Update: 2012-11-28 03:02 AM +0630

TIL

TIL English Idiom Collection

idiomT.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.

 index.htm | |Top
Eidiom-txt-indx.htm

Contents of this page

tail between his legs tail lights tail wagging the dog tailgate take a back seat take a boo take a bow take a break take a bullet take a chance take a dive take a drive/trip take a dump [B] take a flight take a gander take a guess take a hike take a joke take a leak [B]

 

tail between his legs

From Magnuson
tail between his legs
-- take a chance Internet link tail between his legs

tail between his legs -- running away in defeat or fear, retreating quickly
When the bear followed me, I ran with my tail between my legs!

Contents of this page

tail lights

From Magnuson
tail lights --
gone, departed, could not see me for dust
When I heard the police siren, I was tail lights. I was gone.

Contents of this page

tail wagging the dog

From Magnuson
tail wagging the dog --
(See the tail wagging the dog)

Contents of this page

tailgate

From Magnuson
tailgate --
drive too close to the car in front, on his tail
The instructor told me not to tailgate - to leave more space.

Contents of this page

take a back seat

From Magnuson
take a back seat --
say you are not as good, play second fiddle
You are good at chess. Don't take a back seat to anyone!

Contents of this page

take a boo

From Magnuson
take a boo --
look at, take a look
Take a boo with my telescope. See the dust on the moon?

Contents of this page

take a bow

From Magnuson
take a bow --
bow to the audience, show you like applause
The crowd is clapping because you played well. Take a bow.

Contents of this page

take a break

From Magnuson
take a break --
rest for a few minutes or days or weeks
You've been working hard. Do you want to take a break?

Contents of this page

take a bullet

From Magnuson
take a bullet --
accept blame or injury to protect someone
Pat said she was responsible for our mistake - she took a bullet.

Contents of this page

take a chance

From Magnuson
take a chance --
gamble, try your luck
I'm going to take a chance and buy gold. It's a gamble, but... .

Contents of this page

take a dive

From Magnuson
take a dive
-- take a leak [B] Internet link take a dive

take a dive -- plan to lose, throw a game
The boxer was paid to take a dive. He allowed his opponent to win.

Contents of this page

take a drive/trip

From Magnuson
take a drive/trip --
travel, go for a drive, go on a trip
They take a drive in the country every Sunday afternoon.

Contents of this page

take a dump [B]

From Magnuson
take a dump [B] --
shit, drop a log [B], take a shit [B]
I looked out the window and saw a dog taking a dump on my lawn.

Contents of this page

take a flight

From Magnuson
take a flight --
go, leave, take off
If you don't like the way I live, you can take a flight.

From Magnuson
take a flight --
leave by plane, travel on a scheduled airline flight take off
We're taking WestJet Flight 703 out of Toronto on Friday.

Contents of this page

take a gander

From Magnuson
take a gander --
look at, feast your eyes, take a boo
Take a gander at that valley! Just look at it!

Contents of this page

take a guess

From Magnuson
take a guess --
guess, try to answer, hazard a guess
"How old are you?" "Take a guess."

Contents of this page

take a hike

From Magnuson
take a hike --
go, leave, get lost
When her old boyfriend moved in with us, I told them to take a hike.

Contents of this page

take a joke

From Magnuson
take a joke --
not be mad if the joke is about you, a good sport
Let's tell the story about Steve getting lost. He can take a joke.

Contents of this page

take a leak [B]

From Magnuson
take a leak [B] --
urinate, take a pee [B], take a whiz
We asked the bus driver to stop so we could take a leak.

Contents of this page

T03. take a load off your feet -- take a risk Internet link take a load off your feet

take a load off your feet -- sit down, grab a chair, have a seat
Jim pointed to a chair and said, "Take a load off your feet."

take a look -- look at, see that, take a boo
Take a look at that pumpkin! It's monstrous!

take a pee [B] -- urinate, take a leak [B], take a whiz
"Where can I take a pee?" she whispered to her friend.

take a picture -- photograph, take a picture
In Regina, he took a picture of the statue of Louis Riel.

take a piss [B] -- urinate, take a leak [B], take a pee [B]
A drunk was taking a piss in the alley behind the hotel.

take a poke at -- punch, hit with your fist
First he pushed Tom, then he took a poke at me.

take a poke at -- say something negative in a humorous way
The speaker took a poke at women who want everything men have.

take a poll -- record opinions, find out how people will vote
Take a poll before the election so you can predict the winner.

take a powder -- leave quickly, flew the coop, take a hike
"Where's Louis?" "He took a powder when he heard the sirens."

take a risk -- (See take risks)

T04. take a round out of -- take action Internet link take a round out of

take a round out of -- defeat in a fight, win a fight
Johnny is a tough guy. He took a round out of Pete, you know.

take a shine to -- like, show interest in
At the age of four, Raj took a shine to the piano. Now he's a great pianist.

take a shit [B] -- have a bowel movement, take a dump [B]
She wrote a book that explains how to take a shit in the woods.

take a shot -- criticize or insult, put down, take a poke at
When he spoke about abortion, he took a shot at the government for not changing the laws.

take a shot -- shoot a gun at, aim and shoot a rifle
Uncle was looking for a target, so he took a shot at a tin can.

take a snap shot -- (See take a picture)

take a stand -- say what you believe, state your position, take sides
The teacher doesn't want to take a stand on the Young Offender Act until we've written our essays.

take a strip off -- scold, lecture, give you hell
The foreman took a strip off me for driving too fast. He was mad.

take a whiz -- urinate, take a leak [B], take a pee [B]
I have to take a whiz before we get on the plane. I'll be right back.

take action -- act in a deliberate way, act with a purpose
Before I take action, I'll ask Bing if he was aware of the rules.

T05. take advantage of -- take chances Internet link take advantage of

take advantage of -- act at the best time, seize the opportunity
I took advantage of the low price of gasoline. I bought 500 litres.

take advantage of -- hurt or abuse someone who trusts you
I feel very angry toward people who take advantage of children.

take after -- have similar traits, have the same personality
Kyle is calm; he takes after me. Kris is active, just like his dad.

take after -- chase, try to catch
If he catches the football, you take after him as fast as you can.

take by storm -- rush in, win by force, overwhelm
The Vikings landed on the beach and took the village by storm.

take calls -- answer the phone, receive calls
Karen isn't taking calls because she's in a meeting.

take care -- be careful
Take care. See you tomorrow.

take care of -- care for someone or something, look after
I'll take care of Taea while you go shopping. I'll stay with her.

take care of business -- do what needs to be done, do my job
"You scored a beautiful goal!" "Just taking care of business."

take chances -- live dangerously, risk something valuable, play with fire
Don't take chances with our savings. We worked hard to earn that money.

T06. take charge -- take him out Internet link take charge

take charge -- be in control, supervise
Jim will take charge while I'm away. He'll be your supervisor.

take cover -- hide, find a safe place
If the soldiers begin shooting, you guys take cover.

take drugs -- use drugs, do drugs
When I take that drug, I feel sick at my stomach.

take effect -- have an effect, cause a change
In two minutes the drug will take effect and you will feel sleepy.

take exception to -- be upset about, object to, complain about
Vern will take exception to any questions about ethnic origin.

take five -- rest for five minutes, take a break
We've been working hard this morning. Let's take five.

take for granted -- expect, assume
His support cannot be taken for granted. We must ask him.

take heart -- have courage, be strong
When we had troubles, Grandpa said, "Take heart, my children."

take him down a peg -- push him to a lower place, get off your high horse
Ali was too proud. Somebody had to take him down a peg.

take him out -- defeat him, eliminate him
Wei entered the tournament, but Jo took her out in the first round.

T07. take in -- take it in stride Internet link take in

take in -- make smaller, tighten
These pants need to be taken in at the waist. They're too large.

take in -- attend, visit
When you come to Calgary, be sure to take in the Stampede.

take it -- endure it, accept it, stand it
He treats you very badly. Why do you take it?

take it -- understand it is true, believe it is this way
I take it you want the whole class to write a report. Is that right?

take it and run -- accept the offer and be happy, be satisfied
He offered to pay $200 for the damage, so I took it and ran.

take it back -- not mean to say it, withdraw what you said
I said you were a turkey, but I take it back. You're a rat!

take it easy -- do not try so hard, do not work so hard
When you jog, take it easy. Rest often.

take it easy on -- be less demanding, go easy on
When you train the dogs, take it easy on Taffy. She's just a pup.

take it for a spin -- drive it, test drive it
Al has a new motorcycle. I hope he lets me take it for a spin.

take it in stride -- continue without delay, cope with
Lilian is so steady. If there's a problem, she takes it in stride.

T08. take it like a man -- take me seriously Internet link take it like a man

take it like a man -- be brave when hurt, do not complain about problems
They told him not to cry when he was hurt - to take it like a man.

take it or leave it -- take this offer or refuse it; no bargaining
I'll give you $150 for the sofa - take it or leave it.

take it out on -- express anger toward an innocent person
Vince gets angry at work; then he takes it out on his kids.

take it personally -- believe you are being attacked or accused
He was criticizing the whole class; don't take it personally.

take it the wrong way -- misunderstand, feel bad; no offense, but...
He stares because he is curious. Don't take it the wrong way.

take it to heart -- believe it is said to you, feel it is meant for you
When he said we'll burn in hell, Ella cried. She took it to heart.

take it with a grain of salt -- do not believe all of it, some of it is not true
When Brian talks, take it with a grain of salt. Believe very little.

take its course -- develop naturally, go through a process, willy-nilly
We can control many parts of our environment, but the weather just takes its course.

take leave of your senses -- act like a fool, not think clearly, off your rocker
If you wear your bathing suit to church, people will think you've taken leave of your senses.

take me seriously -- be serious about me and what I say and do
I'm not joking about going to a psychic. Please take me seriously.

T09. take my hat off to -- take on Internet link  take my hat off to

take my hat off to -- show respect for someone, praise a person's work
I take my hat off to Roger. He has promoted business in our town.

take my head off -- shout at me, say angry words to me
You don't have to take my head off when I ask where you're going.

take my place -- sit or park where I usually sit or park
Mommy, he took my place! He's sitting in my seat!

take oath -- say that something is true, give my word of honor
He took an oath that he is the child's father. I believe him.

take off -- leave by plane, depart on a plane
Our plane takes off at 10:35. We have to go to the airport.

take off, eh -- go, leave, beat it, buzz off, get lost
When he asked for my phone number, I said, "Take off, eh."

take offense -- be hurt, feel offended
Jan takes offense easily. Don't be critical of her poetry.

take on -- fight, challenge
Mac wanted to take on Ted, but Ted didn't want to fight.

take on -- agree to do, accept a responsibility
I'm very busy. I can't take on any more work right now.

take on -- employ, hire, hire on
AmCorp is taking on workers. Should we apply for a job?

T10. take on a new light -- take risks Internet link take on a new light

take on a new light -- have a new meaning, see a different meaning
The music takes on a new light if you know the composer.

take out -- court, date, go out with, see
He was taking her out when they went to college. They were lovers.

take-out restaurant -- a restaurant that serves food to be taken outside
There's a take-out restaurant. Let's buy some food and go to the park.

take over -- do someone's job, become the new manager
Please take over the bookkeeping while I'm away. Thank you.

take pains -- try hard, take extra time or care
Mr. and Mrs. Wilson take pains to find families that are truly in need.

take part in -- join, be a worker or a participant
She takes part in many activities, including gardening.

take place -- happen, occur
The race will take place at the university track at 10 a.m.

take possession -- receive the keys as the new owner
"We bought a house in Parkland." "When do you take possession?"

take revenge -- hurt one who hurt you, get even
If your car is stolen, report it to the police. Don't take revenge.

take risks -- accept challenge and change, welcome uncertainty, push the envelope
By taking risks we can discover our potential - what is possible!

T11. take sides -- take the heat Internet link take sides

take sides -- support one person or group in an argument
The mayor refused to take sides in the fight to save the hospital.

take solace -- find peace, find comfort
It was a bad fire, but I take solace in the fact that no one died.

take that -- you deserve that, you have it coming
Take that, you devil! And that! I'm very angry at you!

take the blame -- receive the blame, accept the blame, take the rap
Sometimes innocent people offer to take the blame for crimes.

take the bull by the horns -- control the problem, be firm, take charge
If the class is noisy, the teacher must take the bull by the horns.

take the bus/plane -- ride on the bus or plane, catch a plane
Lee never takes the bus. He prefers to ride his bicycle.

take the cake -- is the worst or the weirdest or the funniest etc.
Of all the people I've met, you take the cake! You're the wildest!

take the chill off -- make the room warmer, start the furnace/fireplace
An electric heater will take the chill off in the evening.

take the flack -- listen to the complaints, take the heat
When children cause trouble, their parents take the flack.

take the heat -- listen to the questions from the police or public
Vern took the heat, but Al stole the drugs. They blamed Vern.

T12. take the pulse -- take up cudgels Internet link take the pulse

take the pulse -- discover the feelings of the people
Before you change the flag, see how people feel. Take their pulse.

take the rap -- receive the blame, take the blame
Jeremy took the rap for the crime. He alone was sent to prison.

take the stage -- go onto the stage, be the performer on the stage
When Bob Goulet took the stage we heard some great singing.

take the stand -- sit in the witness chair in a courtroom
You witnessed the crime, so you will have to take the stand.

take the trouble -- do extra work, do special tasks, take pains
Maria always takes the trouble to bake my favorite pie.

take this job and shove it [B] -- I quit, you can keep this job
Jim said to the boss, "Take this job and shove it! I'm outa here!"

take time to smell the roses -- use some time to relax and enjoy the scenery
Yes, pursue your goals, but take time to smell the roses.

take umbrage -- feel hurt, feel offended, take offense
If you refuse her invitation to her party, she'll take umbrage.

take up -- begin a hobby or activity, learn a skill
First, Alice took up karate. Then she learned how to meditate.

take up cudgels -- pick up weapons, prepare to defend or attack
We may have to take up cudgels against people who invent and spread viruses on the Internet.

T13. take up the slack -- take your pick Internet link take up the slack

take up the slack -- do somebody's work, fill in
When I'm away, Hal takes up the slack. He does my job.

take with a grain of salt -- (See take it with a grain of salt)

take you down a peg -- (See knock you down a peg)

take you for all you've got -- take all your money by suing you or cheating you
If she divorces you, she could take you for all you've got.

take you in -- give you shelter and food, take care of
Will your relatives take you in if you lose your job?

take you to court -- sue you, bring a lawsuit against you
If you don't pay for the damage, they could take you to court.

take you to task -- ask you to explain, haul you up on the carpet
Did Reverend Klinck take you to task for drinking beer? Did he tell you drinking is a sin?

take you to the cleaners -- defeat you badly, win by many points
If you play checkers with Lars, he'll take you to the cleaners.

take your lumps -- endure bumps and hits, suffer through injuries
To play hockey, you have to learn to take your lumps.

take your pick -- choose one, say which one you prefer
You can have Coke or Pepsi. Take your pick.

T14. take your pulse -- takeoff on Internet link take your pulse

take your pulse -- measure your heart rate, check your pulse
When you visit the health clinic, the doctor will take your pulse.

take your seat -- sit in your chair or desk, be seated
Judy, please take your seat so we can begin the exam.

take your time -- do not rush, do it when you have enough time, no rush
"When do you need it?" "It's not urgent. Take your time."

take your sweet time -- you are too slow, you could work faster, pick up the pace
"You took your sweet time to do this job. It could have been done much faster!" "Yes, but would it have been done well?"

take your turn -- act or speak when your name is called, it's your turn
You're up to bat, Buddy. Take your turn, knock it outa here!

take your word for it -- believe what you say, not ask for proof, the benefit of the doubt
You say you are eighteen. Since you don't have your ID card, we'll have to take your word for it.

taken -- cheated, ripped off
If he paid $1500 for that car, he got taken.

taken for a ride -- tricked, deceived, taken in
We were taken for a ride. We lost thousands of dollars.

taken in -- deceived, fooled, taken for a ride
I was taken in by their ads. I believed what they said.

takeoff on -- (See a takeoff on)

T15. takes one to know one -- talk it over Internet link takes one to know one

takes one to know one -- (See it takes one to know one)

takes two to tango -- (See it takes two to tango)

talk a mile a minute -- talk fast, talk quickly
Mimi talks a mile a minute. It's hard to understand her.

talk about -- if we are talking about, if you want to discuss
Talk about cold! Last winter it was -43

talk away -- continue talking, talk and talk
The baby was talking away, but no one could understand her.

talk back -- reply without respect, lip off
In China, kids don't talk back to their parents, do they?

talk big -- brag, exaggerate, promise a lot
Bert talks big before a game. He's more humble afterwards.

talk into -- persuade, convince
Try to talk him into buying a new car. His Fiat is rusty.

talk is cheap -- talk is not action, saying is easier than doing
He says he's going to pay his debt, but talk is cheap.

talk it over -- discuss it, hash it over
I don't agree with you, but let's talk it over before we decide.

T16. talk it up -- tall tale Internet link talk it up

talk it up -- talk with enthusiasm, tell people about it
If we want to build an arena, we have to talk it up with the people.

talk shop -- talk about jobs, talk about what we do at work
I don't like to talk shop when we have visitors. It's too boring.

talk the leg off the lamb of God -- talk a lot; persuasively; have the gift of the gab
Minerva was a talker. She could talk the leg off the lamb of God!

talk through your hat -- talk without logic, say unbelievable things, hot air
If you tell Dad about building a house in outer space, he'll say you're talking through your hat.

talk to the hand -- I am not listening to you, I am not interested in your comment
"But he hit me first!" "Talk to the hand."

talk turkey -- discuss a fair deal, negotiate seriously
If the owner really wants to sell, he'll talk turkey.

talk your ear off -- talk too much, talk all the time
Polly is only three years old, but she can talk your ear off.

talk your head off -- talk a lot, say too much
You can talk your head off, but I won't change my opinion.

tall one -- (See a tall one)

tall tale -- a story that is partly true, an exaggerated story
Fishermen love to tell tall tales. They lie a little, eh.

T17. tangle with -- team up Internet link tangle with

tangle with -- fight against, have a fight with
I wouldn't want to tangle with Vince. He's strong - and mean!

tank -- a drunk, an alcoholic, lush, wino
Percy - that tank! He drinks a case of beer every day.

tank -- (See in the tank)

tanked/tanked up -- drunk, polluted, sloshed, wasted
After an evening at the tavern, the sailors were tanked.

tar with the same brush -- (See paint with the same brush)

taste of his own... -- (See give him a taste of his own medicine)

teach an old dog... -- (See you can't teach an old dog new tricks)

teach you the tricks of the trade -- teach you how to do it, teach you the easy way, learn the ropes
Welcome to the company, Ken. Paul will work with you and teach you the tricks of the trade.

team player -- an employee who works well with other employees
Team players - that's what we need in our company.

team up -- play together, form a team
If you team up with Lana, we can play bridge, okay?

T18. tear a strip off -- tell him a thing or two Internet link tear a strip off

tear a strip off -- scold, lecture, criticize, give you hell [B]
Kasan's father tore a strip off him for missing a day of school.

tear around -- go fast, run here and there, drive around
When Ty was young, he liked to tear around town in his car.

tear me apart -- criticize me or my work, find all my faults
If you waste tax dollars, the voters will tear you apart.

tearjerker -- a sad story, a story or song that causes tears, move you to tears
Have you seen For Whom The Bell Tolls? It's sad - a real tearjerker!

teed off -- upset, cross, ticked off
She was teed off about the errors in the balance sheet.

teed up -- ready to operate, ready to use
"Is your presentation ready?" "Yes. All teed up, ready to go."

teeny-weeny -- very small, tiny, itsy-bitsy
Look at its teeny-weeny tail! It's so cute!

tell a soul -- (See won't tell a soul)

tell all -- tell everything you know, pour out your soul
In a job interview, I answer their questions, but I don't tell all.

tell him a thing or two -- tell him he caused a problem, tell him off
If Sid took my keys, I'm going to tell him a thing or two.

T19. tell him off -- tender age of Internet link tell him off

tell him off -- tell him you are angry, tell him he is wrong
If he mentions my toupee once more, I'm going to tell him off.

tell him where to get off -- tell him what you think of him, tell him off
If he complains about the meals, tell him where to get off.

tell him where to go -- tell him to go to hell [B], tell him off
If he criticizes the way I drive, I'll tell him where to go!

tell me another one -- tell me another excuse, tell me another lie
You say the spaceship took you away. Sure. Tell me another one.

tell me straight -- (See give it to me straight)

tell on -- tell a secret, tell about a crime, squeal
Will Robbie tell on us? What if he tells the police we did it?

tempest in a teapot -- (See a tempest in a teapot)

tempt fate -- act without caution, act as though you are immortal, don't push your luck, take chances
To swim with sharks is dangerous; to do it alone is to tempt fate.

ten-four (CB radio) -- yes, I hear you, okay
"See you in Memphis, big fella." "Ten-four, good buddy."

tender age of -- (See the tender age of)

T20. test drive -- thanks a million Internet link test drive

test drive -- drive to evaluate, try it out
I test drove the new Harley on Saturday. What a bike!

test the water -- check people's feelings, take a poll
Wilson always tests the water before he introduces a budget.

test your metal -- test your strength or will or skill, run the gauntlet
If your team is losing by three runs, the bases are loaded, and you are the final batter - that will test your metal!

TGIF -- Thank Goodness It's Friday, I am glad it is the last day of work this week
Remember, we're going to a party tonight." "Yes! TGIF!"

thank goodness -- I am thankful or relieved, thank heavens
Thank goodness you're here. We were worried about you.

Thank Goodness It's Friday -- (See TGIF)

thank heavens -- thank the gods, thank goodness
When we phoned Mom, she said, "Thank heavens you're safe!"

thank your lucky stars -- (See you can thank your lucky stars)

thanks a bunch -- thanks very much, thanks a lot
When I deliver the groceries, she says, "Thanks a bunch, Teddy."

thanks a million -- thanks very much, thanks a lot
Thanks a million for all you've done for us. We do appreciate it.

T21. that a boy/that a girl -- that's his bible Internet link that a boy/that a girl

that a boy/that a girl -- good work, well done, 'at a boy, 'at a girl
Whenever I get a good grade, she says, "That a boy, Reid!"

that is that -- (See and that's that)

that takes the cake -- that is the strangest or loudest or wildest etc.
I've seen big pumpkins, but that takes the cake! It's fifty pounds!

that'll be the day -- that will never happen, not on your life
Me? Wear a ring in my nose? That'll be the day!

that'll be the frosty Friday -- that day will never come, don't hold your breath
Canada become part of the US? That'll be the frosty Friday!

that's a corker -- that is unusual, that is amazing
"The baby weighed 12 pounds." "Wow, that's a corker!"

that's a crock (of shit) [B] -- that is not true; bullshit; crap
A Mustang is faster than a Corvette? That's a crock!

that's all she wrote -- that is the end of the story, there is no more
At the end of the lesson he said, "And that's all she wrote. Any questions?"

that's cool -- that is good/fine/OK, that is groovy
When we gave Fonzie a leather tie, he said, "That's cool."

that's his bible -- that is his rule book, code or main reference
The Oxford English Dictionary - that's her bible.

T22. that's life -- the air was blue Internet Link that's life

that's life -- that is the way life goes, c'est la vie
Whenever Maurice has bad luck, he says, "Ah, that's life."

that's stretching it -- that is adding to the story, stretching it
Did he say there were fifty flying saucers? That's stretching it.

that's that -- (See and that's that)

that's the spirit -- good work, good attitude, way to go
"That's the spirit," the Captain shouted as we scrubbed the deck.

that's the ticket -- that is the answer, that is the solution
I said, "Can we share the job?" Mr. Tse said, "That's the ticket!"

that's the way the ball bounces -- that is fate, that's life
If Jon got the job, good for him. That's the way the ball bounces.

that's the way the cookie crumbles -- that is fate, that is the way things happen
You didn't win the prize? That's the way the cookie crumbles.

the acid test -- the ultimate trial for someone's credibility
Your readiness to support me during the examination was the acid test of our relationship.

the age of majority -- the age when you can vote, between 16 and 21 years, come of age
Dad said that when I reach the age of majority I can buy my own car!

the air was blue -- there was much swearing, someone said bad words, swear like a sailor
When Dad discovered the dent in his Cadillac, the air was blue!

T23. the apple doesn't fall far from the tree -- the best things in life are free Internet Link the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

the apple doesn't fall far from the tree -- kids are like their parents; a chip off the old block; like father, like son
I looked at the father, then at the son, and I thought, The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

the apple of his eye -- his favorite girl, the girl he desires
Susie was Don's sweetheart, the apple of his eye.

the balance of power -- the deciding votes; votes that cause the winner, tip the scales
He will try to get the support of the workers because they hold the balance of power.

the ball's in your court -- you speak or act now, it's your turn
She offered to pay $1900 for your car, so the ball's in your court.

the be-all, end-all -- the best, the greatest, his nibs, world beater
Brian believes he's the be-all, end-all in politics, but wait until he loses the next election.

the bee's knees -- the best, superior, the cat's meow
Kay was voted best citizen. Now she thinks she's the bee's knees.

the benefit of the doubt -- fair judgement when some of the facts are not known, take your word for it
If money is missing, we give you the benefit of the doubt. We assume you didn't take it.

the best-laid plans of mice and men go oft astray -- plans are not guaranteed, plans sometimes do not work out
If this boat sinks, we'll say, "The best-laid plans of mice and men go oft astray."

the best of both worlds -- the best parts of two cultures or styles etc., two heads are better...
If you have Italian design and German engineering, you have the best of both worlds, eh.

the best things in life are free -- the sun, the stars, the ocean, etc. are free; Mother Nature belongs to all of us
We went on a camping trip and discovered that the best things in life are free.

T24. The Big Apple -- the bottom line Internet Link The Big Apple

The Big Apple -- New York City, New York, USA
Guess what! My friend and I are going to live in The Big Apple!

the big cheese -- the boss, chief cook and bottle washer, head honcho
If you've got a complaint, see the big cheese - our manager.

The Big O -- Olympic Stadium in Montreal
We watched Diane compete in the pentathlon at The Big O.

the big 0 -- zero, nothing, zip
You won a car. I got the big 0.

the big picture -- all parts together, the whole plan, can't see the forest...
Look at the big picture. Doing two jobs will have a negative effect on your family.

the bigger they are the harder they fall -- we can beat the big guys, big players fall harder, mind over matter
"Look at all their big players!" "Don't worry. The bigger they are, the harder they fall!"

the bitter end -- the end of a long struggle, the end of a difficult time
On a ranch you work till a job is done. You stay till the bitter end.

the blind leading the blind -- the leader is ignorant or incompetent
With Filbert as President, it's the blind leading the blind.

the bottom fell out -- the project stopped, the business failed, the wheels fall off
When the price of oil dropped, the bottom fell out of the oil industry in Alberta.

the bottom line -- the final number, the conclusion
The bottom line is this: we can't afford to buy another store.

T25. the breaking point -- the can Internet Link the breaking point

the breaking point -- the time you cannot go on, the point where you quit
My job was so stressful I reached the breaking point. I had to quit.

the brush-off -- refusal, rejection
The first time he asked her for a date, she gave him the brush-off.

the buck stops here -- I am responsible for what we do - no one else; pass the buck
"The buck stops here," the new manager said to us. "We don't blame others for our problems."

the bum's rush -- being chased away, run out of town
If you tell us to pay more tax we'll give you the bum's rush.

the burbs -- the suburbs; outlying residential districts
That's Jan's dream: two children and a home in the burbs.

the burning question -- the main question, what we all want to know
Who drove the car into the lake? That's the burning question.

the butt of the joke -- the person who is laughed at, the goat
Frank is so sensitive. He hates to be the butt of a joke.

the call of duty -- the feeling that you have to work, duty calls
When the group needs a secretary I answer the call of duty.

the calm before the storm -- the quiet time just before anger or an attack
The enemy is planning an attack. This is the calm before the storm.

the can -- toilet, washroom, the john, the loo
Who's in the can? Please hurry! I have to go!

T26. the cart before the horse -- the day of the family farm Internet link the cart before the horse

the cart before the horse -- backwards, back to front
Having dessert before dinner is putting the cart before the horse.

the cat's ass [B] -- the best, number one, the bee's knees
Since Val won the beauty contest, she thinks she's the cat's ass!

the cat's meow -- somebody special, a hotshot
When Vi wears diamonds, she thinks she's the cat's meow.

the cat's out of the bag -- the secret has been told, people know the secret
We know about your affair with Brad. The cat's out of the bag.

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

the crunch -- the difficult time, the day we have less money
The crunch is coming - when we have one salary instead of two.

the crux of the matter -- the main point, the real issue
Uncle Bert is too old to drive the car. That's the crux of the matter.

the customer is always right -- satisfy the customer, agree with the customer
Now let's discuss an old saying: The Customer's Always Right.

the cutting edge -- the latest technology, state of the art
Compact discs are no longer the cutting edge in recorded music.

the day of the family farm -- the time when most farms were family owned
The day of the family farm is nearly over. They can't survive.

T27. the devil makes work for idle hands -- the eye of a needle Internet Link the devil makes work for idle hands

the devil makes work for idle hands -- if a person is not busy he will do evil things, work ethic
Protestants believe children should be busy because the devil makes work for idle hands.

the devil you say -- that is amazing, how about that, you don't say
"I caught a thirty-pound trout." "The devil you say!"

the dickens you say -- that is unbelievable, gadzooks, say what
"Ping, you won a car!" "The dickens you say!"

the downside -- the negative side, the disadvantages, the bad points
The downside of abortion is that some women use it as a method of birth control.

the dying seconds -- the last few seconds in a game
The score was tied 3 - 3 in the dying seconds of the third period.

the early bird gets the worm -- the one who arrives first gets the reward etc.
I want to go to the sale at 8 a.m. The early bird gets the worm!

the end-all, be-all -- (See the be-all, end-all)

the end justifies the means -- any method is fine if the result is good
If a person steals food to survive, does the end justify the means?

the end of the line -- the time to leave, the place to get off
When the group began to gossip, it was the end of the line for me.

the eye of a needle -- the hole in a needle, the opening for the thread
The hole in the tube was smaller than the eye of a needle.

T28. the eye of the storm -- the gift of the gab (the gift of gab) Internet Link the eye of the storm

the eye of the storm -- the center of the storm, the middle of the storm
The eye of the storm is directly over Lake Simcoe.

the F-word -- fuck [B], friggin
Mommy, Mommy! Charles said the F-word!

the family jewels -- the male genitals (the source of future progeny)
Sure I wear a jockstrap - to protect the family jewels!

the fat hit the fire -- the trouble got worse, people began fighting
Kate accused Maude of lying - that's when the fat hit the fire.

the fickle finger of fate -- the chances in life, the way life changes unpredictably, that's life
Our lives were saved because a dog barked. We were saved by the fickle finger of fate.

the fifth column -- the column in a newspaper that tells about the media
The fifth column often comments on the need for fair reporting.

the first leg -- the first part (of a journey), a leg up
The first leg will take us to Paris. Then we'll go on to Rome.

the first pancake is always spoiled -- the first attempt or product is usually a failure
When Mr. Putin heard about the problems in the Olympics under the new president, he said, "The first pancake is always spoiled!"

the full Monty -- fully nude, completely naked, stark naked, strip
"Should I take off all my clothes?" "Yes, we want the full Monty!"

the gift of the gab (the gift of gab) -- the ability to talk, a way with words
Bev can speak to the parents. She has the gift of the gab.

T29. the gloves are off -- The Great White North Internet Link the gloves are off

the gloves are off -- the fight is beginning, play hardball
The candidates have insulted each other. The gloves are off!

the goat -- the person who is blamed for a problem
Ken is the goat, but all he did was open the door for the students.

the going gets rough -- the task becomes harder, it is a rocky road
In the second year, you study law. That's when the going gets rough.

the going rate -- the standard price or fee, the usual price
The going rate for car repairs is about $60 an hour.

The Golden Rule -- Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
If everyone lived by The Golden Rule, you may not like the way you are treated.

the gospel truth -- the real truth, as true as the gospel
I opened the package to count the cookies - that's the gospel truth!

the grass is greener on the other side of the fence -- things look better from a distance, it is natural to desire a neighbor's things
When you look at other homes, the grass is often greener on the other side of the fence.

The Great One -- Wayne Gretzky, "Gretz"
The Great One was the heart of the Edmonton Oilers.

The Great White Hope -- Caucasian boxer who could win the heavyweight title
In the 1970s, George Chuvallo was The Great White Hope.

The Great White North -- Canada, the true north...
Millions of Americans enjoy their holidays in The Great White North.

T30. The Grim Reaper -- the inside story Internet Link The Grim Reaper

The Grim Reaper -- an executioner; a person who decides your fate, position, grades, etc.
Old Mason was The Grim Reaper. He showed no mercy when he failed students.

The Group of Five/The Regina Five -- artists K. Lockhead, A. McKay, D. Morton, T. Godwin, R. Bloore
The Group of Five are famous for their bold, abstract paintings.

The Group of Seven -- Canadian painters who formed a group in 1917
Do you know the names of the artists in The Group of Seven?

the handwriting is on the wall -- the message is clear, the conclusion is obvious
I tell my students the handwriting is on the wall: learn how to learn.

the hard way -- the difficult method, the rocky road
If we plan, we can avoid doing our work the hard way.

the heat is on -- there is pressure to win, we must succeed
When you compete for a career position, the heat is on.

the hell you say -- I do not believe it, get out, go on
Harper won the election? The hell you say!

the in-crowd -- a few special people, a clique
Cleo's part of the in-crowd - the girls who play on the basketball team.

the in's and out's -- knowledge and experience, knowing the ropes
He knows the in's and out's of the car business. He's experienced.

the inside story -- the personal story, the story that is not published
Greg knows the inside story on the Lawson murders. He's married to Marcia Lawson.

T31. the inside track -- the last word Internet link the inside track

the inside track -- being close to the person who has power, Bob's your uncle
If your uncle works at Sears, you should have the inside track on the new job in Men's Wear.

the jig's up -- we know what you do, we know your secret
The jig's up, ladies. We know why you buy those vibrators.

the john -- the toilet, the biffy, the can
Where's the john? I have to wash my hands.

the joke is on you -- you are the one we are laughing at, play a joke
You got the book with blank pages. The joke's on you!

the key to success -- the most important factor, best way to succeed
He said the key to success in business is customer service.

the knock against -- his worst fault, his main problem
Phil is a great teacher. The only knock against him is his temper.

the lap of luxury -- a lifestyle that includes the finest house etc.
Flo married a rich realtor and now lives in the lap of luxury.

the last of it -- the end of it, no more of it
We've had a week of -40 weather. I hope we've seen the last of it.

the last straw -- one too many problems, the one that ruins it
The break-in was the last straw. We decided to move.

the last word -- the most informed statement, the most knowledge
The last word in media is Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980). His ideas are still quoted, still respected.

T32. the last word -- the long and the short of it Internet Link the last word

the last word -- the last statement in a discussion or argument
"You always want to have the last word, don't you. Well not this time! There!"

the laughing stock -- the person everybody is laughing at
If you ride a camel to work, we'll be the laughing stock of the town.

the lay of the land -- (See get the lay of the land)

the life of Riley -- a good life, a life with choices, the best things in life are free
David quit his job, bought a small farm, and he's living the life of Riley!

the life of the party -- a lively, funny person who causes people to laugh
Jerry was the life of the party - singing, joking and laughing.

the lights are on but nobody's home -- the eyes are open but lifeless, not all there
"Hello! Hello, Pat! His lights are on but nobody's home. Ha ha."

the lion's share -- the largest part, the biggest piece
Thanks to the mothers for doing the lion's share of the work.

the living daylights -- the life, the consciousness
When that dog barked, it scared the living daylights out of me.

the living end -- the very best, the greatest, the most beautiful
Have you heard K.D. Lang sing? She's the livin' end.

the long and the short of it -- everything I know, the whole story
He ended his report with, "That's the long and the short of it."

T33. the long arm of the law -- the middleman Internet Link the long arm of the law

the long arm of the law -- the police, police methods
Thanks to the long arm of the law, a thief's in jail and I have my car.

the loo -- the toilet, the can, the john
I'll see the kitchen later, thanks. Where's the loo?

the Lord helps those who help themselves -- if you work to help yourself God will help you
If you pray, remember, the Lord helps those who help themselves.

the lowdown -- the facts, the real story
Did you get the lowdown on how he died? What really happened?

the luck of the draw -- the chance that your name or number will be chosen
Plan your future. Don't depend on the luck of the draw.

the luck of the Irish -- the good luck of Irish people
When Kerry wins a prize, he says, "Aye, it's the luck of the Irish."

the makings of -- the potential to become, the ability to develop
Look at Debi dance. She has the makings of a ballerina.

the man in the middle -- the person between two enemies
When hockey players fight, the linesman is the man in the middle.

the Man in the Moon -- a myth that the moon is the face of a man
"Who will help me find my dog?" "I know. The Man in the Moon!"

the middleman -- a person who buys from the producer and sells to the merchant
If we can buy from the producer, we can save the money we pay to the middleman.

T34. the moment of truth -- the once-over Internet Link the moment of truth

the moment of truth -- the time when you receive a very important message
The moment of truth has arrived. My grades are in this envelope.

the more the merrier -- if more people come, we will have a better party
Tell everybody the party's at my place - the more the merrier!

the most -- the greatest, the best etc., way cool
You are the most, man. You paint great stuff - like it's real!

the naked eye -- without binoculars or field glasses
We can see Mars with the naked eye. We don't need a telescope.

the nitty-gritty -- very important matters, the crunch
The nitty-gritty of an election is the vote itself - the numbers!

the odd one -- one of a few remaining, few and far between
"Do you ever see any buffalo?" "Oh, the odd one."

the odds-on favorite -- the one who is favored to win, the one to bet on
Orlando was the odds-on favorite but they lost the series.

the old college try -- a good effort, trying hard like a college student
Let's give it the old college try, boys. We can win this boat race!

the old man -- father or husband, my old man
Jenny said, "I'll ask the old man if I can use the car."

the once-over -- (See give it the once-over)

T35. the one that got away -- the pope's nose Internet Link the one that got away

the one that got away -- the fish that got away, the friend you lost
Have I told you about the one that got away? Her name was Lana.

the past is slipping by without a trace -- in order to have a significant past we need to create a significant present; the present is the past and vice versa
If you are dissatisfied with your life, it is because you are a spectator, not a player, and the past is slipping by without a trace!

the Peter Principle -- people are promoted to a job they cannot do well
Our store manager is an example of the Peter Principle. He's hopeless!

the pick of the litter -- the best pup/kitten/cub of the litter, (compare) the runt of the litter
In the Bentley family, Max was the pick of the litter. At least he was the best hockey player.

the picture of health -- looking very healthy, fit as a fiddle
Rick looks very well these days. He's the picture of health.

the pill -- a contraceptive pill, a contraceptive drug
Bev has religious reasons for not taking the pill.

the pit of my stomach -- bottom of my stomach, deep in my belly
From the pit of my stomach came a growling sound. I was hungry.

the pits -- poor quality, not good value
The music was the pits. The violins played badly.

the point of no return -- a time when it is too late to stop or turn back, change horses in...
Our offer to purchase the business has been accepted. We've reached the point of no return.

the pope's nose -- the tail of a roasted chicken
The pope's nose is too greasy. I prefer a piece of breast meat.

T36. the powers that be -- The Rock Internet link the powers that be

the powers that be -- the people in power, the power brokers
I applied for a liquor license, but the powers that be said no.

the price you have to pay -- what you must endure or pay or lose
Loneliness is the price you have to pay for being famous.

the proof of the pudding is in the eating -- do not judge until you test the finished product, do not jump to conclusions
She drew a cartoon of a boy with a plum on his thumb. Then she wrote The proof of the pudding...

the rabbit died -- according to myth, a sign that a woman is pregnant
When Pop heard I was pregnant he said, "So the rabbit died, eh."

the real McCoy -- the real thing, the genuine one
This painting is the real McCoy. It's the original!

the rest is gravy -- the rest is free, the rest of the money is profit
When we get the grain check, we pay our bills, and the rest is gravy!

the rest is history -- the rest of the story is well known; you know the rest; that's all she wrote
Fleury took a pass from Suter, went around a defenceman, and the rest is history.

the right stuff -- effective skills; the right words or actions
Harry is persuasive. He has the right stuff to become a salesman.

the road to hell is paved with good intentions -- good intentions achieve nothing without action, actions speak louder...
Convert your charitable feelings into action! The road to hell is paved with good intentions!

The Rock -- Newfoundland, Canada; (on the east coast)
We know a girl from The Rock. Her name is Sherry Sooley.

T37. The Rock -- the short end of the stick Internet Link The Rock

The Rock -- a Federal prison on Alcatraz, a rocky island in San Francisco Bay
Do you remember Birdman of Alcatraz? Burt Lancaster plays a lifer who escapes from The Rock by swimming across the bay.

The Rock -- a prison on Riker's Island, New York; in the slammer
After Willie left The Rock he vowed to go straight.

the room is so small you have to go outside turn around -- the room is very small; so small you could barely swing a cat
It's not a large apartment. The bathroom is so small I have to go outside to turn around.

the root of the problem -- the cause of the problem, the reason for the problem
Students don't do enough reading - that's the root of the problem.

the runaround -- n indirect answer, pass the buck, what a rigmarole
I complained about the dryer, but they gave me the runaround. They blamed the delivery man.

the runt of the litter -- the smallest and weakest in a group of animal siblings born at the same time
When it comes to mathematics, I am the runt of the litter. My scores on math tests are very low.

the salt of the earth -- common people; honest, hard-working people
The Swensons are plain, decent people - the salt of the earth.

the school of hard knocks -- life's hard lessons, learning from mistakes, roll with the punches
Teachers taught me what I should know; the school of hard knocks taught me what I must know.

the shit hit the fan -- people become angry, somebody starts a fight
It was a good party until Ed started a fight. Then the shit hit the fan!

the short end of the stick -- the worst job, the least pay, dump on
When I work with Ken, I always get the short end of the stick. He gives me the hard jobs.

T38. the sin bin (hockey) -- the tail wagging the dog Internet Link the sin bin (hockey)

the sin bin (hockey) -- the penalty box, cool your heels
For tripping, hooking or holding you get two minutes in the sin bin.

the sky isn't blue -- something is wrong, there is a problem, clouds on the horizon
One look at Jenner's face told me the sky wasn't blue. "What's wrong?" I asked.

the spice of life -- things that make life exciting
Romance - for many people, it's the spice of life!

the spitting image -- one who looks like someone, a dead ringer
Patty is the spitting image of her mother - same face, same hair.

the squeaky wheel gets the grease -- the person who complains loudest gets service
Our clerks put up this sign: The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

the straight dope -- the truth, the facts, get to the point
The cop said, "Gimme the straight dope, Shorty. I haven't got time for your stories today."

the straight goods -- the truth, the facts, straight talk
Gimme the straight goods - the truth, that's all.

the strong, silent type -- a quiet and rugged-looking man
Doris loves men like Jeff - the strong, silent type.

the sweet spot -- the best spot to touch, the spot that feels good
Keep rubbing. When you find my sweet spot, I'll purr like a kitten.

the tail wagging the dog -- minority controlling the majority
If criminals get more rights, the tail will be wagging the dog.

T39. the take -- the underground Internet Link the take

the take -- the cash, the amount of money received
The take from the New Year's dance was over $2000.

the talk of the town -- what everybody is talking about, a hot topic
If a preacher has an affair with a hooker, it's the talk of the town.

the tender age of -- the young age of, still wet behind the ears
He was the tender age of three when his mother died.

the third degree -- careful questioning, on the carpet
If I'm late, I get the third degree. Mom asks me a lot of questions.

the tide turned -- there was a change, the turning point
The tide turned when the baby began to nurse. He grew stronger.

the tip of the iceberg -- a small part of it, about one-tenth of it
This invoice is only part of the debt - the tip of the iceberg.

the tricks of the trade -- skills of an occupation, learn the ropes
I know the printing business. I'll show you the tricks of the trade.

the turn of the century -- the beginning of a new century: the year 2000
By the turn of the century we will know the aliens who visit earth.

the turning point -- the second or minute when things go better or worse, tip the scales
When Tanya hit the ball over the fence - that was the turning point in the game.

the underground -- the hidden actions of those who fight a law or an enemy
Some Canadians fought the GST through the underground.

T40. the upper hand -- the whole shooting match Internet Link the upper hand

the upper hand -- the advantage, get the jump on
Because you have graduated from college, you have the upper hand.

the way I see it -- my view of it, my opinion
The way I see it, men and women aren't equal physically, eh.

the way to a man's heart is through his stomach -- feeding a man good food will cause him to love you, beauty is only skin deep
"Do you believe the way to your heart is through your stomach?" "No, but you are a great cook!"

the way you hold your mouth -- it is a mystery; it could be the shape of your mouth; hold your mouth...
"Why does the lock open for you but not for Joan?" "It's the way I hold my mouth."

the wheels fall off -- it breaks, it fails, fall apart
When the coach is away, our team loses. The wheels fall off!

the whole ball of wax -- all related things, all that jazz, the whole nine yards
Being in love means commitment, sacrifice, patience, understanding - the whole ball of wax.

the whole caboodle -- (See kit and caboodle)

the whole nine yards -- including all the work, doing the whole job, the whole ball of wax
My goals include a degree, career, marriage, children - the whole nine yards.

the whole shebang -- everything, every bit/piece/person
When the cable broke, the whole shebang fell in the river.

the whole shooting match -- everything, every bit/piece/person
Wagon, horses, load - the whole shootin' match disappeared.

T41. the whole works -- there's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip Internet link the whole works

the whole works -- the whole building, all the equipment, everything
The warehouse and stock - the whole works burned in the fire.

the wolf is at the door -- poverty is coming, keep the wolf...
A month after my husband lost his job, the wolf was at the door.

the wolf knocking -- (See the wolf is at the door)

the world is your oyster -- the world is small beside your talent and skill
With imagination - our greatest gift - the world is our oyster.

then and there -- immediately, at that time and place, on the spot
She didn't wait for an explanation. She left him, then and there, and never came back to him.

there are two sides to every story -- two people tell different stories of the same event, compare notes
If you compare Mary's story with Sam's, you'll know there are two sides to every story.

there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so -- nothing is good or bad in and of itself; humans impose their morality on objects, actions and events
Hamlet, the Prince of Denmark, says to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." -- William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2

there you go -- you are correct, there is your example, how about that
"Everything is green - the grass, the trees. There's a green bird!" "Well, there you go."

there's a catch to it -- there is a hidden cost or condition
If we buy the bed, we get a TV? There must be a catch to it.

there's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip -- it is easy to spill what you are drinking; it is easy to make mistakes
On the side of the beer mug were these words: There's many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.

T42. there's more than meets the eye -- there's something fishy Internet Link there's more than meets the eye

there's more than meets the eye -- part of the story has not been told
In a government scandal, there's always more than meets the eye.

there's more than one way to skin a cat -- there are many ways to do it, I know another method
For math problems, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

there's no love lost -- they do not like each other, bad blood, hold a grudge
There's no love lost between Jay and Pete. They've been fighting since they were boys.

there's no tomorrow -- we have to win today; if we lose, we are out; do or die
The Bruins will be eliminated if they lose tonight. There's no tomorrow.

there's no two ways about it -- there is only one answer; cannot have two meanings
We have to get you on that plane. There's no two ways about it.

there's not much to choose between them -- they are nearly equal, it's a toss-up
A Ford or a Mercury - there's not much to choose between them.

there's nothing to it -- it is easy to do, it's a snap
I can solve this math problem. There's nothing to it.

there's nothing to it -- it is not true, it is a lie
I heard that Pearl had left Carlos, but there's nothing to it.

there's one born every minute -- there are lots of people who will believe anything, there are lots of suckers
"Only a sucker would buy this car." "Right, and there's one born every minute."

there's something fishy -- there is something wrong, there is something strange
There's something fishy about a 1970 car with only 5000 km.

T43. there's something rotten in the state of Denmark -- think over Internet Link there's something rotten in the state of Denmark

there's something rotten in the state of Denmark -- something is wrong, something is strange, there's something fishy
Father knew I was tricking him. He said, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."

these parts -- these parts of the country; neck of the woods
In these parts, folks don't like federal politicians.

thick -- (See a little thick)

thick as a brick -- slow to understand, slow to learn
We're all thick as a brick in at least one subject, eh?

thing-a-ma-bob / thing-a-ma-jig -- name for a strange part, what-cha-ma-call-it
If I can get the thing-a-ma-jig in the right hole, this car may start.

things are looking up -- we are feeling positive, life is better
Now that Vic has a job, things are looking up. We feel positive.

think better of it -- change my decision, decide not to do it
We were going to buy a trailer, but we thought better of it.

think nothing of it -- my help was nothing, no problem, not at all
"Thank you for helping us find our lost puppy." "Think nothing of it."

think outside the box -- think in new ways, imagine, big-sky thinking, think tank
Our methods are not working. We need different, innovative ideas - we need to think outside the box.

think over -- think more about, consider
I'm going to think over what you said about keeping the baby.

T44. think straight -- thrash Internet Link think straight

think straight -- think clearly, be rational
I'm so tired I can't think straight. Let me rest; then we can talk.

think tank -- people thinking together, big-sky thinking, brain storm
Our company think tank will solve the problem.

think the world of -- admire greatly, worship the ground...
Samson thinks the world of you. He would do anything for you.

think through -- think in steps, think carefully
Before you go to the manager with an idea, think it through.

think up -- imagine, create
My story is finished. Now I have to think up a title.

third degree -- (See the third degree)

this mortal coil -- the difficulties of life on earth, vale of tears
When your soul departs this mortal coil, will you welcome the transformation, or will you cling to the physical state?

this one is on me -- I will pay for this one (drink, lunch, etc.)
"This one's on me," Mr. Kirby said as he paid for my lunch.

thorn in my side -- (See a thorn in my side)

thrash -- driven hard and fast, used carelessly
That car has been thrashed. Don't buy it.

T45. threads -- throw a curve Internet Link threads

threads -- clothes, glad rags, rags
Hey, Lucy. Nice threads! I love your jacket.

three-bagger -- (See a three-bagger)

three sheets to the wind -- very drunk, plastered, pissed to the gills
The Captain was three sheets to the wind - staggering.

three slices short (of a full loaf) -- mentally disabled, one brick short...
If you order worm soup, they'll think you're three slices short.

through the grapevine -- through gossip, bush telegraph
"How did you know I moved?" "I heard it through the grapevine."

through the mill -- used a lot, nearly worn out, put you through the mill
These jeans have been through the mill. They're ragged.

through the roof -- (See go through the roof)

through the wringer -- experienced a lot of personal problems
Hey, I'm tough. I've been through the wringer a few times.

through thick and thin -- during good and bad times, for better or worse
My dog Pal stays with me through thick and thin. He's a true friend.

throw a curve -- confuse, deceive, surprise
Dad threw a curve at me when he asked if he could borrow $1000.

T46. throw a game -- throw down your arms Internet link throw a game

throw a game -- deliberately lose a game, cause your team to lose, take a dive
They said that Red threw his last game of pool, but I think he's too honest to do that.

throw a kiss -- kiss your hand and wave, blow a kiss
When Madonna threw a kiss to her fans, they cheered.

throw a monkey wrench into the works -- wreck a project, monkeywrenching, piss in the pickles
The report that coffee causes cancer threw a monkey wrench into our plans to import coffee.

throw a party -- invite people to a party, have a party
Connie throws the best parties. Everybody has a great time.

throw a tantrum -- show your bad temper, make a scene
When I refused to buy candy for Reggie, he threw a tantrum.

throw away -- put in the garbage, throw out
I threw away those old magazines. I hope you didn't want them.

throw caution to the wind -- live or act carelessly, not be cautious
Let's throw caution to the wind and buy ten dresses!

throw chunks -- vomit, puke, barf, hurl, woof your cookies
One look at those oysters and she started throwing chunks. Yuk!

throw cold water on -- discourage, cause you to lose interest
Don't be negative. Don't throw cold water on our travel plans.

throw down your arms -- stop fighting or arguing, bury the hatchet
It's time to throw down your arms and forgive him.

T47. throw good money after bad -- throw the book at Internet Link throw good money after bad

throw good money after bad -- spend more on a failure, repair a poor product
If we fix that TV again, we'll be throwing good money after bad.

throw in the towel -- quit fighting, give up
Don't throw in the towel. One more year and you'll graduate.

throw insults -- say rude things, insult someone
When you don't get what you want, you start throwing insults.

throw me for a loop -- confuse me, it phased me out
The question on parliamentary procedure threw me for a loop.

throw on a dog for you -- cook a wiener for you, make a a hotdog for you
Hal was cooking wieners on the barbecue. "Can I throw on a dog for you?" he asked.
     Editor's note: You'll have to know these words to follow this example: "wiener" -- a German sausage to make barbeque; "hot dog" -- a bread roll with a cooked sausage inside it. "Dog" here means "hot dog."

throw out -- put in the garbage, discard, throw away
Do you want these old magazines, or should I throw them out?

throw some light on -- explain, give information, shed a little light on
Martin, can you throw some light on the DNA? Explain it to us?

throw that in -- mention that, suggest that
Don't forget to add the sales tax - just thought I'd throw that in.

throw the baby out with the bath water -- throw away something good with the waste, discard everything
Keep the good subjects when you revise the course. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!

throw the book at -- punish to the maximum, come down hard
Drunk drivers deserve the full penalty. Throw the book at them!

T48. throw up -- tickety-boo Internet Link throw up

throw up -- vomit, puke, barf, ralph, upchuck
The baby will throw up if you bounce him after he's eaten.

throw you -- cause you to forget or stumble
Don't let the large crowd throw you. Focus on your music.

throw you to the dogs -- let you fight alone, let you fight the bad guys
Let us help you. The pimps will throw you to the dogs.

throw your weight around -- use power to scare you, power trip
Bud throws his weight around - tells everybody what to do.

throw yourself at him -- try too hard to impress him, push your love on him
Be a little reserved, not so obvious. Don't throw yourself at him.

thrown in -- added to a list, recipe, etc.; included afterwards
The weather will be cloudy, with a shower or two thrown in.

tick over -- running well, working well, hit on all cylinders
Sandro tuned the motor, and now it's ticking over beautifully.

ticked off -- a little upset, annoyed, teed off
Fred gets ticked off at people who throw butts out the window.

ticketed -- known as, named, labeled
If you do something funny, you'll be ticketed as the team clown.

tickety-boo -- operating well, A-OK
After they gave him insulin, everything was tickety-boo.

T49. tickled pink -- tied to your mother's apron strings Internet Link tickled pink

tickled pink -- happy, very pleased
Aunt Sophia was tickled pink to receive a photo of the family.

tiddly -- neat, tidy, clean and shiny, spiffy
The ship is ready for inspection. Everything is tiddly.

tide me over -- supply me for a few days, provide money until payday, last me
Jane gave me a few dollars to tide me over until I get paid.

tide turned -- (See the tide turned)

tie in -- connect, relate
Can you tell me how lasers tie in? How do lasers apply to surgery?

tie into -- scold, lecture, give you hell [B]
When we were alone, he tied into me. He said I caused the problem.

tie one on -- drink a lot of liquor, become very drunk
At Cayla's wedding, Uncle Ben tied one on. He got really drunk.

tie up -- tie a string or piece of rope around
tie a string or piece of rope around

tie up loose ends -- finish a project, complete the details of some work, finishing touch
"Have you finished the survey?" "Just about. I have to tie up some loose ends and print the report."

tied to your mother's apron strings -- still dependent on mom, needing your mom's help
He has to ask his mother. He's still tied to her apron strings.

T50. tied up -- time and again Internet Link tied up

tied up -- busy, unable to help
I'm tied up right now. I'm busy with a client.

tight-ass [B] -- stingy person; tight fisted
Mason is a tight-ass! He collects rent from his old grandmother.

tight race -- close race, down to the wire
It was a tight race for the mayor's position. Kutz won by ten votes.

tight spot -- uncomfortable position, between a rock and a hard place
At the interview Vic was in a tight spot. They asked him, "Why were you dismissed from three jobs?"

tight/tight fisted -- not generous, unwilling to spend, cheap
People say he's so tight he'd sell a gift and bank the money.

tighten our belts -- not spend as much, be careful with our money
We'll have to tighten our belts when Stan goes on pension.

till hell freezes over -- until the end of time, until the end of the world
You can wait till hell freezes over but they won't pay their bill.

till the cows come home -- for a long time, for days or weeks
A letter from Dave? You'll be waiting till the cows come home!

till you're blue in the face -- until you are very tired, until you look sick
You can train a flea till you're blue in the face, but he won't learn.

time and again -- many times, repeatedly
I've told that boy time and again not to fight, but he won't listen.

T51. time flies when you're having fun -- time to time Internet link time flies when you're having fun

time flies when you're having fun -- time goes quickly when you are playing, how time flies
Ho looked at his watch, yawned and said, "Time flies when you're having fun, eh."

time is money -- time is valuable, time is equal to money
Employers who pay hourly wages know that time is money.

time is of the essence -- it is important to work as quickly as possible, make hay while...
When you're paying $75 an hour for a lawyer's services, time is of the essence.

time off -- days off work, holidays
I've been working too hard. I think I need some time off.

time on your hands -- time to relax or do what you wish, time to kill
If you have time on your hands, read the novel Fifth Business.

time out -- stop for a minute to discuss or plan
We need a time out to look at the map. I think we're lost.

time ran out -- there was no more time allowed for the game etc.
Time ran out before I could complete the exam.

time stands still -- everything seems to slow down or stop moving, slo mo
When the towers went down, time stood still.

time to kill -- time to relax or rest, kill time
We had some time to kill while the car was being repaired.

time to time -- (See from time to time)

T52. time's a wasting -- tip the scales Internet Link time's a wasting

time's a wasting -- we are wasting time, we should be working
Time's a wasting. Let's finish our work and then rest.

time's up -- there is no more time for the test or game etc.
The coach checked his watch and said, "Time's up. Stop running."

times were hard -- it was a time of poverty, hard times
It was 1850. Times were hard in Sweden then.

tin ear -- unmusical ear, unable to appreciate music
With my tin ear, I couldn't say if she was singing flat.

tin Lizzie -- car, old car
You can park your tin Lizzie over there beside the barn.

tip a few -- drink a few beer etc., bend your elbow
Chuck used to tip a few when he was younger. He drank with us.

tip of my tongue -- (See on the tip of my tongue)

tip of the hat -- a compliment, a bit of praise, recognition, here's to
A tip of the hat to Junko for his contribution. Thank you, Junko!

tip of the iceberg -- a small part of it, about one-tenth of it
This invoice is only part of the debt - the tip of the iceberg.

tip the scales -- change or influence a decision, the upper hand
If you speak two languages, it could tip the scales in your favor when you apply for a job.

T53. tip the scales at -- tits up [B] Internet Link tip the scales at

tip the scales at -- cause the scale to go up, weigh in at
Elmer tips the scales at 135 kilos. He's a heavyweight.

tip your hand -- reveal your plan, show your strategy
reveal your plan, show your strategy

tipsy -- a little bit drunk, slightly drunk, buzzed
After her third glass of sherry, Mona was a little tipsy.

tired of -- bored, not interested
I'm tired of that song. I hear it every morning.

tired out -- tired, weary, dog tired
When our visitors left, I was tired out. I slept for hours.

tit for tat -- equal response, an eye for an eye
Gerry hit Ross. Then Ross hit Gerry, and it was tit for tat.

titch -- (See just a titch)

tits and ass (T & A) [B] -- sexual stimuli for men, cheesecake
The men's parties have a lot of T & A - dancing girls.
     Editor's note:  Though the word "tit" has its own regular meaning, it is used here as a vulgar slang. From AHTD:
tit n. 1. Vulgar Slang A woman's breast. 2. A teat. [Middle English from Old English titt]

tits in a wringer -- (See get your tits in a wringer)
     Editor's note:  Though the word "tit" has its own regular meaning, it is used here as a vulgar slang. Look up "tit."

tits up [B] -- dead, not operating, kaput
The tractor's tits up again - the clutch is broken.
     Editor's note:  Though the word "tit" has its own regular meaning, it is used here as a vulgar slang. Look up "tit."

T54. to a fault -- to each his own Internet Link to a fault

to a fault -- doing it too much, go overboard
May gives most of her money to charity. She's generous to a fault.

to a man -- every man or person, not one person disagreed
We asked the team who should be coach. To a man, they chose you.

to a T -- perfectly, accurately, down to a T, to perfection
That guy looks exactly like Liam! It's Liam to a T!

to be perfectly honest -- to tell you the truth, to tell you exactly how I feel, as a matter of fact
"Your cat's up in the tree again." "To be perfectly honest, I don't care. Let him come down alone."

to beat the band -- with lots of energy, like crazy, like mad
Aunt Jemima was making pancakes to beat the band.

to blame -- at fault, guilty
Who's to blame for starting the fire? Who did it?

to boot -- in addition to, plus
We'll trade you the car for the truck and give you $500 to boot.

to coin a phrase -- to create a new phrase, to make up a phrase
To coin a phrase, "Life is just book of idioms!"

to-do -- (See make a big to-do)

to each his own -- we like different things, one man's garbage...
She likes the Rolling Stones, but he likes Mozart - to each his own.

T55. to go -- to top it off Internet Link to go

to go -- remaining, left to do
We've cleaned five rooms. Just one to go.

to go -- to take with you
One large pizza - to go, please.

to heart -- (See take it to heart)

to hell and gone -- a long distance away, far away, all around Robin Hood's barn
"Where do you live?" "To hell and gone across the lake."

to hell with that [B] -- that is not a good idea, no way
"You could plead guilty." "To hell with that!"

to perfection -- perfectly, without a flaw, to a T, to the nth degree
"You can imitate Elvis to perfection!" "Thank you. Thank you very much."

to the best of my knowledge -- I believe this is true, as far as I know
To the best of my knowledge, Barrie and Bonnie are twins.

to the max -- to the greatest amount, groaty to the max
You should see this video. It's grungy to the max!

to the nth degree -- to the very last detail, to the max
If you have an accounting problem, give it to Michael. He analyzes problems to the nth degree.

to top it off -- to complete it, to finish it
To top it off, they presented us with Olympic pins.

T56. toast -- tongue-lashing Internet link toast

toast -- in a lot of trouble, catch hell [B], history
Ferris, if you drive your father's Porsche, you're toast.

toe the line -- do what you are told to do, follow the rules
The Military expects you to toe the line - to do as you are told.

together -- happy, successful; get it together, with it
Cathy is really together. She's knows how she wants to live and she's doing it.

toke up -- smoke marijuana, smoke pot
Does it matter if some of our politicians used to toke up?

token gesture -- (See a token gesture)

ton of bricks -- (See like a ton of bricks)

tone down -- make softer or nicer; not so harsh
"What do you think of the letter?" "I'd tone it down. It's too harsh."

toney neighborhood -- a district that has expensive houses
The Kitigawas bought a large house in a toney neighborhood.

tongue in cheek -- fooling, joking, kidding
Most of what Bob said was tongue in cheek. He was joking.

tongue-lashing -- (See a tongue-lashing)

T57. tons -- too many cooks spoil the broth Internet Link tons

tons -- lots, very much/many, a holy pile
There were tons of people at the wedding - and tons of food!

tonsil hockey -- conversation, a chin wag
They were just standing around playing tonsil hockey so Jimmy walks up and says, "Whatcha doin' girls?"

too bad -- a little bit sad, unfortunate
Too bad Annie won't be home when I visit. I'd like to see her.

too big for his britches -- too proud, cocky, swelled head
I promise not to get too big for my britches if I win the award.

too deep for me -- too complicated, too complex
The DNA theory is too deep for me. I can't understand it.

too far gone -- not able to stop a disease, a goner
Several doctors tried to treat the cancer, but it was too far gone.

too hot to handle -- too dangerous, hot goods, hot stuff
Trine dropped him because he was too hot to handle. He was sexy but scary!

too little too late -- not enough effort or work when it was needed, make hay while...
The Roughriders scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. They lost.

too many chiefs and not enough Indians -- too many directors and not enough workers, too many cooks...
Everybody tried to be the boss. We had too many chiefs and not enough Indians.

too many cooks spoil the broth -- too many managers cause problems, too many chiefs...
The structure failed because it was designed by a group of architects. Too many cooks spoil the broth.

T58. toodles/toodle-oo -- top of the morning Internet Link toodles/toodle-oo

toodles/toodle-oo -- bye, goodbye, ciao, so long
"Toodle-oo," she said, smiling. "I must go now."

tool around -- play, fool around, goof off
The students were tooling around because they had no assignment.

toot your own horn -- brag, talk about your own success
Since Ted won the bowling trophy he's been tooting his own horn.

tooth and nail -- (See fight tooth and nail)

top dog -- boss, leader, head honcho
Kruger is top dog now, but he could lose the next election.

top drawer -- excellent, first class
Amy's report is top drawer. It deserves a high grade.

top it off -- finish it, add the last piece or statement
He topped it off by saying we would get a big bonus this year.

top it up -- fill it to the top, fill it to the mark
Check the oil every week and top it up if necessary.

top notch -- very good quality, first class
Claret Sol is a top notch wine, but it's very dry.

top of the morning -- good morning, have a good morning, the best of the morning
Old Tweedsmuir would say, "Top o' the morning to you," as we walked to school.

T59. top secret -- touch base Internet Link top secret

top secret -- very private information, not public, it's not a state secret
This computer program is top secret. Don't show it to anyone!

top that -- do better than that, improve on that
"Top that!" the farmer said, holding up a six-pound potato.

toss it around -- discuss it, consider it
We like your idea. Can we toss it around for awhile? Discuss it?

toss-up -- (See it's a toss-up)

total stranger -- (See a total stranger)

totally awesome -- excellent, fantastic, far out
The Band was totally awesome! They were excellent!

totem pole -- (See low on the totem pole)

touch a drop -- drink a drop of liquor, have a drink of liquor
Steve was a heavy drinker, but he hasn't touched a drop in years.

touch and go -- between life and death, nip and tuck
I recovered from my heart attack, but it was touch and go for awhile.

touch base -- contact again, keep in touch
Touch base with me in a month or so. Call me about May 10.

T60. touch it with a ten-foot pole -- touchy Internet Link touch it with a ten-foot pole

touch it with a ten-foot pole -- reply, answer, comment on it, beat around the bush
If anyone in your audience asks a question about religion, don't touch it with a ten-foot pole.

touch of -- (See a touch of)

touch off -- start an argument or a fight, set off
His remark about gun control touched off a heated discussion.

touch on -- speak briefly about, mention
Ms. Lee spoke on sales, then touched briefly on service.

touch up -- add details, make small changes
I touched up the painting in a few places. Does it look better?

touch wood -- hoping that our good luck continues
We've never had a flat tire on this car - touch wood.

touch you -- cause you to feel love or sorrow or regret
Did Mom's letter touch you? Do you feel sorry for her?

touched -- (See touched in the head)

touched in the head -- a bit crazy, a bit off, funny in the head
People will think you're touched in the head if you wear that Superman suit to work.

touchy -- sensitive, ready to argue, edgy
Barb is kind of touchy about her weight. Don't comment on it.

T61. tough act to follow -- tough tarts Internet link tough act to follow

tough act to follow -- (See a tough act to follow)

tough bananas -- it is a problem for you, too bad, tough luck
"I had to walk to school!" "Well, tough bananas!"

tough call -- (See a tough call)

tough customer -- a determined person, one who fights hard
Remember John Ferguson? He was one tough customer.

tough going -- (See heavy going)

tough luck -- that is bad luck for you, tough bananas
"I lost $100 betting on Tyson." "Tough luck, guy."

tough on me -- makes me work hard, hard on me
My supervisor is tough on me - never satisfied with my work.

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

tough sledding -- hard work, slow progress, heavy going, rough going
We've had tough sledding on our building projects. Rainy weather has caused a lot of problems.

tough tarts -- (See tough bananas)

T62. tough times -- train of thought Internet Link tough times

tough times -- hard times
When Sue gave birth to twins and Dave lost his job, they lived through tough times.

tough titty -- (See tough luck)

toughen up -- become tougher, grow stronger 
The army will toughen him up. They'll develop his stamina.

tower of strength -- (See a tower of strength)

toy with -- not be serious about me, not take me seriously
I love her, but she's just toying with me - playing with me.

track record -- list of achievements, summary of career work
Lou's track record is excellent. She was top seller last year.

trade insults -- insult each other, say rude things to each other, mudsling
When the two men couldn't agree on the cause of the problem, they began trading insults.

trade secret -- a business secret, a special recipe or formula
I won't tell how Paula makes her pizza. It's a trade secret.

traffic jam -- traffic that is not moving, many vehicles on one road
I was late for class because of a traffic jam. Honest!

train of thought -- (See lose my train of thought)

T63. tranny -- tried and true Internet Link tranny

tranny -- transmission of a car or truck
When you buy a used car, check the condition of the tranny, eh.

trash -- wreck, ruin, ratch
That puppy trashed one of my slippers - chewed it to pieces!

trash the place -- wreck a room or building, a bull in a china shop
If you invite the Casey boys, they'll trash the place.

trendy -- fashionable, at the beginning of a trend
That's a trendy coat she's wearing. I've seen it in fashion magazines.

trial and error -- learn by correcting errors, hit and miss
We learned to make pizza by trial and error. We gradually improved.

trial balloon -- proposed program, planned policy, pilot project
If you want to know public opinion, send up a trial balloon and listen to what they say.

trial run -- doing the steps to see if your procedure is correct, try it out
Let's do a trial run to see if we know how to make espresso coffee.

trickle-down economics -- a system that depends on government spending to help the economy
Private enterprise is better than trickle-down economics because profit motivates people.

tricks of the trade -- (See the tricks of the trade)

tried and true -- tested and proven, reliable, true blue
When Sven chops wood, he uses a Sandvik axe. It's tried and true.

T64. trifle with me -- try that on for size Internet Link trifle with me

trifle with me -- be careless about my feelings, mind games, toy with me
When John forgot that he asked me to go to the dance, I felt he was trifling with me.

true blue -- loyal, faithful
Moe is true blue. We've been good friends for forty years.

true colors -- real beliefs, true values, principles
In the debate on abortion we'll see her true colors - her beliefs.

try it -- try to do it, try your hand at
After I sing the song, you try it. See if you can sing it.

try it on -- wear a garment to see if it fits
If you like that dress, you can try it on in one of our fitting rooms.

try it out -- use it for awhile, test it, test drive
This is our new life-time pen. Would you like to try it out?

try me -- ask me, see what I say; challenge me, find out
"You wouldn't call the police, would you?" "Just try me."

try out -- try to become a member of a team
Let's try out for soccer this year. Let's play on the team.

try that -- try to do that, pull that
When I reached for the phone, the thief said, "Don't try that."

try that on for size -- see if you like that, consider that
This TV has a 48" screen. Try that on for size.

T65. try your darndest -- tune in Internet Link try your darndest

try your darndest -- try very hard, bend over backwards, go the extra mile
I try my darndest to be fair to customers, but some are never satisfied.

try your hand at -- try to do, try it
Would you like to try your hand at washing dishes? It's fun!

try your luck -- see if you can win, you take a chance
They won a prize. Do you want to try your luck?

tub of guts -- fat person, lard butt
Santa? Why, he's just a tub of guts in a red suit!

tube head -- a person who watches TV a lot, couch potato
In the winter he's a tube head - always watching hockey on TV.

tube him -- leave him, drop him
He was a bore so I tubed him.

tubular -- nice, fun, cool
The lounge was totally tubular, a great place to take her friends.

tuckered out -- short of breath, panting, puffing
Timmy was tuckered out after jogging with his father.

tump -- tip, roll, flip
Andy! Slow down, man. You gonna tump over!

tune in -- adjust the tuning knob on a radio or receiver
The announcer said, "Tune in tonight at 8 for our Talk Show."

T66. tune me out -- turn down Internet link tune me out

tune me out -- stop listening to me, not pay attention to me
If you speak in a boring way, students will tune you out.

tune up -- improve the operation, improve performance
After Fred tunes up the Mercedes the motor will run smoother.

tuned in -- able to understand, on the same wavelength
If you're tuned in, you know who I've been talking about.

tunnel vision -- looking straight ahead, not seeing other directions
Our president has tunnel vision. He believes in only one plan.

turf it -- cut it, delete it, throw out
If students don't enrol in the program, we'll have to turf it.

turkey -- fool, dumbo, jerk
You turkey! Why did you put Jello on my pizza?

turn a blind eye -- see a problem but not act, look the other way
The teacher knows that I come in late, but she turns a blind eye.

turn a profit -- profit from, make money
It will be a year before we turn a profit on this new product.

turn about is fair play -- you get what you give, what goes around...
If you give pain you'll feel pain. Turn about is fair play.

turn down -- refuse, not accept
Sal turned me down when I asked her to go to a movie. She refused.

T67. turn in -- turn over a new leaf Internet Link turn in

turn in -- give to the manager, hand in
When you leave our company, please turn in your uniform.

turn in -- go to bed, crash, hit the hay
I'm going to turn in now. I'm very tired.

turn into -- become, change into, convert
If you eat any more hotdogs you'll turn into a wiener!

turn of the century -- (See the turn of the century)

turn-on -- something that excites or arouses you
Her voice was a turn-on for me. She has a sexy voice.

turn on a dime -- turn sharply, turn quickly, do a 180
An Alfa Romeo has excellent steering. It can turn on a dime.

turn on you -- turn against you, change from friend to enemy
If you preach your religion, they may get mad and turn on you.

turn out -- happen, develop, end up
How did your cake turn out? Is it a good recipe?

turn out -- attend, show up
Only 40% of the population turned out to vote.

turn over a new leaf -- begin living by a new set of rules or values
Since Bob stopped drinking he's turned over a new leaf.

T68. turn the air blue -- turn you around Internet Link turn the air blue

turn the air blue -- (See the air was blue)

turn the corner -- achieve part of a goal, progress toward a goal
Lan was very ill, but she's turned the corner. She's recovering.

turn the other cheek -- accept hurt twice, not fight back
He is a passive man. He will turn the other cheek instead of fight.

turn the other way -- look away or ignore, look the other way
When I come in late, he turns the other way. He tries not to notice.

turn the tables on -- begin to defeat the person who was defeating you, mount a comeback
When I learned how to return his serve, I turned the tables on him and won the set.

turn ugly -- become uncivilized, begin fighting
When Buddy insulted Ted's wife, things turned ugly.

turn up -- attend a meeting, show up
Only fifteen people turned up at the Block Parents' meeting.

turn up -- be found, be seen
We can't find the ring now, but I'm sure it will turn up soon.

turn up your nose at -- say it is not good enough, reject it
If you turn up your nose at country music, you may lose some friends.

turn you around -- help you begin a new life, turn over a new leaf
His new friends helped to turn him around. He's much nicer now.

T69. turn you on -- twerp Internet Link turn you on

turn you on -- arouse you, cause you to feel excited
"What turns you on?" "Good books and nice girls."

turn your back on -- turn away from, reject, turncoat
When he became president, he turned his back on his friends.

turn your crank -- interest you, inspire you
Classical music turns his crank. He likes the great symphonies.

turn your stomach -- make you feel sick, cause you to feel ill
Watching you eat those oysters turns my stomach. Yuk!

turn yourself in -- walk into a police station to tell them what you did, own up
If you tell your counselor about the shooting, he'll advise you to turn yourself in.

turncoat -- one who goes to work/fight/play for the opposing side, traitor
That turncoat! He went to work for the competition - Sears.

turning point -- (See the turning point)

turnout -- the number of people, the size of the group
There was a good turnout at the Writers' Club today: 20 people.

tweak -- increase the power, hop up, supercharge
If we tweak the engine in this old Cortina, we'll have a sports car.

twerp -- small child or person, knee high to a grass...
Ricky is just a twerp. He can ride on Grandpa's knee.

T70. twig to that -- two bits Internet Link twig to that

twig to that -- think of that, realize that
His uncle Ralph is the Premier! I just twigged to that.

twiggy -- slim person, as slim as a twig on a branch
Kim is a gymnast. She's slim and agile - a real twiggy.

twilight years -- senior years, over 70, golden years
Grandma wants to keep her own home during her twilight years.

twinkle toes -- a dancer, a person who dances with great skill
I saw you dance at the Junior Ballet concert. You're a real twinkle toes!

twist my arm -- persuade me, convince me
I really don't like pie, but if you twist my arm, I'll have a piece.

twist of fate -- the way fate works, the way things happen
Then, by a twist of fate, a plane flew over and the pilot saw us.

twist your words -- change the meaning of what you say, put a different slant...
When she gave her testimony in court, the lawyer tried to twist her words to mean something else.

twit -- fool, an airhead, dipstick
What a twit! He thinks a busboy is a kid who rides the bus!

two abreast -- two people standing or walking side by side
The children were walking two abreast on the way home.

two bits -- 25, twenty-five cents, a quarter
Can you lend me two bits? I have to phone home.

T71. two cents' worth -- typo Internet link two cents' worth

two cents' worth -- opinion, comment, chime in
Want to hear my two cents' worth? Want my opinion?

two-fisted attack -- strong verbal attack, much argument, fight tooth and nail
If you protect the wolves, you can expect a two-fisted attack from the ranchers.

two for one -- two products for the price of one
Want a milk shake? We can buy two for one at Toy's Ice Cream.

two heads are better than one -- listen to more than one opinion
"Let's ask Alice first. Two heads are better than one."

two left feet -- awkwardness, poor coordination
When it comes to dancing, I have two left feet. I stumble a lot.

two pee holes in the snow -- small holes, tiny holes
He looks very tired. His eyes are like two pee holes in the snow.

two sides to every story -- (See there are two sides to every story)

two's company, three's a crowd -- two people are happier than three, the third person is not welcome
Jill asked, "Can I invite Ginger?" Jack replied, "Two's company, three's a crowd."

typo -- error in typing, nitpick
The interviewer said my letter of application has a few typos.

End of TIL page