Update: 2012-11-27 09:59 PM +0630

TIL

TIL English Idiom Collection

idiomC.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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c'est la vie Cabbagetown cabin fever cackleberries call a spade a spade call attention to call for call his bluff call into account call it a day call it quits call it square call off call off the dogs call on call tabs call the shots call up calm before the storm calm down

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c'est la vie

From Magnuson
c'est la vie --
call it a day Internet link c'est la vie

c'est la vie -- that is fate, that's life
If you have bad luck some days, it's natural. C'est la vie!

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Cabbagetown

From Magnuson
Cabbagetown --
a district in Toronto where European immigrants live
Restaurants in Cabbagetown serve European food.

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cabin fever

From Magnuson
cabin fever --
feeling depressed because you have to stay inside
After three weeks of cold weather we all had cabin fever.

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cackleberries

From Magnuson
cackleberries --
eggs, chicken eggs
Look! This hen laid five cackleberries!

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call a spade a spade

From Magnuson
call a spade a spade --
say it in plain language; the straight goods
Kris will report the facts. She's not afraid to call a spade a spade.

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call attention to

From Magnuson
call attention to --
ask you to read or notice, draw attention to
I would like to call attention to the student parking problem.

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call for

From Magnuson
call for --
require, ask for
This recipe calls for bee pollen. Where can we get that?

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call his bluff

From Magnuson
call his bluff --
challenge his story, give it to me straight, put up or shut up
When I called his bluff about low profits, he admitted that the company made 11 million.

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call into account

From Magnuson
call into account --
consider, factor in, reckon with, account for
If you want to go to Ottawa on the first of July, you have to call holiday traffic into account.

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call it a day

From Magnuson
call it a day --
not work anymore today, call it quits
I'm feeling very tired. I think I'll call it a day.

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call it quits

From Magnuson
call it quits
-- calm down Internet link call it quits

call it quits -- stop doing something, quit what you are doing
The dust is bothering all of us. I think we should call it quits.

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call it square

From Magnuson
call it square --
we do not owe each other, it is a wash, we are even
I bought the pizza; you bought the beer. Let's call it square.

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call off

From Magnuson
call off --
cancel, postpone
They called off the concert because the lead singer is sick.

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call off the dogs

From Magnuson
call off the dogs --
tell your friends to stop harassing me
Okay, I'll pay what I owe you. But call off the dogs!

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call on

From Magnuson
call on --
ask, request
I may call on you to speak at the meeting. Will you speak to us?

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call tabs

From Magnuson
call tabs --
collect money from bar customers
If customers are drunk, you call their tabs and ask them to leave.

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call the shots

From Magnuson
call the shots --
make the decisions, decide what happens
Mr. Binks may be the president, but Ms. Barker calls the shots.

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call up

From Magnuson
call up --
phone, dingle you, give me a ring,
Call her up and ask her for a date. Go ahead, phone her.

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calm before the storm

From Magnuson
calm before the storm --
(See the calm before the storm)

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calm down

From Magnuson
calm down --
not be so upset, settle down
Please calm down, Mr. Tse. Your daughter is safe.

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C03.

camel toes [B] -- can't help Internet link camel toes [B]

camel toes [B] -- the folds of the vagina revealed by tight jeans
When Betty wears her old jeans you can see her camel toes.

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can -- (See the can)

can -- dismiss, fire, let go
He was canned for drinking liquor at work. They dismissed him.

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can help it -- can stop it, can prevent it
Abortion won't become legal if he can help it. He's against it.

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can it -- stop it, knock it off
Miss Schmidt heard a boy say, "Can it! Here comes the teacher."

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can of worms -- a controversial issue, an old problem
Gun control - let's not open that can of worms!

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can't believe my ears -- cannot believe what I hear, it is unbelievable
The cat is babysitting the kids? I can't believe my ears!

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can't believe my eyes -- cannot believe what I see, it is unbelievable
When you walked into that cafe, I couldn't believe my eyes.

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can't have it both ways -- you have to choose one or the other; cannot have your cake...
When children are allowed to make choices, they learn that they can't have it both ways.

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can't help -- cannot prevent, cannot stop
I can't help crying at weddings. They make me feel sad.

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C04.

can't hold a candle -- canned Internet link can't hold a candle

can't hold a candle -- (See hold a candle)

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can't put my finger on it -- cannot remember the exact words
I know the answer, but I can't put my finger on it.

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can't put my hands on it -- cannot remember exactly where it is
Your book is in my office, but I can't put my hands on it now.

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can't see for looking -- cannot see because I have been looking too long
Will you try to find my glove? I can't see for looking.

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can't see the forest for the trees -- I am so close that I cannot see the whole picture or the big picture
I'm so involved in teaching that I've lost my view of education. I can't see the forest for the trees.

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can't stand -- does not like, hate
Don can't stand love songs. He thinks the words are silly.

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Canada goose -- getting goosed in Canada by a Canadian
"There," he said. "Now you've had your Canada goose."

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canary -- a person who tells the police, a squealer
Ken - that canary! He tells the boss who comes in late.

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candy-ass -- a person without courage or confidence
Larry, that candy-ass! He's afraid to play me because he may lose.

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canned -- prepared, memorized, a pat answer
His answers sound canned, like he memorized them.

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C05.

Canuck -- carry on Internet link Canuck

Canuck -- a Canadian, a citizen of Canada, Johnny Canuck
When we visited Montana, a clerk called us "Canucks."

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capture the imagination -- cause a person to imagine a scene or character
The story of Jacob Two-Two will capture the kids' imagination.

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car buff -- a person who loves to repair or restore cars
Colin has been a car buff ever since he bought his first Ford.

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card -- (See such a card)

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card-carrying member -- a regular member, a person on the membership list
Only card-carrying members will be allowed to attend the meeting.

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caribouboo -- a mistake made by a caribou, make a booboo
"Why did the caribou get lost?" "He made a caribouboo! Ha ha!"

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carry a tune -- sing well, sing in tune, pipes
Ask June to lead the singing. She can carry a tune.

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carry it off -- make it happen, pull it off
This project requires planning and skill, but he can carry it off.

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carry on -- continue, keep on
Carry on with your game. I'll wait until you're finished.

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carry on -- talk or act silly, not be sensible
They were kissing in church. Imagine carrying on like that!

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C06.

carry out -- case of Internet link carry out

carry out -- do, complete, execute
Now that we have the loan we can carry out our plan.

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carry the can -- be responsible, see that the job gets done
The manager gets a big salary, but Mario carries the can.

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carry the conversation -- continue the conversation, continue talking to you
Visiting with Sally is easy. She carries the conversation!

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carry the day -- provide enough energy or support, fill the gap
We need one more volunteer. If you can come it will carry the day.

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carry weight -- have influence, have power
Nina is a good reference; her name carries a lot of weight.

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carry your weight -- do your share of the work, do enough work
If you carry your weight, you can work here for the summer.

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cart before the horse -- (See the cart before the horse)

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cascade (business) -- allow information to flow down to the employees
Archie thinks we should control this information, not cascade it.

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case in point -- an example to support my point or thesis
Social democracy can succeed. Sweden is a case in point.

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case of -- (See a case of)

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C07.

cash and carry -- cat got your tongue Internet link cash and carry

cash and carry -- pay cash and carry it out of the store (no deliveries)
The ad stated the terms of the sale: CASH & CARRY.

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cash cow -- a source of much money, a profitable resource
Alberta's cash cow - oil - is helping to balance the budget.

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cash flow -- money spent on the operation of a business
Calculate your weekly business expenses. That's your cash flow.

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cash in -- receive cash for bonds or poker chips; profit from
You're retired now. It may be time to cash in your bonds.

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cash on the barrelhead -- pay cash to the owner at the time of purchase; cold, hard cash
The old man said, "To buy my pony you'll have to pay $300 - cash on the barrelhead."

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cash on the line -- pay the full price in cash to the seller
I'll pay $200 for the bike - cash on the line.

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cash up/cash out -- count all the cash at the end of a business day
After you cash up, put the money in the safe and lock it.

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cast a spell -- use charm or spiritual power to change people
When Pavarotti sings, he casts a spell on his audience.

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cast your vote -- vote in an election, mark your ballot
Before you cast your vote, think carefully about the issues.

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cat got your tongue -- why do you not speak? lose your tongue?
Before I could reply, she said, "Cat got your tongue?"

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C08.

cat's ass -- catch a ride Internet link cat's ass

cat's ass -- (See the cat's ass)

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cat's meow -- (See the cat's meow)

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cat's out of the bag -- (See the cat's out of the bag)

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catcall -- shouting disapproval or insults, heckling
The catcalls from the audience caused the speaker to pause.

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catch 22 -- the cause is the effect and the effect is the cause
It was catch 22. I needed my glasses to find my glasses.

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catch a buzz -- begin to feel intoxicated, begin to feel natural high
This is strong beer. You catch a buzz from drinking one bottle!

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catch a cold (catch cold) -- be sick with a cold, come down with a cold
I caught a cold while we were in Vancouver.

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catch a glimpse -- see for only a second, visible for a brief time
I caught a glimpse of Sue at the mall, but she didn't see me.

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catch a plane/bus/train -- go to the airport and get on the plane
After the meeting, you can catch the plane to Toronto.

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catch a ride -- ride with someone who has a vehicle, get a lift
When I go to church, I catch a ride with my neighbor Lila.

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C09.

catch as catch can -- catch some z's Internet link catch as catch can

catch as catch can -- no order, get what you can
The Clearance Sale was catch as catch can - each one for himself.

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catch hell [B] -- get a scolding or lecture, get it, get shit [B]
"Did you catch hell for cheating?" "Yes. The teacher lectured me and gave me zero on the exam."

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catch it -- get a scolding or lecture, catch hell [B]
Did you catch it for coming in late? Was your mom mad?

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catch me by surprise -- surprise me, not warn me
The snowstorm in May caught us by surprise. We didn't expect it.

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catch me doing that -- see me doing that, find me doing that
You won't catch me skydiving. It's too dangerous.

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catch on -- learn how to do, learn the ropes
We need trainees who catch on quickly - people who learn fast.

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catch on -- get work, get a job, hire on
Maybe you can catch on with a survey crew for the summer.

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catch phrase -- idiom, popular phrase, buzzword
There's a catch phrase for Newfoundland: The Rock.

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catch some rays -- have a sun bath, get a sun tan, bag some rays
When we get to Hawaii, you can catch some rays. It's sunny there.

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catch some z's -- sleep, get some rest, crash
Do you mind if I catch some z's on your couch? I'm sleepy.

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C10.

catch the wave -- catch your eye Internet link catch the wave

catch the wave -- join the trend, do what is popular
Condos are popular now. Should we buy one and catch the wave?

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catch up -- arrive later, join you
You go ahead. I'll catch up with you at the bus stop.

catch-up -- (See play catch-up)

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catch up on -- do something that you have neglected
Ali can't go to the movie. He has to catch up on his homework.

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catch up with -- revealed or exposed, come back to haunt you
When your lies catch up with you, it's embarrassing.

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catch you at a bad time -- visit or call when it is inconvenient
You look very sad. Did I catch you at a bad time?

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catch you later -- I will talk to you later, I will see you later
I have to leave now. Catch you later.

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catch you off guard -- surprise you, say what you do not expect
Did my comment about dog poop catch you off guard?

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catch your death -- become very ill, catch a bad cold
In this terrible weather, put on a coat or you'll catch your death.

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catch your eye -- cause you to look, get your attention
When I was in Paris, a Peugeot cabriolet caught my eye. Ah!

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C11.

caught dead -- caution Internet link caught dead

caught dead -- (See wouldn't be caught dead)

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caught flatfooted -- not ready to respond, mind in neutral
Esposito was caught flatfooted by Lemaire's slapshot - an easy goal!

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caught in the act -- caught doing a crime, caught with his pants down
Two of the boys were caught in the act of vandalism. They were breaking car windows.

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caught looking -- be looking when you should have been acting
I was caught looking when he hit the ball. I just watched it.

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caught red-handed -- caught with evidence, caught in the act
The smuggler was caught red-handed with a kilo of cocaine.

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caught up -- busy with, involved
Maidra is caught up in church activities. She's very busy.

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caught up -- be finished, completed the required work
I want to get caught up on my cleaning before we have guests.

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caught with his pants down -- found doing a bad act, caught in the act
Percy was caught cheating - caught with his pants down.

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cauliflower ear -- a human ear that looks like a small cauliflower
After years of playing rugby Ron had a cauliflower ear. It had been bumped and injured too many times.

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caution -- (See a caution)

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C12.

cave in -- chances are Internet link cave in

cave in -- quit, be unable to cope, fold
One more crisis and I'll cave in. I'm very weary.

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cement hands -- awkward hands, butter fingers
Joey can't type; he's got cement hands.

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chain letter -- a letter that is copied and sent to other people
This letter says I will have bad luck if I break the chain.

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chain of command -- order of those in power, line of authority
If you are a lieutenant, the chain of command goes up and down.

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chain reaction -- one event causing a sequence of events
Abe sold his shares, causing a chain reaction in the market.

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chain smoker -- a person who smokes one cigarette after another, smokes like a furnace
"Do all chain smokers die of emphysema?" "No, but most of them do."

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chairman of the boards (hockey) -- a player who controls play along the boards
In the 1970s Doug was chairman of the boards for the Hawks.

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chalk it up to -- conclude that it is..., attribute it to...
You tried and you failed. Chalk it up to experience. Learn from it.

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chalk one up for you -- you have earned a point, you won that point/game
Good shot! I'll chalk one up for you.

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chances are -- it is quite possible, it may be
Chances are they're lost, and that's why they're late.

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C13. change for the better -- charity begins at home Internet link change for the better

change for the better -- improve, become better
My attitude has changed for the better. I'm more positive now.

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change hands -- change owners, be sold or traded
That condo changed hands three times in one year - three owners!

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change horses in mid stream -- change plans/methods after you have begun a competition or business
We're in the furniture business, not clothing. We can't change horses in mid stream.

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change of heart -- change from negative to positive
Now he seems friendly toward us. Has he had a change of heart?

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change of heart -- change from negative to positive
Now he seems friendly toward us. Has he had a change of heart?

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change your mind -- choose a different plan, change your decision
Please change your mind about leaving home. Please don't go.

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change your tune -- change your attitude, change your mind
If the price of a barrel of oil goes down, he'll change his tune.

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change your tune -- change your attitude, change your mind
If the price of a barrel of oil goes down, he'll change his tune.

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character assassination -- saying things that ruin a person's reputation, muckrake
"What did they say about him?" "It was mainly gossip and character assassination."

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character density -- number of dense people, number of dummies
If I join your company, the character density will decrease.

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charge it -- buy or purchase on credit, put it on the bill
The clerk said, "If you don't have cash, you can charge it."

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charity begins at home -- first help the needy in your own community; then help others
If you want to help the poor, remember that charity begins at home.

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C14. charley horse -- check it out Internet link charley horse

charley horse -- soreness in a muscle, cramp in a calf muscle, pull a muscle
"Did you hurt your leg playing baseball?" "Yes, I slid into third base and now I have a charley horse."

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chaser -- a soft drink to follow a hard drink, a weaker drink
The old man drank coffee as a chaser for the Irish whisky.

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chasing rainbows -- trying to achieve an impossible goal
Many young actors are chasing rainbows - hoping for fame.

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chat her up -- talk to her about a date, talk romantically to her
If you like Mila, chat her up. Say nice things to her.

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cheap -- unwilling to spend money, not generous, tight
They refuse to buy the boy a decent suit. They're too cheap.

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cheap drunk -- (See a cheap drunk)

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cheap like borsch -- not expensive, as cheap as vegetable soup ( borsch may also be spelled borsh, borscht or borshch, showing that we lack an authoritative mapping from the Russian to the English alphabet  )
I didn't pay much for this jacket. It was cheap like borsch.

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cheap skate -- a person who does not pay his share, a tight-ass
That cheap skate can keep his money. I'll pay for the tickets.

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cheat on -- break a marriage promise, be unfaithful
He cheats on his wife. Now he's sleeping with a waitress.

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check it out -- inquire, find out about
Check it out. It may be a great opportunity.

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C15. check out -- checkup Internet link check out

check out -- find out about, see if it is okay
Let's check out that Subaru we saw at Chong's Used Cars.

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check-out -- the counter where you pay for your purchases
The shoppers were lined up at the Canadian Tire check-out.

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check over -- look for errors in a paper, see if there are mistakes
I've written a letter of application. Will you check it over for me?

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check that -- look at that, get a load of that
When Rick saw the sports car, he said, "Check that!"

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check this out -- look at this, eyeball this, peep this
Hey! Check this out! Carly's got a boyfriend!

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check up on -- see if everything is fine or safe
He went to check up on the kids because they were crying.

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check up on -- supervise, watch to see if it is done correctly
They don't like a manager who is always checking up on them.

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check your bags -- give your luggage to the ticket agent
I would like to check my bags. Will you put them on the plane?

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checkered career -- career with failures, history of good and bad
His checkered career may ruin his chance of being elected.

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checkup -- doctor's examination, medical examination
If you aren't feeling well, go to the doctor for a checkup.

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C16. cheek -- cherrypicker (hockey) Internet link cheek

cheek -- sharp reply, sarcasm, lip
When I called Mom a crab, she said, "No more of your cheek!"

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cheek by jowl -- beside, alongside, side by side
Jack and James fought cheek by jowl in World War I.

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cheeky -- rude, impolite, lippy, sassy
Tara is too cheeky. She told her mom to stop flirting with men.

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cheerio -- goodbye, bye for now, so long, toodle-oo
"Cheerio, dear. See you at lunchtime!"

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cheers -- a British toast or greeting meaning good health to you or goodbye and good wishes, chimo, ciao
I raise my glass to a great leader: Sir Winston Churchill. Cheers!

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cheery-bye -- goodbye, bye, cheerio
I'll see you tomorrow. Cheery-bye!

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cheesecake -- naked flesh, bare skin
The dancer provided lots of cheesecake - lots of bare leg.

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cheesed off -- upset, annoyed, ticked off
They were cheesed off when I said you wouldn't pay them.

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cheesy -- poor quality, crappy, shabby
The acting was pretty cheesy. The actors didn't know their lines.

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cherrypicker (hockey) -- a player who waits at center ice for a pass
Our coach told us about the cherrypicker on the other team.

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C17. chestnut -- chicken on a June bug Internet link chestnut

chestnut -- old favorite song, well-known story
Moira played the piano, and we sang old songs - old chestnuts.

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chew him out -- lecture him, scold him, give him hell (see give you hell) [B]
My sister chewed me out for taking her car. She gave me hell.

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chew the fat/ chew the rag -- talk, visit, have a chin wag
I'll go and get the wine while you two relax and chew the fat.

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chick -- girl, woman
We were waiting for the bus, and this chick says, "Hi, boys."

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chick flick -- film for women, movie about a woman or women
Steel Magnolias is a chick flick about life in the southern US.

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chicken -- afraid, scared, yellow
When it comes to heights, I'm chicken. I'm scared.

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chicken -- a coward, a person who is not brave, wimp
I'm not a fighter, but I'm not a chicken. I just don't believe in violence.

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chicken feed -- small amount of money, a paltry sum, peanuts
Don't worry about a few dollars for books. It's chicken feed.

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chicken in every pot -- (See a chicken in every pot)

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chicken on a June bug -- (See like a chicken on a June bug)

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C18. chickens come home to roost -- chip off the old block Internet link chickens come home to roost

chickens come home to roost -- we cannot escape the consequences of our actions
We soon discover that lies return to their owner, just as chickens come home to roost.

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chickenshit [B] -- (See chicken)

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chief cook and bottle washer -- manager, supervisor
Hal is the chief cook and bottle washer for our school supper.

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chill out -- pause to gain control of your emotions, cool off
I think you should chill out before you see the supervisor.

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chime in -- add a word or phrase to a conversation, two cents' worth
"I want a piece of cake, too," Izzie chimed in. "Please."

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chimo -- an Inuit expression meaning "Goodbye. It was nice talking to you," bye for now, ciao
"I'm glad we finally met!" "Yes, we had a good visit. Chimo!"

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chin wag -- (See a chin wag)

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chintzy -- unwilling to spend, cheap, tight
Don't be so chintzy with your time. Volunteer to visit seniors.

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chip in -- each one help to pay for, everybody pay a little
We should chip in and buy Sadie a gift when she moves away.

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chip off the old block -- (See a chip off the old block)

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C19. chip on his shoulder -- chops Internet link chip on his shoulder

chip on his shoulder -- in a fighting mood, looking for a fight
Ron has a chip on his shoulder. He's arguing with everybody.

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chips are down -- (See when the chips are down)

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chock full -- ery full, full to the top, chockablock, plump full
The truck was chock full of paper to be recycled.

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chockablock -- tightly packed, crammed in one place, chock full
The square was chockablock with people - all looking at the pope.

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choke -- be so nervous you cannot perform or do it well
Don't even think about choking when you make your speech.

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choked -- angry, mad, pissed
She was really choked when you called her a bitch.

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chomping at the bit -- eager to go, anxious to leave
If you mention camping, the kids will be chomping at the bit.

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choose sides -- help one side or team, take sides
Some of the students will dislike you if you choose sides.

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choose up sides -- choose people to play on two or more teams
Let's choose up sides and play a game of volleyball.

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chops -- lips and teeth, mouth
You need big chops to play the tuba, eh.

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C20. chow -- claim to fame Internet link chow

chow -- food, something to eat
I'm starved. Let's get some chow.

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chow down -- eat, have a meal
I'm hungry. Let's chow down before we go to the movie.

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Christmas graduate -- a student who leaves college at Christmas
Among the Christmas graduates last year was Gerard Kutz.

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chromedome -- bald person, silkhead
Chromedomes can tell you the advantages of being bald.

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chuck it -- put it in the garbage, junk it
We used to say chuck it, but now we say recycle it.

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chunk of change -- (See a chunk of change)

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ciao -- goodbye, see you later
Ciao, Tony. See you in Rome.

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circles around you -- much better than you, no contest
Why do you play cards with her? She can play circles around you.

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circular file -- garbage can or wastebasket, file 13
A lot of memos go in the circular file. They're garbage.

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claim to fame -- what you have done to cause you to be famous
Besides passing math, what's your claim to fame?

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C21. clam -- clean up Internet link clam

clam -- dollar, buck
He paid a hundred clams for that radio.

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clam up -- stop talking, become quiet
Why do you clam up when we mention Judy? Why so quiet?

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claptrap -- nonsense, trivia, bull
I heard what the psychic said. What a lot of claptrap!

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class act -- a fine person, a lady, a gentleman, first class
Do you know Stephen Lewis? Now there's a class act!

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claws are showing -- show resentment or envy or jealousy, if looks could kill
When you talked about Carla, your claws were showing. Do you dislike her?

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clean bill of health -- (See a clean bill of health) -- Editor's note:  double entry in the original

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clean cut -- well groomed, clean, neat
We're looking for clean-cut boys to work as waiters.

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clean me out -- buy all I have, steal everything I own
The thieves cleaned us out. They took everything in our house.

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clean up -- pick up garbage, put away clothes or toys, wash
Lorne, please clean up the mess in your bedroom.

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C22. clean up on -- clear up Internet Link clean up on

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clean up on -- defeat, beat, whip you, wipe you
Little Chad cleaned up on big Clint. Chad is quite a fighter.

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clean up your act -- do it better, do it legally, get your act together
I've missed classes, failed tests. I need to clean up my act.

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clean up your plate -- finish eating all the food on your plate, eat it up
You may leave the table after you've cleaned up your plate.

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clear as a bell -- easy to hear or understand, clearly audible
We heard him say it. He said no, clear as a bell.

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clear as mud -- not understandable, confusing
Mr. Lee explained the formula. Then he said, "Clear as mud, eh?"

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clear out -- leave, go, get out, take off
When the gang arrived, we cleared out. We left in a hurry.

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clear out -- sell at a low price, sell at a discount
We're clearing out last year's stock at 20% off.

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clear sailing -- (See smooth sailing)

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clear the air -- explain, talk about a problem openly
His statement will clear the air. It will prevent more confusion.

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clear up -- explain, discuss so everyone understands
Let's clear up the matter of the missing keys. Were they stolen?

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C23. clear your head/mind -- clotheslined (hockey) Internet Link clear your head/mind

clear your head/mind -- relax so you can think clearly
After an argument I need time to clear my head, to become calm.

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click in -- become aware, realize, dawn on, hit me
It didn't click in that he was hurt until I saw the blood on his shirt.

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cliff-hanger -- (See a cliff-hanger)

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climb the walls -- feel upset or stressed, go bonkers, go crazy
On the first day of school, the teacher was climbing the walls.

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close a deal/sale -- complete a sale to a customer
Vi knows how to close a sale. She's a good closer.

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close call -- (See a close call)

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close shave -- (See a close shave)

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close to the vest -- hidden, covered, not showing your cards
Walter plays close to the vest. He doesn't let me see his cards.

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closer -- (See wheeler-dealer)

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clotheslined (hockey) -- lifted by a bodycheck, hanging over the checker or the boards
Orr was clotheslined just as he crossed the line. What a check!

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C24. clouds on the horizon -- coffee talk Internet Link clouds on the horizon

clouds on the horizon -- a problem has appeared, something is wrong, the sky isn't blue
We have achieved our goals, but there are clouds on the horizon. The government is going to cancel our funding.

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clued in -- aware, in the know, with it
"How do you get clued in?" "You watch and listen, man."

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clueless -- not informed, ignorant, not with it
When I don't know the answer, I try not to look clueless.

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clunker -- a car that is in poor condition, a beater
Uncle Blair has bought another clunker - an old Pontiac.

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clutch hitter (baseball) -- (See a clutch hitter)

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clutz -- (See klutz)

cock and bull [B] -- nonsense, bull, BS [B]
Don't believe that cock-and-bull story about Bigfoot.

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cocky -- proud, smartass
"Why is Len acting so cocky?" "He won the Frisbee contest."

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cocoon -- stay inside your home to feel comfortable and safe
We don't want to go out tonight. We feel like cocooning.

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coffee talk -- conversation while having coffee, water-cooler...
I don't believe Sally's pregnant. It's just coffee talk, just gossip.

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C25. coin -- collect my thoughts Internet Link coin

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coin -- money, loot, dough, serious coin
Wait till I get some coin. Then we can travel.

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coin a phrase -- (See to coin a phrase)

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cold call -- a visit to an employer or customer without an appointment
Sam got a job by making cold calls - by knocking on doors and asking for work.

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cold comfort -- very little comfort, satisfaction in theory not reality
If Jim dies, having his money is cold comfort for his wife.

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cold feet -- (See get cold feet)

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cold shoulder -- (See give you the cold shoulder)

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cold turkey -- abruptly, completely, not gradually
Barb stopped smoking, cold turkey. No plan, no program.

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cold, hard cash -- actual money, dollar bills; not a check or credit card
No checks - I want cold, hard cash for that car.

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coldcock -- punch without warning, jump
Buddy coldcocked the pitcher - hit him when he wasn't looking.

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collect my thoughts -- think calmly and clearly, organize my thoughts
She was glad when the kids left so she could collect her thoughts.

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C26. collecting dust -- come back to haunt you Internet link collecting dust

collecting dust -- not used for a long time, idle, gathering dust
"Where's the silver tray?" "On the shelf, collecting dust."

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come [B] -- have an orgasm, ejaculate
Some women fake an orgasm - they pretend to come, eh.

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come across -- seem to be, appear to be
You came across as being angry, not just disappointed.

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come across -- discover, find
I came across an antique basin in the attic. It was in a box.

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come across -- give, pay, pay up
They came across with $250 - half the money they owe us.

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come across [B] -- consent to have sex, get laid, go all the way
You kiss me as though you're going to come across, but then you say no.

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come again -- what did you say? beg your pardon?
When I asked Grandpa if he liked the soup, he said, "Come again?"

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come alive -- become lively, cheer, applaud
As the players skated onto the ice, the crowd came alive.

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come around -- begin to co-operate, believe, come onside
When he reads the report, he'll come around. He'll believe us.

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come back to haunt you -- cause you to feel guilty or ashamed
Lies will come back to haunt you, remind you of the past.

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C27. come by -- come home to roost Internet Link come by

come by -- find, get, obtain
How did you come by that vase? Where did you get it?

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come clean -- tell the truth, admit everything, own up
The police asked him to come clean about the money - to tell them everything he knew.

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come down hard -- punish hard, throw the book at
The teachers come down hard on cheating. They suspend cheaters.

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come down off your high horse -- (See get off your high horse)

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come down on like a ton of bricks -- reprove, punish harshly
Whenever I make the slightest mistake, my boss comes down on me like a ton of bricks.

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come down to earth -- be realistic, get your head out of the clouds
If she'd come down to earth, if she'd stop dreaming about fame, she could pass her exams.

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come down with -- become sick, become ill
Brenda came down with the flu. She's very sick.

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come full circle -- arrive at the place where you began
"Let's ask the teacher, okay?"
"If we do that, we'll have come full circle. Remember?"

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come hell or high water -- no matter what happens, by any means
I'll buy that ranch, come hell or high water. I'm determined.

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come home to roost -- (See chickens come home to roost)

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C28. come into -- come on Internet Link come into

come into -- inherit, receive as a gift
When her father died, she came into a lot of money.

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come into play -- affect, influence, be a factor
In sales, all of your skills come into play. You use them all.

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come into your own -- be your natural best, find your voice, realize your potential
After five years in medicine, he came into his own. He became an excellent doctor.

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come naturally -- able to learn easily, have natural ability
Playing the piano seemed to come naturally to Susan.

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come of -- happen, result, develop
Peter liked Mia, but nothing ever came of it - no romance.

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come of age -- become old enough to vote or go to the bar or fight in a war
On my 18th birthday, Dad said, "Now that you've come of age, here's a set of keys to the car."

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come off -- happen as planned, succeed
The band wanted to produce a CD, but it didn't come off.

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come off it -- I do not believe it, you're kidding
You had a date with Cybill Shepherd? Come off it!

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come on -- cheer, encourage
Come on, Mat, you can do it! You can ride that bull!

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come on -- do what we ask
Come on, tell us a story. Please?

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C29. come-on -- come to a head Internet Link come-on

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come-on -- invitation to romance, give her the eye
She's giving Rex the come-on, smiling at him and stuff.

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come on strong -- do it with more energy, do it with enthusiasm
If you come on too strong, the customer will not buy from you.

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come onside -- come on our team, be on our side, buy into
We want to persuade Vi to come onside. We want her to join us.

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come onto -- talk to in a sexual way, make advances
In the car he started coming onto her. He said he wanted her.

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come out in the wash -- become clear later, when the dust settles
We will soon know who did it. It will all come out in the wash.

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come out with -- say, tell, blurt out
Then she comes out with a dirty joke and nobody laughed.

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come through -- complete the task, do what is expected
We're hoping that Ron will come through with high grades.

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come to -- regain your senses or consciousness
A few minutes after the accident, he came to. He opened his eyes.

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come to -- involves, includes
When it comes to dessert, I like raisin pie.

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come to a head -- come to a climax, result in a fight
Things will come to a head when the family discusses the will.

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C30. come to fruition -- come up Internet Link come to fruition

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come to fruition -- become reality, be completed as planned, see it through
Through your donations, your hard work, and your perseverance you have seen your plans for this church come to fruition.

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come to grips with -- accept the truth, face facts
I am finally coming to grips with my divorce. I'm accepting it.

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come to terms -- agree, sign an agreement, settle it
We hope they can come to terms before the court date.

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come to terms with -- accept that it is true, face facts
She helped the boy come to terms with the death of his father.

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come to the point -- say what is important, get to the point
When you make a speech, come to the point quickly.

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come to think of it -- now that I remember it, a thought has just come
Come to think of it, I was the one who suggested marriage.

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come true -- become real, happen, come to fruition
You must believe in your dream to make it come true.

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come undone -- lose self-control, disorganized, at loose ends, fall to pieces
When she's near me, I come undone. I can't think or talk!

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come unglued -- lose control, fall apart
If Tina doesn't stop worrying, she'll come unglued.

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come up -- happen, occur, crop up
In this job we never know what will come up. One customer wanted to buy an ostrich.

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C31. come up with -- conk out Internet link come up with

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come up with -- think of, compose
Can you come up with the answer to my question?

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comeback kid -- an older person who tries to regain his/her former level of success
He's the comeback kid. At 60, he thinks he can skate and play the way he used to.

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comeuppance -- correction, what you deserve, just desert, get yours
If you've been cruel to people, you'll get your comeuppance.

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coming out of our ears -- having too many, having too much
Everybody brought salad. We had salad coming out of our ears!

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coming out of your yin yang -- having far too many, having far too much, tons
If we learn all the idioms in this book, we'll have idioms coming out of our yin yang!

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coming up roses -- doing very well, succeeding,
Since I met Ty, life is wonderful. Everything's coming up roses!

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common sense -- the ability to make logical decisions; horse sense
It is because she has common sense that we ask her opinion.

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compare notes -- compare what we saw and heard
We haven't had a chance to compare notes on Pat's wedding.

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comuppins -- (See comeuppance)

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conk out -- quit, not work any more, sleep, give out
The TV conked out just after the movie started.

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C32. consarned -- cool under pressure Internet Link consarned

consarned -- darn, blasted, dingbusted, friggin
The consarned battery is dead. Rats!

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contract out on -- (See a contract out on)

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cook -- play good jazz, play music with skill and inspiration
The Boss Brass was cookin' last night. What a great band!

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cook your goose -- finish you, ruin you, goose is cooked
If you borrow too much money, you'll cook your goose.

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cool -- fine, sophisticated, hip, groovy, neat, together, way cool, with it
"Do you know any cool guys?" "Yes. There's one in my class. Would you like to meet him?"

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cool beans -- nice, great, wonderful, awesome, cool
"Hey Dad, I got an A on my math test!" "Cool beans, Nicky! I knew you could do it!"

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cool cat -- (See show-off)

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cool it -- stop it, be good, knock it off
The students cool it when the principal walks in.

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cool off -- control your emotions, chill out, calm down
I better cool off before I talk to the kids. I'm still angry.

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cool under pressure -- calm during a crisis, able to perform well when you must do it
Jo was very cool under pressure. When the judge asked questions, she answered clearly and calmly.

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C33. cool your heels -- corner you Internet Link cool your heels

cool your heels -- wait for a judgement, serve a detention
Chad is cooling his heels in the Remand Centre - the city jail.

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cooler heads prevailed -- sensible people spoke, violence was avoided
There was nearly a riot, but cooler heads prevailed.

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coon's age -- (See in a coon's age)

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cop -- policeman, fuzz, pig
I know this cop on the Calgary Police Force - he's a nice guy.

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cop out -- an excuse, not trying, not doing your share
Instead of speaking, he showed a video. What a cop out!

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copacetic -- agreeable, fine, go along with, okay, OK
Don is copacetic. He agrees with our plans.

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copper -- (See cop)

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corked -- intoxicated, drunk, plastered, sloshed
Grant got corked last night and walked home. He couldn't drive.

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corner the market -- become the main supplier, have a monopoly
Japanese automakers are trying to corner the luxury car market.

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corner you -- insist that you listen, buttonhole you
If Helmer corners you, tell him you have to go to the bathroom.

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C34.corny -- couldn't believe my ears Internet Link corny

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corny -- obvious humor, unsophisticated humor
The farmer said his cows are moody today. Now that is corny!

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cost a pretty penny -- cost a lot of money, had a high price
Elvis bought a new pink Cadillac. I bet that cost a pretty penny.

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cost an arm and a leg -- cost a lot of money, is very expensive
That fur jacket must have cost her an arm and a leg.

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cost you -- require much money or emotional stress or time or energy
Caring for a child will cost you - cost you a lot. But it's worth every minute, every tear.

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cotton-picking -- thieving, doggone, flipping, ruddy
Get your cotton-pickin' fingers off that bike! Don't touch it!

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cotton to that -- believe in that, do that, relate to that
City folks play cards on Sunday, but we don't cotton to that.

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couch potato -- a person who watches a lot of TV
If I watch four hours of TV every day, am I a couch potato?

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cough up -- pay your share, pay a debt, pay up
Come on, Tony. Cough up. You haven't paid anything.

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could care less -- (See couldn't care less)

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couldn't believe my ears -- (See can't believe my ears)

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C35. couldn't care less -- cover your ass [B] Internet Link couldn't care less

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couldn't care less -- could not care any less, do not care at all
"Brad is seeing Debbie." "I know. And I couldn't care less."

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count on -- depend on, rely on
We can count on Tanya. She always comes to choir practice.

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count your chickens before they hatch -- depend heavily on plans, spend money that you have not received
Politicians have learned not to "count their chickens" before the election.

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course you can -- you can do it, believe it, of course you can
"I don't think I can learn this." "Course you can, son."

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courseware -- computer program that teaches a course
We sell courseware to schools all over North America.

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courtesy of -- from, given by, donated by
The doughnuts are courtesy of Harry's Bakery.

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cover for me -- make an excuse for me, do my work
I may be late for work today. Will you cover for me?

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cover up -- hide it, sweep under the carpet
He can't cover up his mistake because people know about it.

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cover-up -- hiding something from the authorities or media
The reporter heard about the cover-up of police brutality.

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cover your ass [B] -- protect yourself by having documents signed etc.
If you discipline or dismiss an employee, cover your ass.

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C36. cow-pie -- crack the line-up Internet link cow-pie

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cow-pie -- cow shit [B] cow dung
Watch where you step. There are cow-pies everywhere. Oops!

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cowpoke -- a cowboy, a man who works on a ranch
Three cowpokes were herding some cattle down the road.

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Cowtown -- Calgary, Alberta; a town where cows are sold
The Calgary Stampede is the pride of Cowtown. Y'all come!

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crack a book -- study, read a textbook
Sean passed that exam without cracking a book.

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crack a joke -- tell a joke, say a funny word or phrase
Please be serious. Don't crack jokes or laugh at us.

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crack down on -- stop, not permit, not allow
The police began to crack down on speeders in the school zones.

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crack me up -- make me laugh hard, split a gut
Robin Williams cracks me up when he tells a story.

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crack of dawn -- (See at the crack of dawn)

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crack shot/salesman etc. -- a person who is highly skilled at shooting etc.
Marvin has developed into a crack salesman. He's excellent.

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crack the line-up -- earn a place on a team, make the team
He's a good basketball player, but can he crack the line-up?

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C37. crack this case -- crank out Internet Link crack this case

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crack this case -- solve a crime, discover who is guilty
David will crack this case; he's a thorough investigator.

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crack under the strain -- become irrational or hysterical due to strain, around the bend
Mother was a strong person. She never cracked under the strain of raising ten children.

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cracked -- crazy, nuts, wacko
He must be cracked. He mailed a letter to himself.

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crackers -- crazy, bonkers, nuts
Don't worry about me. I've been crackers all my life.

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crackpot -- a person who is strange or weird, wacko
Some crackpot wrote a letter to him threatening his family.

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crackup -- collision, crash
Drinking and driving causes a lot of crackups.

cramp your style -- cause problems for you, cause stress for you
If we can't buy a Corvette, will it cramp your style?

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crank issue -- a topic that causes anger, can of worms
The Premier raised a crank issue and then went on holidays.

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crank it up -- turn up the volume, louder please
Hey, Karen, crank up the radio. That's a great song.

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crank out -- make, write, manufacture
Can you crank out a few jokes for our school newspaper?

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C38. crap -- crazy like a fox Internet Link crap

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crap -- lies, bull, BS
He told us that history books contain a lot of crap - BS.

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crappy -- poor quality, junky, shabby
What a crappy camera! Look at these terrible pictures!

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crash -- go to bed, go to sleep
Sometimes Don crashes on our sofa and sleeps for hours.

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crash -- fail to operate, not work, break down, kaput
If Netscape crashes, I'll have to use the phone instead of e-mail.

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crash a party -- go to a party uninvited, horn in
Bo and his friends crashed our party. They came uninvited.

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crash course -- (See a crash course)

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crawl on my hands and knees over broken glass just to see her photo -- do anything to be closer to her, worship the ground she walks on
I'm so in love I'd crawl on my hands and knees over miles of broken glass to see her photo.

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crawling with -- having many of them, oodles, scads
The hotel was crawling with police. I couldn't count them.

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crazy about -- like a lot, mad about
Dad's crazy about sports. He really loves baseball.

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crazy like a fox -- crafty while appearing foolish or dumb, play the fool
In the debate, he was crazy like a fox. He praised his opponent for being clever and ruthless.

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C39. cream of the crop -- cross paths Internet Link cream of the crop

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cream of the crop -- best of the group, the finest ones
Only the cream of the crop will be invited to the interviews.

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cream you -- hit you, knock you down, knock you flat
If Jon discovers you lied to him, he'll cream you. He'll hit you.

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creep -- strange person, pervert, weirdo
What a creep! He looks like a stray dog!

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crock -- (See that's a crock)

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crocodile tears -- false tears, phony sadness
Her crocodile tears don't fool me. She just wants sympathy.

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crop up -- happen, occur, come up
I'm planning to go to Montreal unless something crops up - like an airline strike.

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cross my heart and hope to die -- promise sincerely, honestly, under oath
I'll pay you back on Friday, cross my heart and hope to die.

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cross over Jordan -- die, buy the farm, pass away
Before dad crossed over, he told us to care for our mother.

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cross over to the other side -- die, kick the bucket, pass away
Some people cross over to the other side - and return!

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cross paths -- meet, encounter
We'll cross paths again, I'm sure. Until then, good luck.

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C40. cross someone -- crux of the matter Internet Link cross someone

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cross someone -- go against someone, insult someone
People are afraid to cross Phil because he has a violent temper.

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cross that bridge when I come to it -- make that decision when it is necessary, do not jump the gun
If interest rates begin to drop, I can buy bonds, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

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cross your fingers -- (See keep your fingers crossed)

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cruise -- drive the streets looking for fun and friends, bomb around
It was Sunday afternoon and we were cruising the streets looking for chicks.

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cruise -- drive around in a car, bomb around
On summer nights we cruise the streets looking for fun.

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cruising for a bruising -- inviting a fight, asking for it
The new kid was cruisin' for a bruisin' - insulting everybody.

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crummy -- poor quality, lousy, shabby
We canceled the picnic because of the crummy weather.

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crunch -- (See the crunch)

crush on -- (See a crush on)

crux of the matter -- (See the crux of the matter)

C41. cry her heart out -- cup runneth over Internet link cry her heart out

cry her heart out -- cry a lot, sob, cry your eyes out
Poor girl! She's crying her heart out because he hasn't called her.

cry in your beer -- be sad as you drink beer, regret as you drink beer, cry the blues
Go to college. Get your diploma. Or someday you'll be crying in your beer.

cry me a river -- you can cry a lot but you will not get my sympathy, crocodile tears
When he complained about how much he had to pay his chauffeur, I said, "Cry me a river, guy."

cry over spilt milk -- cry about small accidents, cry instead of doing
Children drop things and break them. Don't cry over spilt milk.

cry the blues -- complain because your friend or lover has gone
Lan is crying the blues because Bing left her for another woman.

cry your eyes out -- cry a lot, cry hard, cry her heart out
The little boy was lost and scared, and crying his eyes out.

crying shame -- (See a crying shame)

crystal clear -- very clear, well understood, plain as day
After Mr. Tse explained the concept to me, he asked, "Is that clear?" "Crystal clear," I replied.

cup of tea -- favorite activity, choice of entertainment
A holiday in the Yukon is not her cup of tea.

cup runneth over -- feeling too full of love or joy or happiness
Whenever I listen to Mother Teresa, my cup runneth over.

C42. curiosity killed the cat -- cut above Internet Link curiosity killed the cat

curiosity killed the cat -- a very curious person may find trouble or danger
Don't ask so many questions. Remember, curiosity killed the cat.

curl up with a good book -- sit down in a comfortable place and read a book
On a cold and rainy day she likes to curl up with a good book.

curl your hair -- shock you, disgust you
The man described the accident. It was enough to curl your hair!

curtains -- the end, the death, the last of
If we clear-cut Canada's forests, it's curtains for the lumber industry.

cushy -- soft, luxurious, comfortable
They had a cushy life in their beautiful home beside the ocean.

cuss -- curse, say bad words, the air was blue
The little boy had learned to cuss. He said damn and hell a lot.

cut -- defined, clearly visible
Neil's muscles are well cut. They ripple when he moves.

cut a fine figure -- look very good in your clothes, look sharp
When Dee was in her twenties she cut a fine figure in this fur jacket.

cut a wide swath -- do many things - party, play sports, live and love
Tim cut a wide swath in his youth. He lived a full and active life.

cut above -- (See a cut above)

C43. cut and dried -- cut me to the quick Internet Link cut and dried

cut and dried -- simple, not complex, open and shut
For me, the choice was cut and dried. I chose the Peugeot.

cut corners -- use less material, use less than required
If we cut corners, we'll produce a low-quality product.

cut from the same cloth -- from the same family, very similar
Ty and Ed are cut from the same cloth - both are serious and quiet.

cut him off [B] -- not have sex with him, not make love to him
If he doesn't buy me a car, I'll cut him off - no nookie!

cut it -- do the job, satisfy, work
Red and brown just don't cut it. They look ugly together.

cut it a little fine -- leave very little time, have just enough money
After paying the rent we had only $60. This is cutting it a little fine.

cut it out -- stop it, do not do that, knock it off
When the kids began throwing dirt, we told them to cut it out.

cut losses -- quit the project and accept the financial losses
If the stock price goes down, sell them and cut your losses.

cut me some slack -- give me more time, give me more freedom
You may be asking too much of your son. Cut him some slack.

cut me to the quick -- hurt me, cause me to feel sad
I was hurt when she called me a cow. She cut me to the quick.

C44. cut my teeth on -- cut the mustard Internet Link cut my teeth on

cut my teeth on -- learned as a young person, learned as I grew up
Yes, I can tie a bow knot. I cut my teeth on string and ropes.

cut off -- not allowed to do it any more, stopped from doing
We have to cut off beer sales at 12 midnight. No more sales.

cut off -- drive in front of, swerve into your lane
That jerk cut me off! He swerved into my lane!

cut off -- interrupt, prevent from talking, shut down
The chairman cut me off in the middle of my question. "You're out of order," he said.

cut off your nose to spite your face -- make your problem worse, hurt yourself because you dislike yourself
If you abuse drugs to forget a problem, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face.

cut out for -- have natural ability for, be suited to
I guess I'm just not cut out for bull riding. I'm not good at it.

cut rate -- second class, sold for less than full price
We bought some cut-rate lumber and built a shelter for the boat.

cut the cheese [B] -- let off gas, fart, pass wind
Then somebody cut the cheese, and everybody laughed.

cut the crap [B] -- stop telling lies, stop doing stupid things, no more bull
Will somebody tell him to cut the crap and give us the facts!

cut the mustard -- do the job properly, cut it
If I'm too old to cut the mustard, maybe I should retire, eh.

C45. cut to the chase -- cutting edge Internet link cut to the chase

cut to the chase -- tell the exciting part, get to the point
George, please, cut to the chase. We're tired of the story already.

cut-up -- (See a cut-up)

cut you down to size -- make you feel smaller; not as important
The foreman cut him down to size by calling him a laborer.

cut you to ribbons -- defeat you in an argument, embarrass you in a contest
That professor will cut you to ribbons if you question his facts.

cut your own throat -- hurt yourself, be your own worst enemy
By overspending, you will cut your own throat.

cute as a bug's ear -- petite and pretty, adorable
Have you seen her little sister? She's cute as a bug's ear.

cutting edge -- the latest technology, state of the art
This picture is the cutting edge - the best in the TV industry.

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