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Jen’s English Tip’s – Idiomatic Expressions

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Idiomatic Expressions


Call a spade a spade: Speak clearly and plainly; describe something as it is

Cast pearls before swine: Do something for people who cannot appreciate it

A chip on the shoulder: is a bad attitude that tends to get someone easily upset

Give someone the cold shoulder: Be treated in an offhand unfriendly way

Come hell or high water: Keep going no matter what difficulties are encountered

Come off with flying colors: Be highly successful

Crocodile tears: Fake tears. He’s not really upset, those are crocodile tears.

Cut to the chase: To cut to the chase is to focus on what is really important.

Daylight robbery: Blatant and unfair overcharging

Dutch courage: False sense of courage that a person feels when they are under the influence of alcohol.

Eat humble pie or Eat Crow: behave humbly especially after a setback

Excuse my French: Please forgive my bad language. (swearing)

End of story: There is nothing more to be said

Fall on your sword: Kill yourself or offer resignation

Fish in troubled waters: Make profit when others are in trouble

Get off on the wrong foot: To begin doing something in a way that is likely to fail

Get your feet wet: Do something for the first time

Have an axe to grind: Have a hidden reason for something

Head over heels: Very excited

Hit the hay: Go to bed

Hold your horses: Wait, be patient

Hot off the press: Just printed

In a nutshell: In very few words; clearly and to the point

In high spirits: Very happy

In the limelight: At the center of attention

It never rains but it pours: When troubles come they come together

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