ТОП 10:

Cast something in someone's teeth

Otto is furious ! His dentist keeps casting his bill in Otto's teeth. "I won't pay it !" Otto cried. "It's far too much - and besides, the dammed teeth don't even fit properly ! I'd like to fling them back in his teeth !" Tocast / fling / throw something in someone's teeth is to continually remind someone of something disagreeable or unpleasant. "If I made a mistake, I'll correct it. But please don't fling my error in my teeth," the dentist pleaded.



The fat is in the fire

Putting fat near an open flame is dangerous for it can easily ignite and cause a serious fire. That's the idea behind this idioms, which refers to the start of something troublesome or dangerous. "Someone has stolen our food supply !" Max cried. "The fat is in the fire unless we can get back to our camp before it starts to snow !"



Give no quarter

In this idioms the word 'quarter' refers to mercy or understanding. Therefore, to give no quarter is to be firm and show no mercy. "You have made me very, very angry," Billy's mother said. "If you don't return that piece of cake this instant I will give no quarter and you will be severely punished !" That convinced Billy, and he returned the cake.



To enter the lists

In days of old when knights were bold, the arenas in which they held tournaments were called lists. From that, to enter the lists means to begin a competition, a contest - or an argument ! "Unless you are prepared to enter the lists and play as well as you can, you have no business being on this team," the football coach said to his players.



A closed book

"I am supposed to know just about everything," Professor Olson said, "so I can't let anyone know that I have just come across something that is a closed book to me." As it is used here, a closed book is something - a topic, a subject, an idea - you don't know anything about. "But I have to confess that physics is a closed book to me," the Professor said with a huge sigh.



Fight like cat(s) and dog(s)

Since the beginning of time, cats and dogs have been natural enemies, and when they meet they usually get involved in fierce fights. From that, when people argue or fight bitterly they are said to fight like cats and dogs or fight like cat and dog. "If we invite the Smiths to our party, we can't invite the Waltons. I don't know why, but they fight like cats and dogs.



Can't carry a tune

Most people have no problem singing, humming, or whistling a tune. But Ozzie is different. He isn't able to distinguish one note of music from the other. "It's lucky I wasn't born a canary," Ozzie said, "because I really can't carry a tune." Those who can't carry a tune cannot sing, hum or whistle properly. "They make mistakes and sound terrible," Ozzie added.



Draw the longbow

"I have played my violin in Paris in front of thousands of people," Buddy smiled. Personally, I think Buddy is drawing the longbow. To draw the longbow means to make an exaggerated remark or to tell an elaborate story in order to impress someone. A longbow is a large bow used to shoot arrows great distances. This is a British expression.



A blank check

It must be a great feeling to receive a blank check. "I got a blank check from my father to buy any car I wanted," Harry said. See, I told you it's a good feeling to get a blank check ! Actually, the idiom means to be given complete freedom to do whatever you want. Here's another example : "Our teacher gave us a blank check to work on any project we desired."



Catch someone red-handed

"Ah ha, so you're the one who has been painting pictures on my blackboard !" Professor Michael exclaimed. "At last I have caught you red-handed !" To catch someone red-handed is to discover him or her in the process of committing a naughty or forbidden act. "I'm sorry, I thought a little color would help to brighten up our classroom," Danny pleaded.



Draw and quarter

It was once common to execute criminals by having their four limbs drawn ( pulled ) off. Thank heavens criminals are not drawn and quartered any more, though we still use this idiom ( humorously ) to threaten a person ! "My wife said she would draw and quarter me if I came home late again," Ken said. "I hope she doesn't mean it !"



Fight / tilt at windmills

"Ha, there you are again making threatening gestures at me !" Aaron cried. "I'll show you that you are not fighting windmills !" To fight or tilt at windmills is from the novel Don Quixote de la Mancha in which the hero attacks windmills thinking they are giants. The idiom means to struggle against an imaginary opponent or to oppose things that are not important.



Chew the fat

After a hard day, Nani and his friend like nothing better than to sit around a nice warm fire chewing the fat. "Normally we are so busy hunting and fishing that we don't have much time to get together to chew the fat," Nani noted. To chew the fat is to have a casual chat or a nice little talk. "Our wives have just gone to one of their friend's igloo to chew the fat," Nani smiled.



Feel / know in one's bones

"I feel in my bones someone is watching us," Angela whispered. "I know in my bones you are right !" John answered. John and Angela are saying that though they do not have absolute proof of something, they feel or believe it by instinct. "I know in my bones my mother would be upset if I did not hurry home after school," Angela said.



Close one's eyes

When we deliberately ignore something we don't wish to admit it is there -- usually because it isn't approved of or because we don't approve of it -- we close our eyes to it. "I sometimes think the authorities close their eyes to the indecent way people dress in the streets.


Fast and furious

Albert was strolling along outside the prison gate when Officer Derek caught him. A struggle raged fast and furious, but in the end Albert was safely back inside. "If I had been quicker, Derek would not have caught me." Albert sulked. "But I learned something," he said. "I learned that fast and furious describes an activity that is full of noise and excitement !"



Come to a pretty pass

'Pretty' in this expression means terrible and 'pass' refers to a distressing situation. Therefore, a pretty pass is a bad condition or an annoying state of affairs. "It has come to a pretty pass when a gentleman can't look at an attractive young lady without ending up in a hospital bed !" Andy complained as he was rescued from a hole in the street.



Dog Latin / English / Chinese, etc

"Dogs are friends of the whole human race," Fido barked in rather bad Latin. "A role in which I played a significant part," Scotty added. Fido and Scotty are conversing in dog Latin. To speak or write dog Latin / English / Chinese, etc. is to speak or write bad Latin, English, Chinese, etc. In other words, not like a native would speak or write it.



Mad as a wet hen

Gustov is mad as a wet hen. "You are the most annoying chicken I have ever seen ! You must stop running," he shouted. Gustov knows a lot about chickens because he has been cooking them for many years - and to be mad as a wet hen is to be very angry ! "I would rather see you mad as a wet hen than see me in your cooking pot !" the hen replied.



All's fair in love and war

In love and war the rules of proper social behavior aren't always obeyed. From that, there are times when people justify their selfish behavior by saying all's fair in love and war. "It's hard to believe there are people who think all's fair in love and war so it's OK to cheat in an examination." Ted said.



Answer one's calling

The "calling" in this expression is someone's profession, particularly one he seems strongly motivated to do. This is usually due to his special ability or exceptional desire to do it. A person who does well or is successful in his job has answered his calling. "When John grows up he'll probably answer his calling and become a leader of men."


The baby boom

A boom is the rapid expansion or sudden numerical growth of something. since our topic here is babies, a/the baby boom refers to sudden increase in the birth rate. "The universities are filled to capacity due to the baby boom that followed the war." "We've had a baby boom and our hospital is becoming overcrowded," Dr Gabriello said.



A back number

An outdated newspaper or periodical is a back number. "I'm researching back number newspapers for an article I'm writing." the reporter said. A person is a back number when he has lost his influence or his thinking is considered old-fashioned. "No one seeks my opinion anymore," Neil sighed. "I feel like a back number in this office."



Feel the pinch

It hurts to be pinched. It also hurts to be without money. I guess that's why be pinched is a colloquialism for having little or no money, and to feel the pinch is to experience hardship because of a shortage of money. "If we have a recession everyone is going to feel the pinch," Andre said.



Bear fruit

When trees or vines bear fruit they produce fruit. Idiomatically, bear fruit means to produce a desired effect or to achieve a successful result. "I've studied hard. I hope my efforts will bear fruit," Josh said. "Ha," Robert laughed. " MY work bore fruit this morning when I sold a painting.


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