Update: 2012-11-28 03:06 AM +0630


TIL English Idiom Collection


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

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wack wacko wacky wait a minute wait a sec wait around wait for the other shoe to drop wait on customers wait on tables wait on you hand and foot wait up wait up for wait with bated breath wake up wake up and smell the coffee wake-up call wake up on the wrong side of bed wake with a start walk



From Magnuson
-- wait on you hand and foot Internet link wack

wack -- hip-hop slang word meaning bad
That book is wack. I can't understand it.

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From Magnuson
wacko --
crazy, bonkers, spinny
If I eat worms, will people think I'm wacko?

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From Magnuson
wacky --
silly, foolish, kooky, nutty as a fruit cake
Lucy sometimes does wacky things - like, one time she sent ice cream in the mail.

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wait a minute

From Magnuson
wait a minute --
pause for a short time, think about this, hold it
Wait a minute. Before we visit Doris, let's phone her.

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wait a sec

From Magnuson
wait a sec --
wait for a second, wait up
Wait a sec, Mag. I'll be right there.

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wait around

From Magnuson
wait around --
wait to see what will happen, hang around
Let's wait around and see if the bird returns to its nest.

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wait for the other shoe to drop

From Magnuson
wait for the other shoe to drop --
wait for the final step, wait for the conclusion, leave me hanging
He said he'd make two changes. First, he resigned. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.

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wait on customers

From Magnuson
wait on customers --
serve customers in a restaurant or store
Please wait on the customers in the lounge. Take their orders.

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wait on tables

From Magnuson
wait on tables --
(See wait on customers)

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wait on you hand and foot

From Magnuson
wait on you hand and foot --
serve you, bring everything you want, suck up to
Anna says she's tired of waiting on you hand and foot. She won't be your slave anymore.

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wait up

From Magnuson
wait up
-- walk Internet link wait up

wait up -- wait for me, wait until I catch up
Danny, wait up. I want to talk to you.

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wait up for

From Magnuson
wait up for --
not go to bed until the kids come home at night
Mom always waits up for us when we go to a party.

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wait with bated breath

From Magnuson
wait with bated breath --
wait with suspense, want to know what happens
We waited with bated breath for news of the fallen climber.

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wake up

From Magnuson
wake up --
awaken, rouse from sleep
On Saturday I usually wake up around noon. I sleep in.

From Magnuson
wake up --
be alert, stop daydreaming
Wake up, Walter. It's your turn to deal the cards.

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wake up and smell the coffee

From Magnuson
wake up and smell the coffee --
be more aware, get with it
You don't know about the Net? Wake up and smell the coffee!

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wake-up call

From Magnuson
wake-up call --
(See a wake-up call)

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wake up on the wrong side of bed

From Magnuson
wake up on the wrong side of bed --
(See get up on the wrong side of bed)

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wake with a start

From Magnuson
wake with a start --
wake suddenly, jump out of bed
I woke with a start when Santa Claus landed on our roof.

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From Magnuson
walk --
not have to pay a fine or go to jail, get off
They couldn't prove that Don was guilty, so he walked.

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W03. walk a straight line -- wall flower Internet link walk a straight line

walk a straight line -- walk without staggering, show that you are sober
If you can't walk a straight line, don't drive a vehicle.

walk down -- walk along, walk on
We walked down the road to the lake. It was a nice day for a walk.

walk of life -- lifestyle, occupation, vocation
People from all walks of life eat at Fabio's Restaurants.

walk on eggshells -- be very careful, on tenterhooks, watch your step
Your son is so afraid of making a mistake he's walking on eggshells.

walk on eggshells -- be very careful, on tenterhooks, watch your step
Your son is so afraid of making a mistake he's walking on eggshells.

walk the plank -- be forced to jump overboard or be killed, be forced to leave or quit
If you get caught stealing from the company, you'll have to walk the plank.

walk the talk -- do what you talk about doing, practice what you preach
If we advise people to recycle, we should recycle. We have to walk the talk.

walk through -- read or perform slowly, practice slowly
At our first rehearsal we walked through the first act of the play.

walk-through -- inspect the house you are buying just before you become the owner
The day before we moved into our new home, we did a walk-through with the real estate agent.

walk up -- walk along, walk on, walk in
They walked up and down the hall, waiting for the doctor.

wall flower -- a girl who is not invited to dance, no shrinking violet
I won't go to the party because I feel like a wall flower when the boys don't ask me to dance.

W04. want a piece of me -- wash it off Internet link want a piece of me

want a piece of me -- want to hurt me, want revenge, have at me
I wrote a letter to the local paper criticizing the hockey team. Now everybody wants a piece of me.

want it so bad I can taste it -- want it very much, die for
I want that trophy. I want it so bad I can taste it.

want to make something of it -- do you want to argue or fight about it?
Yes, I did kiss Millie Watkins. Wanna make something of it?

warm up -- begin to exercise, exercise slowly
To warm up, she walks about a kilometer; then she jogs.

warmed over -- warmed on a stove, reheated
For supper we had warmed-over waffles. They tasted okay.

warped sense of humor -- thinking that weird things are funny
If you laugh at cruelty, you have a warped sense of humor.

wash -- (See a wash)

wash down -- wash by letting water run down, hose it down
If the kids play in the bathroom I'll have to wash down the walls.

wash it down -- drink to help you swallow, drink after eating
Have a donut - and some coffee to wash it down.

wash it off -- spray water to clean it, hose it off
If you spill latex paint, you can wash it off with water.

W05. wash out -- wasted Internet link wash out

wash out -- become clean, clean up
"Will this stain wash out?" "Yes, if you use bleach."

wash-out -- (See a wash-out)

wash your hands of it -- not be involved anymore, withdraw from a project
If you don't believe in the union, wash your hands of it.

washed up -- ruined, unable to continue in business
I can't believe Max is washed up. He was a successful businessman.

wasn't born yesterday -- wise from experience, been around
Pat can survive in the workplace. She wasn't born yesterday.

WASP -- White Anglo-Saxon Protestant
Don's a WASP and I'm a WASP, but we have different beliefs.

waste no time -- hurry to do it, do not delay
After the meeting, I left. I wasted no time leaving that dirty city.

waste not, want not -- if you do not waste, you will not be needy
Melinda's motto is Waste Not, Want Not. She's very efficient.

wasted -- drugged, natural high, stoned
He acts weird when he's wasted. Drugs do strange things to him.

wasted -- badly injured, bruised, beat up
Tom was wasted by the C-Train Gang. He's in the hospital.

W06. watch me like a hawk -- watch your step Internet link watch me like a hawk

watch me like a hawk -- watch me carefully, on my case, watch your every move
I couldn't do anything. The teacher was watching me like a hawk!

watch out -- be careful, look out
Watch out! There's a truck!

watch out for -- watch and care for, keep an eye on
Jamie, you watch out for Cathy. Hold her hand at the crosswalk.

watch over -- care for, protect, look after
"Who watches over you, Kari?" "My Guardian Angel, that's who."

watch over like a mother hawk -- watch carefully and protect, keep an eye on
She's a good babysitter. She watches over Katia like a mother hawk!

watch your every move -- watch to see if you do something wrong, watch me like a hawk
If the police think you are a suspect, they watch your every move.

watch your language -- do not swear, do not use crude language
Watch your language. There are children in the room.

watch your P's and Q's -- be polite, mind your manners
At the banquet, remember your manners. Watch your P's and Q's.

watch your step -- watch where you step, be careful
Watch your step, Grandfather. The sidewalk is icy.

watch your step -- stay out of trouble, keep your nose clean
The referee told me not to fight. "Watch your step," he said.

W07. water-cooler talk -- way out of line (away out of line) Internet link water-cooler talk

water-cooler talk -- office news, gossip
I believe water-cooler talk - unless it's about me.

water down -- add water to make it weaker, dilute
The cherry drink is too strong. It should be watered down.

water under the bridge -- the past, history
That failure is water under the bridge. Let's not live in the past.

watering hole -- bar, pub, licensed premises
The St. Louis Hotel is Ralph's favorite watering hole.

watershed mark -- (See mark a watershed)

wax eloquent -- speak beautifully, make a speech using nice words
When we talk about art, Uncle Jonas begins to wax eloquent.

wax poetic -- become poetic, begin to recite poems
Whenever you read the Psalms, Andy begins to wax poetic.

way cool -- very nice, very cool
His voice is way cool, eh. I love listening to him.

way out (away out) -- not close to the answer, wrong by a large amount
Your guess was way out. My age is 49, not 41.

way out of line (away out of line) -- very inappropriate, not acceptable
When the teacher hit you, he was way out of line.

W08. way to go -- weasel word Internet link way to go

way to go -- good work, good for you, good going
When Kelly scores a goal, we yell, "Way to go, man!"

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

weak-kneed -- not strong in character, lacking will power
Marvin yields to temptation, but I wouldn't say he's weak-kneed.

wear down -- become dull or weak, use until worn
Confinement in a prison began to wear down his spirit.

wear off -- not have as much effect, not affect as much
The effects of the drug began to wear off, and the pain returned.

wear out -- use until thin or full of holes, shabby
If you wear out your gloves, we'll provide a new pair.

wear out your welcome -- stay or visit too long, not be welcome anymore
If we stay more than three days, we'll wear out our welcome.

wear the pants -- make the decisions, control everything
Betty wears the pants in the Cheong family. She's the boss.

wear your heart on your sleeve -- show your emotions, reveal your true feelings
If you wear your heart on your sleeve, he'll know you love him.

weasel word -- vague or ambiguous word (used intentionally)
Show that contract to your lawyer. She can find the weasel words.

W09. weather the storm -- well to do Internet link weather the storm

weather the storm -- survive a crisis, live through tough times
Pat lost his job and I had surgery, but we weathered the storm.

weed out -- remove, delete, get rid of, turf it
We have to weed out the courses that people don't need, such as Caring For Your Polar Bear.

weigh in at -- measure the weight of a person, tip the scales
Teddy weighed in at one hundred kilograms. He's a heavy man.

weirdo -- strange person, pervert, creep
This weirdo started following us around the park. It was scary!

wekabi -- personal evil spirit, personal devil
His wekabi told him to steal the statue of the Ethiopian ruler.

well heeled -- wealthy, rich, well off
The Clarks were well heeled, wealthy enough to hire servants.

well hung [B] -- having a large penis and testicles
That stallion is well hung. He's very well equipped.

well off -- wealthy, well to do
Ken's family is fairly well off. They can afford a few luxuries.

well taken -- true, significant
Your statement is well taken. The Canadian family has changed.

well to do -- wealthy, rich, loaded
Many well-to-do families send their children to private schools.

W10. went through the roof -- whale of a game Internet link went through the roof

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

went to bat for -- (See go to bat for)

went under -- (See go under)

went wild -- (See go wild)

wet behind the ears -- (See still wet behind the ears)

wet the bed -- urinate while in bed, urinate during sleep
Some kids wet the bed because they have emotional problems.

wet your whistle -- have a drink, quench your thirst
If you're thirsty, have some apple cider to wet your whistle.

whack -- a lot, a bunch, tons
A million quid? That's a whack o' money, my friend.

whack off [B] -- (See jerk off)

whale of a game -- (See a whale of a game)

W11. what a brain -- what if Internet link what a brain

what a brain -- what an intelligent person, what a bright girl
What a brain! She got 98% on her math test.

what a dish -- what a beautiful girl, cute chick
Wynona Rider - what a dish!

what a rigmarole -- what a process, what a a hassle
To get a refund, I had to answer 50 questions. What a rigmarole!

what a rush -- what a thrill, what a great feeling
After riding in Paul's Corvette, Rita said, "What a rush!"

what came over me -- what happened to me, what caused me to change
I couldn't remember my name. I don't know what came over me.

what-cha-ma-call-it -- what do you call it, thing-a-ma-jig
To finish the job, I need a what-cha-ma-call-it. A trowel!

what did I do to deserve this -- why am I being punished? no rest for the wicked
Working in the sewers, I thought, "What did I do to deserve this?"

what gives -- what is happening, what's going on
Jerry walks in and says, "What gives? Where is everybody?"

what goes around comes around -- you get what you give; our actions are passed on until they return to us
Wise folks have learned that you eventually get what you give - what goes around comes around.

what if -- (See what-if)

W12. what-if -- what the Sam Hill Internet link what-if

what-if -- plan, theory, hypothesis
We did a what-if on the computer to see when the world will die from pollution.

what in tarnation -- what is this? what the hell [B]
What in tarnation? Where did you get that dinosaur?

what in the name of heaven -- what is that? what's going on
You built a gazebo? What in the name of heaven is that?

what in the world -- what is happening, what is it?
What in the world is that? It looks like a space ship!

what it boils down to -- what it really means, the bottom line
What it boils down to is this: we don't have enough money.

what the dickens -- where did it go? how do you explain it?
What the dickens did you do to your hair? Who cut it off?

what the hay -- who cares? why worry?
The hood blew off my car, but what the hay - who needs a hood?

what the heck -- why bother? it does not matter
Bing and Ko are getting married. What the heck! I don't care.

what the hell [B] -- why? how? what the heck
What the hell is he doing with my diary? Where did he get it?

what the Sam Hill -- what happened, what is it?
What the Sam Hill did you do to my bike? The gears won't shift.

W13. what was I thinking of -- what's in it for me Internet link what was I thinking of

what was I thinking of -- why did I do that? I wish I had not done that
I got my head shaved! What was I thinking of!

what you don't know won't hurt you -- if you do not know about a problem, you do not worry
Don't tell Dad I'm gay. What he doesn't know won't hurt him.

whatever floats your boat -- (See float your boat)

what's cooking -- what is happening, what's going down
What's cooking with the kids? They're too quiet.

what's eating you -- what is bothering you? are you upset?
What's eating you, Darryl? You look kind of mad.

what's going down -- what is happening, what is going to happen, down the pike
The students want to know what's going down - where the teacher went.

what's going on -- what is happening, down the pike, what's going down
I want to know what's going on. Who wrote this note?

what's good for the goose is good for the gander -- rules that apply to the wife also apply to the husband, tit for tat
If you need a holiday, so do I! What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

what's-his-face -- what is his name, I cannot remember his name
Nobody can park here, not even old what's-his-face - the judge.

what's in it for me -- what will I receive? how will I benefit?
Before I give you the information, what's in it for me. Do I get paid?

W14. what's new -- wheels Internet link what's new

what's new -- what is new in your life? what is happening
"Hi, Pearl. What's new?" "Lots. I have a baby!"

what's the big idea -- why are you doing that? who said you could do that?
What's the big idea? Who said you could chop down that tree?

what's the poop -- what is the news? what did you hear? what's going down
When Holly wants to know what happened, she says, "Well, what's the poop?"

what's up -- what is happening what is the latest news?
Bugs Bunny says to Elmer Fudd, "A bee 'n a bee! What's up, Doc?"

what's what -- what is the truth, what are the facts, the straight goods
I want to know what's what before I go to court. I want to know what happened.

what's your beef -- what is your complaint? why are you upset?
What's your beef, Mark? I can see that you're upset.

what's your poison -- what do you like to drink? which liquor do you like?
Come over to the bar and I'll buy you a drink. What's your poison?

wheatbelt -- wheat-producing area, breadbasket
Farmers in the wheatbelt pray for rain for their crops.

wheeler-dealer -- a person who is good at making sales and deals, a wheeler-dealer
Cliff is a wheeler-dealer in the energy industry. He brings buyers and sellers together.

wheels -- vehicle (car, truck etc.), set of wheels
Jeff, can I borrow your wheels? My sister needs a ride to the mall.

W15. wheels fall off -- where angels fear to tread Internet link wheels fall off

wheels fall off -- (See the wheels fall off)

when in Rome, do as the Romans do -- when you are a visitor do the same things as your hosts do
When I visit an Asian country, I learn the customs, and do as the "Romans" do.

when it comes to -- when this is the topic, when we talk about this
When it comes to cars, I like GM. I would buy a Chev or a Pontiac.

when it rains it pours -- when it comes we get too much, feast or famine
"Tonight we don't have enough chairs for everybody." "When it rains it pours!"

when push comes to shove -- when people fight, when the fighting begins, when the going gets tough
The workers are demanding a fair wage. When push comes to shove, we may have to call the police.

when the chips are down -- when the right decision must be made, when you must win
When the chips are down - when we are losing - we play better. We need to be challenged.

when the crunch comes -- when there is less money, when the economy fails
When the crunch comes, we'll have our mortgage paid off!

when the dust settles -- when the fight is finished, when it is calm again, when the lights go on
Abortion is a serious issue, but when the dust settles, women will be able to choose.

when the going gets tough -- when there are problems, when progress is difficult
When the going gets tough, we need people with a good attitude.

where angels fear to tread -- where even the angels fear to go, where danger is
They were using a ouija board - going where angels fear to tread!

W16. where do they get off -- white elephant Internet link where do they get off

where do they get off -- where do they get the right? how come?
Where do they get off telling me to slow down? Who asked them?

where it's at -- where important things are happening, where the action is
China - that's where it's at today. Their society is changing; their economy is growing.

where the rubber hits the road -- where the theory is tested, when the action begins; the nitty-gritty
In the workplace, you apply what you've learned - that's where the rubber hits the road.

where there's a will, there's a way -- when we are determined we find a way to succeed, when the going gets tough
The manager of the charity held up this sign: WHERE THERE'S A WILL, THERE'S A WAY!

where's the loo -- where is the bathroom? where is the can?
When Bev is looking for a bathroom she says, "Where's the loo?"

whet your appetite -- improve your appetite, cause you to be hungry
How about an aphrodisiac to whet your appetite?

whew -- expression of relief after escaping danger, thank goodness
Whew! That was close! I nearly lost my false teeth!

whip you -- defeat you, beat you in a game, wipe you
Jason says he can whip you in a game of tennis. Can he beat you?

whip you into shape -- help you become fit, improve your fitness
These aerobic exercises will whip you into shape.

white elephant -- a purchase that was not used, a useless object
Should we take the statue of Stalin to the White Elephant Sale?

W17. white knuckles -- whup you Internet link white knuckles

white knuckles -- a tense feeling, acute worry
Driving through fog is scary - it's white knuckles all the way.

white lie -- a small lie, a fib
"You said you were 39, not 40." "Yes. I told a white lie."

whiz -- urinate, pee, piss,[B] have to go, take a leak [B]
A few minutes after the concert began, my daughter whispered, "Mommy, I have to whiz."

who cares -- does anyone care, does it matter, so what
"So my car pollutes the air - who cares?" "I do. I care."

who do you think you are -- do you think you are famous? do you think you are a superstar?
You said Hi Dubbya to President Bush! Who do you think you are!

whole hog -- every effort, all your energy, gung ho
When I play racquetball, I work hard. I go whole hog.

whole shebang -- (See the whole shebang)

whole shooting match -- (See the whole shooting match)

whore blossom -- pimple, cold sore, zit
Every time I eat shortbread, I get whore blossoms on my chin.

whup you -- defeat you in a fight or game
Ali said, "I can whup you with one arm tied behind my back!"

W18. whup your ass -- willy-nilly Internet link whup your ass

whup your ass -- defeat you badly, win decisively, wipe you
On the chessboard you can defeat Gilles, but on the racetrack he'll whup your ass!

why in the name of... -- why, why in the world
I want to know why in the name of heaven she bought that gun.

why in the world -- why, why is it? for the life of me
Why in the world would anyone want to live in the desert?

wicked -- exciting, terrific, cool
"Wicked!" Dawn said when she saw my haircut. "It looks great."

wide awake -- fully awake, alert
After the bear stuck his head in our tent, I was wide awake.

wild -- exciting, awesome, rad
"Do you like my new shirt?" "Ya, man. It's wild."

wild about -- like a lot, crazy about, mad about
I'm just wild about Harry, but he doesn't care about me.

wild and woolly -- uncivilized, like an animal
When cowboys are on the range, they become wild and woolly.

wild goose chase -- (See a wild goose chase)

willy-nilly -- whether you want it or not, without choice
I continue to receive junk mail - willy-nilly - like it or not!

W19. wimp -- winded Internet link wimp

wimp -- weak person, chicken
Tiny Tim is not a wimp, but he looks thin and weak.

wimpy -- weak, lacking courage, like a wimp
Sean acts kind of wimpy, but he's a strong, decisive leader.

win big -- win a big prize, win a lot of money
You can win big with Lotto 649. You can win millions!

win by a nose -- barely win, win by one point or part of a second
In the final race, we won by a nose. Our boat was just in front.

win going away -- win by going ahead near the end of a race or game
Scoring four goals in the third period, the Leafs won going away.

win the hearts -- win the approval, cause people to like you
Elvis won the hearts of the crowd when he sang Love Me Tender.

wind up -- conclude, finish, end up
What time will the meeting wind up? When should I pick you up?

wind up -- see this result, see that ending, end up
If you are a strong leader, you could wind up as our president.

windbag -- a person who talks a lot, a person who brags
Kerry is bragging about Ireland again. What a windbag!

winded -- (See out of breath)

W20. window of opportunity -- wino Internet link window of opportunity

window of opportunity -- (See a window of opportunity)

window on the world -- the place where you can see the world
For some people, TV is their only window on the world.

wing it -- improvise, change your plans, play it by ear
If I am asked strange questions at an interview, I wing it. I give the best answers I can think of.

wingding -- wild party, bash
We went to Happy Harry's wingding. It was a great party.

wingnut -- a person who acts crazy, a nut
Jerry, you wingnut! How did you get that horse in the elevator?

wingy -- wild, crazy, wacko
Leon drove his car into the lake again. That guy is really wingy!

winner take all -- the winner of the game gets all the money
Bert said, "Let's play one more game of poker, winner take all."

winning isn't everything; it's the only thing -- winning is the only thing that matters, get it straight
It was Vince Lombardi, a football coach, who said, "Winning isn't everything - it's the only thing."

winning streak -- winning game after game, make a clean sweep
The Expos have won nine games - their longest winning streak.

wino -- an alcoholic, a drunk, in the tank
See that wino over there. He used to be the president of GASCO.

W21. wipe out -- with bated breath Internet link wipe out

wipe out -- lose control of a car/bike so that it spins or rolls
Larry wiped out on the last corner. His car is in the ditch.

wipe that smile off your face -- stop smiling, do not smile, cut it out
Rick, tell Peter you're sorry and give him a big kiss. Gail, wipe that smile off your face.

wipe you -- defeat you by many points, blow you away
Tran has won every spelling contest. She'll wipe you.

wired -- very excited, pumped
Jay didn't sleep last night. She's really wired for her exam today.

wired for sound -- ready to operate, prepared for use
"Is the hall decorated and ready?" "Yep. It's wired for sound."

wise to us -- know what we are doing, onto us
Your husband knows you're seeing me. He's wise to us.

wishful thinking -- believing it is true because you wish it was true
Roy says that he is going to marry Dawn, but it's wishful thinking.

wishy-washy -- not able to decide, saying yes and no
I like you because you're decisive, because you're not wishy-washy.

with all my heart -- with all my feeling
I love Canada with all my heart.

with bated breath -- with worry and tension, with suspense, leave me hanging
With bated breath, they waited for news of the men who were trapped in the mine.

W22. with bells on -- without a stitch of clothes on Internet link with bells on

with bells on -- happy to come, ready to have fun
I'd love to come to your wedding. I'll be there with bells on!

with his tail between his legs -- running away in fear, retreating like a coward, run for the hills
When he saw the bear, he turned around and ran with his tail between his legs.

with it -- informed, sophisticated, cool, in the know
In the fashion world, Brad's really with it. He knows fashion.

with the naked eye -- without binoculars or a telescope
The comet cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is too small.

with wings -- to take out, to take with you, to go
"Can I take your order?" "I'll have a Big Mac, a large fries and a Coke - with wings."

within earshot -- close enough to hear, under my breath
Lil was within earshot of the radio during the newscast. She heard it.

without a doubt -- for sure, without question
Without a doubt, Toyota has the best record. It's the most reliable.

without a full deck -- mentally unbalanced, one brick short...
At times he acts strange - like he's playing without a full deck.

without a hitch -- without a problem, smooth sailing
Except for one flat tire, the trip went without a hitch.

without a stitch of clothes on -- nude, naked as a jay bird, stark naked
She stood there, ankle deep in water, without a stitch of clothes on.

W23. without a word of a lie -- won't tell a soul Internet link without a word of a lie

without a word of a lie -- without any lies, the gospel truth
Without a word of a lie, that fish was five feet long.

without batting an eye -- without pausing, looking calm and natural
Without batting an eye, she gave him a false name and address.

without question -- certain, no doubt
Lee sang best, without question. She has an excellent voice.

without turning a hair -- without a sign of fear or stress, cool, without batting an eye
Without turning a hair, Adriana told them she was Madonna's manager!

wolf down -- eat quickly, inhale
The boys wolfed down their lunch and ran out to play soccer.

wolf in sheep's clothing -- (See a wolf in sheep's clothing)

wonder of wonders -- amazingly, surprisingly, lo and behold
Wonder of wonders, you're on time! It's a miracle!

wonky -- dizzy, confused, woozy
After falling off the horse, Pedro was feeling a little wonky.

won't see you stuck -- will help if necessary, will not refuse firmly, leave the door open
"Will you judge our pie contest?" "I'd rather not do it, but I won't see you stuck."

won't tell a soul -- will not tell anyone, keep it to yourself
You can tell me your secret. I won't tell a soul.

W24. woof your cookies -- work Internet link woof your cookies

woof your cookies -- vomit, puke, barf, hork
If you eat bananas, anchovies and cheese, you'll woof your cookies.

woozy -- feeling a little bit sick in your stomach, wonky
I've had the flu and my stomach is still a bit woozy.

word for word -- quoted exactly, verbatim
He repeated her message word for word - exactly as she had said it.

word is good -- you can believe it, you can count on it
Arturo's word is good. You can believe what he says.

word is out -- I have heard, people are saying, rumor has it
Word is out that you're moving to Denver. Is it true?

word of honor -- solemn promise, take oath
He gave me his word of honor that he will pay me on Friday.

word of mouth -- (See by word of mouth)

word to the wise -- (See a word to the wise)

wordsmith -- (See a wordsmith)

work -- is right, is fine, is appropriate
Plaintive - that's the right word! It works!

W25. work cut out for -- work the room Internet link work cut out for

work cut out for -- a lot of work to do, difficult tasks to do, a hard row to hoe
If you want to be a chartered accountant, you have your work cut out for you.

work ethic -- belief that you must work; that work is good for you
Do you believe that Canadians have a strong work ethic?

work it out -- solve it, try to agree
My teacher and I disagree about my grade, but we can work it out.

work my buns off -- work hard every day, work your ass off [B]
I work my buns off while he sits around and makes phone calls!

work my fingers to the bone -- work so hard that I become thin and weak
I worked my fingers to the bone to help my kids get an education.

work of art -- beautiful painting or carving etc.
Every rug she weaves is a work of art.

work off -- exercise to reduce stress or emotion or fat
Cycling is a good way to work off stress.

work out -- succeed, go as planned, pan out
Did the recipe work out? Did the cake taste good?

work out -- exercise to become fit or to prepare for competition, workout
Come down to my exercise room. I'll show you where I work out.

work the room -- move around the room trying to meet people who can help you in your career or business, shmooze
We watched Tony work the room - glass in hand, smiling and chatting with anybody who might become a client or an ally.

W26. work things out -- world beater Internet link work things out

work things out -- discuss a problem and find a solution, work it out
Maria and Paulo had a fight, but they worked things out.

work to rule -- do only as much work as you have to do, draw the line
The teachers are working to rule because they are not satisfied with their salaries.

work up a sweat -- work or exercise hard, perspire, break a sweat
When I skip, it takes me ten minutes to work up a sweat.

work up a thirst -- become thirsty, work or play until you are thirsty
Digging trenches at midday, the men soon worked up a thirst.

work your ass off [B] -- work very hard, work my buns off
Why do you work your ass off for such a small salary?

work your buns off -- work hard, work steadily
If you work your buns off, you can learn these idioms!

workaholic -- one who loves to work; who is addicted to work
Gary is a workaholic. He even works on weekends!

worked up -- excited, upset
Now, Dad. Don't get worked up about the war. Don't get upset.

workout -- exercising, practicing a sport, weight training, work out
I feel good after a workout - after jogging or swimming.

world beater -- a person who tries to be the best in the world, set the world on fire
My coach said, "You don't have to be a world beater. Just be the best you can be."

W27. world is your oyster -- worth their weight in gold Internet link world is your oyster

world is your oyster -- (See the world is your oyster)

World Wide Web (www) -- a network of computers in all parts of the world, Internet
Some people use the Web to find information; others use it to find friends.

worldly wise -- knowing how to survive, having street smarts
You've lived on the streets of LA. You're worldly wise. You're hip.

worlds apart -- not close to agreement, very different
Israel and Palestine are neighbors but they're worlds apart.

worn out -- (See wear out)

worn out -- very tired, bushed
Whew! I'm worn out from all that walking! How far did we walk?

worried sick -- very worried, extremely anxious
Velma is worried sick about her son. He's using cocaine.

worse for wear -- (See none the worse for wear)

worship the ground she walks on -- love her very, very much; crawl on my hands..., mad about her
"Does Anthony love Cleopatra?" "He adores her. He worships the ground she walks on!"

worth their weight in gold -- worth a lot, invaluable, priceless
Our volunteers are worth their weight in gold. They help us in ways that money can't buy!

W28. wouldn't be caught dead -- wrap your mind around Internet link wouldn't be caught dead

wouldn't be caught dead -- would not like to do it, would rather die than do it
Have you seen Lulu's miniskirt? I wouldn't be caught dead in that.

wouldn't miss it for the world -- I would rather attend it than see the world
"Are you coming to my wedding?" "I wouldn't miss it for the world!"

wouldn't say shit if her mouth was full of it [B] -- would not say a bad word, would not swear
Vi is so sweet. She wouldn't say shit if her mouth was full of it.

wound up -- excited, pumped
Before Nadia sings, she gets all wound up. She can't relax.

wow -- oh, awesome, gee whiz
Wow! I can see every star in the universe tonight.

wrap around his finger -- controlled by him, on a string
I do whatever she wants. She's got me wrapped around her finger.

wrap it up -- finish it, end it, bring to a close
They played some new songs but they wrapped it up with a hit.

wrap up -- end, conclude
The Olympics wrap up on Sunday. Closing ceremonies are at 1 p.m.

wrap-up -- closing, conclusion
During the wrap-up, the speaker thanked everyone for coming.

wrap your mind around -- understand, comprehend, get your mind around
Val's niece is also her half sister. Wrap your mind around that!

W29. wreak havoc -- wysiwyg Internet link wreak havoc

wreak havoc -- damage, destroy, lay waste, trash the place
If the workers get mad, they'll wreak havoc in the warehouse. They'll wreck the place.

write it off -- say it is a financial loss, call it a business expense, deduct it from income
Don't worry about the cost of my plane ticket. I can write it off as a business expense.

write up -- record in writing, prepare a written account
I've been asked to write up a list of the winners for the newspaper.

writer's block -- being unable to think of something to write
I told the teacher I couldn't do the paper because of writer's block.

written all over your face -- showing on your face, body language, read you
When you heard that Italy lost the World Cup, disappointment was written all over your face.

written in blood -- like a law, binding, cannot be changed
Now that his name is written in blood, he's a member of our gang.

written in stone -- written in final form, like a commandment
Our agreement isn't written in stone; it can be changed.

wuss -- weak person, chicken, wimp
"Who is the most famous wuss?" "Mr. Bean?" "Right!"

wysiwyg -- what you see is what you get (if you are lucky)
The printer is supposed to print what you see on the computer screen - wysiwyg!

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