. You did all of that in record time. Oh. with some very handy people available to us in a very handy situation. have you? Hard lines. he's here to do the bosses' work for them. Haste Makes Waste: Doing things too quickly causes mistakes. Hard Lines: Old English expression. good to have available. The guy's a hatchet man. Hardline. Hangdog (look. Hatchet Man: Person hired to do the dirty work. We're now doing the hard yards. He's an absolute hardliner. three in a row. Stick around. meaning tough luck.Haiku Jargon Idioms Verbal Irony Alliteration Satire Paradox Useful. Lost your watch. the hard work required to make progress to a goal. a hat trick Full list of English Grammar . and got it all wrong. and means the effort is wasted. in case history misses seeing you. and made a lot of money. getting our marketing ready. Hat Trick: Do something three times consecutively. mate.

I'd say heedless is a good description of someone who simply will not listen to facts. Heedless (person): A person who won't take advice or act on it. and never maneuvers around situations. in terms of the publicity and the reaction to it. crashing directly into a situation. Heating up (situation): Escalation of events where increased action is occurring. In music refers to non commercial. They were so obviously head over heels in love the other people in the room left them in peace. when referring to a person or case refers to a dangerous person or set of circumstances. wrong way up. Suggests friction. His problem is that he does everything head on. don't get too casual. situation. extreme music. Heavy (person. The new secretary is heaven sent.Heaven Sent: An unexpected but welcome event. and continues on an unwise course of action or thought. direct opposition. Hell in a Handbasket: American expression referring to something in a state of rapid transition to a very bad state. music): Derived from criminal slang. . We can actually find our clients on the database. Things are now heating up. additional energy in the situation. now. and they're still doing the same old things. Head Over Heels: Disoriented. Head On: Confrontational. The print media is going to hell in a handbasket. This is a very heavy person we're dealing with here. Yeah. Also refers to people in industry with a lot of influence. either positive or negative.

I'm going to be busy tomorrow. don't know if they can keep it up. High fives all round. The shoppers showed a real herd mentality with that stampede when the doors opened for the annual sale. they're happy about that result. however ridiculous or stupid. but living well. Hidden Agenda (character): The idiom is one of suspicion. exactly right. so I think we should at least consider some sort of hidden agenda. though. Hit The Hay: To go to bed. Now a common expression. That really hit the nail on the head. Hit The Books: Start studying. where a hidden agenda is a character reference to a person acting in a way which isn't understood. They're living high on the hog now. and take precautions. Old expression dating back to when people slept on straw beds. I'll see you later.Herd Mentality (human): Derogatory reference to the tendency of people to do what everyone else does. High on the Hog: The idiom refers to living in a state of excess. Time to hit the books and get the notes prepared. Hit The Sack: Go to sleep. We're not getting any answers from the contractors. The sack refers to a hammock or portable military or camping . accurate assessment. slapping hands together over the head in congratulation for an achievement. I really have to hit the hay. Hit The Nail on the Head: Describe or define something exactly. High Five: Basketball gesture. do the reading required.

sure. Refers to a person as a character reference. done without thought. Hoofer: Vaudeville expression referring to a dancer. Yeah. however you do it. you don't know the rest of the story. we're up early tomorrow. I think all this stuff about aliens with mother ships just proves hope springs eternal. and acts before he thinks. staged magic acts. Hope Springs Eternal: Traditional expression. ill considered. kids. Hocus pocus. don't take an action. or in a state of emotional excitement. Hot (person): Reference to a sexually attractive person. meaning there's always some hope. the basic result is we still don't have a new airport. So after ten years of hot air. Hot Air: Meaningless and/or false talk. best in the business. She was really looking hot. Hot Tempered: . tap dancer. I didn't even recognize her at first. yet. and you get a new bank account? Hold Your Horses: Don't do something. Suggests an inflated balloon. Hocus Pocus: Idiom refers to bogus trickery. Time to hit the sack. Just hold your horses. lacking substance. She was a really famous 40s hoofer. Hotheaded: Rash. That guy is naturally hotheaded.bedding.

and the thing's not even on the market. fine. There's more hype than actual product here. if I were you. meaning exaggeration. which we hadn't noticed until he did that. but she just doesn't stop. As icing on the cake. He's a very hot tempered person. Hype: Derived from hyperbole. they paid me my back royalties. You want to start a business. Usually refers to advertising. I'd approach him differently. Icing On The Cake: An addition to a good thing. Susan is naturally a hyper sort of person. . who was warned about the time of the Ides Of March by a soothsayer. Now applies to a dangerous time. I think our new mechanic is an idiot savant. as well as the new contract. Hyper: A person said to be hyper is in a state of extreme excitement. but beware of the Ides Of March! Idiot Savant: A person with a talent which benefits others. lots of enthusiasm and energy. a savant. some added benefit. Ides Of March: Refers to the assassination of Julius Caesar. overstatement of the virtues of a product. acting at great speed with enthusiasm.Person likely to react aggressively due to a bad temper. who doesn't necessarily understand his skills. I Ice in the blood (blood turned to ice. because he took out that engine. energized. My blood ran cold when I realized what the Wall Street crash meant to so many people. yet. and we found that the battery was leaking. blood runs cold): Situation causes fear and apprehension.

Idle Hands Do The Devil's Work: People with nothing to do get into trouble because of that inactivity. all right. Illuminati: Supposed elite group of people and vested interests with privileged knowledge not available to anyone outside the Illuminati. Ignorance Is Bliss: Traditional saying meaning there are some things people are happier not to know.Then situation: if the premise holds true. Impish (person): Old expression meaning mischievous. Often used as a satiric expression. fellow. the logic is right. It's Another: Fatalistic but complaining expression. This ill wind just blew us in a contract from the customers of our recently defunct competitors. Old meaning: He was a troublesome. expecting trouble from any source. where the premise of If creates the logic. tricky. after getting rid of the mice? If it's not one thing. So you were just loafing around. meaning there's always some benefit to someone in any situation. playful. impish. He's one of the Illuminati who approved that budget that sent the city broke last year. and you somehow managed to blow up the restaurant? Talk about idle hands doing the devil's work! If It's Not One Thing. Now we've got rats. Ignorance was bliss. I had no idea we were paying for that until now. Ill Wind: The old saying was It's an ill wind which blows no good. It's an If . but not appreciated.Then: This is a type of logic. . Now more usually a contraction to the Ill wind form. depending on circumstances and the age of the reference. Can be positive or negative. it's another! If . Current meaning: Impish behavior maybe.

In The Buff: From previous English expression buff naked. In Like Flynn: The expression is believed to refer to actor Errol Flynn. which has given the word its status as an idiom.Ing�nue (person): French word meaning na�ve. he was in like Flynn. at this point. After Voltaire's book of the same name. Are you saying that seeing you in the buff hasn't been attracting tourists? In The Heat Of The Moment: This is a conditional idiom. innocent. What happened to 'Innocent until proven guilty?' I wasn't even in the state when that happened! In The Bag: Certain of success. and the deal is in the bag. They argued until late in the night. Can be used in multiple contexts and senses. but the rhyming slang effect is also obvious. Inner Child: Spiritual and philosophical concept of the inner innocence and child like needs of people. The meaning is more associated with a person who is removed from the norms of the human world. When he saw that chance to make some money. child of nature. Refers to the emotions and the situations created in a previously stated scenario. It means to go straight into the middle of the action in a situation. Innocent until proven guilty: Principle of justice. as well as the other meanings. either romantically. used idiomatically as a reference to any suggestion of doing something wrong. My inner child tells me that the whole deal stinks. It's all been done. I don't know how many ing�nues are professional embezzlers. when in the heat of the moment. opportunistically or adventurously. he smashed .

I can give you an iron clad guarantee I'll take you to court. In vino. wait until you're told to start moving. Iron clad guarantee: Originally an advertising expression. Itchy fingers: Urge to act. it's now an idiomatic expression referring to certainty. if that helps. George was very in your face about the job.a glass against the kitchen sink and walked out. finally? In vino. Often used to describe conversation and thinking while drinking. Truth. It Takes Two To Tango: A tango is a dance by two people. meaning confrontational either a person or a situation. Idiom refers to the need for a partner or . The iron entered his soul when he realized he had no support for his statement. Don't get itchy fingers. meaning that in every life is some sadness. You and your Shiraz agree with me about this song. referring to an actual guarantee of a refund. Veritas: Ancient Latin saying meaning literally In wine. So you didn't win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Kitchen Hand. usually means unwisely. so ipso facto. meaning proven by the facts. Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall: Traditional saying. Veritas! In Your Face: American expression. Iron enters the soul: Refers to a situation where you're spiritually toughened by the circumstances. in context. I wasn't here. Into each life some rain must fall. wasn't he? Ipso facto: Latin and legal expression. I didn't spill the coffee.

and there are too many variables for my taste. it's anyone's guess when it will happen. Pennsylvania. In this situation. Job's Comforters: From the Biblical tale of Job's sufferings. It does take two to tango.another party in a situation. They're not an Ivy League College. haven't seen her for ages. changing position without anyone's consent. Joshing Me: Joshing was the old word for joking. It's A Small World: Idiom is used when encountering someone or something again. Cornell. . The idiom implies lack of information or basis for assessment. and she shows up at my party! Its Anyone's Guess: Unpredictable situation. Ivy League: American idiom for the colleges Brown. J Jaywalk: American expression for method of illegally crossing the street. surely. Columbia. How much a night? You're joshing me. usually after a long time or distance of separation. Jug. being jailed. Jugged: American expression for jail. Harvard. Small world. You need each other. Dartmouth. where his comforters brought him nothing but despair and more grief. but UCLA is a great place. Princeton and Yale. These accountants are starting to sound like Job's comforters. all right. This is ideological jaywalking.

He got jugged for a second offense. Jugular (to go for, context): The jugular is a common metaphor for a fatal blow. To go for the throat, strike at the jugular, means to go for the kill. He went straight for the jugular with that remark, and they backed off. Jump (contexts) The word jump sets up multiple idioms. It commonly means to move and take the initiative abruptly, creating another situation, with the following words as qualifiers of the idiom. To get the jump on someone means to have the initial move, therefore the advantage. It often means to escape. To jump bail means to run away from the conditions of bail. You look like you're ready to jump ship. I know you, you'll jump when you're good and ready. Jump The Gun: Preemptive move, to do something before the proper time. Don't jump the gun, we're going to be ready next week. Jupiter, Jovian, Jupiter Pluvius: Old usage, but common in literature. Jupiter was the senior Roman god, and the idiom came from the Latin as an alternative word for God in European usage among educated people. Jupiter Pluvius was a metaphor for rain, which was the province of Jupiter in Roman mythology. By Jupiter, this is a filthy old scow of a ship! Jupiter Pluvius appears to be unusually prevalent in these seasons. K Karma (karmic law): Hindu law of accumulated cosmic justice, good causing good, bad causing bad. In Western idioms used as a reference to a collection of circumstances causing a fate. Sell that car to anyone, and your Karma will go through the floor. Keep An Eye On: Warning idiom, meaning to monitor the subject. We'll have to keep an eye on these sales figures so we know we're getting our

money's worth. Keep body and soul together: Old expression, pre 20th century, referring to the need to meet material needs. The reference to soul infers the person will die. To keep body and soul together, they had to work even harder. Keep your chin up: Old saying, referring to not looking depressed with the face down in sorrow , usually referring to a situation causing worry or sadness. Keep your chin up, we'll get out of this mess. Key (contexts): The word Key, in most languages, refers to something important or essential. It may or may not use the literal meaning of the word as the way of opening a locked door, which is the original metaphor. The word is used as either a noun or a verb in metaphors: Original meaning: The key to the problem. This means as in unlocking the door to solving the problem. Verb form: They were all keyed up to go. Prepared to commence something. Description: Key personnel were called to the meeting. Key means essential people, required to deal with the situation. Noun: Keystone: Originally a stone used as the base of the rest of the structure, now a metaphor for a basic, essential element. Kick The Bucket: American expression, meaning to die. Killer (contexts): Killer is a modern expression used to emphasize a natural characteristic of the subject. The contexts are dictated by the subjects, but in metaphoric use the word means lethal to others. It was a killer program, lots of practical work. Killer T Shirt, that one. This new shopping mall is a category killer, it'll take business away from all the existing shops in the high street. King (contexts): The use of the word King in idioms and metaphors is truly ancient. It refers to the ruler, the chieftain, and the authority of a king as a status. This creates multiple contexts for idioms, depending on usage: ABCD The Discount Kings.

King of all he surveys. King tide. King Shepherd. Knee Jerk Reaction: An unthinking reaction to a situation, a natural reflex. This is a knee jerk reaction to the housing shortage. Know It All (person): A usually disparaging reference to a person claiming or acting as if they have superior knowledge on one or many subjects. The average Know It All knows very little. Knock On Wood (also touch wood): Derived from old European superstition which uses the expression to mean asking the fates for luck by touching wood when mentioning a potentially dangerous situation. Touch wood, it'll be OK, if we keep doing what we're doing. Know The Ropes: Expression from the days of sail, when sailors learned how to use complex rigging on ships, and a person who knew the ropes was fully experienced. We need someone who does know the ropes, to get this job done properly. Know Your Place (also know your station in life): Derived from the days of aristocracy, this is a social idiom, referring to the social hierarchy. The expression evolved afterward to refer to one's place among others with higher status. In many cases it also means showing due respect to senior members of a group. You really should know your place! You can't talk to the boss like that! L Laconic (method of expressing idioms): Laconic refers to the Spartan (Lacaedemonian) form of expression, in which they were famous for making brief statements which summed up an entire situation, often with an implied comment in the statement. In its inverted idiom, it means someone who talks too much. (After six hours of talk) Meaning 'No', apparently? I don't think a six hour monologue qualifies as a laconic exercise.

Land Of Our Fathers: Traditional expression in many cultures, the idiom refers to heritage and entitlements of generations. This is the Land Of Our Fathers, we'll never surrender it. Land Lubber: Originally meaning a person inexperienced at sea, another meaning is someone who's not at home on a subject. Fred's a good accountant, but he's a land lubber on the seas of finance. Land Of The Living: This expression means the real world of others, in its literal sense. It's often used as an idiom to refer to someone's state of mind or circumstances. This expression often lets in a lot of metaphors into conversations. Come back to the Land Of The Living, before it's too late! You've been studying for days in that crypt of a room, no wonder you're looking like a zombie! Last but not least: Theatrical expression, referring to a final performance of a group, with obvious linguistic consonance. The statement is usually rhetorical, because in most cases the best and most popular performers come on stage after the others. Last but not least, Elvis! Lateral Thinker, Thinking: From Edward de Bono's term for his methods of logic. This expression is a classic instance of the recent development of idioms. Modern language has changed drastically from the earlier forms, and new expressions are often much more economic and functional. Lateral thinking covers an entire methodology and range of degrees as an idiom. Usually it relates to a way of logically approaching a situation, but can be used for specifics and to create objectives. Various meanings and usages for idioms are created: Fortunately he's a lateral thinker, and stays focused on the end result, so he doesn't get lost on the job. Whodunits are constructed using lateral thinking, using the end situation as the criteria for the story. Lead By The Nose: To lead someone against their will to a point or conclusion.

or we get a wolf pack of problems. isn't it? . Literal minded: One of the true idiomatic insults.We had to lead them by the nose to admission there had been fraud. and we haven't heard the end of it since. Lend an ear. they agreed to let bygones be bygones. unable to read the meaning of a statement or turn of phrase. They let the cat out of the bag. usually in competitive situations. Like a chicken with its head cut off: Refers to the headless chicken running around after decapitation. Brutus' speech on the death of Caesar. meaning someone who's frantically running around. Being a bit literal minded to assume rolling your car will prevent it gathering moss. We either let sleeping dogs lie. I need to talk to you. meaning a fair state of play. Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: Very old expression. Level playing field: Modern expression. Lend Me Your Ear: From Shakespeare. lend me your ears!' The expression is now an ornate. somewhat overstated way of asking someone to listen to you. The expression refers to someone who is virtually illiterate. I've never really thought the headless chicken approach achieved much. Finally. Let The Cat Out Of The Bag: Traditional expression meaning to give information which causes problems. here. The dogs in the idiom are possible dangers or problems. told the others they were leaving. 'Friends Romans countrymen. We need a level playing field in terms of trade for our exports. but not thinking. Let Bygones Be Bygones: To allow former grievances and problems to remain in the past and not to continue unresolved.

. from anyone. when they got their lucky break. He was living a lie. if you've got the wits to make it work. trying to be someone he wasn't. refers to people not knowing how to find their way out of a situation. personification of proof of a statement or idea. That guy's a real lone wolf. living on hope alone. and it caught up with him. Living proof: The real. live. He's living proof you can beat the industry at its own game. They were living on a prayer. Lost In The Woods: Originally related to fairy tale The Babes In The Wood. He's a bit long in the tooth to get fooled by that. independent. Long in the Tooth: Derived from growing teeth as one ages. Living on a prayer: Literally. Also refers to experience. Lone Wolf: Person who fights their own battles. Living on your wits: Living on what you can think up for yourself. doing something unreal because of a false condition of life. doesn't ask for favors. Living on your wits can be great.Living a lie: Living in a situation where one is misrepresented.

I like the guy. main boyfriend or girlfriend.Let's get some information. Main Man: American expression meaning the most important friend or associate. Make Hay While The Sun Shines: Traditional expression. now meaning take to advantage of the opportunity. Mad Hatter's Tea Party: Also refers to The Mad Hatter. She's my main squeeze. That wasn't a business conference. That guy's an absolute mad dog. Now refers to an erratic. aggressive person. when a cannon on a sailing ship came loose. and not stay lost in the woods about this situation. Main Squeeze: American expression. . and he was mad as a snake. it was a Mad Hatter's Tea Party. but mad as a hatter. M Mad As A Hatter: From Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland. This is my main man. and could roll around the deck crushing people. referring to The Mad Hatter and his logic as a character reference to a person. a mad dog is a dangerous one that is usually shot. unpredictable gun being fired with random results. Mad Dog: (person) Derived from criminal slang. but he really is a loose cannon on this subject. Leroy. Loose Cannon: From naval slang. Nice person. Told him what happened. originally meaning to do work when conditions are suitable. referring to an irrational. Mad As A Snake: Australian expression. but in context as a gathering like the tea party in Alice in Wonderland.

Dave. Classic case of masterful inactivity. Yes. Mister (contexts) American expression derived from the titles of the winners of beauty pageants and contests. Mrs. I suggested that as a joke. I'd love to take credit for that. He made no bones about how he felt. Minority Of One: On your own in a vote or decision related to your opinion. Miss. There was a method to the madness all right.. it's Mister I Don't Need Insurance now entering the lobby! Moral High Ground: Theoretical point of moral virtue. Can be deprecatory. Can be extremely sarcastic. Method To Madness: Having a purpose to apparently meaningless or bizarre actions.We've got buyers crashing the phone lines. or self deprecatory. with the title defining the subject of the idiom. Many a true word spoken in jest. but it was more luck than judgment. Many A True Word Spoken In Jest: Traditional expression. and he did absolutely nothing. Frequently satiric as an idiom. and/or uncompromising. . let's make hay while the sun shines! Make No Bones About: Make a statement which is unmistakable in its meaning. sometimes means allowing a situation to resolve itself without getting involved oneself. meaning a joke often finds the truth of the matter. they went broke trying to sue him. above others. and just added a zero to what he paid for them. he bought up all the rights to all those B movies. So what's the moral high ground on other people's poverty? More Luck Than Judgment: To do something more by accident than by intent. Looks like you're a minority of one. and they really were intending to do that! Masterful Inactivity: Ironic English expression meaning to achieve more by doing nothing.

There was a murderous silence from the boss as they tried to explain their sales figures. where saying nothing is doing someone serious damage. but in its inversion it means not wanting any more in an ironic sense. yeah. we don't want the competition to know about our prize giveaway. referring to chart hits of the past. Never (or Don't) Bite The Hand That Feeds You: Refers to feeding animals in the context of not damaging your source of food. Now refers broadly to any form of unbelievable mysticism. . we can't get enough. send us another shipment. N Nest Egg: Life's savings. Mum's the word: Originally an English expression. embarrassing. Now means don't tell anyone. Murderous Silence: An awkward. the more the merrier. Now refers to a range of past products or people.More The Merrier: The idiom means literally more of something makes for a better situation. You out of your mind. Mum's the word about this new ad campaign. They got scared of the risks and decided to protect their nest egg. don't know how they can keep up with the demand. More management science mumbo jumbo. Oh. suing your customers? Don't bite the hand that feeds! New kid on the block: New person in a social group. silence. you could see their jobs were on the line. The more the merrier. another mouth to feed! Moldy Oldies: 1960s pop culture expression. meaning don't tell Mum. money tucked away. More moldy oldies than any other radio station! Mumbo Jumbo: Originally referred to native superstitions during colonial times.

miscellaneous bits and pieces. and make sure I didn't fall out the window. No Room to Swing a Cat: Small space. who's been known to speak occasionally. New York Minute: Refers to time passing at a much higher rate in some environments. is the same. however. mainly because modern English grammar and old usage are quite different. sometimes lacks facts. Off On The Wrong Foot: Starting with the wrong step or move. No man is an island: Literary expression. from John Donne's Meditations XVII 'No man is an island entire of itself'. He aged a year in a New York minute. no room to maneuver. The idiom. Off The Hook: . No Dice: Not gambling on the subject. don't know what we're going to do with this lot. The statement has been mistranslated in common usage. The idiom refers to the fact that nobody lives in isolation from the world. � And here we have the odds and sods collection. not even Fred. You're not playing with a full deck here. won't do or agree to something. O Odds And Sods: English expression. literally. They wanted to stall. No man is an island. Got off on the wrong foot there. I had to duck to avoid hitting my head on the ceiling. You couldn't swing a cat in the place. because you obviously don't know they actually didn't want to sue you in the first place. but I said no dice.He's the new kid on the block in the industry. try it again. but doing pretty well. Not Playing With a Full Deck: Lacks normal intelligence.

They waited on pins and needles for the results of the job interview. meaning the contents had been checked and were correct. Strictly off the record. wouldn't even admit he wasn't taking a position. old ideas. we're off the hook. we're not too impressed with the arguments to date about the new high rise development. .K. expectant. On The Fence: Not taking a position on either side of an argument or debate. O. The fossil fuel concept is just old and in the way. they know we didn't do it.No longer at risk. (Original meaning and current): OK was originally an expression meaning All Correct on shipping bills of lading and the lists of goods were marked OK. or not taking a position of preference. Omen. Yep. originally meaning off the public record. it's OK. now generalized. referring to old culture. Old And In The Way: An early generation gap expression. If it's OK. doesn't it? On Pins And Needles: Nervous. The current version now means a general affirmative. Off the Record: This is a current journalistic expression. but if not. It's an omen. looks ominous. He was even sitting on the fence about sitting on the fence. The word ominous means omen-like. old people. On The Same Page: People on the same page are working together in the same situation. a dinner plate nailed to the restaurant door with the meal still attached! Yeah. They're usually opponents. or a statement which isn't made for publication. Ominous (situation): An omen was originally a sign from the gods of a fate. it isn't. and we've had to ask for a redraft. but they're on the same page this time.

and got the promotion. having a ball. after all. They were out on the town for the first time in years. did his job. completely beyond the norm. 'They can pass this legislation to make poverty compulsory over my dead body. out of the sky. avoiding blame. Pass The Buck: Give the responsibility to others. Patience really was a virtue. meaning being patient brings rewards over time. Over My Dead Body: Implies the speaker will fight to the death to prevent the subject of discussion from happening.Out Of The Blue: Literally. when things go wrong. unsupported. The new job came out of the blue. with that statement. no warning. Patience Is A Virtue: Traditional statement. Their comedy is really over the top. really. going out for a good time. Those auditors always pass the buck to their staff. Over the Top: Bizarre. Peaches And Cream: . Out On The Town: Have a good time. unexpected. They seem to live in some parallel universe. P Parallel Universes: Modern expression referring to living in different continuums of events. Out On A Limb: In a difficult situation. They're out on a limb. he stuck around. where nobody cares.' said the welfare worker.

which can be corrected later if required. Get the pedals to the metal people. we're behind schedule. I'll pencil it in. So everything's peaches and cream. I don't think this guy has ever heard of peer pressure. smile. folks! Pecking order: Social order. referring to peer group mechanics. and check it out later. see if we can do it. and is often used to mean the opposite in its sarcastic sense. is it? Pearl Of Wisdom: A gem of a thought. often refers to teeth. I'm not going to say this again. with no problems. . intruding on people's privacy. derived from the pecking order in chickens. top speed. in the group hierarchy. in case bankruptcy wasn't enchanting enough? Pearly White: Color metaphor. usually on women in the original context. where the group pressures individuals to conform or take actions acceptable to it. Pedal to the metal: Full acceleration. he's not paying a lot of attention to it. Pencil In: The pencil metaphor means to provisionally write something. Prick up your ears. Prick up your ears: Command. Not the Peeping Tom you'd want. Any further pearls of wisdom. and if he has. I think we can say Fred is more pecked than pecking. now. Peeping Tom: Voyeur. This is an ornamented idiom. Frequently sarcastic. Show us your pearly whites.A state of unrequited bliss. telling people to listen. is he? Peer Pressure: Psychological idiom.

we're busy. referring to general worldly circumstances. you growing up? Pipe Down: Command. We're talking about a pig in a poke. Can be used to describe a situation of over indulgence. pint size. you guys. Prick Up Your Ears: Pay attention and listen. I need to hear this! Practice Makes Perfect: Learning from experience. The workshop party was a total pig out. so in a few thousand years. The reference is always negative.Pigeon (person): American slang. telling someone to be silent. meaning na�ve person. Pig In A Poke: An unknown quantity. and you want to buy it? Pig Out : Over eat. Practice makes perfect. referring to something or someone small. training. now praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. How could you be such a total pigeon for new cars? Pig Headed: Stubborn person. he could give lessons to the pigs. great to know. . Pipe down. you'll be a chef. Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition: Puritan saying. Pint Sized: Diminutive. Yeah. How are you. something we've never even seen. He's not just pig headed when he makes up his mind. derived from the old expression to make a pig of oneself. describing a response or characteristic.

you have to understand what I'm about to tell you. That new law really queered the pitch for the people who bought the things before they became illegal. or stop supplying the means to do something. all politicians are pure as the driven snow. because he didn't listen about that makeup when he did it himself. for my tastes. Pull the plug: Derived from life support systems. as a joke. He's too quick on the trigger. Put a sock in it: Telling someone to stop making a racket. Put a sock in it. Often a very sarcastic idiom. I'm pulling the plug on your allowance. and couldn't even sell them. either it's pulling your leg or I am� Pure As The Driven Snow: Pristine. If you keep wasting your money. Pride Comes Before A Fall: Pride makes people self obsessed and vulnerable. The inverted form means suggesting something is a joke when real. Oh. with possibly regrettable consequences. Put an end to. incorruptible. Quick On The Trigger: Acting too quickly. Really. Quitter: Very negative reference to someone who gives up and/or doesn't make a real or honest effort. Can be a character assessment. I'm trying to sleep! Q Queer the pitch: To distort a situation in a way that creates problems. I was only pulling your leg. that's not a shark. playing a joke while pretending it's real. Pride definitely came before his fall.Prick up your ears. . Well. Pulling Your Leg: Kidding. of course. so come out of the fallout shelter. Nah.

but a ratbag about his diet. ignorant person or idea. Ratbag: Anglo Australian expression. unsanitary animal and its habits. cultural): American expression originally meaning hick. Raining Cats and Dogs: Extremely heavy rain. It's absolutely raining cats and dogs out there. The guy's a rat. meaning a lunatic. won't even think about ringing her! R Rain check: Derived from baseball expression. Rise and Shine: . Rat (race. Redneck (person. It was a real red letter day when they won the lottery. literally or metaphorically. Red Faced: Embarrassed. plain and simple. action): The rat is the traditional European symbol of vermin since the Plague era. you can't even see the road. Wants to get out of the social rut. no delays. They ratted on their friends. and the idiom is imported. Red Letter Day: Great day. 'no rain checks'. where rain stops play. great event. and the word is always negative. They betrayed their friends. meaning the deal is for this time only. The council was left red faced with a bill for gold lam� uniforms. hence multiple contexts: I just want to get out of the rat race. Nice guy in his way. disgusting. referring to a disgusting.The guy's a quitter. In Asia the Rat is one of the 12 animals of Buddhist custom and the Chinese lunar calendar. someone who doesn't know what he's talking about. This person is untrustworthy. character. The word is widely used in idioms. now meaning a boorish. It was an idea which could only appeal to a redneck. uncultured. Usually a negative reference.

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day: Great work takes time. because they found they wanted the buildings to be able to stand up. and that really rubbed salt in the wounds. referring to ancestry and heritage. Rub Salt In The Wounds: To make an injury more painful. if you don't want to do it. Run out of steam: Run out of motive power or energy. S . The rule of thumb here would be that we're sure they will usually order 100 units at a time. Rub out. They've gone back to their roots with these songs. Mary. The wider meaning is to erase an error. Also refers to unrealistic expectations of time frames. and has developed as a general idiom for cultural origins of all kinds. she laughed herself sick. Roots (origin. Rule Of Thumb: From the painter's use of a thumb to measure proportions in a sketch. when he saw it on TV. it meant to kill someone. Well. Root For: To barrack for a team or a person. or wipe something. or get moving. After he fell off the stage. culture): This expression started in the 1970s as part of African American culture. They ran out of steam when Bill started to have doubts about the project. we've got another ten loads to get on board. wipe (action): Originally a 1920s gangster expression.Get out of bed in the morning. Can be a conceptual expression referring to motivation or impetus. and called in the accountant to check their expenditure. referring to people acting as if asleep. as in to end the concept of it. Rome wasn't built in a day either. Rise and shine you guys. we'll just wipe the whole idea. We're rooting for you. then. Tends to work as a benchmark concept.

The idioms containing the word also contain the context. natural events. positive or negative. Scot free: To escape without due penalty. referring to the bell at the end of a round. Sick Of the Sight Of�: The sight of something or someone is repulsive. saved by the bell when the event was called off. That was an idea which they held sacred. The sight of so much waste makes me sick when I think how poor some people in the world are. They got off Scot free. he looks sick as a dog.Sacred (context): A thing described as sacred is one which is supposedly above criticism or reproach. Savage Grace: The grace and beauty of wild things. Sick As A Dog: Traditional expression meaning very sick. you might see the wood. because nobody was able to prove they were in the wrong. sickening. He shouldn't have come to work today. Shock Horror: Usually a derisive reference to an overreaction. The conceptual sacred pig of managerial descent from deity. sicker than a person should be. sometimes with added contexts. Significant Other: . The jungle is a place of savage grace. like they hadn't known about it before. If you have a look at the trees. So after the news came out they were all going into Shock Horror mode. They were on their last legs. The contraction and other uses of the expression mean the same thing. the Noble Savage. See The Wood For The Trees: The expression Can't See The Wood For The Trees means unable to see the obvious. Saved By The Bell: Boxing expression.

He's a sleaze. living in a bad situation. This is your new home. The unholy smell of that person's ethics! The rosy sights and smells appeared to require some sugar. She has a sixth sense about stock prices. Sleaze. untrustworthy elements. I smelt a rat. but used to refer to a nice warm cozy place or situation. . and sure enough it was him. She's my significant other. simply noting that a person is important. Not many people come up smelling of daisies in a situation like that. as a matter of fact. which expands the context of the idiom. Smell (contexts): Any reference to smell will be either good or bad. and that's really about the only way you can describe him. a current phenomenon. suggesting crime. seems to always know what they're going to do. The idiom literally quantifies an extrasensory capability. actual or conceptual. you'll be snug as a bug in this house. in any idiom. sleazy: Modern expression referring to an unsavory place. or disgusting behavior. The qualification is of its nature. Skid Row: Early 20th century expression referring to being broke. Sixth Sense: A sense beyond the five senses of touch. some times using another idiom to create the new meaning. person or subject. this doesn't look trustworthy. The anti poverty protests are a sign of the changing times. smell.Modern expression referring to an unspecified relationship. sight and hearing. poor. Snug As A Bug In A Rug: Mainly a rhyming phrase. Sobering Thought: In this case the word sobering is a metaphor for changing your previous mindset. Sign Of The Times: Indicative of the contemporary. I smell something very fishy. Those poor people have been on Skid Row for years. A sobering thought is one which makes you think clearly. feel.

son of a gunman or outlaw. More sound and fury. referring to a great deal of noise and bluster with no real result. He's a real son of a gun. I see.It was a sobering thought that we had to go back to work the following day. only you and he could achieve that. Son Of A Gun: Reckless person. which can affect the temper of those suffering from the condition. That soulful expression of yours really does get on my nerves. always living it up whether anyone likes it or not. and we were in no condition to even think about it. Sophistries are a pretentious waste of time and thought. positive or negative. Sound And Fury Signifying Nothing: Quote from Shakespeare. The idiom reflects the irritable nature of sufferers. Sophistry (mode of idiomatic argument): A sophistry is a false argument. Social Standing: Position in a social structure. he went from saint to leper. you know. You're your father's son. Soulful Expression: Often a sarcastic idiom. He was sore as a gumboil when you brought up that topic. with a suggestion of bogus intellectualism. It's actually a slightly euphemistic idiom for far more coarse expressions. Son Of Your Father: A direct reference to characteristics of the father. Sore As A Gumboil: A gumboil is a painful lump on the gums. referring to someone looking sincere and noble. The scandal did nothing for his social standing. . all right. Doesn't that guy ever actually do anything? Southpaw: Boxing expression meaning a left handed boxer or style of fighting.

we know we're playing against a stacked deck here. which meant a stain on the reputation. I was so staggered by the news that I really had no idea what to do about it. fiery state of mind. to get sympathy. Stacked Deck: Card playing expression. referring to any situation where an performance in front of an audience. meaning the order of cards has been arranged unfairly so selected cards are dealt to selected players. Spitting image of someone who always looked like they were spitting chips. I think this whole fight between them is being stage managed for our benefit. originally Stain on the escutcheon. I was writing my blog and got stage fright. Stage Fright: Theatrical expression meaning pre performance nerves. Spitting Image: Refers to an image or likeness so like the original it seems as if it could spit. . Spare the rod. spoil the child: Traditional saying meaning that lack of discipline will make a spoilt brat out of a child. to the child's detriment. staggering: (mental condition): The word stagger means to walk uncertainly. Yeah. Fred was spitting chips when we told him we had a whole new set of figures. is involved. Stage Managed: A situation which appears to have been conducted as a performance for the benefit of those seeing it. now you've got the spoiled child. makes him hard to argue with when he comes up with those unexpected arguments. you spared the rod for so long.He's got a real southpaw style in his approach. Spitting chips Furious. Staggered. Well. Idiom is now used widely. and the idiom refers to a mental state where one is uncertain of one's position and feelings. Stain on character: Old expression. real or hypothetical.

The status quo at the moment is that we're waiting for them to wake up and do their jobs properly. Typical starving artist. Start From Scratch: The word scratch means literally from nothing. Jeff. . but he tried to clean it up. is all I'm saying. The budget cuts were a stern lesson in managing our costs. and build the thing. but as an idiom it relates to a topic as a conditional. it's maybe not your station in life to tell senior lawyers how to run their murder trials. Station In Life: One's role or position in life or as a member of the society. The guy was a real standover man. So we start from scratch. very scary. often ironic. I just don't think a rubber duck really is a status symbol. Status Symbol: Possession or property indicating a superior social status. the state of what is. Stern Lesson: A tough lesson. where the conditions were difficult but something was learned. Ah. as the office boy. took him twelve hours and three meals to find his way out of his limousine.The conviction was a real stain on his character. context. Stand Over: Criminal slang. get our own materials. they were so starstruck they stuck around taking pictures of themselves in the lead actor's hotel room after he left. do you think? Status Quo: Latin expression. It's so common it's now a clich�. Starstruck: Dazzled by fame or reputation. meaning intimidation. Starving artist: The starving artist motif is a common theme in books and tales of artist's lives.

Well. Stone Cold: Absolutely sober. clear headed. I suggest you don't try it. Stonewall: To be very obstructive. I think they're playing for time. If you're thinking of becoming stony broke. I don't know what is. I'd say waking me up at four in the morning about your acne was a bit of a storm in a teacup. There are so many idiomatic senses that each has to be considered relative to the total statement in which the word is contained. stone was referred to as a building metaphor. Storm In A Teacup: A lot of fuss about nothing important. If that's not a stony face. That wasn't just a stony silence. or impassive with a sense of being unsympathetic to others. hadn't had a drink all day. immovable. now that you mention it. Stormy Petrel: . Stonehearted: Heartless. but in terms of responses to a prior situation or statement. The guy has a heart of stone. I've never heard him express sympathy for anyone or anything. yeah. Stony Silence: Similar to a stony faced expression. Stony Faced: A hostile expression. without proper feeling for others. I swear.Stone (contexts): Stone is an old metaphor in many idioms. Stony Broke: Very broke. They're stonewalling. I was stone cold sober. unfriendly. in the sense of real hard times. In the traditional sense. that was solid granite. One stone on top of another. meaning something hard and unyielding.

Usually. he looks like a sucker. Sweat Of Your Brow: By your own efforts and hard work. referring to the fish being stunned with a blow after being caught. We have some very territorial salesmen in this company. T Territorial (person. or occasionally an event which was stunning. issue) A person who defends their professional position. trying to speak. swearing like a trooper. he's right. So he's looking like a stunned mullet. Now means a person who's a fool. Stunner: Mid 20th century expression meaning a stunningly beautiful woman. You appreciate things you've earned by the sweat of your brow. Test of courage:< . The modern version means to be struck senseless by a situation. to be able to swear like a soldier. The modern meaning of the expression means to be stuck doing the same things all the time. Sucker (person): 19th century African American expression meaning baby. at least 500 people just staring. I'd say he was a stormy petrel. Stunned Mullet: Fishing expression. We had this famous socialite on the phone. Stuck In A Rut: A rut was created by old wagon wheels cutting into roads. This woman was such a stunner the whole restaurant went quiet. Swear Like A Trooper: Military expression.A person who seems to be forever predicting disasters. but in this case. and I don't want to be stuck doing these repetitive things all the time. and she's just standing there looking gorgeous. forcing other wagons to use the same ruts. so be careful. Trouble is he's not only a sucker. It's a real rut.

not a screwdriver! V Van Gogh's ear for music: Van Gogh's famous cutting off of his own ear in an argument with his friend Paul Gauguin is well known. having the force of law in terms of being observed by all. Up a blind alley: Following a path which leads to an unknown destination. in pursuit of the uneatable. and won't be coming in today. event. but in general modern usage. Unmentionable. They have some individual contexts. but continue to exist in idioms. Uglier than sin. The whole marketing campaign seems to have gone up a blind alley. The unsung heroes of the office Christmas party were the data entry people. or doesn't seem to hear properly. The unspeakable. Noggin. Fred's a bit under the weather. . and some are quite obscure. but deliberately not specified.Uglier Than Sin: Old expression. Use Your� Noodle. Under the weather: Refers literally to seasonal illnesses. refers to sin in the context of obscenity. here. that's a car. referring to fox hunts. or sometimes dead end. (Oscar Wilde. Use your noggin. and twice as expensive. but generally means feeling unwell.) Unsung (person. Nut. not usually used in modern parlance. refer to something terrible. unspeakable (concept): These expressions are based on social concepts of things not discussed in polite society. like unmentionables as an old term referring to underclothes.: The human brain has a lot of idiomatic metaphors. hence the reference to Van Gogh's ear when referring to someone who's not listening. It was an unwritten law in the office that you just didn't wake Fred up after lunch. action): A person or group not given due credit. The actual words are quite dated. Unwritten Law: An understood and generally accepted social custom.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life: Very old.He's got Van Gogh's ear when it comes to melody. Well Bred: . Poor Joan. Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve: To be very open. means expected deterioration over time. Obviously. it's all water under the bridge now. which is often contracted in various ways. The idiom means natural attrition of the condition of a thing. When applied to people. This is the fleas wagging the dog. hackneyed. for which the hirer or renter isn't considered liable. Wear and Tear. in some cases. recently. but in some cases it's a double metaphor. Wear And Tear This is actually a legal expression. perhaps too open. Water Under The Bridge: The exact idiom is that water which has flowed under a bridge has moved on. the idiom means the effects of experience. in terms of business hire or rental. expression. where the obvious outer scars aren't those being referred to. Get over it. this is the opposite of the normal process. George is looking like he's had some wear and tear. about your feelings in public. abstracted into this word as part of an idiom. again? W Wag the Dog: The complete expression. referring to diversity and variety in life as stimulating the taste of life. is The Tail Wagging The Dog. Wanderlust: The desire to travel. in my opinion. which means something described as water under the bridge has passed. Wanderlust will drive people around the world. Hence the context. Variety is the spice of life� so what are we doing here. wearing her heart on her sleeve like that! Wearing The Scars: This is a metaphoric idiom. He's wearing a few scars that you could only see if you knew him well. as well as an idiom. which is the context of the idioms. for your own sake. Look.

it pours. Hence the expression. running around complaining. and not before. Man Woman or Thing: . Wicked (thing. When It Rains. Fred is very well bred. wealthy. really knows his way around any group of people. but he's so good at it. there. which means when the impossible happens. It was a really wild and woolly pub. I see. A well bred person was considered one of the upper class. Wet Blanket: A person who acts like a damper on a happy occasion. When it rains. sometimes refers to a social group of the best people in society. and powerful.Child. meaning good. When Pigs Fly : Pigs aren't very likely to be flying animals. which is now virtually meaningless as a literal statement. Wild. situation): New Zealand expression. Wet Hen: The original expression is Madder Than A Wet Hen. as one of the antonymic inversions of the original meaning of the word as the idiom. I know he didn't intend to be a wet blanket. uncontrolled.This idiom has a social context. Well Heeled: Literally means well dressed. but means emotionally upset and vocal. In modern terms. We'll get new staff when pigs fly. She was being a real wet hen. some of the people looked utterly mad. it means a person with good manners and social grace. It Pours: When something happens at all. more work than we could do in a year. Free beer! Wicked! Wild and Woolly: Something that looks wild. Wet blankets are usually used to put out fires. and aren't recommended for sleeping in. but also had at one point a class context. He was always at home among the well heeled. it happens to excess.

which is enlarging its frame of reference. She's the definitive Wild Child of the current generation of musicians. Now means a person living outside social norms. is that he's always been an idiot. worth a damn. Wrong Steer: Directed the wrong way. I'd go out with him. without prejudice. Woman scorned: From Shakespeare's famous statement Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.Old Celtic expression revived in the 20th century. While retaining its original meaning. I'd say. This looks very Brand X to me. . She's a woman scorned. They gave us a completely wrong steer on that deal. now commonly used to mean without any bias or personal interest. meaning outside. (originally there was actually a Brand X) meaning an unknown. My opinion. Originally meant a person of the wilds. or isn't. Now applied to a woman whose feelings have been ignored or abused. X (Brand) X: Advertising idiom. the word is now becoming an idiomatic usage in relation to sciences. Something is. but xeno biology wasn't one of my subjects. in the idiomatic context of the statement. often a celebrity. living outside society. Worth A Damn: Worth caring about. inferior brand compared to the sponsor's product. or to the wrong conclusion. and here comes the fury. Wine and Dine: A romantic engagement by implication. Without prejudice: Originally a legal expression. These so called unsolicited testimonials aren't worth a damn. She seems to be able to find people to wine and dine her in caves. Xeno (concept): From the Greek.

In my opinion his reputation equates to one large zero . and their characteristics.X marks the spot: From old pirate stories. bills. You Can't Take it With You: Old saying referring to material possessions in the afterlife. he looks like a kid's coloring book. for once. X was the spot on the map where the treasure was buried. applied to a person. diets. Don't judge him by his cover. but knowing you. You can't take it with you. I know you'll at least try. but he's more like Britannica. why are you eating that? You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover: External appearances don't tell the whole story. lawsuits� X marks the spot where we find some actual figures. Zero (descriptor): The use of zero in an idiom indicates the value of the subject is set at nothing. The idiomatic usage is so common that it's now a fully understood idiom in its own right. Variously used to describe people. It can be a serious insult. Hmmm� Audit reports. Well. I assume? Y You Are What You Eat: What you eat determines your nature. if you are what you eat.

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