Update: 2012-11-27 09:57 PM +0630

TIL

TIL English Idiom Collection

idiomA.htm

Collected from various sources by U Kyaw Tun (UKT), M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), and staff of TIL (Tun Institute of Learning, http://www.tuninst.net ) for staff and students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale.

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Eidiom-txt-indx.htm

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above all above board above the law absence makes the heart grow fonder according to Hoyle ace ace in the hole Achilles heel acid test across the board act out all right (3) and then some antsy as a rule as easy as pie at the eleventh hour act up actions speak louder than words ad lib add fuel to the fire add insult to injury afraid so after all against all odds against the grain age before beauty age of majority ahead of the curve ahead of the game ain't ain't half-bad air rage air was blue airhead airy-fairy a.k.a. (aka) all around Robin Hood's barn all decked out all ears all eyes all fired up all get-out all goes well all hat and no cattle all hell broke loose all his marbles all in all in a day's work all in all all it's cracked up to be all joking aside all-out all over but the shouting all over hell's half acre all set all she wrote all shook up all show all spruced up all talk and no action all teed up all that jazz all the bells and whistles all the livelong day all the marbles all the tea in China all the way to Egery and back all the world's a stage all things being equal all things to all people all thumbs all walks of life all washed up all wet all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy all your eggs in one basket all's fair in love and war all's well that ends well along for the ride along those lines American as apple pie

an ace up your sleeve an airhead an apple a day keeps the doctor away an attitude an axe to grind an earful an easy mark an even keel an eye for an eye (a tooth for a tooth) an offer I couldn't refuse an old hand at an old warhorse an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure anal retentive anchor you and how and stuff and that's that and then some angels fear to tread another nail in your coffin ante up any old thing any way you slice it any word anything goes apple a day apple of this eye apple-pie order armed to the teeth around Robin Hood's barn around the bend around the clock as a matter to fact as all get-out as American as apple pie as busy as a beaver as clean as a whistle as drunk as a skunk as dumb as a sack of hammers as far as I know as full as a tick as if as luck would have it as new as plain as day as plain as the nose on your face as poor as a church mouse as right as rain as scarce as hen's teeth as sick as a dog as sick as a parrot as slow as a dead snail as slow as molasses in January as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar as sure as shit as the crow flies as useless as a fifth wheel as useless as tits on a boar ask for it ask for the moon asking price asleep at the switch ass ass into gear ass on the line ass over teakettle at a glance at a good clip at a loss for words at a moment's notice at all at bay at death's door at ease at face value at fault at first glance at first light at heart at it again at least at liberty at loggerheads at loose ends at my wit's end at odds at one fell swoop at once at one time at peace at rest at sixes and sevens at stake at the crack of dawn at the drop of a hat at the end of my rope/ at the end of my tether at the hands of at the ripe old age at the top of her game at the top of his voice at the wheel at this point in time at will at your beck and call at your fingertips attaboy attagirl away out away out of line away to the races awesome axe to grind

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above all

From Comenius
most importantly
   woman:  The man I want to marry must be sensitive, intelligent, loyal ...
   man:       And above all rich!
   woman:  That's not true at all.

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above board

From Magnuson
legal, not hidden, not <under the table>, not <underhanded>
   Every action, every payment is above board. Customers respect that kind of honesty.

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above the law

From Magnuson
not required to obey laws, privileged
  Just because he's rich, he thinks he's above the law.

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absence makes the heart grow fonder

From Magnuson
when friends are apart they like each other more
   When she's away I'm very lonely. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

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according to Hoyle

From Magnuson
according to the rules, if we follow the rules
   According to Hoyle, it's your turn to deal the cards.

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account for

From Magnuson
explain how or why, provide reasons, call into account
   How do you account for the missing money? Where did it go?

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ace

From ESL Cafe
make an "A" on a test, homework assignment, project, etc.
   Friend:  "Somebody said you aced the test, Dave. That's great!"

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ace in the hole

From Magnuson
a hidden strength or talent
  Sam's ace in the hole is honesty, which his clients soon discover.

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Achilles heel

From Magnuson
a weakness, a vulnerable place
   Jewelry is my Achilles heel. I buy too much jewelry.

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acid test

From Magnuson
See the acid test

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across the board

From Magnuson
affecting all people, applies to everything
   We want a salary increase across the board - for all positions.

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act out

From Magnuson
explain by movement and gestures
  Watch - I'll act out the meaning of pacifist.

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all right

From ESL Cafe
1. expression of reluctant agreement.
   A:  "Come to the party with me. Please!"
   B:  "Oh, all right. I don't want to, but I will."

From ESL Cafe
2. fair; not particularly good.
   A:  "How's your chemistry class?"
   B:  "It's all right, I guess, but it's not the best class I've ever had."

From ESL Cafe
3. unharmed; in satisfactory condition.
   A:  "You don't look normal. Are you all right?"
   B:  "Yes, but I have a headache."

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and then some 

From ESL Cafe
and much more besides.
   A:  "I'd guess your new computer cost about $2,000. "
   B:  "It cost that much and then some because I also bought extra RAM and VRAM."

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antsy

From ESL Cafe
restless; impatient and tired of waiting.
   A:   "I hope Katy calls soon. Just sitting around and waiting is making me antsy."

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as a rule

From Comenius
Meaning: generally, normally
   man:       How about some wine with the meal?
   woman:  I'm sorry, as a rule I don't drink alcohol during the week.
   man:       Too bad. It would really complement the fish you're having.

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as easy as pie

From ESL Cafe
very easy.
   A:  "I thought you said this was a difficult problem. It isn't. In fact, it's as easy as pie."

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at the eleventh hour

From ESL Cafe
at the last minute; almost too late.
   A:  "Yes, I got the work done in time. I finished it at the eleventh hour, but I wasn't late.

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act up

From Magnuson
act up -- against the grain Internet link act up

act up -- misbehave, do bad things
She said that Kim was acting up at church - making noise.

act up -- not work right, give pain or problems
My stomach is acting up today. I don't feel well.

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actions speak louder than words

From Magnuson
actions speak louder than words --people judge by actions more than words, practice what you preach
Parents should remember that actions speak louder than words. Kids imitate their parents.

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ad lib

From Magnuson
ad lib (ad libitum) -- improvise, create, at will, off the cuff
After I learn the melody I like to ad lib. I play what I hear in my head.

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add fuel to the fire

From Magnuson
add fuel to the fire -- cause more anger, aggravate a problem
He's angry. Telling him bad news will add fuel to the fire.

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add insult to injury

From Magnuson
add insult to injury --
add another negative, make it worse, put your foot in it
If you say his answer is wrong, and then say he can't understand, you've added insult to injury.

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afraid so

From Magnuson
afraid so --
sorry, but it is true; believe me, yeppers
"Did he spend all of our money?" "Yes, 'fraid so."

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after all

From Magnuson
after all --
after you consider all the facts, to be fair
Will you help me with English? After all, I helped you with math.

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against all odds

From Magnuson
against all odds --
not likely to happen, a slim chance
Against all odds - poor weather, student pilot - we landed safely.

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against the grain

From Magnuson
against the grain --
against the natural way, rub the wrong way
Some words go against the grain. Their spellings aren't natural.

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age before beauty

age before beauty -- airy-fairy Internet link age before beauty

age before beauty -- the older person should be allowed to enter first
"Age before beauty," she said as she opened the door for me.

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age of majority

From Magnuson
age of majority --
the age when you can vote, come of age
Dad said that when I reach the age of majority I can buy my own car!

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ahead of the curve

From Magnuson
ahead of the curve --
having a higher grade, having better performance (the bell curve - a line graph of test scores  )
In sales, we're a little ahead of the curve. But in service, we suck!

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ahead of the game

From Magnuson
ahead of the game --
finished your work, paid all the bills, caught up
With all these expenses, we can't seem to get ahead of the game.

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ain't

From Magnuson
ain't --
isn't, is not; aren't, are not
"It ain't easy being green," said the frog.

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ain't half-bad

From Magnuson
ain't half-bad --
is quite good, is not bad, is okay
Hey, this pizza ain't half-bad. I kinda like it.

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air rage

From Magnuson
air rage --
angry or violent passengers on an airplane
The man struck one of the attendants. It was air rage.

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air was blue

From Magnuson
air was blue --
(See the air was blue)

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airhead

From Magnuson
airhead --
(See an airhead)

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airy-fairy

From Magnuson
airy-fairy --
not real, impractical, pie in the sky
Sell flying saucers to little gray people? That's too airy-fairy for me!

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a.k.a. (aka)

From Magnuson
a.k.a. (aka)
-- all hell broke loose Internet link a.k.a. (aka)

a.k.a. (aka) -- also known as, alias, go by the name of
William O'Connor - a.k.a. Wil, Willie, Billy Boy - was born in Ireland.

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all around Robin Hood's barn

From Magnuson
all around Robin Hood's barn --
an indirect route, a roundabout way, a wild goose chase
When Celia is the driver, we go all around Robin Hood's barn!

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all decked out

From Magnuson
all decked out --
(See deck out)

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all ears

From Magnuson
all ears --
listening carefully, trying to hear everything
When Dad mentioned hunting, I was all ears. I loved to hunt.

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all eyes

From Magnuson
all eyes --
watching carefully, staring
When the fire truck arrived, the children were all eyes.

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all fired up

From Magnuson
all fired up --
eager, enthused, gung ho
Ian gets all fired up when he sees Kari. There's love in his eyes.

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all get-out

From Magnuson
all get-out --
(See as all get-out)

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all goes well

From Magnuson
all goes well --
have good luck, have no problems
I hope all goes well for you at college. I hope you succeed.

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all hat and no cattle

From Magnuson
all hat and no cattle --
pretending to be important and rich, all show
If a man buys things he can't pay for, he's all hat and no cattle.

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all hell broke loose

From Magnuson
all hell broke loose --
people did crazy things, everybody was fighting
When the fire alarm sounded, all hell broke loose.

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all his marbles

From Magnuson
all his marbles
-- all set Internet Link all his marbles

all his marbles -- normal, sensible
Dan talks to the door. I wonder if he's got all his marbles.

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all in

From Magnuson
all in --
very tired, exhausted, dog tired, done in
After the marathon, she was all in - completely exhausted.

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all in a day's work

From Magnuson
all in a day's work --
not extra work, just part of my duties
She said, "Thanks for the help." "All in a day's work," he replied.

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all in all

From Magnuson
all in all --
generally, considering everything
All in all, it was a good holiday. We enjoyed our trip to Europe.

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all it's cracked up to be

From Magnuson
all it's cracked up to be --
as good as the ads say, live up to the reports
The new computer isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's not so hot.

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all joking aside

From Magnuson
all joking aside --
(See joking aside)

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all-out

From Magnuson
all-out --
all your effort, go all-out
We looked day and night for the lost girl. It was an all-out effort.

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all over but the shouting

From Magnuson
all over but the shouting --
(See it's all over but the shouting)

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all over hell's half acre

From Magnuson
all over hell's half acre --
all over the place, everywhere
I left the gate open, and the cows are all over hell's half acre.

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all set

From Magnuson
all set --
ready, prepared to start
"All set?" he asked, as she closed her suitcase.

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all she wrote

From Magnuson
all she wrote
-- all the marbles Internet Link all she wrote

all she wrote -- (See that's all she wrote)

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all shook up

From Magnuson
all shook up --
excited, nervous
Al gets all shook up when he sees Gina. He likes her a lot.

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all show

From Magnuson
all show --
artificial, having little or no substance, put on airs
When he gets angry and yells at us, it's all show, just to scare us.

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all spruced up

From Magnuson
all spruced up --
clean and dressed in your best clothes, dressed up
The young farmers got all spruced up for the dance.

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all talk and no action

From Magnuson
all talk and no action --
a person who talks a lot but does very little, hot air
He talks about doing everything, but doesn't accomplish anything. He's all talk and no action!

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all teed up

From Magnuson
all teed up --
the golf ball is on the tee, everything is ready
The parade is ready to begin. It's all teed up.

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all that jazz

From Magnuson
all that jazz --
all related things, other similar topics
They were talking about UFO's and all that jazz.

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all the bells and whistles

From Magnuson
all the bells and whistles --
a lot of extra features, lots of goodies, loaded
When Horst sold his business he bought a motorhome with all the bells and whistles.

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all the livelong day

From Magnuson
all the livelong day --
all day, lasting the whole day
Our canary sings all the livelong day - from dawn to dusk.

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all the marbles

From Magnuson
all the marbles --
all the money, the top prize
How does it feel to be playing in the final - for all the marbles?

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all the tea in China

From Magnuson
all the tea in China -- all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy Internet Link all the tea in China

all the tea in China -- (See not for all the tea in China)

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all the way to Egery and back

From Magnuson
all the way to Egery and back --
a long, indirect road; the long way; all around Robin Hood's barn, all over hell's half acre
To get to the Halsteads, we have to go all the way to Egery and back!

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all the world's a stage

From Magnuson
all the world's a stage --
the world is a stage; we are all performers
The teacher asked Jason to explain the meaning of Shakespeare's words:
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."

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all things being equal

From Magnuson
all things being equal --
if things remain the same, if no surprises occur
All things being equal, we should sell all our bicycles by October.

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all things to all people

From Magnuson
all things to all people --
satisfy everyone, live up to
Be yourself. Stop trying to be all things to all people.

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all thumbs

From Magnuson
all thumbs --
clumsy, unable to hold it, fingers feel like thumbs
When I try to sew a button on my shirt, I'm all thumbs.

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all walks of life

From Magnuson
all walks of life --
all occupations and lifestyles
As a salesperson, you will meet people from all walks of life.

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all washed up

From Magnuson
all washed up --
failed in business or career
Barry's all washed up. His business is bankrupt.

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all wet

From Magnuson
all wet --
mistaken, do not know what you are talking about
You're all wet! You can't grow bananas in Saskatchewan.

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all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

From Magnuson
all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy --
do not work too long, take time for recreation, take time to smell...
When I picked up my overtime check, Karen reminded me that All work and no play... .

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all your eggs in one basket

From Magnuson
all your eggs in one basket --
an attitude Internet Link all your eggs in one basket

all your eggs in one basket -- depending on one plan or one investment, hedge your bets
If you invest all your money in one hotel, you'll have all your eggs in one basket.

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all's fair in love and war

From Magnuson
all's fair in love and war --
there are no rules to guide you in love or war, that's life
When your girlfriend leaves you for your best friend, remember, All's fair in love and war.

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all's well that ends well

 From Magnuson
all's well that ends well --
a happy ending is the most important thing, the end justifies...
Although we argued and fought, we are happy with the result. All's well that ends well!

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along for the ride

From Magnuson
along for the ride --
just a passenger, not a helper, joyride
You've met the workers. This is my nephew - he's just along for the ride.

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along those lines

From Magnuson
along those lines --
similar, on the same topic, in that vein
He wants a job in health care or nursing, along those lines.

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American as apple pie

From Magnuson
American as apple pie --
(See as American as apple pie)

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an ace up your sleeve

From Magnuson
an ace up your sleeve --
an important card to play, an important fact to reveal
To survive, one needs an ace up one's sleeve - a special talent.

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an airhead

From Magnuson
an airhead --
a person who talks without thinking, a fool
Sally is such an airhead. She said that chicklets are baby chickens.

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an apple a day keeps the doctor away

From Magnuson
an apple a day keeps the doctor away --
eat one apple each day for good health
Mom gave me an apple, saying, "An apple a day... ."

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an attitude

From Magnuson
an attitude --
a negative attitude, a poor outlook
If you don't do your work, they will think you have an attitude.

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an axe to grind

From Magnuson
an axe to grind --
anal retentive Internet link an axe to grind

an axe to grind -- a point to discuss or argue about
Jason had an axe to grind at the meeting - job security.

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an earful

From Magnuson
an earful --
a lecture, a scolding, a bawling out
If Mom catches you smoking, you'll get an earful.

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an easy mark

From Magnuson
an easy mark --
one who can easily be persuaded, a soft touch
Ask Charlie for a loan. He's an easy mark.

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an even keel

From Magnuson
an even keel --
good balance, stability
We need a steady manager, one who can keep an even keel.

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an eye for an eye (a tooth for a tooth)

From Magnuson
an eye for an eye (a tooth for a tooth) --
equal punishment or revenge
Canadian laws do not demand an eye for an eye.

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an offer I couldn't refuse

From Magnuson
an offer I couldn't refuse --
an offer that contains a threat or force, a request that is a command
The border guards invited me to stay for further questioning - it was an offer I couldn't refuse.

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an old hand at

From Magnuson
an old hand at --
a person with a lot of practice or experience
Tom's an old hand at cribbage. He's played since he was a boy.

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an old warhorse

From Magnuson
an old warhorse --
a veteran, an old soldier, a classic story or tune
The band played marches and overtures - the old warhorses.

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an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

From Magnuson
an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure --
prevent a problem so you don't have to solve it, a stitch in time...
Forest fires deserve an ounce of prevention: public education in campfire safety.

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anal retentive

From Magnuson
anal retentive --
too concerned with detail, pedantic
Amy is anal retentive. She writes down everything the teacher says.

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anchor you

From Magnuson
anchor you --
any way you slice it Internet Link anchor you

anchor you -- make you feel stable or confident
When you have a crisis, your faith will anchor you.

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and how

From Magnuson
and how --
very much
The kids love pizza - and how!

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and stuff

From Magnuson
and stuff --
and other things or activities, et cetera
We were watchin' TV an' stuff, just hangin' out.

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and that's that

From Magnuson
and that's that --
that is final, that is the way it will be done
You will be home by 10 p.m., and that's that!

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and then some

From Magnuson
and then some --
with lots to spare, plus a few more
We invited everybody in town - and then some!

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angels fear to tread

From Magnuson
angels fear to tread --
(See where angels fear to tread)

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another nail in your coffin

From Magnuson
another nail in your coffin --
another cigarette; harmful substance
Every cigarette he smoked was another nail in his coffin.

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ante up

From Magnuson
ante up --
put some money in the center of the table
As the dealer shuffled the cards, he said, "Ante up, boys."

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any old thing

From Magnuson
any old thing --
any word, any answer
When the teacher asks him a question, he says any old thing.

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any way you slice it

From Magnuson
any way you slice it --
(See no matter how you slice it)

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any word

From Magnuson
any word --
as a matter of fact Internet Link any word

any word -- any phone calls or letters, any reply
Any word from Dale? He should have called us by now.

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anything goes

From Magnuson
anything goes --
there are no rules; expect anything to happen
Anything goes during Stampede week. People do crazy things!

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apple a day

From Magnuson
apple a day... --
(See an apple a day keeps the doctor away)

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apple of this eye

From Magnuson
apple of his eye --
(See the apple of his eye)

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apple-pie order

From Magnuson
apple-pie order --
very neat, well organized, shipshape, tickety-boo
"Is your room in apple-pie order?" "Yes, Mom. It is."

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armed to the teeth

From Magnuson
armed to the teeth --
prepared to fight or defend, having lots of evidence
By the time the trial began, the lawyer was armed to the teeth.

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around Robin Hood's barn

From Magnuson
around Robin Hood's barn --
(See all around Robin Hood's barn)

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around the bend

From Magnuson
around the bend --
crazy or insane, off your rocker
If I had to listen to that noise all the time, I'd go around the bend.

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around the clock

From Magnuson
around the clock --
twenty-four hours, 'round the clock
Julie worked around the clock to finish her sewing project.

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as a matter to fact

From Magnuson
as a matter of fact --
to state a fact, in fact, to be perfectly honest
The burrowing owl is a protected species. As a matter of fact, it's an endangered species.

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as all get-out

From Magnuson
as all get-out --
as luck would have it Internet Link as all get-out

as all get-out -- very much, a lot, like crazy, to the max
Tracy is not only beautiful. She's as talented as all get-out.

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as American as apple pie

From Magnuson
as American as apple pie --
very American, like an American custom
Jeans and T-shirts are American, as American as apple pie!

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as busy as a beaver

From Magnuson
as busy as a beaver
-- very busy, working steadily
When the teacher returned, the students were as busy as beavers.

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as clean as a whistle

From Magnuson
as clean as a whistle --
without any dirt or marks, smooth and clean
The hen squeezed, and out popped an egg as clean as a whistle.

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as drunk as a skunk

From Magnuson
as drunk as a skunk --
very drunk, polluted, sloshed
You don't remember the party because you were as drunk as a skunk!

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as dumb as a sack of hammers

From Magnuson
as dumb as a sack of hammers --
very dumb, ignorant, dumbbell
If your dog doesn't learn your tricks, who is as dumb as a sack of hammers?

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as far as I know

From Magnuson
as far as I know --
based on my knowledge, to the best of my...
As far as I know, the company will pay your travel expenses.

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as full as a tick

From Magnuson
as full as a tick --
(See full as a tick)

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as if

From Magnuson
as if --
unlikely, unbelievable
As if we'd leave for Banff without you. We'd never do that!

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as luck would have it

From Magnuson
as luck would have it --
as luck is sometimes good and sometimes bad
By the time we arrived, as luck would have it, the fight was over.

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as new

From Magnuson
as new --
as slow as molasses in January Internet Link as new

as new -- like new, in mint condition
For Sale: 1999 Mazda Miata, red, all options, low km, as new.

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as plain as day

From Magnuson
as plain as day --
easy to see, clearly visible, in broad daylight
I saw it, as plain as day - Bigfoot - not twenty feet away!

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as plain as the nose on your face

From Magnuson
as plain as the nose on your face --
very easy to see or understand, very clear, crystal clear
We have photos of the earth from outer space that prove the earth is round. It's as plain as the nose on your face!

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as poor as a church mouse

From Magnuson
as poor as a church mouse --
very poor, having little, the wolf is at the door
How can they refuse to help her? She's as poor as a church mouse.

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as right as rain

From Magnuson
as right as rain --
(See right as rain)

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as scarce as hen's teeth

From Magnuson
as scarce as hen's teeth --
rare, uncommon, not many of them
Country doctors are as scarce as hen's teeth.

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as sick as a dog

From Magnuson
as sick as a dog --
very sick, very ill, as sick as a parrot, in sick bay
Barry can't come to practice. He's sick as a dog!

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as sick as a parrot

From Magnuson
as sick as a parrot --
very, very sick; on your deathbed, sicker than a dog
Samuel's voice sounds weird because he's as sick as a parrot.

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as slow as a dead snail

From Magnuson
as slow as a dead snail --
unbeatable in slowness
He writes as slow as a dead snail, only a word or two per day!

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as slow as molasses in January

From Magnuson
as slow as molasses in January --
only a dead snail is slower
The tortoise is very slow - as slow as molasses in January.

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as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar

From Magnuson
as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar --
ass Internet link as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar

as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar -- very solid or stable, not movable or wobbly
"What is the foundation made of?" "Concrete - it's as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar!"

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as sure as shit

From Magnuson
as sure as shit --
certain to happen, predictable, a foregone conclusion
Robert will come, sure as shit. He comes every day.

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as the crow flies

From Magnuson
as the crow flies --
the shortest distance between two places
The farm is about ten miles northeast of town, as the crow flies.

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as useless as a fifth wheel

From Magnuson
as useless as a fifth wheel --
not useful, not needed, redundant, (four wheels are sufficient)
I sat there watching the four of them play bridge, and feeling as useless as a fifth wheel.

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as useless as tits on a boar

From Magnuson
as useless as tits on a boar --
not useful, not necessary, having no function
Our toenails are useless - as useless as tits on a boar.

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ask for it

From Magnuson
ask for it --
invite or deserve an attack
When you called him a thief, you asked for it. You made him mad.

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ask for the moon

From Magnuson
ask for the moon --
ask for a lot, ask for more than you need or want
When we negotiate our salary let's try this strategy: Ask for the moon and hope for a 10% raise.

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asking price

From Magnuson
asking price --
a starting price, a price to begin negotiations
The asking price for the lot was $29,500. It sold for $28,000.

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asleep at the switch

From Magnuson
asleep at the switch --
not alert, not watching, not paying attention
If you're asleep at the switch, you won't learn much in class.

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ass

From Magnuson
ass --
fool, dipstick, jerk
Don't be an ass, Duddy. Stay in school and get your diploma.

From Magnuson
ass --
at bay Internet Link ass [B]

From Magnuson
ass --
buttocks, backside, butt
Those jeans fit you, but they're a little tight around the ass.
   UKT: From AHTD arse n. Chiefly British 1. Variant of ass.

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ass into gear

From Magnuson
ass into gear --
moving, working, doing
After holidays, I'll get my ass into gear and paint the house.

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ass on the line

From Magnuson
ass on the line --
be accountable for an error or failure, take the rap
I sent the package Overnight Air Mail, because my ass is on the line if it arrives late.

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ass over teakettle

From Magnuson
ass over teakettle --
falling over backwards, head over heels
The cowboy knocked him off his feet - ass over teakettle!

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at a glance

From Magnuson
at a glance --
with one look, a quick look
I could see at a glance that the car was unsafe. A wheel was loose.

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at a good clip

From Magnuson
at a good clip --
fast, at a high speed
When you passed us you were going at a pretty good clip.

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at a loss for words

From Magnuson
at a loss for words --
unable to think of a reply or something to say
When he asked why I wanted the vase, I was at a loss for words.

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at a moment's notice

From Magnuson
at a moment's notice --
with little warning, on short notice
We may call you at a moment's notice - whenever we need help.

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at all

From Magnuson
at all --
in any way, in the least
"Are you sleepy?" "No. Not at all."

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at bay

From Magnuson
at bay --
at a distance, away from you
The smoke keeps the mosquitoes at bay. They don't like smoke.

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at death's door

From Magnuson
at death's door --
at liberty Internet Link at death's door

at death's door -- dying, near death, brush with death
Poor Sarah! She has lung cancer and I fear she's at death's door.

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at ease

From Magnuson
at ease --
stand at ease, do not stand at attention, relax
The lieutenant said, "At ease, soldier. We're not on duty."

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at face value

From Magnuson
at face value --
the value shown by the surface, what you see ...
At face value, this car appears to be in good condition.

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at fault

From Magnuson
at fault --
caused the problem, to blame
The judge will decide who's at fault - who caused the crash.

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at first glance

From Magnuson
at first glance --
when you first see it, when you notice it
At first glance, it looked like a cat - a large cat.

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at first light

From Magnuson
at first light --
just before the sun rises, at the crack of dawn
At first light, the ducks would fly to the grainfields to feed.

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at heart

From Magnuson
at heart --
with feeling for you, with you in mind
Believe me, she has your needs at heart. She cares about you.

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at it again

From Magnuson
at it again --
doing it again, back at it
That dog is at it again - barking in the middle of the night.

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at least

From Magnuson
at least --
not very much, very little to ask
At least he could have phoned. He could have done that.

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at liberty

From Magnuson
at liberty --
free to speak or act, allowed to speak
Are you at liberty to tell us who won? Can you tell us?

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at loggerheads

From Magnuson
at loggerheads
-- at rest Internet Link at loggerheads

at loggerheads -- not agreeing, opposed to each other
They're at loggerheads over who owns the farm. They don't agree.

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at loose ends

From Magnuson
at loose ends --
disorganized, unable to concentrate
I was at loose ends when the kids were fighting. I couldn't think.

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at my wit's end

From Magnuson
at my wits' end --
very tired and nervous, at the end of my rope
After a wedding and a funeral she was at her wits' end.

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at odds

From Magnuson
at odds --
not in agreement, opposed, at loggerheads
Your testimony in court is at odds with the statement you gave to the police. Why are they different?

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at one fell swoop

From Magnuson
at one fell swoop --
(See in one fell swoop)

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at once

From Magnuson
at once --
at the same time, simultaneously
You can't do two things at once. You can eat or talk, but not both.

at once -- now, immediately
Your mother said you should come in at once - immediately.

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at one time

From Magnuson
at one time --
in the past, during a time past, once upon a time
At one time, the sun didn't seem so hot. We didn't need sunscreen when we worked or played in the sun.

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at peace

From Magnuson
at peace --
feeling peaceful, without worry
After talking about his problem he was at peace with himself.

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at rest

From Magnuson
at rest --
stopped, not moving
Tie these ropes while the boat is at rest - before it moves.

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at sixes and sevens

From Magnuson
at sixes and sevens
-- at the wheel Internet Link at sixes and sevens

at sixes and sevens -- not in agreement, arguing, at loggerheads
Parents and teachers are at sixes and sevens over sex education.

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at stake

From Magnuson
at stake --
what you could lose or gain
If you're involved in a crime, your career may be at stake.

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at the crack of dawn

From Magnuson
at the crack of dawn --
at the first sign of light, at first light
At the crack of dawn he would rise, wash and go for a walk.

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at the drop of a hat

From Magnuson
at the drop of a hat --
without hesitation, quickly
He'll argue at the drop of a hat. He likes to argue.

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at the end of my rope/ at the end of my tether

From Magnuson
at the end of my rope/ at the end of my tether --
losing control of myself, losing patience (see lose patience)
Babysitting five kids, I was at the end of my rope.

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at the hands of

From Magnuson
at the hands of --
while competing against, when fighting
It was at the hands of his former student that he was defeated.

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at the ripe old age

From Magnuson
at the ripe old age --
at a very old age; being unusually old
He could still play checkers at the ripe old age of ninety-eight.

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at the top of her game

From Magnuson
at the top of her game --
at her best, playing as well as she can
If Val's at the top of her game she can defeat Olga.

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at the top of his voice

From Magnuson
at the top of his voice --
as loud as he can, shouting loudly
Ben called for help at the top of his voice. "Help!" he shouted.

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at the wheel

From Magnuson
at the wheel --
driving a car, steering a car or truck
Who was at the wheel when the car went off the road?

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at this point in time

From Magnuson
at this point in time --
awesome Internet link at this point in time

at this point in time -- now, at this time
At this point in time, ten cases of AIDS have been reported.

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at will

From Magnuson
at will --
freely, without restraint
He shared his feelings, speaking at will about his problems.

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at your beck and call

From Magnuson
at your beck and call --
serving you, doing everything for you
You don't have to be at his beck and call, doing whatever he asks.

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at your fingertips

From Magnuson
at your fingertips --
easy to find, ready to use
When I repair a car, I like to have all my tools at my fingertips.

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attaboy

From Magnuson
attaboy (that a boy) --
good work, well done, 'at a boy
Whenever I win, Don says, "Attaboy! Good game!"

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attagirl

From Magnuson
attagirl (that a girl) --
good work, well done, 'at a girl
When Judy gets good grades, her mom says, "Attagirl, Judy!"

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away out

From Magnuson
away out --
(See way out)

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away out of line

From Magnuson
away out of line --
(See way out of line)

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away to the races

From Magnuson
away to the races --
going without a problem, smooth sailing
When they approve our business loan, we'll be away to the races.

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awesome

From Magnuson
awesome --
great, super, bonzer, totally awesome
We had an awesome time in Rome! It was a great trip!

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axe to grind

From Magnuson
axe to grind --
axe to grind Internet link axe to grind

axe to grind -- (See an axe to grind)

 

UKT: note to myself - the following from Magnuson are to be incorporated into above.

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UKT notes

Hoyle

From AHTD
 n. Games 1. A reference book of rules for card games and other indoor games.

Idioms: according to Hoyle 1. In accord with the prescribed rules or regulations. [After Edmond Hoyle (1672?-1769), British writer on games]

Go back Hoyle-note-b

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End of TIL file