English Phrases and idioms!

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  1. situation is a tempest in a teacup/teapot.
    A situation where people get very angry or worried about something that is not important: I don't get why my Rachel always makes every problem a tempest in a teacup.
  2. A situation is dog eat dog.
    • Ruthless acquisition or competition: With shrinking markets, it's dog eat dog for every company in this field. 
    • If a situation is dog eat dog, people will do anything to be successful, even if what they do harms other people: That problem for an extra point became dog eat dog. I even got this scar!
  3. A hint of something
    • A small amount of something: That restaurant served me just a hint of food. Not recommended at all!
    • A small piece of practical information or advice: Nobody noticed that the reporter hid a hint of irony in his inform.
  4. From Adam's off ox
    • An unrecognizable person or thing: But I haven't met your fiancé from Adam's off ox, yet!. 
    • Since horses and other beasts of transportation and burden are handled from the left side, the left side is referred to as their “near side”and the right side their “off ” side. Not to be able to distinguish between someone and the farther-away animal of the first man on Earth is indeed not to know very much at all about a person
  5. To be home and dry.
    -Mainly British
    -Australian: be home and hosed.
    To have completed something successfully: Although I had to work hard for 3 weeks, I finally managed to pass all my subjects and be home and dry.
  6. The day of reckoning
    • The time when an unpleasant situation has to be dealt with, or the time when you are punished or criticized for the things you have done wrong: It's high time to stop wandering about and face the day of reckoning with your mom.
    • In the Bible, the day of reckoning is the day at the end of the world when God will judge everyone.
  7. To give somebody/something a new lease of life
    -British and Australian-
    -American: a new lease on life.
    • To make somebody happy or healthy and give new energy after a period of illness or sadness: After 2 weeks in bed, school gave me a new lease of life.
    • To improve something that was old or old-fashioned so that it works better or looks better: When I was about to dump the old atari, my boyfriend bought the cable we were missing and gave it a new lease of life.
  8. A monkey on somebody's back.
    -American & Australian
    • A serious problem that won't go away: I think my ex is a monkey on my back. He just won't leave me alone!.
    • Also used in the form get the monkey off your back (to end a problem): You won't get that monkey off your back, unless you start studying. 
    • Based on an earlier meaning of a monkey on your back (a habit of using an illegal drug).
  9. The noun of a lifetime!
    Describe something that was very special: Your wedding was the party of a lifetime! We didn't wanted it to end :(
  10. Jury is still out (on someone).
    A decision has not been reached on someone or something: The jury is still out on Paula and Chris. We don't know who will get the fellowship.
  11. Someone/something is a hostage to fortune.
    The subject could be harmed by things that happen in the future. Don't go to Irak, you could become a hostage to fortune.
  12. To keep something/somebody at bay.
    To control something and prevent it from causing you problems. She fears Albert would harm her, so she keeps him at bay.
  13. A blast from the past
    Something that suddenly and strongly makes you remember a previous time in your life: Watching those photos was a real blast from the past.
  14. That's a new one on me!
    Said when someone has just told you a surprising fact that you did not know before: The "force" really exists? That's a new one on me!
  15. To put a lid on something.
    • To stop something from increasing. The teacher had to put a lid on the bad grades that Amy was having.
    • Sometimes used in the form put a lid on it (stop complaining): Just put a lid on it a do something about it!
  16. From the word go
    Since the very beginning. I knew your project would succeed from the word go.
  17. What are you driving at?
    What are you implying? What do you mean?: An agreement for the best? What are you driving at?
  18. Out of the blue
    From an unexpected or unforeseen source: The fire came out of the blue.
  19. A monkey's wedding
    • A combination of sunshine and light rain: It's a monkey's wedding outside!
    • A caotic situation (Maine): The grad. party became a monkey's wedding. A complete disaster!
  20. To be dead set.
    Fixed in a purpose: I'm dead set on studying abroad!
  21. Up the creek (without a paddle).
    -Also: up shit creek.
    In an awkward position with no easy way out: The teacher caught him cheating. Now he's up the creek.
  22. Something is on the cards.
    • Very likely to happen: Getting the job at google is on the cards for me! I am sure.
    • Based on the use of tarot cards that are believed to be able to show what will happen in the future.
  23. Someone's timely intervention.
    When someone intervenes at right time: The house didn't burn down thanks to the firemen's timely intervention.
  24. In vain
    Without success: We did the homework in vain because the teacher didn't come.
  25. Something is down the drain.
    -British: down the tubes.
    • On the way to being lost or wasted; disappearing: My boss fired me. That's 5 years of hard work down the drain. 
    • Alludes to water going down a drain and being carried off.
  26. Something is top drawer.
    • Of the highest quality, importance, or rank: Apple products are claimed to be top drawer.
    • Alludes to the uppermost drawer in a bureau or chest, where the most valuable objects are usually kept.
  27. Proficiency in an area of study.
    Excellence in some area: My sister has proficiency in arts.
  28. Spiffed up.
    Dressed up, groomed, and polished up nicely; clean and tidy: It's a formal! You need to get spiffed up!
  29. A crybaby.
    A person who cries or complains frequently with little cause: Alice is a crybaby. She complains about everything!
  30. Something gets your goat.
    -Australian: gets on your goat.
    Something that annoys you: When my sisters start screaming, they really get my goat!
  31. To gaslight someone
    To manipulate very lightly: It is said that psychologists can't gaslight someone. It's unethical.
  32. To perk someone/something up
    • To make someone more cheery or refreshed: I feel sad. Ice cream would really perk me up!.
    • To refresh or brighten something; to make something more lively: Maybe a pink couch would perk the room up!.
  33. To line up
    To arrange some people or things in a line: You have to line up there to pay with cash.
  34. To snug down someplace.
    To become comfortable and warm in a place: I snugged down at the couch and read a book during the storm.
  35. To pounce on someone.
    • To jump, leap, or bound onto something or someone: The lion pounces a zebra.
    • To criticise or attack someone verbally: And then, Miguel pounced on Enrique because he was rude at him.
    • To take advantage of something enthusiastically, as an opportunity; jump at something: I pounced on the chance of winning an xbox for my project.
Card Set:
English Phrases and idioms!
2015-08-12 17:39:58

Definitions from: 1. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer 2. Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed. 3. Oxford's Advanced Learners Dictionary. 4. Endangered Phrases by Steven D.
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