IDIOM: ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND WAR

All is fair in love and war Meaning: Everything can be justified between people who love each other and times of war. History of the phrase: This phrase, which is now a very common saying, dates to 1578. It first appears in John LyLy’s, ‘Eupheus: The Anatomy of Wit‘. Synonymous Expression:  Do whatever it takes! The opposite of all’s fair in … Read More

IDIOM – PIECE OF CAKE

Idiom a piece of cake

Meaning –  something that is easy to do In Context  – The exam was a piece of cake.  I had no problems answering any of the questions. Synonymous Idioms – as easy as pie, a walk in the park, like stealing candy from a baby, a walkover, as easy as the ABC, like shooting fish in a barrel, a cakewalk, nothing … Read More

IDIOM – DOWN TO THE WIRE

Meaning – to be resolved, finalised at the final moment In Context  – We are so late on this project, it’s going to come down to the wire. Origin – This expression has its origins in horse racing.  A wire was placed across the finish line.  The horse that hit the wire first won the race.  If two horses are … Read More

IDIOM – TO HAVE A LOT ON YOUR PLATE

Meaning –  to have a lot of work to do or things to deal with.  This idiom is also often used to express burdens or responsibilities. In Context  –  Anthea has to complete her dissertation in 2 weeks and she’s also looking after her mother who broke her leg.  She has a lot on her plate right now.  

IDIOM – EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK

Meaning – unnecessary items, everything including things which you do not need, almost everything In Context  – Pam’s always overweight when she travels.  She packs her luggage with everything but the kitchen sink. Idioms with a synonymous meaning – everything under the sun QUOTES WITH ‘EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK’ Some couture collections have everything including the kitchen sink! Everything … Read More

IDIOM – PULL THE PLUG

Meaning – to put an end to something, to terminate a project / situation   In Context  – I’m pulling the plug on this marketing strategy, it’s just not working. Origin – This is an American idiom which originated in the 19th century.  Plug has a second meaning in English.  It is also the object used to prevent water escaping … Read More

IDIOM – TO BE ON THE FENCE

Meaning – to remain neutral in an argument or in a decision In Context – The two of you can fight it out between yourselves. I am not going to take sides in your argument. I’m on the fence here. Note – You can also say, ‘to sit on the fence’.  There is no change in meaning.      

IDIOM – COUCH POTATO

Meaning – to be a lazy individual / to have a sedentary life-style. This idiom conjures up an image of an overweight person sitting in front of TV eating crisps and junk food. In Context – I’ve had such a busy day today. All I want to do this evening is be a couch potato. Origin – Robert Armstrong, Jack … Read More

IDIOM – WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE

Meaning –  an incident which occurred in the past and no longer has any importance In Context – My wife had an affair with her boss but it happened so longer ago,  it’s all water under the bridge. Idioms with a synonymous meaning –  water over the dam (this idiom is typically used in American English)