Update: 2012-11-28 03:00 AM +0630

TIL

TIL English Idiom Collection

idiomS.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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• sabre rattling • sack of hammers • sack out • sacred cow • sacred moose • sad sack • saddle up • saddled with • salt away • salt of the earth • salty • same here • same to you • Saskatchewan pheasant • Sasquatch • sassy • save a bundle • save face • save for a rainy day • save your bacon •

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sabre rattling

From Magnuson
sabre rattling
-- saltf the earth Internet link sabre rattling

sabre rattling -- (See rattle sabres)

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sack of hammers

From Magnuson
sack of hammers --
(See a sack of hammers)

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sack out

From Magnuson
sack out --
sleep, catch some z's, crash
If you bring your sleeping bag, you can sack out on the floor.

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sacred cow

From Magnuson
sacred cow --
protected part, the part that must not be changed
If our company is going to change, everything should be evaluated - no sacred cows.

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sacred moose

From Magnuson
sacred moose --
(a sacred cow in Canada)

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sad sack

From Magnuson
sad sack --
(See a sad sack)

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saddle up

From Magnuson
saddle up --
put a saddle on a horse, place a saddle on a horse
Let's saddle up and ride our ponies to the river.

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saddled with

From Magnuson
saddled with --
burdened with, responsible for
She doesn't want to be saddled with a bus load of teen-age boys.

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salt away

From Magnuson
salt away --
save a little money each month, save tiny amounts
By the time Jake died, he had salted away about $50,000.

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salt of the earth

From Magnuson
salt of the earth --
(See the salt of the earth)

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salty

From Magnuson
salty
-- save your bacon Internet link salty

salty -- of the sea, accustomed to the ocean, like a sailor
Peter is a salty old bugger. The ocean is in his blood.

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same here

From Magnuson
same here --
I feel the same way, I have the same feeling
"I like reading stories." "Same here."

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same to you

From Magnuson
same to you --
I wish the same to you, ditto
"I hope you have ugly children!" "Same to you!"

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Saskatchewan pheasant

From Magnuson
Saskatchewan pheasant --
magpie, black and white bird
Two Saskatchewan pheasants flew out of the bush.

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Sasquatch

From Magnuson
Sasquatch --
a large ape-man living in the forests of Western Canada; Bigfoot
A man who was hunting moose in Northern Saskatchewan says that Sasquatch visited him. They sat around the campfire drinking coffee.

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sassy

From Magnuson
sassy --
rude, impolite, cheeky, lippy
"I won't go to church!" he said. "Don't be sassy!" Mama said.

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save a bundle

From Magnuson
save a bundle --
save a lot of money, save big time
If you buy a new car through a broker, you can save a bundle.

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save face

From Magnuson
save face --
prevent embarrassment, prevent more shame
To save face, the accused member should resign. It's embarrassing.

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save for a rainy day

From Magnuson
save for a rainy day --
save money for a time when you really need it
Ed and Vi spend little money. They're saving for a rainy day.

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save your bacon

From Magnuson
save your bacon --
save you from failure or disaster, save your skin
If the boat sinks, a life raft may save your bacon.

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S03. save your skin/neck -- say what's on your mind Internet link save your skin/neck

save your skin/neck -- save you from risk, dismissal or death
The dog saved your neck. His barking helped us find you.

saw logs -- sleep, fall asleep, sleep like a log, sound asleep
When we got home, you were sawing logs. You were asleep.

saw-off -- tie game, even score
The game ended in a saw-off: Leafs 3, Flames 3.

saw off a chunk [B] -- have sex, have intercourse
I could hear the couple upstairs. They were sawing off a chunk.

saw sawdust -- review a decision or failure too many times
"Don't saw sawdust," said the old man. "Don't live in the past."

say jump...how high -- (an idiom to show how one person controls another)
Fritz is afraid of Olga. When she says jump, he says how high?

say my piece -- say what I think, say my two cents' worth
When everyone else had spoken, I said my piece.

say the word -- say yes or no, tell us when you want to begin
We're waiting for you. Just say the word and we'll start working.

say what -- what did you say? pardon me?
Say what? Did you insult my pet pig?

say what's on your mind -- say what you are thinking, speak your mind
Now, Mother, say what's on your mind. Give us your opinion.

S04. say your piece -- scared to death Internet link say your piece

say your piece -- state your opinion, tell us what you think
OK, Vic, say your piece. Then we can vote on this offer.

scads -- lots, many, oodles
"Are there any cookies left?" "Yes, scads of them."

scandal is brewing -- an evil story is being told, there are rumors of a scandal
A scandal is brewing in the Pacific Ocean. A whale and a shark are living together without a marriage license!

scarce as hen's teeth -- not many of them, few or none
Rural doctors are scarce as hen's teeth. Doctors like the city life.

scare the life out of me -- frighten me a lot, scare me badly, scared out of my wits
My son jumped out of the closet and shouted boo! He nearly scared the life out of me.

scared out of my wits -- so scared I couldn't think, scared spitless
When I heard a low moan coming from the bathroom I was scared out of my wits.

scared shitless [B] -- very frightened, scared, petrified, scared spitless
When I woke up and saw a figure standing beside my bed, I was scared shitless.

scared spitless -- very frightened, scared stiff
Believe me. I was scared spitless when the wolves started to howl.

scared stiff -- very frightened, frightened to death, petrified
"Are you afraid of heights?" "Yes. I'm scared stiff of anything higher than a bicycle seat."

scared to death -- very scared, very anxious, scared stiff
I was scared to death that your plane had crashed. I was worried.

S05. scaredy cat -- scout's honor Internet link scaredy cat

scaredy cat -- a person who is afraid, a coward, fraidy cat
The girls will say scaredy cat if I don't go in the water.

schmooze -- (See shmooze)

school of hard knocks -- (See the school of hard knocks)

school's out -- school is finished for the day or for the year
When the bell rings at 3:30, school's out! Yea!

scoff -- steal, pinch
People who scoff books from the library are thieves.

scoop -- news report, story
What's the scoop on the murder? Do you know who did it?

scoop them -- get news before they do, print the story first
The reporter said, "We scooped them all on the Harding story."

score to settle -- (See a score to settle)

scot-free -- free of work or discipline, not asked to pay, get off
Four members of the gang were convicted, but two went scot-free.

scout's honor -- what I say is the truth; the gospel truth
We didn't take your golf ball - scout's honor.

S06. scrape by -- screw [B] Internet link scrape by

scrape by -- have just enough to live, get by
We can scrape by if we sell the car and the TV.

scrape me off the ceiling -- help me become normal or recover from shock
If I win a million dollars, you'll have to scrape me off the ceiling.

scrape the bottom of the barrel -- use the last ones or the worst ones, seconds
He's a bad referee. We scraped the bottom of the barrel to find him.

scratch -- money, cash, bread, moola
If we sell these bottles, we'll have enough scratch to buy cigarettes.

scratch -- remove from the list, cancel
I saw the list of players on the team. I've been scratched.

scratch the surface -- barely begin, uncover only a few facts
His first lecture on Stravinsky only scratched the surface. He told us the basic facts about the composer.

scratch your head -- feel confused, wonder who or why
They're still scratching their heads about who assassinated Kennedy.

screech -- homemade liquor, hooch, moonshine
We can't afford a bottle of gin, so I bought a jug of screech.

screw -- cheat, shaft, get an unfair advantage (also see get screwed)
Twice I tried to strike a deal with him and twice he screwed me.

screw [B] -- have sex with, make love
When he heard the bed squeaking he knew they were screwing.

S07. screw loose -- second nature Internet link screw loose

screw loose -- (See a screw loose)

screw up -- perform poorly, ruin it, blow it
I hope I don't screw up when I take my driver's test.

screw-up -- a careless mistake, a bungled job
Those screw-ups were his fault. He forgot to order materials.

screw you [B] -- the worst to you, up yours [B]
After I defeated him, he said, "Screw you." He hates to lose.

scrut -- oh no, darn, nuts, rats
Scrut! My bike has a flat tire!

scum/scumbag -- unpleasant person, dirty rat, slimebucket
"Scum!" he shouted at the man who had attacked his daughter.

search me -- I do not have the answer, I do not know
"Who took my Coke?" "Search me. I don't know."

second fiddle -- (See play second fiddle)

second guess -- guess what people think or what they will do
Don't try to second guess people. Ask them what you need to know.

second nature -- natural ability or interest, talent
Skating is second nature to Paul. He's got natural skating ability.

S08. second wind -- see it through Internet link second wind

second wind -- a feeling that your energy is returning as you run
In a 10 K race, I usually get my second wind after 15 minutes.

seconds -- second-rate products, products with flaws
For work, I buy seconds - shirts and pants with minor flaws.

seconds -- second helpings of food, more food on your plate
Mom, can we have seconds? This is great apple pudding!

see -- date, go out with, hang out with
Derek is seeing Angie. Aren't they a nice couple?

see a man about a dog -- go to the bathroom or washroom
Excuse me. I have to see a man about a dog.

see eye to eye -- agree, have similar views or opinions, on the same wavelength
Bob and Sue don't see eye to eye on religion. He's an atheist and she's a Christian.

see fit -- decide it is right, decide it is good
I hope you will see fit to approve their request for assistance.

see hide nor hair -- not see a person because he has gone
You won't see hide nor hair of him after he borrows money.

see it coming -- predict it will happen, sense it will happen
I should have seen it coming. Now I know they were planning to dismiss me long before it happened.

see it through -- work until you finish, follow through
If you renovate the kitchen, please see it through. Finish it.

S09. see me for dust -- see your way Internet link see me for dust

see me for dust -- not see me because I leave so fast, tail lights
If a sumo wrestler was chasing me, you wouldn't see me for dust.

see red -- become angry, burn up
When she interrupts me, I see red. I get really angry.

see the light -- understand, become aware
Now I see the light. I understand. You multiply first, then divide.

see the light of day -- be exposed, be revealed
The treasure was buried, never again to see the light of day.

see through -- see the real reason, see your motive
Mom saw through me. She knew I wanted the money for cigarettes.

see to it/see to that -- be certain that it is done, be responsible for doing it
The doors should be open at 7. Ken, will you see to that?

see you stuck -- (See won't see you stuck)

see you through -- allow you to survive, help you pay the bills
Here's $100. Will that see you through till the end of the month?

see you/see your -- match your bet, bet as much as you did
I'll see your $50 and raise you $100. That's my bet.

see your way -- be able to, afford to
Can you see your way to give $50 to the Food Bank?

S10. seeing things -- sell out Internet link seeing things

seeing things -- imagine that you see things, hallucinate
If John said there's a ghost in the house, he must be seeing things.

seek revenge -- try to hurt a person who hurt you, get back at
If a dog bites you, there are many ways to seek revenge.

seen better days -- not in good condition, worn out
This jacket has seen better days. Look how the sleeves are worn.

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

seize the opportunity -- act now to gain most, take advantage of
He seized the opportunity to invest in gold. He didn't wait.

self-made man -- one who succeeds by his own efforts
Ming built his business by himself. He's a self-made man.

self-starter -- a person who will begin to work without a supervisor; a go-getter
We're looking for self starters - people who can begin a job and work by themselves.

sell like hotcakes -- sell many, sell fast
Hockey cards sell like hotcakes. The kids collect them.

sell out -- sell a business, sell all assets
Grandpa was 60 years old when he sold out and moved to Victoria.

sell out -- sell information or support
The Bible tells us that Judas sold out to the bad guys.

S11. sell the farm -- sentence to death Internet link sell the farm

sell the farm -- over-react, sell everything to invest in a new venture
They've discovered diamonds in B.C., but don't sell the farm, eh.

sell yourself short -- not mention some of your skills or qualifications
If the employer asks about your awards, don't sell yourself short.

seller's market -- sellers are receiving high prices, a good time to sell, firm market
Real estate prices are high. It's a seller's market.

selling point -- best feature, nicest part
The Peugeot's strongest selling point is comfort.

send a bouquet -- compliment a person, announce a compliment
I would like send a bouquet to the volunteers at the Food Bank.

send him flying -- trip him, cause him to fall, ass over teakettle
His motorcycle hit a rock and sent him flying into the ditch.

send him up -- send him to prison, find evidence to convict him
The criminal threatened to kill the policeman who sent him up.

send-up -- (See a send-up)

sense of humor -- ability to see a joke; knowing what is funny
He has a broad sense of humor. He laughs at himself and others.

sentence to death -- say that a person will be killed because he is guilty
After the jury said he was guilty, the judge sentenced him to death.

S12. serious coin -- set in Internet link serious coin

serious coin -- a lot of money, big bucks
Membership in the Pines Golf Club will cost you serious coin.

serve notice -- state your plans, say what you will do, spread the word
If you enter the novel contest, you are serving notice that you are a serious writer.

serve the purpose -- do the job, accomplish the task
If you don't have an organ, a piano will serve the purpose.

serve them right -- give them what they deserve
If they cheat on a test, it serves them right if they get an F.

set a spell -- sit down for awhile, visit a spell
Hannah had to set a spell after doing the chores. She rested.
     Editor's note:  Spelling seems to be wrong. I'll have to check whether it is "sat a spell".

set about -- begin, start 
After we found the problem with the car, we set about fixing it.

set fire -- start a fire, light a fire
A child playing with a cigarette lighter set fire to the curtains.

set foot -- walk, step, come for a visit
He hasn't set foot in this house since his mother died.

set for life -- have enough money to last a lifetime
He inherited a lot of money. He's set for life.

set in -- begin, start
He had a cold. Then pneumonia set in, and it nearly killed him.

S13. set in her ways -- set-up Internet link set in her ways

set in her ways -- having old habits, not able to change easily
After living alone for fifty years, Florence was set in her ways.

set of wheels -- vehicle, car, truck, wheels
The Ford needs a lot of repairs. I need a new set of wheels.

set off -- start, trigger
Who set off the fire alarm? Who pushed the button?

set out -- place where you can see it, put where it can be used
Tomorrow we go to the lake, so set out your swim suit and towel.

set out for -- leave, embark
Then we set out for Pluto, where it's much colder than the arctic.

set out to -- plan to, hope to
"What did you set out to do?" "I wanted to change the world."

set the table -- set plates and cutlery on the table
If you will set the table, I won't ask you to wash the dishes.

set the world on fire -- do great things, achieve fame and wealth
I don't want to set the world on fire. I just want a career.

set-to -- argument, fight
After playing cards, the brothers had a set-to. They argued.

set-up -- plan, scheme
Here's the set-up: You buy the tickets; I'll collect the money.

S14. set up shop -- settle down Internet link set up shop

set up shop -- organize a place to do business, buy a store
You could set up shop and sell this pizza. It's delicious!

set you back -- pay, pay for, cost you
That looks like a fine camera. How much did it set you back?

set you straight -- give you the facts, tell you how it is
If you want to know who's got the gold, Pat will set you straight.

set you up -- cause you to appear guilty, frame you
We know you didn't steal your friend's car. He set you up.

set your mind at ease -- help you to stop worrying, cause you to relax
Here is some news to set your mind at ease: the kids are safe.

set your price -- choose a price for an item you want to sell
If you want to sell it quickly, set your price lower than the others.

set your sights -- choose a goal, decide what you want to get
If you set your sights on being a doctor, I will help you.

set your teeth on edge -- irritate, irk, bug
Some songs set my teeth on edge - really bother me.

settle down -- be calm, relax, calm down
Let's wait until the baby settles down. Then we can eat.

settle down -- live in one place, town or city, put down roots
We moved from place to place before we settled down in Guelph.

S15. settle in -- shagging wagon Internet link settle in

settle in -- become comfortable in a new house or apartment
We'd like to get settled in before we have visitors.

settle it -- decide what is fair, work for an agreement
If the dispute is about property lines, a survey will settle it.

seven come eleven -- 7 followed by 11 are lucky numbers
"Seven come eleven," he whispered as he threw the dice.

shabby -- worn, torn, ragged, lousy, mousy
I love these shabby old slippers. They're ragged but comfortable.

shack up [B] -- live together before you get married, live common-law
"Tarzan and Jane are shacked up." "Oh, I hope they're happy."

shades -- sunglasses, tinted glasses
Erica looks cool in her shades. She looks like a model.

shades of -- like, similar to
That building looks familiar - shades of our old school.

shady deal -- unfair business deal, a rip-off
Cal is a good salesman, but he's put together some shady deals.

shaft -- cheat, swindle, screw (see get screwed)[B]
Tom got shafted. He only got 3% commission on his sales.

shagging wagon -- a van designed for relaxing and having sex
Tony's van has a bar and a bed. It's his shaggin' wagon.

S16. shake a habit -- shareware Internet link shake a habit

shake a habit -- quit a habit, kick a habit
It's difficult to shake the habits you learn as a child.

shake a leg -- hurry, move it
Shake a leg or you'll be late for work. Hurry!

shake a stick at -- (See more than you can shake a stick at)

shake hands -- be friends after a fight, agree the fight is over
They argue for hours, but they always shake hands afterward.

shake him -- make him nervous, cause him to lose confidence
Even the divorce didn't shake him. He didn't change at all.

shake on it -- shake hands to show you agree on a price or a deal
After they agree on a price, they shake on it. It's a deal.

shaky ground -- (See on shaky ground)

shape up -- improve, reform, get it together
The coach told us to shape up - to come to practice on time.

shape up or ship out -- improve your work or go away, if you can't cut it...
"Soldiers must obey orders," the officer said. "You will learn to shape up or ship out."

shareware -- computer programs that people share
Shareware will help us to save money. We'll share software.

S17. sharp -- sheesh Internet link sharp

sharp -- intelligent, quick to learn
Geoff is a sharp kid. He's doing calculus at the age of twelve.

sharp -- sarcastic, abrupt
Even when Anne was tired, she never gave you a sharp reply.

sharp -- at a specific time, on the dot
The preacher began the service on time - at 11 a.m. sharp.

sharp as a tack -- quick to understand, able to think quickly
He may be 85, but he's sharp as a tack - plays chess every day.

sharpen up -- think carefully, use your intelligence
If I make a mistake, I don't want him telling me to sharpen up.

sharpen your pencils -- be ready, be prepared
Let's sharpen our pencils, gang. We have to set some goals.

she peed -- she is great, she took risks and succeeded, did good, done good, totally awesome
"Hey John, how'd Jessie's concert go?" "She peed. She peed all over the stage. She was awesome!"

shed a little light on -- explain, enlighten, help you understand
To shed a little light on the topic of idioms, we'll read this book.

shed a tear -- cry, weep
He hides his emotions. When his dog died, he didn't shed a tear.

sheesh -- this is frustrating, I am embarrassed, darn, nuts
Sheesh! I did it again! Why do I say lay when I mean lie?

S18. shekel -- shit hot [B] Internet link shekel

shekel -- dollar, coin, buck, loonie
He earns a few shekels a day by selling bottles that he finds.

shell out -- pay money for, fork over
How much did you shell out for that calculator? Thirty dollars?

shellack -- defeat in a game, win by many points
The Bears were shellacked by the Pirates. The score was 19-2.

shipshape -- everything is clean and orderly, ready for inspection, tickety-boo
We're ready for the demonstration. Everything is shipshape.

shirty -- impolite, rude, cheeky, lippy
Brad has an attitude. He gets a little shirty with his teachers.

shit disturber [B] -- a person who tries to cause problems
Cal is a shit disturber. He tries to embarrass the boss at meetings.

shit-faced [B] -- very drunk, plastered, polluted
He goes to the bar every day and drinks until he's shit-faced.

shit fire and apple butter -- I am getting upset, good grief, hell's bells
You still haven't taken your shower? Shit fire and apple butter! We have to leave in 10 minutes!

shit hit the fan [B] -- (See the shit hit the fan)

shit hot [B] -- very skilled, talented
I've played golf with him. He's not so shit hot.

S19. shit list [B] -- shitting bricks [B] Internet link shit list [B]

shit list [B] -- (See on the shit list)

shit myself [B] -- so surprised or scared that I shit in my pants
When lightning struck the tree beside me, I nearly shit myself.

shit or get off the pot -- do it or move, dog in the manger
He's holding the phone but he's not using it. I wish he'd shit or get off the pot!

shit or wind my watch -- surprised, shocked, confused, discombobulated
When she announced that I was the father, I didn't know whether to shit or wind my watch! I don't even know the woman!

shit out of luck [B] -- have no more, none left for you
There are no tickets left. We're shit out of luck.

shit through a goose -- (See like shit through a goose

shitface [B] -- ugly face
Tom's bulldog is a real shitface, but Tom loves him.

shithead [B] -- stupid or foolish person, dipstick, jerk
What a shithead! He put water in the gas tank!

shitload -- (See a shitload)

shitting bricks [B] -- very frightened, scared to death
When my parachute didn't open, I was shitting bricks!

S20.shitty [B] -- shoot-out (sports) Internet link shitty [B]

shitty [B] -- bad behavior, awful, crappy
He borrowed your car and took your girl? That's pretty shitty.

shmooze -- visit with, be friendly, rub shoulders with
You don't have to sell wine. Just shmooze with the clients.

shoe-in -- (See a shoo-in)

shoes like boats -- very large shoes, gigantic shoes
This guy had shoes like boats. I bet he could've walked on water!

shogun -- (See a shogun)

shoo-in -- (See a shoo-in)

shoot -- tell me, say it, I am listening, fire away
"Do you have any news?" "No. Just a rumor." "Shoot. I love rumors."

shoot from the hip -- talk without thinking, run off at the mouth, shoot your mouth off
Juan, my friend, if you tell a traffic cop to shove it, you are shooting from the hip.

shoot it out -- shoot at each other, shoot until one is killed
The thief decided to shoot it out with the police.

shoot-out (sports) -- taking shots at each goal to determine the winner
Sweden won the gold medal by defeating Canada in a shoot-out.

S21. shoot-out -- shooting fish in a barrel Internet link shoot-out

shoot-out -- a gunbattle, a duel
Two men died in the shoot-out: one cop and one robber.

shoot the breeze -- talk, visit, chat, chew the fat
Hank and I were drinking beer and shooting the breeze.

shoot the shit [B] -- visit, have a conversation, a chin wag
The ladies went shopping, and the men sat around shootin' the shit.

shoot up -- inject an illegal drug, get a hit, do drugs
One of the addicts was in the bathroom shooting up.

shoot up -- shoot guns to celebrate and scare people
The cowboys used to get drunk and shoot up the town.

shoot-up -- shoot guns in the air without aiming
Do you remember the shoot-ups in the old western movies?

shoot your mouth off -- talk without thinking, blab, squeal
Moe won't shoot his mouth off. He won't tell anybody.

shoot your wad -- spend all your money, use all you have
If you shoot your wad today, what will you spend tomorrow?

shoot yourself in the foot -- ruin your chances, cut off your nose..., your own worst enemy
If you want the job, don't be late for the interview. Don't shoot yourself in the foot.

shooting fish in a barrel -- a task that is too easy, a game without challenge
We won 18-2. It was like shooting fish in a barrel.

S22. shooting match -- short with me Internet Link shooting match

shooting match -- (See the whole shooting match)

shop talk -- (See inside joke)

shop-floor struggle -- a battle for control in the workplace, a fight between workers and managers
This is a shop-floor struggle about quality control. The workers want the right to choose the tools they use in the plant.

shoplifting -- stealing products from a store while you shop
He's charged with shoplifting. He stole some cigarettes.

short cut -- a shorter path, a quicker method, quick and dirty
To become an actor, you learn the skills and work very hard. There are no short cuts.

short end of the stick -- (See the short end of the stick)

short one -- (See a short one)

short strokes -- (See down to the short strokes)

short temper -- quick to become angry, hot tempered
Dr. Jones has a short temper. He gets mad very quickly.

short with me -- cross, abrupt, curt, cut me off
Mrs. Gore was short with me. I wonder if she's angry.

S23. shortchange -- shove down my throat Internet Link shortchange

shortchange -- not return enough money to the purchaser, a rip-off
I gave the clerk $10 for a book costing $6.95 and got $2.05 back. Was I shortchanged?

shortfall -- loss, deficit
Shoplifting is one of the reasons for the shortfall - for the deficit.

shot -- worn, broken, ruined, had it
When they returned my bike, the gears were shot - worn out.

shot in the arm -- (See a shot in the arm)

shot in the dark -- (See a shot in the dark)

should be so lucky -- one would be lucky if that happened, that would be very lucky
Your goal is to find your bliss? You should be so lucky!

shoulder the blame -- accept the blame, take the rap
The managers agreed to shoulder the blame for the error? Sure.

shoulder to shoulder -- working beside him/her, side by side
Poet and peasant stood shoulder to shoulder during the war.

shoulder to the wheel -- (See put your shoulder to the wheel)

shove down my throat -- force me to accept it, force me to agree to that, eat that
Our preacher said that babies are sinners. He's not going to shove that down my throat!

S24. shove it [B] -- showboat Internet Link shove it [B]

shove it [B] -- put it away, stick it up your ass, stuff it
If that dental plan pays only half the cost, they can shove it.

show off -- brag, boast, showboat
"Did you see Eric scale the stairs on his rollerblades in front of everybody? He loves to show off."

show-off -- one who displays, showboat
Ron is the show-off in our class. He's always advertising himself.

show promise -- show some of your ability, show that you will develop
Len shows promise as a teacher. He is patient and articulate.

show up -- attend, go to class or work
Vi shows up every week for her lesson. She's always on time.

show you around -- show you where things are, guide you
When we get to the ranch, follow me. I'll show you around.

show you the ropes -- teach you the first steps, learn the ropes
It is my duty to take you to the plant and show you the ropes.

show you up -- be better than you, cause you to look inferior
If you play tennis with Martina, she'll show you up. She's good!

show your stuff -- do your best, show what you can do
When it's your turn to dance, show your stuff. Impress them!

showboat -- a person who displays, a show-off
The peacock is one of nature's showboats - he's magnificent!

S25. showdown -- shut-in Internet Link showdown

showdown -- final fight or contest, rubber match
Ali defeated Frazier in the boxing showdown of the '70s.

shrink/head shrink -- psychiatrist, therapist
If I can't manage my personal life, I can always visit a shrink.

shrinking violet -- (See no shrinking violet)

shrug it off -- not let it affect you or bother you
He was hurt by the remark, but he shrugged it off and kept working.

shuck on down to the fraidy hole -- go to the cellar for shelter from a cyclone or tornado, hide when you are afraid
When my uncle saw the sky turn black in the afternoon, he would shuck on down to the fraidy hole.

shucks -- oh dear, well, heck
Aw shucks, Beth Ann, you know I care a whole lot for you.

shuffle the chairs on the deck -- appear to change by moving things around, play musical chairs
Shuffling the chairs on the deck will not help a sinking ship!

shut down -- stop operating, quit
Without electricity, the factory will have to shut down.

shut-down -- closure, end of operations
Cold weather sometimes causes a shut-down of our schools.

shut-in -- someone who is ill and cannot go outside
Our priest visits the shut-ins - people who must stay at home.

S26. shut my mouth -- sick to my stomach Internet link shut my mouth

shut my mouth -- sorry for what I said, slap my afro
"The girl you called an idiot last week has carried off the best marks." "Well, shut my mouth! There's more to her than meets the eye."

shut up -- do not talk, keep quiet
"Shut up!" he yelled at the dog. "Be quiet or I'll muzzle you!"

shut your face -- stop talking, shut up
When I told him he was a racist, he said, "Shut your face."

shutout (sports) -- no goals scored against a goal keeper in one game
Our goalie has three shutouts this season - three zeros!

sick as a dog -- (See as sick as a dog)

sick at heart -- sad, sorrowful
Papa was sick at heart after the hailstorm ruined our crop.

sick building -- (See a sick building)

sick of -- not interested any more, bored by, tired of
We're sick of his jokes because he repeats them.

sick to death -- wishing for a change, fed up, sick of
People are sick to death of the debate on gun control. They've heard too much about guns.

sick to my stomach -- vomit, puke, throw up
Stop the car! I think I'm going to be sick to my stomach.

S27. sicker than a dog -- silkhead Internet Link sicker than a dog

sicker than a dog -- very, very sick; as sick as a parrot
He wants to go and play hockey, and he's sicker 'n a dog!

sicko -- weird person, pervert, psycho, scumbag
"Who would pour ketchup all over my car?" "Oh, some sicko, I guess."

side by side -- standing/walking beside, shoulder to shoulder
The children were standing side by side on the stairs.

sight for sore eyes -- (See a sight for sore eyes)

sign in -- sign your name to show you are in the building
Be sure to sign in. We want to know that you are safe inside.

sign off -- say goodbye, close, stop writing or talking
"I'll sign off now, but I'll write again soon. With love, Kim."

sign out -- sign your name to borrow something, on loan
If you want to sign out a book you will need a library card.

sign up -- sign the list, enrol, enlist
"Did you sign up for lessons?" "Yes. My name is on the list."

silence is golden -- silence is wonderful, silence is peaceful
After a day of teaching grade two students, silence is golden.

silkhead -- bald person, chromedome
If you were a silkhead, would you wear a toupee?

S28. silver spoon -- sit in judgement on Internet Link silver spoon

silver spoon -- (See born with a silver spoon in his mouth)

silver-tongued -- nice-talking, smooth talker
A silver-tongued salesman sold me this car, but I can't drive!

simmer down -- control your anger, chill out, cool off
Simmer down, Sassy. You are very angry. Try to control yourself.

sin bin (hockey) -- (See the sin bin)

sing his praises -- praise him a lot, talk in glowing terms
His mom is always singing his praises, saying he's a good boy.

sing up a storm -- sing loud, sing vigorously
After dinner we gathered around the piano and sang up a storm.

single file -- a single row of people, one by one
We marched single file through the prison door.

single out -- choose one person from a group
Why does the priest single me out for extra duties? Why me?

sinking feeling -- feeling of failure; despair
When I saw the ambulance at our house, I got a sinking feeling.

sit in judgement on -- judge someone's actions, evaluate
Gary is afraid because you sit in judgement on whatever he does.

S29. sit the fence -- skate on thin ice Internet Link sit the fence

sit the fence -- not choose either side, try to be in the middle
People don't like politicians who try to sit the fence.

sit tight -- not move, wait here
I'll go and buy the hotdogs. You sit tight until I get back.

sit with you -- relate to you, appeal to you
If we build a fence on your land, how would that sit with you?

sitting duck -- (See a sitting duck)

sitting pretty -- in a good position, in favorable circumstances
Rich in oil and timber resources, Alberta was sitting pretty.

six bits -- seventy-five cents, 3 x two bits
Grandfather told us that he used to pay six bits for a hotel room.

six of one, half a dozen of the other -- nearly equal, about the same, like twins
Panasonic and Quasar are very similar - it's six of one, half a dozen of the other.

sixes and sevens -- (See at sixes and sevens)

size up -- evaluate, check over
The teacher sized up the new student. He looked scared.

skate on thin ice -- (See on thin ice)

S30. skaters -- skip out Internet Link skaters

skaters -- skate boarders, boarders
The skaters were asked to leave the downtown area.

skeleton in the closet -- unpleasant secrets, old scandals
Every family has a skeleton in the closet - a dark secret or two.

skidaddle -- leave, go, off with you, vamoose
"Get out of here! Skidaddle!" the old man shouted at the boys.

skids -- drug users, skids
A few skids were playing video games at the mall.

skin virgin -- never had a tattoo, skin has not been tattooed
Our club has no skin virgins. Every member has at least one tattoo.

skinhead -- youth with a short haircut, member of the Nazi Party
Three skinheads shouted "Heil!" as they marched up the street.

skinny dip -- swimming naked, in the buff
They took off their clothes and went for a skinny dip in the lake.

skins game -- gambling game, betting on who will win a game of golf, curling, etc.
Jake would rather bet on a skins game than watch it.

skip classes -- miss classes, not attend classes, play hooky
Riza had low grades in history because he skipped classes.

skip out -- take a leave, do not attend, duck out
The students were so enthusiastic about math that nobody skipped out on the voluntary Saturday lesson.

S31. skoal -- sleep in Internet link skoal

skoal -- a Scandinavian toast or salute, cheers, drink up
Jonas, here's to the monster fish we caught. Skoal!

skunk -- not score one goal, goose egg
In the final game we got skunked 6-0. We were humiliated.

sky isn't blue -- (See the sky isn't blue)

slackass [B] -- lazy person, lazy bones
Larry, you slackass, get over here and help us load the truck!

slam -- criticize, insult, knock, put down
The newspaper article slammed the government for being slow to help the flood victims.

slammer -- (See in the slammer)

slap my afro / slap my fro -- slap me to help me think, wake me up, shut my mouth
"Did you know that a Pentium computer is smarter than most Americans?" "Well, slap my fro! I didn't know that!"

slash and burn -- reduce and cut programs without care or mercy
To save money, the Government used slash-and-burn policies.

sleep around [B] -- sleep with and make love to many partners
Harry was sleeping around before his wife divorced him.

sleep in -- sleep until late in the morning
Don't call me until after lunch tomorrow. I'm going to sleep in.

S32. sleep it off -- slip away Internet Link sleep it off

sleep it off -- sleep until you are sober, sleep until you feel normal
"That medicine made me drowsy." "Go to bed and sleep it off."

sleep like a log -- sleep well, sleep soundly, dead to the world, deep sleep
After working in the fields and eating a big meal, I sleep like a log!

sleeper -- ordinary device with surprising skill or power 
The Taurus SHO was a sleeper. It looked slow, but it was fast!

sleepy head -- a child who is tired or sleepy
Go to bed, sleepy head. I'll see you in the morning.

slick -- quick and smooth, cool, neat, swell
You ran a slick race, Leah. You paced yourself, stayed in the inside lane and left just enough for the final kick. Congratulations!

slim chance -- (See a slim chance)

slimebucket [B] -- crude, immoral person; scumbag
Children need protection from the slimebuckets in society.

slip -- become lower, lose ground
My grades slipped last semester. My average dropped from B to C.

slip a notch -- be less skillful, not perform as well
After the age of 30, your physical skills may slip a notch or two.

slip away -- go away quietly, sneak out
While the men watched the fight, the boys slipped away unnoticed.

S33. slip away -- slow as a dead snail Internet Link slip away

slip away -- die, pass away
Grandma slipped away during the night. She was gone by morning.

slip of the tongue -- (See a slip of the tongue)

slip out -- leave quietly, slip away
I'll slip out and check the parking meter. Be right back.

slip out -- speak carelessly, say it without thinking
I didn't mean to answer, Sir. The words just slipped out.

slip up -- cause a small mistake, make a booboo
The singer didn't slip up once - not even a little mistake.

slip your mind -- forget, not remember
I met her at church last Sunday but her name slips my mind.

slippery slope -- dangerous path, a path that leads to problems
When you assume that people are bad, you are on a slippery slope.

slo mo -- slow motion, movement becomes slower, time stands still
Are you in slo mo today? You're moving like a snail!

sloshed to the gills -- very drunk, loaded, plastered
She was sloshed to the gills and singing very badly.

slow as a dead snail -- (See as slow as a dead snail)

S34. slow as molasses... -- small potatoes Internet Link slow as molasses...

slow as molasses... -- (See as slow as molasses in January)

slow day -- a day with few customers, a day with little activity
We had another slow day at the theater - only six customers!

slow down -- go slower, ease up
Please slow down for the bumps. You're driving too fast.

slowpoke -- a person who is working slower than the others
I'm a slowpoke! I've done only one question; you've done six!

sluff off -- not do, avoid doing, procrastinate
I've been sluffing off. I'm behind in my assignments.

slug away -- work slowly but steadily, plug away
When we returned, Annie was still slugging away at her math.

slug of -- (See a slug)

smack dab in the middle -- directly in the middle, in the center
The ball landed smack dab in the middle of the pizza.

smack of -- is similar to, shades of
Even the phrase person of color smacks of racism. Don't use it.

small potatoes -- unimportant things, insignificant matters
Don't worry about a few broken dishes. That's small potatoes.

S35. small talk -- smells Internet Link small talk

small talk -- talk about unimportant topics - the weather etc.
Winnie is good at making small talk with strangers.

smartass [B] -- a person who tries to be witty, cocky, lippy
"What do you want to drink?" "Do you have breast milk?" "Don't be a smartass!"

smarten up -- be smarter, do not be stupid
People who drink and drive should smarten up.

smarts -- intelligence, mental ability
Jen gets good grades. She has the smarts to win a scholarship.

smashed -- drunk, hammered, wasted
She gets smashed on gin and dances around the living room.

smashing -- very beautiful, very attractive
Nicole looks absolutely smashing in that red dress.

smell blood -- sense victory, be aware of an opponent's weakness
Michael is a fierce competitor. When he smells blood, he wins.

smell where you're stepping -- (See I smell where you're stepping)

smelling yourself -- acting grown-up, having signs of physical maturity, cocky
I know you're smelling yourself, but this is a conversation for adults.

smells -- (See something smells)

S36. smidge/smidgeon -- snap Internet link smidge/smidgeon

smidge/smidgeon -- (See just a smidgeon)

smithwright it -- throw it in the garbage, chuck it, eighty-six it, junk it
If the drawing isn't perfect, we smithwright it - we throw it out.

smoke and mirrors -- false impressions, deceit, trickery, bafflegab
His speech about new projects is just smoke and mirrors. The company is bankrupt.

smoke like a furnace -- smoke a lot of cigarettes, chain smoke
He died of lung cancer. He used to smoke like a furnace.

smoking gun -- weapon used, evidence, caught red-handed
The company told me to dismiss the employee, so I was holding the smoking gun.

smooth out -- solve a problem or argument
The counselor smoothed out our problem. We're friends again.

smooth sailing -- easy job, an operation that has no problems
After we paid the bank for our loan, it was smooth sailing.

smooth talker -- one who says nice words, butter wouldn't melt...
Janet is such a smooth talker! She should be in politics.

snag -- problem, difficulty, glitch
If you plan a project carefully, there will be fewer snags.

snap -- (See it's a snap)

S37. snap a picture -- snow them Internet Link snap a picture

snap a picture -- (See take a picture)

snap at -- speak in a harsh tone, answer sharply
If I talk to you while you're watching TV, you snap at me.

snapped -- drunk, loaded, looped
Whenever he gets snapped, he wants to fight.

snatch victory from the jaws of defeat -- win when it appears that you will lose, mount a comeback
The opinion polls showed we were losing, but we snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

snazzy -- stylish, neat, way cool
That's a snazzy suit, George. It looks great on you.

snitch -- tattle, squeal, tell on
That little devil! He snitched! He told Dad!

snootful -- (See a snootful)

snotty-nosed kid -- a child, a boy with a dirty face
I was just a snotty-nosed kid when I got my first job.

snow job -- (See a snow job)

snow them -- fool them, tell them a false story
You can't snow them. They know if you're telling a lie.

S38. snowball -- so small you could barely swing a cat Internet Link snowball

snowball -- grow, become bigger, spread to other people
Among students, discontent can snowball. It can spread rapidly.

snowbirds -- Canadians who go south for the winter
It's November, and the snowbirds are leaving Alberta for Arizona.

snug as a bug in a rug -- warm and comfortable, cocoon
In this nice apartment, you'll be snug as a bug in a rug.

so and so -- a person you dislike, a name you forget
Who invited that so and so to the party? I don't like him!

so far, so good -- doing fine this far, good this far
After I had read one page, she said, "So far, so good."

so help me -- I will need help to stop, I will need help if I do it
If that dog barks tonight, so help me, I'm going to get the shotgun!

so long -- goodbye, see you later
So long, my friends. I have to leave you now.

so much as -- this much will anger me, very little will anger me
If that cat so much as touches the baby, I'll tie up its tail!

so quiet you can hear a pin drop -- very quiet, very still
The teacher said, "Class, try to be so quiet you can hear a pin drop."

so small you could barely swing a cat -- very small room, narrow room, pokey
The bedroom was so small you could barely swing a cat in it.

S39. so small you had to back out to change your mind -- soft market Internet Link so small you had to back out to change your mind

so small you had to back out to change your mind -- very small, tiny, as small as a phone booth
I've seen small apartments, but this one was so small you had back out to change your mind.

so-so -- neither good nor bad, fair, fair to middling
"How's the wife, Byron?" "Just so-so, not much better. The doctor says she needs rest."

so to speak -- using expressions or metaphors when speaking, to use the vernacular
Ron was up the creek, so to speak. He'd promised to marry Suzy, but he was already married to Joan.

so what -- what is the difference, what does it matter, who cares
So we lost the game. So what! It doesn't matter.

soap box -- (See get off your soap box)

sob story -- a sad story, a story about love lost or misfortune, cry the blues
Have you heard Keiko's sob story? She lost her boyfriend and her cat on the same day.

sober up -- become sober, wait until you are not drunk
Give him a few hours to sober up. He'll be okay after he has a rest.

sock it to me -- tell me, give it to me, hit me, shoot
"It's bad news," he said. "Sock it to me," I said.

soft in the head -- foolish, crazy
If you quit your job at Gulf Oil, you're soft in the head.

soft market -- a period when sales are few and prices are low, buyer's market
The real estate market is soft now. Don't try to sell your house.

S40. soft pedal -- soldier on Internet Link soft pedal

soft pedal -- say it is not important, downplay
The government is trying to soft pedal their failures.

soft sell -- not pressuring the customer, showing the product and letting the customer decide, hard sell
I like the soft-sell guys - the ones who let you take a car for a drive and see if you like it.

soft spot -- (See have a soft spot for)

soft-top -- (See ragtop)

soften up -- cause a person to be more co-operative
Ken is stubborn about his right to smoke. I can't soften him up.

soften your stance -- cause you to change your opinion or position
If his friends go against him, he may soften his stance.

software -- computer programs, courseware
This accounting software is very easy to use.

software piracy -- copying computer programs, bootleg
Software piracy is a crime and we could do time.

sold on -- believe in, convinced of
I'm sold on this new herbal drink. It gives me energy.

soldier on -- continue working; serving well; carry on
When the others quit searching, the family soldiered on, hoping to find their lost girl.

S41. solid as the Rock of Gibraltar -- Sophie's choice Internet link solid as the Rock of Gibraltar

solid as the Rock of Gibraltar -- (See as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar)

some chick -- beautiful chick, great woman
Gloria is some chick! Will you introduce me to her?

something borrowed, something blue -- two of the things required for a happy wedding and successful marriage
The bride borrowed a blue garter, so she has something borrowed, something blue!

something is haywire -- something is wrong or broken, go haywire
Something is haywire with my back. I can't move.

something is rotten... -- (See there's something rotten in the state of Denmark)

something smells -- something is wrong, something is not ethical, fishy, there's something rotten in the state of Denmark
Something smells about this case. Why would the police blow up an oil well?

something snapped -- the brain broke, the mind failed
Something snapped when he was in the war. Now he can't speak.

sometimes life is a bucket of shit and the handle is inside [B] -- sometimes life is very unpleasant, life is not all guns and roses
The junk dealer had a poster on the wall of his shack: Sometimes life is a bucket of shit, and the handle's inside!

song and dance -- typical answer, old routine, clichι
"I was late because I had a flat tire." "Don't give me that old song and dance!"

Sophie's choice -- choosing between your death and the death of your child
He was facing a Sophie's choice: Lose his son or lose his own life.

S42. SOS -- sow wild oats Internet Link SOS

SOS -- Save Our Ship, a distress call, a call for help, mayday
When I was stranded in the North that winter, I tramped messages in the snow: H E L P and S O S.

soul mate -- the person who is your natural and compatible mate
I thought Carson and I were soul mates, but we disagree a lot.

sound asleep -- sleeping peacefully, dead to the world
When Tara went to check the baby, he was sound asleep.

sound bite -- radio advertisement, a few seconds of radio time
I advertise our hotel on the radio using ten-second sound bites.

sound off -- complain, get it off your chest, speak out
He was sounding off about our papers - how bad they were.

sounding board -- a person who listens to ideas or plans
Cliff used Linda as a sounding board for his business plans.

sour grapes -- feeling negative because you did not win
If she loses, she complains about the referee. It's just sour grapes.

sour puss -- one who is feeling sad, an unhappy person
Don't be such a sour puss. Let's have fun.

southpaw -- left-handed person, lefty
Our baseball team needs another pitcher - preferably a southpaw.

sow wild oats -- live a wild life as a young person
As a youth he lived a reckless life. He sowed a few wild oats.

S43. spaced out -- speed up Internet Link spaced out

spaced out -- feeling strange or unreal, stoned
After falling, Jeff was spaced out. He looked dazed and limp.

spade work -- first stage of the work, preparation for later work, pave the way
Paul did the spade work for our food bank. He asked each of the merchants for a donation.

spare me -- please do not tell me, do not bore me with
Spare me the gross details of your love affairs. I'm not interested.

speak highly of -- praise, say that a person is great or excellent
Angela's former teachers speak very highly of her.

speak of the devil -- the person we are speaking about has just arrived
As I walked into the room, Piotr said to Dorota, "Speaking of the devil, here he is now! Ha ha."

speak out -- say what you think, speak your mind
Did you speak out at the meeting? Did you tell them what is wrong?

speak up -- speak louder, crank it up
Please speak up so everyone can hear you.

speak volumes -- tells a lot, reveals much
Your smile speaks volumes about your career. You like it.

speak your mind -- say what you think or feel, speak out
We want you to speak your mind on this issue. State your opinion.

speed up -- go faster, accelerate, step on it
Don't speed up when you come to an intersection. Slow down!

S44. spell disaster -- spike a drink Internet Link spell disaster

spell disaster -- cause an accident, lead to a tragedy
An error in the design of a car could spell disaster for the driver.

spell out -- explain carefully, explain each word or step
If I don't understand a question, I ask him to spell it out for me.

spell you off -- do your job for you, allow you to rest
When you get tired of shoveling, I'll spell you off for awhile.

spend holidays -- do during your holidays, go for your holidays
"How'd you spend your holidays?" "We drove to Texas and Tijuana."

spend time -- wait, hang out, put in time
I spend a lot of time at her place. I'm there every day.

spending money -- extra money, money for fun, pin money
Wayne earns spending money by washing the neighbors' cars.

spice of life -- (See the spice of life)

spice up -- add spices or flavor, jazz up
The chili tastes good, but let's spice it up a bit.

spiffy -- clean and tidy, groomed, tiddly
Grandpa, your car looks real spiffy. Did you polish it?

spike a drink -- put alcohol in a drink of juice or pop or coffee
Somebody must have spiked my drink. I feel quite dizzy.

S45. spike the ball -- spinork/spinorky Internet Link spike the ball

spike the ball -- hit the ball sharply over the net
Gary's ability to spike the ball gives our team an advantage.

spill the beans -- tell a secret, tell others about it, spill your guts
Don't tell Sammy about our plan. He'll spill the beans.

spill your guts -- tell everything you know, spill the beans
Don't spill your guts to mom. Don't tell her about our problems.

spin a yarn -- tell a story, make up a story
We love to hear Norman spin a yarn. His stories seem so real.

spin crew -- speech-writing crew, hired writers
The spin crew will tell me if I should say racial or ethnic.

spin doctor -- a speech writer, an advisor to a politician, put the right spin on it
The spin doctor told us to say disability, not handicap.

spin the bottle -- a game to decide who will kiss whom
When we played spin the bottle, Mavis always got to kiss Ron.

spin your wheels -- waste effort, not progress
If you don't have a career goal you'll just spin your wheels.

spinny -- a little crazy, eccentric, drive me batty
Their family is kind of weird. Even the cat is a little spinny.

spinork/spinorky -- attractive, cool, groovy, neat
What a spinork sweater! It looks great on you.

S46. spirit away -- split up Internet link spirit away

spirit away -- take away mysteriously, steal secretly, into thin air
Somebody or something spirits away my fingernail clippers. I wonder where they are.

spitting mad -- very angry, pissed off [B]
Mom was spitting mad when you ran across her flower garden.

spitting nails -- very angry, very mad, hot, pissed[B]
Art was spitting nails when my dog scratched the paint on his car.

splashback -- reaction from the public, fall-out, feedback
"Is there any splashback on the new income tax policy?" "Yes. It's all positive."

split -- depart, go, leave
I gotta split. Class starts in two minutes.

split a gut -- laugh very hard, crack me up
I nearly split a gut watching a John Candy video - hilarious!

split hairs -- be very fussy, notice small differences
Clyde likes to work on research that requires him to split hairs.

split second -- small difference in time, a fraction of a second
Many Olympic athletes win their events by a split second.

split the difference -- divide the difference between the prices
Your price is $100. I'm offering $80. Let's split the difference: $90.

split up -- separate, part company
Charles and Di split up in the 90s. They've been separated for years.

S47. spoil for a fight -- spring for Internet Link spoil for a fight

spoil for a fight -- try to begin a fight, chip on his shoulder, cruising for a bruising
Bud was spoiling for a fight with me. He said, "You're too chicken to fight, ain't you?"

spoiled brat -- a child who always gets what he wants
Sure he's a spoiled brat. His mom gave him whatever he wanted.

spoilsport -- one who will not play, party-pooper
You spoilsport! Why won't you play strip poker with us?

spot of tea -- (See a spot of tea)

spot on -- correct, bang on, dead on, right on
Your answer is spot on! There are 1000 meters in a kilometer.

spotcheck -- check anytime, inspect whenever you wish
The prison guard did spotchecks on the men during the night.

spread like wildfire -- spread quickly, go public
News of the assassination spread like wildfire.

spread out -- lie down with your arms and legs apart
When you spread out on the sofa, there's no room for me.

spread the word -- tell everybody, get the word out
The teacher asked us to spread the word about the school concert.

spring for -- pay for, pay the shot
"Who will spring for the pizza?" "Jack will. He just got paid."

S48. spruced up -- square up Internet Link spruced up

spruced up -- (See all spruced up)

spur on -- encourage, motivate
Her refusal of his gifts seemed to spur him on. It challenged him.

square -- not sophisticated, not cool, rube
What a square! He thinks Rolex is some kind of cereal!

square -- (See call it square)

square deal -- fair to the purchaser, value for money spent
You get a square deal when you buy a tractor at Al's Machinery.

square meal -- full meal: meat, bread, vegetables and milk
We need at least one square meal each day. Do you agree?

square off -- face each other ready to fight, have a fight
If Joe and Bud square off, it will be an interesting fight.

square one -- the beginning, back to square one
If you answer incorrectly, you have to start at square one.

square shooter -- fair dealer, honest person
Sidney is a square shooter. He won't cheat you.

square up -- pay a debt, pay your share
Cal told me you owe him $50. He's wants you to square up.

S49. square up -- stand away Internet Link square up

square up -- leave prostitution or life on the street
I've heard there's a group that helps prostitutes square up.

squat -- a place to stay, a shelter for street people, a shack
"Where's your squat?" "Across the tracks in a deserted service station."

squeaky clean -- very clean, innocent
I've checked Todd's record. He's clean - squeaky clean.

squeal -- tell the police, rat on
Robbie won't squeal on us. He'll never tell what we did.

squealer -- one who tells the police or authorities, canary
Jason, you squealer! You told the teacher I copied your work.

squirrel away -- save, hide, put in a safe place, salt away
You can have your own pension if you squirrel away a few dollars each month.

stack up -- compare with, pale by comparison
The Lincoln is a nice car, but how does it stack up against the Lexus?

stacked -- having large breasts, having big boobs, sweater girl
"Please describe the woman." "She was tall, blond and, well, you might say she was stacked."

stag -- party for a man who will soon be married
Let's have a stag for Greg. It's his last party as a single man.

stand away -- turn away, shun, give you the cold shoulder
I don't want to stand away, but you have hurt me deeply.

S50. stand behind -- stand to lose Internet Link stand behind

stand behind -- repair or replace, guarantee
Our company stands behind its products. We offer a guarantee.

stand by me -- be my friend, be loyal to me, be there for me
I know you like me, but will you stand by me if I get in trouble?

stand corrected -- admit a mistake or error, own up
The square root of 4761 is 69, not 68. I stand corrected.

stand for -- believe in and represent, be the symbol for
Vicki stands for social justice. She supports public health care.

stand for -- permit, tolerate, put up with, stand it
My parents won't allow us to smoke. They won't stand for it.

stand in -- replace, substitute, take my place
I can't coach the soccer team today. Will you stand in for me?

stand it -- endure it, bear it, put up with it
There's a very strong gas odor in here. How can you stand it?

stand on ceremony -- expect everyone to know manners and customs
Leave your cap on if you like. We don't stand on ceremony.

stand out -- appear different, not be the same as the others
Dick's voice stands out because it is lower than the others.

stand to lose -- may lose, could lose
If my son fails to make a loan payment, I stand to lose $4000.

S51. stand up -- start out Internet link stand up

stand up -- not meet you as planned, not attend an appointment
Jerry said he would take Rita to the movies, but he stood her up.

stand up and be counted -- say you support and will vote for it, stand up for
If you really believe in gay rights, you will stand up and be counted.

stand up for -- support, protect, speak out for
I'm not afraid to stand up for our rights. I'll ask to see a lawyer.

stand up to -- challenge, not back down
Please stand up to the bully. Tell him to stop hitting us.

standoffish -- not friendly, not sociable
Brett appears to be standoffish, but he's really quite friendly.

stark naked -- wearing nothing at all, naked as a jay bird, without a stitch of clothes on
The people on the beach were stark naked. They were members of a nudist colony.

stark raving mad -- completely crazy, out of your mind
Ophelia went stark raving mad after Hamlet rejected her.

start a fire under him -- motivate him, get him started
Somebody started a fire under Kent. He's skating hard tonight.

start from scratch -- start from the beginning, go back to square one
After the flood, we all had to start from scratch - to rebuild our lives.

start out -- start, begin, leave on a journey
Fill the tank with gas and check the oil before you start out.

S52. start over -- stay in line Internet Link start over

start over -- begin again, go to square one
If I make a mistake, I start over. I go right back to the beginning.

start up -- start, begin, organize, begin a business
Before you start up a business you should write a business plan.

start with a bang -- start well, start fast, off to a good start
The party will start with a bang if Elton arrives by hot-air balloon.

state of mind -- mood, mental attitude, frame of mind
My state of mind improves when I read a book by Northrop Frye.

state of the art -- most advanced, cutting edge
Many state-of-the-art devices use the LASER beam.

state secret -- (See it's not a state secret)

stay abreast -- be aware of developments, stay current, keep pace
Can you stay abreast of changes in computer technology?

stay alive -- win enough to continue, continue in a series
To stay alive, the Leafs must win the next two games.

stay awake -- not sleep, be alert
I can't stay awake any longer. I can't keep my eyes open.

stay in line -- obey the rules, behave well
Stay in line, young man. We expect you to obey orders.

S53. stay put -- step aside Internet Link stay put

stay put -- stay where you are, do not move
He took his dog out of the store and said, "Sit! Stay put!"

stay up -- not go to sleep, wait up for
We stay up until the kids come home - if it isn't too late.

steal the show -- be the favorite performer, receive the most applause
The little Peterson girl stole the show with her fine tap dancing.

steal your heart -- cause you to like or love, win the hearts
The kittens will steal your heart. They're so cute and playful.

steal your thunder -- tell your news, reveal your main message
If I mention the new product, will I steal your thunder?

steam up -- upset, excited, worried
Poor Emil would get all steamed up when his car wouldn't start.

steamy -- portraying lots of sex, full of love scenes
Love In The Park is a steamy movie. There's lots of action.

steer clear -- avoid, not go there
I advise you to steer clear of the bridge. There's been a flood.

stem to stern -- (See from stem to stern)

step aside -- resign, quit so someone else can do the job
If Jon will step aside, Harvey can become president.

S54. step down -- stick-in-the-mud Internet Link step down

step down -- resign, leave a position, bow out
It was time for Pierre to step down - time for him to resign.

step on his dick [B] -- cause an error, screw up
John really stepped on his dick when he lost that CD. It had all his customer accounts on it.
     Editor's note: look up "dick."

step on it -- go faster, step on the gas, pedal to the metal
Father said, "Step on it, son. We don't want to be late."

step on people -- hurt people to get ahead, use people to succeed
I want wealth, but I don't want to step on people to get it.

step on their toes -- offend them, upset them
When I mentioned their debt, did I step on their toes?

step on your dick [B] -- cause a problem for yourself, shoot yourself in the foot
You really stepped on your dick when you told her about seeing your old girlfriend.
     Editor's note: look up "dick."

step out of line -- do something bad, misbehave
If John steps out of line again, I'll remind him of the rules.

step up to the plate -- do your best, take action, take your turn
Pedro said, "It's time for me to act. It's time to step up to the plate."

stick in my craw -- irritate me, get to me
That decision really sticks in my craw. How could he sell Gretzky?
     Editor's note: "Gretzky" is Wayne Gretzky a famous ice-hockey play. There are professional ice-hockey teams in North America and it is the normal to "sell" or "trade" players among the teams.
     From AHTD:
craw n. 1. The crop of a bird or insect. 2. The stomach of an animal.
Idioms: stick in (one's) craw 1. To cause abiding discontent and resentment in (one). [Middle English crawe]

stick-in-the-mud -- one who does not go out, party-pooper
Farley, that stick-in-the-mud! He never goes to a party.

S55. stick it out -- stiff Internet Link stick it out

stick it out -- stay until you finish, hang in there
Can you stick it out until six? Can you work until then?

stick it up your ass [B] -- put it away, forget it, shove it
You can take your useless truck and stick it up your ass!

stick my neck out -- risk my safety to help, put my neck on the line
Why should I stick my neck out when you disobey your father?

stick out like a sore thumb -- not fit or blend, look out of place
The ugly painting stuck out like a sore thumb in the art gallery.

stick them up -- put your hands above your head, hands up
The man took out a gun and said to the clerk, "Stick 'em up!"

stick to it -- stay at a tough job, hang in there
If you stick to it - practice every day - you will be a fine pianist.

stick to your guns -- not change your belief, be firm
If you testify in court, stick to your guns. Tell the same story.

stick up for -- support, encourage
Will you stick up for me if I get in an argument?

stickhandle -- maneuver, negotiate, deke you
When the lawyer tried to trap me I just stickhandled around his question and talked about something else.

stiff -- not pay for, leave without paying
The cab driver told a policeman that a lady had stiffed him.

S56. stiff -- stone's throw Internet link stiff

stiff -- person, man
You lucky stiff! You won a TV!

stiff upper lip -- (See keep a stiff upper lip)

still wet behind the ears -- still quite young, the tender age of
When we moved to Boston, you were still wet behind the ears.

stink the joint out -- play very poorly, perform badly
In Chicago, we stunk the joint out, losing 7-1 to the Hawks.

stitch in time -- (See a stitch in time)

stitch of clothes on -- (See without a stitch of clothes on)

stock in trade -- main product, bread and butter
Our stock in trade is tires. We sell more tires than oil or gas.

stone dead -- very dead, no sign of life, dead as a doornail
When we finally found the goose, it was stone dead.

stone unturned -- (See leave no stone unturned)

stone's throw -- (See a stone's throw)

S57. stoned -- straight dope Internet Link stoned

stoned -- drugged, natural high on drugs, spaced out, wasted
If he's stoned, he shouldn't drive. Let's hide his keys.

stonewall -- block, prevent, not allow
The president stonewalled every one of our plans. He said no.

stop at nothing -- do anything to succeed, not stop until you win
The Indians will stop at nothing. They will get a reservation.

stop on a dime -- stop very quickly, stop exactly where you wish
With disk brakes, this car can stop on a dime. See?

stop you cold -- stop you quickly, grind to a halt
One look from the old witch will stop you cold. What a fierce gaze!

stop you in your tracks -- cause you to stop, prevent you from going further
You know what will stop you dead in your tracks? A bear, that's what.

straight -- (See go straight, square up)

straight away -- (See right away)

straight cash -- all cash, using only cash
When I go shopping I pay straight cash. I don't use my credit cards.

straight dope -- (See the straight dope)

S58. straight face -- strapped Internet Link straight face

straight face -- (See keep a straight face)

straight from the horse's mouth -- directly from the person who said it or did it
I want to hear the story from Tomas, straight from the horse's mouth.

straight from the shoulder -- directly, plainly, call a spade..., doesn't mince words
Richler spoke straight from the shoulder when addressing his own people - the way Jesus did with the money-changers.

straight goods -- (See the straight goods)

straight man -- the man who is not joking, the man who is honest or natural
When I began in comedy, my straight man was Jason. He would ask honest questions and I would give funny answers.

straight talk -- the truth, the facts, thethe straight goods
My son and I believe in straight talk. We communicate.

straight up -- without stopping, not reduced, full strength
I do ten minutes of exercise; then I run 5 km straight up.

straight up -- truthfully, the way it is
Give it to me straight up - exactly what she said.

straighten you out -- tell you the facts or the truth, set you straight
Talk to the teacher. She'll straighten you out.

strapped -- having very little money, nearly flat broke
I can't afford to go to a concert this month. I'm strapped.

S59. straw horse -- strictly for the birds Internet Link straw horse

straw horse -- an idea to be discussed and refined, a draft proposal or motion
I have an idea that may work - kind of a straw horse. I'll tell you about it and we can discuss its potential.

straw that broke the camel's back -- (See the last straw)

street smarts -- knowing how to survive, worldly wise
You need street smarts to be a police officer in Toronto.

street wise -- wise about street life, been around
Let's ask Sal to go downtown with us. He's street wise.

stretch the dollar -- spend carefully, buy the most for each dollar
We have a large family. I stretch the dollar as far as I can.

stretch the envelope -- extend the boundaries, expand your horizons
I've set some goals that stretch my envelope - challenge me.

stretch the truth -- add to a true story, include lies with the truth
Al was stretching the truth. He said the waves were 60 feet high.

stretching it -- saying it was bigger or better than it was
To say the mosquitoes are as big as starlings is stretching it.

strictly business -- very serious, not joking, no nonsense
When he conducts the band, he's strictly business. He's serious.

strictly for the birds -- (See for the birds)

S60. strike a bargain -- string a line Internet Link strike a bargain

strike a bargain -- find a satisfactory deal or price
After discussing the price of the carpet, we struck a bargain: $15.

 

strike it rich earn or win a lot of money, find a gold mine People came to the Yukon hoping to find gold - to strike it rich.
strike me causes me to pause, impresses me What strikes me is the color of the leaves. They're crimson.
strike out (baseball) fail to hit the ball while at bat This time he'll hit the ball. Last time at bat he struck out.
strike out on your own leave home and support yourself, be independent I was eighteen when I struck out on my own and found a job.
strike up a conversation begin a conversation with a stranger Uncle Ho is sociable. He strikes up a conversation with anyone.
strike up the band begin conducting the band, give the downbeat Maestro, strike up the band. We want to hear some music.
strike while the iron is hot do it before it is too late, now is the time to act In business, timing is important. You strike while the iron is hot.
strike your fancy interest you, appeal to you, turn your crank Do you see anything on the menu that strikes your fancy? Lobster?
string a line create a story, make up a story He was stringing you a line. A dog wasn't driving the car.

S61. string along -- strung out Internet link string along

string along -- pretend that you believe, go along with
When Franz talks about shark fishing, I just string along.

string bean -- thin person, bean pole
You string bean, Kenny! You're too skinny to hit the ball!

string of good luck -- a series of lucky events, lucky streak
He isn't the best pitcher. He's just having a string of good luck this season.

strip -- remove all your clothes, full Monty, in the buff
"I'd like to see you naked." "Okay. I'll strip if you will."

strip mall -- a row of stores with a small parking lot in front
Does the Langdale strip mall have a video store?

stripped -- (See bare bones)

stroke of genius -- a very intelligent idea, a unique solution
Using laser light for surgery - now that's a stroke of genius.

stroke of good luck -- a fortunate event, a lucky break, the fickle finger of fate
Then, by some stroke of good luck, a car horn scared the lion and it ran away.

stroke your ego -- cause you to feel confident or proud
Compliments are wonderful because they stroke your ego.

strung out -- ill or weak because of drug abuse, hungover
When she's strung out on cocaine she won't talk to her family.

S62. stubblejumper -- suck it up Internet Link stubblejumper

stubblejumper -- grain farmer, Saskatchewan folk
My uncle is a stubblejumper. He owns a farm near Kuroki.

stuck on -- focused on, obsessed with
Jack is stuck on Vicki, but she doesn't care about him.

stuff it -- put it away, forget it, shove it [B]
I don't want her money. She can stuff it!

stumbling block -- obstacle, problem
A strip of land is in the way of peace. It is the stumbling block.

stump me -- ask me a question I cannot answer, puzzle me
The question on the names of the Great Lakes stumped me.

such a card -- quite a joker, such a clown
Greg tells the funniest stories. He is such a card!

suck -- an immature person, wimp
Chad, that suck! He tells his mother everything we say.

suck -- is a poor quality, is not acceptable, shabby
You chose to cheat your friend? That sucks!

suck eggs -- go, leave, have a bad experience, up yours [B]
When I told him not to swear, he said, "Go suck eggs, man."

suck it up -- pull in your stomach, get ready
Suck it up, Kerry. I'm going to take your picture.

S63. suck off [B] -- suicide pass Internet Link suck off [B]

suck off [B] -- (See give head)

suck the hind tit [B] -- receive less than others, not get as good service, the short end of the stick
Who is sucking the hind tit of government services? Some people say it's the seniors

suck up to -- be nice for personal gain, brown nose [B]
Why is Ken sucking up to me? Does he expect a raise in pay?

suckbucket -- student's briefcase, valise
They think Zen carries a suckbucket to impress the teachers.

sucked in -- deceived, cheated, led to believe, taken in
"You believed his story about working late at the office?" "Ya, I got sucked in."

sucker -- a person who is gullible; easy to persuade
"Who will buy that painting?" "Oh, some sucker will come along."

sucker you -- fool you, cheat you, taken>/q>
When you walk along the midway, don't listen to the men who want you to throw balls or darts. They're just trying to sucker you. Hear?

sucks -- is poor quality, does not satisfy me
This radio sucks! I can't get my favorite station!

suffer a setback -- lose a game, fail a test, become injured or ill
Italy's soccer team suffered a setback losing to Ireland.

suicide pass -- (See a suicide pass)

S64. suit yourself -- sure as shit Internet Link suit yourself

suit yourself -- you choose, choose what you like
"I prefer tea." "Suit yourself."

suits you -- looks good on you, becomes you
Red and black suit you. You look great in those colors.

Sunday best -- best clothes, glad rags
Father was in his Sunday best - in his three-piece, navy suit.

sunset years -- senior years, over 65, golden years
Will you still love me when I'm old - in my sunset years?

super-duper -- very large, exciting or powerful, totally awesome
After class, Julie went to the cafe and ordered a super-duper sundae with a cherry on top.

super mint -- excellent, the best quality
The photograph of the baby is super mint! It's excellent!

supercharge -- boost the power, hop up, tweak
We supercharged the engine in a Datsun 510, doubling its power.

superstar -- very talented athlete or performer, the best player
Hockey's superstars include Richard, Howe, and Gretzky.

sure as hell -- very sure, certain, a sure bet
If you leave food around, the bears will come - sure as hell!

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

S65. sure bet -- sweat it Internet Link sure bet

sure bet -- (See a sure bet)

sure thing -- (See a sure thing)

surf the Net -- survey the Internet or global computer network
Olga is surfing the Net again - looking for a boy in the US.

swallow that -- believe that, buy that, eat that
He said the company is bankrupt, but don't swallow that!

swallow your pride -- do not let your pride stop you, control your pride
Swallow your pride. Accept the offer to return to your old job.

swear by -- believe in a product and say that it is good
Joel swears by Chrysler cars. He's driven a Dodge for years.

swear like a sailor -- use vulgar language, use four-letter words, the air was blue
Grace won't take her boyfriend to church because he swears like a sailor.

swear off -- quit using, abstain from
Zack has sworn off beer until Christmas. He's quit completely.

sweat bullets -- worry, be very concerned or afraid or nervous
I was sweating bullets when I heard your plane went down.

sweat it -- (See don't sweat it)

S66. sweat it out -- swell Internet link sweat it out

sweat it out -- wait and worry, on pins and needles
While the jury discussed a verdict, the prisoner was sweating it out.

sweater girl -- girl with big breasts who wears a tight sweater
Jody was the sweater girl in our class. She was sexy.

sweep under the carpet -- hide problems, cover mistakes
Don't sweep your problems under the carpet. Try to solve them.

sweep you off your feet -- impress you, cause you to love them quickly
Andre is very charming. He will sweep you off your feet.

sweet on -- like, love, got a crush on, stuck on
You act kind of funny when Barb is here. Are you sweet on her?

sweet spot -- (See the sweet spot)

sweet tooth -- a need to eat candy, a craving for sweets
A piece of dark chocolate will satisfy my sweet tooth. Yum!

sweeten the pot -- add more good things, make it worth more
If we sweeten the pot with a trip to Paris, we'll sell more tickets.

sweetie pie -- dear, darling, honey
How are you, sweetie pie? It's so good to see you! So good to hug you!

swell -- great, wonderful, (often used sarcastically)
"How was your vacation?" "Oh swell. It rained every day."


S67. swelled head -- swift Internet link swelled head

swelled head -- feeling too proud, let it go to your head
If I win the talent contest, I promise not to get a swelled head.

swift -- intelligent, smart, bright
I'm not very swift when I try to do calculus. I usually fail.

End of TIL page