Political Election Idioms and Phrases-2016 Grades 5-12
Terms in this set (53)
Throw your hat into the ring
to announce your intention of entering a competition or election.
Politics makes strange bedfellows
Political interests can bring together people who otherwise have little in common.
Vote with your feet
To express one's dissatisfaction with something by leaving, especially by walking away.
Put my foot in my mouth
to say something that you regret; to say something stupid, insulting, or hurtful.
Jumping on the bandwagon
to support something that is popular.
If you can not take the heat, stay out of the kitchen
If the pressures of some situation are too much for you, you should leave that situation. (Somewhat insulting;implies that the person addressed cannot tolerate pressure.)
You can not judge a book by its cover
something that you say which means you cannot judge the quality or character of someone or something just by looking at them.
It is not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game
Reaching a goal is less important than giving our best effort.
Skeletons in the closet
a hidden and shocking secret.
Caught between a rock and a hard place
in a very difficult position; facing a hard decision.
Straight as an arrow
Honest, genuine qualities in a person.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
Something of some value that on already has; not risking what one has for (im)possibilities.
A political football
A problem that doesn't get solved because the politics of the issue get in the way, or the issue is very controversial.
Press the flesh
to shake hands.
To get on / off your soapbox
To talk a lot about a subject you feel strongly about.
A term describing people whose hearts "bleed" with sympathy for the downtrodden; used to criticize liberals who favor government spending for social programs.
The Presidency, when used by the President to inspire or moralize. Whenever the President seeks to rouse the American people, he is said to be speaking from the bully pulpit. When the term first came into use, "bully" was slang for "first rate" or "admirable."
An investigation with no defined purpose, often by one party seeking damaging information about another.
Do not make a mountain out of a molehill
meaning it's not that important.
Hindsight is 20/20
A perfect understanding of an event after it has happened; a term usually used with sarcasm in response to criticism of one's decision.
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride
If people could achieve their dreams simply by wishing for them, life would be very easy.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link
A successful group or team relies on each member doing well.
If at first you do not succeed, try and try again
Don't let a first-time failure stop further attempts.
The buck stops here
said by someone who is responsible for making decisions and who will be blamed if things go wrong.
Opportunity only knocks once
You will only have one chance to do something important or profitable.
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride
used to talk about someone who is never the most important person in a situation.
The squeaky wheel gets the grease
When people say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, they mean that the person who complains or protests the loudest attracts attention and service.
Do not count your chickens before they hatch
you should not count on something before it happens.
The end justifies the means
A good outcome excuses any wrongs committed to attain it.
Hang your hat
to depend on or believe in something.
Do not put the horse before the cart
Do not do things in the wrong order. (This can imply that the person you are addressing is impatient.)
The lesser of two evils
The lesser of two evils is the principle that when faced with selecting from two unpleasant options, the one which is least harmful should be chosen.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never harm me.
Something in response to an insult which means that people cannot hurt you with bad things they say or write about you.
Where there is smoke, there is fire
If it looks like something is wrong, something probably is wrong.
Give him/her enough rope to hang him/herself
If one gives someone enough freedom of action, they may destroy themselves by foolish actions.
Closing the barn door after the horse escapes
If people try to fix something after the problem has occurred.
You can lead a horse to water but you can not make it drink
You can present someone with an opportunity, but you cannot force him or her to take advantage of it.
Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades
Coming close but not succeeding is not good enough.
Let us run it up the flagpole and see who salutes
to tell people about an idea in order to see what they think of it.
Do not put all your eggs in one basket
to make everything dependent on only one thing; to place all one's resources in one place, account, etc.
Cheat/fool me once, shame on you. Cheat/fool me twice, shame on me!
After being tricked once, one should be wary, so that the person cannot trick you again.
He who hesitates is lost
One who cannot come to a decision will suffer for it.
Brief appearance of a political candidate in a small town, traditionally on the observation platform of a train.
Traditionally, after the official convention of the party of a US Presidential candidate during an election year, that party's nominee would see an increase in voter approval in polls.
Kicking the Can down the Road
a delaying of a difficult decision made by passing short and temporary measures or laws instead.
Reach Across the Aisle
A term for making an effort to negotiate with member(s) of the opposite party.
A set of notes or summaries on a particular topic that are recited, word for word, whenever the topic is discussed.
Toe the party line
To conform to the rules or standards of the political party.
A political hot potato
Something potentially dangerous or embarrassing.
Politically correct / incorrect (PC)
To use or not use language that is offensive to some person or group - often shortened to PC.
Throw in the towel
to give up.
An officeholder whose term has expired or cannot be continued, who thus has lessened power.
A vindictive, often irrational, investigation that preys on public fears. Refers to witch hunts in 17th century Salem, Massachusetts, where many innocent women accused of witchcraft were burned at the stake or drowned.
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