Saturday, 1 December 2012


·        A
·        A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush:
Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything.
·        A Blessing In Disguise:
Something good that isn't recognized at first.
·        A Chip On Your Shoulder:
Being upset for something that happened in the past.
·        A Dime A Dozen:
Anything that is common and easy to get.
·        A Doubting Thomas:
A skeptic who needs physical or personal evidence in order to believe something.
·        A Drop in the Bucket:
A very small part of something big or whole.
·        A Fool And His Money Are Easily Parted:
It's easy for a foolish person to lose his/her money.
·        A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand:
Everyone involved must unify and function together or it will not work out.
·        A Leopard Can't Change His Spots:
You cannot change who you are.
·        A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned:
By not spending money, you are saving money (little by little).
·        A Picture Paints a Thousand Words:
A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.
·        A Piece of Cake:
A task that can be accomplished very easily.
·        A Slap on the Wrist:
A very mild punishment.
·        A Taste Of Your Own Medicine:
When you are mistreated the same way you mistreat others.
·        A Toss-Up:
A result that is still unclear and can go either way.
·        Actions Speak Louder Than Words:
It's better to actually do something than just talk about it.
·        Add Fuel To The Fire:
Whenever something is done to make a bad situation even worse than it is.
·        Against The Clock:
Rushed and short on time.
·        All Bark And No Bite:
When someone is threatening and/or aggressive but not willing to engage in a fight.
·        All Greek to me:
Meaningless and incomprehensible like someone who cannot read, speak, or understand any of the Greek language would be.
·        All In The Same Boat:
When everyone is facing the same challenges.
·        An Arm And A Leg:
Very expensive. A large amount of money.
·        An Axe To Grind:
To have a dispute with someone.
·        Apple of My Eye:
Someone who is cherished above all others.
·        As High As A Kite:
Anything that is high up in the sky.
·        At The Drop Of A Hat:
Willing to do something immediately.

·        B
·        Back Seat Driver:
People who criticize from the sidelines, much like someone giving unwanted advice from the back seat of a vehicle to the driver.
·        Back To Square One:
Having to start all over again.
·        Back To The Drawing Board:
When an attempt fails and it's time to start all over.
·        Baker's Dozen:
·        Barking Up The Wrong Tree:
A mistake made in something you are trying to achieve.
·        Beat A Dead Horse:
To force an issue that has already ended.
·        Beating Around The Bush:
Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.
·        Bend Over Backwards:
Do whatever it takes to help. Willing to do anything.
·        Between A Rock And A Hard Place:
Stuck between two very bad options.
·        Bite Off More Than You Can Chew:
To take on a task that is way to big.
·        Bite Your Tongue:
To avoid talking.
·        Blood Is Thicker Than Water:
The family bond is closer than anything else.
·        Blue Moon:
A rare event or occurance.
·        Break A Leg:
A superstitious way to say 'good luck' without saying 'good luck', but rather the opposite.
·        Buy A Lemon:
To purchase a vehicle that constantly gives problems or stops running after you drive it away.

·        C
·        Can't Cut The Mustard :
Someone who isn't adequate enough to compete or participate.
·        Cast Iron Stomach:
Someone who has no problems, complications or ill effects with eating anything or drinking anything.
·        Charley Horse:
Stiffness in the leg / A leg cramp.
·        Chew someone out:
Verbally scold someone.
·        Chip on his Shoulder:
Angry today about something that occured in the past.
·        Chow Down:
To eat.
·        Close but no Cigar:
To be very near and almost accomplish a goal, but fall short.
·        Cock and Bull Story:
An unbelievable tale.
·        Come Hell Or High Water:
Any difficult situation or obstacle.
·        Crack Someone Up:
To make someone laugh.
·        Cross Your Fingers:
To hope that something happens the way you want it to.
·        Cry Over Spilt Milk:
When you complain about a loss from the past.
·        Cry Wolf:
Intentionally raise a false alarm.
·        Cup Of Joe:
A cup of coffee.
·        Curiosity Killed The Cat:
Being Inquisitive can lead you into a dangerous situation.
·        Cut to the Chase:
Leave out all the unnecessary details and just get to the point.

·        D
·        Dark Horse:
One who was previously unknown and is now prominent.
·        Dead Ringer:
100% identical. A duplicate.
·        Devil's Advocate:
Someone who takes a position for the sake of argument without believing in that particular side of the argument. It can also mean one who presents a counter argument for a position they do believe in, to another debater.
·        Dog Days of Summer:
The hottest days of the summer season.
·        Don't count your chickens before they hatch:
Don't rely on it until your sure of it.
·        Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth:
When someone gives you a gift, don't be ungrateful.
·        Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket:
Do not put all your resources in one possibility.
·        Doozy:
Something outstanding.
·        Down To The Wire:
Something that ends at the last minute or last few seconds.
·        Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures:
When you are extremely desperate you need to take extremely desperate actions.
·        Drink like a fish:
To drink very heavily.
·        Drive someone up the wall:
To irritate and/or annoy very much.
·        Dropping Like Flies:
A large number of people either falling ill or dying.
·        Dry Run:

·        E
·        Eighty Six:
A certain item is no longer available. Or this idiom can also mean, to throw away.
·        Elvis has left the building:
The show has come to an end. It's all over.
·        Ethnic Cleansing:
Killing of a certain ethnic or religious group on a massive scale.
·        Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining:
Be optomistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.
·        Everything But The Kitchen Sink:
Almost everything and anything has been included.
·        Excuse my French:
Please forgive me for cussing.

·        F
·        Feeding Frenzy:
An aggressive attack on someone by a group.
·        Field Day:
An enjoyable day or circumstance.
·        Finding Your Feet:
To become more comfortable in whatever you are doing.
·        Finger lickin' good:
A very tasty food or meal.
·        Fixed In Your Ways:
Not willing or wanting to change from your normal way of doing something.
·        Flash In The Pan:
Something that shows potential or looks promising in the beginning but fails to deliver anything in the end.
·        Flea Market:
A swap meet. A place where people gather to buy and sell inexpensive goods.
·        Flesh and Blood:
This idiom can mean living material of which people are made of, or it can refer to someone's family.
·        Flip The Bird:
To raise your middle finger at someone.
·        Foam at the Mouth:
To be enraged and show it.
·        Fools' Gold:
Iron pyrites, a worthless rock that resembles real gold.
·        French Kiss:
An open mouth kiss where tongues touch.
·        From Rags To Riches:
To go from being very poor to being very wealthy.
·        Fuddy-duddy:
An old-fashioned and foolish type of person.
·        Full Monty:
This idiom can mean either, "the whole thing" or "completely nude".
·        Funny Farm:
A mental institutional facility.

·        G
·        Get Down to Brass Tacks:
To become serious about something.
·        Get Over It:
To move beyond something that is bothering you.
·        Get Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed:
Someone who is having a horrible day.
·        Get Your Walking Papers:
Get fired from a job.
·        Give Him The Slip:
To get away from. To escape.
·        Go Down Like A Lead Balloon:
To be received badly by an audience.
·        Go For Broke:
To gamble everything you have.
·        Go Out On A Limb:
Put yourself in a tough position in order to support someone/something.
·        Go The Extra Mile:
Going above and beyond whatever is required for the task at hand.
·        Good Samaritan:
Someone who helps others when they are in need, with no discussion for compensation, and no thought of a reward.
·        Graveyard Shift:
Working hours from about 12:00 am to 8:00 am. The time of the day when most other people are sleeping.
·        Great Minds Think Alike:
Intelligent people think like each other.
·        Green Room:
The waiting room, especially for those who are about to go on a tv or radio show.
·        Gut Feeling:
A personal intuition you get, especially when feel something may not be right.

·        H
·        Haste Makes Waste:
Quickly doing things results in a poor ending.
·        Hat Trick:
When one player scores three goals in the same hockey game. This idiom can also mean three scores in any other sport, such as 3 homeruns, 3 touchdowns, 3 soccer goals, etc.
·        Have an Axe to Grind:
To have a dispute with someone.
·        He Lost His Head:
Angry and overcome by emotions.
·        Head Over Heels:
Very excited and/or joyful, especially when in love.
·        Hell in a Handbasket:
Deteriorating and headed for complete disaster.
·        High Five:
Slapping palms above each others heads as celebration gesture.
·        High on the Hog:
Living in Luxury.
·        Hit The Books:
To study, especially for a test or exam.
·        Hit The Hay:
Go to bed or go to sleep.
·        Hit The Nail on the Head:
Do something exactly right or say something exactly right.
·        Hit The Sack:
Go to bed or go to sleep.
·        Hocus Pocus:
In general, a term used in magic or trickery.
·        Hold Your Horses:
Be patient.

·        I
·        Icing On The Cake:
When you already have it good and get something on top of what you already have.
·        Idle Hands Are The Devil's Tools:
You are more likely to get in trouble if you have nothing to do.
·        If It's Not One Thing, It's Another:
When one thing goes wrong, then another, and another...
·        In Like Flynn:
To be easily successful, especially when sexual or romantic.
·        In The Bag:
To have something secured.
·        In The Buff:
·        In The Heat Of The Moment:
Overwhelmed by what is happening in the moment.
·        In Your Face:
An aggressive and bold confrontation.
·        It Takes Two To Tango:
A two person conflict where both people are at fault.
·        It's A Small World:
You frequently see the same people in different places.
·        Its Anyone's Call:
A competition where the outcome is difficult to judge or predict.
·        Ivy League:
Since 1954 the Ivy League has been the following universities: Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Yale, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Harvard.

·        J
·        Jaywalk:
Crossing the street (from the middle) without using the crosswalk.
·        Joshing Me:
Tricking me.

·        K
·        Keep An Eye On Him:
You should carefully watch him.
·        Keep body and soul together:
To earn a sufficient amount of money in order to keep yourself alive .
·        Keep your chin up:
To remain joyful in a tough situation.
·        Kick The Bucket:
·        Kitty-corner:
Diagonally across. Sometimes called Catty-Corner as well.
·        Knee Jerk Reaction:
A quick and automatic response.
·        Knock On Wood:
Knuckle tapping on wood in order to avoid some bad luck.
·        Know the Ropes:
To understand the details.

·        L
·        Last but not least:
An introduction phrase to let the audience know that the last person mentioned is no less important than those introduced before him/her.
·        Lend Me Your Ear:
To politely ask for someone's full attention.
·        Let Bygones Be Bygones:
To forget about a disagreement or arguement.
·        Let Sleeping Dogs Lie:
To avoid restarting a conflict.
·        Let The Cat Out Of The Bag:
To share a secret that wasn't suppose to be shared.
·        Level playing field:
A fair competition where no side has an advantage.
·        Like a chicken with its head cut off:
To act in a frenzied manner.
·        liquor someone up:
To get someone drunk.
·        Long in the Tooth:
Old people (or horses).
·        Loose Cannon:
Someone who is unpredictable and can cause damage if not kept in check.

·        M
·        Make No Bones About:
To state a fact so there are no doubts or objections.
·        Method To My Madness:
Strange or crazy actions that appear meaningless but in the end are done for a good reason.
·        Mumbo Jumbo:
Nonsense or meaningless speech.
·        Mum's the word:
To keep quiet. To say nothing.

·        N
·        Nest Egg:
Savings set aside for future use.
·        Never Bite The Hand That Feeds You:
Don't hurt anyone that helps you.
·        New kid on the block:
Someone new to the group or area.
·        New York Minute:
A minute that seems to go by quickly, especially in a fast paced environment.
·        No Dice:
To not agree. To not accept a proposition.
·        No Room to Swing a Cat:
An unsually small or confined space.
·        Not Playing With a Full Deck:
Someone who lacks intelligence.

·        O
·        Off On The Wrong Foot:
Getting a bad start on a relationship or task.
·        Off The Hook:
No longer have to deal with a tough situation.
·        Off the Record:
Something said in confidence that the one speaking doesn't want attributed to him/her.
·        On Pins And Needles:
Anxious or nervous, especially in anticipation of something.
·        On The Fence:
·        On The Same Page:
When multiple people all agree on the same thing.
·        Out Of The Blue:
Something that suddenly and unexpectedly occurs.
·        Out On A Limb:
When someone puts themself in a risky situation.
·        Out On The Town:
To enjoy yourself by going out.
·        Over My Dead Body:
When you absolutely will not allow something to happen.
·        Over the Top:
Very excessive.

·        P
·        Pass The Buck:
Avoid responsibility by giving it to someone else.
·        Pedal to the metal:
To go full speed, especially while driving a vehicle.
·        Peeping Tom:
Someone who observes people in the nude or sexually active people, mainly for his own gratification.
·        Pick up your ears:
To listen very carefully.
·        Pig In A Poke:
A deal that is made without first examining it.
·        Pig Out :
To eat alot and eat it quickly.
·        Pipe Down:
To shut-up or be quiet.
·        Practice Makes Perfect:
By constantly practicing, you will become better.
·        Pull the plug:
To stop something. To bring something to an end.
·        Pulling Your Leg:
Tricking someone as a joke.
·        Put a sock in it:
To tell noisy person or a group to be quiet.

·        Q
·        Queer the pitch:
Destroy or ruin a plan.

·        R
·        Raincheck:
An offer or deal that is declined right now but willing to accept later.
·        Raining Cats and Dogs:
A very loud and noisy rain storm.
·        Ring Fencing:
Seperated usual judgement to guarantee protection, especially project funds.
·        Rise and Shine:
Time to get out of bed and get ready for work/school.
·        Rome Was Not Built In One Day:
If you want something to be completely properly, then its going to take time.
·        Rule Of Thumb:
A rough estimate.
·        Run out of steam:
To be completely out of energy.

·        S
·        Saved By The Bell:
Saved at the last possible moment.
·        Scapegoat:
Someone else who takes the blame.
·        Scot-free:
To escape and not have to pay.
·        Sick As A Dog:
To be very sick (with the flu or a cold).
·        Sitting Shotgun:
Riding in the front passenger seat of a car.
·        Sixth Sense:
A paranormal sense that allows you to communicate with the dead.
·        Skid Row:
The rundown area of a city where the homeless and drug users live.
·        Smell A Rat:
To detect somone in the group is betraying the others.
·        Smell Something Fishy:
Detecting that something isn't right and there might be a reason for it.
·        Son of a Gun:
A scamp.
·        Southpaw:
Someone who is left-handed.
·        Spitting Image:
The exact likeness or kind.
·        Start From Scratch:
To do it all over again from the beginning.

·        T
·        The Ball Is In Your Court:
It is your decision this time.
·        The Best Of Both Worlds:
There are two choices and you have them both.
·        The Bigger They Are The Harder They Fall:
While the bigger and stronger opponent might be alot more difficult to beat, when you do they suffer a much bigger loss.
·        The Last Straw:
When one small burden after another creates an unbearable situation, the last straw is the last small burden that one can take.
·        The Whole Nine Yards:
Everything. All of it.
·        Third times a charm:
After no success the first two times, the third try is a lucky one.
·        Tie the knot:
To get married.
·        Til the cows come home:
A long time.
·        To Make A Long Story Short:
Something someone would say during a long and boring story in order to keep his/her audience from losing attention. Usually the story isn't shortened.
·        To Steal Someone's Thunder:
To take the credit for something someone else did.
·        Tongue-in-cheek:
humor, not to be taken serious.
·        Turn A Blind Eye:
Refuse to acknowledge something you know is real or legit.
·        Twenty three skidoo:
To be turned away.

·        U
·        Under the weather:
Feeling ill or sick.
·        Up a blind alley:
Going down a course of action that leads to a bad outcome.
·        Use Your Loaf:
Use your head. Think smart.

·        V
·        Van Gogh's ear for music:
Tone deaf.
·        Variety Is The Spice Of Life:
The more experiences you try the more exciting life can be.

·        W
·        Wag the Dog:
A diversion away from something of greater importance.
·        Water Under The Bridge:
Anything from the past that isn't significant or important anymore.
·        Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve:
To openly and freely express your emotions.
·        When It Rains, It Pours:
Since it rarely rains, when it does it will be a huge storm.
·        When Pigs Fly :
Something that will never ever happen.
·        Wild and Woolly:
Uncultured and without laws.
·        Wine and Dine:
When somebody is treated to an expensive meal.
·        Without A Doubt:
For certain.

·        X
·        X marks the spot:
A phrase that is said when someone finds something he/she has been looking for.

·        Y
·        You Are What You Eat:
In order to stay healthy you must eat healthy foods.
·        You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover:
Decisions shouldn't be made primarily on appearance.
·        You Can't Take it With You:
Enjoy what you have and not what you don't have, since when you die you cannot take things (such as money) with you.
·        Your Guess Is As Good As Mine:
I have no idea.

·        Z
·        Zero Tolerance:
No crime or law breaking big or small will be overlooked.


  1. I think you have made a very complete list of idioms. Very useful for my daughter. Thanks for sharing.