Friday, May 27, 2011

English Idioms Part A

A bit much
If something is excessive or annoying, it is a bit much.

A fool and his money are soon parted
This idiom means that people who aren't careful with their money spend it quickly. 'A fool and his money are easily parted' is an alternative form of the idiom.

A little bird told me
If someone doesn't want to say where they got some information from, they can say that a little bird told them.

A OK, A 1, A one
Things are absolutely fine, very good or excellent.

Abide by a decision
If you abide by a decision, you accept it and comply with it, even though you might disagree with it.

About face
If someone changes their mind completely, this is an about face. It can be used when companies, governments, etc, change their position on an issue.

Above board
If things are done above board, they are carried out in a legal and proper manner.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder
This idiom means that when people are apart, their love grows stronger.

Achilles' heel
A person's weak spot is their Achilles' heel.

Acid test
An acid test is a process that proves whether something is good, effective,or not.

Across the board
If something applies to everybody, it applies across the board.

Against the Grain
If doing something goes against the grain, you're unwilling to do it because it contradicts what you believe in, but you have no real choice.

Ahead of the pack
If you are ahead of the pack, you have made more progress than your rivals.

Albatross around your neck
An albatross around, or round, your neck is a problem resulting from something you did that stops you from being successful.

All and sundry
This idiom is a way of emphasising 'all', like saying 'each and every one'.

All ears
If someone says they're all ears, they are very interested in hearing about something.

All hell broke loose
When all hell breaks loose, there is chaos, confusion and trouble.

All over the place
If something is completely disorganised or confused, it is all over the place.

All over the shop
If something is completely disorganised or confused, it is all over the shop.

All skin and bone
If a person is very underweight, they are all skin and bone, or bones.

All talk and no trousers
(UK) Someone who is all talk and no trousers, talks about doing big, important things, but doesn't take any action.

All the tea in China
If someone won't do something for all the tea in China, they won't do it no matter how much money they are offered.

Alter ego
An alter ego is a very close and intimate friend. It is a Latin phrase that literally means 'other self'.

Ambulance chaser
A lawyer who encourages people who have been in accidents or become ill to sue for compensation is an ambulance chaser.

Some use 'Amen' or 'Amen to that' as a way of agreeing with something that has just been said.

An old flame
An old flame is a person that somebody has had an emotional, usually passionate, relationship with, who is still looked on fondly and with affection.

Ants in your pants
If someone has ants in their pants, they are agitated or excited about something and can't keep still.

Apple of your eye
Something or,more often, someone that is very special to you is the 'apple of your' eye.

Arm and a leg
If something costs an arm and a leg, it is very expensive.

As cold as ice
This idiom can be used to describe a person who does not show any emotion.

As cool as a cucumber
If someone is as cool as a cucumber, they don't get worried by anything.

As mad as a hatter
This simile means that someone is crazy or behaves very strangely. In the past many people who made hats went insane because they had a lot of contact with mercury.

As neat as a pin
This idiom means tidy and clean.

As one man
If people do something as one man, then they do it at exactly the same time or in complete agreement.

As the crow flies
This idiom is used to describe the shortest possible distance between two places.

At loose ends
If you are at loose ends, you have spare time but don't know what to do with it.

At death's door
If someone looks as if they are at death's door, they look seriously unwell and might actually be dying.

At loggerheads
If people are at loggerheads, they are arguing and can't agree on anything.

At the drop of a hat
If you would do something at the drop of a hat, you'd do it immediately.

At the end of your rope
(USA) If you are at the end of your rope, you are at the limit of your patience or endurance.

At your wit's end
If you're at your wit's end, you really don't know what you should do about something, no matter how hard you think about it.

Awe inspiring
Something or someone that is awe inspiring amazes people in a slightly frightening but positive way.

AWOL stands for Absent Without Leave, or Absent Without Official Leave. Originally a military term, it is used when someone has gone missing without telling anyone or asking for permission.

Axe to grind
If you have an axe to grind with someone or about something, you have a grievance, a resentment and you want to get revenge or sort it out.

Original Post:

ESL English classes in Canada

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