Idioms List

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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 Miguel. 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.

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.

off the cuff
Without preparation; impromptu

At the awards ceremony his speech was completely off the cuff.



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