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Idioms, Slang, Phrasal Verbs, Colloquialisms, Cliches, and Proverbs, with Context Examples

by Sally Jennings

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

come on
      Come on, hurry up, or we will be late.
command central
      The whole war is run out of Command Central.
cost effective
      It would be more cost effective to hire two hard workers than three lazy people.
couldn't care less
      She went on and on about it. I didn't tell her that I couldn't care less.
crack troops
      Some nations boast they have crack troops who are better than any others.
cutthroat competition
      After University, he encountered more cutthroat competition in the job market. He was even unemployed for a few months.
damage control
      The CEO sent his First Vice President to assess the situation and do damage control after the fiasco.
day in and day out
      He worked hard day in and day out to solve the problem, but had little success.
details have been forthcoming / details have not been forthcoming
      The government is silent on the issue. After last week's press release few details have been forthcoming.
difficult to find...a more
      It would be difficult to find a more dedicated employee.

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

Do you get it? (also past, Did you get it?)
      Did you understand what he said? Did you get it?
domestic violence
      That family is known for its domestic violence. The oldest brother beats up the little kids all the time.
don't give it a second thought
      It's okay if the vase broke. Don't give it a second thought. It is replaceable.
don't look a gift horse in the mouth
      You should be grateful for anything given to you. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
down and out
      The Great Depression ruined the fortunes of many people. They were quickly down and out.
dream on
      You think he will hire all your friends? Dream on!
dressed to kill
      She spent oodles of money on her prom dress. She was dressed to kill. Her father, when he found out the cost, was fit to be tied.
easy for you to say
      Just because you learned to water-ski in two hours, you think I can too? That's easy for you to say!
end over end
      The piano tumbled down the steps end over end, pulling one of the movers with it.
endless speculation
      Further discussion will only produce endless speculation.

mp3 audio of the next 10 idioms

every nook and cranny
      I looked high and low for that gold brooch, searching every nook and cranny of the house.
experts recommend
      Experts recommend rest, ice and elevation for a sprained ankle.
far-fetched
      She says she will be a millionaire by age forty, but everybody who knows her thinks that idea is far-fetched.
far-flung
      The fur trade spread to the far-flung corners of the Empire [everywhere].
first in line
      We camped out all night to be first in line to buy a condo at the new development.
fishy /sounds fishy /looks fishy /smells fishy /seems fishy
      You think she is telling the truth? I don't. Every time I hear more of her story it sounds fishier and fishier to me.
fit to be tied
      He is so upset about his daughter's mistake, he is fit to be tied.
fly by night
      They won't be here long, They are just a fly by night operation.
fly off the handle
      Don't get angry at her. Why are you so quick to fly off the handle?
folks on the street
      The official story is that the project was a real money-loser, but the folks on the street know better.

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This Idiom Guide has 23 pages, in alphabetical order. This is page 5. Click below to go to a different page.

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