Thursday, April 28, 2016

High horse

High horse - a mood or attitude of stubborn arrogance or contempt.

Example - "Get off your high horse and apologize!"

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Excuse/pardon my French

Excuse my French - said when you are pretending to be sorry for using a word that may be considered offensive; forgive my strong language.

Example -"You've got to be f***ing kidding me! Pardon my French, but that's insane"

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To mouth off

To mouth off - to talk in an unpleasantly loud and boastful or opinionated manner.

Example - "He was mouthing off about society in general"

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A sore loser

A sore loser - someone who becomes upset or angry when they lose a game or competition.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Until you are blue in the face

Until you are blue in the face - if you say something until you are blue in the face, you keep saying the same thing again and again and again but no one listens to you.

Example - "I can tell him to tidy his room until I am blue in the face, but it's always a mess."

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Brolly - an umbrella.

Example - "I've lost another brolly"

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Putative - generally considered or reputed to be.

Example - "The putative leader of the terrorist cell was arrested yesterday"

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To besiege

To besiege - to surround and harass.

Example - "She spent the whole day besieged by newsman"

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Ripple effect

Ripple effect - the continuing and spreading result of an event or action.

Example - "The bank crash has had a ripple effect on the whole community"

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Does what it says on the tin

Does what it says on the tin - it does exactly what is intended to do.

Example - "The hotel does exactly what it says on the tin and offers customers a relaxing break"

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Cut from the same cloth

Cut from the same cloth - of the same nature; similar.

Example - "Don't assume all women are cut from the same cloth"

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Lay of the land

Lay of the land - nature, arrangement.

Example - "As soon as I get the lay of the land in my new job, things will get better"

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To do a number on someone

To do a number on someone  - to damage or harm someone.

Example - "Tom did a real number on Mary when he went out with her friend"

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To speak to

To speak to - to indicate, to signal something.

Example - "This event speaks to the need for good communication"
                  "Your present state of employment speaks to your need for a better education"

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Beyond the pale

Beyond the pale - outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour.

Example - "The language my father used was beyond the pale"

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Since time immemorial

Since time immemorial - since a very long time ago.

Example - "My hometown has had a big parade on the Fourth of July since time immemorial"

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Fateful - producing a serious and usually a bad result; having far-reaching and often disastrous consequences or implications.

Example - "Then, just over a year ago, he was faced with a fateful choice"

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Peccadillo - a relatively minor fault or sin.

Example - "He dismissed what had happened as a mere peccadillo"

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To pick someone's brain(s)

To pick someone's brain(s) - to obtain information by questioning someone who is better informed about a subject than oneself.

Example - "Mind if I pick your brain for a minute?"

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Monday, April 25, 2016


Paroxysm - a sudden strong feeling or expression of emotion that cannot be controlled.

Example - "He went into paroxysms of laughter"

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For dear life

For dear life - desperately and urgently; with as much effort as possible.

Example - "I ran for dear life when I saw the tiger"

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

To take a different tack

To take a different tack - to try a different approach.

Example - "Instead of always asking him what he wants, why don't you take a different tack and tell him what you want?"

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To gloat

To gloat - to dwell on one's own success or another's misfortune with smugness or malignant pleasure.

Example - "His enemies gloated over his death"

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See -  Schadenfreude

To dish

To dish - to gossip or share intimate information.

Example - "Groups gather to dish about romances"

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Chagrined /shə-grĭn′/ - a keen feeling of mental uneasy, as of annoyance and embarrassment, caused by failure, disappointment, or a disconcerting event.

Example - "He was chagrined at the poor sales of his book"

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Amped up

Amped up - excited or energized - filled with intense energy and excitement.

Example - "We were so amped up for the game that we forgot to eat"

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To oust

To oust - to drive out or expel someone from a position or place.

Example - "The reformists were ousted from power"

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To reel

To reel - to feel very confused and shocked and unable to act.

Example - "We are reeling in amazement from the news that we had won all that the money.

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Purview - an area within which someone or something has authority, influence or knowledge.

Example - "That question is outside my purview"

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Thursday, April 21, 2016


Incontrovertible - impossible to doubt because of being obviously true.

Example - "Some people believe Neil Armstrong's landing on the moon is an incontrovertible fact while conspiracists say otherwise"

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Nagging - discomforting.

Example - "I have a nagging suspicion that one of the wheels has a puncture"

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Tidal wave

Tidal wave - any widespread or powerful movement, opinion, tendency.

Example - "A tidal wave of public indignation"

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To spew

To spew - to expel large quantities of something rapidly and forcibly.

Example - "Buses were spewing out black clouds of exhaust"

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Guarded - careful not too give too much information; cautious and having possible reservations.

Example - "We view these changes with guarded optimism"

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Hold your peace

Hold your peace - to avoid an argument by remaining silent.

Example - "Speak now or forever hold your peace"

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To say your piece

To say your piece - to say what you are obviously wanting to say, to say what's on your mind.

Example - "Just say your piece and then go"

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In the throes

In the throes - in the midst of a difficult struggle.

Example - "The country was in the throes of economic collapse"

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Hey presto

Hey presto - a phrase announcing the successful completion of a trick, or to suggest that something has been done so easily that it seems to be magic.

Example - "Press the start button and, hey presto, a copy comes out the other end"

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To gush over

To gush over - to speak or write about someone or something with wild enthusiasm.

Example - "They returned from the store and gushed over the great shoes they had bought"

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Slippery slope

Slippery slope - a course of action likely to lead to something bad or disastrous; the potential beginning of a trend;  if we allow something relatively harmless today, we may start a trend that results in something currently unthinkable becoming accepted.

Example - "He's on the slippery slope towards a life of crime"

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Stripped-down - something that has been reduced to its simplest form.

Example - "I think the stripped-down version of your proposal has more chance of being accepted"

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Scab - a worker who does not join a strike or who takes the place of another worker who is on strike; a worker who accepts employment or replaces a union worker during a strike.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

To hold up one's end of the bargain

To hold up one's end of the bargain - to do one's agreed part in some arrangement.

Example - "Jackie didn't hold up her end of the bargain so we're excluding her from the deal"

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Unwavering - marked by firm determination or resolution.

Example - "He's shown us unwavering loyalty"

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On the horn

On the horn - on the telephone.

Example - "Let me get on the horn with him and ask"

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To be infirm of

To be infirm of - not physically or mentally strong.

Example - "She was infirm of body but still keen on mind"

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To jones

To jones - to have a fixation on; to be addicted to.

Example - "Paul was jonesing for some coke again"

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Atwitter - to be in a statement of nervous excitement.

Example - "The crowd was atwitter with expectation"

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To have the upper-hand

To have the upper-hand - to have more power than anyone else and so have control.

Example - "By half time, the Italian team seemed to have the upper hand"

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To pull for someone or something

To pull for someone or something - to support and cheer for someone, a group or something.

Example - "Good luck in the game tomorrow. We are all pulling for you"

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