Actions speak louder than words – what you do is more important than what you say, or what you promise to do.
Ex: You said that you’d do your share of the housework. Remember, actions speak louder than words.
Add insult to injury – 1) to hurt someone’s feelings after doing him harm.
Ex: He added insult to injury when he called the man a rat after he had already beaten him.
2) to make bad trouble worse.
Ex: We started on a picnic, and first it rained, then to add insult to injury, the car broke down.
A far cry from – totally different from
Ex: Sydney was a far cry from the small town she grew up in.
Apple of discord – something that causes unhappiness due to envy or contention.
Ex: They are attracted to the same person and that is the apple of discord between them.
Be a good hand at (doing) something – to be talented, gifted or skilled in some activity.
Ex: Florian is a good hand at gardening.
Be a poor hand at (doing) something – to be untalented or clumsy in some activity.
Ex: He is a poor hand at table tennis so the children don’t like to play with him.
Be all fingers and thumbs – to be clumsy with your hands.
Ex: Mary could never be a nurse. She’s all fingers and thumbs.
Be in the black – to make a profit.
Ex: We are making a great year so our accounts are in the black.
Be in the red – to not being profitable or operating at a loss.
Ex: We owe so much money that our accounts are in the red.
Below the belt – if something is below the belt, then we are talking about unacceptable behavior.
Ex: He told her that she was stupid which she felt as a hit below the belt.
Big girl’s blouse – used to insult a person who other people believe is behaving in a weak manner.
Ex: ‘I can’t help you carrying these books’ ‘Oh, please stop being such a big girl’s blouse.’
Call it a day! – to say that the work is over for the day.
Ex: I think we worked enough today. Let’s call it a day!
Copycat – aA person who imitates someone, usually refers to children’s behavior.
Ex: Look, our little daughter is imitating Lady Gaga! She’s such a copycat!
Cross your fingers! (Keep your fingers crossed!) – hoping the things will happen the way we want them to.
Ex: I’m having a driving test in the morning so cross your fingers.
Cry Wolf – to complain about something when nothing is really wrong.
Ex: You shouldn’t cry wolf, as no one will come when needed.
Gloves are off – a situation which includes a serious dispute or even fight in order to achieve something.
Ex: I have been a friendly person so far, but now the gloves are off!
Go Dutch – share expenses (meal, drink) equally.
Ex: You don’t have to pay for me. Let’s go Dutch!
Golden opportunity – an excellent opportunity that is unlikely to be repeated.
Ex: This is a golden opportunity we must appreciate.
Hit close to home – be too personal.
Ex: I felt insulted as her remarks were too close to home.
Hit the nail on the head – to do the right thing, be right about something.
Ex: He never talks much, but whenever he does, he hits the nail on the head.
Hit the roof – to suddenly become very angry.
Ex: When my dad saw the broken window, he hit the roof.
Hit the town – go out and have fun.
Ex: It’s Saturday, we’re going to hit the town tonight
Jump at the chance – to quickly and unexpectedly get a lucky opportunity.
Ex: When the band singer became ill, Bob jumped at the chance and became famous.
Keep it under your hat – to keep something a secret.
Ex: I’ve heard that Paul is having an affair, but keep it under your hat.
Lucky guess – happening by chance.
Ex: I didn’t know the answer. It was just a lucky guess.
Put a sock in it! – Impolite way of telling someone to be quiet.
Can’t you stop talking! Put a sock in it!
Raining cats and dogs – expressive idiom giving the impression of heavy rain.
Ex: It was raining cats and dogs last night.
(A) Rough diamond – a person with great potential but lack of refinement.
Ex: Paul is intelligent and hard-working man, but he lacks sophistication, he’s a rough diamond.
Sleep on it – to wait and think about things before making decision.
Ex: I have to sleep on it and I’ll get back to you tomorrow.
(A) stroke of good luck – something good that happens when you least expect it.
Ex: I opened the book on exactly the same page by a stroke of good luck.
Take each day as it comes – dealing with things as they happen, and not have any plans or worry about the future; live from day to day.
Ex: I’ve been through much lately, but I learned to take each day as it comes.
(Be) tied to your mother’s/wife’s apron strings – refers to people who are not capable of making decision independently or without their mother or wife.
Ex: He is 45 years old but he’s still tied to his mother’s apron strings.
Twist of fate – a change in a sequence of events.
Ex: By a twist of fate, they met again in New York.