English / Idioms and Phrases

1. 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 losing everything.
2. A blessing in disguise: Something good that isn’t recognized by first
3. Bull in china shop: One who causes damage
4. A chip on your shoulder: Being upset for something that happened in the past
5. A damp squib: Complete failure
6. A dime A dozen: Anything that is common and easy to get
7. A doubting Thomas: A skeptic who needs physical or personal evidence in order to believe something
8. A drop in the bucket: A very small part of something big or whole
9. A fool and his money are easily parted: It’s easy for a foolish person to lose his/ her money
10. A gentleman at large: An unreliable person
11. A green horn: Inexperienced
12. A house divided against itself cannot stand: Everyone involved must unify and function together or it will not work out.
13. A leopard can’t change his spots: You cannot change who you are
14. A lost cause: A hopeless case, a person or situation having no hope of positive change.
15. A man of straw: A weak person
16. A mare’s nest: A false invention
17. A penny saved is a penny earned: By not spending money, you are saving money (little by little.
18. A picture paints a thousand words: A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words
19. A piece of cake: A task that can be accomplished very easily
20. A slap on the wrist: A very mild punishment
21. A stalking horse: Pretence
22. A steal: Very inexpensive, a bargain
23. A taste of your own medicine: When you are mistreated the same way you mistreat others
24. A toss:up: A result hat is still unclear and can go either way
25. A wolf in sheep’s clothing: A dangerous person pretending harmless
26. ABC: Very common knowledge about to: Ready to, just going to
27. Above all: Mainly, especially
28. Above board: Fair and honest
29. According to: In the order of; on the authority of
30. Actions speak louder than words: It’s better to actually do something than hust talk about it
31. Add fuel to the fire: Whenever something is done to make a bad situation even worse than it is
32. Against the clock: Rushed and short on time
33. All (day, week, month, year. long: The entire day, week, month, year
34. All along: All the time, from the beginning (without change.)
35. All and Sundry: Without making any distinction
36. All bark and no bite: When someone is threatening and/ or aggressive but not willing to engage in a fight
37. All greek to me: Meaningless and incomprehensible like someone who cannot read, speak, or
38. All in all: Considering everything
39. All in the same boat: When everyone is facing the same challenges
40. All of a sudden: Suddenly, without warning (All at once.)
41. All right: Acceptable, fine; yes, okay
42. Alpha and omega: First and last letter of Greek alphabet, means beginning and end
43. An arm and a leg: Very expensive, A large amount of money
44. An axe to grind: To have a dispute with someone
45. An eye wash: A pretence
46. An iron hand: By force
47. Apple to my eye: Someone who is cherished above all others
48. As a matter of fact: Really, actually .
49. As for:Regarding, concerning (also: as to.)
50. As high as a kite: Anything that is high up in the sky
51. As soon as: Just after, when
52. As usual: as is the general case, as is typical
53. At all: To any degree .
54. At heart: Basically, fundamentally
55. At last: Finally, after a long time
56. At least: A minimum of, no fewer (or less. than
57. At odds: In dispute
58. At sixes and seven: Persons who are having different opinions
59. At the drop of a hat: Willing to do something immediately
60. Back and call: At the service
61. Back and forth: In a backward and forward motion
62. Back seat driver: People who criticize from the sidelines, much like someone giving unwanted advice
63. Back to square one: Having to start all over again
64. Back to the drawing board: When an attempt fails and it’s time to start all over
65. Bag and baggage: with all goods
66. Baker’s dozen: Thirteen
67. Bank on: Depend on, count on
68. Barking up the wrong tree: A mistake made in something you are trying to achieve
69. Bated breath: In anxiety, expectancy
70. Beat a dead horse: To force an issue that has already ended
71. Beating aroundthe bash: Avoiding the main topic, not speaking directly about the issue
72. Bend over backwards: Do whatever it takes to help. Willing to do anything
73. Between a Rock and a Hard place: Stuck between two very bad options
74. Between Scylla and Charybdis: Choice between two unpleasant alternatives
75. Between the cup and the lips: On the point of achievement
76. Bite off more than you can chew: To take on a task that is a way to big
77. Bite your tongue: To avoid talking
78. Black and white: In writing
79. Blood is thicker than water: The family bond is closer than anything else
80. Blow hot and cold: Having no stand, shows favour at one time and unfavour at another
81. Blue moon: A rare event or occurrence
82. Body and soul: Entirely
83. Break a leg: A superstitious way to say ‘Good Luck’ without saying ‘Good Luck’,
84. Buy a lemon: To purchase a vehicle that constantly gives problems or stops running after you drive it
85. By & by: Gradually
86. By all means: Certainly, definitely, naturally (also: of course. ; using any possible way or method
87. By far: By a great margin, clearly
88. By fits and starts: Irregularly
89. By heart: By memorizing
90. By hook or by crook: By any means
91. By leaps and bound: speedily
92. By oneself: Alone, without assistance
93. By the way: Incidentally
94. Call a spade a spade: Straight talks
95. Can’t cut the mustard: Someone who isn’t adequate enough to compete or participate
96. Cast iron stomach: Someone who has no problems, complications or ill effects with eating anything
97. Cats and bull story: Untrue story
98. Cats and dogs: Heavy rain
99. Charley horse: stiffness in the leg/ A leg cramp
100. Chew someone out: Verbally scold someone
101. Chip on his shoulder: Angry today about something that occurred in the past
102. Chow down: To eat
103. Clear: cut: Clearly stated, definite, apparent
104. Close but no cigar: To be near and almost accomplish a goal, but fall short
105. Close call: A situation involving a narrow escape from danger
106. Cock and bull story: An unbelievable tale, untrue story
107. Come hell or high water: Any difficult situation or obstacle
108. Crack someone up: To make someone laugh
109. Cross your fingers: To hope that something happens the way you want it to
110. Cry wolf: Intentionally raise a false alarm
111. Cup of joe: A cup of coffee
112. Curtain lecture: A reproof by wife to her husband
113. Cut and dried: Ready made form
114. Cut to the chase: Leave out all the unnecessary details and just get to the point
115. Dark horse: One who was previously unknown and is now prominent
116. Day in and day out: Continuously, constantly
117. Dead Ringer: 100 % identical, a duplicate
118. Devil’s advocate: Someone who takes a position for the sake of argument without believing in that
119. Dog days of summer: The hottest day of the summer season
120. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch: Don’t rely on it until you sure of it
121. Don’t look a gift horse in the month: When someone gives you a gift, don’t be ungrateful
122. Don’t pull all your eggs in one basket: Do not pull all your resources in one possibility
123. Doozy: Something outstanding
124. Down to the wire: Something that ends at the last minute or last few seconds
125. Drastic times call for drastic measures: When you are extremely desperate you need to take extremely desperate actions
126. Drink like a fish: To drink very heavily, drinking anything
127. Dry run: Rehearsal
128. Egg on: To urge somebody
129. Eighty six: A certain item is no longer available. Or this idiom can also mean, to throw away
130. Elvis has left the building: The show has come to an end. It’s all over
131. Ethnic cleansing: Killing of a certain ethnic or religious group on a massive scale
132. Ever and anon: Now and then
133. Every cloud has a silver lining: Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days
134. Every other (one. : Every second (one. , alternate (ones.))
135. Everything but the kitchen sink: Almost everything and anything has been included
136. Excuse my French: Please forgive me for cussing
137. Fabian policy: Policy of delaying decisions
138. Face:to:face: Direct, personal; directly, personally (written without hyphens.
139. Fair and wide: Equal opportunity to all
140. Far and wide: Every where
141. Few and far between: Not frequent, unusual, rare
142. Field day: An enjoyable day or circumstance
143. Fifty: fifty: Divided into two equal parts
144. Finding your feet: To become more comfortable in whatever you are doing
145. Finger licking good: To become more comfortable in whatever you are doing
146. Fire and brimstone: A very tasty food or meal
147. Fire and fury: Fearful penalties
148. First and foremost: Extreme enthusiasm
149. Fishy: doubtful: Highest priority
150. Fixed in your ways: Not willing or wanting to change from your normal way of doing something
151. Flash in the pan: Something that shows potential or looks promising in the beginning but fails to deliver
152. Flea market: A swap meet. A place where people gather to buy and sell inexpensive goods
153. Flesh and blood: This idiom can mean living material of which people are made of, or it can refer to human nature
154. Flip the bird: To raise your middle finger at someone
155. Foam at the mouth: To be enraged and show it
156. Fools’ Gold: Iron pyrites, a worthless rock that resembles real gold
157. Foot the bill: Bear expenses
158. For good: Permanently, forever
159. For once: This one time, for only one time
160. For sure: Without doubt .
161. For thetime being: Temporarily .
162. Free and easy: Natural and simple
163. French kiss: An open mouth kiss where tongues touch
164. From now on: From this time into the future
165. From rags to riches: To go from very poor to being very wealthy
166. Fuddy: duddy: An old:fashioned and foolish type of person
167. Full monty: This idiom can mean either, “The whole thing” or “Completely nude”
168. Funny farm: A mental institutional facility
169. Gall and wormwood: Source of irritation
170. Get down to brass tacks: To become serious about something
171. Get over it: To move beyond something that is bothering you
172. Get up on the wrong side of the bed: Someone who is having a horrible day
173. Get your walking papers: Get fired from the job
174. Gird up the loin: To be ready
175. Give and take: Compromise, cooperation between people
176. Give him the slip: To get away from, to escape
177. Give in:Surrender
178. Go down like a lead balloon: To be received badly by an audience
179. Go for broke: To gamble everything you have
180. Go out on a limb: Put yourself in a tough position in order to support someone/ something
181. Go the extra mile: Going above and beyond whatever is required for the task at hand
182. Good Samaritan: Someone who helps others when they are in need, with no discussion for
183. Graveyard shift: Working hours from about 12:00 am to 8.00
184. Great minds think alike: Intelligent people think like each other
185. Green room:The waiting room, especially for those who are about to go on a TV or radio show
186. Gut feeling: A personal intuition you get, especially when feel something may not be right
187. Had better: Should, ought to, be advisable to
188. Hand a gloves: Very intimate friends
189. Hard and fast: Certain
190. Hard of hearing: Partially deaf, not able to hear well
191. Haste makes waste: Quickly doing things results in a poor ending
192. Hat Trick: When one player scores three goals in the same hockey game.
193. Haughty and naughty: Arrogant and naughty
194. Have an axe to grind: To have a dispute with someone
195. Have got: To have, to possess
196. Have got to: Must.
197. He lost his head: Angry and overcome by emotions
198. Head and shoulder: Superior
199. Head over heels: Very excited and/ or joyful, especially when in love
200. Heart and soul: With full devotion
201. Hell in a hand basket: Deteriorating and headed for complete disaster
202. Helter Shelter:Here and there
203. Herculean task: A tedious job
204. High five: Slapping palms above each others heads as celebration gesture
205. High on the Hog: Living in luxury
206. Hitbelow the belt: Contrary the principles of fairness
207. Hit the books: To study, especially for a test or exam
208. Hit the hay: Go to bed or go to sleep
209. Hit the nail on the head: Do something exactly right or say something exactly right
210. Hit the sack: Go to bed or go to sleep
211. Hither and thither: Here and there
212. Hocus Pocus: In general, a term used in magic or trickery
213. Hold your horses: Be patient
214. Hole and cornerpolicy: A secret policy for an evil purpose
215. Hornet’s nest: Raise controversy
216. Hue and cry: Great noise
217. Hush money: A bribe
218. Icing on the cake: When you already have it good and get something on top of what you already have
219. Idle hands are the devil’s tools: You are more likely to get in trouble if you have nothing to do
220. Ifit’s not one thing, it’s another: When one thing goes wrong, then another, and another…
221. Ill at ease: Uncomfortable or worried in a situation
222. In a hurry: Hurried, rushed.
223. In case:In order to be prepared if the meaning is in order to be prepared if something happens
224. In hand: Under firm control, well managed
225. In like Flynn: To be easily successful, especially when sexual or romantic
226. In no time: Very quickly, rapidly
227. In the bag: To have something secured
228. In the buff: Nude
229. In the heat of the moment: Overwhelmed by what is happening in the moment
230. In the long run: Eventually, after a long period of time
231. In the worst way: Very much, greatly
232. Intime to: Before the time necessary to do something
233. In touch: Having contact
234. In vain: Useless, without the desired result
235. In your face: An aggressive and bold confrontation
236. Ins and outs: Full detail
237. Inside out: With the inside facing the outside
238. Intents and purposes: Practically
239. It figures: It seems likely, reasonable, or typical
240. It takes two to tango: A two person conflict where both people are at fault
241. It’s a small world: You frequently see the same people in different places
242. Itanyone’s call:A competition where the outcome is difficult to judge or predict
243. Ivory tower: Imaginary world
244. Ivy league: Since 1954 the Ivy league has been the following universities: Columbia, Brown, Cornell
245. Jaywalk: Crossing the street (from the middle. without using the crosswalk
246. Joshing me: Tricking me
247. Keep an eyeon him: You should carefully watch him. Keep an eye on
248. Keep bodyand soul together: To earn a sufficient amount of money in order to keep yourself alive
249. Keep your chin up: To remain joyful in a tough situation
250. Kick thebucket: Die
251. Kith and kin: Blood relatives
252. Kitty:corner: Diagonally across. Sometimes called Catty: Corner as well
253. Knock on Wood: Knuckle tapping on wood in order to avoid some bad luck
254. Know the ropes: To understand the details
255. Last but not least: An introduction phrase to let the audience know that the last person mentioned is also very important
256. Last straw: The final event in a series of unacceptable actions
257. Latin and Greek: Unable to understand
258. Leave no stone unturned: Make all possible efforts
259. Lend me your ear: To politely ask for someone’s full attention
260. Length and breadth: All over
261. Let along: and certainly not (also: not to mention, to say nothing of.
262. Let the cat out of the bag: To share a secret that wasn’t suppose to be shared
263. Level playing field: A fair competition where no side has an advantage
264. Life and soul: Main support
265. Like achicken and its head cut off: To act in a frenzied manner
266. Liquor someone up: To get someone drunk
267. Little by little: Gradually, slowly.
268. Live:wire:Energetic
269. Loaves and fish: Material interests
270. Lockand key: In safe place
271. Long in the tooth: Old people or horses.
272. Loose cannon: Someone who is unpredictable and can cause damage if not kept in check
273. Make no bones about: To state a fact so there are no doubts or objections
274. Method to my madness: Strange or crazy actions that appear meaningless but in the end are done for a good reason
275. Might and main: With all enthusiasm
276. Milk and water: Weak
277. More or less: Approximately, almost, somewhat, to a certain degree
278. Mumbo Jumbo: Nonsense or meaningless speech
280. Mum’s the word: To keep quiet, To say nothing
280. Narrow:minded: Not willing to accept the ideas of others.

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