Saturday, December 31, 2016


Spiel - to speak extravagantly; a persuasive talk.

Example - "He delivers a breathless and effortless spiel in promotion of his new novel"

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Aquiline - hooked or curved like an eagle's beak.

Example - "He's told me I have an aquiline nose"

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Wisecrack - a sarcastic remark.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016


Speed - something that matches one's tastes or inclinations.

Example - "This is not really my speed. I will have to pass"

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To zip around

To zip around - to move quickly.

Example - "We zipped around the supermarket to get the shopping done"

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To blow off some steam

To blow off some steam - to release emotional tension by talking or getting angry.

Example - "I told her she can call me and talk any time she wants to blow off some steam"

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To wait for the other shoe to drop

To wait for the other shoe to drop - to wait for the inevitable next step or the final conclusion.

Example - "He just opened his mail and moaned. Now I am waiting for the other shoe to drop when he finds the subpoena"

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Gun-shy - nervous about doing something.

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Saucer-eyed - eyes wide open, naturally or from an an expression of fear.

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Leave to own devices

Leave to own devices - to allow you to decide for yourself what you do.

Example - "There are four hours of lessons each morning, and in the afternoon students are left to their own devices"

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Kingpin - the chief person in a group.

Example - "He's showed me a list of suspected drug kingpins in Washington"

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Neck-deep - deeply involved.

Example - "I am neck-deep in work"

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

One's handwriting is like chicken scratch

One's handwriting is like chicken scratch - very poor, messy or illegible handwriting.

Example - "I can't understand your notes at all! Your handwriting is like chicken scratch"

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To twist someone's arm

To twist someone's arm - to persuade someone to do something that they might be reluctant to do.

Example - "I had to twist her arm a little but she agreed"

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Sunday, December 18, 2016

To weather the storm

To weather the storm - to reach the end of a very difficult situation without too much harm or damage.

Example - "Bob lost his job, but somehow his family weathered the storm"

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To drum up

To drum up - to bring something about by persistent effort.

Example - "The manager tried to drum interest up in the computer training classes"

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To buck up

To buck up - to get over something; to cheer up.

Example - "Come on, now. Buck up! Things can't be all that bad"

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To have skin in the game

To have skin in the game - to be at risk financially because you have invested in something that you want to happen.

Example - "You take more ownership of something when you have some skin in the game"

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Hitch your wagon to a star

Hitch your wagon to a star - always aspire to do great things; set high goals. 

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To belabor

To belabor - to argue or elaborate in excessive detail.

Example - "Critics thought they belabored the obvious"

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To cash in

To cash in - to take advantage or exploit a situation.

Example - "Profiteers cashed in during the gasoline shortage"

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A song and dance

A song and dance - a long or complicated statement or story, especially one that is not true.

Example - "She gave me some song and dance about her kids always being sick and not being able to get to the meetings"

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A day late and a dollar short

A day late and a dollar short - late and ill-prepared.

Example - "You seem to show up a day late and a dollar short all the time. You need to get organized"

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To dig your heels in

To dig your heels in - to refuse to alter one's course of actions or opinions; to be obstinate.

Example - "I'm digging in my heels. I am not coming back"

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Wake up and smell the coffee

Wake up and smell the coffee! - used to tell someone that they are wrong about a particular situation and must realize what is really happening.

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Can it!

Can it! - stop talking; be quiet.

Example - "You should have told him to can it straight away"

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Nail in the coffin

Nail in the coffin - an action that will cause something to end.

Example - "This latest evidence could be the final nail in the coffin for Jackson's case"

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To flame out

To flame out - to fail spectacularly and especially prematurely.

Example - "Even at the reception, some were predicting that the marriage would flame out before the fancy china ever got used"

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Spiffing - excellent; splendid.

Example - "How spiffing you look!"

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To plead the fifth

To plead the fifth - to decline to give self-incriminating information.

Example - "- So, who do you like best? Jenny or Kim? - I will have to plead the fifth on that one"

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

The best of a bad bunch

The best of a bad bunch - the person or thing of a group that is not as bad as the others, although none of the group is good.

Example - "The picture isn't exactly what I would have chosen, but it was the best of a bad bunch"

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

To miss the boat

To miss the boat - to be too slow to take advantage of an opportunity.

Example - "I sent off my university application at the last minute and almost missed the boat"

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To knock someone's socks off

To knock someone's socks off - to surprise someone thoroughly.

Example - "The exciting news just knocked my socks off"

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Uphill battle

Uphill battle - something very difficult because other people are causing problems for you.

Example - "Environmentalists face an uphill battle convincing people to use their cars less."

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Put all eggs in one basket

Put all eggs in one basket - to make everything dependent on only one thing.

Example - "I advise you to diversify and not put all eggs in one basket"

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Whole enchilada

Whole enchilada - everything; the entirety of something.

Example - "Richard wants the whole enchilada"

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Small potatoes

Small potatoes - something or someone insignificant

Example - "The contract is small potatoes, but it keeps us in business till we get into the real money"

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Stoked - excited or euphoric.

Example - "When they told me I was on the team, I was stoked!"

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Monday, August 29, 2016

Rotten apple

Rotten apple - a single bad person or thing.

Example - "There is always a rotten apple to spoil it for the rest of us"

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Bowl of cherries

Bowl of cherries - wonderful; very pleasant.

Example - "I got a promotion and got engaged in the span of a week. Life is just a bowl of cherries these days"

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Big cheese

Big cheese - an important, successful or influential person.

Example - "Jacob thinks he's a big cheese now that he's been promoted to assistant manager"

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Milk of human kindness

Milk of human kindness - natural kindness and sympathy shown to others.

Example - "Mary is completely hard and selfish - she doesn't have the milk of human kindness in her"

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To have bigger fish to fry

To have bigger fish to fry - to have other things to do; to have more important things to do.

Example - "I don't have time for your problem. I have bigger fish to fry"

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Monday, August 15, 2016


Mosey - a leisure walk or drive.

Example - "I will just have a mosey around"

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Gall - rudeness and the quality of being unable to understand that your behaviour or what you say is not acceptable to other people.

Example - "Considering that he never even bothers to visit my parents, I'm amazed that Tim has the gall to call them for money"

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Touch-and-go - dangerous and uncertain in nature or outcome.

Example - "He just had major surgery followed by touch-and-go recovery"

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Knee-jerk reaction

Knee-jerk reaction - a quick reaction that does not allow you time to consider something carefully.

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To take a spill

To take a spill - to have a fall, or to tip over.

Example - "Ann tripped on the curb and took a nasty spill"

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To placate

To placate - to make someone less angry or hostile.

Example - "They attempted to placate the students with promises"

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