List 16 - Phrases and Idioms

 

 

 

 

 

Phrases and Idioms

Meaning

801.

rough – rough and ready

Simple or crude but effective.

802.

round – go the rounds

To pass from one person to another.

803.

round – in round figures

Express exact numbers as the nearest whole numbers.

804.

round – round of applause

Audience or people are clapping to show their appreciation of something.

805.

round – round someone up

To gather together a number of people

806.

rub – rub one’s hands

Indicate personal satisfaction with what one has done or what has happened.

807.

rub – rub shoulders with

Come into contact with.

808.

rule - as a rule

Usually the case; usually true.

809.

rule - rule of law

Situation in which everyone is subject to and abides by the law.

810.

rule - rule of thumb

A rough guide based on experience rather than theory.

811.

rule - rule the roost

To be in control.

812.

runner - do a runner

To flee the scene so as to escape from or avoid something.

813.

running – in running order

Sequence in which events are arranged to take place.

814.

running – in/out of the running

In/no longer in a contest.

815.

rush – rush one’s fences

Do something hurriedly

816.

sad – sadder but wiser

Learn something after its effect has become clear or understood.

817.

safety – safety in numbers

Used to mean less danger in a lot of animals, people, etc. being together.

818.

salt - worth one’s salt

Good at one’s job.

819.

same – same to you

May you have the same thing.

820.

save –  save one’s breath

Not worth saying anything.

821.

save – save one’s skin

Look after one’s own safety.

822.

save – save the day

Solve a problem.

823.

scene - behind the scenes

In secret away from public view.

824.

scene – hit the scene

To arrive; appear.

825.

scene – not one’s scene

Not something someone is interested in.

826.

score –  on that score

Concerning something just mentioned.

827.

score –  settle a score

To inflict revenge on someone who has caused an injury or harm to oneself.

828.

scrape - in a scrape

In difficulty.

829.

scrape - scrape the barrel

Using the last, remaining, low quality of resources.

830.

scratch - scratch a living

Manage with just enough to survive on.

831.

scratch – scratch one’s head

Be confused, seeking a solution.

832.

scratch – scratch the surface

Deal with a matter but not thoroughly enough.

833.

scratch - up to scratch

Good enough to meet a certain standard.

834.

second - second to none

The best.

835.

seller - a seller’s market

Situation in which demand of goods and shares is more than supply, and prices are generally high.

836.

sense – make sense of

To find or seek out  the meaning of something

837.

serve – serve a sentence

Spend a period of time in a prison.

838.

serve – serve one’s country

To fight for one’s country.

839.

serve – serve someone right

Someone who deserves the punishment or misfortune.

840.

service - be of service

Be available to help if help is needed.

841.

set – be set on

To be very determined about doing something.

842.

shadow – shadow of death

Intense gloom or peril.

843.

shelf - off the shelf

Ready for purchase without having to place an order.

844.

shelf - on the shelf

No longer useful or desirable; too old to get married.

845.

shit - be shitting bricks

To be in an extreme anxious and frightened state.

846.

shit – full of shit

Use to describe what someone says is stupid.

847.

shit – in the shit

To be in deep trouble.

848.

shoestring - on a shoestring

Cheaply, without spending much money.

849.

short – in short supply

Insufficient to meet the demand of a commodity, etc.

850.

short – short of breath

Breathing with short, quick breaths.

851.

shot – a long shot

A poor guess or attempt at something

852.

shot – a parting shot

A remark that one makes before leaving.

853.

shoulder – shoulder to shoulder

Together with mutual cooperation and support.

854.

sick – sick to death

Extremely fed up and annoyed by constant exposure to something.

855.

sight – at first sight

First impression conveyed by something; when first seen.

856.

sight – raise one’s sights

Aim to achieve something.

857.

sinew -sinews of war

Money.

858.

six - sixes and sevens, at

In a disorganized and confused state.

859.

skin - skin and bone, be

Very thin.

860.

skin - skin someone alive

To mete out very harsh punishment to someone.

861.

sleep – put to sleep

To administer drug or anaesthetic to someone to make them unconscious; to kill an animal painlessly.

862.

sleep – sleep a wink

Sleep for a brief moment.

863.

sleep – sleep on it

To defer (a decision, etc.) to a later date.

864.

slip – let something slip

To accidentally make known information that is meant to be kept secret.

865.

slip – slip a disc

Suffer intense pain when a piece of the series of small bones forming the backbone becomes displaced.

866.

slip – slip of the tongue

Make a mistake when speaking.

867.

slip – slip one’s mind/memory

To forget to do something.

868.

slog - slog it out

To battle or compete fiercely for something.

869.

sly on the sly

Secretly; done in a surreptitious way.

870.

smell - smell a rat

To detect something suspicious.

871.

snap – in a snap

In a moment, immediately.

872.

son – son of  a bitch

Used to show total disrespect for or address someone in an insulting and offensive way.

873.

son – son of  a gun

Used to refer to someone.

874.

sort – a sort of

To not exactly describe someone or something.

875.

sort – in some sort

To a certain extent.

876.

sort – of a sort/of sorts

Of an inferior or unusual kind, not worthy of its name.

877.

sort - out of sorts

Not in one’s normal good health.

878.

sort – sort of

To some extent; partly.

879.

spare – spare no expense

To use unlimited amount of money as is required.

880.

sparks – spark will fly

There will be a heated exchange.

881.

speak – on speaking terms

Slightly acquainted.

882.

speak – so to speak

Not exactly as it means; in some sense.

883.

speak – speak evil/ill/well of

To refer unfavourably/criticize/praise

884.

speak – speak one’s mind

To express freely exactly what one thinks.

885.

spick - spick and span

Completely clean and tidy.

886.

spill – spill one’s guts

Reveal willingly much information about something.

887.

spill – spill the beans

To accidentally make known what is previously unknown or secret information.

888.

spin – spin a story/yarn

Tell an untrue story to deceive someone.

889.

split – a split second

An extremely brief moment of time.

890.

split – split one’s sides

Laugh hysterically.

891.

sport - be a sport

Used when seeking favour of someone.

892.

spout - up the spout

Unsuccessful, wasted; pregnant.

893.

spread – spread one’s wings

To expand one’s knowledge, experience, or interest

894.

staff - staff of life

Staple food, especially bread.

895.

stand – I stand corrected

Ready to admit one’s view or judgement is wrong.

896.

stand – stand in line

Queue up.

897.

stand – stand one’s ground

Stick resolutely to one’s opinion, etc.

898.

start – for a start

To begin with.

899.

start – to start with

To deal with the first thing or first part of something.

900.

state – state of affairs

Situation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phrases and Idioms

Meaning

901.

state – state of emergency

Dangerous situation in which a government assumes absolute power.

902.

state – state of grace

Having been forgiven for sins committed while alive.

903.

state – state of mind

The way one feels.

904.

stay – stay of execution

A delay in obeying a judicial order.

905.

stay – stay the course

To endure in spite of difficulties to the end of a race, etc.

906.

steal – steal a kiss

To kiss someone who has not expected it.

907.

steal - steal a march

To start earlier so as to gain an advantage over others.

908.

steal – steal someone’s heart

Win someone’s love.

909.

steal – steal someone’s thunder

To pre-empt someone’s action to achieve or impress by acting first so as to gain praise or attention.

910.

steal – steal the show

To divert praise and attention to oneself.

911.

steam – get/pick up steam

To gradually gather momentum.

912.

steam – let off steam

Get rid of excess strong emotion by doing vigorous activity.

913.

steer – steer clear of

To avoid or ignore someone or something.

914.

stiff – stiff upper lip

Uncomplaining or showing courage in difficult situation.

915.

stock – on the stocks

Under construction; in preparation.

916.

stock – out of stock

Not immediately available for sale or distribution.

917.

stock – take stock of

Review or assess a situation.

918.

stomach - a strong stomach

Able to see or do unpleasant things without feeling sick or upset.

919.

stone - a stone’s throw (away)

A very short distance away

920.

strapped – strapped for cash

Not having or short of money.

921.

straw - the last straw

The last of a series of problems which becomes unbearable making one give up, react, etc.

922.

stretch – at a stretch

Continuously without a pause or break.

923.

stretch – at full stretch

Using everything that one has

924.

stretch – stretch a point

To do or go beyond the usual limit.

925.

strike – strike the eye

To become particularly noticeable.

926.

striking – within striking distance

Close to something or an achievement.

927.

string – pull the strings

To be in control of affairs, events, etc.

928.

strong – one’s strong point

Something that one is very good at.

929.

sundry - all and sundry

Everyone.

930.

swallow – swallow one’s pride

Do what one feels uncomfortable or embarrassed to do by intentionally disregarding one’s feelings.

931.

swing – in full swing

Reaching the highest point of activity.

932.

swing – swing the balance

Influence the result of something.

933.

sword – sword of Damocles

Constant threat or danger.

934.

sync – in/out of sync

Working well/badly together.

935.

table - turn the tables

Turn a disadvantage into an advantage

936.

table - under the table

Illegal and secret payment of money in exchange of a favour; bribery.

937.

take – on the take

Taking bribes.

938.

take – take a joke

Able to tolerate being teased or made fun of.

939.

take – take one’s time

Not acting hurriedly.

940.

take – take that

Used to say to someone when hitting them.

941.

talk - be all talk

Much talking, without action, about doing something.

942.

talk – now you’re talking

Used to express agreement with someone’s good idea.

943.

talk – talk sense into

To persuade someone to be sensible.

944.

talk – talk the talk

To convince, persuade or impress by talking.

945.

test – test the water

To seek opinions, views or feelings before taking action.

946.

thin – thin on top

Balding.

947.

thrill – thrills and spills

Exciting and pleasant experience.

948.

thumb - under someone’s thumb

Under someone’s domination or influence.

949.

tickle - be tickled pink

To be extremely amused or pleased.

950.

tickle – tickle someone’s fancy

To make someone interested in something.

951.

time - ahead of time

Happens sooner than expected or the scheduled time.

952.

time – behind the times

Not aware of or using the latest ideas or techniques.

953.

time - take one’s time

Not in a hurry.

954.

time – time will tell

The result or the truth will be known in the future.

955.

tit - tit for tat

Retaliation against someone who has done something bad to you.

956.

tongue – hold one’s tongue

To stop or told to stop speaking.

957.

tongue – tongue in cheek

With humorous insincerity.

958.

tongues - speak in tongues

Speak in an unknown language during a religious worship.

959.

tooth - tooth and nail

With all one’s might

960.

toss – give a toss

Care about something at all.

961.

toss – take a toss

Fall off a horse.

962.

toss – toss one’s cookies

Vomit.

963.

touch – out of touch

Not having good understanding of something; lacking up-to-date information.

964.

touch – touch a nerve

To bring up a sensitive subject.

965.

touch - touch-and-go

A situation with a possible but uncertain outcome.

966.

track – keep track of

Follow development of; to be fully aware of something.

967.

track – off the track

Derailed; deviated from the subject in question.

968.

trail – trail one’s coat

Deliberately provoke a quarrel or fight.

969.

trial – trial and error

Make repeated attempts or conduct varied experiments until the most successful one is determined.

970.

trice – in a trice

Very quickly.

971.

tried – tried and tested

A successfully proven way of doing something.

972.

true – out of true

Not accurately or exactly positioned or out of alignment.

973.

true – true to form

Matching one’s expectation.

974.

true – true to life

Matching reality.

975.

turn - at every turn

All the time; every time.

976.

two – two cents worth

Someone’s opinion.

977.

up - be up on

To be well informed about something.

978.

upper - on one’s uppers

Very poor.

979.

use – use and wont

Established custom.

980.

vale - vale of tears

This world as regarded as a place of great sorrow and difficulties.

981.

walk – walk of life

The type of job a person does.

982.

walk – walk on eggshells

To exercise utmost caution in one’s words and actions.

983.

walk – walk one’s talk

Used to mean one’s actions must suit one’s words.

984.

wanting - be found wanting

Discovered to be inadequate for a particular purpose.

985.

wear - wear the breeches

Domination of the husband by the wife.

986.

wet – wet one’s pants

Become extremely excited or scared.

987.

wet - wet one’s whistle

To have an alcoholic drink.

988.

wheel – behind the wheel

driving a vehicle.

989.

wheel – wheel and deal

Involve in unscrupulous political or commercial schemes.

990.

wheel – wheels within wheels

Situation of extreme complexity.

991.

wild – in the wild

In an uncultivated or uninhabited region; a wilderness.

992.

wild – wild and woolly

Lacking good manners

993.

wild - wild goose chase

Hunt for something that does not exist or is not worth hunting for.

994.

win – win the day

Be victorious in a battle, argument, etc.

995.

wink – in a wink

Very quickly; any moment now.

996.

word - a good word

Words in commendation of someone.

997.

word - have a word

To speak briefly.

998.

word - word of honour

Binding engagement or a promise.

999.

word - words fail me

Too shocked or surprised to say anything.

1000.

world – the outside world

Existing away from a place or area; the rest of the world.