Update: 2012-11-27 11:42 PM +0630


TIL English Idiom Collection


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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hack/hacker had a bellyful had a couple had a few had better had enough had his bell rung had it had it up to here had the bird hail a cab hail-fellow-well-met hair off the dog that bit you hair stand on end hairbrain hairdo hale and hearty half-assed [B]



From Magnuson
hack/hacker --
had it Internet link hack/hacker

hack/hacker -- writer, journalist, computer guru
Some hack wrote a story about the mayor's son being on drugs.

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had a bellyful

From Magnuson
had a bellyful --
had too much, do not want to receive any more
I've had a bellyful of the Reborn Party. What a bunch of bigots!

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had a belt

From Magnuson
had a belt --
had a drink of alcohol, had a couple
Ragnar had a belt or two at the tavern in town.

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had a couple

From Magnuson
had a couple --
had two or more drinks of alcohol, tipsy
She was laughing a lot - like she'd had a couple.

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had a few

From Magnuson
had a few --
a little drunk, buzzed
He staggered a bit when he walked - like he'd had a few.

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had better

From Magnuson
had better --
should, ought to
I'd better call and explain why we didn't attend the reception.

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had enough

From Magnuson
had enough --
endured, fed up, put up with a lot
After ten minutes of his talk, she's had enough. She leaves.

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had his bell rung

From Magnuson
had his bell rung --
hit hard, bodychecked, knocked out
Pat had his bell rung by No. 4. He was unconscious for awhile.

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had it

From Magnuson
had it --
had too much of, frustrated with, fed up
I've had it with politicians who waste our money. It's sickening.

From Magnuson
had it --
worn beyond use, shabby, wear out
My bike's had it: the frame's broken and the gears slip.

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had it up to here

From Magnuson
had it up to here
-- half-assed [B] Internet link had it up to here

had it up to here -- upset too many times, had enough
I've had it up to here with his smoking! Yuk!

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had the bird

From Magnuson
had the bird --
worn or broken, wear out
These shoes are full of holes. They've had the bird.

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hail a cab

From Magnuson
hail a cab --
wave your hand to stop a cab, flag a cab
We missed the bus, so we hailed a cab.

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From Magnuson
hail-fellow-well-met --
friendly man, a good head, jolly good fellow
"Bert is a social person." "Yes, he's hail-fellow-well-met, I say."

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hair off the dog that bit you

From Magnuson
hair off the dog that bit you --
remedy that uses the cause, fight fire with fire
The theory of penicillin is to use the hair off the dog that bit you.

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hair stand on end

From Magnuson
hair stand on end --
be very scared, very frightened, scared stiff
Adriana, your hair is standing on end! Have you seen a ghost?

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From Magnuson
hairbrain --
not sensible, irrational, crazy, kooky
Eric is talking about a hairbrain plan to train ants as employees.

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From Magnuson
hairdo --
hairstyle, coiffure
Did you see Eileen's hairdo? She looks lovely in tight curls.

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hale and hearty

From Magnuson
hale and hearty --
healthy and enthusiastic, in the pink, in your prime
"Bob looks hale and hearty these days." "Yes, he's healthy and active."

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half-assed [B]

From Magnuson
half-assed [B] --
incomplete, half missing
There's a guy at the door with a half-assed invention for sale.

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H03. half-bad -- half-snapped Internet link  half-bad

half-bad -- quite good, okay, ain't half-bad
Here, have one of these chocolates. They aren't half-bad.

half-baked -- not well planned, not developed
Satellite schools? Sounds like a half-baked idea to me.

half-cocked -- (See go off half-cocked)

half-corked -- half drunk, buzzed, feeling no pain
Andy was at the bar for awhile. He's half-corked.

half-cut -- (See half-corked)

half-hearted -- using half your ability, not giving enough effort
He made a half-hearted attempt to find our luggage: one phone call.

half-lit -- (See half-corked)

half-pint -- a child, a person who is half the size of an adult
When you were a boy - just a half-pint - your hair was yellow.

half-shot -- (See half-corked)

half-snapped -- (See half-corked)

H04. half the battle -- hand in hand Internet link half the battle

half the battle -- half of the task completed, half of the job done
You've done the research for the report. That's half the battle.

half-there -- idiotic, stupid, nitwit
I couldn't think. My words sounded like grunts. People must have thought I was only half-there.

ham -- humorous person, comedian, joker
When you imitate John Candy, you're quite a ham.

ham hands -- large hands, huge hands
When the coach saw my big hands he called me Ham Hands.

ham it up -- act funny and tell jokes, play the ham
Robbie likes to ham it up when he talks to a group - he tells jokes.

hammer and tongs -- angrily, furiously, fight tooth and nail
The two men were arguing - going at it hammer and tongs.

hammered -- very drunk, pissed, sloshed
You were hammered, so I took your keys and drove you home.

hand down -- told by the elders to the children
The story about the loon was handed down for generations.

hand in -- give to the teacher or manager, turn in
If we hand in an essay before it's due, teacher gives us a 5% bonus.

hand in hand -- related, together
Math and science go hand in hand. They're related subjects.

H05. hand me down -- handout Internet link hand me down

hand me down -- clothes that belonged to an older family member
Bobby said he's tired of wearing hand-me-down clothes.

hand out -- give to the class or audience, pass around
Cory, please hand out the song books - one to each member.

hand over -- give them to me, fork over
Hand over the keys to the safe - give them to me now!

hand over fist -- as fast as possible, one after the other
The T-shirts are selling hand over fist. Everybody wants one.

hand to mouth -- (See from hand to mouth)

hand you a line -- tell you a false story, give you a line
Some politicians try to hand you a line about how busy they are.

handful -- (See a handful)

handle herself -- protect herself, been around
Dolly has worked with men before. She can handle herself.

handout -- page of information for students
If you want to know more about Brazil, read the handout.

handout -- (See a handout)

H06. hands are tied -- hang on like grim death Internet link hands are tied

hands are tied -- be unable to act because others are in control, out of our hands
I'm in favor of public health care but my hands are tied. I have to wait for a government decision.

hands down -- easily, no contest
The captain of the team said, "We won hands down - 6 to 1."

hands on -- practice doing a task by working with your hands
In shop class, we get hands-on experience in car maintenance.

hands up -- put your hands above your head, reach for the sky
"Hands up, everybody!" the thief shouted as he entered the bank.

hang around -- stay near, be with, hang out
Don't hang around with that gang. They steal cars.

hang in there -- continue, persevere, be patient, keep on
Hang in there until the doctor comes. He'll relieve your pain.

hang loose -- be calm, relax, do not be uptight
In Hawaii, they tell the tourists to hang loose - to relax.

hang on -- wait, hold on
Hang on a second. I have one more question to do.

hang on every word -- listen carefully to every word that is said
When Mr. Frye spoke, we would hang on every word. We listened.

hang on like grim death -- be determined or resolute, not quit
In the presidential election, Gore was hanging on like grim death.

H07. hang out -- happy as a clam/lark Internet link hang out

hang out -- play with, be with, spend time with
Cal hangs out with Aaron. They go to the gym every day.

hang ten (surfing) -- let your toes hang over the edge of the surf board
When you get tired of standing on the board, just hang ten.

hang tough -- continue to try, be strong and determined
As we returned to the field, the coach said, "Hang tough, guys."

hang-up -- a fear or phobia, a personal problem
For me, marriage is a hang-up. I can't commit to one person.

hang you out to dry -- defeat you, convict you, throw the book at
If you're caught shoplifting, they'll hang you out to dry.

hang your hat -- live here, live with us
You can hang your hat here for awhile - until you rent a room.

hangover -- feeling ill or nausea the day after you are drunk
Is it true that vodka doesn't cause a hangover?

hanky-panky -- unfair deal, cheating, underhanded plan
There is no hanky-panky in the contract we signed. It's okay.

happy as a box of birds -- joyful, very happy
When we go to the lake, the kids are as happy as a box of birds.

happy as a clam/lark -- very happy, carefree
When Tim is working on his car, he's happy as a clam.

H08. happy as a peacock -- hard done by Internet link happy as a peacock

happy as a peacock -- very happy, very pleased
If you tell Alice she's beautiful, she'll be happy as a peacock!

happy as a pig in shit [B] -- very happy, contented
"Does Caleb like farm life?" "He's happy as a pig in shit."

happy camper -- a person who is happy most of the time
Jack's a happy camper today. He's smiling and whistling.

happy hour -- an hour (or hours) when bar drinks are cheaper
Adam has invited me to the lounge for happy hour.

happy motoring -- have a good trip in your car
The slogan of the auto club is Happy Motoring!

hard as nails -- tough, not sympathetic
The lawyer was as hard as nails. He felt no pity for anyone.

hard at it -- working hard, as busy as a beaver
When the foreman returned, the workers were hard at it.

hard copy -- printed page(s), paper with printed words or pictures
You can check your work on the computer screen, but it's easier find errors on hard copy.

hard day -- (See a hard day)

hard done by -- overworked, asked to do too much
With all the help Bonnie gets, she's not hard done by.

H09. hard feelings -- hard row to hoe Internet link hard feelings

hard feelings -- unfriendly feelings, resentment
After the argument, Bill said, "I hope there are no hard feelings."

hard line -- statement or policy that a person refuses to change
The principal takes a hard line on school attendance. I must attend.

hard liquor -- strong liquor (rum etc.) with 40 % alcohol
The bar was serving beer, wine and several kinds of hard liquor.

hard nosed -- firm, tough; refusing to lower his price or standard
Ms. Bond is hard nosed. If you plagiarize, you fail the course

hard of hearing -- not able to hear very well, partly deaf
Now that Grandpa's in his 80s, he's quite hard of hearing.

hard-on [B] -- (See a hard-on)

hard on me -- makes me work hard, tough on me
That job was hard on me. My back is sore from the lifting.

hard pressed -- challenged, faced with a hard task
They'll be hard pressed to find a person who doesn't drink coffee.

hard put -- unable to answer easily, stump me
He was hard put to answer the questions on cold fission.

hard row to hoe -- (See a hard row to hoe)

H10. hard sell -- hardware Internet link hard sell

hard sell -- using much pressure to sell, trying hard to convince the customer to buy, soft sell
He was giving us the hard sell. He almost forced us to sign the contract.

hard skill -- skill that can be measured, track record
I think we should offer the position to Linda. Look at the hard skills listed on her resume!

hard stuff -- (See hard liquor)

hard times -- a time of poverty and drought and famine
We endured hard times in the 1930s. We were all poor.

hard to believe -- not easy to believe, difficult to believe
It's hard to believe that you're a grandfather. You look so young.

hard to get -- (See play hard to get)

hard to swallow -- hard to accept, hard to take
She said, "He has custody of the children. It's hard to swallow."

hard to take -- difficult to tolerate, hard to swallow
Her cruel words hurt me. Her sarcasm is hard to take.

hard up -- poor, unable to pay, in the poorhouse
After the war, our family was so hard up we couldn't buy meat.

hardware -- computer machines and accessories
The printer is an important part of your computer hardware.

H11. harum-scarum -- hat trick Internet link harum-scarum

harum-scarum -- careless, disorganized, pell-mell
Tag is a harum-scarum kind of game - no rules or referee.

has a mind of his own -- (See mind of his own)

has-been -- someone who has been skilled or famous
Bobby now plays on a team of has-beens: The Old Timers.

has the cat got your... -- (See cat got your tongue)

has the makings -- has the potential, has the ingredients
Darcy has the makings of a good teacher. He explains things well.

hash it over -- talk about it, discuss it, talk it over
If I mention the lawsuit, he says, "We can hash it over later."

hassle -- (See a hassle)

hassle me -- bother me, bug me, give me a bad time

hat in hand -- humble, almost begging
If he doesn't find a job in town, he'll return to us, hat in hand.

hat trick -- one player scoring three goals in one hockey game
Brad scored a hat trick in the game against the Blades.

H12. hatchet man -- have a boo Internet link hatchet man

hatchet man -- the man who does the bad jobs: firing, layoffs, etc.
Uh oh, there's Jake, the hatchet man. Who's getting fired now?

hats off -- a tribute or honor; praise and thanks
And hats off to Mr. Singh for coordinating the volunteers.

haul ass [B] -- do it, hurry, get going
If you want a magazine, haul ass. You can buy one at the drugstore.

haul up on the carpet -- questioned, disciplined, give me the third degree
If you don't obey every rule, you will be hauled up on the carpet.

have a ball -- enjoy the activity, have a blast, have fun
We had a ball at Yolanda's party. It was lots of fun.

have a bird -- be overcome with excitement or grief, beside myself, have a fit
When you told her the boys had been rescued I thought she was going to have a bird! She was almost hysterical.

have a bite -- eat lunch, eat some food
We can have a bite at a restaurant after we finish shopping.

have a blast -- have a great party; enjoy the dance etc.
"How was the dance?" "Super! We had a blast!"

have a boo -- go to the bathroom, go to the can
Let's stop at the next service station so Cory can have a boo.

have a boo -- have a look, have a peek
Have a boo with my binoculars. You can see one of the planets.

H13. have a case of -- have a flat Internet link have a case of

have a case of -- be sick from, have a disease
I was in bed. I had a bad case of the flu.

have a chair -- please sit down on a chair, have a seat
"Please have a chair," my aunt said, and the man sat down.

have a clue -- know about the answer, know about the topic
I didn't have a clue about the answer to Question 2.

have a conniption -- become very upset, have a fit
Stop playing your violin, or Mom will have a conniption!

have a crush on -- (See got a crush on)

have a cow -- (See don't have a cow)

have a drag -- draw smoke through a cigarette, have a drag
I'm out of cigarettes. Can I have a drag of yours?

have a fit -- become very excited, have a conniption
Promise me you won't have a fit if I fail math.

have a fix -- take some drugs, get a fix, shoot up
After he's had a fix, he's happy. The heroin satisfies his need.

have a flat -- have a hole in a tire, have a flat tire
If you have a flat, phone a service station for help.

H14. have a fling -- have a puff Internet link have a fling

have a fling -- live a wild life as a young person
Dad, did you have a fling when you were young?

have a go -- try to do, attempt
You have a go at this puzzle. See if you can solve it.

have a good time -- be happy, enjoy yourself, have a blast
You should come to the party. We'll have a good time.

have a heart -- do not be cruel, have some feeling
Have a heart when you coach the kids. Be gentle with them.

have a hitch in your getalong -- limp, walk with a limp
Since he broke his ankle, he's had a little hitch in his getalong.

have a laugh -- laugh, chuckle
Phan and Lo had a laugh about their early birthday parties.

have a leak [B] -- urinate, take a pee [B]
When you go camping, it's okay to have a leak in the woods, eh.

have a looksee -- look at something, look for something
Pete thinks he can find the cow. He went to have a looksee.

have a mind to -- am considering, may do this
I have a good mind to tell his wife he's been with a prostitute.

have a puff -- (See have a drag)

H15. have a say -- have an attack Internet link have a say

have a say -- be allowed to state a view, help to make the decision
Only the investors will have a say in the price of the product.

have a seat -- sit down, please be seated, have a chair
The farmer pointed to a chair and said, "Have a seat."

have a shot at -- have a chance or a try, qualify to compete
If Scotty wins this fight, he'll have a shot at the boxing title.

have a sip -- have a small taste, drink through a straw
Can I have a sip of your cherry drink? Just a little sip?

have a smash -- have a drink of liquor, have a sip
Here, Jon. Have a smash of the brandy before it's all gone.

have a soft spot for -- have a caring feeling for, have sympathy for, feel for
I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Martha. She was so kind to me as a child.

have a whiz -- go to the toilet, visit the john
We were so busy we didn't even stop to have a whiz!

have a word with you -- talk to you, discuss with you
As I left the room, Mr. Lee said, "May I have a word with you?"

have an affair -- see a lover who is not your spouse, fool around
"Liz is having another affair." "Who is she seeing? Bart?"

have an attack -- feel sudden pain from a disease or illness
She can hardly breathe. I think she's having an asthma attack.

H16. have an inkling -- have it in hand Internet link have an inkling

have an inkling -- know, be aware of, have a clue
I didn't have an inkling that you loved him. I didn't know.

have at me -- criticize me, scold me, give you hell [B]
Every time I come home late, my parents have at me.

have deep pockets -- have lots of money, be wealthy or well off
Some people say the government has deep pockets, but we are the government. Do we have deep pockets?

have designs on -- want to take away from, envy, covet
I have no designs on your job. Believe me. I don't want it.

have fun -- enjoy an activity or event, have a good time
Did you have fun at the party? Did you enjoy it?

have half a mind to -- (See have a mind to)

have it both ways -- let it go and still have it, have your cake...
You can't be married and single. You can't have it both ways.

have it coming -- deserve it, ask for it
If you get fined for driving too fast, you have it coming.

have it in for -- (See got it in for)

have it in hand -- be able to control it, have it under control
A fire started in the kitchen, but it's okay. We have it in hand.

H17. have it made -- have the balls [B] Internet link have it made

have it made -- have achieved success, have everything you want
Viv has a new home, two cars and a career. She has it made.

have it out -- argue, fight, settle it
Jake and Dan had it out. They argued for more than an hour.

have it your way -- do what you want to do, get your way
Have it your way. Choose the movie you want to see.

have my ears lowered -- get a haircut, have my hair cut
When my hair is long, I go and have my ears lowered!

have my eye on -- (See got my eye on)

have my work cut out -- have a difficult task to do; a problem I must solve
Our goal is to win the cup, so we have our work cut out for us.

have nookie -- have sexual intercourse, have sex, make love
All he wants to do is have nookie - all the time!

have one on me -- have a drink and I will pay for it, this one is on me
Put your money away, please. Have one on me.

have sex -- have sexual intercourse, make love
She said that it's dangerous to have sex with several partners.

have the balls [B] -- (See got the balls)

H18. have the final say -- have you for breakfast Internet link have the final say

have the final say -- make the final decision, call the shots
The children want a pony, but John has the final say.

have the floor -- it is your turn to speak to the group
You have the floor, Mai. Please tell us about your idea.

have the makings of -- (See the makings of)

have things in hand -- (See have it in hand)

have to -- must, cannot avoid
Jill has to go to the meeting. She's the president.

have to go -- need to visit a washroom, have to whiz
Can we find a washroom? I have to go.

have to go some -- must try harder, have to improve
You'll have to go some to get an A. It's a difficult course.

have to hand it to you -- must admit that you can do it, give you credit (see give her credit)
I have to hand it to you. You did every problem correctly.

have what it takes -- (See got what it takes)

have you for breakfast -- defeat you easily, cut you to ribbons
Don't try to beat the gangsters. They'll have you for breakfast.

H19. have you over -- hawk Internet link have you over

have you over -- invite you to visit us, drop over
When we move into our new home we want to have you over.

have your cake and eat it, too -- have something after you have eaten or spent it, have it both ways
You want to spend your money and still have it. You can't have your cake and eat it, too!

have your period [B] -- menstruate, got the rags on
I get stomach pains when I have my period. Do you?

haven't got a hope -- do not have a good chance of succeeding
If you don't study for exams, you haven't got a hope.

haven't got a hope in hell -- have no chance to win or succeed or survive etc.
If the parachute doesn't open, I haven't got a hope in hell.

haven't got the stomach for it -- dislike it, do not enjoy it
She likes to dissect frogs, but I haven't got the stomach for it.

haven't seen hide nor hair -- have not seen a person, have seen no sign of him
We haven't seen hide nor hair of Jack since he borrowed $1000.

haven't the foggiest -- have no idea what the answer is, do not know the answer, have a clue
"What's a googol?" "A googol! I don't know. I haven't the foggiest!"

havoc strikes -- problems happen, crises occur suddenly
Farmers plant their crops, and havoc strikes in hailstones.

hawk -- a person who likes war; wants to make war
The hawks were pleased when the US declared war on Iraq.

H20. haywire -- head in the sand Internet link haywire

haywire -- (See go haywire)

hazard a guess -- guess at the answer, take a a shot in the dark
How many beans are in the jar? Do you want to hazard a guess?

he who hesitates is lost -- if you hesitate you may not get another chance
If you want to marry Ko, ask her. He who hesitates is lost.

head (headbanger) -- a person who uses drugs, junkie
That school has no heads. Not one student is using drugs.

head -- (See skids)

head and shoulders -- superior, better, a cut above
Her work is superior - head and shoulders above the others.

head down there -- go there, travel south, head up there
Have you been to Chile? I'm going to head down there for the winter.

head honcho -- boss, foreman, manager
Who's the head honcho here? I have a package for him - or her.

head in the clouds -- dreaming, wondering, not practical
Shelly is a daydreamer. She's got her head in the clouds.

head in the sand -- unable to see, unwilling to look
The minister hasn't noticed their poverty. His head is in the sand.

H21. head is spinning -- health nut Internet link head is spinning

head is spinning -- mind is confused, boggle your mind
The lawyer asked me so many questions my head was spinning.

head on -- directly, without hesitation
Lynn meets her challenges head on, but Vera tries to avoid them.

head out -- leave, depart
We should head out soon. We have a long way to go.

head over heels -- in love with, crazy about
Lan's head over heels for Chan. She's crazy about him.

head up -- lead, manage
Rod will head up the project. He can get the job done.

head up there -- go there, travel north, head down there
I've always wanted to go to Alaska. Let's head up there.

headhunter -- a person who looks for professional employees
The headhunters are looking for good computer programmers.

heads or tails -- choose one or the other, which side of the coin?
"Heads or tails?" the gambler asked as he flipped the coin.

heads will roll -- people will be dismissed, people will be fired
When the manager hears about the damage, heads will roll.

health nut -- a person who eats health foods and does exercises to become healthy
Gary is a health nut. He eats fruit and granola, and jogs five to ten kilometres every day.

H22. hear me out -- heavy duty Internet link hear me out

hear me out -- listen to all that I have to say, do not interrupt me
Please, hear me out. Wait until I finish before you comment.

heart is in the right place -- people who encourage you even if they cannot help
Max is too old to help us now, but his heart's in the right place.

heat is on -- (See the heat is on)

heaven forbid -- we should not do it, we are not permitted 
Grandma said, "Heaven forbid! Don't play hockey on Sunday!"

heaven help us -- we are facing a crisis, we need a lot of help
Heaven help us if we have an accident with Dad's Mercedes.

heavens -- goodness, oh dear, gosh
Heavens! You weren't supposed to arrive until Friday!

heavens to Betsy -- oh no, heavens
Heavens to Betsy! I can't find my purse!

heavy -- very serious, not fun
War is a heavy topic because it involves death and destruction.

heavy day -- (See a heavy day)

heavy duty -- very difficult, demanding
I have to work hard at math. It's a heavy-duty course.

H23. heavy foot -- hell of a time Internet link heavy foot

heavy foot -- driving fast, pedal to the metal
Your heavy foot is causing a financial problem for us. Speeding fines are costly!

heavy going -- difficult part, hard work, heavy going
I'm glad we have Al on our team. He likes the heavy going.

heavy heart -- sad, sorrowful
It was with a heavy heart that he attended his father's funeral.

heavy hitter -- (See a heavy hitter)

heavy metal types -- (See skids)

heck -- hell, shucks
She asked me to come in, but heck, her boyfriend was there.

hedge your bets -- bet safely, bet on two or more horses etc.
If you hedge your bets, you have a better chance of winning.

hell bent for election -- going fast, determined to get somewhere
There goes Joe, driving hell bent for election - always in a hurry.

hell in a handbasket -- (See go to hell in a handbasket)

hell of a time -- (See a hell of a time, one hell of a time)

H24. hell to pay [B] -- here's to Internet link hell to pay [B]

hell to pay [B] -- angry people to face, questions to answer
When I come in at 4 a.m. there's hell to pay.

hell's bells -- I can't believe it, good grief, jumping Jehoshaphat
Hell's bells! Where have you been? We've been looking all over for you!

hell's half acre [B] -- (See all over hell's half acre)

hellish [B] -- bad, awful, unfair
If we have to pay our medical bills, it's a hellish arrangement!

help out -- help someone, lend a hand
The Wongs are good neighbors - always willing to help out.

help yourself -- please take some, dig in, eat up
Help yourself to hamburgers. Don't wait to be served.

helping hand -- (See a helping hand)

hemming and hahing -- saying "ahem...ah" while thinking what to say, beat around the bush
When we asked him about the missing money, there was a lot of hemming and hahing.

here's mud in your eye -- here is a toast to you, drink up
It's good to have a drink with you. Here's mud in your eye.

here's to -- I salute, we recognize, we praise, cheers
Here's to Tim Ko on his 75th birthday! Congratulations, Tim!

H25. hey -- high Internet link hey

hey -- listen, I am calling you
Hey, Ron. Where are you going?

heyday -- best years, in your prime
In his heyday, Pele was the best soccer player in the world.

hi -- hello, howdy
Hi, Kelly. How are you?

hi there -- hello, hi
Hi there. Do you know the way to Monterey?

hick -- rural person, local yokel, rube
Wearing overalls and a straw hat, he looked like a hick.

hidden agenda -- secret plan to control the meeting or decisions
The board has a hidden agenda. We don't know their real plans.

hidden talent -- a talent or skill you do not show very often
Oh, you play the harmonica! Got any more hidden talents?

hide nor hair -- (See haven't seen hide nor hair)

high -- drunk, feeling happy after using a drug, stoned
Look into his eyes to see if he's high. Are his eyes clear?

high -- (See natural high)

H26. high and mighty -- highball it Internet link high and mighty

high and mighty -- better than other people, snobbish, upper crust
After she married the judge, she acted kind of high and mighty.

high five -- celebrating by slapping each other's raised hand
After scoring a goal, the players exchanged high fives.

high handed -- superior, above other people
We don't like managers who are high handed - high and mighty.

high-hat -- proud, snobbish, pompous
Cynthia looks high-hat, but she's really very friendly.

high hopes -- expecting the best, hoping for success
Todd has high hopes for his son, including a college education.

high on the hog -- having expensive things, in luxury
If I win the lotto, we'll live high on the hog - in a mansion!

high roller -- a person who spends a lot on gambling and betting
This is a game for high rollers. You need a hundred grand to play.

high strung -- nervous and sensitive, easily upset
Jacqueline won't speak in public because she's very high strung.

high time -- late, past due, about time
It's high time you got a job, Ty. What kind of work do you like?

highball it -- drive fast, boot it
The big truck was highballin' it, speeding down the freeway.

H27. higher than a kite -- His Royal Highness Internet Link higher than a kite

higher than a kite -- drunk, natural high, sloshed
Don't let him drive - he's higher than a kite.

highfalutin -- proud, pretentious
We need a musician, not some highfalutin rock star!

hightail it -- leave in a hurry, run away
If the bull gets loose, you hightail it for the house.

hill of beans -- not very much, very little
What I lose in the poker games doesn't amount to a hill of beans.

hip -- sophisticated, fashionable, cool, groovy, with it
It ain't hip to say doll. You got to say chick now.

hip hop (generation) -- young adults in the rap-music era with their own slang and subculture
I'm hip hop and if you don't like rap you're wack!

hire on -- get work, get a job, catch on
Norm was hired on as a roughneck with an oil company.

his nibs -- a man who acts high class, His Royal Highness
We were having fun till his nibs walked in and told us to be quiet.

his own man -- independent man, one who makes his own decisions
Ken will do his job, but he does it his way. He's his own man.

His Royal Highness -- the king, His Majesty
His Royal Highness would like you to play your lute for him.

H28. history -- hit me Internet Link history

history -- fired, dismissed, gone, down the road
If you refuse to do a job, you're history, pal.

hit -- (See a hit)

hit and miss -- some right and some wrong, trial and error
Hiring good help is still a hit-and-miss procedure.

hit and run (baseball) -- a play in which the batter tries to hit as the base runner runs
On the next pitch, the Mets tried a hit and run, but the batter missed the ball.

hit and run (traffic) -- an accident in which the driver leaves the scene of the collision
Was your car involved in a hit-and-run accident? Did you fail to stop after hitting someone?

hit home -- become very meaningful, affect you personally, touch you
When they see hungry Canadian children on TV, the message about poverty will hit home.

hit it off -- relate well, be friends immediately
Gus and Bert seem to hit it off. They've been talking for hours.

hit man -- hired killer, a person who is paid to commit murder
The hit man who killed the president is a terrorist.

hit me (card games) -- give me another card; yes, I'll have another one
The old man looked at his cards carefully, then said, "Hit me."

hit me -- the meaning becomes clear to me, I understand
It hit me later that she was a teacher, not a student.

H29. hit me -- hit speeds of Internet Link hit me

hit me -- tell me, say it now, give it to me straight
When I said it was bad news, he said, "Hit me. Let's have it."

hit me for a loan -- ask to borrow money, ask me for a loan
Hit me for a loan on payday. Then I'll have some money.

hit me with your best shot -- shoot or hit as hard as you can, sock it to me
Hit me with your best shot. Serve the ball as hard as you can.

hit my funny bone -- cause me to laugh, crack me up
The word pollywog always hits my funny bone. Ha ha ha, ha ha.

hit on -- think of, come up with
Ko was a nurse until she hit on the idea of selling jewelry.

hit on -- talk to in a sexual manner, come onto
When he hit on a waitress, we asked him to stop.

hit on all cylinders -- running smoothly, operating well, hit it off
At first our company wasn't running very smoothly, but now we're hitting on all cylinders.

hit paydirt -- become rich, win money, make a lot of money
When Helen began selling chocolate, she hit paydirt. She's rich!

hit rock bottom -- feel very unfortunate, feel very depressed
After his farm was seized, he hit rock bottom - lost all hope.

hit speeds of -- travel at speeds of, do (a speed)
The stolen car was hitting speeds of 120 km per hour in the city.

H30. hit the bar -- hit the nail on the head Internet Link hit the bar

hit the bar -- go to the bar to buy some drinks
Every night after work he hit the bar and stayed for hours.

hit the books -- begin to study, crack a book
Exams begin next week. It's time to hit the books.

hit the bottle -- drink liquor, get drunk to forget problems
When Laura left him, he hit the bottle, drinking to forget her.

hit the brakes -- step on the brakes in a car or vehicle, try to stop
When I saw that the other car couldn't stop, I hit the brakes.

hit the bricks -- go to jail, be sentenced to a jail term, in the tank
That was the last time he hit the bricks. He never went to jail again.

hit the ceiling -- become very angry, lose your cool
The third time we were late for class, she hit the ceiling.

hit the ground running -- be able to work effectively when you begin a new job, self-starter
We need someone who can hit the ground running, a person who needs no training.

hit the hay -- go to bed, crash
After supper he hit the hay. He was exhausted.

hit the high notes -- sing high notes, play high notes
Can you hit the high notes on your trumpet? High C?

hit the nail on the head -- say the right word, suggest a good idea
Your comment hit the nail on the head. You spoke the truth.

H31. hit the road/trail -- hokey Dinah Internet link hit the road/trail

hit the road/trail -- travel, leave
Let's hit the road early. We have many miles to go.

hit the skids -- begin to fail, go downhill
After losing his job and his wife he hit the skids - became a bum.

hit the spot -- taste right, is satisfying
Sometimes tea hits the spot. It satisfies me.

hit town -- arrive in town
It was 2 a.m. when we hit town.

hitch in your getalong -- (See have a hitch in your getalong)

hobnob -- associate with, be a friend of
Per likes to hobnob with artists because he likes to draw.

Hobson's choice -- accept what is offered or you get nothing; tight spot
If I don't agree to accept half the money, it will all go to charity. It's a Hobson's choice.

hogwash -- false statements, bull, bunk, hot air
He told you I have a pet python? That's a lot of hogwash!

hoity-toity -- a bit snobbish, high and mighty
Pamela is a classy lady, but she is not snobbish or hoity-toity.

hokey Dinah -- gosh, holy cow, wow
Every time you hit the ball Wendy says, "Hokey Dinah!"

H32. hold a candle -- hold-out Internet Link hold a candle

hold a candle -- do as well, compare with, measure up
The Buick is nice, but it can't hold a candle to the Cadillac.

hold a grudge -- stay angry for a long time, bad blood
He gets mad, but he never holds a grudge. He forgives easily.

hold a meeting -- organize and conduct a meeting
The club will hold a meeting on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

hold down -- keep, stay at
He has shown that he can hold down a job. He's reliable.

hold forth -- talk at length about one subject, lecture
"If you mention his favorite topic -- ants -- he'll hold forth for hours!"

hold her liquor -- drink but not get drunk, hold your drinks
Thelma can hold her liquor. She looks sober after five drinks.

hold it -- stop, this is important, hold on, wait a minute
"You and I will swim over to - " "Hold it! I can't swim. I didn't agree to swim anywhere!"

hold me responsible -- say that I am responsible, carry the can, lay the blame
Because I'm the cashier, the manager holds me responsible for missing cash.

hold on -- wait, do not begin, we are not ready
Hold on! We haven't fastened our seat belts.

hold-out -- a person who does not agree
There are two hold-outs, but both people are willing to negotiate.

H33. hold out for -- hold you up Internet Link hold out for

hold out for -- wait to get full price, drive a hard bargain
He'll hold out for the full price of his car. He'll wait.

hold that over my head -- remind me of my mistake, judge me by a failure
My parking ticket - is he going to hold that over my head?

hold the fort -- manage until we return, look after things
The manager asked me to hold the fort while he was gone.

hold the phone -- wait a minute, let me think about it
"Dad, I'm going to quit school." "Hold the phone! Let's talk."

hold the purse strings -- control how much is spent, decide when to spend
He does the talking, but she holds the purse strings.

hold up -- stall, be unable to go, be unable to continue
The plane was held up because of a snowstorm - delayed an hour.

hold up -- use a gun in a robbery, mugged
A robber held up the store and took the money from the till.

hold up -- cope, not cry, not lose control of your grief
Teri has endured a lot of pain. How's she holding up?

hold water -- be logical, be sensible
He can't be in two places at once. His story doesn't hold water.

hold you up -- delay you, cause you to be late
Did the traffic hold you up? Is that why you were late?

H34. hold your drinks -- hole in one (golf) Internet Link hold your drinks

hold your drinks -- drink liquor but not be rude or foolish
You may be able to hold your drinks, but you can't drive my car.

hold your hand -- help you when you are afraid, baby-sit you
When you go to college, who's going to hold your hand?

hold your horses -- wait a minute, hold on, hold the phone
When I said the accident was his fault, he said, "Hold your horses!"

hold your mouth the right way -- if you shape your mouth the right way you can do it, the way you hold...
"I can't tie a reef knot." "Sure you can - if you hold your mouth the right way."

hold your nose -- accept it but not like it, look the other way
This plan is better than no plan, so hold your nose and vote for it.

hold your own -- be equal to the others, keep pace
She can hold her own with the best skiers. She's excellent.

hold your temper -- control your temper, do not lose your temper
Try to hold your temper when you work with the children. Don't get angry because they learn from watching you.

hold your tongue -- be polite, do not talk back
When your father is talking, you hold your tongue. You be quiet.

holding the bag -- left alone to finish the work or be responsible
Mom says we leave her holding the bag - to finish jobs alone.

hole in one (golf) -- hit the ball from the tee into the cup in one stroke
There's a $50 prize for a hole in one at the Pines Golf Course.

H35. hole up -- home stretch Internet Link hole up

hole up -- hide and wait, find a place to stay until it is safe
The robbers were holed up in a motel on Hastings Street.

hollow leg -- (See a hollow leg)

holy cow -- that is exciting, geez, gosh, wow
Holy cow! That car just about crashed into us!

holy Moses -- that is amazing, gosh, holy Toledo, wow
Holy Moses! What a lot of birds! There must be a million!

holy pile -- (See a holy pile)

holy smoke -- what a sight, holy cow, wow
Holy smoke, he was weird! He had purple hair!

holy Toledo -- how exciting, holy Moses, wow
Holy Toledo, he has big muscles! They're huge!

home free -- finished a job, free to go home or away
Two more newspapers to deliver and we're home free - finished.

home run (baseball) -- the batter scores a run on one hit (See grand slam)
I remember the game when Rusty hit three home runs.

home stretch -- the last part of the journey or race
On the home stretch we drove slower. We wanted to feel relaxed when we got home.

H36. honest-to-goodness -- hook, line and sinker Internet link honest-to-goodness

honest-to-goodness -- genuine, real, the real McCoy
It's not a fake! It's an honest-to-goodness Van Gogh painting!

honestly -- truthfully, in fact, upon my word
Honestly, I don't understand you. I really don't.

honesty is the best policy -- telling the truth is the best plan, honesty pays off
Above the teacher's desk is this sign: Honesty is the best policy.

honey -- dear, darling, sweetie pie
Honey, where are the tomatoes? Do we have any tomatoes?

honky -- white person, Caucasian
Then this honky gave us a ride. Some whites are nice, eh.

hoo-haw [B] -- penis, dork, prick
"Yes, I've seen a hoo-haw," she said. "I have three brothers."

hooch -- liquor, booze, homebrew, screech
Arne brought a bottle of hooch to the dance.

hood -- teenage boy involved in crime, hoodlum
Ron looks like a hood, but he's a good boy - and a good student.

hook up with -- join, travel together
In Calgary, I hooked up with a guy from Montreal.

hook, line and sinker -- completely, fully, without hesitation, fall for that
Martina believes my story - hook, line and sinker! She believes everything I tell her.

H37. hooker -- horse around Internet Link hooker

hooker -- prostitute, fallen woman
As I walked along 3rd Avenue, a hooker asked me if I was lonely.

hoosegow -- (See in the slammer)

hoot -- laugh, laugh your head off, split a gut
When I said I live in Moose Jaw, he hooted. He laughed at me.

hop up -- increase the power, supercharge, tweak
"What are you driving?" "A hopped-up Ford. It flies!"

hopes dashed -- plans ruined, dreams lost
Her hopes were dashed when she failed the entrance exam.

hopping mad -- very angry, hot
She was hopping mad when you laughed at her wig.

hork -- vomit, puke, barf, throw up
Somebody horked on the floor of my car! Yuk!

horn in -- interfere, intrude, butt in
We were playing a game of tag, and the big guys tried to horn in.

horny [B] -- ready for sex, wanting to have sex, aroused
How come you're never horny when I am?

horse around -- play, joke, fool around, goof off
Don't horse around in the lab. You could spill some acid.

H38. horse feathers -- hot air Internet Link horse feathers

horse feathers -- lies, false stories, bull, a bunch of malarkey
When she told her dad she saw a ghost, he said, "Horse feathers!"

horse of a different color -- (See a horse of a different color)

horse sense -- being sensible, logical; common sense
He's got horse sense to rent a condo before he buys one.

horse shoes up his ass [B] -- very lucky, always winning
He's got horseshoes up his ass! He won six games of bingo!

horse's ass [B] -- (See a horse's ass)

horseplay -- just having fun, fooling around
Don't worry. The boys aren't fighting. It's just horseplay.

hose it down/ hose it off -- spray with water from the hose, wash down
If the rubber mat is muddy, lay it on the sidewalk and hose it off.

hoser -- Canadian guy, neighbor
Hey, hoser. What're you doin' in my garden?

hot -- angry, mad, pissed [B]
She was really hot when you said her wig was crooked.

hot air -- false talk, bragging, bull, hogwash
Steve brags about winning the marathon, but he's full of hot air.

H39. hot and bothered -- hot ticket Internet Link hot and bothered

hot and bothered -- upset, getting angry, ready to speak angrily
You know that Dad gets hot and bothered when you stay out late.

hot goods -- stolen products, items obtained illegally
I won't buy a watch from him because he sells hot goods.

hot hand -- (See a hot hand)

hot off the press -- paper that has just been printed
As the boy handed me the paper he said, "Hot off the press!"

hot on the trail -- following the trail, looking for evidence 
The police are hot on the trail of the bank robbers.

hot on your heels -- following close behind, not far behind
If you begin to run, the bear will be hot on your heels.

hot potato -- (See drop him like a hot potato)

hot stuff -- very popular person, very sexy person
When Arlana was in high school she was hot stuff - very sexy!

hot tempered -- quick to become angry, lose your temper
He's hot tempered - very impatient and often angry.

hot ticket -- (See a hot ticket)

H40. hot topic -- how are you doing Interner Link hot topic

hot topic -- (See a hot topic)

hot under the collar -- upset, becoming angry, hot and bothered
It's only a joke. Don't get hot under the collar.

hotdog -- cooked wiener inside a long bun
Two hotdogs with mustard, please. And two coffees - black.

hotdog -- (See a hotdog)

hothead -- (See a hothead)

hotshot -- (See a hotshot)

hound -- keep asking or demanding, harass, browbeat
If you'll stop hounding me, I'll go to the doctor!

household name -- (See a household name)

how about that -- that is interesting, you don't say
How about that! We ran ten kilometres!

how are you doing -- are you feeling fine? is life good to you?
How are you doing, Chan? I haven't seen you for awhile.

H41. how are you fixed for -- how it plays out Internet link how are you fixed for

how are you fixed for -- do you have enough? how many do you have?
How are you fixed for diapers? May I borrow one?

how are you getting along -- are you able to do it? are you okay? how are you doing
"How are you getting along at the new school, Gail?" "Fine. I like my subjects."

how are you making out -- are you able to do the job? have you made progress? how are you doing
The manager came to my office and said, "How are you making out? Finished the report?"

how come -- why? how do you explain it?
How come you're going home? Don't you want to play?

how do you do -- hello, nice to meet you, good day, howdy
"Mr. Grant, I'm Ken Blair, the new bank manager." "How do you do, Mr. Blair."

how do you like them apples -- do you like this better? do you like that choice? tough bananas
If you don't like the bed, you can sleep on the floor. How do you like them apples?

how does that grab you -- how do you feel about that?
A holiday in Greece - how does that grab you?

how goes it -- is your life good? how are you doing
"How goes it?" said my friend. "Not bad," I replied.

how goes the battle -- are you winning the battle of life? are you okay?
"How goes the battle?" Jo asked. "I win and I lose," Pat replied.

how it plays out -- how it happens, how it ends, how it pans out
The new policy is supposed to improve sales, but we'll see how it plays out.

H42. how so -- hump day Internet Link how so

how so -- explain how, how come
When I told him the game was canceled, he said, "How so?"

how time flies -- how quickly time passes, how short the time seems
How time flies when I visit you. The hours pass too quickly.

how you hold your... -- (See the way you hold your mouth)

how's that again -- what did you say? come again
When Grandpa doesn't hear me, he says, "How's that again?"

how's tricks -- is life okay? are you learning new skills?
When Andy sees me, he always says, "How's tricks?"

howdy -- hello, good day, how do you do
The old cowboy says, "Howdy, ma'am," when he meets a lady.

huh -- what did you say? pardon?
"Did you wash your ears?" "Huh?"

humdinger -- (See a humdinger)

humongous -- huge, very large
My uncle has this humongous dog. It's as big as a calf!

hump day -- Wednesday, the middle of the work week, over the hump
Brian says if you can get through hump day, the rest of the week is easy.

H43. hungover -- hyah Internet link hungover

hungover -- having a headache after drinking liquor, hangover
The next day he was hungover, so he rested and drank coffee.

hungry thirties -- (See dirty thirties)

hunk -- a gorgeous man, a very attractive male
Matty thinks Robert Redford is a hunk. She dreams about him.

hunker down -- get ready to lift or work, prepare to make an effort
To achieve our sales goals, we all have to hunker down.

hurl -- vomit, puke, barf, hork, woof your cookies
After eating two raw eggs, she hurled - all over my sheepskin!

hurry up -- do it quickly, make it snappy
Hurry up with the dishes. We want you to play cards with us.

hurt my feelings -- make me feel sad, offend me
You hurt my feelings when you said I waddle like a duck.

hush up -- do not talk, be quiet, keep quiet
"Mommy, there's the man who kissed you!" "Hush up, child."

hushed up -- not talked about, keep a secret
In the 1950s, if a teen-age girl got pregnant, it was hushed up.

hyah -- hello, hi, hi there
Hyah, Bill. What's new with you?

End of TIL page