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

by Sally Jennings

to funnel money
      The thugs funneled money through a series of bank accounts until they reached their source of supply.
to gather information /intelligence
       According to the information the investigators have gathered, he is very deeply involved in the smuggling ring.
to get one's nose out of joint
      "Oh don't get your nose out of joint," the mother told her toddler, "I'm sorry I spilled juice on your pants."
to get hooked on
      They fed the kid marshmallows, and now she is hooked on candy, a real "sugarholic."
to get off someone's back
      The employee had an abusive boss who wouldn't get off his back about the new performance standards.
to get over someone
      She broke up with her boyfriend yesterday, but it may take a couple of weeks for her to get over him.
to get the ax
      That government program will either get the ax and be cut entirely, or get more money.
to get the ball rolling
      The new company opened on time with plenty of publicity to get the ball rolling.
to get to the bottom of
      We are waiting to see it they will investigate far enough to get to the bottom of it.
to get up on the wrong side of the bed
      She was very crabby. He told her she must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.

to give credit for /to
      The awards ceremony emcee gave credit to the organizers of the gala for the fine job they did on the food and entertainment.
to give someone something to think about
       The time he spent in jail gave the drunk driver something to think about.
to give someone the heebie-jeebies
      That horror flick gave me the heebie-jeebies. I'll be scared of the dark, now.
to go around in circles
      They don't know what to do now that they haven't heard from their son. They are just going around in circles.
to go from crisis to crisis
      That couple seems to live their lives going from crisis to crisis.
to go hungry
      "If you don't eat your peas, you will just have to go hungry," said the father to his toddler.
to go to bat for someone
      We are pretty sure he will make the team. His former team coach is going to bat for him to get him a spot.
to hand over the goods /money
      "Please hand over the CD player," the angry teenager told his little brother.
to hang on
      She is still hanging on to the hope that they might be able to buy the more expensive house.
to hang out
      He hangs out with some tough-looking kids at the coffee shop.

to harbour a secret
      The diary harbored a secret the family had never known.
to have a chance to
      "I wish we had a chance to buy a new toy, Mama," said the little girl.
to have a change of heart
      He told her no, but then had a change of heart and bought the new bicycle anyway.
to have a hole in one's head
      Why is he crossing six lanes of highway outside of the crosswalk? Does he have a hole in his head?
to have a knack for /to have an eye for /to have a flare for
      She has a knack for crafts. She knits the most fabulous sweaters. She really has an eye for colour and a flare for design.
to have a reputation for
      That company has a reputation for fine service.
to have a ripple effect
      He thinks his actions won't hurt anyone, but it will have a ripple effect. People he doesn't even know will be damaged.
to have been saying that all along
      "I knew that would happen," the father told his son. "Haven't I been saying that all along?"
to have gone missing / went missing
      I can't find my red shoe, it's gone missing. It went missing yesterday, I think.
to have mixed feelings about something
      She had mixed feelings about dating him. Sometimes he just didn't seem to be her type.
to have the world by the tail
      If he wins the lottery, he'll have the world by the tail.

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This Idiom Guide has 23 pages, in alphabetical order. This is page 15. Click below to go to a different page.

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