Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Antsy - impatient and unable to keep still; nervous about what might happen.

Example - "After a few minutes in the restaurant, the kids got antsy"

Image -

Frame of mind

Frame of mind - a particular mood that influences one's attitude or behaviour.

Example - "He was in a relaxed frame of mind"

Image -

Neither here nor there

Neither here nor there - of no consequence or meaning, irrelevant and immaterial.

Example - "Whether you go to the movie or stay at home is neither here nor there"
                  "Your comment, though interesting, is neither here nor there"

Image -

To figure on someone or something

To figure on someone or something -  to count on someone or something; to assume something about someone or something.

Example - "I'm figuring on 12 people for dinner next Saturday"

Image -


Catch-22 - a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

Example - "The choice you're giving me is a catch-22 because, no matter which option I choose, I'm not going to be happy with either one."

Image -

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

To chance one's arm

To chance one's arm - to take a risk in order to get something that you want.

Example - "Aren't you chancing your arm a bit giving up a secure job to start up a business?

Image -


Eugenics - a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed.

Image -


Stir-crazy - restless or frantic because of confinement.

Example - "She'd be in danger of going stir-crazy if she had to look at the same four walls any longer"

Image -

Out of the frying pan into the fire

Out of the frying pan into the fire - from a bad situation to a worst situation.

Example - "When I tried to argue about my fine for a traffic violation, the judge charged me with contempt of court. I really went out of the frying pan into the fire"

Image -

To consort with someone

To consort with someone - to associate with someone.

Example - "It is said that she consorts with thieves"

Image -

Monday, February 22, 2016

To factor something in

To factor something in - to include something when you are doing a calculation.

Example - "People are earning more, but when inflation is factored in, they are no better off.

Image -

To knock something on the head

To knock something on the head - to prevent something from happening, or to finally finish something.

Example - "It's nearly done. Another couple of hours and should knock it on the head"

Image -

To cajole

To cajole - to persuade by flattery or promised.

Example - "He hoped to cajole her into selling him her house"

Image -

Wouldn't touch something with a bargepole

Wouldn't touch something with a bargepole - used to mean that you certainly do not want to buy something or be involved with something; expression used to show strong objection to a proposal.

Image -

To give someone or something a wide berth

To give someone or something a wide berth - to keep a reasonable distance from someone or something.

Example - "The dog we are approaching is very mean. Better give it a wide berth"

Image -

To do someone's head in

To do someone's head in - to make someone feel confused or unhappy

Example - "My relationship with my publicist was doing my head in"

                  "Getting up at 4 o'clock every morning was doing my head in"

Image -


Fit-up - to make it seem that someone is guilty of a crime when they're not.

Example - "Of course she didn't do it. Someone fitted her up"

Image -

To splash out on

To splash out on - to spend money freely.

Example - "She splashed out on a Mercedes"

Image -

To rustle up

To rustle up - to manage to prepare a meal, perhaps on short notice.

Example - "I think I can rustle something up for dinner"

Image -


Well-heeled - wealthy.

Image -

To coo over

To coo over - to talk fondly or amorously in murmurs.

Example - "The visitors cooed over the newborn babies"

Image -

To sidle up

To sidle up - to move closer to someone or something cautiously or furtively.

Example - "Ted sidled up to Mary and said howdy in a shy voice"

Image -

Sunday, February 21, 2016

To loom

To loom - of something unwanted or unpleasant about to happen soon.

Example - "There is a serious crisis looming"

Image -

Bargaining chip

Bargaining chip - something that can be used to gain an advantage when you are trying to make a deal or an agreement.

Example - "The workers used the threat of a strike as a bargaining chip in their negotiations"

Image -

To be in over one's head

To be in over one's head - to be involved in a difficult situation that you cannot get out of.

Example - "Sean tried to pay his gambling debts but he was in over his head"

Image -

To go out on a limb

To go out on a limb - having an opinion that is different from most people's and is unpopular.

Example - "She's going out on a limb in criticizing her own party leadership"

Image -

You've got another think coming

You've got another think coming - you will have to rethink your position.

Example - ""If you think I'm going to stay right here and listen to your complaining all day, you've got another think coming"

Image -

All bets are off

All bets are off - the outcomes of a situation are unpredictable.

Example - "When they get lonely, all bets are off"

Image -

Different strokes for different folks

Different strokes for different folks - different people like different things.

Example - "My neighbor spends all of his free time working in his garden. I would never want to do that, but different strokes for different folks."

Image -

By the skin of one's teeth

By the skin of one's teeth - narrowly; barely.

Example - "He escaped from the secret police by the skin of his teeth"

Image -

Friday, February 19, 2016

To clean up your act

To clean up your act - to improve your behaviour.

Example - "He used to drink a lot, but he seems to have cleaned up his act"

Image -

Rough around the edges

Rough around the edges - having a few imperfections.

Example - "I'm afraid your article is still rough around the edges"

Image -

To no avail

To no avail - with no effect, unsuccessful. 

Example - "All my efforts were to no avail"

Image -

To take notice of

To take notice of - to pay attention to.

Example - "I'll try to make her take notice of me"

Image -

On principle

On principle - according to a moral rule or a personal belief.

Example - "He opposed the death penalty on principle"

Image -

To make a beeline for someone or something

To make a beeline for someone or something - to head straight toward someone or something.

Example - "Billy came into the kitchen and made a beeline for the cookies"

Image -

Dig your heels in

Dig your heels in - to refuse to change your plans or ideas, especially when someone is trying to persuade you to do so.

Example - "The more we argued, the more she dug her heels in"

Image -


Askance - with an attitude or look of suspicion or disapproval.

Example - "The reformers looked askance at the mystical tradition.

Image -

Game, set and match

Game, set and match - used to indicate a decisive victory.

Example - "The trade unions have won - game, set and match to the workers"

Image -

To be in a real state

To be in a real state - to be very nervous or worried.

Example - "She was out all night and her parents were in a real state"

Image -

If worst comes to worst

If worst comes to worst - if the worst possible thing should happen.

Example - "We should be able to catch the 4:30 train, but if the worst comes to worst, we could get a taxi and still get into town on time.

Image -

Thursday, February 18, 2016

To eke something out

To eke something out - to use something slowly or carefully because you only have a very small amount of it.

Example - "There wasn't much food left, but we managed to eke it out."

Image -

To stop in one's tracks

To stop in one's tracks - to suddenly stop moving or doing something.

Example - "When I heard the loud scream, I stopped dead in my tracks"

Image -

To put something on the back burner

To put something on the back burner - to put something on hold or suspended temporarily.

Example - "The matter was on the back burner for a long time"

Image -

To fall by the wayside

To fall by the wayside - to stop trying; to no longer be active.

Example - "A lot of students fall by the wayside during their first year at university"

Image -

To stand one's grounds

To stand one's grounds - to refuse to be pushed backwards, or to continue in your beliefs in an argument.

Example - "Clare stood her ground in the meeting and refused to be intimidated even when Michel got angry"

Image -


Outlet - a means of release, as for energies, drives or desires.

Example - "This has been an outlet for frustration to me"

Image -

Second nature to someone

Second nature to someone - easy and natural for someone.

Example - "Swimming is second nature to Jane"

Image -


Volley - a lot of questions, insults, etc all spoken or made at the same time.

Example - "I always received a volley of abuse whilst I was busking"

Image -

To look after number one

To look after number one - to take care of oneself first.

Example - "You gotta look after number one, right?"

Image -