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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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)
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