Idioms a - c.txt
Card Set Information
Idioms a - c.txt
A - C
A little bird told me
If someone doesn't want to say where they got some information from
they can say that a little bird told them.
A little learning is a dangerous thing
A small amount of knowledge can cause people to think they are more expert than they really are.eg. he said he'd done a course on home electrics
but when he tried to mend my table lamp
A long row to hoe
Something that is a long row to hoe is a difficult task that takes a long time.
A penny for your thoughts
This idiom is used as a way of asking someone what they are thinking about.
A penny saved is a penny earned
This means that we shouldn't spend or waste money
but try to save it.
A poor man's something
Something or someone that can be compared to something or someone else
but is not as good is a poor man's version; a writer who uses lots of puns but isn't very funny would be a poor man's Oscar Wilde.
If something is a steal
it costs much less than it is really worth.
A watched pot never boils
Some things work out in their own time
so being impatient and constantly checking will just make things seem longer.
If someone changes their mind completely
this is an about face. It can be used when companies
If things are done above board
they are carried out in a legal and proper manner.
Better than average or normal
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
This idiom means that when people are apart
their love grows stronger.
Accident waiting to happen
If something is an accident waiting to happen
there's definitely going to be an accident or it's bound to go wrong. ('Disaster waiting to happen' is also used.)
Ace in the hole
An ace in the hole is something other people are not aware of that can be used to your advantage when the time is right.
Ace up your sleeve
If you have an ace up your sleeve
you have something that will give you an advantage that other people don't know about.
A person's weak spot is their Achilles' heel.
An acid test is something that proves whether something is good
Across the board
If something applies to everybody
it applies across the board.
Act of God
An act of God is something like an earthquake or floods that human beings cannot prevent or control.
Act of war
An act of war is a action that is either intended to start a war or that is interpreted as being sufficient cause for a war.
The Adam's apple is a bulge in the throat
mostly seen in men.
Add fuel to the fire
If people add fuel to the fire
they make a bad situation worse.
After your own heart
A person after your own heart thinks the same way as you.
Against the clock
If you do something against the clock
you are rushed and have very little time to do it.
Against the grain
If doing something goes against the grain
you're unwilling to do it because it contradicts what you believe in
Age before beauty
When this idiom is used
it is a way of allowing an older person to do something first
Ahead of the curve
Similar to ahead of the pack
ahead of the curve literally refers to your position on the statistical bell curve
Ahead of the pack
If you are ahead of the pack
you have made more progress than your rivals.
Ahead of time
If something happens ahead of time
it happens early or before the set time.
Air your dirty laundry in public
If you air your dirty laundry in public
you reveal aspects of your private life that should really remain private
Alive and kicking
If something is active and doing well
it is alive and kicking.� (It can be used for people too.)
If you have known or suspected something all along
then you have felt this from the beginning.
All and sundry
This idiom is a way of emphasising 'all'
like saying 'each and every one'.
All bark and no bite
When someone talks tough but really isn't
they are all bark and no bite.
All bets are off
(USA) If all bets are off
then agreements that have been made no longer apply.
All dressed up and nowhere to go
You're prepared for something that isn't going to happen.
All eyes on me
If all eyes are on someone
then everyone is paying attention to them.
All fingers and thumbs
If you're all fingers and thumbs
you are too excited or clumsy to do something properly that requires manual dexterity. 'All thumbs' is an alternative form of the idiom.
(USA) When someone talks big
but cannot back it up
All hell broke loose
When all hell breaks loose
there is chaos
All in a day's work
If something is all in a day's work
it is nothing special.
All in your head
If something is all in your head
you have imagined it and it is not real.
All of the above
This idiom can be used to mean everything that has been said or written
especially all the choices or possibilities.
All over the map
(USA) If something like a discussion is all over the map
it doesn't stick to the main topic and goes off on tangents.
All over the place
If something is completely disorganised or confused
it is all over the place.
All over the shop
If something is completely disorganised or confused
it is all over the shop.
All over the show
If something is all over the show
it's in a complete mess.An alternative to 'All over the shop'.
All roads lead to Rome
This means that there can be many different ways of doing something.
If you're all set
you are ready for something.
All skin and bone
If a person is very underweight
they are all skin and bone
If something is all square
nobody has an advantage or is ahead of the others.
All that glitters is not gold
This means that appearances can be deceptive and things that look or sound valuable can be worthless. ('All that glistens is not gold' is an alternative.)
All the tea in China
If someone won't do something for all the tea in China
they won't do it no matter how much money they are offered.
All your eggs in one basket
If you put all your eggs in one basket
you risk everything at once
All's fair in love and war
This idiom is used to say that where there is conflict
people can be expected to behave in a more vicious way.
An alter ego is a very close and intimate friend. It is a Latin phrase that literally means 'other self'.
A lawyer who encourages people who have been in accidents or become ill to sue for compensation is an ambulance chaser.
An old flame
An old flame is a person that somebody has had an emotional
Angry as a bull
If someone is as angry as a bull
they are very angry.
Answers on a postcard
This idiom can be used to suggest that the answer to something is very obvious or that the person would really like to hear what people think.
Ants in your pants
If someone has ants in their pants
they are agitated or excited about something and can't keep still.
Apple of your eye
Apple pie order
Everything is in perfect order and tidy if it is in apple pie order.
Apples and oranges
Tis used when people compare or describe two totally different things. ('Apples to oranges' is also used.)
Apples for apples
An apples for apples comparison is a comparison between related or simialr things. ('Apples to apples' is also used.)
Arm and a leg
If something costs an arm and a leg
it is very expensive.
Around the clock
If something is open around the clock
it is open 24 hours a day. For example
As cold as stone
If something is as cold as stone
it is very cold. If a person is as cold as stone
As good as new
If something has been used but is still in extremely good condition
it is as good as new.
At a drop of a dime
(USA) If someone will do something at the drop of a dime
they will do it instantly
At a loose end
(UK) If you are at a loose end
you have spare time but don't know what to do with it.
At a loss
If you are at a loss
you are unable to understand or comply.
At a snail's pace
If something moves at a snail's pace
it moves very slowly.
At arm's length
If something is at arm's length
it is a safe distance waway from you.
At death's door
If someone looks as if they are at death's door
they look seriously unwell and might actually be dying.
At each other's throats
If people are at each other's throats
they are fighting
At full tilt
If something is at full tilt
it is going or happening as fast or as hard as possible.
If a criminal is at large
they have not been found or caught.
At loose ends
(USA) If you are at a loose end
you have spare time but don't know what to do with it.
If things are at sea
or all at sea
At the drop of a hat
If you would do something at the drop of a hat
you'd do it immediately.
At the end of the day
This is used to mean 'in conclusion' or 'when all is said and done'.
At the end of your rope
(USA) If you are at the end of your rope
you are at the limit of your patience or endurance.
At the top of my lungs
If you shout at the top of your lungs
you shout as loudly as you possibly can.
At the top of the list
If something is at the top of the list
it is of highest priority
At your wits' end
If you are at your wits' end
you have no idea what to do next and are very frustrated.
An average Joe is an ordinary person without anything exceptional about them.
AWOL stands for "Absent Without Leave"
or "Absent Without Official Leave". Orignially a military term
Axe to grind
If you have an axe to grind with someone or about something
you have a grievance
Babe in arms
A babe in arms is a very young child
or a person who is very young to be holding a position.
Babe in the woods
A babe in the woods is a naive
(USA) A baby boomer is someone born in the years after the end of the Second World War
a period when the population was growing very fast.
If an issue is on the back burner
it is being given low priority.
Back to square one
If you are back to square one
you have to start from the beginning again.
Back to the drawing board
If you have to go back to the drawing board
you have to go back to the beginning and start something again.
Back to the salt mine
If someone says they have to go back to the salt mine
they have to return to work.
A person who is bad and makes other bad is a bad apple.
If people feel hate because of things that happened in the past
there is bad blood between them.
A person who cannot be trusted is a bad egg. Good egg is the opposite.
Bad hair day
If you're having a bad hair day
things are not going the way you would like or had planned.
(UK) When you are bad mouthing
you are saying negative things about someone or something.('Bad-mouth' and 'badmouth' are also used.)
Bad taste in your mouth
If something leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth
you feel there is something wrong or bad about it.
Bag of nerves
If someone is a bag of nerves
they are very worried or nervous.
Ball is in your court
If the ball is in your court
it is up to you to make the next decision or step.
A ballpark figure is a rough or approximate number (guesstimate) to give a general idea of something
like a rough estimate for a cost
Banana republic is a term used for small countries that are dependent on a single crop or resource and governed badly by a corrupt elite.
Baptism of fire
A baptism of fire was a soldier's first experience of shooting. Any unpleasant experience undergone
usually where it is also a learning experience
Barking up the wrong tree
If you are barking up the wrong tree
it means that you have completely misunderstood something or are totally wrong.
A bean counter is an accountant.
If something bears fruit
it produces positive results.
A bear market is a period when investors are pessimistic and expect financial losses so are more likely to sell than to buy shares.
Bear the brunt
People who bear the brunt of something endure the worst of something bad.
Beat about the bush
If someone doesn't say clearly what they mean and try to make it hard to understand
they are beating about (around) the bush.
Beat someone to the draw
(USA) If you beat someone to the draw
you do something before they do.
Beat your brains out
If you beat your brains out
you think hard about something but cannot solve
Beating a dead horse
(USA) If someone is trying to convince people to do or feel something without any hope of succeeding
they're beating a dead horse. This is used when someone is trying to raise interest in an issue that no-one supports anymore; beati
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder means that different people will find different things beautiful and that the differences of opinion don't matter greatly.
Beauty is only skin deep
This idiom means that appearances can be deceptive and something that seems or looks good may turn out to be bad.
Someone with bedroom eyes has a sexy look in their eyes.
When someone is behind bars
they are in prison.
Behind closed doors
If something happens away from the public eye
it happens behind closed doors.
Behind the eight ball
A difficult position from which it is unlikely one can escape.
Behind the times
Someone that is behind the times is old-fashioned and has ideas that are regarded as out-dated.
Bells and whistles
Bells and whistles are attractive features that things like computer programs have
though often a bit unnecessary.
(USA) To be somewhere with bells on means to arrive there happy and delighted to attend.
If things go belly up
they go badly wrong.
If something isn't up to standard
or someone isn't feeling or doing very well
Below the belt
If someone says something that is cruel or unfair
it is below the belt
Bend over backwards
If someone bends over backwards
they do everything they can to help someone.
Beside the point
If something is beside the point
it's not relevant to the matter being discussed or considered.
If people are beside themselves
they are very worried or emotional about something.�
If you are beside yourself
you are extremely angry.
Best of both worlds
If you have the best of both worlds
you benefit from different things that do not normally go together.
Best thing since sliced bread
If something is the best thing since sliced bread
it is excellent. ('The greatest thing since sliced bread' is also used.)
Your better half is your husband or wife.
Better late than never
This idiom suggests that doing something late is better than not doing it at all.
Better safe than sorry
This idiom is used to recommend being cautious rather than taking a risk.
Better the devil you know
This is the shortened form of the full idiom
'better the devil you know than the devil you don't'
Between a rock and a hard place
If you are caught between a rock and a hard place
you are in a position where you have to choose between unpleasant alternatives
Between the devil and the deep blue sea
If you are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea
you are in a dilemma; a difficult choice.
Between you and me and the cat's whiskers
This idiom is used when telling someone something that you want them to keep secret.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt
If something's beyond a shadow of a doubt
then absolutely no doubts remain about it.
If people behave in such a way that you find it almost impossible to accept that they actually did it
then you can say that their behaviour was beyond belief.
Beyond the pale
If something's beyond the pale
it is too extreme to be acceptable morally or socially.
(USA) The Big Apple is New York.
If someone is making big bucks
they are making a lot of money.
The big cheese is the boss.
(USA) The Big Easy is New Orleans
An important person in a company or an organisation is a big fish.
Big fish in a small pond
A big fish in a small pond is an important person in a small place or organisation.
If someone has a big nose
it means they are excessively interested in everyone else's business.
The big picture of something is the overall perspective or objective
not the fine detail.
This can be used to with the meaning 'very much'- if you like something big time
you like it a lot.
Bigger fish to fry
If you aren't interested in something because it isn't important to you and there are more important things for you to do
you have bigger fish to fry.
Birds and the bees
If a child is taught about the birds and the bees
they are taught about sex.
Birds of a feather flock together
This idiom means that people with similar interests will stick together.
If you are in your birthday suit
you are naked.
Bite someone's head off
If you bite someone's head off
you criticise them angrily.
Bite the bullet
If you have to bite the bullet
you have to accept or face something unpleasant because it cannot be avoided.
Bite the dust
This is a way of saying that somebody has died
especially if they are killed violently like a soldier in battle.
Bite your lip
If you have to bite your lip
you have to make a conscious effort not to react or to keep quiet about something that displeases you.
Bite your tongue
If you bite your tongue
you refrain from speaking because it is socially or otherwise better not to.
If you do something to the bitter end
you do it to the very end
Bitter pill to swallow
A bitter pill to swallow is something that is hard to accept.
If there is a black hole in financial accounts
money has disappeared.
Someone who is the black sheep doesn't fit into a group or family because their behaviour or character is not good enough.
Similar to 'cutting edge'
this implies a technology or process that is at the forefront or beyond current practices. However
A bleeding heart is a person who is excessively sympathetic towards other people.
Blessing in disguise
If some bad luck or misfortune ultimately results in something positive
it's a blessing in disguise.
If people accept thing blindly
they accept them without questioning�them at all.
Blind as a bat
If you are in total darkness and can't see anything at all
you are as blind as a bat.
Blind leading the blind
When the blind are leading the blind
the people in charge of something don't know anything more than the people they are in charge of
If you are blind-sided
an event with a negative impact takes you completely by surprise.
Blink of an eye
If something happens in the blink of an eye
it happens so fast it is almost impossible to notice it.
Blood and thunder
An emotional speech or performance is full of blood and thunder.
Blood from a turnip
It is impossible to get something from someone if they don't have it
just as you cannot get blood from a turnip.
Blood is thicker than water
This idiom means that family relationships are stronger than others.
Blow a gasket
If you blow a gasket
you get very angry.
Blow by blow
A blow-by-blow description gives every detail in sequence.
Blow me down
People say '(well
) blow me down' when you have just told them something surprising
Blow off steam
(USA) If you blow off steam
you express your anger or frustration.
Blow out of the water
like an idea
(USA) If people blow smoke
they exaggerate or say things that are not true
Blow the cobwebs away
If you blow the cobwebs away
you make sweeping changes to something to bring fresh views and ideas in.
Blow the whistle
If somebody blows the whistle on a plan
they report it to the authorities.
Blow your mind
Something that will blow your mind is something extraordinary that will amaze you beyond explanation.
Blow your own horn
If you blow your own horn
you boast about your achievements and abilities. ('Blow your own trumpet' is an alternative form.)
Blow your own trumpet
If someone blows their own trumpet
they boast about their talents and achievements.� ('Blow your own horn' is an alternative form.)
Blow your stack
If you blow your stack
you lose your temper.
Blow your top
If someone blows their top
they lose their temper.
Bone of contention
If there is an issue that always causes tension and arguments
it is a bone of contention.
Bone to pick
If you have a bone to pick with someone
you are annoyed about something they have done and want to tell them how you feel.
Boot is on the other foot
When the boot's on the other foot
a person who was in a position of weakness is now in a position of strength.
Born with a silver spoon in your mouth
If you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth
you are born into a rich family.
Both ends meet
If you make both ends meet
you live off the money you earn and don't go into debt.
the bottom line is net income
If you bounce ideas off someone
you share your ideas with them to know whether they think they would work.
Bounce off the walls
If someone's bouncing off the walls
they are very excited about something.
If something is not brain surgery
it isn't very complicated or difficult to understand or master.
If it's brass monkey weather
or cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey
Used to describe the person that earns the most money. For example - She's the breadwinner in the family.
Break a leg
This idiom is a way of wishing someone good luck.
If you break even
you don't make any money
If you break ground
or break new ground
Break the ice
When you break the ice
you get over any initial embarrassment or shyness when you meet someone for the first time and start conversing.
Break your heart
If someone upsets you greatly
they break your heart
Bring the house down
Something that brings the house down is acclaimed and praised vigorously.
Bring to the table
If you bring something to the table
you make a contribution or an offer in a discussion or negotiation..
Broke as a joke and it ain't funny
This idiom in my opinion describes how it's not funny to be without a cent and just uses broke and joke as rhyming words that help explain this idiom a lot better.
Burn the midnight oil
If you stay up very late working or studying
you burn the midnight oil.
Burn your bridges
If you burn your bridges
you do something that makes it impossible to go back from the position you have taken.
Burn your fingers
If you burn your fingers
you suffer a loss or something unpleasant as the result of something you did
A burning question is something we all want to know about.
Burst at the seams
To be filled to or beyond normal capacity: This room will be bursting at the seams when all the guests arrive.
Burst your bubble
If you correct someone's ignorant or delusional belief
you burst their bubble. (Bust someone's bubble is also used.)
Bury the hatchet
If you bury the hatchet
you make peace with someone and stop arguing or fighting.
Bury your head in the sand
If someone buries their head in the sand
they ignore something that is obviously wrong.
Busy as a bee
If you are as busy as a bee
you are very busy indeed.
If someone is butt naked
they have no clothes on at all
Butt of a joke
If something or someone becomes the butt of a joke it or they are not taken seriously anymore.
Someone who has butterfingers is clumsy and drops things.
Button your lip
If you button your lip
you keep quiet and don't speak. It is also used as a way of telling someone to shut up.
Buy the farm
When somebody has bought the farm
they have died.
By a whisker
If you do something by a whisker
you only just manage to do it and come very near indeed to failing.
If you learn something by heart
you learn it word for word.
By the book
If you do something by the book
you do it exactly as you are supposed to.
By the numbers
If something is done by the numbers
it is done in a mechanical manner without room for creativity.
By the same token
If someone applies the same rule to different situations
they judge them by the same token: If things go well
By the seat of your pants
If you do something by the seat of your pants
you achieve something
By the skin of your teeth
If you do something by the skin of your teeth
you only just manage to do it and come very near indeed to failing.
By word of mouth
If something becomes known by word of mouth
it gets known by being talked about rather than through publicity or advertising
Cake's not worth the candle
If someone says that the cake's not worth the candle
they mean that the result will not be worth the effort put in to achieve it.
Call a spade a spade
A person who calls a spade a spade is one speaks frankly and makes little or no attempt to conceal their opinions or to spare the feelings of their audience.
Call it a day
If you call it a day
you stop doing something for a while
Call on the carpet
If you are called on the carpet
you are summoned for a reprimand by superiors or others in power.
Call the dogs off
If someone calls off their dogs
they stop attacking or criticising someone.
Call the shots
If you call the shots
you are in charge and tell people what to do.
Call the tune
The person who calls the tune makes the important decisions about something.
Calm before the storm
A calm time immediately before period of violent activity or argument is the calm before the storm.
Can of worms
If an action can create serious problems
it is opening a can of worms.
Can't hack it
Unable to perform an act
Can't hold a candle
If something can't hold a candle to something else
it is much worse.
Can't see the forest for its trees
If someone can't see the forest for its trees
they are too focused on specific details to see the picture as a whole.
Canary in a coal mine
(UK) A canary in a coal mine is an early warning of danger.
Card up your sleeve
If you have a card up your sleeve
you have a surprise plan or idea that you are keeping back until the time is right.
Carrot and stick
If someone offers a carrot and stick
they offer an incentive to do something combined with the threat of punishment.
Carry the can
If you carry the can
you take the blame for something
Carry the day
If something carries the day
it wins a battle (the sense is that the battle has been long and could have gone either way) or competition for supremacy.
Case in point
Meaning an instance of something has just occurred that was previously discussed. For instance
a person may have told another that something always happens. Later that day
Cash in your chips
If you cash in your chips
you sell something to get what profit you can because you think its value is going to fall. It can also mean 'to die'.
The casting vote is a vote given to a chairman or president that is used when there is a deadlock.
Castles in the air
Plans that are impractical and will never work out are castles in the air.
Cat among the pigeons
If something or someone puts
or sets or lets
Cat and dog life
If people lead a cat and dog life
they are always arguing.
Cat got your tongue?
If someone asks if the cat has got your tongue
they want to know why you are not speaking when they think you should.
If you have a short sleep during the day
you are cat napping.
If you catch hell
you get into trouble or get scolded. ('Catch heck' is also used.)
Catch someone red-handed
If someone is caught red-handed
they are found doing something wrong or illegal.
Catch-22 is a situation where conflicting rules make the desired outcome impossible. It comes from a novel by the American author Joseph Heller
in which pilots would not have to fly missions if they were mentally ill
Caught with your hand in the cookie jar
(USA) If someone is caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar
he or she is caught doing something wrong.
Chalk and cheese
If someone chases rainbows
they try to do something that they will never achieve.
Chase your tail
If you are chasing your tail
you are very busy but not being very productive.
A cheap shot is an unprincipled criticism.
If someone cheats death
they narrowly avoid a major problem or accident.
If people cherry pick
they choose things that support their position
Chew on a bone
If someone is chewing on a bone
he or she is thinking about something intently.
Chew the fat
If you chew the fat with someone
you talk at leisure with them.
If something is small or unimportant
If something is child's play
it is very easy and simple.
Chinese walls are regulatory information barriers that aim to stop the flow of information that could be misused
especially in financial corporations.
Chip off the old block
If someone is a chip off the old block
they closely resemble one or both of the parents in character.
Chip on your shoulder
If someone has a chip on their shoulder
they are resentful about something and feel that they have been treated badly.
Someone who's a class act is exceptional in what they do.
Clean as a whistle
If something is as clean as a whistle
it is extremely clean
Clean bill of health
If something or someone has a clean bill of health
then there's nothing wrong; everything's fine.
If you make a clean break
you break away completely from something.
Someone with clean hands
or who keeps their hands clean
If you start something with a clean slate
then nothing bad from your past is taken into account.
If someone makes a clean sweep
they win absolutely everything in a competition or contest.
Clean your clock
If you clean your clock
you beat someone decisively in a contest or fight.
Clear as a bell
If something is as clear as a bell
it is very clear or easy to understand.
Clear as mud
If something is as clear as mud
then it is very confusing and unclear.
If something like a sports match or an election is a cliffhanger
then the result is so close that it cannot be predicted and will only be known at the very end.
Climb on the bandwagon
When people climb on the bandwagon they do something because it is popular and everyone else is doing it.
Climb the greasy pole
Advance within an organisation - especially in politics.
Cling to hope
If people cling to hope
they continue to hope though the chances of success are very small.
Close at hand
If something is close at hand
it is nearby or conveniently located.
Close but no cigar
(USA) If you are close but no cigar
you are close to success
If the result of something is a close call
it is almost impossible to distinguish between the parties involved and to say who has won or whatever.� It can also mean that you very nearly have a serious accident or get into trouble.
If you have a close shave
you very nearly have a serious accident or get into trouble.
Close to your heart
If something is close to your heart
you care a lot about it. ('Dear to your heart' is an alternative.)
Closed book to me
If a subject is a closed book to you
it is something that you don't understand or know anything about.
If you don't listen to people
they may suggest you have cloth ears.
Cloud cuckoo land
If someone has ideas or plans that are completely unrealistic
they are living on cloud cuckoo land.
If you are on cloud nine
you are extremely happy. ('cloud seven' is a less common alternative)
Cloud on the horizon
If you can see a problem ahead
you can call it a cloud on the horizon.
Coast is clear
When the coast is clear
the people supposed to be watching you are not there and you are able to move or leave.
If you get cold feet about something
you lose the courage to do it.
A cold fish is a person who doesn't show how they feel.
Cold light of day
If you see things in the cold light of day
you see them as they really are
If you give or show someone the cold shoulder
you are deliberately unfriendly and unco-operative towards them.
If something brings you out in a cold sweat
it frightens you a lot.
If someone suddenly stops taking drugs
instead of slowly cutting down
Accidental or unintended damage or casualties are collateral damage.
If something is collecting dust
it isn't being used any more.
If someone comes clean about something
they admit to deceit or wrongdoing.
Come of age
When something comes of age it develops completely and reaches maturity. When someone comes of age
they reach adulthood or fulfill their potential.
Come on hard
If you come on hard
you are aggressive in your dealing with someone.
Come on the heels of
If something comes on the heels of something
it follows very soon after it.
Come out in the wash
If something will come out in the wash
it won't have any permanent negative effect.
Come out of the woodwork
When things come out of the woodwork
they appear unexpectedly.� ('Crawl out of the woodwork' is also used.)
Come out of your shell
If someone comes out of their shell
they stop being shy and withdrawn and become more friendly and sociable.
Come rain or shine
If I say I'll be at a place come rain or shine
I mean that I can be relied on to turn up; nothing
Come to a head
If events reach a crisis point
they come to a head.
Come to bear
If something comes to bear on you
you start to feel the pressure or effect of it.�
Come to call
If someone comes to call
they respond to an order or summons directly.
Come to grips
If you come to grips with a problem or issue
you face up to it and deal with it.
Come to heel
If someone comes to heel
they stop behaving in a way that is annoying to someone in authority and start being obedient.
Come up roses
If things come up roses
they produce a positive result
Comes with the territory
If something comes with the territory
especially when undesirable
It is the temperature range in which the body doesn't shiver or sweat
but has an idiomatic sense of a place where people feel comfortable
Connect the dots
When you connect the dots
you understand the connections and relationships.
Constitution of an ox
If someone has the constitution of an ox
they are less affected than most people by things like tiredness
Cook someone's goose
If you cook someone's goose
you ruin their plans.
Cook the books
If people cook the books
they keep false accounts to make money illegally or avoid paying tax.
Cool as a cat
To act fine when you a actually scared or nervous
Cool your heels
If you leave someone to cool their heels
you make them wait until they have calmed down.
(USA) A very long time
as in 'I haven't seen her in a coon's age!'
Corner a market
If a business is dominant in an area and unlikely to be challenged by other companies
it has cornered the market.
A couch potato is an extremely idle or lazy person who chooses to spend most of their leisure time horizontal in front of the TV and eats a diet that is mainly junk food.
Could eat a horse
If you are very hungry
you could eat a horse.
If people cannot sleep
they are advised to count sheep mentally.
Count your blessings
When people count their blessings
they concentrate on all the good things in their lives instead of the negative ones.
(USA) A country mile is used to describe a long distance.
Cover all the bases
If you cover all the bases
you deal with all aspects of a situation or issue
Crack of dawn
The crack of dawn is very early in the morning.
Crash a party
If you crash a party
or are a gatecrasher
Cream of the crop
The cream of the crop is the best there is.
Cr�me de la cr�me
The cr�me de la cr�me is the very best of something.
If someone cries crocodile tears
they pretend to be upset or affected by something.
A cry-baby is a person who gets emotional and cries too easily.
Cut down the tall poppies
(AU) If people cut down the tall poppies
they criticise people who stand out from the crowd.
Cut it fine
If you cut it fine
you only just manage to do something- at the very last moment. 'Cut things fine' is the same. 'Cut it a bit fine' is a common variation.
Cut someone some slack
To relax a rule or make an allowance
as in allowing someone more time to finish something.
Cut the mustard
(UK) If somebody or something doesn't cut the mustard
they fail or it fails to reach the required standard.
Cut to the chase
If you cut to the chase
you get to the point
Cut to the quick
If someone's cut to the quick by something
they are very hurt and upset indeed.
Cut your losses
If you cut your losses
you avoid losing any more money than you already have by getting out of a situation before matters worsen.
Cute as a bug
(USA) If something is as cute as a bug
it is sweet and endearing.
Cuts no ice
If something cuts no ice
it doesn't have any effect or influence.
Something that is cutting edge is at the forefront of progress in its area.