Friday, 9 December 2011

Objective Proficiency p 70. Extra Idioms

have a chip on your shoulder: to blame other people for something bad which has happened to you and to continue to be angry about it so that it affects the way you behave (often + about ) Even though he went to university, he's always had a chip on his shoulder about his poor upbringing.

dodge: to move quickly to avoid someone or something: dodge an issue/question. E.g. Senator O'Brian skillfully dodged the crucial question.




knuckle down (to something) (informal) to begin to work hard at something . Get down to. E.g. I'm going to have to knuckle down to some serious study.

make the fur fly (also make the feathers fly) to cause a fight or an argument; to create an uproar. E.g. When your mother gets home and sees what you've done, she'll really make the fur fly. When those two get together, they'll make the feathers fly. They hate each other.

be barking up the wrong tree: (informal) to have the wrong idea about how to get or achieve something. E.g. You're barking up the wrong tree if you're expecting us to lend you any money.

give something a whirl: (informal) to try something to see if you like it or can do it. E.g. I’m not sure I’ll like skiing, but I’ll give it a whirl.

go the whole hog: (informal) to do something thoroughly or completely. To do something as completely as possible. E.g. It was going to cost so much to repair my computer, I thought I might as well go the whole hog and buy a new one. I went whole hog and had a huge steak and French fries.

the nitty-gritty: the basic or most important details of an issue or a situation. E.g. Time ran out before we could get down to the real nitty-gritty. 

you can bet your life/your bottom dollar (on something/(that)…): (informal) used to say that you are certain that something will happen. E.g. You can bet your bottom dollar that he'll be late.

You (can) bet your boots Used to express certainty about a situation or statement. E.g. you can bet your boots that patrol has raised the alarm. E.g. Am I happy? You bet your boots! 

couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery (also couldn't organize a booze-up in a brewery): if someone couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery, they are very bad at organizing things. Usage notes: A piss-up is a social occasion where everyone drinks a lot of alcohol, and a brewery is a place where beer is made. a booze-up is a drinking spree.
E.g. For god's sake don't ask Martin to make the arrangements. He couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery.

brainbox: a person who is very intelligent.

long time no see: (informal) used to say hello to somebody you have not seen for a long time.

step out of line, be/get out of line: to behave badly or break the rules. E.g. His boss warned him that if he stepped out of line once more he would be fired. 

head over heels in love: loving somebody very much. E.g. He's fallen head over heels in love with his boss. 

no room to swing a cat: (informal) when somebody says there’s no room to swing a cat, they mean that a room is very small and that there is not enough space. 

want out  or want out of something (informal) to want to stop being involved in something. E.g. Jenny was fed up. She wanted out.

(keep) a stiff upper lip: to keep calm and hide your feelings when you are in pain or in a difficult situation. E.g. He was taught to keep a stiff upper lip and never to cry in public. Their reaction contrasts sharply with the stiff upper lip of the English.

Don't give me any of your lip! Fig. Don't talk back! E.g. Do as I tell you and don't give me any of your lip!

(as) dull as ditchwater (British English) (US English (as) dull as dishwater) extremely boring. E.g. I always found history as dull as ditchwater.

Kill the goose that lays the golden egg(s). Prov. To destroy something that is profitable to you. E.g. Fred's wife knew he wasn't happy in his job, even though it paid well; still, she felt that advising him to leave it would be killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. If you sell your shares now, you could be killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

steal somebody’s thunder: to get the attention, success, etc. that somebody else was expecting, usually by saying or doing what they had intended to say or do. E.g. I kept quiet about my pregnancy because Cathy was getting married, and I didn't want to steal her thunder.

pull the wool over somebody’s eyes (informal) to try to trick somebody; to hide your real actions or intentions from somebody. To deceive someone. E.g. You can't pull the wool over my eyes. I know what's going on. Don't try to pull the wool over her eyes. She's too smart. These people who claim to have paranormal or supernatural powers are just pulling the wool over people's eyes.

by Jove  used to express surprise or to emphasize a statement. E.g. By Jove she's got it! 

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