List 16 - Phrases and Idioms

 

 

 

 

 

Phrases and Idioms

Meaning

401.

hammer - hammer something home

To convey one’s message across effectively by speaking intelligibly.

402.

hammer - under the hammer

Be for sale at an auction.

403.

hand - hand and hand

Be involved with

404.

hand - hand in glove

In close cooperation with someone in an illegal activity.

405.

hand - hand to mouth

With just enough money and food to survive on.

406.

hand - hand-and-glove

Inseparable or on intimate terms.

407.

hand – lend a hand

To help someone in doing something.

408.

hand – out of hand

Out of control. Immediately; without thinking.

409.

hang – hang your head

To look ashamed and guilty.

410.

hard – be hard hit

Adversely affected by something.

411.

hard - be hard on

To be too strict or harsh on someone.

412.

hard – be hard put

To have difficulty doing something.

413.

hard - hard done by

To be treated in an unfair or harsh manner.

414.

hard - hard luck story

A story told to gain sympathy.

415.

hard - hard of hearing

Having difficulty in hearing.

416.

hard – hard to take

Difficult to accept or believe.

417.

hard - no hard feelings

No feelings of resentment.

418.

hard – take something hard

Feel very unhappy or disappointed about something.

419.

hard - the hard stuff

Strong alcoholic drink

420.

hard – times are hard

Time when one has problems and difficulties.

421.

head - a clear head

Being able to think clearly in a difficult situation.

422.

head - a head for

An ability to tolerate something.

423.

head - come to a head

Reach a crisis.

424.

head – head over heels

Madly in love with something.

425.

head – head will roll

Some people will be punished or dismissed.

426.

head – keep one’s head

Remain calm.

427.

head – lose one’s head

Lose self-control.

428.

heart – break someone’s heart

To make someone feel very sad.

429.

heart – change of heart

Change in one’s thinking.

430.

heart – cross one’s heart

Used to make a promise.

431.

heart – from the heart

With the sincerest feeling.

432.

heart – have the heart

Show pity; be merciful.

433.

heart – heart and soul

With all one’s affections.

434.

heart – heart of gold

A kind or generous nature.

435.

heart – heart-to-heart

Frank, sincere (talk)

436.

heart – learn by heart

Learn by memorizing.

437.

heart – one’s heart’s desire

Someone’s greatest wish for something.

438.

heart – open one’s heart

To make known one’s feelings or thoughts.

439.

heart – take to heart

Take something seriously.

440.

hearth – hearth and home

One’s home and family.

441.

hedge – hedge your bets

Avoid total loss by placing similar bets on the other side.

442.

heel - take to (one’s) heels

Run away quickly.

443.

hell – hell for leather

At great speed.

444.

hell – hell on earth

A place that is extremely unpleasant.

445.

high – have high hopes

Confident of successful outcome.

446.

high - high and dry

Left with nothing.

447.

high – high and mighty

Feeling self-important; arrogant.

448.

history – history repeats itself

There’s a tendency for events to happen again in a similar way.

449.

hit –  hit rock bottom

To descend to the lowest level.

450.

hit – hit it off

To become friends in a natural way.

451.

hit – hit the bottle

To start to drink to excess.

452.

hit – hit the jackpot

To win a huge amount of money.

453.

hit – hit the road

Set forth on a journey

454.

hold – hold a conversation

To get engaged in a conversation with someone.

455.

hold – hold one’s horses

To stop for some reason.

456.

hold – hold one’s own

To do something or succeed without help from anyone.

457.

hold – hold the fort

To take over someone’s responsibility while they are away.

458.

hold – hold the line

To not yield; to wait until the other person is ready to answer one’s telephone call.

459.

hold – hold your fire

Used to order soldiers to cease firing.

460.

hold – no holds barred

Without any restrictions or rules.

461.

holier – holier than-thou

Self-righteous.

462.

home – home and dry

Having succeeded in getting something done.

463.

honour - do the honours

To do things such as serve food or drink at a social occasion.

464.

honour – in honour of

Used to show respect and admiration of someone.

465.

honour – man of honour

A man of high moral standards.

466.

honour – on one’s honour

Under a moral duty to do something.

467.

honour – on/upon my honour

Used to express one’s sincerity.

468.

hook - off the hook

No longer in a difficult situation.

469.

hop – on the hop

Unprepared; busy.

470.

hope – hope against hope

Hope for something that probably will not happen.

471.

house – house of God

A church, a temple.

472.

house – on the house

A drink or meal paid for by the bar, restaurant, etc. management.

473.

human - the human touch

A close relationship of communication or understanding.

474.

ice –  on thin ice

In a risky situation.

475.

idea - get the idea

To start to understand something

476.

idea - have no idea

Have no knowledge of

477.

idea - that’s the idea

That’s exactly right

478.

ill – ill at ease

Feeling uncomfortable or embarrassed.

479.

ill – speak ill of

Say something bad about someone.

480.

immemorial – since/from time immemorial

Starting from a time in the distant past which people cannot now recall.

481.

influence - under the influence

Affected by an effect or an imperceptible power exerted by someone or something that causes changes in conduct or the character.

482.

ins – ins and outs

The details of a system, workings, etc.

483.

inside – on the inside

Being able to provide internal information.

484.

issue – die without issue

To die without having any children.

485.

issue – take issue with

To dispute the truth or validity of.

486.

itchy – have itchy feet

Have the desire to travel or go somewhere.

487.

Jekyll – Jekyll and Hyde

A person having dual personalities, one good and one evil.

488.

job – just the job

The very job that is wanted.

489.

job – on the job

While doing work; being part of the work.

490.

join – join forces

Combine efforts for a common purpose.

491.

jump – jump a light

To drive past a red traffic light.

492.

jump – jump for joy

To be very excited and happy.

493.

jump – jump the gun

To begin something without proper planning.

494.

jump – jump the queue

Move ahead of other people in a queue.

495.

jump – jump to conclusions

To form a quick opinion without considering the facts.

496.

key – in/out of key

In/not in agreement or harmony with.

497.

kick – kick a habit

Stop doing something which one does habitually.

498.

kick – kick one’s heels

To be kept waiting for a long time.

499.

kick – kick someone upstairs

Promote someone to an ostensibly higher and more influential position in a business.

500.

kick – kick the bucket

Die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phrases and Idioms

Meaning

501.

killing - make a killing

To make a large profit in a short time.

502.

kind – of a kind

Scarcely worthy of what is specified or described.

503.

kiss – kiss of death

A kindly act which produces negative outcome

504.

kiss – kiss of life

Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

505.

kiss – kiss someone’s arse

To be excessively slavish or obedient to someone.

506.

knife - under the knife

Having a surgery.

507.

knock – knock it off

Used to tell someone to stop doing something.

508.

know – know by heart

Have learned something by rote and now able to repeat it from memory.

509.

know – know no bounds

Have no limits.

510.

know – know one’s onions

Be experienced in or knowledgeable about something.

511.

know – know one’s stuff

Be fully acquainted with something.

512.

know – know the ropes

To have experience in or familiar with something.

513.

know – know what’s what

Have the necessary experience, ability or knowledge to do something successfully.

514.

large - in large part/measure

Mostly; to a great extent.

515.

latest - at the latest

No later than the time referred to.

516.

law – law and order

A situation in which people are abiding by the law.

517.

lead – lead someone astray

To influence someone to act or behave in a wrong way.

518.

least – at the very least

At the minimum; adopting the most negative stance.

519.

least – least of all

Not less than; if nothing else;

520.

least – not in the least

Not at all.

521.

lend – lend an/one’s ear

listen sympathetically to someone.

522.

lend – lend weight to

To put more value on something.

523.

letter - to the letter

Pay close attention to every detail.

524.

liberty – take liberties with

To conduct oneself in an improper manner towards; to deal with rules, writing, etc. without due consideration to facts.

525.

liberty – take the liberty

To do something without permission.

526.

lick – at a lick

Very fast.

527.

lick – lick one’s wounds

To think carefully and seriously about one’s defeat or disappointment that has just happened.

528.

lick – lick someone’s boots

More than willing to serve or please others.

529.

lie – lie in state

Display of an important deceased person’s body in a public place for people to pay their last respect.

530.

life – come to life

To become exciting, or lively; to start working again.

531.

life – for dear life

Do whatever one can to escape death.

532.

life – full of life

Very lively and happy.

533.

life – larger than life

Someone who attracts a lot of attention due to an exceptional personal attribute they possess.

534.

life - way of life

The way people choose to live their lives.

535.

light – bring/come to light

To make or become known.

536.

light – throw light on

To clarify things by providing more or new information.

537.

line - along party line

Acting in accordance to the party one belongs to.

538.

line - bring into line

To make to conform

539.

line - fall into line

To conform to the way in which something is done.

540.

line - in line with

In accordance with

541.

line - line of vision

The direction in which an observer looks.

542.

line - on the line

at serious risk, (job, etc.) likely to be lost.

543.

line - out of line

Behaving unacceptably or inappropriately.

544.

lip - pay lip service

express support without action to show it.

545.

lip - read one’s lips

To listen carefully so as to understand what is said.

546.

living - in living memory

That can still be remembered by people.

547.

loiter – loiter with intent

Hang around a place with criminal intent.

548.

long - at long last

Finally; after a long time

549.

loose - on the loose

Having escaped from prison or cage.

550.

lose – lose one’s mind

To become insane.

551.

lose – lose sight of

No longer able to see someone or something; to forget something.

552.

lost – a lost cause

Something that is not likely to be achieved.

553.

lost - be lost on

Refuse to appreciate or accept.

554.

luck – just my luck

Used to express disappointment that something bad has happened to one.

555.

luck – out of luck

Suffering misfortune; having bad luck.

556.

luck – press one’s luck

Take unnecessary risks.

557.

luck – try one’s luck

To attempt something difficult and hope it will succeed.

558.

make – make away with

carry away secretly or illegally.

559.

make – make or break

To be a decisive factor in the success or failure of something or someone.

560.

man – a man’s man

A man who moves around and engages with other men at social functions and in manly activities.

561.

man – be man enough

be strong or brave enough

562.

man – be someone’s man

A man who satisfies fully someone’s requirement.

563.

man - man about town

A man who is socially active.

564.

man - man and wife (be)

To be married.

565.

man - man of God

A deeply religious man or a priest.

566.

man - man of letters

A male writer.

567.

man - man to man

In direct and frank engagement between two men.

568.

man - man’s best friend

A dog.

569.

man - to a man

Without exception.

570.

manner – all manner of

Many different kinds of.

571.

many - a good many

Quite a lot

572.

many – a great many

A fairly large number of.

573.

many – one too many

To be drunk.

574.

mark – leave/make its/a mark

Leave a permanent or significant impression.

575.

mark – make one’s mark

Attain fame or distinction.

576.

mark – mark my words

Used to tell someone to be attentive to what one is saying.

577.

mark – near/close to the mark

Almost accurate; almost on target.

578.

mark – off/wide off the mark

Not correct or inaccurate.

579.

mark – on your marks

Instruction to competitors to correctly position themselves to start a race.

580.

marked - a marked man

Someone who is in danger of being harmed by his enemy.

581.

marriage – marriage of convenience

Marriage for other reasons and not for love.

582.

marry – marry a fortune

Marry a rich heiress.

583.

marry – marry into money

Marry a wealthy person or someone from a wealthy family.

584.

matter - matter of fact (a)

In reality; in fact.

585.

matter - no matter what

One will do something regardless of what happens.

586.

means – beyond one’s means

More than one can afford.

587.

means - by all means

Of course.

588.

means – by any means

At all.

589.

means – by means of

By using something

590.

means – by no means

Not at all.

591.

means – man/woman of means

Man/woman who is rich.

592.

means – within one’s means

Not more than one can afford.

593.

measure - for good measure

Additional input to what is already enough or required.

594.

mend – mend one’s fences

Make peace with someone whom one has offended.

595.

mend – on the mend

Improving in one’s health or a situation.

596.

middle – the middle ground

Something which provides a basis for a discussion, negotiation, meeting, etc. to be carried out.

597.

might – might is right  

Used to say powerful people/countries are free from prosecution/retaliation and so can do what they like

598.

mincemeat - make mincemeat of

To defeat someone totally.

599.

mind – a close mind (have)

Not willing to consider new ideas.

600.

mind – have in mind

Plan, intend