1400+ Idioms with Meaning

1400+ Idioms with Meaning

List of idioms that start with A.

A Bit Much: More than is reasonable; a bit too much
A Bite at The Cherry: A good opportunity that isn’t available to everyone
A Busy Bee: A busy, active person who moves quickly from task to task.
A Cat Has Nine Lives: Cats seem to get away with dangerous things
A Cat Nap: A short sleep during the day
A Cat in Gloves Catches No Mice: You can’t get what you need if you’re too careful.
A Cold Day In July: (Something that) will never happen
A Cold Fish: Someone who is not often moved by emotions, who is regarded as being hard and unfeeling.
A Cut Above: Slightly better than
A Cut Below: Inferior to; somewhat lower in quality than
A Day Late And A Dollar Short: Too delayed and insignificant to have much effect
A Dog in The Manger: A person who selfishly prevents others from using, enjoying, or profiting from something even though he/ she cannot use or enjoy it himself.
A Few Sandwiches Short Of A Picnic: Abnormally stupid, not really sane
A Good Deal: To a large extent, a lot
A Guinea Pig: Someone who is part of an experiment or trial
A Hair’s Breadth: A very small distance or amount
A Home Bird: Somebody who prefers to spend his social and free time at home.
A Hundred And Ten Percent: More than what seems to be the maximum
A Lame Duck: A person or enterprise (often a business) that is not a success and that has to be helped.
A Leg Up: An advantage, a boost
A Lemon: A vehicle that does not work properly
A Life Of Its Own: An independent existence
A Little Bird Told Me: I don’t wish to divulge where I got the information
A Little from Column A, a Little from Column B: A course of action drawing on several different ideas or possibilities
A Lone Wolf: Someone who is not very social with other people
A Lot on One’s Plate: A lot to do
A Million and One: Very many
A Notch Above: Superior to; higher in quality
A Penny Saved is A Penny Earned: Every small amount helps to build one’s savings
A Penny for Your Thoughts: What are you thinking?
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: A visual presentation can communicate something very effectively
A Plum Job: An easy and pleasant job that also pays well
A Rare Bird: Somebody or something of a kind that one seldom sees.
A Scaredy-Cat: Someone who is excessively scared or afraid.
A Second Bite At The Cherry: A Second chance to do something
A Sight for Sore Eyes: Someone that you’re pleased to see
A Sitting Duck: A person or object in a vulnerable position that is easy to attack or injure.
A Snowball’s Chance in Hell: Little to no likelihood of occurrence or success
A Stitch in Time Saves Nine: Fix something quickly, because if you don’t, it will just get more difficult to fix
A Stone’s Throw: A very short distance
A Storm in a Teacup: Unnecessary anger or worry about an unimportant or trivial matter
A Tall Order: A difficult task
A Week Is A Long Time In _____: In the field mentioned, the situation may change rapidly
About Time: Far past the desired time
About To: On the point of, occurring imminently
Above And Beyond: More than is expected or required
Above Board: Openly, without deceit. Honestly, reputably.
Above The Law: Exempt from the laws that apply to everyone else.
Above The Salt: Of high standing or honor
Above Water: Not in extreme difficulty. Especially said finances
Accident Of Birth: Luck in something due to family good fortune
Accident Waiting To Happen: A dangerous way of setting up or organizing something
According To Hoyle: Properly, in accordance with established procedures
Ace In The Hole: A hidden advantage
Ace Up One’s Sleeve: A surprise advantage of which others are not aware.
Achilles’ Heel: The weak point of an otherwise powerful person or organization
Acid Test: A crucial event that determines the worth of something
Acknowledge The Corn: Admit to a mistake, especially a small one; point out one’s own shortcomings, or another’s
Acquired Taste: Something one learns to appreciate only after trying it repeatedly
Across The Board: In relation to all categories, for everyone
Across The Pond: On or to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Act High and Mighty: Be arrogant, presume that one is better than others
Act Of Congress: Hard to get, said of authorization
Act One’s Age: To be mature, not childish
Actions Speak Louder Than Words: One’s character and intentions are shown more accurately by one’s actions than by one’s words.
Add Fuel To The Fire: Worsen already existing tension
Add Insult To Injury: Compound a defeat with humiliation or mockery
After One’s Own Heart: Similar in a pleasing way
After The Fact: Too late; after something is completed or finalized
After The Lord Mayor’s Show (UK): Anticlimactic; occurring after something impressive
Against The Clock: Forced to hurry to meet a deadline
Against The Grain: Contrary to one’s natural inclinations
Against The Run Of Play: A typical of the way a game has been going
Age Before Beauty: Something said by a younger woman to an older one, for instance allowing her to pass through a doorway
Agree To Disagree: Accept or set aside a disagreement
Agreement In Principle: In a negotiation, an agreement in which not all details have been worked out
Aha Moment: Sudden realization, the point at which one suddenly understands something
Ahead Of One’s Time: Offering ideas not yet in general circulation; highly creative
Ahead Of The Curve: Innovative, devising new ideas in advance of others
Ahead Of The Game: Making faster progress than anticipated; ahead of schedule
Air Rage: Angry behavior inside an airplane
Airy Fairy: whimsical, nonsensical, impractical
Albatross Around One’s Neck: Something from one’s past that acts as a hindrance
Alive and Kicking: In good health despite health problems
All Along: For the entire time something has been happening
All And Sundry: Everyone(separately) Each one.
All Bark And No Bite: Tending to make verbal threats but not deliver on them
All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go: Prepared (with clothing or otherwise) for an event that does not occur
All Ears: Listening willingly, waiting for an explanation
All Eyes And Ears: Attentive
All Eyes Are On: Watching alertly or attentively. Having prominent eyes. Everyone is paying attention to
All Fur Coat And No Knickers: Superficially attractive, physically or otherwise
All Hands on Deck: Everyone must help.
All Hat And No Cattle: Pretentious, full of bluster
All Hell Breaks Loose: The situation becomes chaotic.
All In A Day’s Work (Excl.): That’s what I’m here for; although I have accomplished something, it is part of what I’m expected to do
All In Good Time: Eventually; at a more favorable time in the future. This phrase encourages one to be patient.
All It’s Cracked Up To Be: As good as claims or reputation would suggest
All Mouth And No Trousers: Superficial, engaging in empty, boastful talk, but not of real substance
All Over But The Shouting: Certain to end in a specific way
All Over Hell’s Half Acre: All over the place; everywhere.
All Over The Board: Everywhere, in many different locations
All Over The Map: Everywhere; in many different locations
All Over The Place: Everywhere; in many different locations
All Rights Reserved: Said of a published work; all reproduction rights are asserted by the copyright holder
All Roads Lead to Rome: There is more than one effective way to do something; many different methods will produce the same result
All Set: Ready, prepared, finished
All Sizzle And No Steak: Failing to live up to advance promotion or reputation
All Talk and No Trousers: Prone to empty boasts
All That Jazz: Similar things, similar qualities, et cetera
All The Marbles: The entire prize or reward
All The Rage: Very fashionable
All The Same: Anyway; nevertheless; nonetheless.
All The Tea In China: Great wealth, a large payment
All Things Being Equal: In the event that all aspects of a situation remain the same
All Things Considered: Taking all factors into consideration
All Thumbs: Clumsy
All Told: With everything taken into consideration
All Very Well: True to a certain extent
All Wet: Completely mistaken
All in One Piece: Safely
Along The Lines Of: In general accordance with, in the same general direction as
Amateur Hour: A display of incompetence
Amber Gambler: Someone who accelerates to try to cross an intersection before a traffic light turns red
Amber Nectar: Beer
American Dream (The): The belief among Americans that hard work leads to material success
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Eating healthy foods will keep one from getting sick (and needing to see a doctor)
An Axe: To Grind A grievance, a disagreement with someone that justifies confrontation.
An Early Bird: A person who gets up early in the morning, or who starts work earlier than others.
An Eye for an Eye: Justice in which reparation or vengeance exactly matches the harm caused to the victim
An Offer One Can’t Refuse: An extremely attractive offer
Ancient History: Something, such as a disagreement, that happened long ago and ought to be forgotten
And All That: Et cetera, and so on.
And Change: And an additional amount of money that’s less than the next round number
And Counting: And the number just mentioned is increasing (or decreasing)
And His Mother: An intensifier for an inclusive noun or phrase such as everyone, everybody
And So Forth: Indicates that a list continues in a similar manner, etc.
And So On: Indicates that a list continues in a similar manner, etc.
And The Like: And other similar items, etc.
And Then Some: And even more than what has just been mentioned
Angel’s Advocate: Someone who takes a positive outlook on an idea or proposal
Angle For: Aim toward something, try to obtain something, often indirectly or secretly
Another Nail In One’s Coffin: Something that leads to someone’s death, literally or figuratively.
Answer Back: Respond impertinently; to talk back.
Ants In Your Pants: Restlessness
Any Port in a Storm: If you’re in trouble, you’ll turn to anything that improves the situation.
Any Tom, Dick or Harry: Any ordinary person
Apple of One’s Eye: A favorite person or thing, a person especially valued by someone
Apples and Oranges: Of two different classes, not comparable
Arm Candy: An attractive woman accompanying a powerful or famous man at a social event
Armed to the Teeth: Carrying many weapons
Around the Clock: At all times
As American as Apple Pie: Very or typically American
As Far as I Can Throw (someone): Only slightly
As Fit as A Fiddle: To be healthy and physically fit
As Pale as A Ghost: Extremely pale
As Poor as a Church Mouse: Very poor
As Red as A Cherry: Very red
Asleep at the Wheel (Switch): not paying attention to one’s work; not doing one’s job diligently.
At Death’s Door: Very near death
At Each Other’s Throats: Constantly and strongly arguing
At Loggerheads: In a state of persistent disagreement
At Sixes and Sevens: Someone is in a state of confusion or not very well organized.
At Wit’s End: Frustrated because all measures to deal with something have failed
At the Drop of a Hat: Spontaneously, suddenly
At the Eleventh Hour: It happens when it is almost too late.
At the End of One’s Rope (Tether): Running out of endurance or patience
At the End of the Day: In the final analysis; when all is said and done

List of idioms that start with B.

Babe In The Woods: An innocent, naive person
Babe Magnet: A man to whom women are attracted
Baby Blues: Blue eyes.
Baby Boomer: A person born in the years following World War II, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate
Babysitter Test: An evaluation of the ease of use of household appliances, especially remote control devices
Back And Forth: Dialogue, negotiations
Back At You: Same to you (used to return a greeting or insult)
Back Burner (On The): Not urgent; set aside until later
Back Forty: Remote, inaccessible land
Back Of Beyond: A remote location
Back Office: Support services for a business
Back in the Day: Formerly, when I was younger, in earlier times
Back on One’s Feet: Physically healthy again
Back the Wrong Horse: To support the losing side
Back to Square One: Back to the start
Back to the Drawing Board: Forced to begin something again
Back to the Salt Mines: It’s time for me (us) to go back to work
Backing and Filling: Delaying a decision by making small changes or arguing about small details
Backseat Driver: Someone who likes to give (often annoying) advice to the driver of a car, or the leader of some other enterprise
Bad Apple: A discontented, trouble-making, or dishonest person
Bad Blood: Enmity or hatred that stems from something in the past
Bad Egg: Someone who is not to be trusted
Bad Taste In One’s Mouth: Unease, a feeling that something unspecified is wrong in a situation
Bag of Tricks: A set of methods or resources
Bail Out: To rescue someone from a bad situation, to shield someone from the consequences of his or her actions
Ball and Chain: 1. One’s spouse (derogatory but often affectionate); 2. an ongoing burden
Ballpark Figure: A rough estimate
Bang One’s Head Against the Wall (Against a Brick Wall): Try repeatedly to do something without making progress
Banner Year: A year marked by strong successes
Baptism by Fire: A difficult task given right after one has assumed new responsibilities
Bar Fly (or Barfly): Someone who spends much of his or her time in bars
Bare One’s Heart (Soul): To confess one’s deepest secrets
Bark Up the Wrong Tree: Pursue a mistaken approach or belief; be wrong in a course of action
Basket Case: So upset or stunned that one is unable to function; in a hopeless condition
Bat/Play for Both Teams: To be bisexual.
Batten Down the Hatches: Prepare for a storm
Be A Barrel of Laughs: To be fun, funny, and pleasant.
Be A Cold Day In Hell: (Something that) will never happen
Be An Item: Two people are an item when they are having a romantic relationship
Be Footloose and Fancy-Free: To be free of responsibilities, including romantic commitments
Be Head Over Heels (In love): Be in love with somebody very much
Be Like Chalk and Cheese: Things or people who are very different and have nothing in common
Be Lovey – Dovey: Expressing your love in public by constantly kissing and hugging
Be Snowed Under: Be extremely busy with work or things to do
Be in Seventh Heaven: Extremely happy
Be in Two Minds (about something): To not be certain about something, or to have difficulty in making a decision
Be on the Mend: Be improving after an illness
Bean Counters: Accountants, finance professionals in an organization
Beat Around the Bush: To speak in a roundabout way in order to avoid confronting an unpleasant topic
Beat Someone To The Draw: To accomplish or obtain something more quickly than someone else
Beat Someone to the Punch: Do something before or faster than someone else
Beat the Drum for (Something): Speak in favor of something to try to generate support
Beauty Is Only Skin Deep: External appearance is a superficial basis for judging someone
Bed of Roses: A comfortable situation
Bedroom Eyes: An expression of the eyes that seems to invite sex
Bee in One’s Bonnet: Someone who has a bee in their bonnet has an idea that constantly occupies their thoughts.
Beggar Thy Neighbor: To do something beneficial for oneself without worrying about how it affects others
Behind the Eight (or 8) Ball: At a serious disadvantage
Behind the Scenes: In a way not apparent to the public
Behind the Times: Old-fashioned
Bell the Cat: Take on a difficult or impossible task
Bells And Whistles: Attractive but unnecessary features of a product
Belly Laugh: Loud, hearty laughter
Bend an Elbow: Drink alcoholic beverages at a tavern
Best (Greatest) Thing Since Sliced Bread: An innovative development
Best of Both Worlds: Combining two qualities that are usually separate
Bet One’s Bottom Dollar (On Something): Be certain that something will happen
Bet the Farm: Risk everything; spend all one’s money on something in hopes of success
Better Late Than Never: It implies that a belated achievement is better than not reaching a goal at all.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Caught between two undesirable options
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: In a difficult position
Beyond the Pale: Too morally or socially extreme to accept
Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt: Absolutely certain
Big Apple: An informal name for New York City
Big Brother: Government, viewed as an intrusive force in the lives of citizens; government spying
Big Cheese: An important person in a company or organization
Big Deal: An important event or accomplishment
Big Fish: An important person
Big Picture: A wide perspective; a broad view of something
Big time: If you do something big time, you do it to a great degree.
Birds of a Feather: People having similar characters, backgrounds, interests, or beliefs.
Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: Try to do more than one is capable of doing
Bite the Bullet: To do something even though it involves pain, discomfort, or difficulty
Bite the Hand That Feeds You: Act badly toward someone who has helped you
Bitter Pill to Swallow: An unpleasant fact that one must accept
Black Eye: A mark of shame
Black Sheep: A person who does not fit into a group, especially a family
Black and White: A clear distinction between good and bad, positive and negative
Black-and-Blue: Bruised, showing signs of having been physically harmed
Blank Check: Permission to spend or do whatever one wishes; carte blanche
Blind Date: When two people who have never seen each other before go on a date
Blinded by Love: When a person is so madly in love with somebody that they can’t see the person’s faults or negative characteristics
Blood and Thunder: A dramatic, spectacular performance
Blow Away the Cobwebs: If something blows away the cobwebs, it makes you feel more lively and refreshes your ideas.
Blow Hot and Cold: Shift one’s level of enthusiasm repeatedly
Blow Off Steam: To express anger and frustration in a way that does no damage
Blow One’s Stack: To lose one’s temper and explode in anger
Blow One’s Top: Lose one’s temper
Blow Up: Explode
Blow Your Own Trumpet: Brag; emphasize one’s own contributions
Blow the Cobwebs Away (or Out of Something): Make space for fresh ideas, encourage something new
Blow the Whistle: Reporting an illegal or unacceptable activity to the authorities
Blue Blood (adj. blue-blooded): Person of aristocratic background
Blue Eyed Boy: A person who is a favorite of those in authority; someone whose mistakes are forgiven
Blue Light Special: 1. a temporary sale at a discount store. 2. a traffic stop by the police.
Bob’s Your Uncle: The rest is easy; you’re almost finished
Bolt From the Blue: Something completely unexpected
Bone Dry: Completely dry, totally without moisture
Born on The Wrong Side of the Blanket: Born to parents who were not married
Borrow Trouble: Take needless risks, invite problems
Bottom of the Barrel: Low-quality choices
Boy Toy: A young man who is the lover of an older, often wealthier woman (see toyboy)
Boys will be Boys: A phrase of resignation used when boys get into trouble or are stereotypically reckless or rowdy
Brainstorm: To generate many ideas quickly
Break Out in A Cold Sweat: To perspire from fever or anxiety
Break The Ice: To get something started, particularly by means of a social introduction or conversation
Break a Leg: Good luck! This is used for a stage performer or for anyone else who is about to give some kind of a performance, such as an important speech
Break the Bank: Exhaust one’s financial resources
Break up/ Split up (With Somebody): End the relationship
Bring Home the Bacon: Earn money for one’s family
Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight: Underequipped or unprepared
Brush Under the Carpet: Attempt to temporarily conceal a problem or error
Bucket List: Things you want to see or do before you die
Bull in a China Shop: A clumsy or tactless person
Bump in the Road: A temporary problem, a small setback
Bundle Up: Put on lots of warm clothing
Burn One’s Bridges: Leave a job or a relationship on such bad terms that one does not stay in contact
Burn the Candle at Both Ends: Work very long hours
Burn the Midnight Oil: To work late into the night
Bury (Hide) One’s Head In the Sand: Ignoring something that’s obviously wrong, not facing reality
Bury the Hatchet: Make peace, agree to end a dispute
Business as Usual: A normal situation (whether related to business or not), typically restored after some change
Busman’s Holiday: A vacation where you do the same thing you do at work, a working vacation
Busted Flush: A failure, someone or something that seemed promising but did not develop well
Butter Wouldn’t Melt in (Someone’s): Mouth This person is cool in manner, prim and proper
Buy Time: Cause a delay in something with the aim of improving one’s position
Buy a Pig in a Poke: To buy something with no prior inspection
By All Means: Of course, certainly
By Hook or by Crook: By some possibly dishonest means
By Word of Mouth: Via personal communications rather than written media
By a Whisker: By a very short distance
By the Skin of One’s Teeth: Barely escaping disaster

List of idioms that start with C.

Call It a Day: Decide that one has worked enough on something for the day
Call It a Night: End an evening’s activities and go home
Call the Shots: Make the important decisions in an organization
Call the Tune: Making important decisions and controlling a situation.
Can’t See the Forest for the Trees: Is unable to maintain a wider perspective
Can’t Swing A Dead Cat In (Place): Without Hitting A (Thing) There are many examples of [thing] in this [place].
Carrot-and-Stick (Approach): A tactic in which rewards are offered, but there is also the threat of punishment
Carry a Torch (for): To continue to be in love with someone even after a relationship has ended
Carry Coals To Newcastle: Supply something that is unneeded; engage in useless labor
Carry the Can: To take the blame for something one did not do
Cash In One’s Chips: 1. To take advantage of a quick profit 2. To die
Cash-Strapped: In need of money
Cast the First Stone: To be the first to criticize or attack someone
Castle in the Air: An impractical plan
Cat Fight: A fight between two women
Cat Got Your Tongue?: Don’t you have anything to say?
Cat on a hot tin roof: Be extremely nervous
Cat-and-Mouse (adj.): In a toying way; playful in an unpleasant way
Cat’s Paw: A person being used by someone else, a tool
Catch One’s Death of Cold: To become very ill (with a cold/flu etc.)
Catch Some Rays: To sit or lie outside in the sun
Catch Someone’s Eye: Attract someone’s attention
Catch-22: A difficult situation from which there is no escape because options for avoiding it involve contradictions
Caught Red-Handed: Apprehended while committing a crime
Champagne taste on a beer budget: Expensive or extravagant tastes or preferences that are beyond one’s economic means.
Change Horses in Midstream: Change plans or leaders in the middle of a process
Change of Heart: A change in one’s opinion or outlook
Change One’s Tune: To alter one’s opinion about something.
Changing of the Guard: A change in leadership at an organization
Chase Rainbows: To pursue unrealistic goals
Cheap Shot: An unfair attack; a statement that unfairly attacks someone’s weakness
Cherry-Pick: To present evidence selectively to one’s own advantage
Chew the Fat: Chat for a considerable length of time
Chickens Come Home To Roost: The negative consequences of previous actions reveal themselves
Child’s Play: A very easy task
Chill Out: Do something that helps them to calm down and relax for a while.
Chin Music: Meaningless talk
Chin Up/ Keep Your Chin Up: Cheer up; try to be cheerful and strong
Chip off the Old Block: Someone who resembles a direct ancestor, usually the father
Chomp at the Bit: To be eager to do something
Chop Chop: Quickly, without delay
Chop Shop: A shop where stolen cars are disassembled for parts
Chuck a Wobbly: To act in an emotional way
Circle the Wagons: To prepare as a group to defend against attack, adopt a defensive posture
Claim to Fame: Unusual feature or offering
Clean Up Nicely: Look good when one is dressed up. Usually said of women
Clear the Air: Defuse tension, and be honest about conflict so as to reduce it
Clip Someone’s Wings: Reduce someone’s privileges or freedom
Close, But No Cigar: You are very close but not quite correct.
Cock and Bull Story: A far-fetched story, probably untrue
Cock-A-Hoop: Elated, excited
Cold Day in Hell: A condition for something that would be extremely unlikely to occur
Come By Something Honestly: Acquire something honestly, or inherit it
Come Clean: To confess; to admit to wrongdoing
Come Hell or High Water: No matter what happens
Come Out in the Wash: To be resolved with no lasting negative effect
Come Out of the Closet: Reveal a secret about oneself, usually that one is gay (homosexual)
Come Out Swinging: Respond to something very aggressively
Come Rain and Shine: Do regularly, whatever the circumstances
Come to Grips With: To acknowledge a problem as a prelude to dealing with it
Come to Terms With (Something): Feel acceptance toward something bad that has happened
Coming Down the Pike: Likely to occur in the near future
Cook Someone’s Goose: To insure someone’s defeat, to frustrate someone’s plans
Cook Up a Storm: Cook a great deal of food
Cool as A Cucumber: Calm and composed even in difficult or frustrating situations; self-possessed
Cool Cat: Someone who has the respect of their peers in a young, casual way.
Cool Your Heels: Wait
Couch Potato: A lazy person who watches a great deal of television
Crash a Party: To attend a party without being invited
Crickets: Silence
Cross to Bear: A problem one must deal with over a long time, a heavy burden
Crunch the Numbers: Do calculations before making a decision or prediction
Crunch Time: A period of high pressure when one has to work hard to finish something
Cry Over Spilt (USA: Spilled): Milk To waste energy moaning about something that has already happened
Cry Wolf (verb): To issue a false alarm, to ask for help when none is needed
Cry Your Eyes Out: Cry hard for a very long time
Curiosity Killed The Cat: Stop asking questions, don’t be too curious
Cut (Someone) To the Quick: To deeply hurt someone emotionally
Cut Corners: Economize by reducing quality; take shortcuts
Cut It Fine: To do something at the last moment
Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face: To act in a proud way that ultimately damages your own cause
Cut Someone Some Slack: Avoid treating someone strictly or severely
Cut the Gordian Knot: To solve a complex problem in a simple way
Cut the Mustard: Do something adequately
Cut to the Chase: Get to the point; explain the most important part of something quickly; skip the preliminaries
Cut Your Teeth on Something: To learn basic skills in a field
Cutting-Edge: Very novel, innovative

List of idioms that start with D.

Dance to Someone’s Tune: Consistently follow someone’s directions or influence
Dance with the Devil: Knowingly do something immoral
Dark Horse: A surprise candidate or competitor, especially one who comes from behind to make a strong showing
Darken Someone’s Door (Step): Make an unwanted visit to someone’s home
Dead Ahead: Directly ahead, either in a literal or a figurative sense
Dead as the Dodo: Completely extinct; totally gone
Dead Eye: A good shooter, a good marksman
Dead Heat: An exact tie in a race or competition
Dead of Winter: The coldest, darkest part of winter
Dead ringer: Very similar in appearance
Dead Run: Running as fast as possible
Dead Shot: A good shooter, a good marksman
Deep Pockets: The new owner has deep pockets, so fans are hoping the football team will improve next year with new players
Deliver the Goods: Provide what is expected
Devil’s Advocate: Someone who argues a point not out of conviction, but in order to air various points of view
Dirty Look: A facial manner that signifies disapproval
Do 12-Ounce Curls: Drink beer
Dodge a Bullet: To narrowly escape disaster
Doesn’t Amount to a Hill of Beans: Is unimportant, is negligible
Dog Days of the Summer: The hottest day of summer
Dog in the Manger: A person who prevents others from using something, even though the person himself or herself does not want it
Dog-and-Pony Show: A flashy presentation, often in a marketing context
Dog-Eat-Dog: Intensely competitive
Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk: Don’t worry about minor things.
Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: Don’t be deceived by looks; don’t rely on looks when judging someone or something
Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth: Do not question the value of a gift. The expression comes from the practice of determining the age and health of a horse by looking at its teeth.
Double-Dip: Improperly get income from two different sources
Double-Edged Sword: Something that can be helpful or harmful; something beneficial that also has a downside
Down in the Dumps: Depressed, sad
Down the Road: In the future (in your lifetime)
Drag One’s Feet (or Heels): To do something reluctantly and slowly
Drain the Lizard: Urinate
Draw a Blank: Be unable to remember something
Draw a Line in the Sand: Issue an ultimatum; specify an absolute limit in a conflict
Draw a Line Under (Something): To conclude something and move on to something else
Draw a Long Bow: Exaggerate, lie
Draw the Line: To set a limit to what one will accept
Dressed Up to the Nines: Someone is wearing very smart or glamorous clothes
Drink the Kool-Aid: Accept a set of ideas uncritically, often dangerous ones
Drive a Hard Bargain: To negotiate effectively
Drive a Wedge Between: Try to split factions of a united group by introducing an issue on which they disagree
Drive Someone Up the Wall: Deeply irritate someone
Drop a Line: To write a letter or send an email
Drop the Ball: Fail to fulfill one’s responsibilities; make a mistake
Dry Run: A practice execution of a procedure
Dutch Courage: Alcohol drunk with the intention of working up the nerve to do something
Dutch Uncle: A highly critical person
Dyed-In-The-Wool (adj.): Consistent in affiliation or opinion over a long period; inveterate

List of idioms that start with E.

Eagle-Eyed: Having sharp vision
Early Bird [noun or adjective]: Someone who does something prior to the usual time, or someone who gets up early.
Eat Crow: To admit one was wrong, and accept humiliation
Eat Humble Pie: To admit defeat or error, to accept humiliation
Eat Someone’s Lunch: Defeat someone thoroughly
Eat Your Heart Out!: (excl.) Go ahead, be jealous.
Eighty-Six (v.): 1) Discard, eliminate. 2) Throw someone out of a bar or store.
Elephant in the Room: A major problem that no one is talking about
Elevator Music: Pleasant but boring recorded music that is played in public places.
Elevator Pitch: A brief presentation of an idea, one short enough to be delivered in an elevator
Eleventh Hour: The last minute
Even Steven: Owing nothing; tied (in a game)
Every Dog Has His (Its): Day Everyone has a moment of fame, power, or influence
Every Man and His Dog: Many people
Every Man for Himself: Pursue your own interests; don’t expect help from others.
Excused Boots: Allowed to avoid mandatory tasks

List of idioms that start with F.

Face the Music: Dealing with consequences of one’s actions
Fall for Something: Hook, Line, and Sinker To be completely deceived
Fall in Love with Somebody: Start feeling love towards somebody
Fall Off the Wagon: To begin using alcohol (or another problem substance) after quitting
Fall on One’s Sword: To accept blame; to sacrifice oneself
Fall Prey to: Be victimized by; be harmed by; be vulnerable to
Fancy Someone (British English): To find someone very attractive
Farther (On) Down the Road: Later, at some unspecified time
Fashion-Forward: Tending to adopt new styles quickly
Fat Cat: A highly placed, well-paid executive
Father Figure: A mentor, a person who offers guidance
Feast Your Eyes On: To take great pleasure in looking at someone or something
Feather in One’s Cap: An achievement for which one is recognized; a noteworthy achievement
Feather One’s (Own) Nest: Use one’s influence or power improperly for financial gain
Fed Up With: Refusing to tolerate something any further; out of patience
Feel Like a Million Dollars: To feel great, to feel well and healthy.
Feel On Top of The World: To feel very healthy
Fell off a Truck: Probably stolen or illicitly obtained; said of something offered for sale to avoid discussing its origins
Fell off the Back of a Lorry: Probably stolen or illicitly obtained; said of something offered for sale to avoid discussing its origins
Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Temporary renown
Fifth Wheel: A superfluous person
Fight Fire with Fire: Use the same measures that are being used against you, even if they’re stronger than you would usually use
Fight Like Cat and Dog: Continually arguing with each other
Find One’s Voice: Become more confident in expressing oneself
Find Your Feet: To adjust to a new place or situation
Finger-Pointing: Blame; a situation within a group where each member attempts to blame others
Fire in the Belly: strong ambition
First In, Best Dressed: The first people to do something will have an advantage
Fish for Compliments: Try to manipulate people into praising you
Fish or Cut Bait (usually an exclamation): Make a decision or give someone else a chance
Fish Out of Water: A person who is in unfamiliar, confusing surroundings
Five-Finger Discount: Shoplifting
Flash in the Pan: A one-time occurrence, not a permanent phenomenon
Flat Broke: Having no money at all
Flat Out Like a Lizard: Drinking Very busy
Flesh and Blood: Blood relatives, close relatives
Flew the Coop: Left, escaped
Flip-Flop (v. or n.): To vacillate between two choices, to be indecisive
Fly by the Seat of One’s Pants: To improvise, to make decisions without planning or preparation
Fly High: Be very successful, especially temporarily
Fly Off The Handle: Lose one’s temper suddenly and unexpectedly
Follow In Someone’s Footsteps (Tracks): Follow the example laid down by someone else; supplant
Follow Your Heart: Rely on one’s deeper feelings and instincts when making a decision
Food for Thought: Something that makes you think carefully
For a Song: At very low cost
For Crying Out Loud (excl.): An expression of extreme annoyance
For Xyz Reasons: For multiple reasons, not worth specifying individually
Foul Play: Crime, typically murder
Fourth Estate: The media and newspapers
Fox in the Henhouse (Chickenhouse): Someone who causes trouble
Freak Out: A wildly irrational reaction or spell of behavior
French Leave: Absence without permission
Freudian Slip: Accidental use of an incorrect word; a revealing slip of the tongue
From Pillar to Post: From one place to another, in a forced, random way
From Scratch: From individual ingredients, not using a prepared mix
From Soup to Nuts: Everything; from beginning to end
From the Bottom of One’s Heart: Sincerely and with deep feeling
FUBAR: Hopelessly ruined, not working, messed up.
Fu** (Or Screw) The Dog (Pooch): To make an embarrassing error
Full Fathom Five: Lost deep in the sea
Full of the Joys of Spring: Very happy, enthusiastic, and full of energy

List of idioms that start with G.

Game of Chicken: A conflict situation in which neither side will back down for fear of seeming cowardly (chicken)
Get A Charley Horse: To develop a cramp in the arm or the leg
Get A Word In Edgewise: Be able to say something while someone else is talking a lot
Get Along (with Someone): To have a satisfactory relationship
Get Bent Out of Shape: Become angry, upset
Get Carried Away: Become overly enthusiastic
Get In on the Ground Floor: Invest in or join something while it is still small
Get in Shape: Undertake a program of physical conditioning; exercise regularly
Get Off Scot Free: Be accused of wrongdoing but pay no penalty at all
Get One’s Ducks in a Row: Have everything organized; get oneself organized
Get One’s Hands Dirty: To do the unpleasant parts of a job
Get Someone’s Goat: To irritate someone deeply
Get To Grips With: To begin to understand and deal with something
Get the Ball Rolling: Do something to begin a process
Get the Picture: Understand what’s happening
Get the Runaround: Be given an unclear or evasive answer to a question
Get the Sack, Be Sacked: To be fired
Get the Third Degree: To be questioned in great detail about something
Get Wind of: Hear about
Get With the Program: Figure out what everyone else already knows. Often used sarcastically, as a command
Go Along (With): Agree to something, often provisionally
Go Ape: Express wild excitement or anger
Go Ballistic: Fly into a rage
Go Bananas: To become irrational or crazy
Go Belly Up: To go bankrupt
Go Berserk: To go crazy
Go Bonkers: To be or become wild, restless, irrational, or crazy; to act in such a way
Go Cold Turkey: Stop using an addictive substance suddenly, without tapering off
Go Down in Flames: Fail in a spectacular way
Go Mental: To suddenly become extremely angry
Go Nuclear: Use an extreme measure; because extremely angry
Go Nuts: To become crazy
Go Off Half-Cocked: To say something prematurely, with a negative effect
Go Off the Deep End: To unexpectedly become very angry, especially without a good reason
Go Off The Rails: To go wrong, to begin acting strangely or badly
Go Out on a Limb: Assert something that may not be true; put oneself in a vulnerable position
Go Pear-Shaped: To fail; to go wrong
Go See a Man About a Dog: Go to the bathroom (said as a euphemism)
Go to the Dogs: To become disordered, to decay
Go to the Mattresses: To go into battle
Go the Extra Mile: Put forth greater-than-expected effort
Go Under the Knife: Undergo surgery
Go Viral: Begin To spread rapidly on the Internet
Go with the Flow: To accept the way things naturally seem to be going
Grab (Take) the Bull by the Horns: To begin forthrightly to deal with a problem
Grasp (Grab) at Straws: To take desperate actions with little hope of success
Grease Monkey: A mechanic, especially an auto mechanic
Grease the Wheels: Do something to make an operation run smoothly
Greasy Spoon: An inexpensive restaurant that fries food on a grill
Green Around the Gills: To look sick
Green as Grass: Lacking training, naive; often said of young people in new jobs
Grind One’s Teeth: Be very annoyed or angry about something without being able to say anything about it.
Guilty Pleasure: Enjoying something which is not generally held in high regard, while at the same time feeling a bit guilty about it, is called a guilty pleasure.
Guinea Pig: A test subject, a person who is used as a test to see if something will work
Give and Take: Negotiations, the process of compromise
Give ’em Hell (often excl.): Express something passionately to a group
Give Lip Service to: Talk about supporting something without taking any concrete action
Give One’s Two Cents (That’s My Two Cents): Offer an opinion, suggest something
Give Someone a Holler: Contact someone
Give Someone a Piece of Your Mind: Angrily tell someone what you think
Give Someone a Run for Their Money: Compete effectively with the leader in a particular field
Give Someone an Earful: angrily express an opinion to someone
Give Someone the Cold Shoulder: act hostile toward someone; to ignore, snub
Give Someone The Old Heave-Ho: Fire someone, remove someone from a group or team
Give Something a Whirl: Attempt something without being totally familiar with it
Give the Green Light: Approve something; allow something to proceed

List of idioms that start with H.

Hail Mary (n. or adj.): A desperate, last-ditch attempt
Hair of the Dog (That Bit You): A small amount of the alcoholic beverage that caused your hangover
Hands are Tied: You are prevented from doing something. It is not within your power
Hands Down: Undoubtedly
Hang It Up: To retire, to end an activity one has pursued for a long time
Hang Tough: Maintain one’s resolve
Hanging by a Thread: In great danger of elimination or failure
Happy-Go-Lucky: If you are a happy-go-lucky person, you are cheerful and carefree all the time.
Hard Nut to Crack: A difficult problem or a difficult person
Has the Cat Got Your Tongue?: Why are you not saying anything?
Hat Trick: Scoring three goals in hockey or soccer (football), or accomplishing three of anything.
Hatchet Job: A strong attack on someone’s reputation; intentionally destructive criticism; calumny
Haul Over the Coals: To scold someone severely
Have (one’s) head in the clouds: Not know what is happening around you or out of touch with reality
Have A Ball: To have a very enjoyable time
Have a Bone to Pick (with Someone): To want to discuss something someone has done that has angered or annoyed you.
Have a Chip on One’s Shoulder: To harbor resentment; to have an angry attitude
Have a Dog in the Hunt (Fight, Race): To support a certain person in a competition
Have a Lead Foot: A tendency to drive very fast
Have a Lot on One’s Plate: Be busy, be in the middle of many ongoing tasks
Have a Lot Riding On (Something): Depending on the successful outcome or development of something
Have a Nose for (Something): To have a natural ability at something, a talent for finding something
Have a Screw Loose: Be slightly unbalanced or crazy
Have a Tough Row to Hoe: Be faced with a task that is difficult because of unfavorable conditions
Have A Whale of A Time: To enjoy yourself very much
Have an Ace Up One’s Sleeve: To have a hidden advantage
Have Bigger Fish to Fry: Have more important things to do
Have Egg on Your Face: They are made to look foolish or embarrassed
Have Foot-in-Mouth Disease: To embarrass oneself through a silly mistake
Have Hand of Aces/Hold All the Aces: To be in a very strong position in a competition
Have It Out with Someone: To have an argument with someone in order to settle a dispute
Have One Foot in The Grave: To be near death (usually because of old age or illness)
Have One Over the Eight: A person is slightly drunk.
Have One Too Many: Drink too much alcohol
Have One’s Cake and Eat It, Too: To want two incompatible things (usually used in the negative)
Have Skin in the Game: Be risking something in an undertaking
Have Something in the Bag: Be certain to win
Have the Hots for (Somebody): To be (sexually) attracted to somebody
Have the Time of Your Life: To have a very fun, exciting, or enjoyable time
Have Your Nose in the Air: Have a snobbish or disdainful attitude
Have Your Say: Express your opinion on something
Have Your Thumb Up Your Ass: Have nothing to do
He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best: Being victorious is often a matter of simply surviving a conflict
He Would Put Legs Under A Chicken: He will talk your head off; he is very talkative
Head (Go) South: Decline, get worse
Head and Shoulders Above: Far superior to
Head Start: An advantage over everyone else
Heads Up (excl.): Get ready! Be prepared
Heads Will Roll (Are Going to Roll): People will be fired
Hear (Something) Through the Grapevine: To learn something via gossip
Heart and Soul: With all one’s energy or affection
Heavens Open: Start to rain heavily
Heavy Hitter: A powerful, influential person
Helicopter Parenting: Overattentive child-raising
Hell for Leather: Very fast, as fast as possible
High as a Kite: Strongly under the influence of drugs or intoxicants
Hightail It (Out of There): Flee
Highways and Byways: You take large and small roads to visit every part of the country.
Hit a Wall: suddenly stop making forward progress
Hit It Out of the Park: Succeed brilliantly
Hit the Books: To study (generally said of students
Hit the Ground Running: To begin a job or project with no learning or training period needed
Hit the Hay: To go to bed
Hit the Jackpot: Do something that brings great success
Hit the Nail on the Head: To be absolutely correct (said of an utterance)
Hit the Road: To leave
Hit the Roof: Explode in rage; become extremely angry
Hit the Sack: To go to bed
Hit the Spot: Be very satisfying (said of something eaten)
Hive Mind: The knowledge of humans as a group
Hobson’s Choice: A choice among bad options
Hold One’s Liquor: Be able to drink a large amount without being affected
Hold One’s Peace: Be silent
Hold the Phone: Wait a moment (whether you’re on the phone or not)
Hold Your Horses (generally excl.): Stop; restrain yourself; don’t be so excited
Home Away from Home: A habitual hangout; a place one frequents often and where one feels welcome
Home Truths: Honest, often painful criticism
Honor System: A system of payments that relies on the honesty of those paying
Hot Mess: Something or someone in a state of extreme disorder
Hot on the Heels (of): In close pursuit
Hot Potato: A controversial subject or difficult project that is best avoided

List of idioms that start with I.

I Wouldn’t Put It Past (Someone): I think it’s quite possible that [this person] would do this.
If It Had Been a Snake, It Would Have Bitten Me: It was very obvious, but I missed it.
If the Shoe Fits, Wear It: If this description of you is accurate, accept it.
I’m All Ears: You have my attention, so you should talk
In a Fog: Confused, not mentally alert
In a Heartbeat: Immediately. This is especially used in hypothetical situations
In a Jam: In need of help, in a difficult spot
In a New York Minute: Very quickly
In a Nutshell: Expressed in a few words
In a Pickle: In need of help, in a difficult spot
In a Rut: Confined by routine, bored, and seeking new experiences
In Broad Daylight: When something occurs in broad daylight, it means the event is clearly visible
In Clover: Benefiting from a positive financial situation
In For a Penny, In for a Pound: Committed to something even though the risks are increasing
In Full Swing: When something, such as an event, gets into full swing, it is at its busiest or liveliest time.
In His Cups: Drunk
In Hot Water: In need of help; in trouble
In One Fell Swoop: All at once, in a single action
In One’s Element: In a situation that is entirely suitable, familiar, or enjoyable.
In Someone’s Wheelhouse: In someone’s strongest area of competence or enthusiasm
In Touch: In contact
In the Blink of an Eye: Quickly, seemingly instantaneously
In the Cards: Likely; likely to occur
In the Crosshairs (Cross Hairs): Targeted for blame or criticism
In the Dark: Not informed
In the Driver’s Seat: In a dominant position, in control
In the Hot Seat: Undergoing criticism or scrutiny; under pressure publicly
In the Interim: It denotes a period of time between something that ended and something that happened afterward
In the Limelight, In the Spotlight: Receiving large amounts of publicity or attention
In the Long Run: Over an extended period of time
In the Nick of Time: Just in time; with no time to spare
In the Pipeline: Being prepared for the marketplace, being worked on
In the Red: Losing money; (of a market index) below a specified starting point
In the Same Boat: In a similar situation; similarly vulnerable
In the Toilet: In disastrous condition
In the Works: Under development; coming soon
Iron Out (Problems, Difficulties): To resolve
Is the Pope Catholic?: Isn’t the answer obvious?
It Never Rains but It Pours: Bad luck and bad things tend to happen at the same time
It Takes Two to Tango: When something goes wrong involving two people, it’s likely that they share the blame; cooperation is necessary
It Won’t Fly: It won’t work; it won’t be approved.
Itchy Feet: A person who has itchy feet is someone who finds it difficult to stay in one place and likes to travel and discover new places.
It’s a Wash: A positive and a negative development cancel each other out, so the situation has neither improved nor gotten worse
It’s All Greek to Me: It is unintelligible, impossible to understand
It’s No Skin off My (Your) Nose (Back): The outcome will not affect me personally
It’s Not Over Till the Fat Lady Sings: Do not give up too soon; things may improve.
It’s Not Rocket Science: It’s not difficult to understand.
I’ve Had It Up to Here: My patience is almost exhausted.ơ

List of idioms that start with J.

Jam Session: Playing improvised music in an informal setting
Jim Crow: The system of racial segregation in the American South prior to the American Civil Rights Movement.
Join the Club (excl.): I feel sympathy for you because I have experienced something similar.
Jump in with Both Feet: Begin a new experience wholeheartedly
Jump on the Bandwagon: To follow a trend or craze
Jump the Gun: Start doing something too soon
Jump the Shark: To pass peak quality and begin to decline. Often used to describe television programs or movie series.
Jump the Track: To shift suddenly from one activity or line of thought to another
Jump Through Hoops: Complete a series of tasks in order to satisfy someone
Just Around the Corner: Occurring soon
Just for the Record: I would like to make it clear that …
Just What the Doctor Ordered: Exactly the thing that is or was needed to help improve something or make one feel better

List of idioms that start with K.

Keep (Something) at Bay: Maintain a distance from something or someone
Keep a Stiff Upper Lip: Control one’s emotions; not give in to fear or grief
Keep an Eye On: To keep an eye on something or someone is to watch it periodically, to keep it under surveillance.
Keep an Eye Peeled: Be observant; watch out for something
Keep It Under Your Hat: Don’t tell anyone; don’t reveal this secret
Keep Someone at Arm’s Length: Avoid close interaction or cooperation
Keep Your Nose Clean: Avoid trouble or situations that compromise one’s honesty
Keep Your Powder Dry: Do not attack until you are ready.
Keeping One’s Nose to the Grindstone: Working hard on something repetitive or tedious
Kick Ass, Kick Butt: 1) Defeat badly; 2) be excellent or highly effective (only kick ass would be used for 2)
Kick the Bucket: To die
Kick the Can Down the Road: Postpone an important decision
Kill a Fly With an Elephant Gun: Approach a problem with excessive measures
Kill the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg: To destroy a source of ongoing profits or benefits
Kill Two Birds with One Stone: Act in such a way as to produce two desirable effects
King of the Hill: At the top of one’s field; the most influential person in a given field or area
Kink in One’s Neck: A cramp in one’s neck that causes pain
Kiss and Make Up: Make peace after an argument
Kith and Kin: Family (collectively)
Knock on Wood; Touch Wood: Let’s hope I have good luck or continue to have good luck.
Knock Some Sense Into: To beat someone to teach him/her a lesson. May be used figuratively.
Knock Someone’s Socks Off: Amaze someone
Knock Up: To impregnate a woman. Often used in the form knocked up.
Knockout: An extremely beautiful woman
Know (Something) Like the Back of One’s Hand: To be very familiar with something, especially an area

List of idioms that start with L.

Larger Than Life: Conveying a sense of greatness, imposing
Last But Not Least: What I have just said does not reflect a ranking in importance.
Laughter is the Best Medicine: Laughing a lot is a very effective means of recovering from physical or mental injury
Learn the Ropes: Become more familiar with a job or field of endeavor; be trained
Leave Someone in the Lurch: Abandon someone in a difficult situation
Lend an Ear: Listen
Let Bygones Be Bygones: Agree to forget about a past conflict
Let Off Steam: To express anger and frustration in a way that does no damage
Let One’s Hair Down: To relax and enjoy themselves.
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: To avoid stirring up a problem; to leave things alone
Let the Cat Out of the Bag: Reveal a secret, usually a secret you or others are trying to keep
Let the Genie Out of the Bottle: Reveal something hitherto suppressed
Letter of the Law: The explicit meaning of a law, as opposed to the spirit of the law, the law’s general intention
Lick One’s Wounds: Rest after a bad defeat
Life is A Bowl of Cherries: Life is wonderful or very pleasant
Light a Fire Under Someone: Inspire someone to work very hard
Light at the End of the Tunnel: A sign of hope after a long period of difficulties
Like a Kid in a Candy Store: To be so excited about one’s surroundings that one acts in a childlike or silly way
Like a Moth to a Flame: Drawn to something or someone despite the dangers
Like Father, Like Son: Sons inherit their fathers’ traits and preferences, often even without realizing it.
Like Shooting: Fish in a barrel is Very easy
Like Taking Candy from a Baby: Very easy
Like The Cat That Got The Cream: Looking particularly self-satisfied, often to the annoyance of others
Like Two Peas in a Pod: Bearing a strong resemblance
Lion’s Den: Any dangerous or frightening place.
Lion’s Share: The largest part of something
Live Large: Have a luxurious lifestyle
Living in Cloud Cuckooland: Having unrealistic or foolish beliefs or plans.
Living on Borrowed Time: Following an illness or near-death experience, many people believe they have cheated death
Living Under a Rock: Ignorant of important events. Usually used as a question: Have you been living under a rock?
Loaded for Bear: Prepared for problems, well prepared for a challenge
Loan Shark: A predatory lender; one who makes high-interest loans to desperate people
Lock Horns: To lock horns is to argue, to come into conflict.
Long Shot: Something with little chance of success
Look the Other Way: Take no notice of violations of laws or rules, unofficially condone something
Look What the Cat Dragged In: Someone unwelcome has arrived.
Loose Cannon: Someone out of control; someone who speaks or acts recklessly
Lose It: To suddenly become unable to behave or think in a sensible way
Lose One’s Touch: Suffer a decline in one’s skill at doing something
Lose the Thread: Be unable to follow someone’s reasoning
Love at First Sight: Falling in love with somebody the first time you see them
Love Rat: Somebody who cheats on his/her partner
Love Someone With All of One’s Heart And Soul: To love someone completely
Low-Hanging Fruit: Easy parts of a task; solutions easy to obtain
Lower the Boom: Implement a punishment; reprimand severely

List of idioms that start with M.

Mad As A Box Of (Soapy) Frogs: extremely mentally unstable; psychotic; detached from reality.
Mad as A Hatter: Mentally ill, psychotic
Main Squeeze: Committed romantic partner
Make a Break for It: Try to escape, runoff
Make a Mountain out of a Molehill: To take something too seriously; to make too much of something
Make a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear: Turn something ordinary or inferior into something refined and beautiful
Make Ends Meet: Have enough money to cover basic expenses
Make Hay (While the Sun Shines): To take advantage of an opportunity at the right time.
Make Love: To have sexual intercourse
Make Nice: Act cordial despite the conflict
Make One’s Mark: Attain influence or recognition
Make Someone’s Day: Do something pleasing that puts someone in a good mood
Make Waves: Cause controversy, disturb a calm group dynamic
Man Cave: A part of the house, often the basement, that is left to the man of the household, perhaps with a workshop, a television for watching sports, etc.
March to the Beat of Your Own Drum: When someone does things the way they want to, without taking anybody else or anything else into consideration.
Match Made in Heaven: A relationship in which the two people are great together because they complement each other so well
May-December Marriage: A marriage between a younger and an older partner, typically a young woman and an old man.
Me Time: Activities undertaken for one’s own enjoyment, free from responsibilities to others.
Meeting of the Minds: Strong instinctive agreement on something
Mend Fences: Improve relations after a dispute
Mind One’s P’s and Q’s: Be attentive to details; be on one’s best behavior
Miss the Boat: Be too late for something; miss an opportunity
Monday Morning Quarterback: Someone who offers criticisms or comments after already knowing the outcome of something
Month of Sundays: A long time, many months
More Fun Than A Barrel of Monkeys: A very good time; a pleasant occasion
Mother Nature: The natural world
Move Heaven and Earth: Take all possible steps in trying to accomplish something
Move the Needle: Have a measurable effect on something
Move Up in the World: Become more successful
Movers and Shakers: Influential people, especially in a particular field
Much Of A Muchness: Essentially equal, not significantly different (said of a choice)
Mum’s the Word: This is a secret; don’t talk about this. Often used as an answer to a request not to talk about something.
Music to My Ears: Good to hear; welcome news
Mutton Dressed Up as Lamb: A woman who dresses in a style appropriate to someone of a younger age
My Dogs Are Barking: My feet hurt.
My Old Man, My Old Lady: My spouse
My Way or the Highway: If you do not do things the way I want or require, then you can just leave or not participate.

List of idioms that start with N.

Nail-Biter: A suspenseful event
Nailing Jelly/Jello/Pudding To A Wall/Tree: An impossible task
Neck and Neck: Very close in a competition, with neither of the two entities clearly in the lead
Neck of the Woods: A region, especially one’s home region
Nest Egg: Retirement savings; wealth saved for a future purpose
Never in A Million Years: Absolutely never
Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth: It’s rude to examine a gift closely; accept gifts politely.
New Wrinkle: A novel aspect to a situation, a new development
Nice Chunk of Change: A large amount of money
Nickel and Dime: To negotiate over very small sums; to try to get a better financial deal, in a negative way
Nine Times Out of Ten: Almost always
Nine-to-Five Job: A routine job in an office that involves standard office hours
Nip (Something) In The Bud: Deal with a problem before it becomes large
No Holds Barred (usually adj., often hyphenated): Unrestricted, without rules
No Love Lost Between: There is a mutual animosity between two people
No Names, No Pack Drill: If no one can be identified, no one will be punished.
No Rhyme or Reason (to): Without logic or pattern
No Room to Swing A Cat: Very small, not big enough
No Shit, Sherlock: That’s very obvious!
No Tree Grows to the Sky: Growth cannot continue indefinitely.
Not Cut Out for (Something): Not naturally skillful enough to do something well
Not Enough Room to Swing a Cat: A very small space
Not Give A Fig: To not care at all about something
Not Have A Cat In Hell’s Chance: Have no possibility of succeeding, coming to pass, or achieving something
Not Have a Prayer: Have no chance of success
Not Know Jack: Not know anything
Not Lift a Finger: Do nothing to help
Not Mince Words: Moderate or weaken a statement
Not One’s Cup of Tea: Not something one is interested in
Not Playing with A Full Deck: Stupid, mentally deficient or impaired
Not Ready for Prime Time: Not yet perfected; inexperienced
Not Sit Well with (Someone): Be difficult to accept; make someone uncomfortable
Nothing to Write Home About: Unspectacular, ordinary
Nuts and Bolts: Everyday details of something
Nutty as a Fruitcake: Crazy; idiotic; wacky.

List of idioms that start with P.

Pack Heat: Carry a gun
Paddle One’s Own Canoe: To be able to act independently.
Page-Turner: A page-turner is an exciting book that’s easy to read, a book that’s difficult to put down.
Pain in the Ass: Pain in the Butt;
Pain in the Neck: Someone or something making your life difficult
Paint the Town Red: Go out drinking and partying
Par for the Course: What would normally be expected. This has a negative connotation.
Pass the Buck: Transfer a problem to someone else
Pass With Flying Colors: To succeed brilliantly, on an exam or other test
Passing Fancy: A temporary interest or attraction
Pay Through the Nose (For Something): Pay a large amount of money
Peaches and Cream: A situation, process, etc., that has no trouble or problems
Pecking Order: Hierarchy, rank of importance
Pencil Something In: Make tentative arrangements
Penny-Pinching: Frugal, avoiding expenses whenever possible
Pep Talk: An encouraging speech given to a person or group
Perfect Storm: A rare combination of disastrous occurrences
Pet Peeve: A small thing that you find particularly annoying
Pick a Fight: Intentionally provoke a conflict or fight with someone
Pick Up the Slack: Do something that someone else is not doing; assume someone else’s responsibilities
Pick Up the Tab: To pay a bill presented to a group, especially in a restaurant or bar
Pie in the Sky: Something that is unrealistic or that cannot be achieved
Piece of Cake: Very easily done
Pin Someone Down: Demand a decision or clear answer
Pinch Pennies: To be careful with money, to be thrifty
Pink Slip: A layoff notice; loss of a job, typically because of layoffs
Pipe Dream: An unrealistic hope, a fantasy
Piping Hot: Very hot (generally said of food)
Pipped to the Post: Defeated by a narrow margin
Pissing Contest: A meaningless argument or competition, typically between males
Play Ball: Cooperate, agree to participate
Play Cat And Mouse: Trying to trick someone into making a mistake so you can defeat them.
Play Hardball: Adopt a tough negotiating position; act aggressively
Play It by Ear: To respond to circumstances instead of having a fixed plan
Play the Percentages: Bet on or rely on what is most likely to happen
Play the Ponies: Bet on horse racing.
Play With Fire: Do something very risky
Play Your Cards Right: Exploit a situation to your best advantage
Point of No Return: A place from which it is impossible to go back to the starting point
Point the Finger At: Blame (someone)
Poison Pill: A provision or feature added to a measure or an entity to make it less attractive, an undesirable add-on
Pop One’s Clogs: To die
Pop One’s Cork: To release one’s anger; to blow one’s top
Pop the Question: Propose marriage
Pot Calling the Kettle Black: Accusing someone of something of which you are also guilty; being hypocritical
Pour (Rub) Salt into (on) the Wound (an open wound): Worsen an insult or injury; make a bad situation worse for someone
Powder Keg: An explosive situation, a situation in which people are angry and ready to be violent
Powder One’s Nose: To use the restroom (lavatory). This is used by women
Preach to the Choir, Preach to the Converted: To make an argument with which your listeners already agree
Preaching to the Choir: Making arguments to those who already agree with you
Pretty Penny: A lot of money; too much money (when referring to the cost of something)
Price Yourself Out of the Market: Try to sell goods or services at such a high price that nobody buys them.
Puddle Jumper: A small airplane, used on short trips
Pull Out All the Stops: Do everything possible to accomplish something
Pull Strings: Use influence that’s based on personal connections
Pull the Plug On: Terminate (something)
Pull Yourself Together: Control your emotions; recover from a strong emotional upset
Puppies And Rainbows: Perfect, ideal (usually used slightly sarcastically, in contrast with a less ideal situation)
Puppy Dog Eyes: A begging look
Puppy Love: Adolescent love or infatuation, especially one that is not expected to last
Pure as the Driven Snow: To be innocent and chaste (frequently used ironically)
Push the Envelope: Go beyond common ways of doing something, be innovative
Pushing Up Daisies: Dead and buried
Put a Thumb on the Scale: Try to influence a discussion in an unfair way, cheat
Put Down Roots: Establish oneself in a place; settle
Put in One’s Two Cents: Say your opinion
Put Lipstick on a Pig: Make cosmetic changes to something bad
Put one’s Face On: Apply cosmetics
Put Out Feelers: Make discreet, informal suggestions, ask around
Put Someone on the Spot: Force someone to answer a question or make a decision immediately
Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It: Accept and consider what I’m saying, even if you don’t like it!
Put the Best Face On (Something): Emphasize the positive aspects of a bad situation
Put the Brakes On: Slow something down
Put the Cart Before the Horse: To do things out of the proper order.
Put the Cat Among The Pigeons: Say or do something that causes trouble or controversy
Put the Genie Back in the Bottle: Try to suppress something that has already been revealed or done
Put the Pedal to the Metal: Drive as fast as possible
Put Up with (Something): Tolerate, accept
Put Words Into Someone’s Mouth: Attributing an opinion to someone who has never stated that opinion
Put Your Foot Down: Use your authority to stop negative behavior
Put Your Foot In Your Mouth: Say something that you immediately regret
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Back up your opinions with a financial commitment

List of idioms that start with Q.

Quake In One’s Boots: To be very frightened
Quarter Past: Fifteen minutes after the hour
Quarter To/Of: Fifteen minutes before the hour
Queer the Pitch: Interfere with someone’s plans; make something more difficult
Quick as a Flash: Very fast
Quick-and-Dirty: Approximate, hastily done
Quote Unquote: Ironically speaking; suggesting that if a phrase were written out, it would be in quotation marks to convey sarcasm

List of idioms that start with R.

Race Against Time: To rush to meet a deadline, to be forced to do something very quickly
Rain Cats And Dogs: Rain heavily
Rain on Someone’s Parade: Spoil someone’s plans
Raise (Someone’s) Hackles: Make someone angry and defensive
Raise One’s Voice: Talk loudly
Raise Red Flags: Warn of trouble ahead
Raise the Bar: Increase standards in a certain competition or area of endeavor
Raise the Roof: Make a great deal of noise (said of a crowd)
Rake (Someone) Over the Coals: To scold someone severely
Rake Over the Ashes: Restart a settled argument; examine a failure
Rank and File: The ordinary members of an organization
Read Between the Lines: Perceive what is not explicitly stated
Read the Tea Leaves: Predict the future from small signs
Rear Its Ugly Head (said of a problem or something unpleasant): Appear, be revealed
Rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic: Taking superficial actions while ignoring a much larger and perhaps fatal problem
Red Flag: A warning; a sign of trouble ahead
Red Herring: A misleading clue; something intended to mislead
Red Meat: Political appeals designed to excite one’s core supporters; demagoguery
Red Tape: Bureaucracy; difficult bureaucratic or governmental requirements
Red-Light District: A neighborhood with many houses of prostitution
Reinvent the Wheel: Devise a solution to a problem for which a solution already exists
Riding High: Enjoying success
Right as Rain: Absolutely correct
Right Under (One’s) Nose: In an obvious location, yet overlooked
Right-Hand Man: Chief assistant
Ring a Bell: Sound familiar
Rob Peter to Pay Paul: Pay off a debt with another loan; solve a problem in such a way that it leads to a new problem
Rob the Cradle: To be sexually or romantically involved with someone who is very young
Rock Bottom: An absolute low point
Rock the Boat: Cause a disruption in a group. Often used in the negative: don’t rock the boat.
Roll the Dice On: Take a risk Roll With the Punches: Deal with problems by being flexible
Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day: Complex projects take time
Rookie Mistake: An error made by an inexperienced person
Rotten to the Core: Entirely evil
Rub (Something) in Someone’s Face: Humiliate someone by repeating and criticizing his or her mistake
Rub It In: Say something that makes someone feel even worse about a mistake
Rub Someone’s Nose in (Something): Humiliate someone by repeating and criticizing his or her mistake
Rubber-Stamp (v.): Approve something without consideration, as a formality
Rule of Thumb: A general principle or guideline, not a specific formula
Run a Tight Ship: Manage an organization in a strict, well-regulated way
Run in the Family: Be inherited (as a trait) by multiple members of a family
Run into a Buzz: Saw Encounter severe and unexpected problems
Run off at the Mouth: Talk a lot about unimportant things, talk incoherently
Run on Fumes: To be in a situation where one’s energy or resources is almost exhausted
Run Out of Steam: Lose momentum, become tired
Run the Table: Win every game or contest

List of idioms that start with S.

Sacred Cow: An individual or organization that one cannot criticize
Saving Grace: Something that redeems a bad situation
Scare the Living Daylights Out of Someone: Frighten someone severely
Scorched Earth (Tactics, Policy, etc.): Ruthless, extremely destructive
Screw The Pooch: To make a serious error
School Of Hard Knocks: Difficult real-life experiences from which one has learned
Second Banana: A person in a subservient position
Second Stringer: A substitute player in a sport; a substitute for a job who is not the most talented person
Second Wind: Renewed energy
See Eye to Eye: To concur, agree
See Something Out of the Corner of Your Eye: Use peripheral vision
Seize (Take) the Bull By the Horns: Attack a problem directly
Seize the Day: Take an opportunity
Sell (Someone) a Bill of Goods: Trick someone; be deceptive
Sell Like Hotcakes: Be sold very quickly
Selling Point: An attractive feature of something for sale
Set in Stone: Fixed; unchangeable
Set something to Music: To write a piece of music to accompany a set of words
Set the Bar (Too) High: To set a high standard for something
Set the Thames on Fire: Do something amazing. Usually used in the negative.
Set the World on Fire: Do something amazing; have a brilliant stretch in one’s career
Shake the Dust off Your Shoes (Feet): Make a clean break with a relationship or situation
Shape Up or Ship Out: Behave properly or leave the organization
Sharp as A Tack: Mentally agile
Shell Game: A method of deception in which you conceal your actions by moving something frequently
Shift Gears: Change the subject, or change what one is doing
Shipshape And Bristol Fashion: Tidy, clean
Shit a Brick: Be extremely fearful.
Shoot from the Hip: Talk or act without consideration
Shoot Off One’s Mouth: Talk without considering one’s words
Shoot Oneself In The Foot: Do something that damages oneself or one’s own cause
Short Fuse: A quick temper; a tendency to anger quickly
Shot Across the Bow: A warning of more serious actions to come
Shoulder A Weight Off Your Shoulders: You no longer worry about something or deal with something difficult
Show Me an X And I’ll Show You a Y: There is a consequence to X that you may not have thought of.
Show One’s True Colors: Reveal one’s true nature
Show Your Cards: Reveal your resources or plans
Sick and Tired of: Extremely annoyed by something that occurs repeatedly
Sick as a Dog: Extremely ill.
Sick as a Parrot: Very disappointed
Sight for Sore Eyes: A sight that makes you happy
Silver Bullet: Something simple that resolves a difficult problem
Simmer Down: Become less angry; regain one’s composure
Sink or Swim: Fail or succeed
Sing a Different Tune: Change your opinion
Sit On (Something): Delay revealing or acting on something
Sit Tight: Wait and do not go anywhere
Sitting Duck: Something or someone easily attacked or criticized
Sitting Pretty: In a favorable situation
Six Feet Under: Dead and buried
Six of One, a Half Dozen of the Other: The two choices have no significant differences.
Six Ways to (from) Sunday: In every possible way
Slam Dunk: An effort that is certain to succeed
Sleep Like a Baby: To experience a very deep and restful sleep; to sleep soundly
Sleep with the Fishes: Dead, often by murder
Slip Someone a Mickey: Add a drug to an alcoholic drink in order to knock someone out
Slippery Slope: A series of undesirable effects that, one warns, could result from a certain action
Slower than Molasses: Exceptionally slow or sluggish; not fast at all.
Small Beer: Unimportant, insignificant
Small Fry: People or organizations with little influence; children
Small Potatoes: Unimportant, insignificant
Smell a Rat: Suspect deception
Smoking Gun: indisputable evidence of a crime
Snafu: A malfunction; a chaotic situation
Snake Oil: A useless medicine; a quack remedy; a product or measure promoted as a solution that really does nothing to help Sneak Peek: A sneak peek is an opportunity to view something in advance of its official opening or debut
Soak Up the Sun: To enjoy the sun
Sold On (Something): Convinced of something
Some Eggs: Achieving a major goal requires the ability to tolerate some problems
Someone’s Fingerprints Are All Over (Something): Someone’s influence is evident
Something to Crow: About Something to be proud of, an accomplishment about which one is justified in bragging
Son of a Gun: 1) A rogue. 2) An exclamation of surprise.
Sore Point: A sensitive topic for a particular person
Sour Grapes: Spiteful disparagement of a goal one has failed to achieve
Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child: It is necessary to physically punish children in order to raise them right.
Speak of the Devil (and He Shall Appear): The person we have just been talking about has entered.
Speak with A Plum in (one’s) Mouth: To speak in a manner that is indicative of a high social class.
Spick and Span: Clean and neat
Spill the Beans: Reveal a secret
Spin A Yarn: Tell a story
Spin One’s Wheels: Engaging in activity that yields no progress; getting nowhere
Spit into The Wind: Wasting time on something futile
Spoiling for a Fight: Combative, wanting conflict, eager to argue or fight
Square the Circle: Attempt an impossible task Stab
Someone in the Back: To betray (somebody)
Stalking Horse: Someone who tests a concept in advance of its application; a candidate who enters a political race in order to test the strength of the incumbent
Stand (Someone) In Good Stead: Be useful in the future
Stand On One’s Own Two Feet: To be independent and self-sufficient
Stand One’s Ground: Refuse to back down; insist on one’s position
Start with a Clean Slate: To start (something) again with a fresh beginning; to work on a problem without thinking about what has been done before
Steal Someone’s Thunder: Upstage someone
Stem the Tide: To stop or control the growth of something, usually something unpleasant.
Step Up One’s Game: Work to advance to a higher level of competition
Step Up to the Plate: Prepare to take action, be the person in a group who takes action
Stick It to the Man: Do something that frustrates those in authority
Stick Your Nose into Something: Intrude into something that is not your affair
Sticker Shock: Surprise at the high price of something
Stick-in-the-Mud: A person who dislikes or adapts slowly to new ideas
Sticky Wicket: A difficult, tricky situation
Stiff-Necked: Stubborn; excessively formal
Storm in a Teacup: A commotion that dies down quickly, about something unimportant
Stormy Relationship: A relationship that has a lot of arguments and disagreement
Stumbling Block: An obstacle, physical or abstract
Straight Arrow: An honest, trustworthy person
Strain at a Gnat and Swallow a Camel: To make a fuss over something unimportant while ignoring larger issues
Strike A Chord: Used to describe something that is familiar to you, reminds you of something, or is connected to you somehow.
Sugar Daddy: A rich man who is generous with younger women in return for sexual favors
Sure-Fire: Certain to occur
Swan Song: This expression is used to describe a final act before dying or ending something.
Sweep Under the Carpet: Attempt to temporarily conceal a problem or error
Sweet Dreams!: Sleep well! Sweeten the Deal: Add something to an offer during a negotiation
Sweeten the Pot: Increase the amount of winnings potentially available in a game of chance, especially poker
Swim Against the Tide: Do something contrary to a trend or usual opinion
Swim with Sharks: To take a major risk
Swim with the Fishes: Have been killed, especially with the involvement of organized crime
Swing for the Fences: Attempt to achieve the largest accomplishment possible S
word of Damocles: Something that causes a feeling of constant threat.

List of idioms that start with T.

Take (Someone) to the Cleaners: 1) Swindle; 2) defeat badly
Take a Deep Dive (Into): Explore something extensively
Take a Flyer: To take a rise; especially to make a speculative investment
Take a Gander: Go to take a look at something
Take a Hike: Go away
Take A Powder: To leave, especially in order to avoid a difficult situation
Take a Rain Check: Decline an invitation but suggest that you’ll accept it at a later time.
Take Five (Ten): Take a short break of five (ten) minutes
Take It Easy: Don’t hurry; relax; don’t get angry
Take It on The Chin: Be attacked; suffer an attack
Take It or Leave It (command): You must decide now whether you will accept this proposal
Take Someone to Task: Reprimand someone strongly
Take Something with a Pinch (grain) of Salt: If you take what someone says with a pinch of salt, you do not completely believe it.
Take the Cake: Be the most extreme instance
Take the Edge Off (of Something): To slightly improve something negative
Take the Fifth: Refuse to answer because answering might incriminate or cause problems for you
Take the Gloves Off: Negotiate in a more aggressive way
Take the High Road: Refuse to descend to immoral activities or personal attacks
Take The Mickey (Piss) (Out Of Someone): Make fun of or ridicule someone
Take the Shine Off (Something): To do something that diminishes a positive event
Take the Starch out of (Someone): Make someone less confident or less arrogant
Take The Wind Out of Someone’s Sails: To reduce someone’s confidence, often by doing something unexpected
Take Your Life in Your Hands: Undergo extreme risk
Take Your Medicine: Accept something unpleasant, for example, punishment, without protesting or complaining
Take Your Time: Don’t hurry, work at a relaxed pace
Taste of Your Own Medicine: The same unpleasant experience or treatment that one has given to others
Teach an Old Dog New Tricks: To change someone’s long-established habits. Usually used in the negative: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Tear One’s Hair out: Be extremely worried or frustrated
Tear-Jerker: A film or book that makes you cry
Tee Many Martoonies: Too many martinis, scrambled to suggest drunkenness
Tell It to the Marines: I don’t believe you; you must think I’m gullible.
Tempest in a Teapot: A commotion about something unimportant
Ten a Penny: Ordinary, inexpensive
Ten to One: Something very likely
Test the Waters: Experiment with something cautiously
Tie the Knot: Get married
Tighten the Screws: Increase pressure on someone
Tight-Lipped: secretive, unwilling to explain something
Til the Cows Come Home: For a very long time
Time is Money: time is valuable, so don’t waste it.
Tip of the Iceberg: A small, visible part of a much larger problem
Tip One’s Hand: Reveal one’s advantages; reveal useful information that one possesses
TLC: Tender Loving Care
To be A Peach: Someone or something that is extremely good, impressive, or attractive
To be Smitten With Someone: To be completely captivated by someone and feel immense joy
To be someone’s One and Only: To be unique to the other person
To be the Apple of Someone’s Eye: To be loved and treasured by someone
To Bear Fruit: To develop in a profitable or positive way
To Carpool: To travel to the same place with a group of people in one car. e.g. work/school
To Each His Own: People have different tastes.
To Get Cold Feet: To experience reluctance or fear
To Have a Chip on One’s Shoulder: To be combative, to be consistently argumentative
To Have Butterflies In Your Stomach: To be nervous
To Have One For the Road: To have one last (alcoholic) drink before you go home
To Pay an Arm and a Leg: A very high cost
To Pop (one’s) Cherry: To do something for the first time
To Pull Someone’s Leg: Lie playfully
To Run Hot and Cold: To be unable to make up one’s mind
To the Letter: Exactly (said of instructions or procedures)
Toe the Line: Accept authority, follow the rules
Tone-Deaf: Not good at perceiving the impact of one’s words, insensitive
Tongue-in-Cheek: Said ironically; not meant to be taken seriously
Too Busy Fighting Alligators to Drain the Swamp: So occupied with multiple challenges that one can’t keep the big picture in mind
Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth: A project works best if there is input from a limited number of people
Too Many Chiefs and Not Enough Indians: Everyone wants to be a leader, and no one wants to do the actual work
Too Many To Shake A Stick At: A large number
Toot Your Own Horn: Brag; emphasize one’s own contributions
Top Banana: The boss, the leader
Toss a Wrench (Spanner) Into: Sabotage; cause a process to stop
Touch Base: Meet briefly with someone
Touch One’s Heart: Affect someone emotionally, by touching
Touch Water: Be launched. Said of a boat.
Tough Cookie: A very determined person
Tough Sledding: Difficult progress
Turn a Blind Eye: (to) Choose not to notice something
Turn on a Dime: Quickly reverse direction or position
Turn Someone Inside Out: To cause strong emotional turmoil; to completely change someone
Turn Something on Its Head: Reverse something, cause something to be done in a new way
Turn Turtle: Capsize, turn over
Turn the Corner: To begin to improve after a problem
Turn the Tables: Reverse a situation
Turnabout Is Fair Play: If you suffer from the same suffering you have inflicted on others, that’s only fair
Twenty-Four-Seven: At any time
Twist the Knife (in Deeper): Make someone’s suffering worse
Two a Penny: Ordinary, inexpensive
Two Peas in A Pod: Two people who are very similar in appearance
Thank God It’s Friday (TGIF): Let’s be happy that the workweek is over!
That Ship Has Sailed: That opportunity has passed.
That’s Music to My Ears: I am very happy to hear this.
That’s a Stretch: What you are suggesting is very difficult to believe; I am very skeptical
That’s All She Wrote: That was the end of the story.
The Apple Never Falls Far From the Tree: Family characteristics are usually inherited
The Birds and the Bees: Human sexuality and reproduction
The Cat Is Out of the Bag: The secret has been revealed.
The Coast Is Clear: We are unobserved; it is safe to proceed.
The Cherry On the Cake: The final thing that makes something perfect
The Deck Is (The Cards Are): Stacked Against You Unfavorable conditions exist.
The Jig Is Up: A secret illicit activity has been exposed; your trickery is finished
The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Although something may seem superficially new, it has not altered the basic situation.
The Only Game in Town: The sole option for a particular service.
The Powers That Be: People in charge, often used when the speaker does not want to identify them.
The Real McCoy: A genuine item
The Story Has Legs: People are continuing to pay attention to the story.
The Time is Ripe: If you say that the time is ripe, you mean that it is a suitable point for a particular activity
The Walls Have Ears: We may be overheard; be careful what you say
The Whole Enchilada: All of something.
The Whole Shebang: Everything, all the parts of something
The World Is Your Oyster: You have many opportunities and choices.
There But For The Grace Of God Go I: I could easily have done what that person did.
There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat: There’s more than one way of achieving a certain goal.
There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch: Nothing is given to you without some expectation of something in return.
Thin On The Ground: Rare, seldom encountered
Think Big: Consider ambitious plans; avoid becoming overly concerned with details
Think Outside the Box: Try to solve a problem in an original way; think creatively
Think Tank: A group of experts engaged in ongoing studies of a particular subject; a policy study group
Third Rail: A topic so sensitive that it is dangerous to raise. This is especially used in political contexts
Third Time’s a Charm: Even if you fail at something twice, you may well succeed the third time.
Thirty-Thousand-Foot View: A very broad or general perspective
This Has (Person X) Written All Over It: [Person X] would really like or be well suited to this.
This Is Not Your Father’s ____: This item has been much updated from its earlier versions.
Three Sheets to the Wind: Very drunk
Through the Grapevine: Via Gossip
Through Thick and Thin: In good times and bad
Throw a Wet Blanket on (Something): Discourage plans for something
Throw a Wrench Into: To sabotage; to cause to fail
Throw Caution to the Wind: To act in a daring way, without forethought
Throw Down the Gauntlet: To issue a challenge
Throw Elbows: Be combative; be aggressive (physically or figuratively)
Throw in the Towel: To give up, admit defeat
Throw Someone for a Loop: Deeply surprise someone; catch someone off guard
Throw Someone Under the Bus: Sacrifice someone else’s interests for your own personal gain
Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water: Eliminate something good while discarding the bad parts of something
Throw The Book At: Prosecute legally as strongly as possible
Throw the Fight: Intentionally lose a contest, usually in collusion with gamblers
Throw the Game: Intentionally lose a contest, usually in collusion with gamblers
Throw the Match: Intentionally lose a contest, usually in collusion with gamblers
Thumbs-Up: Approval
Train Wreck: Anything that develops in a disastrous way
Trash Talk: Insults directed at one’s opponent in a sporting event or contest
Tread Water: Maintain a current situation without improvement or decline
Trial Balloon: A test of someone’s or the public’s reaction
Trip the Light Fantastic: Dance well; do ballroom dancing

List of idioms that start with U.

U Turn: A complete change of opinion, direction, etc.
Ugly Duckling: An awkward child or young person who grows into a beautiful person
Under (Below) the Radar: Not generally perceived, below popular consciousness
Under Someone’s Spell: Fascinated, entranced by someone
Under the Impression: Believing something, perhaps mistakenly
Under the Table: Without being officially recorded
Under the Weather: Feeling ill
Under Wraps: Temporarily hidden, secret
University of Life: Difficult real-life experience, as opposed to formal education
Until the Cows Come Home: For a long time
Until You’re Blue in the Face: For a long time with no results
Up a Creek: In a very bad situation
Up for Grabs: Available
Up in Arms: Angry, protesting (usually said of a group)
Up in the Air: Not yet decided
Up to One’s Neck: Nearly overwhelmed
Up to Scratch: Meeting a basic standard of competence or quality
Up to Snuff: Meeting a basic standard
Up the Ante: Raise the stakes; increase the importance of something under discussion
Up the Duff: Pregnant
Upset the Apple Cart: To disorganize or spoil something, especially an established arrangement or plan
Use One’s Head: To think, to have common sense

List of idioms that start with V.

Vale of Tears: The world in general, is envisioned as a sad place; the tribulations of life
Vicious Circle: A situation in which an attempt to solve a problem makes the original problem worse.
Victory Lap: Visible public appearances after a victory or accomplishment
Virgin Territory: Something that has never been explored, physically or intellectually
Vote with One’s Feet: To physically depart from something as a way of showing disapproval

List of idioms that start with W.

Waiting in the Wings: Ready to assume responsibilities but not yet active, ready to become a successor
Waka-Jumping: Change political parties (said of politicians themselves)
Wake Up and Smell the Coffee: Stop deluding yourself
Wake Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed: Be grumpy or ill-humored. Generally used in the past tense
Walk on Eggshells: To have to act very sensitively in order to avoid offending someone
Walk the Plank: Be forced to resign from a position
Wandering Eye: A tendency to look at and desire women or men other than one’s committed romantic partner
Wash Your Hands off (Something): Decline to take further responsibility; refuse to be involved with something anymore
Water Under the Bridge: Something in the past that’s no longer worth worrying about
Watering Hole: A place where alcoholic beverages are served, a bar
Weekend Warrior: Someone who has an office job but enjoys contact sports on weekends; a member of a military reserve force (whose exercises are typically on weekends)
We’ll Cross That Bridge: When We Come to It We’ll deal with that problem if and when it comes up
Welsh (Welch) on a Deal: Not observe the terms of an agreement
Wet Behind the Ears: inexperienced, immature, new to something
Wet Blanket: Someone who dampens a festive occasion
Wet Your Whistle: Drink something
What Do You Make of (Him)?: What is your evaluation of this person?
What Goes Around Comes Around: The kind of treatment you give to others will eventually return to you; things go in cycles
What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Gander: What’s OK for a man is OK for a woman, too
When Hell Freezes Over: Never
When In Doubt, Leave It Out: When unsure about something, omit it.
When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do: When you visit a new place, follow the customs of the people there
When It Rains, It Pours: Problems tend to come in groups.
When Pigs Fly: Never
When the Chips Are Down: When a situation becomes urgent or difficult
Where (When) the Rubber: Meets the Road In reality; where an idea meets a real-world test
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way: If you have a strong desire to accomplish something, you will achieve it even in the face of considerable odds.
Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: If there is typical evidence of something, the most likely explanation is that it is actually occurring.
Whisper Sweet Nothings (in Someone’s Ear): Speak meaningless romantic utterances
Whistle in the Dark: To be unrealistically confident or brave; to talk about something of which one has little knowledge
Whistle Past the Graveyard: Remain optimistic despite dangers; be clueless
Whistling Dixie: Being unrealistically optimistic
White Elephant: An unwanted item that is difficult to sell or dispose of
Who’s She, the Cat’s Mother?: Why does she have such a high opinion of herself?
Wild Goose Chase: An impossible or futile search or task
Window Dressing: A misleading disguise intended to present a favorable impression
Window Shop: To look at merchandise in a store without intending to buy it
Witch Hunt: An organized attempt to persecute an unpopular group of people and blame them for a problem.
With Bells On: Eagerly, willingly, and on time.
Work One’s Fingers to the Bone: Work very hard over an extended period
Worn to a Frazzle: Exhausted, completely worn out
Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead: Would absolutely not allow myself to do this
Writing (Handwriting) on the Wall: Hints of coming disaster

List of idioms that start with Y.

Year In, Year Out: Annually without change
You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but You Can’t Make It Drink: It’s very hard to force someone to do something against his or her will.
You Can Say That Again!: I agree totally!
You Can Take It to the Bank: I absolutely guarantee this
You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: You can’t know people (or things) well by their external appearances.
You Can’t Make an Omelet (Omelette): Without Breaking
You Can’t Make Fish of One and Fowl of the Other: People must be treated equally.
You Know the Drill: You are already familiar with the procedure.
You Snooze, You Lose: If you delay or are not alert, you will miss opportunities
Young at Heart: Having a youthful outlook, regardless of age
Your Guess Is as Good as Mine: I don’t know; I have no idea
Your Mileage May Vary: You may get different results. This does not necessarily refer to a car, although it may.
Your Number Is Up: You are going to die (or suffer some bad misfortune or setback)
You’re Driving Me Nuts: To make someone giddy or crazy
Yours Truly: Me

List of idioms that start with Z.

Zero In On: Focus closely on something; take aim at something
Zig When One Should Be Zagging: To make an error; to choose an incorrect course
Zip One’s Lip: Be quiet

Go back to: https://www.mihiraa.com/idioms/

error: Content is protected !!