113 terms

Common English Phrase Idiom


Terms in this set (...)

extortion of money by threats to divulge discrediting information
black market
an illegal market in which goods or currencies are bought and sold in violation of rationing or controls
Dressed up to the nines
wearing your best clothes
taken to the cleaners
victim of a con and as a result, lost most of your money
miser; stingy person
hard up
not having enough money to pay for necessities
browned off
fed up; bored
even stevens
divided up equally
gone south
it has failed completely
The bubble has burst
the economic stock market or financial market has collapsed
holding the purse strings
the one in control of the budget and spending
lame duck
A person still in power but has on influence and no future
sleep on a clothes line
so tired that one could sleep anywhere
hook line and sinker
completely, all the way
down and out
destitute, very poor
make ends meet
to be able to make enough money only for one's basic needs
stump up a payment
make a payment or hand over money
up to the mark
good enough
a symbol of high quality
the devil is in the detail
the difficulty or danger is in the detail
to know / learn the ropes
knowing the procedure
true colours
to reveal one's true nature, often for the first time
touch and go
with an uncertain result
left high and dry
left in a stranded situation
turn the corner
if something or someone turns the corner, their situation starts to improve after a difficult period
silver lining
a comforting or hopeful aspect of an otherwise desperate or unhappy situation
light in the tunnel
a sense of hope in a hopeless situation
slush fund
An unaccountable sum of money available for questionable to corrupt purposes. "He...piled up an enormous 'slush fund' for a 'campaign of education.'..."
scraping the barrel
in the situation where one ran out of options or money
Distant, reserved in manner; uninvolved; hard to approached
on the right track
proceeding in a good way; going in the right direction
dead wood; dead weight
people or things that have become useless or unnecessary
Insulting or intended to insult
you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours
you help me and I will help you
catch 22
In a very difficult situation of little options
murphy's law
if something can go wrong it will
uncle sam
US government
throw one's hat into the ring
going for it
hit the ground running
to work immediately very hard on something to make it successful
the whole nine yards
Everything. All of it
heads up
(n) praise, honor, congratulations
step up to the plate
stand up to the challenge
ballpark figure
a rough estimate
throw a curve ball
anything that come unexpectedly
whistle blower
an informant who exposes wrongdoing within an organization in the hope of stopping it
axis of evil
the bad guys
pass the buck
to refuse to take responsibility
Rome wasn't build in a day
It takes time to achieve great success
All roads lead to Rome
many different ways of doing something.
many way to skin a cat
many different ways of doing something
monkey business
fooling around and not being serious
out of your league
too good for you
bite the bullet
Mean to endure a painful, unpleasant situation courageously. To face up to adversity.
bite the dust
to suffer a defeat
cold turkey
to stop doing one really love all together
cold shoulder
If you give or show someone the cold shoulder, you are deliberately unfriendly and unco-operative towards them.
run of the mill
average, ordinary
bog standard
completely ordinary, without anything special added
not on my watch
not when I'm in charge
Mexican standoff
a situation in which no one can emerge as a clear winner
hold your horses
wait a minute
kicking tyres
testing it out
son of a gun
a rascal
draw a line in the sand
you establish a limit beyond which things will be unacceptable.
on the grapevine
informally, gossip
cut and run
to leave quickly in order to avoid danger or trouble
basket case
(n) a person who is helpless or incapable of functioning normally
hard and fast
firmly established, invariable (rules and regulations)
taken aback
surprised; shocked
free lunch
something acquired without effort or payment or obligation
above my pay grade
beyond my responsibility
nitty gritty
important details
kick the bucket
to die
reinvent the wheel
to waste time trying to create something that someone else has already created
sitting duck
a defenseless victim
play Russian roulette
to take foolish and dangerous risks
under dog
someone or a team expected to lose, not supposed to win
a French compliment
empty flattery; an insincere compliment
Dutch courage
courage inspired by drinking
going Dutch
splitting the costs
the proof is in the pudding
you can't judge something good or bad until you try it....or try it and you will see the result.
threw out the baby with the bathwater
threw out the good stuff together with the bad stuff
Call it a day
stop working for the day; turn in for the night
Goose bumps
make my hair stand
out of the blue
by surprise, unexpectedly
on the dot
exactly on time
by the skin of one's teeth
close call; just got by
hanging by a thread
close call; just got by
Pull someone's leg
to joke with someone
Read between the lines
understand the hidden meaning
Rings a bell
sounds familiar
Sleep on it
"think about something before making a decision"
Play it by ear
Speak of the devil
speak about someone, and just after that they arrive
Grab a bite
get something to eat
Go with the flow
follow what everyone does
Over My Dead Body
something that will never be permitted
Cat Got Your Tongue
unable to speak
Totally Slipped My Mind
totally forgotten
Give It to Me Straight
tell me honestly
written all over your face
It is clear what you are feeling
my Two Cents
My humble opinion.
Take a Hike
go away
I'm Hosed
I'm in trouble
What's Eating You?
that's troubling you
I Can't Thank You Enough
thank you so much
No Strings Attached
obligation free
Back to the grind
back to work
Lighten Up
cheer up
Keep Me in the Loop
Keep me informed and up-to-date
throw in the towel
give up