- ADD FUEL TO THE FIRE
- To inflame or worsen a bad situation.
Max was already upset. Your teasing him just added fuel to the fire.
- ADD UP
- To make sense; to be consistent (usually negative)
John's excuse for not completing his homework just doesn't add up.
- AGAINST THE GRAIN
- Contrary to what is expected or preferred.
Mary has a difficult time getting along with others as she is inclined to go against the grain in everything she does.
- AHEAD OF ONE'S TIME
- In advance of current ideas and trends.
Some people describe Albert Einstein was a physicist ahead of his time.
- ALL EARS
- Listening intently; eager to hear something.
So, you have some new gossip about Mary. I'm all ears.
- ALL FIRED UP
- Excited; highly enthusiastic
I'm really fired up about the party next week.
- ARM AND A LEG
- A very high cost; a large amount of money.
Many people are complaining that gas costs an arm and a leg nowadays.
- AT THE END OF ONE'S ROPE
- At the limit of one's patience.
Mary is at the end of her rope with Max. She can't take his nagging any longer.
- AT THE TOP OF ONE'S LUNGS
- In an extremely loud voice.
Max called out to Mary at the top of his lungs, but she didn't hear him.
- BALLPARK FIGURE
- A rough estimate within acceptable bounds.
Two months after the fire, the construction company gave us a ballpark figure on how much it would cost to rebuild our home.
- BANG FOR THE BUCK
- Value; efficiency; return on investment.
I'm not sure which car to buy. I'm trying to figure out which gives the greatest bang for the buck.
- BARK UP THE WRONG TREE
- Pursue the wrong thing; to take the wrong approach.
Don't ask me for a pay raise. You're barking up the wrong tree. I have no authority to give anybody a pay raise.
- BEAR IN MIND
- Remember; consider; note.
Bear in mind that money is not the most important thing in life.
- BEAT A DEAD HORSE
- To continue or persist talking about a topic or issue beyond normal interest.
I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but could we go over the plan just once more?
- BEAT AROUND THE BUSH
- To talk about a topic too indirectly or cautiously; to take a long time getting to the main point or idea.
Please stop beating around the bush and get to the point!
- BEATS ME
- I don't know; this puzzles me.
Do you have any idea why Mary was upset? Beats me!
- BEND OVER BACKWARDS
- To make a great effort; to go to great lengths.
Max bent over backwards to make sure that his boss was happy.
- BESIDE THE POINT
- Irrelevant, off the topic.
The color of the car is beside the point. What kind of gas mileage does it get?
- BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE
- Having the choice between two difficult or unacceptable options.
Max was between a rock and a hard place. He could fight in the war, which he didn't believe in, or go to prison.
- BITE ONE'S TONGUE
- To stop oneself from speaking out.
Max quit his job because he was tired of biting his tongue every time his boss announced one of his stupid ideas.
- BLOW (SOMETHING) OUT OF PROPORTION
- To overreact or exaggerate something.
Let's not blow the problem out of proportion. If we break it down, we'll see that it is really not that complicated.
- BUY IT
- To believe something.
Max told Mary that he was sorry, but she didn't buy it.
- CALL IT A DAY
- To stop an activity for the day.
We've done enough work today. Let's call it a day.
- CALL IT A NIGHT
- To go to bed to sleep.
I'm tired. I'm going to have to call it a night.
- CALL IT EVEN
- To declare debts paid.
You save my life five years ago, and I saved your life just now. Let's call it even.
- CALL IT QUITS
- To conclude; to quit or stop an activity.
I think everyone is very tired right now; let's call it quits for now and try again tomorrow.
- CAN OF WORMS
- A difficult problem which produces additional problems.
Max couldn't tell Mary the truth. He knew it would open a can of worms.
- CARRY ON
- To continue or proceed.
I'll be gone for a couple weeks. I'm sure you can carry on without me.
- CATCH ON
- To understand; to realize.
Max took a little extra time to catch on, but eventually he understood the situation.
- CHANGE ONE'S MIND
- To decide differently or have a different opinion than before.
I know I said that I wanted vanilla, but I changed my mind; I want chocolate.
- CHEAT ON
- To be sexually unfaithful to.
John asked for a divorce when he found out that Mary was cheating on him.
- CLOSE BUT NO CIGAR
- A narrowly missed attempt or guess.
Nice try. Close but no cigar. Guess again.
- COLD TURKEY
- To stop an addiction all at once, not gradually.
Max quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey.
- CROSS THAT BRIDGE WHEN ONE COMES TO IT
- To not deal with a situation until one is actually in the situation.
I'm not sure what we'll do if he says no. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
- CROSS THE LINE
- To go too far; to violate accepted boundaries or rules.
Max really crossed the line when he ate Mary's last donut.
- CUT (SOMEBODY) SOME SLACK
- To be flexible or lenient with somebody.
Cut Max some slack. He didn't mean to be rude. He just had a very difficult day.
- CUT TO THE CHASE
- To get to the main point; to state something directly.
Let me cut to the chase. I quit. As of tomorrow, I no longer work here.
- DAILY GRIND
- The monotonous tasks of everyday work.
I've had enough of the daily grind. I hope I win the lottery soon.
- DEAD END
- A path or situation that leads nowhere or offers no prospects.
My job seems to be at a dead end.
- DEEP DOWN
- Basically; in essence; at the core.
Max's boss seems to be a very evil person, but deep down he's not that bad.
- DIE DOWN
- To fade; to gradually come to an end.
The storm seems to be dying down. Maybe we'll be able to play tennis tomorrow after all.
- DO THE TRICK
- To work; to cause the desired results.
I need something to quench my thirst. This bottle of water should do the trick.
- DOWN AND OUT
- Without money and without prospects.
Max is pretty down and out. He has lost his job, car, and home.
- DOWN THE DRAIN
- Wasted, lost.
Everything I spent on guitar lessons was just money down the drain. I can't play a thing.
- DRAG ONE'S FEET
- To deliberately hold back or delay; to intentionally go or work slowly.
Whenever I ask for the information, they say they're working on it. I think they're just dragging their feet.
- DRAW A BLANK
- To suddenly forget; to fail to remember a piece of information.
I know the answer to that question, but I'm drawing a blank.
- DROP OUT
- To leave school or a social group; to withdraw from competition.
Man, I'm tired of school. I think I'll drop out and do a little traveling.
- EASY AS PIE
- Very easily completed or accomplished.
That puzzle was as easy as pie.
- EASY COME, EASY GO
- Easily won and easily lost.
The government took half of my lottery winnings in taxes. Oh well, easy come, easy go.
- EASY ON THE EYES
- Attractive; beautiful.
Mary is quite easy on the eyes.
- EAT LIKE A BIRD
- To eat very little.
How does Mary keep such a nice figure? I bet she eats like a bird.
- EAT LIKE A PIG
- To eat noisily, with one's mouth open; to eat a lot.
Don't invite Max to your dinner party; he eats like a pig.
- ELBOW GREASE
- hard work or physical effort.
The floor is very dirty. It will take some elbow grease to get it clean.
- FACE THE MUSIC
- To confront the unpleasant consequences of one's actions.
The police are here to arrest Max. I guess it's time for him to face the music.
- FACE TO FACE
- In person; in the physical presence of somebody.
I'm tired of discussing this over the phone. Let's meet and discuss it face to face.
- FALL ON DEAF EARS
- To be ignored or disregarded.
Every time Mary ask Max to do something, her requests fall on deaf ears.
- FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS
- To be missed or overlooked.
How did they overlook that million dollar account. Somehow it just fell through the cracks.
- FEEL FREE
- Be my guest; be uninhibited about doing something.
Please feel free to eat anything in the refrigerator.
- FEW AND FAR BETWEEN
- Rare and scarce; occurring infrequently.
People who actually like Max are few and far between.
- FILL SOMEONE'S SHOES
- To do someone's job; to assume someone's role.
It will be very difficult to fill Max's shoes when he retires.
- FILTHY RICH
- Extremely wealthy.
Max married Mary because she was filthy rich. All he cared about was her money.
- FIT THE BILL
- To be suitable; to meet requirements.
I am looking for a new pair of earphones. These should fit the bill just fine.
- FLUNK OUT
- To be kicked out of school for not meeting academic standards.
Max flunked out of college in less than a year.
- FOR GOOD
Once you quit the club, you are out for good. You can never come back.
- FOR KICKS
- For pleasure or excitement; for fun
For kicks, Max liked to play jokes on his friends.
- FOR THE BIRDS
- Worthless; no good.
Homework is for the birds. I'm not sure why my teacher gives me so much homework.
- FULL OF IT
- Speaking nonsense; lying, exaggerating, or boasting.
Don't listen to Miguel. He is full of it.
- GET A GRIP
- To control your emotions; to regain your composure.
Tell Max to get a grip. He is totally overreacting.
- GET A HANDLE ON
- To obtain a basic level of understanding or control.
After reading chapter four, I'm starting to get a handle on quantum physics.
- GET A WORD IN EDGEWAYS
- To contribute to a conversation with people who are very talkative.
When you are talking with Mary, she talks so much that you are lucky to get a word in edgewise.
- GET CARRIED AWAY
- To overdo; to do to excess.
Max got carried away with the balloons for the party. There must have been over a thousand.
- GET CRACKING
- To get started; hurry up.
Come on! Let's get cracking. We need to finish this project by next week.
- GET EVEN
- To get revenge.
Mary was quite upset with Jane for stealing her boyfriend. She swore that she would get even.
- GET HITCHED
- To get married.
Mary and Max got hitched two years ago.
- GET ON ONE'S NERVES
- To annoy or irritate someone.
Max may be a nice guy, but sometimes he really gets on my nerves.
- GET ON SOMEONE'S CASE
- To criticize, find fault, or lecture.
The boss is always getting on Max's case for everything.
- GET ONE'S ACT TOGETHER
- To become serious, organized.
If you want a pay raise, you are going to have to get your act together and do a better job.
- GET ONE'S FEET WET
- To gain new experience.
Max is just getting his feet wet. He is likely to make a few mistakes.
- GET ONE'S FOOT IN THE DOOR
- To begin become established in an occupation or company.
You were very lucky to get your foot in the door at ABC Company.
- GET SOMETHING STRAIGHT
- To understand correctly; to clarify.
Let's get this straight. We'll meet behind the back after work.
- GET THE HANG OF
- To become accustomed to; to learn how to do or use something.
When I moved to England, it took me a few days to get the hang of driving on the left side of the road.
- GET THE POINT
- To understand the general or main idea.
I don't think Max got the point. The point is that the important things in life have little to do with money.
- GET TO THE BOTTOM OF
- To find the underlying cause of a situation.
Max will get to the bottom of the problem sooner or later.
- GET UP ON THE WRONG SIDE OF BED
- To feel irritable; to be in a grouchy mood for no particular reason.
Watch out for Max. I think he got up on the wrong side of the bed today.
- GIVE IT A GO
- To try or attempt.
I'm not sure if I can do this, but I'll give it a go.
- GIVE SOMEONE THE COLD SHOULDER
- To ignore; to snub or reject someone
For some reason, Mary is giving me the cold shoulder today.
- GO ALL OUT
- To spare no expense or effort; to put forth all possible effort or resources.
For the last two miles of the race, Max went all out.
- GO DOWNHILL
- To worsen or deteriorate.
The company was having a few minor problems, and then all of a sudden everything went downhill fast.
- GO FOR IT
- To put maximum effort toward achieving a goal.
There is a job opening at ABC Company. Max is going for it.
- GO OUT ON A LIMB
- To take a risk; to put oneself in a vulnerable position.
Mary went out on a limb lending Max all of her money. I hope he repays her.
- GO PLACES
- To achieve progress or succeed.
With all of your talent, you are certain to go places.
- GUT FEELING
- An instinct or intuition.
I have a gut feeling that John and Jane are going to get married
- HAND IT TO
- To give someone credit or praise; to congratulate.
You have to hand it to Mary for doing such a great job planning the party.
- HANDS DOWN
- Unquestionably; without a doubt; without effort.
Max was hands down the best player on the team.
- HAPPY CAMPER
- A person who is content or satisfied.
Ever since Max started working from home, he has been a happy camper.
- HAVE A BLAST
- Enjoy oneself thoroughly
We had a blast playing soccer on the beach last week.
- HAVE A BONE TO PICK
- To have a grievance or complaint.
I have a bone to pick with my teacher about my grades.
- HAVE A COW
- To have a fit; to get visibly upset.
The boss had a cow when Max came back from lunch two minutes late.
- HAVE A SCREW LOOSE
- To be crazy; to be mentally unstable.
Max must have a screw loose to keep working for that same company after all of the abuse he has taken.
- HAVE A WORD WITH
- To talk, speak, or discuss with.
Max went to have a word with his boss about the working conditions in the factory.
- HAVE THE BLUES
- To feel depressed or sad.
Max has had the blues since his dog died two months ago.
- HEAR (SOMETHING) THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
- To learn through rumor.
I heard through the grapevine that Max is going to quit his job.
- HIT A SNAG
- To encounter an unexpected problem or obstacle.
The business won't open as soon as we had hoped. We seem to have hit a snag with one of our suppliers.
- HIT IT OFF
- To immediately have a good relationship with someone.
Max and Mary really hit it off from the beginning.
- HIT THE BOOKS
- To study intensely.
We need to hit the books before the test next Friday.
- HIT THE HAY
- To go to bed
It's getting late. It's time for me to hit the hay.
- HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD
- To be precisely right or accurate.
You hit the nail on the head when you said that the problem was the water pump.
- HIT THE ROOF
- To explode in anger.
The boss hit the roof when he found out that we didn't meet our quota.
- HIT THE SACK
- To go to bed
It's getting late. It's time for me to hit the sack.
- HOLD ONE'S HORSES
- To wait; to be patient; to slow down.
Hold your horses. I'll be ready in a minute.
- IN A BIND
- To be in a difficult situation; to be in trouble.
I'm in a bind. Could you help me out?
- IN CHARGE
- In the position of responsibility of leading or overseeing.
Max was in charge of the store when the fire broke out.
- IN COLD BLOOD
- In a ruthless and unfeeling manner.
Max was murdered in cold blood.
- IN HOT WATER
- In trouble with someone.
Max is in hot water with his wife for staying out so late.
- IN THE DOGHOUSE
- In trouble; in disfavor (usually a man in trouble with his wife).
Max is in the doghouse with his wife for forgetting her birthday.
- IN THE NICK OF TIME
- At the last possible moment.
Max turned in his application for the job just in the nick of time
- IN THE SAME BOAT
- In a similar situation or predicament.
I'd like to help you with money, but I'm in the same boat. I don't have any money either.
- KEEP A LID ON
- To keep something secret
No one is supposed to know our plan. Please keep a lid on it.
- KEEP AN EYE ON
- To watch intently.
Please keep an eye on my children for me. I need to go to the store.
- KEEP IT DOWN
- To be quiet; to not be noisy.
Please keep in down. I'm trying to study.
- KEEP ONE'S NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE
- To work hard or focus heavily on work
If you keep your nose to the grindstone, you will do very well.
- KICK BACK
- To relax.
After work tonight, I'm going to go home and kick back.
- KID AROUND
- To engage in playful joking or teasing.
Don't take Max seriously. He was just kidding around when he said that you were ugly.
- KNOCK IT OFF
- to stop doing something.
Would you two please knock it off? That really annoys me.
- LEARN SOMETHING BY HEART
- To memorize.
It took Max a long time to learn that poem by heart.
- LEAVE A BAD TASTE IN ONE'S MOUTH
- To create a bad feeling about something.
Working for that company left a bad taste in my mouth.
- LET THE CAT OUT OF THE BAG
- To reveal a secret.
Max let the cat out of the bag and told us that Mary was pregnant.
- LIE THROUGH ONE'S TEETH
- to make outrageous false statements.
Sam is almost always lying through his teeth. I wouldn't believe anything he says.
- LIKE SHOOTING FISH IN A BARREL
- Extremely easy.
Taking that test was like shooting fish in a barrel. It was so easy.
- LIKE TAKING CANDY FROM A BABY
- Very easy to achieve.
Selling insurance to that family will be like taking candy from a baby.
- LOOSE ENDS
- Leftover items; unfinished business.
Before I go on vacation, there are a few loose ends I need to take care of.
- LOSE ONE'S HEAD
- To panic; To lose self-control.
Don't lose your head. The cops will never catch us.
- LOSE ONE'S MARBLES
- To become crazy.
I think Max has lost his marbles. He keeps muttering the same phrase over and over.
- LOSE ONE'S MIND
- To become crazy or insane.
I can't believe Max wants to get a job with the ABC Company. Has he lost his mind?
- MAKE A LIVING
- To earn enough income to support oneself.
Max makes a living as a salesman.
- MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL
- To exaggerate the significance of a minor problem.
A little acne is not the end of the world. Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
- MAKE BELIEVE
- To pretend.
In his spare time, Max likes to make believe that he is a dragon slayer.
- MAKE DO
- To survive or get by with what little is available.
We don't have a lot money, but we make do with what we have.
- MAKE ENDS MEET
- To have just enough money to cover expenses; to barely meet expenses from paycheck to paycheck.
It is hard to make ends meet on a teacher's salary.
- MAKE SURE
- To recheck to be certain.
Make sure that you put your name on your test before you turn it in.
- MAKE UP ONE'S MIND
- To make a decision; to decide between different options.
I can't make up my mind whether to go to Argentina or Chile for vacation.
- MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
- A place far from interesting sites and major population centers.
As I was driving across the country, my car broke down in the middle of nowhere.
- MIND ONE'S OWN BUSINESS
- To concern yourself only your own interests and not interfere in the affairs of others.
Why does Max care about how much money I make? Tell him to mind his own business.
- MONEY DOESN'T GROW ON TREES
- Money is not easily obtained.
Turn off the lights when you leave the room. You know money doesn't grow on trees.
- MONKEY AROUND
- To behave in a silly or playful way.
Stop monkeying around. Let's get to work.
- NAIL (SOMETHING) DOWN
- To precisely and firmly establish details of a plan.
We haven't nailed down an exact date for the wedding yet, but we're thinking sometime in August.
- NIP SOMETHING IN THE BUD
- To stop something at an early stage.
If you feel like you are catching a cold, try to nip it in the bud so that it does not cause you to miss work.
- NO SPRING CHICKEN
- Somebody who is not particularly young
My grandfather runs marathons, and he's no spring chicken.
- NO SWEAT
- It's not particularly difficult.
I need my car for a date tonight. Can you fix it? No sweat. I'll have it fixed in no time.
- NOT A CHANCE
- Absolutely not; not possible.
Do you think there will ever be any honest politicians? Not a chance.
- NOTHING TO IT
- Easy; not difficult.
Upgrading your RAM is easy. There's really nothing to it.
- NOTHING TO SNEEZE AT
- Not bad; worthwhile.
Max's new painting is nothing to sneeze at.
- NOTHING TO WRITE HOME ABOUT
- Ordinary; not exceptional; not especially good.
That movie was entertaining but nothing to write home about.
- ODDS AND ENDS
- Miscellaneous things.
In the attic there is a box full of odds and ends.
- OFF ONE'S ROCKER
- To be crazy.
He's off his rocker if he thinks that I'm going to help him move again.
- OFF THE CUFF
- Without preparation; impromptu
At the awards ceremony his speech was completely off the cuff.
- OFF THE CUFF
- Without preparation; impromptu
At the awards ceremony his speech was completely off the cuff.
- OFF THE MARK
- Inaccurate, wrong.
The vice president's comments on the war are consistently off the mark.
- OFF THE TOP OF ONE'S HEAD
- Without great thought, investigation or any sort of preparation.
Off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone who is a better painter than Max.
- ON A ROLL
- On a streak of continuous progress or success.
The team is on a roll. They've won five games in a row.
- ON EDGE
- Anxious, tense, nervous or irritable
I've really been on edge lately. I think I've been drinking too much coffee.
- ON ONE'S TOES
- Alert, prepared, ready, or attentive.
In this job things happen so fast that you always have to be on you toes.
- ON THE BACK BURNER
- Not the main priority; inactive; on hold.
I've put that project on the back burner until I have a little more time.
- ON THE BLINK
- Broken, out of order, inoperative (electronic or mechanical devices).
The freezer in on blink again. Everything has thawed out or melted.
- ON THE BUTTON
- Exactly, precisely.
We're meeting at 11:00, on the button.
- ON THE DOT
- Exactly, precisely.
The meeting starts at 11:00, on the button.
- ON THE FENCE
- To be undecided.
I am still on the fence about which job to take.
- ON THE LEVEL
- Honest, sincere and straightforward
I wouldn't trust Sam. He may seem like he's on the level, but he's really not.
- ON THE LINE
- At risk; in danger.
I really need to do well on this project because my job is on the line.
- ONE'S BARK IS WORSE THAN ONE'S BITE
- The particular person seems more aggressive and mean than he really is.
Don't worry about the boss. His bark is worse than his bite.
- ONE'S LIPS ARE SEALED
- To keep a secret; to not reveal a secret.
My lips are sealed. I won't tell anyone about it.
- OUT OF LINE
- Inappropriate, improper, wrong.
Max was really out of line when he asked the woman how much she weighed.
- OUT OF THE BLUE
- Unexpectedly; without warning; suddenly.
Out of the blue Max asked Mary for a divorce.
- OUT OF THE QUESTION
- Impossible; not worth even considering.
We have no money. A new car is out of the question at this point.
- OUT OF WORK
I'm out of work at the moment.
- PAIN IN THE NECK
- an annoyance or difficulty.
I wish Max would go away. He is such a pain in the neck.
- PAINT THE TOWN RED
- To go on a partying spree; to go wild.
Max and his friends painted the town red this past weekend.
- PAY THROUGH THE NOSE
- To pay an excessive amount of money.
Real estate prices are very high. For even a small house you have to pay through the nose.
- PIECE OF CAKE
- Something that is easy or simple to do.
Last night's homework assignment was a piece of cake.
- PLAY IT BY EAR
- To improvise; to do things without a plan.
I'm not sure what we'll do this weekend. We'll just play it by ear.
- PLAY ONE'S CARDS RIGHT
- To make the right moves; to have a good strategy.
If I had played my cards right, I might have gotten that promotion.
- POINT THE FINGER
- To accuse; to assign blame
I don't want to point the finger at anybody, but somebody forgot to lock the door, Jim.
- PULL SOMEBODY'S LEG
- To tease someone; to deceive or fool someone
Don't listen to Sam. He must have been pulling your leg.
- PULL TEETH
- To do something very difficult or unpleasant.
Mary says that getting Max to take out the garbage is like pulling teeth.
- PUT A SOCK IN IT
- To be quiet; to stop talking.
Max went on talking trash about everyone until someone finally told him to put a sock in it.
- PUT ONE'S FOOT DOWN
- To take a firm stand; to insist, demand, or refuse.
Mary finally put her foot down and said that she wouldn't let anyone borrow money from her again.
- PUT ONE'S MIND TO IT
- To apply oneself; to channel one's effort toward a particular goal.
If Max put his mind to it, he could achieve anything.
- RAIN CATS AND DOGS
- To rain very heavily.
You better bring an umbrella. It's raining cats and dogs out there.
- RAISE A STINK
- To complain loudly; to make a fuss.
Every time I go to a restaurant with Max, he has to raise a stink about something.
- RAISE THE BAR
- To raise standards or expectations.
It's time for the auto industry to finally raise the bar on fuel efficiency.
- READ BETWEEN THE LINES
- To detect a meaning that is not stated explicitly.
He is very cheerful, but if you read between the lines, you'll understand that things aren't going too well.
- RIGHT ON THE MONEY
- Exact; precise; exactly right.
Your prediction was right on the money.
- RING A BELL
- To seem or sound familiar.
The name rings a bell, but I'm not sure if I know him.
- ROCK BOTTOM
- The lowest possible level.
The government's credibility has hit rock bottom.
- ROCK THE BOAT
- To go against the status quo; to follow principle rather than go along to get along.
The company's policies are unethical, but if you rock the boat, you'll get fired.
- RUB THE WRONG WAY
- To irritate or annoy.
I know you say that Max is a nice guy, but something about him rubs me the wrong way.
- SCARED TO DEATH
- Extremely frightened
Max is scared to death of being alone with Mary.
- SCOPE OUT
- To scout; to investigate; to check out.
We scoped out the perfect location for our beach party.
- SCRATCH THE SURFACE
- To treat superficially; to barely begin.
Finished? We haven't even scratched the surface yet. There is a lot more to do.
- SEE EYE TO EYE
- To agree; to have similar views; to get along.
Max and Mary rarely see eye to eye on anything.
- SEE RED
- To become very angry; to be furious.
Max saw red when he found out that Mary went to Paris with John.
- SELL LIKE HOT CAKES
- To sell fast
Astronaut diapers are selling like hot cakes.
- SET STRAIGHT
- To correct with accurate information.
The presidential candidates seem to have their facts wrong. Someone needs to set them straight.
- SHAKE A LEG
- To hurry; to get going.
Let's shake a leg! We need to finish this project today.
- SHOOT THE BREEZE
- To talk or converse idly.
Do you want to have a cup of coffee and shoot the breeze for a while?
- SHRUG OFF
- To disregard; to minimize the importance of something.
Max shrugged off Mary's accusations and went on with his normal routine.
- SIT TIGHT
- To wait patiently.
Just sit tight; the hot dog vender will be by in a few minutes.
- SITTING PRETTY
- To be in a good financial situation.
Once we get the insurance money, we'll be sitting pretty.
- SLIP OF THE TONGUE
- A mistake in speaking.
For a politician, a simple slip of the tongue can be detrimental.
- SLIP ONE'S MIND
- To forget; to overlook.
I was supposed to do some homework last night, but it totally slipped my mind.
- SPILL THE BEANS
- To reveal a secret.
We were going to surprise Max with a party, but somebody spilled the beans.
- STAND ONE'S GROUND
- To firmly maintain one's opinion or position.
Everyone in the room disagreed with Mary, but she stood her ground.
- TAKE A BACK SEAT
- To become lower priority or less important; to let someone else take charge.
Mary reluctantly took a back seat when Mary took over the company.
- TAKE A BREATHER
- To take a short break; to pause and relax briefly.
I'm tired. Let's take a breather.
- TAKE A CHANCE
- To risk something.
Max doesn't like to take chances. He always plays it safe.
- TAKE A CRACK AT
- To attempt or try.
I'm not sure if I can do it, but I'll take a crack at it.
- TAKE A SPILL
- To fall or trip: to experience a sudden drop.
Max took a spill when he was riding his bike. He banged his head.
- TAKE THE HEAT
- To endure the consequences, blame, anger, or scrutiny;
Mary took the heat for Max's mistake.
- TALL TALE
- A greatly exaggerated story.
Miguel is notorious for his tall tales about his military service. He was just a driver but now claims to have been James Bond.
- THE PITS
- A miserable or unpleasant situation.
The people in the office are awful. Working with them everyday is the pits.
- THINK TWICE
- To reconsider something; to consider something carefully before proceeding.
Think twice before you get married.
- THROUGH THE ROOF
- Suddenly and excessively high.
Housing prices have gone through the roof in Southern California.
- TIE THE KNOT
- To get married.
Max and Mary tied the knot more than ten years ago.
- TO EACH HIS OWN
- Everyone is entitled to personal preferences.
I wouldn't paint my car that color, but to each his own.
- Unable to say anything.
Every time Max sees Jane, he gets tongue-tied, and just sits there and stares.
- UNDER ONE'S BREATH
- softly spoken; in a whisper
Under his breath, Max called Mary a fat cow.
- UNDER THE GUN
- Under pressure to perform or meet a deadline.
Max was under the gun to complete the research before the end of the fiscal year.
- UNDER THE WEATHER
- Not feeling well; ill.
I'm a bit under the weather today. I think I'll take the day off.
- UNTIL ONE IS BLUE IN THE FACE
- For a hopelessly long time
You can lecture Max until you're blue in the face, but he's going to do it his way no matter what.
- UP FOR GRABS
- available for anyone.
Now that Mary is working from home, her office is up for grabs.
- UP IN THE AIR
The exact date of the wedding is still up in the air at this point.
- UP TO SOMETHING
- Scheming or devising.
Max is a little too quiet today. He must be up to something.
- UPS AND DOWNS
- Good times and bad times.
We've had our ups and downs, but I'll always consider you my friend.
- WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE
- To face reality; to stop deluding oneself; to become aware.
Wake up and smell the coffee! Unless you are extremely wealthy, the government doesn't care what you think.
- WATCH LIKE A HAWK
- To observe very closely.
When we were taking the test, the teacher watched us like a hawk to make sure that we weren't cheating.
- WATER DOWN, TO WATER (SOMETHING) DOWN
- To make weaker; to dilute.
The government has watered down the reports on global warming to make the problem seem less severe.
- WET BEHIND THE EARS
I don't think I want that young doctor performing heart surgery on me. He seems a little wet behind the ears.
- WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE
- In the end; ultimately.
When all is said and done, we may not have made a lot of money, but we had a lot of fun.
- WHOLE SHEBANG
- The entire thing; everything.
In the divorce, Max lost his kids, dog, house, car, timeshare property, the whole shebang.
- WITH FLYING COLORS
- Exceptionally well.
Mary passed the board exam with flying colors.
- WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING
- A person who appears innocent but really isn't.
Jane seems sweet, but watch out. She's a wolf in sheep's clothing.
- WORK ONE'S BUTT OFF
- To work very hard.
I've been working my butt off for years, but I have nothing to show for it.
- ZERO IN ON SOMETHING
- To focus on; to direct attention to.
John zeroed in on the problem and immediately found a solution.