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Message par Invité le Mar 30 Jan 2007, 21:06

يوجد في اللغة الانجليزية بعض العبارات التي تطلق و يراد بها معنىً آخر غير المعنى الحرفي لها مما قد يسبب بعض الاشكاليه في فهم بعض المحادثات .. و قد احببت ان اذكر بعضها فيما يلي :

Break the ice
المعنى الحرفي : اكسر الثلج
المعنى المجازي : مهد الأمور او مهد الطريق لأمر ما





He looks blue
المعنى الحرفي : هو يبدو ازرقاً
المعنى المجازي : هو يبدو حزيناً





She is in the clouds
المعنى الحرفي : هي في الغيوم
المعنى المجازي : هي شاردة الذهن




I will go banana
المعنى الحرفي : سأصبح موزة
المعنى المجازي : سأجن او سأفقد عقلي




It rains cats and dogs
المعنى الحرفي : انها تمطر قططاً و كلابا
المعنى المجازي : انها تمطر بغزاره




This is nuts
المعنى الحرفي : هذه مكسرات
المعنى المجازي : هذا جنون او هذا هراء





It's a piece of cake
المعنى الحرفي : انها قطعة من الكيك
المعنى المجازي : إنه لأمر سهل جدا



He leads a dog's life
المعنى الحرفي : هو يحيا حياة الكلاب
المعنى المجازي : هو يحيا حياة مليئة بالقلق




He is a black sheep
المعنى الحرفي : هو خروف اسود
المعنى المجازي : هو شخص سيء الأخلاق




This is a hot air
المعنى الحرفي : هذا هواءٌ حار
المعنى المجازي : هذا كلام لا فائدة منه

--------------------

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:12

~ A ~

A bit much
If something is excessive or annoying, it is a bit much.
A day late and a dollar short
(USA) If something is a day late and a dollar short, it is too little, too late.
A fool and his money are soon parted
This idiom means that people who aren't careful with their money spend it quickly. 'A fool and his money are easily parted' is an alternative form of the idiom.
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 OK
If things are A OK, they are absolutely fine.
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.
A pretty penny
If something costs a pretty penny, it is very expensive.
A rising tide lifts all boats
This idiom, coined by John F Kennedy, describes the idea that when an economy is performing well, all people will benefit from it.
A rolling stone gathers no moss
People say this to mean that a person who is always moving around doesn't acquire many possessions.
A1
If something is A1, it is the very best or finest.
Abide by a decision
If you abide by a decision, you accept it and comply with it, even though you might disagree with it.
Abject lesson
(India) An abject lesson serves as a warning to others. (In some varieties of English 'object lesson' is used.)
About face
If someone changes their mind completely, this is an about face. It can be used when companies, governments, etc, change their position on an issue.
Above board
If things are done above board, they are carried out in a legal and proper manner.
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 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.
Achilles' heel
A person's weak spot is their Achilles' heel.
Acid test
An acid test is something that proves whether something is good, effective, etc, or not.
Across the board
If something applies to everybody, it applies across the board.
Actions speak louder than words
This idiom means that what people actually do is more important than what they say- people can promise things but then fail to deliver.
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 grain
If doing something goes against the grain, you're unwilling to do it because it contradicts what you believe in, but you have no real choice.
Age before beauty
When this idiom is used, it is a way of allowing an older person to do something first, though often in a slightly sarcastic way.
Agony aunt
An agony aunt is a newspaper columnist who gives advice to people having problems, especially personal ones.
Ahead of the pack
If you are ahead of the pack, you have made more progress than your rivals.
Albatross around your neck
An albatross around, or round, your neck is a problem resulting from something you did that stops you from being successful.
Alike as two peas
If people or things are as alike as two peas, they are identical.
All along
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 ears
If someone says they're all ears, they are very interested in hearing about something.
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.
All hat, no cattle
(USA) When someone talks big, but cannot back it up, they are all hat, no cattle.
All heart
Someone who is all heart is very kind and generous.
All hell broke loose
When all hell breaks loose, there is chaos, confusion and trouble.
All mod cons
If something has all mod cons, it has all the best and most desirable features. It is an abbreviation of 'modern convenience' that was used in house adverts.
All mouth and trousers
(UK) Someone who's all mouth and trousers talks or boasts a lot but doesn't deliver. 'All mouth and no trousers' is also used, though this is a corruption of the original.
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 roads lead to Rome
This means that there can be many different ways of doing something.
All set
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, or bones.
All square
If something is all square, nobody has an advantage or is ahead of the others.
All talk and no trousers
(UK) Someone who is all talk and no trousers, talks about doing big, important things, but doesn't take any action.
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 rage
If something's all the rage, it is very popular or fashionable at the moment.
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'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.
All-singing, all-dancing
If something's all-singing, all-dancing, it is the latest version with the most up-to-date features.
Alter ego
An alter ego is a very close and intimate friend. It is a Latin phrase that literally means 'other self'.
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride
If someone is always a bridesmaid, never a bride, they never manage to fulfill their ambition- they get close, but never manage the recognition, etc, they crave.
Ambulance chaser
A lawyer who encourages people who have been in accidents or become ill to sue for compensation is an ambulance chaser.
Amen
Some use 'Amen' or 'Amen to that' as a way of agreeing with something that has just been said.
An old flame
An old flame is a person that somebody has had an emotional, usually passionate, relationship with, who is still looked on fondly and with affection.
Ants in your pants
If someone has ants in their pants, they are agitated or excited about something and can't keep still.
Any port in a storm
This means that in an emergency any solution will do, even one that would normally be unacceptable.
Any Tom, Dick or Harry
If something could be done by any Tom, Dick or Harry, it could be done by absolutely anyone.
Apple of your eye
Something or, more often, someone that is very special to you is the 'apple of your' eye.
Apron strings
A man who is tied to a woman's apron strings is excessively dependent on her, especially when it is his mother's apron strings.
Argue the toss
(UK) If you argue the toss, you refuse to accept a decision and argue about it.
Arm and a leg
If something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive.
Armchair critic
An armchair critic is someone who offers advice but never shows that they could actually do any better.
Armed to the teeth
If people are armed to the teeth, they have lots of weapons.
Arrow in the quiver
An arrow in the quiver is a strategy or option that could be used to achieve your objective.
As a rule
If you do something as a rule, then you usually do it.
As cold as ice
This idiom can be used to describe a person who does not show any emotion.
As cool as a cucumber
If someone is as cool as a cucumber, they don't get worried by anything.
As mad as a hatter
This simile means that someone is crazy or behaves very strangely. In the past many people who made hats went insane because they had a lot of contact with mercury.
As neat as a new pin
This idiom means tidy and clean.
As one man
If people do something as one man, then they do it at exactly the same time or in complete agreement.
As the actress said to the bishop
(UK) This idiom is used to highlight a sexual reference, deliberate or accidental.
As the crow flies
This idiom is used to describe the shortest possible distance between two places.
As you sow, so shall you reap
This means that if you do bad things to people, bad things will happen to you, or good things if you do good things.
Asleep at the switch
If someone is asleep at the switch, they are not doing their job or taking their responsibilities very carefully. 'Asleep at the wheel' is an alternative.
Asleep at the wheel
If someone is asleep at the wheel, they are not doing their job or taking their responsibilities very carefully. 'Asleep at the switch' is an alternative.
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 arm's length
(India) If something is at arm's length, it is very close to 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, arguing or competing ruthlessly.
At loggerheads
If people are at loggerheads, they are arguing and can't agree on anything.
At loose ends
(USA) If you are at a loose end, you have spare time but don't know what to do with it.
At odds
If you are at odds with someone, you cannot agree with them and argue.
At sea
If things are at sea, or all at sea, they are disorganized and chaotic.
At the coalface
If you work at the coalface, you deal with the real problems and issues, rather than sitting in a office discussing things in a detached way.
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 your rope
(USA) If you are at the end of your rope, you are at the limit of your patience or endurance.
At the end of your tether
(UK) If you are at the end of your tether, you are at the limit of your patience or endurance.
At your wit's end
If you're at your wit's end, you really don't know what you should do about something, no matter how hard you think about it.
Avowed intent
If someone makes a solemn or serious promise publicly to attempt to reach a certain goal, this is their avowed intent.
Awe inspiring
Something or someone that is awe inspiring amazes people in a slightly frightening but positive way.
AWOL
AWOL stands for "Absent Without Leave", or "Absent Without Official Leave". Orignially a military term, it is used when someone has gone missing without telling anyone or asking for permission.
Axe to grind
If you have an axe to grind with someone or about something, you have a grievance, a resentment and you want to get revenge or sort it out. In American English, it is 'ax'.


Dernière édition par le Dim 04 Fév 2007, 01:27, édité 2 fois
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

Nombre de messages : 715
Ma ville : http://tiny.pl/wcbc
Date d'inscription : 20/04/2006

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:25

~ B ~

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, defenceless, young person.
Baby boomer
(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.
Back burner
If an issue is on the back burner, it is being given low priority.
Back foot
(UK) If you are on your back foot, you are at a disadvantage and forced to be defensive of your position.
Back number
Something that's a back number is dated or out of fashion.
Back the wrong horse
If you back the wrong horse, you give your support to the losing side in something.
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.
Backseat driver
A backseat driver is an annoying person who is fond of giving advice to the person performing a task or doing something, especially when the advice is either wrong or unwelcome.
Bad blood
If people feel hate because of things that happened in the past, there is bad blood between them.
Bad egg
A person who cannot be trusted is a bad egg. Good egg is the opposite.
Bad shape
If something's in bad shape, it's in bad condition. If a person's in bad shape, they are unfit or unhealthy.
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.
Bad workers always blame their tools
"A bad worker always blames their tools" - If somebody does a job badly or loses in a game and claims that they were let down by their equipment, you can use this to imply that this was not the case.
Baker's dozen
A Baker's dozen is 13 rather than 12.
Bald as a coot
A person who is completely bald is as bald as a coot.
Ball is in your court
If the ball is in your court, it is up to you to make the next decision or step.
Ballpark figure
A ballpark figure is a rough or approximate number (guesstimate) to give a general idea of something, like a rough estimate for a cost, etc.
Banana republic
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.
Banana skin
(UK) A banana skin is something that is an embarrassment or causes problems.
Bandit territory
An area or an industry, profession, etc, where rules and laws are ignored or flouted is bandit territory.
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, is a baptism of fire.
Bar fly
A bar fly is a person who spends a lot of time drinking in different bars and pubs.
Bare your heart
If you bare your heart to someone, you tell them you personal and private feelings. ('Bare your soul' is an alternative form of the idiom.)
Barefaced liar
A barefaced liar is one who displays no shame about lying even if they are exposed.
Bark is worse than their bite
Someone who's bark is worse than their bite may well get angry and shout, but doesn't take action.
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.
Barkus is willing
This idiom means that someone is willing to get married.
Barrack-room lawyer
(UK) A barrack-room lawyer is a person who gives opinions on things they are not qualified to speak about.
Barrel of laughs
If someone's a barrel of laughs, they are always joking and you find them funny.
Basket case
If something is a basket case, it is so bad that it cannot be helped.
Bat an eyelid
If someone doesn't bat an eyelid, they don't react or show any emotion when surprised, shocked, etc.
Batten down the hatches
If you batten down the hatches, you prepare for the worst that could happen to you.
Battle of nerves
A battle of nerves is a situation where neither side in a conflict or dispute is willing to back down and is waiting for the other side to weaken. ('A war of nerves' is an alternative form.)
Be that as it may
Be that as it may is an expression which means that, while you are prepared to accept that there is some truth in what the other person has just said, it's not going to change your opinions in any significant manner.
Be up the spout
(UK) If a woman is up the spout, she is pregnant.
Bean counter
A bean counter is an accountant.
Bear fruit
If something bears fruit, it produces positive results.
Bear the brunt
People who bear the brunt of something endure the worst of something bad.
Beard the lion in his own den
If you confront a powerful or dangerous rival on their territory, you are bearding the lion in his own den.
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 swords into ploughshares
If people beat swords into ploughshares, they spend money on humanitarian purposes rather than weapons. (The American English spelling is 'plowshares')
Beat the daylights out of someone
If someone beats the daylights out of another person, they hit them repeatedly. ('Knock' can also be used and it can be made even stronger by saying 'the living daylights'.)
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; beating a dead horse will not make it do any more work.
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.
Beck and call
Someone who does everything for you, no matter when you ask, is at your beck and call.
Bedroom eyes
Someone with bedroom eyes has a sexy look in their eyes.
Bee in your bonnet
If someone is very excited about something, they have a bee in their bonnet.
Bee's Knees
If something is the bee's knees, it's outstanding or the best in its class.
Beeline for
If you make a beeline for a place, you head there directly.
Been in the wars
(UK) If someone has been in the wars, they have been hurt or look as if they have been in a struggle.
Beer and skittles
(UK) People say that life is not all beer and skittles, meaning that it is not about self-indulgence and pleasure.
Beggars can't be choosers
This idiom means that people who are in great need must accept any help that is offered, even if it is not a complete solution to their problems.
Behind bars
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 someone's back
If you do something behind someone's back, you do it without telling them.
Behind the times
Someone that is behind the times is old-fashioned and has ideas that are regarded as out-dated.
Believe in the hereafter
A belief in the hereafter is a belief in the afterlife, or life after death. It is, therefore, associated with religions and the soul's journey to heaven or to hell, whichever way being just deserts for the person based on how they led their life.
Bells and whistles
Bells and whistles are attractive features that things like computer programs have, though often a bit unnecessary.
Belly up
If things go belly up, they go badly wrong.
Below par
If something isn't up to standard, or someone isn't feeling or doing very well, they are below par.
Below the belt
If someone says something that is cruel or unfair, it is below the belt, like the illegal punches in boxing.
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.
Beside yourself
If you are beside yourself, you are extremely angry.
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.)
Bet your bottom dollar
(USA) If you can bet your bottom dollar on something, you can be absolutely sure about it.
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 than a stick in the eye
If something is better than a stick in the eye, it isn't very good, but it is better than nothing.
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', and means that it is often better to deal with someone or something you are familiar with and know, even if they are not ideal, than take a risk with an unknown person or thing.
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, and your choice might cause you problems; you will not be able to satisfy everyone.
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 the lines
If you read between the lines, you find the real message in what you're reading or hearing, a meaning that is not available from a literal interpretation of the words.
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.
Beyond belief
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 our ken
If something's beyond your ken, it is beyond your understanding.
Beyond the pale
If something's beyond the pale, it is too extreme to be acceptable morally or socially.
Big Apple
(USA) The Big Apple is New York.
Big bucks
If someone is making big bucks, they are making a lot of money.
Big cheese
The big cheese is the boss.
Big fish
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.
Big hitter
A big hitter is someone who commands a lot of respect and is very important in their field.
Big picture
The big picture of something is the overall perspective or objective, not the fine detail.
Big time
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.
m.j.f
m.j.f
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Madariste accompli(e)

Nombre de messages : 715
Ma ville : http://tiny.pl/wcbc
Date d'inscription : 20/04/2006

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:25

Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush' is a proverb meaning that it is better to have something that is certain than take a risk to get more, where you might lose everything.
Bird's eye view
If you have a bird's eye view of something, you can see it perfectly clearly.
Bird-brain
Someone who has a bird-brain, or is bird-brained, is stupid.
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.
Birthday suit
If you are in your birthday suit, you are naked.
Bit between your teeth
If you take or have the bit between your teeth, you take or have control of a situation. (Bit = piece of metal in a horse's mouth)
Bit part
If someone has a small or unimportant role in something, they have a bit part.
Bit player
A bit player has a small or unimportant role in something.
Bite off more than you can chew
If you bite off more than you can chew, you take on more responsibilities than you can manage. 'Don't bite off more than you can chew' is often used to advise people against agreeing to more than they can handle.
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.
Bits and bobs
Bits and bobs are small, remnant articles and things- the same as odds and ends.
Bitter end
If you do something to the bitter end, you do it to the very end, no matter how unsuccessful you are.
Bitter pill to swallow
A bitter pill to swallow is something that is hard to accept.
Black and white
When it is very clear who or what is right and wrong, then the situation is black and white.
Black as Newgate's knocker
(UK) If things are as black as Newgate's knocker, they are very bad. Newgate was an infamous prison in England, so its door knocker meant trouble.
Black hole
If there is a black hole in financial accounts, money has disappeared.
Black sheep
Someone who is the black sheep doesn't fit into a group or family because their behaviour or character is not good enough.
Bleeding heart
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.
Blind as a bat
If you are in total darkness and can't see anything at all, you are as blind as a bat.
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 is thicker than water
This idiom means that family relationships are stronger than others.
Blood out of a stone
If something is like getting blood out of a stone, it is very difficult indeed.
Blood out of a stone
'You can't get blood out of a stone' means that it is impossible to get something from someone if they don't have it. We also say that it was 'like getting blood from a stone' when it was very hard to get an answer from someone. 'Blood from a rock' is an alternative.
Blood, sweat and tears
If something will take blood, sweat and tears, it will be very difficult and will require a lot of effort and sacrifice.
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 hot and cold
If you blow hot and cold on an idea, your attitude and opinion keeps changing; one minute you are for it, the next you are against.
Blow off steam
(USA) If you blow off steam, you express your anger or frustration.
Blow out of the water
If something, like an idea, is blown out of the water, it is destroyed or defeated comprehensively.
Blow the cobwebs away
If you blow the cobwebs away, you make sweeping changes to something to bring fresh views and ideas in.
Blow your own trumpet
If someone blows their own trumpet, they boast about their talents and achievements.
Blow your stack
If you blow your stack, you lose your temper.
Blue blood
Someone with blue blood is royalty.
Blue-eyed boy
Someone's blue-eyed boy is their favourite person.
Bob's your uncle
(UK) This idiom means that something will be successful: Just tell him that I gave you his name and Bob's your uncle- he'll help you.
Body politic
A group of people organised under a single government or authority (national or regional) is a body politic.
Bolt from the blue
If something happens unexpectedly and suddenly, it is a bolt from the blue.
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 to the purple
Someone who is born to the purple is born in a royal or aristocratic family. ("Born in the purple" is also used.)
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.
Bottom line
In accountancy, the bottom line is net income, and is used idiomatically to mean the conclusion.
Bounce off the walls
If someone's bouncing off the walls, they are very excited about something.
Box and dice
Box and dice means everything.
Box clever
(UK) If you box clever, you use your intelligence to get what you want, even if you have to cheat a bit.
Boxing and coxing
If people are boxing and coxing, they are sharing responsibilities so that one of them is working while the other isn't. It can also be used when couples are sharing a house, but their relationship has broken down and when one is at home, the other stays out.
Brain surgery
If something is not brain surgery, it isn't very complicated or difficult to understand or master.
Brass monkey
If it's brass monkey weather, or cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, it is extremely cold.
Brass tacks
If you get down to brass tacks, you get down to the real business.
Bread and butter
Bread and butter issues are ones that affect people directly and in a very important way.
Break a leg
This idiom is a way of wishing someone good luck.
Break even
If you break even, you don't make any money, but you don't lose any either.
Break ground
If you break ground, or break new ground, you make progress, taking things into a new area or going further than anyone has gone before. 'Ground-breaking' is used an adjective.
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 duck
(UK) If you break your duck, you do something for the first time.
Break your heart
If someone upsets you greatly, they break your heart, especially if they end a relationship.
Breathe your last
When you breathe your last, you die.
Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
If someone's bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, they are full of energy and enthusiasm.
Brighten up the day
If something brightens up your day, something happens that makes you feel positive and happy all day long.
Bring a knife to a gunfight
If someone brings a knife to a gunfight, they are very badly prepared for something.
Bring home the bacon
A person who brings home the bacon earns the money that a family live on.
Bring someone to book
If somebody is brought to book, they are punished or made to account for something they have done wrong.
Bring the house down
Something that brings the house down is acclaimed and praised vigorously.
Broad church
If an organisation is described as broad church, it is tolerant and accepting of different opinions and ideas.
Broad strokes
If something is described or defined with broad stokes, then only an outline is given, without fine details.
Brown nose
When someone tries to make themselves popular with somebody, usually in a position of authority, especially by flattering them, they are brown nosing.
Brownie points
If you try to earn Brownie points with someone, you do things you know will please them.
Brush under the carpet
If you brush something under the carpet, you are making an attempt to ignore it, or hide it from others.
Bull in a China shop
If someone behaves like a bull in a China shop, they are clumsy when they should be careful.
Bun in the oven
If a woman has a bun in the oven, she is pregnant.
Burn the candle at both ends
Someone who burns the candle at both ends lives life at a hectic pace, doing things which are likely to affect their health badly.
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.
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.
Busman's holiday
A busman's holiday is when you spend your free time doing the same sort of work as you do in your job.
Busted flush
Someone or something that had great potential but ended up a useless failure is a busted flush.
Busy as a beaver
If you're as busy as a beaver, you're very busy indeed.
Butter wouldn't melt in their mouth
If someone looks as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouth, they look very innocent.
Butterflies in your stomach
The nervous feeling before something important or stressful is known as butterflies in your stomach.
By a hair's breadth
If a person escapes from some danger by a hair's breadth, they only just managed to avoid it. The breadth is the thickness of a hair, so they probably feel somewhat lucky because the margin between success and what could easily have been failure was so close.
By a long chalk
(UK) If you beat somebody by a long chalk, you win easily and comfortably.
By a whisker
If you do something by a whisker, you only just manage to do it and come very near indeed to failing.
By heart
If you learn something by heart, you learn it word for word.
By hook or by crook
If you are prepared to do something by hook or by crook, you are willing to do anything, good or bad, to reach your goal.
By leaps and bounds
Something that happens by leaps and bounds happens very quickly in big steps.
By the back door
If something is started or introduced by the back door, then it isn't not done openly or by following the proper procedures.
By the book
If you do something by the book, you do it exactly as you are supposed to.
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, etc.


Dernière édition par le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:45, édité 1 fois
m.j.f
m.j.f
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Date d'inscription : 20/04/2006

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l'Autre Sens OR Common English Expressions. Empty Re: l'Autre Sens OR Common English Expressions.

Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:36

~ C ~

Call a spade a spade
A person who calls a spade a spade is one who speaks frankly and makes little or no attempt to conceal others' opinions or to spare the feelings of their audience.
Call the shots
If you call the shots, you are in charge and tell people what to do.
Can of worms
If an action can create serious problems, it is opening a can of worms.
Can't dance and it's too wet to plough
(USA) When you can't dance and it's too wet to plough, you may as well do something because you can't or don't have the opportunity to do anything else.
Can't hold a candle
If something can't hold a candle to something else, it is much worse.
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.
Carpetbagger
A carpetbagger is an opportunist without any scruples or ethics, or a politician who wants to represent a place they have no connection with.
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, even though you didn't do it or are only partly at fault.
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'.
Cast doubt on
If you make other people not sure about a matter, then you have cast doubt on it.
Cast pearls before swine
If you cast pearls before swine, you offer something of value to someone who doesn't appreciate it- 'swine' are 'pigs'.
Cast your mind back
If somebody tells you to cast your mind back on something, they want you to think about something that happened in the past, but which you might not remember very well, and to try to remember as much as possible.
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, the cat among the pigeons, they create a disturbance and cause trouble.
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.
Cat nap
If you have a short sleep during the day, you are cat napping.
Cat's pyjamas
(USA) Something that is the cat's pajamas is excellent.
Cat's whiskers
Something excellent is the cat's whiskers.
Catch as catch can
This means that people should try to get something any way they can.
Catch someone red-handed
If someone is caught red-handed, they are found doing something wrong or illegal.
Chalk and cheese
Things, or people, that are like chalk and cheese are very different and have nothing in common.
Change horses in midstream
If people change horses in midstream, they change plans or leaders when they are in the middle of something, even though it may be very risky to do so.
Change of heart
If you change the way you think or feel about something, you have a change of heart.
Change tack
If you change tack, you use a different method for dealing with something.
Change your tune
If someone changes their ideas or the way they talk about them, they change their tune.
Charity begins at home
This idiom means that family members are more important than anyone else, and should be the focus of a person's efforts.
Chase rainbows
If someone chases rainbows, they try to do something that they will never achieve.
Cheap as chips
(UK) If something is very inexpensive, it is as cheap as chips.
Cheap at half the price
If something's cheap at half the price, it's very cheap indeed.
Cheap shot
A cheap shot is an unprincipled criticism.
Cheat death
If someone cheats death, they narrowly avoid a major problem or accident.
Cheek by jowl
If things or people are cheek by jowl, they are very close together.
Cherry pick
If people cherry pick, they choose things that support their position, while ignoring things that contradict it.
Chew the cud
If you chew the cud, you think carefully about something.
Chew the fat
If you chew the fat with someone, you talk at leisure with them.
Chickenfeed
If something is small or unimportant, especially money, it is chickenfeed.
Chinese walls
Chinese walls are regulatory information barriers that aim to stop the flow of information that could be misused, especially in financial corporations.
Chinese whispers
(UK) When a story is told from person to person, especially if it is gossip or scandal, it inevitably gets distorted and exaggerated. This process is called Chinese whispers.
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.
Cigarette paper
If you cannot get or put a cigarette paper between people, they are so closely bonded that nothing will separate them or their positions on issues.
Clean as a whistle
If something is as clean as a whistle, it is extremely clean, spotless. It can also be used to mean 'completely', though this meaning is less common nowadays.
Clean bill of health
If something or someone has a clean bill of health, then there's nothing wrong; everything's fine.
Clean break
If you make a clean break, you break away completely from something.
Clean hands
Someone with clean hands, or who keeps their hands clean, is not involved in illegal or immoral activities.
Clean sheet
When someone has a clean sheet, they have got no criminal record or problems affecting their reputation. In football and other sports, a goalkeeper has a clean sheet when let no goals in.
Clean slate
If you start something with a clean slate, then nothing bad from your past is taken into account.
Clean sweep
If someone makes a clean sweep, they win absolutely everything in a competition or contest.
Clear as mud
If something is as clear as mud, then it is very confusing and unclear.
Cliffhanger
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.
Close but no cigar
(USA) If you are close but no cigar, you are close to success, but have not got there.
Close call
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.
Close the stable door after the horse has bolted
If people try to fix something after the problem has occurred, they are trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted. 'Close the barn door after the horse has bolted' is alternative, often used in American English.
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.
Cloud cuckoo land
If someone has ideas or plans that are completely unrealistic, they are living on cloud cuckoo land.
Cloud nine
If you are on cloud nine, you are extremely happy. ('cloud seven' is a less common alternative)
Cloud of suspicion
If a cloud of suspicion hangs over an individual, it means that they are not believed or are distrusted.
Cloud on the horizon
If you can see a problem ahead, you can call it a cloud on the horizon.
Clutch at straws
If someone is in serious trouble and tries anything to help them, even though their chances of success are probably nil, they are clutching at straws.
Coals to Newcastle
(UK) Taking, bringing, or carrying coals to Newcastle is doing something that is completely unnecessary.
Cock and bull story
A cock and bull story is a lie someone tells that is completely unbelievable.
Cold feet
If you get cold feet about something, you lose the courage to do it.
Cold fish
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, not as you might want them to be.
Cold shoulder
If you give or show someone the cold shoulder, you are deliberately unfriendly and unco-operative towards them.
Cold sweat
If something brings you out in a cold sweat, it frightens you a lot.
Cold turkey
If someone suddenly stops taking drugs, instead of slowly cutting down, they do cold turkey.
Collateral damage
Accidental or unintended damage or casualties are collateral damage.
Collect dust
If something is collecting dust, it isn't being used any more.
Come a cropper
(UK) Someone whose actions or lifestyle will inevitably result in trouble is going to come a cropper.
Come clean
If someone comes clean about something, they admit to deceit or wrongdoing.
Come hell or high water
If someone says they'll do something come hell or high water, they mean that nothing will stop them, no matter what happens.
Come out in the wash
If something will come out in the wash, it won't have any permanent negative effect.
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, not even the vagaries of British weather, will deter me or stop me from being there.
Come to grips
If you come to grips with a problem or issue, you face up to it and deal with it.
Come up roses
If things come up roses, they produce a positive result, especially when things seemed to be going badly at first.
Come up smelling of roses
(UK) If someone comes up smelling of roses, they emerge from a situation with their reputation undamaged.
Come what may
If you're prepared to do something come what may, it means that nothing will stop or distract you, no matter how hard or difficult it becomes.
Come with the territory
If something comes with the territory, it is part of a job or responsibility and just has to be accepted, even if unpleasant.
Comfort zone
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, where they can avoid the worries of the world. It can be physical or mental.
Constitution of an ox
If someone has the constitution of an ox, they are less affected than most people by things like tiredness, illness, alcohol, etc.
Cook someone's goose
If you cook someone's goose, you ruin their plans.
Cook up a storm
If someone cooks up a storm, they cause a big fuss or generate a lot of talk about something.
Corner a market
If a business is dominant in an area and unlikely to be challenged by other companies, it has cornered the market.
Couch potato
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.
Cover all the bases
If you cover all the bases, you deal with all aspects of a situation or issue, or anticipate all possibilities. ('Cover all bases' is also used.)
Crash a party
If you crash a party, or are a gatecrasher, you go somewhere you haven't been invited to.
Cream of the crop
The cream of the crop is the best there is.
Crème de la crème
The crème de la crème is the very best of something.
Crocodile tears
If someone cries crocodile tears, they pretend to be upset or affected by something.
Cross to bear
If someone has a cross to bear, they have a heavy burden of responsibility or a problem that they alone must cope with.
Cry wolf
If someone cries wolf, they raise a false alarm about something.
Cry your eyes out
If you cry your eyes out, you cry uncontrollably.
Cry-baby
A cry-baby is a person who gets emotional and cries too easily.
Curate's egg
(UK) If something is a bit of a curate's egg, it is only good in parts.
Curiosity killed the cat
As cats are naturally curious animals, we use this expression to suggest to people that excessive curiosity is not necessarily a good thing, especially where it is not their business.
Curve ball
(USA) If something is a curve ball, it is deceptive.
Cut and dried
If something is cut and dried, then everything has already been decided and, in the case of an opinion, might be a little stale and predictable.
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 off your nose to spite your face
If you cut off your nose to spite your face, you do something rash or silly that ends up making things worse for you, often because you are angry or upset.
Cut the Gordian knot
If someone cuts the Gordian knot, they solve a very complex problem in a simple way.
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, or the most interesting or important part of something without delay.
Cut to the quick
If someone's cut to the quick by something, they are very hurt and upset indeed.
Cut your coat according to your cloth
If you cut your coat according to your cloth, you only buy things that you have sufficient money to pay for.
Cut your teeth on
The place where you gain your early experience is where you cut your teeth.
Cutting edge
Something that is cutting edge is at the forefront of progress in its area.


Dernière édition par le Dim 04 Fév 2007, 01:16, édité 1 fois
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
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Date d'inscription : 20/04/2006

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l'Autre Sens OR Common English Expressions. Empty Re: l'Autre Sens OR Common English Expressions.

Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:40

~ D ~

Daft as a brush
(UK) Someone who is daft as a brush is rather stupid.
Damp squib
(UK) If something is expected to have a great effect or impact but doesn't, it is a damp squib.
Dark horse
If someone is a dark horse, they are a bit of a mystery.
Daylight robbery
If you are overcharged or underpaid, it is a daylight robbery; open, unfair and hard to prevent. Rip-off has a similar meaning.
Dead air
When there is a period of total silence, there is dead air.
Dead and buried
If something is dead and buried, it has all long been settled and is not going to be reconsidered.
Dead as a dodo
If something's dead as a dodo, it is lifeless and dull. The dodo was a bird that lived the island of Mauritius. It couldn't fly and was hunted to extinction.
Dead as a doornail
This is used to indicate that something is lifeless.
Dead duck
If something is a dead duck, it is a failure.
Dead heat
If a race ends in a dead heat, two or more finish with exactly the same result.
Dead in the water
If something is dead in the water, it isn't going anywhere or making any progress.
Dead man walking
A dead man walking is someone who is in great trouble and will certainly get punished, lose their job or position, etc, soon.
Dead men's shoes
If promotion or success requires replacing somebody, then it can only be reached by dead men's shoes' by getting rid of them.
Dead to the world
If somebody's fast asleep and completely unaware of what if happening around them, he or she's dead to the world.
Dear John letter
A letter written by a partner explaining why they are ending the relationship is a Dear John letter.
Death of a thousand cuts
If something is suffering the death of a thousand cuts, or death by a thousand cuts, lots of small bad things are happening, none of which are fatal in themselves, but which add up to a slow and painful demise.
Death warmed up
(UK) If someone looks like death warmed up, they look very ill indeed. ('death warmed over' is the American form)
Demon weed
Tobacco is the demon weed.
Derring-do
If a person shows derring-do, they show great courage.
Devil finds work for idle hands
When people say that the devil finds work for idle hands, they mean that if people don't have anything to do with their time, they are more likely to get involved in trouble and criminality.
Devil is in the detail
When people say that the devil in the detail, they mean that small things in plans and schemes that are often overlooked can cause serious problems later on.
Devil's advocate
If someone plays Devil's advocate in an argument, they adopt a position they don't believe in just for the sake of the argument
Diamond in the rough
A diamond in the rough is someone or something that has great potential, but isn't not refined and polished.
Die is cast
If the die is cast, a decision has been made that cannot be altered and fate will decide the consequences.
Different kettle of fish
If something is a different kettle of fish, it is very different from the other things referenced.
Different ropes for different folks
(USA) This idiom means that different people do things in different ways that suit them.
Different strokes for different folks
(USA) This idiom means that different people do things in different ways that suit them.
Dime a dozen
(USA) If something is a dime a dozen, it is extremely common, possibly too common.
Discerning eye
If a person has a discerning eye, they are particularly good at judging the quality of something.
Discretion is the better part of valour
This idiom means that it is often better to think carefully and not act than to do something that may cause problems.
Do a Devon Loch
(UK) If someone does a Devon Loch, they fail when they were very close to winning. Devon Loch was a horse that collapsed just short of the winning line of the Grand National race.
Do a runner
(UK) If people leave a restaurant without paying, they do a runner.
Do the running
(UK) The person who has to do the running has to make sure that things get done. ('Make the running' is also used.)
Do their dirty work
Someone who does someone's dirty work, carries out the unpleasant jobs that the first person doesn't want to do. Someone who seems to enjoy doing this is sometimes known as a 'henchman'.
Dog and pony show
(USA) A dog and pony show is a presentation or some marketing that has lots of style, but no real content.
Dog days
Dog days are very hot summer days.
Dog eat dog
In a dog eat dog world, there is intense competition and rivalry, where everybody thinks only of himself or herself.
Dog in the manger
(UK) If someone acts like a dog in the manger, they don't want other people to have or enjoy things that are useless to them.
Dog tired
If you are dog tired, you are exhausted.
Dog's dinner
Something that is a dog's dinner is a real mess.
Dog's life
If some has a dog's life, they have a very unfortunate and wretched life.
Dog-eared
If a book is dog-eared, it is in bad condition, with torn pages, etc.
Doggy bag
If you ask for a doggy bag in a restaurant, they will pack the food you haven't eaten for you to take home.
Doldrums
If a person is in the doldrums, they are depressed. If a project or something similar is in the doldrums, it isn't making any progress.
Don't catch your chickens before they're hatched
This means that you should wait until you know whether something has produced the results you desire, rather than acting beforehand. ('Don't count your chickens until they've hatched' is an alternative.)
Don't judge a book by the cover
This idiom means that you should not judge something or someone by appearances, but should look deeper at what is inside and more important.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
This means that if you are given something, a present or a chance, you should not waste it by being too critical or examining it too closely.
Don't take any wooden nickels
(USA) This idiom is used to advise people not to be cheated or ripped off.
Don't upset the applecart
If you are advised not to upset the applecart, you are being told not to disturb the way things are done because it might ruin things.
Don't hold your breath
If you are told not to hold your breath, it means that you shouldn't have high expectations about something.
Don't wash your dirty laundry in public
(UK) People, especially couples, who argue in front of others or involve others in their personal problems and crises, are said to be washing their dirty laundry in public; making public things that are best left private. (In American English, 'don't air your dirty laundry in public' is used.)
Done to death
If a joke or story has been done to death, it has been told so often that it has stopped being funny.
Donkey's years
This idiom means 'a very long time'.
Doormat
A person who doesn't stand up for themselves and gets treated badly is a doormat.
Double Dutch
(UK) If something is double Dutch, it is completely incomprehensible.
Double take
If someone does a double take, they react very slowly to something to show how shocked or surprised they are.
Double whammy
A double whammy is when something causes two problems at the same time, or when two setbacks occur at the same time.
Double-edged sword
If someone uses an argument that could both help them and harm them, then they are using a two-edged sword; it cuts both ways.
Doubting Thomas
A Doubting Thomas is someone who only believes what they see themselves, not what they are told.
Down and out
If someone is down and out, they are desperately poor and need help.
Down at heel
Someone who is down at heel is short of money. ('Down in heel' is used in American English)
Down for the count
If someone is down for the count, they have lost a struggle, like a boxer who has been knocked out.
Down in the doldrums
If somebody's down in the doldrums, they are depressed and lacking energy.
Down in the dumps
If someone's down in the dumps, they are depressed.
Down in the mouth
If someone is down in the mouth, they look unhappy or depressed.
Down the pan
If something has gone down the pan, it has failed or been ruined.
Down the tubes
If something has gone down the tubes, it has failed or been ruined.
Down to the wire
(USA) If something goes down to the wire, like a competition, then it goes to the very last moment before it is clear who has won.
Drag your feet
If someone is dragging their feet, they are taking too long to do or finish something, usually because they don't want to do it.
Drag your heels
If you drag your heels, you either delay doing something or do it as slowly as possible because you don't want to do it.
Draw a blank
If you try to find something out and draw a blank, you don't get any useful information.
Draw a line in the sand
If you draw a line in the sand, you establish a limit beyond which things will be unacceptable.
Draw a long bow
If someone draws a long bow, they lie or exaggerate.
Draw the line
When you draw the line, you set out limits of what you find acceptable, beyond which you will not go.
Draw the shortest straw
If someone draws the shortest straw, they lose or are chosen to do something unpleasant.
Dressed to the nines
If you are in your very best clothes, you're dressed to the nines.
Drink like a fish
If someone drinks like a fish, they drink far too much alcohol.
Drive a wedge
If you drive a wedge between people, you exploit an issue so that people start to disagree.
Drive someone up the wall
If something or someone drives you up the wall, they do something that irritates you greatly.
Drop in the bucket
(USA) A drop in the bucket is something so small that it won't make any noticeable difference.
Drop in the ocean
A drop in the ocean implies that something will have little effect because it is small and mostly insignificant.
Drop the ball
If someone drops the ball, they are not doing their job or taking their responsibilities seriously enough and let something go wrong.
Drunk as a lord
(UK) Someone who is very drunk is as drunk as a lord.
Dry as a bone
If your lawn is as dry as a bone, the soil is completely dry.
Dry spell
If something or someone is having a dry spell, they aren't being as successful as they normally are.
Duck soup
(USA) If something is duck soup, it is very easy.
Duck to water
If you take to something like a duck to water, you find when you start that you have a natural affinity for it.
Ducks in a row
(USA) If you have your ducks in a row, you are well-organized.
Dull as ditchwater
(UK) If something is as dull as ditchwater, it is incredibly boring. A ditch is a long narrow hole or trench dug to contain water, which is normally a dark, dirty colour and stagnant (when water turns a funny colour and starts to smell bad). (In American English,'things are 'dull as dishwater'.)
Dunkirk spirit
(UK) Dunkirk spirit is when people pull together to get through a very difficult time.
Dutch auction
If something is sold by setting a price, then reducing it until someone buys it, it is sold in a Dutch auction. It can also mean that something is changed until it is accepted by everyone.
Dutch courage
Dutch courage is the reckless bravery caused by drinking too much.
Dutch uncle
A Dutch uncle is a person who gives unwelcome advice.
Dwell on the past
Thinking too much about the past, so that it becomes a problem is to dwell on the past.
Dyed-in-the-wool
If someone is a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of a political party, etc, they support them totally, without any questions.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:43

~ E ~

Each to their own
Different people have different preferences. In American English, 'Each to his own' is more common.
Eager beaver
A person who is extremely keen is an eager beaver.
Eagle eyes
Someone who has eagle eyes sees everything; no detail is too small.
Early bath
(UK) If someone has or goes for an early bath, they quit or lose their job or position earlier than expected because things have gone wrong.
Early bird catches the worm
The early bird catches the worm means that if you start something early, you stand a better chance of success.
Easier said than done
If something is easier said than done, it is much more difficult than it sounds. It is often used when someone advises you to do something difficult and tries to make it sound easy.
Easy as pie
If something is easy as pie, it is very easy indeed.
Easy come, easy go
This idiom means that money or other material gains that come without much effort tend to get spent or consumed as easily.
Easy peasy
(UK) If something is easy peasy, it is very easy indeed. ('Easy peasy, lemon squeezy' is also used.)
Eat crow
(USA) If you eat crow, you have to admit that you were wrong about something.
Eat humble pie
If someone apologises and shows a lot of contrition for something they have done, they eat humble pie.
Eat like a bird
If someone eats like a bird, they eat very little.
Eat like a horse
Someone who eats like a horse, eats a lot.
Eat like a pig
If some eats like a pig, they either eat too much or they have bad table manners.
Eat someone alive
If you eat someone alive, you defeat or beat them comprehensively.
Eat your heart out
If someone tells you to eat your heart out, they are saying they are better than you at something.
Economical with the truth
(UK) If someone, especially a politician, is economical with the truth, they leave out information in order to create a false picture of a situation, without actually lying.
Egg on your face
If someone has egg on their face, they are made to look foolish or embarrassed.
Elbow grease
If something requires elbow grease, it involves a lot of hard physical work.
Elbow room
If you haven't got enough elbow room, you haven't got enough space.
Elephant in the room
An elephant in the room is a problem that everyone knows very well but no one talks about because it is taboo, embarrassing, etc.
Eleventh hour
If something happens at the eleventh hour, it happens right at the last minute.
Even keel
If something is on an even keel, it is balanced.
Even Stevens
If everything is equal between people, they are even Stevens.
Every ass likes to hear himself bray
This means that people like the sound of their own voice.
Every cloud has a silver lining
People sometimes say that every cloud has a silver lining to comfort somebody who's having problems. They mean that it is always possible to get something positive out of a situation, no matter how unpleasant, difficult or even painful it might seem.
Every man for himself
If it's every man for himself, then people are trying to save themselves from a difficult situation without trying to help anyone else.
Every man jack
If every man jack was involved in something, it is an emphatic way of saying that absolutely everybody was involved.
Every Tom, Dick and Harry
If every Tom, Dick and Harry knows about something, then it is common knowledge.
Every trick in the book
If you try every trick in the book, you try every possible way, including dishonesty and deceit, to get what you want.
Everything but the kitchen sink
If people include everything but the kitchen sink, they include every possibility, regardless of whether they are useful.
Explore all avenues
If all avenues are being explored, then every conceivable approach is being tried that could possibly get the desired result.
Eye for an eye
This is an expression for retributive justice, where the punishment equals the crime.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:49

~ F ~

F-word
The F-word is a euphemism for 'fuck'.
Face like thunder
If someone has a face like thunder, they are clearly very angry or upset about something.
Face the music
If you have to face the music, you have to accept the negative consequences of something you have done wrong.
Face value
If you take something at face value, you accept the appearance rather than looking deeper into the matter.
Facts of life
When someone is taught the facts of life, they learn about sex and reproduction.
Fair and square
If someone wins something fair and square, they follow the rules and win conclusively.
Fair crack of the whip
(UK) If everybody has a fair crack of the whip, they all have equal opportunities to do something.
Fair shake of the whip
(USA) If everybody has a fair shake of the whip, they all have equal opportunities to do something.
Fairweather friend
A fairweather friend is the type who is always there when times are good but forgets about you when things get difficult or problems crop up.
Fall off the back of a lorry
(UK) If someone tries to sell you something that has fallen of the back of a lorry, they are trying to sell you stolen goods.
Fall off the turnip truck
(USA) If someone has just fallen off the turnip truck, they are uninformed, naive and gullible. (Often used in the negative)
Fall on your sword
If someone falls on their sword, they resign or accept the consequences of some wrongdoing.
Familiarity breeds contempt
This means that the more you know something or someone, the more you start to find faults and dislike things about it or them.
Fast and furious
Things that happen fast and furious happen very quickly without stopping or pausing.
Fat cat
A fat cat is a person who makes a lot of money and enjoys a privileged position in society.
Fat chance!
This idiom is a way of telling someone they have no chance.
Fat head
A fat head is a dull, stupid person.
Fat hits the fire
When the fat hits the fire, trouble breaks out.
Fat of the land
Living off the fat of the land means having the best of everything in life.
Fate worse than death
Describing something as a fate worse than death is a fairly common way of implying that it is unpleasant.
Feather in your cap
A success or achievement that may help you in the future is a feather in your cap.
Feather your own nest
If someone feathers their own nest, they use their position or job for personal gain.
Feathers fly
When people are fighting or arguing angrily, we can say that feathers are flying.
Fed up to the back teeth
When you are extremely irritated and fed up with something or someone, you are fed up to the back teeth.
Feel at home
If you feel relaxed and comfortable somewhere or with someone, you feel at home.
Feel free
If you ask for permission to do something and are told to feel free, the other person means that there is absolutely no problem
Feel the pinch
If someone is short of money or feeling restricted in some other way, they are feeling the pinch.
Feeling blue
If you feel blue, you are feeling unwell, mainly associated with depression or unhappiness.
Feet on the ground
A practical and realistic person has their feet on the ground.
Fiddle while Rome burns
If people are fiddling while Rome burns, they are wasting their time on futile things while problems threaten to destroy them.
Fifth columnist
(UK) A fifth columnist is a member of a subversive organisation who tries to help an enemy invade.
Fifth wheel
(USA) A fifth wheel is something unnecessary or useless.
Fight tooth and nail
If someone will fight tooth and nail for something, they will not stop at anything to get what they want. ('Fight tooth and claw' is an alternative.)
Fighting chance
If you have a fighting chance, you have a reasonable possibility of success.
Fine and dandy
(UK) If thing's are fine and dandy, then everything is going well.
Fine tuning
Small adjustments to improve something or to get it working are called fine tuning.
Fine words butter no parsnips
This idiom means that it's easy to talk, but talk is not action.
Finger in the pie
If you have a finger in the pie, you have an interest in something.
Fingers and thumbs
If you are all fingers and thumbs, you are being clumsy and not very skilled with your hands.
Fire away
If you want to ask someone a question and they tell you to fire away, they mean that you are free to ask what you want.
Fire on all cylinders
If something is firing on all cylinders, it is going as well as it could.
First come, first served
This means there will be no preferential treatment and a service will be provided to those that arrive first.
First out of the gate
When someone is first out of the gate, they are the first to do something that others are trying to do.
First port of call
The first place you stop to do something is your first port of call.
Fish or cut bait
(USA) This idiom is used when you want to tell someone that it is time to take action.
Fish out of water
If you are placed in a situation that is completely new to you and confuses you, you are like a fish out of water.
Fishy
If there is something fishy about someone or something, there is something suspicious; a feeling that there is something wrong, though it isn't clear what it is.
Fit as a fiddle
If you are fit as a fiddle, you are in perfect health.
Fit for a king
If something is fit for a king, it is of the very highest quality or standard.
Fit of pique
If someone reacts badly because their pride is hurt, this is a fit of pique.
Fit the bill
If something fits the bill, it is what is required for the task.
Flash in the pan
If something is a flash in the pan, it is very noticeable but doesn't last long, like most singers, who are very successful for a while, then forgotten.
Flat out
If you work flat out, you work as hard and fast as you possibly can.
Fleet of foot
If someone is fleet of foot, they are very quick.
Flesh and blood
Your flesh and blood are your blood relatives, especially your immediate family.
Flogging a dead horse
(UK) If someone is trying to convince people to do or feel something without any hope of succeeding, they're flogging a dead horse. This is used when someone is trying to raise interest in an issue that no-one supports anymore; beating a dead horse will not make it do any more work.
Flowery speech
Flowery speech is full of lovely words, but may well lack substance.
Fly by the seat of one's pants
If you fly by the seat of one's pants, you do something difficult even though you don't have the experience or training required.
Fly in the ointment
A fly in the ointment is something that spoils or prevents complete enjoyment of something.
Fly off the handle
If someone flies off the handle, they get very angry.
Fly on the wall
If you are able to see and hear events as they happen, you are a fly on the wall.
Fly the flag
If someone flies the flag, they represent or support their country. ('Wave the flag' and 'show the flag' are alternative forms of this idiom)
Food for thought
If something is food for thought, it is worth thinking about or considering seriously.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
This idiom is used where people who are inexperienced or lack knowledge do something that more informed people would avoid.
Foot the bill
The person who foots the bill pays the bill for everybody.
Football's a game of two halves
(UK) If something's a game of two halves, it means that it's possible for someone's fortunes or luck to change and the person who's winning could end up a loser.
For a song
If you buy or sell something for a song, it is very cheap.
For donkey's years
(UK) If people have done something, usually without much if any change, for an awfully long time, they can be said to have done it for donkey's years.
For England
(UK) A person who talks for England, talks a lot- if you do something for England, you do it a lot or to the limit.
For kicks
If you do something for kicks, or just for kicks, you do it purely for fun or thrills.
For my money
This idiom means 'in my opinion'.
For the time being
For the time being indicates that an action or state will continue into the future, but is temporary. I'm sharing an office for the time being.
Forbidden fruit
Something enjoyable that is illegal or immoral is forbidden fruit.
Foregone conclusion
If the result of, say, a football match is a foregone conclusion, then the result is obvious before the game has even begun.
Forest for the trees
(USA) If someone can't see the forest for the trees, they get so caught up in small details that they fail to understand the bigger picture.
Foul play
If the police suspect foul play, they think a crime was committed.
Four corners of the earth
If something goes to, or comes from, the four corners of the earth, it goes or comes absolutely everywhere.
Four-square behind
If someone stands four-square behind someone, they give that person their full support.
Fourth estate
This is an idiomatic way of describing the media, especially the newspapers.
Free rein
If someone has a free rein, they have the authority to make the decisions they want without any restrictions. ('Free reign' is a common mistake.)
Freudian Slip
If someone makes a Freudian slip, they accidentally use the wrong word, but in doing so reveal what they are really thinking rather than what they think the other person wants to hear.
From Missouri
(USA) If someone is from Missouri, then they require clear proof before they will believe something.
From pillar to post
If something is going from pillar to post, it is moving around in a meaningless way, from one disaster to another.
From rags to riches
Someone who starts life very poor and makes a fortune goes from rags to riches.
From scratch
This idiom means 'from the beginning'.
From soup to nuts
If you do something from soup to nuts, you do it from the beginning right to the very end.
From the bottom of your heart
If someone does something from the bottom of their heart, then they do it with genuine emotion and feeling.
From the get-go
(USA) If something happens from the get-go, it happens from the very beginning.
From the horse's mouth
If you hear something from the horse's mouth, you hear it directly from the person concerned or responsible.
From the sublime to the ridiculous
If something declines considerably in quality or importance, it is said to have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.
From the word go
From the word go means from the very beginning of something.
Full Monty
(UK) If something is the Full Monty, it is the real thing, not reduced in any way.
Full of beans
If someone's full of beans, they are very energetic.
Full of piss and vinegar
Someone who's full of piss and vinegar is full of youthful energy.
Full of the joys of spring
If you are full of the joys of spring, you are very happy and full of energy.
Full swing
If a something is in full swing, it is going or doing well.
Fullness of time
If something happens in the fullness of time, it will happen when the time is right and appropriate.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:53

~ G ~

Game plan
A game plan is a strategy.
Gardening leave
(UK) If someone is paid for a period when they are not working, either after they have given in their notice or when they are being investigated, they are on gardening leave.
Gather steam
If something gathers speed, it moves or progresses at an increasing speed.
Get your feathers in a bunch
If you get your feathers in a bunch, you get upset or angry about something.
Get along famously
If people get along famously, they have an exceedingly good relationship.
Get in on the ground floor
If you get in on the ground floor, you enter a project or venture at the start before people know how successful it might be.
Get my drift
If you get someone's drift, you understand what they are trying to say. ('Catch their drift' is an alternative form.)
Get on your soapbox
If someone on their soapbox, they hold forth (talk a lot) about a subject they feel strongly about.
Get out of bed on the wrong side
If you get out of bed on the wrong side, you wake up and start the day in a bad mood for no real reason.
Get the ball rolling
If you get the ball rolling, you start something so that it can start making progress.
Get the green light
If you get the green light to do something, you are given the necessary permission, authorisation.
Get the nod
(UK) If you get the nod to something, you get approval or permission to do it.
Get to grips
If you get to grips with something, you take control and do it properly.
Get up and go
If someone has lots of get up and go, they have lots of enthusiasm and energy.
Get your feet wet
If you get your feet wet, you gain your first experience of something.
Get your hands dirty
If you get your hands dirty, you become involved in something where the realities might compromise your principles.
Ghost of a chance
If something or someone hasn't got a ghost of a chance, they have no hope whatsoever of succeeding.
Ghostly presence
You can feel or otherwise sense a ghostly presence, but you cannot do it clearly only vaguely.
Gift of the gab
If someone has the gift of the gab, they speak in a persuasive and interesting way.
Gild the lily
If you gild the lily, you decorate something that is already ornate.
Gilded cage
If someone is in a gilded cage, they are trapped and have restricted or no freedom, but have very comfortable surroundings- many famous people live in luxury but cannot walk out of their house alone.
Give and take
Where there is give and take, people make concessions in order to get things they want in negotiations.
Give it some stick
(UK) If you give something some stick, you put a lot of effort into it.
Give someone a leg up
If you give someone a leg up, you help them to achieve something that they couldn't have done alone.
Give someone a piece of your mind
If you give someone a piece of your mind, you criticise them strongly and angrily.
Give someone a run for their money
If you can give someone a run for the money, you are as good, or nearly as good, as they are at something.
Give someone enough rope
If you give someone enough rope, you give them the chance to get themselves into trouble or expose themselves. (The full form is 'give someone enough rope and they'll hang themselves)
Give someone stick
(UK) If someone gives you stick, they criticise you or punish you.
Give the nod
(UK) If you give the nod to something, you approve it or give permission to do it.
Give up the ghost
People give up the ghost when they die.
Give your eye teeth
If you really want something and would be prepared to sacrifice a lot to get it, you would give your eye teeth for it.
Given the day that's in it
(Irish) This idiom is used when something is obvious because of the day that it occurs: traffic, for example would be busy around a football stadium on game day, given the day that's in it. On any other day the traffic would be unexplainable, but because its game day its obvious why there is traffic.
Glass ceiling
The glass ceiling is the discrimination that prevents women and minorities from getting promoted to the highest levels of companies and organisations.
Glutton for punishment
If a person is described as a glutton for punishment, the happily accept jobs and tasks that most people would try to get out of. A glutton is a person who eats a lot.
Go against the grain
A person who does things in an unconventional manner, especially if their methods are not generally approved of, is said to go against the grain. Such an individual can be called a maverick.
Go awry
If things go awry, they go wrong.
Go blue
If you go blue, you are very cold indeed. ('Turn blue' is an alternative form.)
Go bust
If a company goes bust, it goes bankrupt.
Go Dutch
If you go Dutch in a restaurant, you pay equal shares for the meal.
Go fly a kite
(USA) This is used to tell someone to go away and leave you alone.
Go for broke
If someone goes for broke, they risk everything they have for a potentially greater gain.
Go fry an egg
(USA) This is used to tell someone to go away and leave you alone.
Go off on a tangent
If someone goes off on a tangent, they change the subject completely in the middle of a conversation or talk.
Go pear-shaped
If things have gone wrong, they have gone pear-shaped.
Go round in circles
If people are going round in circles, they keep discussing the same thing without reaching any agreement or coming to a conclusion.
Go south
If things go south, they get worse or go wrong.
Go spare
(UK) If you go spare, you lose your temper completely.
Go the extra mile
If someone is prepared to go the extra mile, they will do everything they can to help or to make something succeed, going beyond their duty what could be expected of them .
Go the whole hog
If you go the whole hog, you do something completely or to its limits.
Go to seed
If someone has gone to seed, they have declined in quality or appearance.
Go with the flow
If you go with the flow, you accept things as they happen and do what everyone else wants to do.
Golden handshake
A golden handshake is a payment made to someone to get them to leave their job.
Golden rule
The golden rule is the most essential or fundamental rule associated with something. Originally, it was not a general reference to an all purpose first rule applicable to many groups or protocols, but referred to a verse in the Bible about treating people they way you would want them to treat you, which was considered the First Rule of behavior towards all by all.
Gone for a burton
(UK) If something's gone for a burton, it has been spoiled or ruined. If a person has gone for a burton, they are either in serious trouble or have died.
Gone pear-shaped
(UK) If things have gone pear-shaped they have either gone wrong or produced an unexpected and unwanted result.
Gone to pot
If something has gone to pot, it has gone wrong and doesn't work any more.
Gone to the dogs
If something has gone to the dogs, it has gone badly wrong and lost all the good things it had.
Good antennae
Someone with good antennae is good at detecting things.
Good egg
A person who can be relied on is a good egg. Bad egg is the opposite.
Good shape
If something's in good shape, it's in good condition. If a person's in good shape, they are fit and healthy.
Good spell
A spell can mean a fairly or relatively short period of time; you'll hear weather forecasts predict a dry spell. Sports commentators will say that a sportsperson is going through a good spell when they're performing consistently better than they normally do.
Good time
If you make good time on a journey, you manage to travel faster than you expected.
Good walls make good neighbours
Your relationship with your neighbours depends, among other things, on respecting one another's privacy.
Goody two-shoes
A goody two-shoes is a self-righteous person who makes a great deal of their virtue.
Grab the bulls by its horns
If you grab (take) the bull by its horns, you deal head-on and directly with a problem.
Grain of salt
If you should take something with a grain of salt, you shouldn't necessarily believe it all. ('pinch of salt' is an alternative)
Grain of salt
If you should take something with a grain of salt, you shouldn't accept it as true without looking more carefully at it.
Grasp the nettle
(UK) If you grasp the nettle, you deal bravely with a problem.
Grass roots
This idioms is often used in politics, where it refers to the ordinary people or voters. It can be used to mean people at the bottom of a hierarchy.
Grass widow
A grass widow is a woman whose husband is often away on work, leaving her on her own.
Graveyard shift
If you have to work very late at night, it is the graveyard shift.
Gravy train
If someone is on the gravy train, they have found and easy way to make lots of money.
Grease monkey
A grease monkey is an idiomatic term for a mechanic.
Grease someone's palm
If you grease someone's palm, you bribe them to do something.
Greased lightning
If something or someone moves like greased lightning, they move very fast indeed.
Great guns
If something or someone is going great guns, they are doing very well.
Great unwashed
This is a term used for the working class masses.
Great white hope
Someone who is expected to be a great success is a great white hope.
Greek to me
If you don't understand something, it's all Greek to you.
Green around the gills
If someone looks green around the gills, they look ill.
Green fingers
(UK) Someone with green fingers has a talent for gardening.
Green light
If you are given the green light, you are given approval to do something.
Green thumb
(USA) Someone with a talent for gardening has a green thumb.
Green-eyed monster
The green-eyed monster is an allegorical phrase for somebody's strong jealousy
Greenhorn
A greenhorn or someone who is described simply as green lacks the relevant experience and knowledge for their job or task
Grey area
A grey/gray area is one where there is no clear right or wrong.
Grey matter
Grey/gray matter is the human brain.
Grey pound
(UK) In the UK, the grey pound is an idiom for the economic power of elderly people.
Grey suits
The men in grey suits are people who have a lot of power in business or politics, but aren't well-known or charismatic.
Grin and bear it
If you have to grin and bear it, you have to accept something that you don't like.
Grin like a Cheshire cat
If someone has a very wide smile, they have a grin like a Cheshire cat.
Guinea-pig
If you are a guinea-pig, you take part in an experiment of some sort and are used in the testing.
Gunboat diplomacy
If a nation conducts its diplomatic relations by threatening military action to get what it wants, it is using gunboat diplomacy.
Gung ho
If someone is gung ho about something, they support it blindly and don't think about the consequences.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:58

~ H ~

Hair of the dog
If someone has a hair of the dog, they have an alcoholic drink as a way of getting rid of a hangover, the unpleasant effects of having drunk too much alcohol the night before. It is commonly used as a way of excusing having a drink early on in the day.
Hale and hearty
Someone who is hale and hearty is in very good health.
Half-baked
A half-baked idea or scheme hasn't not been thought through or planned very well.
Hammer and tongs
If people are going at it hammer and tongs, they are arguing fiercely. The idiom can also be used when people are doing something energetically.
Hand in glove
If people are hand in glove, they have an extremely close relationship.
Hand that rocks the cradle
Women have a great power and influence because they have the greatest influence over the development of children- the hand that rocks the cradle. ('The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world' is the full form.)
Hand to mouth
Someone who's living from hand to mouth, is very poor and needs the little money they have coming in to cover their expenses.
Hands down
If someone is better hands down than everyone else, they are much better.
Handwriting like chicken scratch
If your handwriting is very hard to read, it is like chicken scratch.
Hang by a thread
If something hangs by a thread, there is a very small chance indeed of it being successful or surviving.
Hang in the balance
If an outcome is hanging in the balance, there are at least two possibilities and it is impossible to predict which will win out.
Hang out to dry
If you hang someone out to dry, you abandon them when they are in trouble.
Hangdog expression
A hangdog expression is one where the person's showing their emotions very clearly, maybe a little too clearly for your liking. It's that mixture of misery and self-pity that is similar to a dog when it's trying to get something it wants but daren't take without permission.
Hanged for a sheep as a lamb
This is an expression meaning that if you are going to get into trouble for doing something, then you ought to stop worrying and should try to get everything you can before you get caught.
Hard as nails
A person who is as hard as nails is either physically tough or has little or no respect for other people's feelings.
Hard cheese
(UK) Hard cheese means hard luck.
Hard of hearing
Someone who's hard of hearing is a bit deaf.
Hard sell
If someone puts a lot of pressure on you to do or buy something, they are hard selling it.
Haste makes waste
This idiom means that if you try to do something quickly, without planning it, you're likely to end up spending more time, money, etc, doing it.
Hat trick
Three successes one after the other is a hat trick.
Hatchet job
A piece of criticism that destroys someone's reputation is a hatchet job.
Have a bash
If you have a bash at something, you try to do it, especially when there isn't much chance of success.
Have a trick up your sleeve
If you have a trick up your sleeve, you have a secret strategy to use when the time is right.
Have the floor
If someone has the floor, it is their turn to speak at a meeting.
Have your collar felt
If someone has their collar felt, they are arrested.
Having a gas
If you're having a gas, you are having a laugh and enjoying yourself in company.
He'll rue the day
He'll rue the day that he crossed me. This means that the person will one day bitterly regret what they have done.
Head for the hills
If people head for the hills, they run away from trouble.
Head is in the clouds
If a person has their head in the clouds, they have unrealistic, impractical ideas.
Head nor tail
If you can't make head nor tail of something, you cannot understand it at all or make any sense of it.
Head on a spike
If someone wants a head on a spike, they want to be able to destroy or really punish a person.
Head on the block
If someone's head is on the block, they are going to be held responsible and suffer the consequences for something that has gone wrong.
Head over heels in love
When someone falls passionately in love and is intoxicated by the feeling has fallen head over heels in love.
Heads will roll
If heads will roll, people will be punished or sacked for something that has gone wrong.
Headstrong
A headstrong person is obstinate and does not take other people's advice readily.
Hear a pin drop
If there is complete silence in a room, you can hear a pin drop.
Heart in the right place
If someone's heart is in the right place, they are good and kind, though they might not always appear to be so.
Heart in your boots
If you're heart is in your boots, you are very unhappy.
Heart in your mouth
If your heart is in your mouth, then you feel nervous or scared.
Heart isn't in it
If your heart is not in something, then you don't really believe in it or support it.
Heart misses a beat
If your heart misses a beat, you are suddenly shocked or surprised. ('Heart skips a beat' is an alternative)
Heart of gold
Someone with a heart of gold is a genuinely kind and caring person.
Heaven knows
If you ask someone a question and they say this, they have no idea.
Heavenly bodies
The heavenly bodies are the stars.
Heavy-handed
If someone is heavy-handed, they are insensitive and use excessive force or authority when dealing with a problem.
Hedge your bets
If you hedge your bets, you don't risk everything on one opportunity, but try more than one thing.
Hell for leather
If you do something hell for leather, especially running, you do it as fast as you can.
Hell in a handcart
If something is going to hell in a handcart, it is getting worse and worse, with no hope of stopping the decline.
Herding cats
If you have to try to co-ordinate a very difficult situation, where people want to do very different things, you are herding cats.
Here today, gone tomorrow
Money, happiness and other desirable things are often here today, gone tomorrow, which means that they don't last for very long.
Hiding to nothing
If people are on a hiding to nothing, their schemes and plans have no chance of succeeding. 'Hiding to nowhere' is an alternative.
High and dry
If you are left high and dry, you are left alone and given no help at all when you need it.
High-handed
If someone is high-handed, they behave arrogantly and pompously.
High-wire act
A high-wire act is a dangerous or risky strategy, plan, task, etc.
Hit and miss
Something that is hit and miss is unpredictable and may produce results or may fail.
Hit the bull's-eye
If someone hits the bull's-eye, they are exactly right about something or achieve the best result possible. "Bulls-eye" and "bullseye" are alternative spellings.
Hit the ceiling
If someone hits the ceiling, they lose their temper and become very angry.
Hit the fan
When it hits the fan, or, more rudely, the shit hits the fan, serious trouble starts.
Hit the ground running
If someone hits the ground running, they start a new job or position in a very dynamic manner.
Hit the hay
When you hit the hay, you go to bed.
Hit the mark
If someone hits the mark, they are right about something.
Hit the nail on the head.
If someone hits the nail on the head, they are exactly right about something.
Hit the road
When people hit the road, they leave a place to go somewhere else.
Hit the roof
If you lose your temper and get very angry, you hit the roof.
Hit the sack
When you hit the sack, you go to bed.
Hoist with your own petard
If you are hoist with your own petard, you get into trouble or caught in a trap that you had set for someone else.
Hold all the aces
If you hold all the aces, you have all the advantages and your opponents or rivals are in a weak position.
Hold the baby
(UK) If someone is responsible for something, they are holding the baby.
Hold the bag
(USA) If someone is responsible for something, they are holding the bag.
Hold the fort
If you hold the fort, you look after something or assume someone's responsibilities while they are away.
Hold your horses
If someone tells you to hold your horses. you are doing something too fast and they would like you to slow down.
Holier-than-thou
Someone who is holier-than-thou believes that they are morally superior to other people.
Hollow victory
A hollow victory is where someone wins something in name, but are seen not to have gained anything by winning.
Home stretch
The home stretch is the last part of something, like a journey, race or project.
Home, James
(UK) This is a cliched way of telling the driver of a vehicle to start driving. It is supposed to be an order to a chauffeur (a privately employed driver).
Honest truth
If someone claims that something is the honest truth, they wish to sound extra-sincere about something.
Honours are even
If honours are even, then a competition has ended with neither side emerging as a winner.
Hook, line, and sinker
If somebody accepts or believes something hook, line, and sinker, they accept it completely.
Hop, skip, and a jump
If a place is a hop, skip, and a jump from somewhere, it's only a short distance away.
Hope against hope
If you hope against hope, you hope for something even though there is little or no chance of your wish being fulfilled.
Hope in hell
If something hasn't got a hope in hell, it stands absolutely no chance of succeeding.
Hornets' nest
If you stir up a hornets' nest, you do something very controversial that causes a lot of trouble and anger.
Horns of a dilemma
If you are on the horns of a dilemma, you are faced with two equally unpleasant options and have to choose one.
Horse of a different color
(USA) If something is a horse of a different color, it's a different matter or separate issue altogether.
Horse trading
Horse trading is an idiom used to describe negotiations, especially where these are difficult and involve a lot of compromise.
Horses for courses
Horses for courses means that what is suitable for one person or situation might be unsuitable for another.
Hostile takeover
If a company is bought out when it does not want to be, it is known as a hostile takeover.
Hot air
Language that is full of words but means little or nothing is hot air.
Hot as blue blazes
If something's as hot as blue blazes, it's extremely hot.
Hot as Hades
If something's as hot as Hades, it's extremely hot.
Hot foot
If you hot foot it out of a place, you leave very quickly, often running.
Hot ticket
(USA) A hot ticket is something that is very much in demand at the moment.
Hot under the collar
If you're hot under the collar, you're feeling angry or bothered.
Hot water
If you get into hot water, you get into trouble.
How come
If you want to show disbelief or surprise about an action, you can ask a question using 'how come'. How come he got the job? (You can't believe that they gave the job to somebody like him)
How do you like them apples
(USA) This idiomatic expression is used to express surprise or shock at something that has happened. It can also be used to boast about something you have done.
How long is a piece of string
If someone has no idea of the answer to a question, they can ask 'How long is a piece of string?' as a way of indicating their ignorance.
Hue and cry
Hue and cry is an expression that used to mean all the people who joined in chasing a criminal or villain. Nowadays, if you do something without hue and cry, you do it discreetly and without drawing attention.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 03:59

~ I ~

I hereby give notice of my intention
Hereby is used sometimes in formal, official declarations and statements to give greater force to the speaker' or the writer's affirmation. People will say it sometimes to emphasise their sincerity and correctness.
I should cocoa
(UK) This idiom comes from 'I should think so', but is normally used sarcastically to mean the opposite.
I'll eat my hat
You can say this when you are absolutely sure that you are right to let the other person know that there is no chance of your being wrong.
I've got a bone to pick with you
If somebody says this, they mean that they have some complaint to make against the person they are addressing.
If the cap fits, wear it
This idiom means that if the description is correct, then it is describing the truth, often when someone is being criticised. ('If the shoe fits, wear it' is an alternative)
If you'll pardon my French
(UK) This idiom is used as a way of apologising for swearing.
Ill-gotten gains
Ill-gotten gains are profits or benefits that are made either illegally or unfairly.
In a cleft stick
If you are in a cleft stick, you are in a difficult situation, caught between choices.
In a flash
If something happens in a flash, it happens very quickly indeed.
In a heartbeat
If something happens very quickly or immediately, it happens in a heartbeat.
In a jam
If you are in a jam, you are in some trouble.
In a jiffy
If something happens in a jiffy, it happens very quickly.
In a nutshell
This idiom is used to introduce a concise summary.
In a pickle
If you are in a pickle, you are in some trouble or a mess.
In a tick
(UK) If someone will do something in a tick, they'll do it very soon or very quickly.
In all honesty
If you say something in all honesty, you are telling the complete truth. It can be used as a way of introducing a negative opinion whilst trying to be polite; in all honesty, I have to say that I wasn't very impressed.
In an instant
If something happens in an instant, it happens very rapidly.
In broad daylight
If a crime or problem happens in broad daylight, it happens during the day and should have been seen and stopped.
In cahoots
If people are in cahoots, they are conspiring together.
In cold blood
If something is done in cold blood, it is done ruthlessly, without any emotion.
In dire straits
If you're in dire straits, you're in serious trouble or difficulties.
In donkey's years
'I haven't seen her in donkey's years.' - This means for a very long time.
In dribs and drabs
If people arrive in dribs and drabs, they come in small groups at irregular intervals, instead of all arriving at the same time.
In droves
When things happen in droves, a lot happen at the same time or very quickly.
In for a penny, in for a pound
If something is worth doing then it is a case of in for a penny, in for a pound, which means that when gambling or taking a chance, you might as well go the whole way and take all the risks, not just some.
In full swing
If things are in full swing, they have been going for a sufficient period of time to be going well and very actively.
In high gear
(USA) If something is in high gear, it is in a quick-paced mode. If someone is in high gear, they are feverishly on the fast track.
In hot water
If you are in hot water, you are in serious trouble.
In my bad books
If you are in someone's bad books, they are angry with you. Likewise, if you are in their good books, they are pleased with you.
In my book
This idiom means 'in my opinion'.
In my good books
If someone is in your good books, you are pleased with or think highly of them at the moment.
In one ear and out the other
If something goes in one ear and out the other, you forget it as soon as you've heard it because it was too complicated, boring etc.
In over your head
If someone is in over their head, they are out of the depth in something they are involved in, and may end up in a mess.
In rude health
(UK) If someone's in rude health, they are very healthy and look it.
In someone's pocket
If a person is in someone's pocket, they are dependent, especially financially, on them.
In spades
(UK) If you have something in spades, you have a lot of it.
In stitches
If someone is in stitches, they are laughing uncontrollably.
In tandem
If people do things in tandem, they do them at the same time.
In the black
If your bank account is in credit, it is in the black.
In the club
(UK) If a woman's in the club, she's pregnant. 'In the pudding club' is an alternative form.
In the dock
If someone is in the dock, they are on trial in court.
In the doghouse
If someone is in the doghouse, they are in disgrace and very unpopular at the moment.
In the doghouse
If someone is in the doghouse, they are in disgrace because they have done something wrong.
In the family way
If a woman is in the family way, she is pregnant.
In the hot seat
If someone's in the hot seat, they are the target for a lot of unwelcome criticism and examination.
In the long run
This means 'over a long period of time', 'in the end' or 'in the final result'.
In the loop
If you're in the loop, you are fully informed about what is happening in a certain area or activity.
In the offing
If something is in the offing, it is very likely to happen soon.
In the pink
If you are in very good health, you are in the pink.
In the pipeline
If something's in the pipeline, it hasn't arrived yet but its arrival is expected.
In the red
If your bank account is overdrawn, it is in the red.
In the same boat
If people are in the same boat, they are in the same predicament or trouble.
In the soup
If you're in the soup, you're in trouble.
In the swim
If you are in the swim, you are up-to-date with and fully informed about something.
In the swing
If things are in the swing, they are progressing well.
In the twinkling of an eye
If something happens in the twinkling of an eye, it happens very quickly.
In two minds
If you are in two minds about something, you can't decide what to do.
In your face
If someone is in your face, they are direct and confrontational. (It is sometime written 'in yer face'colloquially)
In your sights
If you have someone or something in your sights, they are your target to beat.
Indian file
If people walk in Indian file, they walk in a line one behind the other.
Indian giver
An Indian giver gives something, then tries to take it back.
Indian summer
If there is a period of warmer weather in late autumn, it is an Indian summer.
Ins and outs
If you know the ins and outs of something, you know all the details.
Into thin air
If something vanishes or disappears without trace, it vanishes into thin air; no-one knows where it has gone.
Iron fist
Someone who rules or controls something with an iron fist is in absolute control and tolerates no dissent. An iron fist in a velvet glove is used to describe someone who appears soft on the outside, but underneath is very hard. 'Mailed fist' is an alternative form.
Irons in the fire
A person who has a few irons in the fire has a number of things working to their advantage at the same time.
It ain't over till the fat lady sings
This idiom means that until something has officially finished, the result is uncertain.
It cost an arm and a leg
If something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive indeed.
It cost the earth
If something costs the earth, it is very expensive indeed.
It never rains but it pours
'It never rains but it pours' means that when things go wrong, they go very wrong.
It takes two to tango
This idiom is used to suggest that when things go wrong, both sides are involved and neither side is completely innocent.
It's an ill wind that blows no good
This is said when things have gone wrong; the idea being that when bad things happen, there can also be some positive results.
It's no use crying over spilt milk
This idiom means that getting upset after something has gone wrong is pointless; it can't be changed so it should be accepted.
Ivory tower
People who live in ivory towers are detached from the world around them.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 04:01

~ J ~

Jack Frost
If everything has frozen in winter, then Jack Frost has visited.
Jack-of-all-trades
A jack-of-all-trades is someone that can do many different jobs.
Jam tomorrow
(UK) This idiom is used when people promise good things for the future that will never come.
Jane Doe
Jane Doe is a name given to an unidentified female who may be party to legal proceedings, or to an unidentified person in hospital, or dead. John Doe is the male equivalent.
Jersey justice
(UK) Jersey justice is very severe justice.
Jet-black
To emphasise just how black something is, such as someone's hair, we can call it jet-black.
Job's comforter
Someone who says they want to comfort, but actually discomforts people is a Job's comforter. (Job's is pronounced 'jobes', not 'jobs')
Jobs for the boys
Where people give jobs, contracts, etc, to their friends and associates, these are jobs for the boys.
Jockey for position
If a number of people want the same opportunity and are struggling to emerge as the most likely candidate, they are jockeying for position.
John Doe
John Doe is a name given to an unidentified male who may be party to legal proceedings, or to an unidentified person in hospital, or dead. Jane Doe is the female equivalent.
John Q Public
(USA) John Q Public is the typical, average person.
Johnny-come-lately
A Johnny-come-lately is someone who has recently joined something or arrived somewhere, especially when they want to make changes that are not welcome.
Joined at the hip
If people are joined at the hip, they are very closely connected and think the same way.
Juggle frogs
If you are juggling frogs, you are trying to do something very difficult.
Jump on the bandwagon
If people jump on the bandwagon, they get involved in something that has recently become very popular.
Jump the gun
If you jump the gun, you start doing something before the appropriate time.
Jump through hoops
If you are prepared to jump through hoops for someone, you are prepared to make great efforts and sacrifices for them.
Jungle out there
If someone says that it is a jungle out there, they mean that the situation is dangerous and there are no rules.
Jury's out
If the jury's out on an issue, then there is no general agreement or consensus on it.
Just coming up to
If the time is just coming up to nine o'clock, it means that it will be nine o'clock in a very few seconds. You'll hear them say it on the radio in the morning.
Just deserts
If a bad or evil person gets their just deserts, they get the punishment or suffer the misfortune that it is felt they deserve.
Just in the nick of time
If you do something in the nick of time, you just manage to do it just in time, with seconds to spare.
Just off the boat
If someone is just off the boat, they are naive and inexperienced.
Just what the doctor ordered
If something's just what the doctor ordered, it is precisely what is needed.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 04:04

~ K ~

Kangaroo court
When people take the law into their own hands and form courts that are not legal, these are known as kangaroo court.
Keen as mustard
(UK) If someone is very enthusiastic, they are as keen as mustard.
Keep abreast
If you keep abreast of things, you stay informed about developments.
Keep at bay
If you keep someone or something at bay, you maintain a safe distance from them.
Keep body and soul together
If you earn enough to cover your basic expenses, but nothing more than that, you earn enough to keep body and soul together.
Keep it under your hat
If you keep something under your hat, you keep it secret.
Keep mum
If you keep mum about something, you keep quiet and don't tell anyone.
Keep posted
If you keep posted about something, you keep up-to-date with information and developments.
Keep someone at arm's length
If you keep someone or something at arm's length, you keep a safe distance away from them.
Keep up with the Joneses
People who try to keep up with the Joneses are competitive about material possessions and always try to have the latest and best things.
Keep your chin up
(UK) This expression is used to tell someone to have confidence.
Keep your ear to the ground
If you keep your ear to the ground, you try to keep informed about something, especially if there are rumours or uncertainties.
Keep your eye on the ball
If you keep your eye on the ball, you stay alert and pay close attention to what is happening.
Keep your fingers crossed
If you are keeping your fingers crossed, you are hoping for a positive outcome.
Keep your hair on
Keep your hair on is advice telling someone to keep calm and not to over-react or get angry.
Keep your head above water
If you are just managing to survive financially, you are keeping your head above water.
Keep your nose clean
If someone is trying to keep their Nose Clean, they are trying to stay out of trouble by not getting involved in any sort of wrong-doing.
Keep your nose to the grindstone
If you keep your nose to the grindstone, you work hard and seriously.
Keep your options open
If someone's keeping their options open, they aren't going to restrict themselves or rule out any possible course of action.
Keep your pecker up
If someone tells you to keep your pecker up, they are telling you not to let your problems get on top of you and to try to be optimistic.
Keep your powder dry
If you keep your powder dry, you act cautiously so as not to damage your chances.
Keep your shirt on!
This idiom is used to tell someone to calm down.
Keep your wig on!
(UK) This idiom is used to tell someone to calm down.
Kettle of fish
A pretty or fine kettle of fish is a difficult problem or situation.
Kick away the ladder
If someone kicks away the ladder, they remove something that was supporting or helping someone.
Kick in the teeth
Bad news or a sudden disappointment are a kick in the teeth.
Kick something into the long grass
If an issue or problem is kicked into the long grass, it is pushed aside and hidden in the hope that it will be forgotten or ignored.
Kick the bucket
When someone kicks the bucket, they die.
Kick up your heels
If you kick up your heels, you go to parties or celebrate something.
Kid gloves
If someone is handled with kid gloves, they are given special treatment and handled with great care.
Kill the goose that lays the golden egg
If you kill the goose that lays the golden egg, you ruin something that is very profitable.
Kill two birds with one stone
When you kill two birds with one stone, you resolve two difficulties or matters with a single action.
Kindred spirit
A kindred spirit is someone who feels and thinks the way you do.
Kiss of death
The kiss of death is an action that means failure or ruin for someone, a scheme, a plan, etc.
Kitchen-sink
(UK) Kitchen-sink drama deals with ordinary people's lives.
Kith and kin
Your kith and kin are your family; your next of kin are close relations you nominate to deal with your affairs in the event of your death on a document, like a passport.
Knee-jerk reaction
A knee-jerk reaction is an instant, instinctive response to a situation.
Knock 'em dead
'Knock 'em dead' is used as a way of wishing someone luck before they give a performance or have to appear before people, as in an interview, etc. ('em = them)
Knock on wood
This idiom is used to hope for good luck.
Knock your socks off
If something knocks your socks off, it amazes and surprises you, usually in a positive way.
Know full well
When you know full well, you are absolutely sure that you know.
Know the ropes
Someone who is experienced and knows how the system works know the ropes.
Know which side one's bread is buttered on
If you know which side one's bread is buttered on, you know where your interests lie and will act accordingly to protect or further them.
Know your onions
If someone is very well-informed about something, they know their onions.
Know your place
A person who knows their place doesn't try to impose themselves on others.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 04:06

~ L ~

Labour of love
A labour of love is a project or task undertaking for the interest or pleasure in doing it rather than the reward, financial or otherwise.
Lame duck
If something or someone is a lame duck, they are in trouble.
Land of nod
If someone has gone to the land of nod, they have fallen asleep or gone to bed.
Lap of the gods
If something is in the lap of the gods, it is beyond our control and fate will decide the outcome.
Larger than life
If something is excessive or exaggerated, it is larger than life.
Last hurrah
If an elderly person does something special before they die, it is a last hurrah.
Last straw
The last straw is the final problem that makes someone lose their temper or the problem that finally brought about the collapse of something. It comes from an Arabic story, where a camel was loaded with straw until a single straw placed on the rest of the load broke its back.
Last-ditch
A last-ditch attempt is a desperate attempt that will probably fail anyway.
Laugh to see a pudding crawl
(UK) Someone who would laugh to see a pudding crawl is easily amused and will laugh at anything.
Law unto yourself
If somebody's a law unto themselves, they do what they believe is right regardless of what is generally accepted as correct.
Lay down the law
If someone lays down the law, they tell people what to do and are authoritarian.
Lead someone up the garden path
If someone leads you up the garden path, they deceive you, or give you false information that causes you to waste your time. 'Lead someone down the garden path' is also used.
Leave no stone unturned
If you look everywhere to find something, or try everything to achieve something, you leave no stone unturned.
Leave well alone
If you leave something well alone, you keep a safe distance from it, either physically or metaphorically.
Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing
If the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, then communication within a company, organisation, group, etc, is so bad that people don't know what the others are doing.
Left in the dark
If you are left in the dark about something, you aren't given the information that you should have.
Left-handed compliment
A left-handed compliment is one that sounds like praise but has an insulting meaning. ('Backhanded compliment' is an alternative form.)
Legend in your own lunchtime
Somebody who becomes a legend in their own lifetime acquires fame, but often only to a select or specialist audience, while they are still alive.
Lend an ear
If you lend an ear, you listen to what someone has to say. ('Lend your ear' is an alternative form.)
Lesser of two evils
Something that is the lesser of two evils, is an unpleasant option, but not as bad as the other.
Let bygones be bygones
If people decide to let bygones be bygones, they decide to forget old problems or grievances they have with each other.
Let sleeping dogs lie
If someone is told to let sleeping dogs lie, it means that they shouldn't disturb a situation as it would result in trouble or complications.
Let the cat out of the bag
If you accidentally reveal a secret, you let the cat out of the bag.
Let the devil take the hindmost
This idiom means that you should think of yourself and not be concerned about other people; look after yourself and let the devil take the hindmost.
Let the grass grow round your feet
If you let the grass grow round your feet, you delay doing things instead of taking action.
Let your hair down
If someone lets their hair down, they relax and stop feeling inhibited or shy.
Letter of the law
If people interpret laws and regulations strictly, ignoring the ideas behind them, they follow the letter of the law.
Level playing field
If there's a level playing field everybody is treated equally.
Lie through your teeth
Someone who is always lying, regardless of what people know, lies through their teeth.
Light at the end of the tunnel
If you can see light at the end of the tunnel, then you can see some signs of hope in the future, though things are difficult at the moment.
Light bulb moment
A light bulb moment is when you have a sudden realisation about something, like the light bulbs used to indicate an idea in cartoons.
Light years ahead
If you are light years ahead of others, you are a long way in front of them in terms of development, success, etc.
Lightning rod
Someone or something that attracts a lot of negative comment, often diverting attention from other problems, is a lightning rod.
Like a beached whale
Once a whale is on a beach, it cannot get back into the easily, so if you are completely stuck somewhere and can't get away, you are stranded like a beached whale.
Like a bear with a sore head
(UK) If someone's like a bear with a sore head, they complain a lot and are unhappy about something.
Like a cat that got the cream
If someone looks very pleased with themselves and happy, they look like a cat that got the cream.
Like a duck to water
If someone has a natural talent for something and enjoys it, they take to it like a duck to water.
Like a fish needs a bicycle
If someone needs something like a Fish Needs a Bicycle, they do not need it at all, originally a feminist slogan: A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
Like a fish out of water
If someone feels like a fish out of water, they are very uncomfortable in the situation they are in.
Like a rat deserting a sinking ship
If people leave a company because they know that it's about to have serious problems, or turn their back on a person about to be in a similar situation, they are said to be like rats deserting a sinking ship.
Like clockwork
If something happens like clockwork, it happens at very regular times or intervals.
Like father, like son
This idiom is used when different generations of a family behave in the same way or have the same talents of defects.
Like lambs to the slaughter
If somebody does something unpleasant without any resistance, they go like lambs to the slaughter.
Like peas in a pod
If people or things are like peas in a pod, they look identical.
Like taking candy from a baby
(USA) If something is like taking candy from a baby, it is very easy to do.
Like the clappers
If something is going like the clappers, it is going very fast.
Like there's no tomorrow
If you do something like there's no tomorrow, you do it fast or energetically.
Like two peas in a pod
Things that are like two peas in a pod are very similar or identical,
Like white on rice
(USA) If you do something like white on rice, you do it very closely: When Bob found out I had front row tickets for the concert, he stuck to me like white on rice.
Like wildfire
If something happens or spreads like wildfire, it happens very quickly and intensely.
Lily-livered
Someone who is lily-livered is a coward.
Lines of communication
Lines of communication are the routes used to communicate by people or groups who are in conflict; a government might open lines of communication with terrorists if it wished to negotiate with them.
Lion's share
The lion's share of something is the biggest or best part.
Lip service
When people pay lip service to something, they express their respect, but they don't act on their words, so the respect is hollow and empty.
Live wire
A person who is very active, both mentally and physically, is a live wire.
Lo and behold
This phrase is used to express surprise.
Loan shark
A loan shark lends money at very high rates of interest.
Lock the stable door after the horse has bolted
If someone takes action too late, they do this; there is no reason to lock an empty stable.
Lock, stock and barrel
This is an expressions that means 'everything'; if someone buys a company lock, stock and barrel, they buy absolutely everything to do with the company.
Long in the tooth
If someone is long in the tooth, they are a bit too old to do something.
Long time no see
'Long time no see' means that the speaker has not seen that person for a long time.
Look after number 1
You are number one, so this idiom means that you should think about yourself first, rather than worrying about other people.
Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves
(UK) If you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves, meaning that if someone takes care not to waste small amounts of money, they will accumulate capital. ('Look after the pence and the pounds will look after themselves' is an alternative form of this idiom.)
Look before you leap
This idiom means that you should think carefully about the possible results or consequences before doing something.
Look out for number one
If you look out for number one, you take care of yourself and your interests, rather than those of other people.
Look what the cat dragged in
This idiom is used when someone arrives somewhere looking a mess or flustered and bothered.
Lose the plot
If someone loses the plot, they have stopped being rational about something.
Lose your lunch
(UK) If you lose your lunch, you vomit.
Lose your marbles
If someone has lost their marbles, they've gone mad.
Lose your shirt
If someone loses their shirt, they lose all their money through a bad investment, gambling, etc.
Lower the bar
If people change the standards required to make things easier, they lower the bar.
Lower your sights
If you lower your sights, you accept something that is less than you were hoping for.
Luck of the draw
To have the 'Luck of the draw' is to win something in a competition where the winner is chosen purely by chance.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

Nombre de messages : 715
Ma ville : http://tiny.pl/wcbc
Date d'inscription : 20/04/2006

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Message par m.j.f le Mer 31 Jan 2007, 04:08

~ M ~

Mad as a badger
If someone is as mad as a badger, they are crazy.
Mad as a hornet
(USA) If someone is as mad as a hornet, they are very angry indeed.
Mad as a March hare
Someone who is excitable and unpredictable is as mad as a March hare.
Mailed fist
Someone who rules or controls something with a mailed fist is in absolute control and tolerates no dissent. A mailed fist in a velvet glove is used to describe someone who appears soft on the outside, but underneath is very hard. 'Iron fist' is an alternative form.
Major league
Something major league is very important.
Make a better fist
If someone makes a better fist of doing something, they do a better job.
Make a killing
If you make a killing, you do something that makes you a lot of money.
Make a mint
If someone is making a mint, they are making a lot of money.
Make a monkey of someone
If you make a monkey of someone, you make them look foolish.
Make a mountain out of a molehill
If somebody makes a mountain out of a molehill, they exaggerate the importance or seriousness of a problem.
Make a pitch
If you make a pitch for something, you make a bid, offer or other attempt to get it.
Make a request
If you request something, or make a request, you are asking for something you want or need.
Make a song and dance
(UK) If someone makes a song and dance, they make an unecessary fuss about something unimportant.
Make an enquiry
If you make an enquiry, you ask for general information about something.
Make bets in a burning house
(USA) If people are making bets in a burning house, they are engaged in futile activity while serious problems around them are getting worse.
Make ends meet
If somebody finds it hard to make ends meet, they have problems living on the money they earn.
Make hay
If you make hay, or may hay while the sun shines, you take advantage of an opportunity as soon as it arises and do not waste time.
Make headway
If you make headway, you make progress.
Make no bones about it
If somebody make no bones about a scandal in their past, they are open and honest about it and show no shame or embarrassment.
Make out like a bandit
(USA) If someone is extremely successful in a venture, they make out like a bandit.
Make waves
If someone makes waves, they cause a lot of trouble.
Make your blood boil
If something makes your blood boil, it makes you very angry.
Make your flesh crawl
If something makes your flesh crawl, it really scares or revolts you. ('Make your flesh creep' is an alternative. 'Make your skin crawl' is also used.)
Make your hair stand on end
If something makes your hair stand on end, it terrifies you.
Make yourself scarce
If someone makes themselves scarce, they go away from a place, especially to avoid trouble or so that they can't be found.
Man in the street
The man in the street is an idiom to describe ordinary people, especially when talking about their opinions and ideas.
Man of letters
A man of letters is someone who is an expert in the arts and literature, and often a writer too.
Man of means
A man, or woman, of means is wealthy.
Man of straw
A weak person that can easily be beaten of changed is a man of straw.
Man of straw
A man of straw is a a weak person or argument that is easily defeated.
Man of the cloth
A man of the cloth is a priest.
Man on the Clapham omnibus
(UK) The man on the Clapham omnibus is the ordinary person in the street.
Man's best friend
This is an idiomatic term for dogs.
Man's man
A man's man is a man who does things enjoyed by men and is respected by other men.
Many a slip twixt cup and lip
There's many a slip twixt cup and lip means that many things can go wrong before something is achieved.
Many hands make light work
This idiom means that when everyone gets involved in something, the work gets done quickly.
Mark my words
Mark my words is an expression used to lend an air of seriousness to what the speaker is about to say when talking about the future. You often hear drunks say it before they deliver some particularly spurious nonsense.
Marked man
A marked man is a person who is being targeted by people who want to do them harm or cause them trouble.
Matter of life and death
If something is a matter of life and death, it is extremely important.
Mealy-mouthed
A mealy-mouthed person doesn't say what they mean clearly.
Meet someone halfway
If you meet someone halfway, you accept some of their ideas and make concessions.
Meet your expectations
If something doesn't meet your expectations, it means that it wasn't as good as you had thought it was going to be; a disappointment.
Meet your Maker
If someone has gone to meet their Maker, they have died.
Meet your match
If you meet your match, you meet a person who is at least as good if not better than you are at something.
Megaphone diplomacy
If negotiations between countries or parties are held through press releases and announcements, this is megaphone diplomacy, aiming to force the other party into adopting a desired position.
Melting pot
A melting pot is a place where people from many ethnicities and nationalities live together.
Memory like a sieve
If somebody can't retain things for long in his or her memory and quickly forgets, he or she has a memory like a sieve. A sieve has lots of tiny holes in it to let liquids out while keeping the solids inside.
Memory like an elephant
'An elephant never forgets' is a saying, so if a person has a memory like an elephant, he or she has a very good memory indeed.
Mend fences
When people mend fences, they try to improve or restore relations that have been damaged by disputes or arguments.
Method in his madness
If there's method in someone's madness, they do things in a strange and unorthodox way, but manage to get results.
Mickey Mouse
If something is Mickey Mouse, it is intellectually trivial or not of a very high standard.
Midas touch
If someone has the Midas touch, they make a lot of money out of any scheme they try.
Mighty oaks from little acorns grow
Big or great things start very small.
Millstone round your neck
A millstone around your neck is a problem that prevents you from doing what you want to do.
Mind the gap
Mind the gap is an instruction used on the Underground in the UK to warn passengers to be careful when leaving the tube or train as there is quite a distance between the train and the platform.
Mind your own beeswax
(USA) This idiom means that people should mind their own business and not interfere in other people's affairs.
Mind Your P's and Q's
If you are careful about the way you behave and are polite, you mind Your P's and Q's.
Mint condition
If something is in mint condition, it is in perfect condition.
Misery guts
A misery guts is a person who's always unhappy and tries to make others feel negative.
Miss is as good as a mile
A miss is as good as a mile means that if you fail, even by the smallest margin, it is still a failure.
Miss the boat
If you miss the boat, you are too late to take advantage of an opportunity.
Money for jam
If something's money for jam, it's a very easy way of making money.
Money for old rope
(UK) If something's money for old rope, it's a very easy way of making money.
Money laundering
If people launder money, they get money made illegally into the mainstream so that it is believed to be legitimate and clean.
Money to burn
If someone is very rich, they have money to burn.
Monkey business
If children get up to monkey business, they are behaving naughtily or mischievously. This is the same as 'monkeying around'.
Moot point
If something's a moot point, there's some disagreement about it: a debatable point.
More haste, less speed
The faster you try to do something, the more likely you are to make mistakes that make you take longer than it would had you planned it.
More heat than light
If a discussion generates more heat than light, it doesn't provide answers, but does make people angry.
More than meets the eye
If there is more than meets the eye to something, it is more complex or difficult than it appears.
More than one string to their bow
A person who has more than one string to their bow has different talents or skills to fall back on.
More than one way to skin a cat
When people say that there is more than one way to skin a cat, they mean that there are different ways of achieving the same thing.
Mountain to climb
If you have a mountain to climb, you have to work hard or make a lot of progress to achieve something.
Move mountains
If you would move mountains to do something, you would make any effort to achieve your aim. When people say that faith can move mountains, they mean that it can achieve a lot.
Move the goalposts
When people move the goalposts, they change the standards required for something to their advantage.
Mover and shaker
A person who is a mover and shaker is a highly respected, key figure in their particular area with a lot of influence and importance.
Mud in your eye
This is a way of saying 'cheers' when you are about to drink something, normally alcohol.
Mud-slinging
If someone is mud-slinging, they are insulting someone and trying to damage that person's reputation.
Muddy the waters
If somebody muddies the waters, he or she makes the situation more complex or less clear.
Murder will out
This idiom means that bad deeds can't be kept secret forever.
Murky waters
Where people are behaving in morally and ethically questionable ways, they are in murky waters.
Music to my ears
If something someone says is music to your ears, it is exactly what you had wanted to hear.
Mutton dressed as lamb
Mutton dressed as lamb is term for middle-aged or elderly people trying to look younger.
My foot!
This idiom is used to show that you do not believe what someone has just said.
My hands are full
If your hands are full, you have so much to do that you cannot take on any more work, responsibilities and so on.
My hands are tied
If your hands are tied, you are unable to act for some reason.
My heart bleeds
If your heart bleeds for someone, you feel genuine sympathy and sadness for them.
My heart goes out to someone
If your heart goes out to someone, you feel genuine sympathy for them.
My way or the highway
This idiom is used to say that if people don't do what you say, they will have to leave or quit the project, etc.
m.j.f
m.j.f
Madariste accompli(e)
Madariste accompli(e)

Nombre de messages : 715
Ma ville : http://tiny.pl/wcbc
Date d'inscription : 20/04/2006

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Message par m4u le Dim 26 Aoû 2007, 09:38

Wow! fantastic!
But why did you stop at M sir?

May i continue, if you don't mind?


~ N ~

Nail in the coffin
A nail in someone or something's coffin is a problem or event that is a clear step towards an inevitable failure.
Nail-biter
If a game, election, contest, etc, is a nail-biter, it is exciting because the competitors are so close that it is impossible to predict the result.
Nature abhors a vacuum
This idiom is used to express the idea that empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural as they go against the laws of nature and physics.
Neck and neck
If two competitors or candidates, etc, are neck and neck, then they are very close and neither is clearly winning.
Neck of the woods
If someone talks about their neck of the woods, they mean the area where they live.
Needle in a haystack
If trying to find something is like looking for a needle in a haystack, it means that it is very difficult, if not impossible to find among everything around it.
Neither fish nor fowl
Something or someone that is neither fish nor fowl doesn't really fit into any one group.
Neither use nor ornament
Something that serves no purpose and is not aesthetically pleasing is neither use nor ornament.
Nerves of steel
If someone has nerves of steel, they don't get frightened when other people do.
Nest egg
If you have some money saved for the future, it is a nest egg.
Never a rose without the prick
This means that good things always have something bad as well; like the thorns on the stem of a rose.
Never darken my door again
This is a way of telling someone never to visit you again.
New blood
If something needs new blood, it has become stale and needs new ideas or people to invigorate it.
New brush sweeps clean
'A new brush sweeps clean' means that someone with a new perspective can make great changes. However, the full version is 'a new brush sweeps clean, but an old brush knows the corners', which warns that experience is also a valuable thing. Sometimes 'broom' is used instead of 'brush'.
New kid on the block
A new kid on the block is a person who has recently joined a company, organisation, team, etc, and does not know how things work yet.
New lease of life
If someone finds new enthusiasm and energy for something, they have a new lease of life.
New man
(UK) A New man is a man who believes in complete equality of the sexes and shares domestic work equally.
New sheriff in town
This is used when a new authority figure takes charge.
New York minute
(USA) If something happens in a New York minute, it happens very fast.
Newfangled
People who don't like new methods, technologies, etc, describe them as newfangled, which means new but not as good or nice as the old ones.
Nick of time
If you do something in the nick of time, you do it at the very last minute or second.
Nickel tour
(USA) If someone gives you a nickel tour, they show you around a place. ('Fifty-cent tour' is also used.)
Night owl
A night owl is someone who goes to bed very late.
Ninth circle of hell
In Dante's Inferno, the ninth circle of hell is the centre where the worst punishments are found, so it is used idiomatically for something that couldn't get worse.
Nip it in the bud
If you nip something in the bud, you deal with a problem when it is still small, before it can grow into something serious.
Nitty gritty
If people get down to the nitty gritty, they concentrate on the most important and serious issues.
No bed of roses
If something isn't a bed of roses, it is difficult.
No can do
No can do means that the speaker can't do whatever it is that has been asked of him or her.
No good deed goes unpunished
This means that life is unfair and people can do or try to do good things and still end up in a lot of trouble.
No great shakes
If someone is no great shakes at something, they are not very good at it.
No harm, no foul
There's no problem when no harm or damage is done, such as the time my sister-in-law stole the name we'd chosen for a boy and we both ended up having girls.
No holds barred
If there are no holds barred, there are no rules of conduct; you can do anything.
No ifs or buts
Ifs and Buts is a term used to describe the reasons people give for not wanting to do something. To show that you don't wish to accept any excuses, you can tell somebody that you wish to hear no ifs or buts Here IF & BUT have become nouns
No love lost
If there is no love lost between two people they have a strong enmity towards or hate for the other and make no effort to conceal it.
No quarter
This means without mercy. We can say no quarter given or asked.
No question
This idiom means that something is certain or definite.
No questions asked
If something is to be done and no questions asked, then it doesn't matter what methods are used or what rules are broken to ensure that it gets done.
No skin off my nose
If something's no skin off your nose, it doesn't affect or bother you at all.
No smoke without fire
This idiom means that when people suspect something, there is normally a good reason for the suspicion, even if there is no concrete evidence. ('Where's there's smoke, there's fire' is also used.)
No spine
If someone has no spine, they lack courage or are cowardly.
No spring chicken
If someone is no spring chicken, they are not young.
No strings attached
If something has no strings attached, there are no obligations or requirements involved.
No time for
If you have no time for an activity, you have absolutely no desire to spend or waste any time doing it. You can have no time for people, too.
No time like the present
If people say that there's no time like the present , they believe that it is far better to do something now than to leave it for later, in which case it might never get done.
No time to lose
If there's no time to lose, then it's time to get started otherwise it won't be finished on time.
No use to man or beast
If something or someone is no use to man or beast, they it or they are utterly useless.
Nod's as good as a wink
(UK) 'A nod's as good as a wink' is a way of saying you have understood somethin that someone has said, even though it was not said directly.
None so blind as those who will not see
This idiom is used when people refuse to accept facts presented to them. ('None so deaf as those who will not hear' is an alternative.)
Nose in the air
If someone has their nose in the air, they behave in a way that is meant to show that they are superior to others.
Nosy parker
(UK) A nosy parker is someone who is excessively interested in other people's lives. ('Nosey parker' is an alternative spelling.)
Not all there
If someone isn't all there, they are a little bit stupid or crazy.
Not bat an eye
If someone doesn't bat an eye, they do not react when other people normally would.
Not born yesterday
When someone says that they weren't born yesterday, they mean that they are not naive or easily fooled.
Not cricket
(UK) If something is not cricket, it is unfair.
Not enough room to swing a cat
If a room is very small, you can say that there isn't enough room to swing a cat in it.
Not give a monkey's
(UK) If you couldn't give a monkey's about something, you don't care at all about it.
Not have the heart
If you don't have the heart to do something, you don't have the strength or courage to do something. (Usually used in the negative)
Not have two pennies to rub together
If someone hasn't got two pennies to rub together, they are very poor indeed.
Not know beans about
(USA) If someone doesn't know beans about something, they know nothing about it.
Not much cop
Describing a film or something as not much cop is a way of saying that you didn't think much of it.
Not my cup of tea
If something is not your cup of tea, you don't like it very much.
Not our bag
If something is not your bag, it is not really suitable for your needs or you don't like it much.
Not the only pebble on the beach
If something is not the only pebble on the beach, there are other possibilities or alternatives.
Not to be sneezed at
If something is not to be sneezed at, it should be taken seriously.
Not wash
If a story or explanation will not wash, it is not credible.
Not worth a red cent
(USA) If something is not worth a red cent, it has no value.
Notch on your belt
A success or achievement that might help you in the future is a notch on your belt.
Nothing to crow about
If something's nothing to crow about, it's not particularly good or special.
Now and then
This idiom means 'occasionally'.
Null and void
If something's null and void, it is invalid or is no longer applicable.
Number cruncher
A number cruncher is an accountant or someone who is very good at dealing with numbers and calculations.
Nuts and bolts
The nuts and bolts are the most essential components of something.
Nutty as a fruitcake
Someone who's nutty as a fruitcake is irrational or crazy. (This can be shortened to 'a fruitcake'.)
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