English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
results for letter 'A
- A barking dog seldom bites
- A person who readily threatens other people does not often take action.
- A bit much
- If something is excessive or annoying, it is a bit much.
- A bridge too far
- A bridge too far is an act of overreaching- going too far and getting into trouble or failing.
- A chain is no stronger than its weakest link
- This means that processes, organisations, etc, are vulnerable because the weakest person or part can always damage or break them.
- A day late and a dollar short
- (USA) If something is a day late and a dollar short, it is too little, too late.
- A fool and his money are soon parted
- This idiom means that people who aren't careful with their money spend it quickly.
'A fool and his money are easily parted' is an alternative form of the idiom.
- A fool at 40 is a fool forever
- If someone hasn't matured by the time they reach forty, they never will.
- A fresh pair of eyes
- A person who is brought in to examine something carefully is a fresh pair of eyes.
- A hitch in your giddy-up
- If you have a hitch in your giddy-up, you're not feeling well. ('A hitch in your gittie-up' is also used.)
- A lick and a promise
- If you give something a lick and a promise, you do it hurriedly, most often incompletely, intending to return to it later.
- A light purse is a heavy curse
- Life is difficult when you don't have much money.
- A List
- Prominent and influential people who comprise the most desirable guests at a social function or gathering.
- A little bird told me
- If someone doesn't want to say where they got some information from, they can say that a little bird told them.
- A little learning is a dangerous thing
- A small amount of knowledge can cause people to think they are more expert than they really are.eg. he said he'd done a course on home electrics, but when he tried to mend my table lamp, he fused all the lights! I think a little learning is a dangerous thing
- A long row to hoe
- Something that is a long row to hoe is a difficult task that takes a long time.
- A lost ball in the high weeds
- A lost ball in the high weeds is someone who does not know what they are doing, where they are or how to do something.
- A lot on my plate
- If you have got a lot on your plate, you are very busy and have commitments.
- A month of Sundays
- A month of Sundays is a long period of time: I haven't seen her in a month of Sundays.
- A OK
- If things are A OK, they are absolutely fine.
- A penny for your thoughts
- This idiom is used as a way of asking someone what they are thinking about.
- A penny saved is a penny earned
- Saving money is just as important as earning money- we shouldn't spend it foolishly.
- A penny saved is a penny earned
- This means that we shouldn't spend or waste money, but try to save it.
- A picture is worth a thousand words
- A picture can often get a message across much better than the best verbal description.
- A poor man's something
- Something or someone that can be compared to something or someone else, but is not as good is a poor man's version; a writer who uses lots of puns but isn't very funny would be a poor man's Oscar Wilde.
- A pretty penny
- If something costs a pretty penny, it is very expensive.
- A problem shared is a problem halved
- If you talk about your problems, it will make you feel better.
- A rising tide lifts all boats
- This idiom, coined by John F Kennedy, describes the idea that when an economy is performing well, all people will benefit from it.
- A rolling stone gathers no moss
- People say this to mean that an ambitious person is more successful than a person not trying to achieve anything. Originally it meant the opposite and was critical of people trying to get ahead.
- A shallow brook babbles the loudest
- People who are loud and talk a lot usually have nothing of substance to say. This contrasts with "Still waters run deep." Other versions are "Shallow brooks babble loudest" and "Shallow brooks are noisy."
- A slice off a cut loaf is never missed
- Used colloquially to describe having sexual intercourse with someone who is not a virgin, especially when they are in a relationship. The analogy refers to a loaf of bread; it is not readily apparent, once the end has been removed, exactly how many slices have been taken.('You never miss a slice from a cut
loaf' is also used.)
- A steal
- If something is a steal, it costs much less than it is really worth.
- A still tongue keeps a wise head
- Wise people don't talk much.
- A textbook case
- A textbook case, it is a classic or common example of something.
- A watched pot never boils
- Some things work out in their own time, so being impatient and constantly checking will just make things seem longer.
- If something is A1, it is the very best or finest.
- ABC means the basics of something- knowing the ABC of science, etc.
- Meaning:basic terms or basic steps example:she don't know even ABC steps in dance.
- Abide by a decision
- If you abide by a decision, you accept it and comply with it, even though you might disagree with it.
- Abject lesson
- (India) An abject lesson serves as a warning to others.
(In some varieties of English 'object lesson' is used.)
- About as useful as a chocolate teapot
- Someone or something that is of no practical use is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
- About face
- If someone changes their mind completely, this is an about face. It can be used when companies, governments, etc, change their position on an issue.
- Above and beyond
- This means more than what is expected or required.
- Above board
- If things are done above board, they are carried out in a legal and proper manner.
- Above par
- Better than average or normal
- Above the fold
- If a news story is important, it will be above the fold- in the top half of the page of a newspaper.
- Above the salt
- This means that something or someone has a high position.
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder
- This idiom means that when people are apart, their love grows stronger.
- Accident waiting to happen
- If something is an accident waiting to happen, there's definitely going to be an accident or it's bound to go wrong.
('Disaster waiting to happen' is also used.)
- Ace in the hole
- An ace in the hole is something other people are not aware of that can be used to your advantage when the time is right.
- Ace up your sleeve
- If you have an ace up your sleeve, you have something that will give you an advantage that other people don't know about.
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