Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Country Mouse and The City Mouse

A little mouse who lived in the country once invited his city cousin to come and make him a visit. When the country mouse had shown the city mouse the green fields and the big red barn, they sat down to a dinner of barley and grain.
The country mouse was hungry and ate heartily, but the city mouse only nibbled daintily.
"Don't you like this barley and grain?" asked the country mouse.
"Not very well, dear Cousin," answered the city mouse. "I don't want to seem impolite, but I wish you could taste the fine things I have to eat every day. M-m-m. You must come to the city and visit me. I will show you what good food is."
"I should like to come very much, dear Cousin," said the country mouse.
One day not long after that, the country mouse came to the city to visit his cousin. "You must be hungry after your trip from the country," said the city mouse. "We will go to the pantry and you shall have a feast."
The city mouse led the way through a hole into the kitchen pantry. The country mouse had never seen so many jars and bags and boxes in all his life as there were on the shelves.The two little mice scampered along the lowest shelf. "Oh what luck!" cried the city mouse. "Some one has left the cake box open."
They crept inside and the country mouse saw something big and round and brown. "This chocolate cake is a little dry," said the city mouse, "but see how you like it." The little country mouse nibbled at the big, round, brown thing. How sweet it was! He had never tasted anything more delicious. The two little mice nibbled away happily. "How very lucky you are, dear Cousin," the country mouse started to say, when the door opened. A big rosy-cheeked woman with a mixing-bowl in her hands came into the pantry. "Sh," whispered the city mouse, "run for the hole." The two little mice scampered along the shelf and back into the hole. When they were safe inside, the city mouse said, "Don't look so frightened, Cousin. That was only the cook. She was going to make a fresh cake and wanted some sugar and flour. "The cook does not like us, but she cannot catch us. She will not stay long in the pantry. We will go back in a few minutes for I have many other things to show you." After a little while, the city mouse looked out of the hole, and saw that the cook had gone. "Come on," he called to his cousin and back they scampered to the pantry shelf. This time the city mouse showed his country cousin a box. "There is something good inside," he said and they began to gnaw a hole in one corner as fast as they could. When they had gnawed through the cardboard, the country mouse tasted something he thought even more delicious than the chocolate cake. The city mouse told him that the box was filled with raisins. "What fun it was to have such fine things to eat everyday," the coun­try mouse was thinking, when he heard a scratching at the door and a queer sound like, meow. "Run, run," whispered the city mouse. When they were safely back in the hole again, the city mouse said, "Don't tremble so, dear Cousin, that was only the cat. Of course she likes to eat mice and she is very good at catching us in her sharp claws, but she will soon go away." The country mouse was so frightened he could not stop trembling. "I would rather not go back to the pantry, dear Cousin, if you don't mind," he said. "All right," said the city mouse. "The really nicest thing for mice is in the cellar cupboard. The cat is in the kitchen, so we are safe." They scampered down the stairs into the cellar cupboard. The country mouse thought it was the most wonderful place he had ever seen. There were ever so many more things there than in the kitchen pantry. On the floor there were barrels of delicious smelling apples. From the ceiling hung strings of sausages. On the shelves there were jars and jars and boxes and bags. Some of the jars were filled with golden butter, and some with red jelly and jam. In the bags there were all sorts of good smelling things. The two little mice scampered about nibbling here and there at what they could find open. The country mouse saw something a deep yellow color. It smelled very good. He took a nibble. It had a most delicious taste. 'That is cheese," his city cousin told him. "There is really nothing better than cheese." The country mouse saw another piece of cheese that looked and smelled even better than the piece he had just nibbled. It was fastened to a queer little round stand. The country mouse was just going to take a big bite of this piece of cheese when the city mouse called out: "Stop, stop, don't eat that cheese. It is in a trap." "What is a trap?" asked the country mouse. 'I never heard of one." "If you touch the cheese in a trap," said the city mouse, "something hard comes down on your neck. You cannot breathe any more. You can never nibble cake or cheese again." "Oh," said the country mouse, trembling. "I think I must be going home right away. You have been very kind to give me all these fine things to eat, dear Cousin. The cake and the raisins and the cheese were delicious, but I would rather eat my barley and grain and be safe."
So the little country mouse went home to the country and ate barley and grain in peace and comfort for the rest of his days.

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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tongue Twisted

  1. A good cook could cook as much cookies as a good cook who could cook cookies.
  2. I saw a saw that could out saw any other saw I ever saw.
  3. Betty Botter bought some butter, but she said "this butter's bitter! But a bitof better butter will but make my butter better". So she bought some betterbutter, better than the bitter butter, and it made her butter better so 'twasbetter Betty Botter bought a bit of better butter!
  4. Black bug bit a big black bear. But where is the big black bear that the big black bug bit?
  5. A big bug bit the little beetle but the little beetle bit the big bug back.
  6. If you understand, say "understand".If you don't understand, say "don't understand".But if you understand and say "don't understand".How do I understand that you understand? Understand!
  7. I thought, I thought of thinking of thanking you.
  10. I wish to wish the wish you wish to wish, but if you wish the wish the witch wishes, I won't wish the wish you wish to wish.
  11. If a sledering snail went down a slippery slide would a snail sleder or slide down the slide
    bubble bobble, bubble bobble, bubble bobble
  12. These thousand tricky tongue twisters trip thrillingly off the tongue .
  13. Sounding by sound is a sound method of sounding sounds.
  14. You curse, I curse, we all curse, for asparagus!
  15. Sanjeev's sixth sheep is sick
  16. Double bubble gum, bubbles double.
  17. Betty bought butter but the butter was bitter, so Betty bought better butter to make the bitter butter better.
  18. A sailor went to sea To see, what he could see. And all he could see Was sea, sea, sea.
  19. A box of mixed biscuits, a mixed biscuit box.
  20. Upper roller lower roller Upper roller lower roller.
  21. Purple Paper People, Purple Paper People, Purple Paper People
  22. If two witches were watching two watches, which witch would watch which watch?
  24. Which watch did which witch wear and which witch wore which watch?
  25. Six slippery snails, slid slowly seaward.
  26. I thought a thought. But the thought I thought wasn't the thought I thought I thought.If the thought I thought I thought had been the thought I thought, I wouldn't have thought so much.
  27. Once a fellow met a fellow In a field of beans. Said a fellow to a fellow, "If a fellow asks a fellow, Can a fellow tell a fellow What a fellow means?"
  28. How much wood could a wood chuck; chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood..
  29. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
  30. Paresh P Patel plans to peel potatoes in Pune
  31. An Ape hates grape cakes.
  32. She sells sea shells on the sea shore she sells sea shells no more.
  33. I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit. And on a slitted sheet I sit. I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit. The sheet I slit, that sheet was it.
  34. Any noise annoys an oyster but a noisy noise annoys an oyster more.
  36. A skunk sat on a stump. The stump thought the skunk stunk. the skunk thought the stump stunk . What stunk the skunk or the stump?
  37. The owner of the inside inn was inside his inside inn with his inside outside his inside inn.
  38. If one doctor doctors another doctor does the doctor who doctors the doctor doctor the doctor the way the doctor he is doctoring doctors? Or does the doctor doctor the way the doctor who doctors doctors?
  39. Baboon bamboo, baboon bamboo, baboon bamboo, baboon bamboo, baboon bamboo, baboon bamboo......
  40. My Bhaiya buys black Bananas by the bunch.
  41. The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.
  42. Daddy draws doors.Daddy draws doors.Daddy draws doors.
  43. Do tongue twisters twist your tongue?
  44. Friendly Fleas and Fire Flies
  45. If you notice this notice, you will notice that this notice is not worth noticing.
  46. Fuzzy Wuzzy was a bear, Fuzzy Wuzzy had no hair, FuzzyWuzzy wasn't very fuzzy... was he???
  47. How many cans can a canner can, if a canner can can cans?A canner can can as many cans as a canner can, if a canner can can cans.
  48. How much wood could a wood chopper chop, if a wood chopper could chop wood?
  49. If a black bug bleeds black blood, what color blood does a blue bug bleed?
  50. If Freaky Fred Found Fifty Feet of Fruit and Fed Forty Feet to his Friend Frank how many Feet of Fruit did Freaky Fred Find?
  51. Penny's pretty pink piggy bank
  52. "When a doctor falls ill another doctor doctor's the doctor. Does the doctor doctoring the doctor doctor the doctor in his own way or does the doctor doctoring the doctor doctors the doctor in the doctor's way".
  53. A tutor who tooted the flute, tried to tutor two tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutor, 'Is it harder to toot or to tutor two tooters to toot?'
  54. One smart fellow, he felt smart. Two smart fellows, they felt smart. Three smart fellows, they all felt smart.
  55. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,wheres the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  56. Black bug's blood.
  57. Crisp crusts crackle and crunch.
  58. It's not the cough that carries you off, it's the coffin they carry you off in!
  59. Tie a knot, tie a knot.Tie a tight, tight knot.Tie a knot in the shape of a nought.
  60. Freshly-fried fat flying fish
  61. Rubber baby-buggy bumpers.
  62. Jolly juggling jesters jauntily juggled jingling jacks.
  63. Kindly kittens knitting mittens keep kazooing in the king's kitchen.
  64. Billy Button bought a buttered biscuit,
    did Billy Button buy a buttered biscuit?
    If Billy Button bought a buttered biscuit,
    Where's the buttered biscuit Billy Button bought ??
  65. The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick.
  66. A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk,but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.
  67. She saw a fish on the seashore and I'm sure The fish she saw on the seashore was a saw-fish.
  68. Swan swam over the sea. Swim, swan, swim! Swan swam back again. Well swum, swan!
  69. A Tudor who tooted a flutetried to tutor two tooters to toot.Said the two to their tutor,"Is it harder to tootor to tutor two tooters to toot?"
  70. If you tell Tom to tell a tongue-twister his tongue will be twisted as tongue-twister twists tongues
  71. A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk,but the stump thunk the skunk stunk.
  72. Betty Boughter bought some butter. But she said the butter's bitter. If I put it in my batter. It will make my batter bitter. But a bit of better butter will make it better than the bitter butter. So she bought a bit of better butter. And put it in her batter. And her batter was not bitter. So t'was Betty Boughter bought a bit if better butter and put it in herbatter and her batter was not bitter. Here's the answer: The doctoring doctor doctors the doctor the way thedoctoring doctor wants to doctor the doctor. Not the way the doctored doctor wants to be doctored.
  73. Mr. See owned a saw.And Mr. Soar owned a seesaw.Now See's saw sawed Soar's seesawBefore Soar saw See,Which made Soar sore.Had Soar seen See's sawBefore See sawed Soar's seesaw,See's saw would not have sawedSoar's seesaw.So See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw.But it was sad to see Soar so soreJust because See's saw sawedSoar's seesaw!
  74. I cannot bear to see a bear. Bear down upon a hare. When bare of hair he strips the hare. Right there I cry, "Forbear!"
  75. A tree toad loved a she-toad. Who lived up in a tree. He was a two-toed tree toad. But a three-toed toad was she. The two-toed tree toad tried to win. The three-toed she-toad's heart. For the two-toed tree toad loved the ground. That the three-toed tree toad trod. But the two-toed tree toad tried in vain. He couldn't please her whim. From her tree toad bower. With her three-toed power. The she-toad vetoed him.
  76. Silly Sally swiftly shooed seven silly sheep. The seven silly sheep Silly Sally shooedshilly-shallied south. These sheep shouldn't sleep in a shack;sheep should sleep in a shed.
  77. You've no need to light a night-light. On a light night like tonight. For a night-light's light's a slight light. And tonight's a night that's light. When a night's light, like tonight's light. It is really not quite right. To light night-lights with their slight lights. On a light night like tonight.
  78. Of all the felt I ever felt. I never felt a piece of feltwhich felt as fine as that felt felt. when first I felt that felt hat's felt.
  79. I thought a thought.But the thought I thought wasn't the thoughtI thought I thought.
  80. Swan swam over the sea. Swim, swan, swim! Swan swam back again. Well swum, swan!
  81. Pooped purple pelicans.
  82. Betty block brought some bric a brac.
  83. Cuthbert's cuff links.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Perfect Your English Pronunciation

If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. Try them yourself.

Dearest creature in creation,
Study English pronunciation.
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse.
I will keep you, Suzy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy.
Tear in eye, your dress will tear.
So shall I! Oh hear my prayer.
Just compare heart, beard, and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word,
Sword and sward, retain and Britain.
(Mind the latter, how it's written.)
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as plaque and ague.
But be careful how you speak:
Say break and steak, but bleak and streak;
Cloven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe.
Hear me say, devoid of trickery,
Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore,
Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles,
Exiles, similes, and reviles;
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far;
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel;
Gertrude, German, wind and mind,
Scene, Melpomene, mankind.
Billet does not rhyme with ballet,
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Viscous, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward.
And your pronunciation's OK
When you correctly say croquet,
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
And enamour rhyme with hammer.
River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb,
Doll and roll and some and home.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Souls but foul, haunt but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant,
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger,
And then singer, ginger, linger,
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age.
Query does not rhyme with very,
Nor does fury sound like bury.
Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth.
Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath.
Though the differences seem little,
We say actual but victual.
Refer does not rhyme with deafer.
Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Mint, pint, senate and sedate;
Dull, bull, and George ate late.
Scenic, Arabic, Pacific,Science, conscience, scientific.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed, but vowed.
Mark the differences, moreover,
Between mover, cover, clover;
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice;
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, panel, and canal,
Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal.
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor.
Tour, but our and succour, four.
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Sea, idea, Korea, area,Psalm, Maria,but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean.
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,Dandelion and battalion.
Sally with ally, yea, ye,Eye,
I, ay, aye, whey, and key.
Say aver, but ever, fever,Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver.
Heron, granary, canary.
Crevice and device and aerie.
Face, but preface, not efface.
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Large, but target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging.
Ear, but earn and wear and tear
Do not rhyme with here but ere.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen,Monkey, donkey,
Turk and jerk,Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work.
Pronunciation (think of Psyche!)Is a paling stout and spikey?
Won't it make you lose your wits,
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel:
Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale,
Islington and Isle of Wight,Housewife, verdict and indict.
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough?
Hiccough has the sound of cup.
My advice is to give up!!!

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Animals Dumb Laws in USA - REAL!!!

  1. In Kingsville, Texas, there is a law against two pigs having sex on the city's airport property.
  2. It is illegal for hens to lay eggs before 8 am and after 4 pm in Norfolk, Virginia.
  3. Ducks quacking after 10 pm in Essex Falls, New Jersey are breaking the law.
  4. In Quitman, Georgia, it is against the law for a chicken to cross any road within the city limits.
  5. In McDonald, Ohio, farmers cannot march a goose down a city street.
  6. And fowl, particularly roosters, are prohibited from going into bakeries in Massachusetts.
  7. In Kansas, it is illegal for chicken thieves to work during daylight hours.
  8. In New York, frogs may be taken from their ponds from June 16 to September 30, but only between sunrise and sunset.
  9. In Pennsylvania, no one is allowed to shoot bullfrogs on a Sunday.
  10. In Arizona, the bullfrog-hunting season is permanently closed.
  11. In Vermont, you can be fined if your pig runs in a public park without the permission of a selectman.
  12. French Lick Springs, Indiana, once passed a law requiring all black cats to wear bells on Friday the 13th.
  13. Madison, Wisconsin, will not allow joint custody of a family pet when a couple divorces - the animal is legally awarded to whoever happens to have possession of it at the time of the initial separation.
  14. Dogs in Foxpoint, Wisconsin, may not bark profusely, snarl, or make any menacing gestures.
  15. In Texas, it's illegal to put graffiti on someone else's cow.
  16. It is illegal to ride a mule down Lang, Kansas' Main Street in August, unless the animal is wearing a straw hat.
  17. Over in Berea, Kentucky and also in Willamantic, Connecticut, horses are not allowed out on the streets and highways at night unless the animal has a "bright" red taillight securely attached to its rump.
  18. Horses may not wear cowbells inside the city limits of Tahoe City, California.
  19. In Washington, though, every cow wandering the streets of Seattle must be wearing a cowbell.
  20. In Burns, Oregon, horses are allowed in the town's taverns, if an admission fee is paid before they enter.
  21. You can't blow your nose in public places in Leahy, Washington, because it might scare a horse and cause it to panic.
  22. In Wanassa, New Jersey, a dog is breaking the law if it is heard to be "crying."

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English Idioms Start with "F"

Face like thunder
If someone has a face like thunder, they are clearly very angry or upset about something.
Face the music
If you have to face the music, you have to accept the negative consequences of something you have done wrong. Face value
If you take something at face value, you accept the appearance rather than looking deeper into the matter.
Facts of life
When someone is taught the facts of life, they learn about sex and reproduction.
Fair and square
If someone wins something fair and square, they follow the rules and win conclusively.
Fair crack of the whip
(UK) If everybody has a fair crack of the whip, they all have equal opportunities to do something.
Fair shake of the whip
(USA) If everybody has a fair shake of the whip, they all have equal opportunities to do something.
Fair thee well
Meaning completely and fully: I am tied up today to a fair-thee-well.
Fairweather friend
A fairweather friend is the type who is always there when times are good but forgets about you when things get difficult or problems crop up.
Fall off the back of a lorry
(UK) If someone tries to sell you something that has fallen of the back of a lorry, they are trying to sell you stolen goods.
Fall off the turnip truck
(USA) If someone has just fallen off the turnip truck, they are uninformed, naive and gullible. (Often used in the negative)
Fall on our feet
If you fall on your feet, you succeed in doing something where there was a risk of failure.
Fall on your sword
If someone falls on their sword, they resign or accept the consequences of some wrongdoing.
Familiarity breeds contempt
This means that the more you know something or someone, the more you start to find faults and dislike things about it or them.
Famous last words
This expression is used as a way of showing disbelief, rejection or self-deprecation."They said we had no chance of winning- famous last words!"
Fast and furious
Things that happen fast and furious happen very quickly without stopping or pausing.
Fat cat
A fat cat is a person who makes a lot of money and enjoys a privileged position in society.
Fat chance!
This idiom is a way of telling someone they have no chance.
Fat head
A fat head is a dull, stupid person.
Fat hits the fire
When the fat hits the fire, trouble breaks out.
Fat of the land
Living off the fat of the land means having the best of everything in life.
Fate worse than death
Describing something as a fate worse than death is a fairly common way of implying that it is unpleasant.
Feather in your cap
A success or achievement that may help you in the future is a feather in your cap.
Feather your own nest
If someone feathers their own nest, they use their position or job for personal gain.
Feathers fly
When people are fighting or arguing angrily, we can say that feathers are flying.
Fed up to the back teeth
When you are extremely irritated and fed up with something or someone, you are fed up to the back teeth.
Feel at home
If you feel relaxed and comfortable somewhere or with someone, you feel at home.
Feel free
If you ask for permission to do something and are told to feel free, the other person means that there is absolutely no problem
Feel the pinch
If someone is short of money or feeling restricted in some other way, they are feeling the pinch.
Feeling blue
If you feel blue, you are feeling unwell, mainly associated with depression or unhappiness.
Feet of clay
If someone has feet of clay, they have flaws that make them seem more human and like normal people.
Feet on the ground
A practical and realistic person has their feet on the ground.
Fence sitter
Someone that try to support both side of an argument without committing to either is a fence sitter.
Fiddle while Rome burns
If people are fiddling while Rome burns, they are wasting their time on futile things while problems threaten to destroy them.
Fifth columnist
(UK) A fifth columnist is a member of a subversive organisation who tries to help an enemy invade.
Fifth wheel
(USA) A fifth wheel is something unnecessary or useless.
Fight an uphill battle
When you fight an uphill battle, you have to struggle against very unfavourable circumstances.
Fight tooth and nail
If someone will fight tooth and nail for something, they will not stop at anything to get what they want. ('Fight tooth and claw' is an alternative.)
Fighting chance
If you have a fighting chance, you have a reasonable possibility of success.
Find your feet
When you are finding your feet, you are in the process of gaining confidence and experience in something.
Fine and dandy
(UK) If thing's are fine and dandy, then everything is going well.
Fine tuning
Small adjustments to improve something or to get it working are called fine tuning.
Fine words butter no parsnips
This idiom means that it's easy to talk, but talk is not action.
Finger in the pie
If you have a finger in the pie, you have an interest in something.
Fingers and thumbs
If you are all fingers and thumbs, you are being clumsy and not very skilled with your hands.
Fire away
If you want to ask someone a question and they tell you to fire away, they mean that you are free to ask what you want.
Fire on all cylinders
If something is firing on all cylinders, it is going as well as it could.
First come, first served
This means there will be no preferential treatment and a service will be provided to those that arrive first.
First out of the gate
When someone is first out of the gate, they are the first to do something that others are trying to do.
First port of call
The first place you stop to do something is your first port of call.
Fish or cut bait
(USA) This idiom is used when you want to tell someone that it is time to take action.
Fish out of water
If you are placed in a situation that is completely new to you and confuses you, you are like a fish out of water.
If there is something fishy about someone or something, there is something suspicious; a feeling that there is something wrong, though it isn't clear what it is.
Fit as a fiddle
If you are fit as a fiddle, you are in perfect health.
Fit for a king
If something is fit for a king, it is of the very highest quality or standard.
Fit of pique
If someone reacts badly because their pride is hurt, this is a fit of pique.
Fit the bill
If something fits the bill, it is what is required for the task.
Fit to be tied
If someone is fit to be tied, they are extremely angry.
Flash in the pan
If something is a flash in the pan, it is very noticeable but doesn't last long, like most singers, who are very successful for a while, then forgotten.
Flat as a pancake
It is so flat that it is like a pancake- there is no head on that beer it is as flat as a pancake.
Flat out
If you work flat out, you work as hard and fast as you possibly can.
Fleet of foot
If someone is fleet of foot, they are very quick.
Flesh and blood
Your flesh and blood are your blood relatives, especially your immediate family.
Flogging a dead horse
(UK) If someone is trying to convince people to do or feel something without any hope of succeeding, they're flogging a dead horse. This is used when someone is trying to raise interest in an issue that no-one supports anymore; beating a dead horse will not make it do any more work.
Flowery speech
Flowery speech is full of lovely words, but may well lack substance.
Fly by the seat of one's pants
If you fly by the seat of one's pants, you do something difficult even though you don't have the experience or training required.
Fly in the ointment
A fly in the ointment is something that spoils or prevents complete enjoyment of something.
Fly off the handle
If someone flies off the handle, they get very angry.
Fly on the wall
If you are able to see and hear events as they happen, you are a fly on the wall.
Fly the coop
When children leave home to live away from their parents, they fly the coop.
Fly the flag
If someone flies the flag, they represent or support their country. ('Wave the flag' and 'show the flag' are alternative forms of this idiom)
Food for thought
If something is food for thought, it is worth thinking about or considering seriously.
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me
This means that you should learn from your mistakes and not allow people to take advantage of you repeatedly.
Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
This idiom is used where people who are inexperienced or lack knowledge do something that more informed people would avoid.
Foot in the door
If you have or get your foot in the door, you start working in a company or organisation at a low level, hoping that you will be able to progress from there.
Foot the bill
The person who foots the bill pays the bill for everybody.
Football's a game of two halves
(UK) If something's a game of two halves, it means that it's possible for someone's fortunes or luck to change and the person who's winning could end up a loser.
For a song
If you buy or sell something for a song, it is very cheap.
For donkey's years
(UK) If people have done something, usually without much if any change, for an awfully long time, they can be said to have done it for donkey's years.
For England
(UK) A person who talks for England, talks a lot- if you do something for England, you do it a lot or to the limit.
For kicks
If you do something for kicks, or just for kicks, you do it purely for fun or thrills.
For my money
This idiom means 'in my opinion'.
For the time being
For the time being indicates that an action or state will continue into the future, but is temporary. I'm sharing an office for the time being.
Forbidden fruit
Something enjoyable that is illegal or immoral is forbidden fruit.
Foregone conclusion
If the result of, say, a football match is a foregone conclusion, then the result is obvious before the game has even begun.
Forest for the trees
(USA) If someone can't see the forest for the trees, they get so caught up in small details that they fail to understand the bigger picture.
Foul play
If the police suspect foul play, they think a crime was committed.
Four corners of the earth
If something goes to, or comes from, the four corners of the earth, it goes or comes absolutely everywhere.
Four-square behind
If someone stands four-square behind someone, they give that person their full support.
Fourth estate
This is an idiomatic way of describing the media, especially the newspapers.
Free rein
If someone has a free rein, they have the authority to make the decisions they want without any restrictions. ('Free reign' is a common mistake.)
Fresh from the oven
If something is fresh from the oven, it is very new.
Freudian Slip
If someone makes a Freudian slip, they accidentally use the wrong word, but in doing so reveal what they are really thinking rather than what they think the other person wants to hear.
Friendly footing
When relationships are on a friendly footing, they are going well.
From a different angle
If you look at something from a different angle, you look at it from a different point of view.
From Missouri
(USA) If someone is from Missouri, then they require clear proof before they will believe something.
From pillar to post
If something is going from pillar to post, it is moving around in a meaningless way, from one disaster to another.
From rags to riches
Someone who starts life very poor and makes a fortune goes from rags to riches.
From scratch
This idiom means 'from the beginning'.
From soup to nuts
If you do something from soup to nuts, you do it from the beginning right to the very end.
From the bottom of your heart
If someone does something from the bottom of their heart, then they do it with genuine emotion and feeling.
From the get-go
(USA) If something happens from the get-go, it happens from the very beginning.
From the horse's mouth
If you hear something from the horse's mouth, you hear it directly from the person concerned or responsible.
From the sublime to the ridiculous
If something declines considerably in quality or importance, it is said to have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.
From the word go
From the word go means from the very beginning of something.
Full bore
If something is full bore, it involves the maximum effort or is complete and thorough.
Full circle
When something has come full circle, it has ended up where it started.
Full Monty
(UK) If something is the Full Monty, it is the real thing, not reduced in any way.
Full of beans
If someone's full of beans, they are very energetic.
Full of hot air
Someone who is full of hot air talks a lot of rubbish.
Full of piss and vinegar
Someone who's full of piss and vinegar is full of youthful energy.
Full of the joys of spring
If you are full of the joys of spring, you are very happy and full of energy.
Full swing
If a something is in full swing, it is going or doing well.
Fullness of time
If something happens in the fullness of time, it will happen when the time is right and appropriate.
Fur coat and no knickers
Someone with airs and graces, but no real class is fur coat and no knickers.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Most Common Popular English Idioms A to Z

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush"Dan has asked me to go to a party with him. What if my boyfriend finds out?" Reply: "Don't go. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."

A Blessing In Disguise"My car broke down again, but maybe it was a blessing in disguise; I've been wasting too much time driving around anyway."

A Chip On Your Shoulder"What's bothering that guy?" Answer: "Nothing; he's just got a chip on the shoulder."

A Dime A Dozen"I don't need friends like him; they are a dime a dozen."

A Drop In The Bucket"I'd like to do something to change the world but whatever I do seems like a drop in the bucket."

A Fool And His Money Are Easily PartedExample: "Her husband can't seem to hold onto any amount of money; he either spends it or loses it. A fool and his money are easily parted."

A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned"I'm going to give you $20 but I want you to put it in the bank; a penny saved is a penny earned!"

A Piece Of Cake"Do you think you will win your tennis match today?" Answer: "It will be a piece of cake."

A Shot In The Dark"That was such a difficult question! How did you get it right?" Reply: "I just took a shot in the dark."

A Slap On The Wrist"He should be in jail for what he did, but he got off with just a slap on the wrist."

A Slip Of The Tongue"Be careful talking to the police tomorrow; one slip of the tongue could get us into big trouble."

A Taste Of Your Own Medicine"It looks like she got a taste of her own medicine."

A Toss-Up"Do you think they'll make it one time?" Answer: "I really don't know. It's a toss-up."

A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing"Don't trust the salespeople at that store; they are all wolves in sheep's clothing!"

About Face"Do an about face, get back in that bathroom, and brush your teeth!"

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder"The time we spend apart has been good for us; absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Actions Speak Louder Than Words"Don't tell me how to do this; show me! Actions speak louder than words."

Add Fuel To The Fire"I would like to do something to help, but I don't want to add fuel to the fire."

Against The Clock"We worked against the clock all day to get this report done by 5PM."

Against The Grain"I jog at this track everyday and there is always that one guy who has to go against the grain and run in the opposite direction."

All Bark And No Bite"The new manager threatened to fire me but I know he won't do it; he is all bark and no bite."

All Greek"Did you understand what he just said?" Reply: "Nope. It was all Greek to me."

All In The Same Boat"We can't fight against each other; we need to work together. We're all in the same boat!"

All That Glitters Is Not Gold"Be careful when shopping for your new car; all that glitters is not gold!"

All Thumbs"Hey! You are pouring my coffee on the table!" Reply: "Oh, I'm so sorry! I have been all thumbs today."

An Arm And A Leg"Be careful with that watch; it cost me an arm and a leg."

An Axe To Grind"I have an axe to grind with you." Answer: "Oh no; what did I do wrong?"

Arm In Arm"What a nice afternoon. We walked arm in arm along the beach for hours."

Around The Block"You kids are too young to fall in love: Wait until you have been around the block a time or two."

As Blind As A Bat"Without his glasses, my father is as blind as a bat."

As High As A Kite"The ball got stuck up there on the roof. It's as high as a kite."

As Light As A Feather"Wow, you lift that box so easily!" Reply: "Oh, come on. It is as light as a feather."

At The Drop Of A Hat"Would you travel around the world if you had the money?" Answer: "At the drop of a hat."

At Wit's End"We have been at wit's end trying to figure out how we are going to pay our taxes."

Back To The Drawing Board"It looks like my plan to kill the weeds in the garden has failed. Back to the drawing board."

Barking Up The Wrong Tree"I have been trying to solve this math problem for 30 minutes but I think I've been barking up the wrong tree."

Beat A Dead Horse"There's no use in beating a dead horse."

Beating Around The Bush"If you want to ask me, just ask; don't beat around the bush."

Bend Over Backwards"We bent over backwards to help him, and he never even thanked us!"

Better Late Than Never"Sorry I was late for the meeting today; I got stuck in traffic." Answer: "That's okay; better late than never."

Between A Rock And A Hard Place"I'd like to help you but I am stuck between a rock and a hard place."

Birds Of A Feather Flock Together"Look; the volleyball players are eating at the same table together, as always." Answer: "Birds of a feather flock together."

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew"I thought I could finish this report within one month, but it looks like I have bitten off more than I can chew."

Bite Your Tongue"Whenever that professor says something I don't like, I have to bite my tongue."

Blood Is Thicker Than Water"When my best friend and my brother got in a fight I had to help my brother; blood is thicker than water."

Break Down"Did your car break down again?"

Break In"They broke in to my apartment when I was gone, and they took everything!"

Break The Tie"Whoever wins in Florida will have enough votes to break the tie."

Burn Your Bridges"I wish you hadn't been rude to that man just now; he is very important in this town and you shouldn't go around burning bridges."

Burning The Candle At Both Ends"Ever since this new project started I have been burning the candle at both ends. I can't take much more of it."

Burning The Midnight Oil"Our son has been working hard preparing for his final exams!" Answer: "Yes, he's been up each night burning the midnight oil."

Call It Off"Tonight's game was called off because of the rain."

Can't Cut The Mustard"Bob dropped out of medical school; he couldn't cut the mustard."

Cold Turkey"I want to quit drinking right now. As of this moment, I am going cold turkey."

Come Hell Or High Water"Will you be at the family reunion next year?" Answer: "Yes- we'll be there, come hell or high water!"

Cross Your Fingers"Let's cross our fingers and hope for the best!"

Cry Over Spilt Milk"Let's not go crying over spilt milk."

Cry Wolf"That kid on the other team just fell down; it looks like he might be hurt!" Answer: "He's not hurt; he's just crying wolf."

Curiosity Killed The Cat"Hey, I wonder what's down that street; it looks awfully dark and creepy." Answer: "Let's not try to find out. Curiosity killed the cat."

Dead Heat"It looks like were going to have to find another way to decide a winner. That one was a dead heat."

Dog-Eat-Dog"I have been in this business for twenty years. It's dog-eat-dog; the competition is always trying to steal your customers."

Don't Count Your Chickens Until They're Hatched"Next Friday I will be able to pay you back that money I owe you." Answer: "I won't be counting my chickens..."

Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth"Don't look a gift horse in the mouth! When you buy your own beers you can decide what brand you want."

Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket"The best way to gamble is to only bet small amounts of money and never put all your eggs in one basket."

Down To The Wire"It looks like this race is going to come right down to the wire!"

Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures"Sales have been slow and we had to let go three of our employees; drastic times call for drastic measures."

Dry Spell"Sam is a great salesman, though lately he's been having a bit of a dry spell."

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining"I found a new job after all and I like this one much better than the last!" Answer: "You see, every cloud has a silver lining."

Everything But The Kitchen Sink"Whenever we go camping my wife wants to bring everything but the kitchen sink!"

Fair And Fair Alike"Michael stayed home to take care of your sister last night, so tonight it is your turn. Fair and fair alike."

Finding Your Feet"Don't worry about it. We will help you while you are finding your feet."

Fixed In Your Ways"Sometimes it is hard to accept that your parents are fixed in their ways."

Flash In The Pan"What a great first year he had, but after that... nothing!" Answer: "Just another flash in the pan."

From Rags To Riches"My uncle is a real rags to riches story."

Get Over It"I was very sick yesterday, but I got over it quickly."

Get Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed"Don't start yelling at me just because you got up on the wrong side of the bed."

Give Him The Slip"My brother will be at the movie tonight. Afterwards, let's give him the slip and go to a party."

Go For Broke"The way to be successful is to decide exactly what you want, then go for broke."

Great Minds Think Alike"I have decided that this summer I am going to learn how to scuba dive." Answer: "Me too! I have already paid for the course. Great minds think alike!"

Haste Makes Waste"You should always take your time when doing your taxes and check your numbers very carefully; haste makes waste."

Have No Idea"I can't find my keys. I have no idea where I put them."

He Lost His Head"Okay- I'll tell you what happened. But don't lose your head."

Head Over Heels"I have been head over heels about my girlfriend since the day I met her."

Icing On The Cake"I've been accepted by the university, and they've offered me a position on the basketball team!" Answer: "That's wonderful! Icing on the cake."

Idle Hands Are The Devil's Tools"It makes me nervous to see those kids outside just standing around; idle hands are the devils tools!"

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another"First the car broke down, and now I can't find my keys! If it's not one thing, it's another!"

In And Out"I know this city in and out."

In Over Your Head"Go ahead and lead the meeting today; I'll help you out if you get in over your head."

In The Dark"Did you know that today was her birthday?" Answer: "No, I was in the dark."

In The Doghouse"You kids will be in the doghouse with your mother after that mess you made in her garden!"

In The Heat Of The Moment"Sorry about what I said; I got caught up in the heat of the moment."

It Takes Two To Tango"Her husband is awful; they fight all the time." Answer: "It takes two to tango."

It's A Small World"Hey, it's funny seeing you here." Reply: "It's a small world."

Its Anyone's Call"Who do you think will win this election?" Answer: "Its anyone's call."

Keep An Eye On Him"I have to run to the bathroom. Can you keep an eye on my suitcase while I am gone?"

Labor Of Love"Taking care of this dog is a labor of love."

Lend Me Your Ear"Friends, Romans, countrymen; lend me your ear."

Let Bygones Be Bygones"You and I have had our disagreements; let's let bygones be bygones."

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie"I wanted to ask her what she thought of her ex-husband, but I figured it was better to let sleeping dogs lie."

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag"Bob didn't tell anyone that he was sick, but his wife let the cat out of the bag."

Mad As A Hatter"Everybody in my family knew that our uncle was as mad as a hatter."

Method To My Madness"Give me a moment to explain; there is method to my madness."

Neck And Neck"They're coming around the final corner. They're neck and neck!"

Neither A Borrower, Nor A Lender Be"Could you lend me twenty dollars?" Answer: "Sorry, neither a borrower nor a lender be."

Never Bite The Hand That Feeds You"We have been your best customers for years. How could you suddenly treat us so rudely? You should never bite the hand that feeds you."

Nose Out Of Joint"We were only joking; don't get your nose out of joint."

Not A Chance"Do you think you will be able to finish your report by five o'clock today?" Answer: "Not a chance. I'll be busy in meetings all day."

Off Limits"Guns are off limits within New York City."

Off On The Wrong Foot"Let's try to start on time tomorrow and get off on the right foot."

Off The Hook"You're lucky; it turns out that Dad never heard you come in late last night." Answer: "Great, that means I'm off the hook!"

On Pins And Needles"Jean was on pins and needles the whole time her father was in the hospital."

On The Fence"Has he decided whether he will take the job yet?" Answer: "No, he's still on the fence."

On The Same Page"Before we make any decisions today, I'd like to make sure that everyone is on the same page."

On Top Of The World"What a great time we had that night; we were on top of the world!"

On Your Last Leg"I would be glad to sell you my car, but I must tell you that it is on its last leg."

On Your Mind"You have been on my mind all day."

One For The Road"Bartender- I'll have one more whiskey for the road."

Out And About"Where have you been all day?" Answer: "Oh, out and about."

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind"I meant to read that book, but as soon as I put it down, I forgot about it." Answer: "Out of sight, out of mind."

Out Of The Blue"Why did she do that?" Answer: "I have no idea. It was completely out of the blue."

Out Of The Frying Pan And Into The Fire"I didn't like that job because I was working too hard. Yet in this new job I work even harder!" Answer: "Out of the frying pan and into the fire."

Out Of The Woods"Joe was sick two weeks ago and we were very worried, but now it looks like he is out of the woods."

Out Of Your Element"He is a great tennis player on the hard courts, but he is out of his element on grass."

Out On A Limb"I want this project to succeed just as much as you do, but I am not willing to go out on a limb."

Out On The Town"Do you want to join us tonight? We're going out on the town."

Over My Dead Body"All of my friends are going out to the lake tonight and I'm going too!" Answer: "Over my dead body you are!"

Par For The Course"I get sick every time I travel." Answer: "That's just par for the course."

Penny-Wise, Pound-Foolish"We've worked so hard to save money that if we took a vacation now it would be penny-wise, pound-foolish."

People Who Live In Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones"Look at what time it is... you are late again!" Answer: "Hey, how often are you not on time? People who live in glass houses should not throw stones."

Practice Makes Perfect"You see how quickly you are getting better at the piano! Practice makes perfect!"

Practice What You Preach"Good managers always lead by example and practice what they preach."

Preaching To The Choir"You don't need to tell me this project is important; you're preaching to the choir."

Protest Too Much"Do you think he is telling the truth?" Answer: "I think he protests too much."

Pulling Your Leg"I want to ask you a question and I would like an honest answer; no pulling my leg."

Put Your Best Foot Forward"I want you to get out on that field and put your best foot forward!"

Put Your Foot In Your Mouth"Let's all be very careful what we say at the meeting tomorrow. I don't want anyone putting their foot in their mouth."

Raise Cain"Have you two boys been out raising cain again?"

Rock The Boat"Everybody wants to go except for you. Why do you have to rock the boat?"

Roll Out The Red Carpet"We are all so excited about your coming home that we're going to roll out the red carpet."

Rome Was Not Built In One Day"It is taking me a long time to write this computer program." Answer: "Rome was not built in one day."

Round About"Well, I know how to get there in a round about way, but maybe we should check the map."

Rub Salt In An Old Wound"Oh please, let's not rub salt in old wounds!"

Second Nature"It has always been second nature for me to draw with both hands."

Shake A Leg"They are waiting outside in the car; let's shake a leg!"

Sick As A Dog"I heard you were uncomfortable yesterday." Answer: "Uncomfortable? I was as sick as a dog!"

Sink Or Swim"When we interview new teachers, we just put them in with the students and see how they do. It's sink or swim."

Six Of One, A Half-Dozen Of The OtherExample: "I say she's a stewardess. She says she's a flight attendant. It's six of one, a half-dozen of the other."

Skeletons In The Closet"I had only known her for one week. How could I know what skeletons she had in her closet?"

Split Down The Middle"The election is split down the middle with no clear winner at the moment."

Start From Scratch"How are you going to build your business?" Answer: "Just like everyone else does: starting from scratch."

The Apple Of Your Eye"Even when they were young, she was always the apple of his eye."

The Ball Is In Your Court"My uncle helped me to get an interview at his company, now the ball is in my court."

The Best Of Both Worlds"My wife and I bought one house in Paris and one in New York; it gives us the best of both worlds."

The Bigger They Are The Harder They Fall"Are you worried that he might be too strong?" Answer: "No I'm not. He is big, but the bigger they are, the harder they fall."

The Devil Is In The Details"I can sketch a basic outline of the plan for you and it may look very simple, but the devil is in the details."

The Early Bird Catches The Worm"I always arrive at work 30 minutes early; the early bird catches the worm!"

The Ends Justify The Means"I agree with your goal, but the ends do not justify the means."

The Jury Is Out"Its hard to say if what we did was the right thing. The jury is still out on it."

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black"Here comes the guy who is always late for work." Answer: "Aren't you the pot calling the kettle black?"

The Pros And Cons"I've considered the pros and cons and I've decided: it is going to be expensive, but I still want to go to college."

The Sky Is The Limit"After I graduate from business school, the sky's the limit!"

The Straw That Broke The Camel's Back"You've been rude to me all day, and I've had it. That's the last straw!"

The Writing On The Wall"Can't you see the writing on the wall?"

Third Wheel"You two go on ahead without me. I don't want to be the third wheel."

Tie The Knot"Did you hear about Dan and Jenny? They finally decided to tie the knot!"

To Err Is Human, To Forgive Divine"I will never forgive my mother for what she has done!" Answer: "Don't be angry at her. To err is human, to forgive divine."

Tooth And Nail"That was a tough match; they fought us tooth and nail!"

Truer Words Were Never Spoken"The earlier I get up, the better the day I have." Answer:" Truer words were never spoken."

Turn Over A New Leaf"I'm turning over a new leaf; I've decided to quit smoking."

Two Wrongs Don't Make A Right"That boy pushed me yesterday and I am going to get him back today!" Answer: "No you are not! Two wrongs do not make a right."

Two's Company; Three's a Crowd"Why did you have to bring your sister? Two's company; three's a crowd!"

Under The Gun"Everyone at the office has been working under the gun since the new manager arrived."

Under The Weather"What's wrong?" Answer: "I'm a bit under the weather."

Up Against"We have been up against stronger opponents in the past."

Up For Grabs"Quick- that table is up for grabs; let's get it before someone else does."

Variety Is The Spice Of LifeExample: "We were originally planning to go to Mexico on our vacation this year - like we did last year - but we decided to go to Egypt instead. Variety is the spice of life!"

Water Under The Bridge"Aren't you still angry about what he said?" Answer: "No, that was a long time ago. It's all water under the bridge."

Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve"My brother always lets you know how he feels; he wears his heart on his sleeve."

What They Don't Know Won't Hurt Them"Don't tell your father what happened; what he doesn't know won't hurt him."

When In Rome, Do As The Romans Do"Are you sure we should eat this with our hands?" Answer: "Why not? All of these people are eating it that way. When in Rome, do as the Romans do!"

When It Rains, It Pours"Sometimes we have no customers for two or three hours then suddenly we get 20 people all at once; when it rains, it pours!"

When Pigs Fly"Would you ever take her on a date?" Answer: "Sure- when pigs fly!"

Wine And Dine"That man is really is really crazy about my sister. He has been wining and dining her all month."

With Your Back Up Against The Wall"I'm sorry I can't help you; I've got my back up against the wall."

Without A Doubt"Are you going to watch the game tomorrow?" Answer: "Without a doubt!"

Word Of Mouth"Where did you hear about that?" Answer: "Just word of mouth."

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover"He dresses in plain clothing and drives an ordinary car. Who would know he is the richest man in town? You can't judge a book by its cover!"

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine"Excuse me, what time does the bus arrive?" Answer: "Your guess is as good as mine; I almost never take the bus."

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English Idioms Start With "E"

Each to their own
Different people have different preferences. In American English, 'Each to his own' is more common.
Eager beaver
A person who is extremely keen is an eager beaver.
Eagle eyes
Someone who has eagle eyes sees everything; no detail is too small.
Early bath
(UK) If someone has or goes for an early bath, they quit or lose their job or position earlier than expected because things have gone wrong.
Early bird catches the worm
The early bird catches the worm means that if you start something early, you stand a better chance of success.
Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.
It means that sleeping well and not staying up late will help you out physically and financially.
Earn a living
To make money Ex: We need to get a good job to earn a decent living.
Easier said than done
If something is easier said than done, it is much more difficult than it sounds. It is often used when someone advises you to do something difficult and tries to make it sound easy.
Easy as pie
If something is easy as pie, it is very easy indeed.
Easy come, easy go
This idiom means that money or other material gains that come without much effort tend to get spent or consumed as easily.
Easy peasy
(UK) If something is easy peasy, it is very easy indeed. ('Easy peasy, lemon squeezy' is also used.)
Eat crow
(USA) If you eat crow, you have to admit that you were wrong about something.
Eat humble pie
If someone apologises and shows a lot of contrition for something they have done, they eat humble pie.
Eat like a bird
If someone eats like a bird, they eat very little.
Eat like a horse
Someone who eats like a horse, eats a lot.
Eat like a pig
If some eats like a pig, they either eat too much or they have bad table manners.
Eat my hat
People say this when they don't believe that something is going to happen e.g. 'If he passes that exam, I'll eat my hat!'
Eat someone alive
If you eat someone alive, you defeat or beat them comprehensively.
Eat your heart out
If someone tells you to eat your heart out, they are saying they are better than you at something.
Eat your words
If you eat your words, you accept publicly that you were wrong about something you said.
Economical with the truth
(UK) If someone, especially a politician, is economical with the truth, they leave out information in order to create a false picture of a situation, without actually lying.
Egg on your face
If someone has egg on their face, they are made to look foolish or embarrassed.
Elbow grease
If something requires elbow grease, it involves a lot of hard physical work.
Elbow room
If you haven't got enough elbow room, you haven't got enough space.
Elephant in the room
An elephant in the room is a problem that everyone knows very well but no one talks about because it is taboo, embarrassing, etc.
Eleventh hour
If something happens at the eleventh hour, it happens right at the last minute.
Empty vessels make the most noise.
The thoughtless often speak the most.
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while
This expression means that even if people are ineffective or misguided, sometimes they can still be correct just by being lucky.
Even keel
If something is on an even keel, it is balanced.
Even Stevens
If everything is equal between people, they are even Stevens.
Even the dogs in the street know
(Irish) This idiom is used frequently in Ireland, and means something is so obvious that even the dogs in the street know it.
Every ass likes to hear himself bray
This means that people like the sound of their own voice.
Every cloud has a silver lining
People sometimes say that every cloud has a silver lining to comfort somebody who's having problems. They mean that it is always possible to get something positive out of a situation, no matter how unpleasant, difficult or even painful it might seem.
Every dog has its day
This idiom means that everyone gets their moment to shine.
Every man for himself
If it's every man for himself, then people are trying to save themselves from a difficult situation without trying to help anyone else.
Every man jack
If every man jack was involved in something, it is an emphatic way of saying that absolutely everybody was involved.
Every Tom, Dick and Harry
If every Tom, Dick and Harry knows about something, then it is common knowledge.
Every trick in the book
If you try every trick in the book, you try every possible way, including dishonesty and deceit, to get what you want.
Everything but the kitchen sink
If people include everything but the kitchen sink, they include every possibility, regardless of whether they are useful.
Exception that proves the rule
This expression is used by many to indicate that an exception in some way confirms a rule. Others say that the exception tests the rule. In its original legal sense, it meant that a rule could sometimes be inferred from an exemption or exception. In general use, the first meaning predominates nowadays, much to the annoyance of some pedants.
Explore all avenues
If all avenues are being explored, then every conceivable approach is being tried that could possibly get the desired result.
Eye for an eye
This is an expression for retributive justice, where the punishment equals the crime.
Eyes are bigger than one's stomach
If someone's eyes are bigger than their stomach, they are greedy and take on more than they can consume or manage.

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English Idioms Start With "D"

Daft as a brush
(UK) Someone who is daft as a brush is rather stupid.
Damp squib
(UK) If something is expected to have a great effect or impact but doesn't, it is a damp squib.
Dancing on someone's grave
If you will dance on someone's grave, you will outlive or outlast them and will celebrate their demise.
Dark horse
If someone is a dark horse, they are a bit of a mystery.
Day in the sun
If you have your day in the sun, you get attention and are appreciated.
Daylight robbery
If you are overcharged or underpaid, it is a daylight robbery; open, unfair and hard to prevent. Rip-off has a similar meaning.
Dead air
When there is a period of total silence, there is dead air.
Dead and buried
If something is dead and buried, it has all long been settled and is not going to be reconsidered.
Dead as a dodo
If something's dead as a dodo, it is lifeless and dull. The dodo was a bird that lived the island of Mauritius. It couldn't fly and was hunted to extinction.
Dead as a doornail
This is used to indicate that something is lifeless.
Dead duck
If something is a dead duck, it is a failure.
Dead from the neck up
Someone who's dead from the neck up is very stupid indeed.
Dead heat
If a race ends in a dead heat, two or more finish with exactly the same result.
Dead in the water
If something is dead in the water, it isn't going anywhere or making any progress.
Dead man walking
A dead man walking is someone who is in great trouble and will certainly get punished, lose their job or position, etc, soon.
Dead meat
This is used as a way of threatening someone: You'll be dead meat if you don't go along.
Dead men's shoes
If promotion or success requires replacing somebody, then it can only be reached by dead men's shoes' by getting rid of them.
Dead to the world
If somebody's fast asleep and completely unaware of what if happening around them, he or she's dead to the world.
Deaf as a post
Someone who is as deaf as a post is unable to hear at all.
Dear John letter
A letter written by a partner explaining why they are ending the relationship is a Dear John letter.
Death of a thousand cuts
If something is suffering the death of a thousand cuts, or death by a thousand cuts, lots of small bad things are happening, none of which are fatal in themselves, but which add up to a slow and painful demise.
Death warmed up
(UK) If someone looks like death warmed up, they look very ill indeed. ('death warmed over' is the American form)
Deep pockets
If someone has deep pockets, they are wealthy.
Demon weed
Tobacco is the demon weed.
If a person shows derring-do, they show great courage.
Devil finds work for idle hands
When people say that the devil finds work for idle hands, they mean that if people don't have anything to do with their time, they are more likely to get involved in trouble and criminality.
Devil is in the detail
When people say that the devil in the detail, they mean that small things in plans and schemes that are often overlooked can cause serious problems later on.
Devil may care
If you live a devil-may-care life it means you are willing to take more risks than most people.
Devil's advocate
If someone plays Devil's advocate in an argument, they adopt a position they don't believe in just for the sake of the argument
Diamond in the rough
A diamond in the rough is someone or something that has great potential, but isn't not refined and polished.
Die is cast
If the die is cast, a decision has been made that cannot be altered and fate will decide the consequences.
Different kettle of fish
If something is a different kettle of fish, it is very different from the other things referenced.
Different ropes for different folks
(USA) This idiom means that different people do things in different ways that suit them.
Different strokes for different folks
(USA) This idiom means that different people do things in different ways that suit them.
Dig your heels in
If you dig your heels in, you start to resist something.
Dime a dozen
(USA) If something is a dime a dozen, it is extremely common, possibly too common.
Dine on ashes
I someone is dining on ashes he or she is excessively focusing attention on failures or regrets for past actions.
Dip your toes in the water
If you dip your toes in the water, you try something tentatively because you are not sure whether it will work or not.
Dirty dog
A dirty dog is an untrustworthy person.
Discerning eye
If a person has a discerning eye, they are particularly good at judging the quality of something.
Discretion is the better part of valour
This idiom means that it is often better to think carefully and not act than to do something that may cause problems.
Dish the dirt
If you dish the dirt on something or someone, you make unpleasant or shocking information public.
Do a Devon Loch
(UK) If someone does a Devon Loch, they fail when they were very close to winning. Devon Loch was a horse that collapsed just short of the winning line of the Grand National race.
Do a runner
(UK) If people leave a restaurant without paying, they do a runner.
Do as you would be done by
Treat and respect others as you would hope to be respected and treated by them.
Do the needful
(India) If you do the needful, you do what is necessary.
Do the running
(UK) The person who has to do the running has to make sure that things get done. ('Make the running' is also used.)
Do their dirty work
Someone who does someone's dirty work, carries out the unpleasant jobs that the first person doesn't want to do. Someone who seems to enjoy doing this is sometimes known as a 'henchman'.
Do's and don't's
The do's and don't's are what is acceptable or allowed or not within an area or issue, etc.
Dodge the bullet
If someone has dodged a bullet, they have successfully avoided a very serious problem.
Dog and pony show
(USA) A dog and pony show is a presentation or some marketing that has lots of style, but no real content.
Dog days
Dog days are very hot summer days.
Dog eat dog
In a dog eat dog world, there is intense competition and rivalry, where everybody thinks only of himself or herself.
Dog in the manger
(UK) If someone acts like a dog in the manger, they don't want other people to have or enjoy things that are useless to them.
Dog tired
If you are dog tired, you are exhausted.
Dog's dinner
Something that is a dog's dinner is a real mess.
Dog's life
If some has a dog's life, they have a very unfortunate and wretched life.
If a book is dog-eared, it is in bad condition, with torn pages, etc.
Dog-whistle politics
(AU) When political parties have policies that will appeal to racists while not being overtly racist, they are indulging in dog-whistle politics.
Doggy bag
If you ask for a doggy bag in a restaurant, they will pack the food you haven't eaten for you to take home.
If a person is in the doldrums, they are depressed. If a project or something similar is in the doldrums, it isn't making any progress.
Dollars for doughnuts
(USA) If something is dollars for doughnuts, it is a sure bet or certainty.
Don't bite the hand that feeds
When someone says this to you, they are trying to tell you not to act against those on whom you depend.
Don't catch your chickens before they're hatched
This means that you should wait until you know whether something has produced the results you desire, rather than acting beforehand. ('Don't count your chickens until they've hatched' is an alternative.)
Don't cry over spilt milk
When something bad happens and nothing can be done to help it people say, 'Don't cry over spilt milk'.
Don't give up the day job
This idiom is used a way of telling something that they do something badly.
Don't hold your breath
If you are told not to hold your breath, it means that you shouldn't have high expectations about something.
Don't judge a book by the cover
This idiom means that you should not judge something or someone by appearances, but should look deeper at what is inside and more important.
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
This means that if you are given something, a present or a chance, you should not waste it by being too critical or examining it too closely.
Don't mention the war
This means that you shouldn't speak about things that could cause an argument or tension.This idiom was used in a classic episode of the much-loved British comedy series Fawlty Towers. As a consequence if you use this phrase in Britain, listeners will understand you to be referring to Germans, or just start laughing.
Don't push my buttons!
This can be said to someone who is starting to annoy you.
Don't sweat the small stuff
(USA) This is used to tell people not to worry about trivial or unimportant issues.
Don't take any wooden nickels
(USA) This idiom is used to advise people not to be cheated or ripped off.
Don't throw bricks when you live in a glass house.
Don't call others out on actions that you, yourself do. Don't be a hypocrite.
Don't upset the applecart
If you are advised not to upset the applecart, you are being told not to disturb the way things are done because it might ruin things.
Don't wash your dirty laundry in public
(UK) People, especially couples, who argue in front of others or involve others in their personal problems and crises, are said to be washing their dirty laundry in public; making public things that are best left private. (In American English, 'don't air your dirty laundry in public' is used.)
Done to death
If a joke or story has been done to death, it has been told so often that it has stopped being funny.
Donkey's years
This idiom means 'a very long time'.
A person who doesn't stand up for themselves and gets treated badly is a doormat.
Double Dutch
(UK) If something is double Dutch, it is completely incomprehensible.
Double take
If someone does a double take, they react very slowly to something to show how shocked or surprised they are.
Double whammy
A double whammy is when something causes two problems at the same time, or when two setbacks occur at the same time.
Double-edged sword
If someone uses an argument that could both help them and harm them, then they are using a two-edged sword; it cuts both ways.
Doubting Thomas
A Doubting Thomas is someone who only believes what they see themselves, not what they are told.
Down and out
If someone is down and out, they are desperately poor and need help.
Down at heel
Someone who is down at heel is short of money. ('Down in heel' is used in American English)
Down for the count
If someone is down for the count, they have lost a struggle, like a boxer who has been knocked out.
Down in the doldrums
If somebody's down in the doldrums, they are depressed and lacking energy.
Down in the dumps
If someone's down in the dumps, they are depressed.
Down in the mouth
If someone is down in the mouth, they look unhappy or depressed.
Down the drain
If something goes down the drain, especially money or work, it is wasted or produces no results.
Down the pan
If something has gone down the pan, it has failed or been ruined.
Down the tubes
If something has gone down the tubes, it has failed or been ruined.
Down to the wire
(USA) If something goes down to the wire, like a competition, then it goes to the very last moment before it is clear who has won.
Someone who's down-to-earth is practical and realistic. It can also be used for things like ideas.
Drag your feet
If someone is dragging their feet, they are taking too long to do or finish something, usually because they don't want to do it.
Drag your heels
If you drag your heels, you either delay doing something or do it as slowly as possible because you don't want to do it.
Draw a blank
If you try to find something out and draw a blank, you don't get any useful information.
Draw a line in the sand
If you draw a line in the sand, you establish a limit beyond which things will be unacceptable.
Draw a long bow
If someone draws a long bow, they lie or exaggerate.
Draw the line
When you draw the line, you set out limits of what you find acceptable, beyond which you will not go.
Draw the shortest straw
If someone draws the shortest straw, they lose or are chosen to do something unpleasant.
Dress to kill
When someone is dressed to kill, they are dressed very smartly.
Dressed to the nines
If you are in your very best clothes, you're dressed to the nines.
Drink like a fish
If someone drinks like a fish, they drink far too much alcohol.
Drive a wedge
If you drive a wedge between people, you exploit an issue so that people start to disagree.
Drive home
The idiomatic expression "drive home" means "reinforce" as in "The company offered unlimited technical support as a way to drive home the message that customer satisfaction was its highest priority."
Drive someone up the wall
If something or someone drives you up the wall, they do something that irritates you greatly.
Driven by a motor
This is used to describe people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when they talk excessively: "they act as if driven by a motor."
Drop a bombshell
If someone drops a bombshell, they announce something that changes a situation drastically and unexpectedly.
Drop in the bucket
(USA) A drop in the bucket is something so small that it won't make any noticeable difference.
Drop in the ocean
A drop in the ocean implies that something will have little effect because it is small and mostly insignificant.
Drop like flies
This means that something is disappearing very quickly. For example, if you said people were dropping like flies, it would mean that they were dying off, quitting or giving up something rapidly.
Drop someone a line
If you drop someone a line, you send a letter to them.
Drop the ball
If someone drops the ball, they are not doing their job or taking their responsibilities seriously enough and let something go wrong.
Drunk as a lord
(UK) Someone who is very drunk is as drunk as a lord.
Dry as a bone
If your lawn is as dry as a bone, the soil is completely dry.
Dry spell
If something or someone is having a dry spell, they aren't being as successful as they normally are.
Duck soup
(USA) If something is duck soup, it is very easy.
Duck to water
If you take to something like a duck to water, you find when you start that you have a natural affinity for it.
Ducks in a row
(USA) If you have your ducks in a row, you are well-organized.
Dull as ditchwater
(UK) If something is as dull as ditchwater, it is incredibly boring. A ditch is a long narrow hole or trench dug to contain water, which is normally a dark, dirty colour and stagnant (when water turns a funny colour and starts to smell bad). (In American English,'things are 'dull as dishwater'.)
Dunkirk spirit
(UK) Dunkirk spirit is when people pull together to get through a very difficult time.
Dutch auction
If something is sold by setting a price, then reducing it until someone buys it, it is sold in a Dutch auction. It can also mean that something is changed until it is accepted by everyone.
Dutch courage
Dutch courage is the reckless bravery caused by drinking too much.
Dutch treat
If something like a meal is a Dutch treat, then each person pays their own share of the bill.
Dutch uncle
A Dutch uncle is a person who gives unwelcome advice.
Dutch wife
A Dutch wife is a long pillow or a hot water bottle.
Dwell on the past
Thinking too much about the past, so that it becomes a problem is to dwell on the past.
If someone is a dyed-in-the-wool supporter of a political party, etc, they support them totally, without any questions.

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