2008 – 2009 IDIOMS

1. TO BEAT ABOUT THE BUSH

It means avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.

Example : If you want to ask me, just ask; don't beat around the bush.

2. FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA

If someone won't do something for all the tea in China, they won't do it no matter how much money they are offered.Tea was, has been, and is something that has a market all over the world. It was a customary drink in China, and it was cultivated there. Since China is a large country, it would contain a lot of tea - and the tea would be worth a tremendous amount if it were made available on the world market.

Example: I'm not patient at all. I wouldn't be a teacher for all the tea in China.

3. TO BE FRESH AS A DAISY

It means to be full of energy and enthusiasm.

Example: It's been a long drive but give me a cup of tea and I'll soon be fresh as a daisy.

4. TO ROCK THE BOAT

It means to do or say something that causes problems, especially if you try to change a situation which most people do not want to change. People in a group on a small boat need to work together. If one person moves suddenly, the whole boat could rock dangerously.

Example:  Everyone wants to go except for you. Why do you have to rock the boat?

5. TO BE ONE IN A MILLION

If you say that someone is one in a million, you mean that they are very special because they have such good qualities.

Example: She's the sweetest, most generous person I know - she's one in a million.

6. WHEN PIGS FLY

It is an informal way to joke that you will never do something. Pigs are heavy animals that stay close to the ground and do not fly, so when pigs fly is a time that will never come.

Example: "Do you think you will ever work at that company again?" "When pigs fly!"

7. WITH BEDROOM EYES

If someone has bedroom eyes, they look as if they are interested in sex, or they have a sexy look in their eyes. Of course, "bedroom eyes" can belong to a man or a woman. "Bedroom eyes" reach out to you. They are hypnotizing and seem to have an opiate effect on those who are caught in their gaze. They are somehow irresistible.

Example : That girl has bedroom eyes.

8. TO HEAR A PIN DROP

You say this when all is very quiet, very still. You also say it in order to describe a situation where there was complete silence, especially because people were very interested or very surprised by what was happening.

Example:  The teacher said to the class ''Try to be so quiet you can hear a pin drop."

9. BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW

This is the shortened form of the full idiom, «  better the devil you know than the devil you don't  », and it means that it is often better to deal with someone or something you are familiar with and that you know, even if they are not ideal, than take a risk with an unknown person or thing.

Example:  I know Mike can be difficult to work with sometimes, but better the devil you know.

10. TO MAKE ENDS MEET

To make ends meet is to have enough money to live on, to survive or barely survive. To make just enough money to pay the bills.

Example:  It's almost impossible trying to keep up with the high cost of living. Things are so expensive nowadays that it's very difficult to make ends meet.

11. TO HAVE A BEE IN YOUR BONNET

It means to keep talking about something again and again because you think it is important, especially something that other people do not think is important (often + about ). This very descriptive idiom means that you have an obsession with a certain idea; it tends to be used more about ideas and things, and the sense is mostly, though not always, negative.

Example:  She's got a real bee in her bonnet about recycling.

12. TO PULL YOUR SOCKS UP

If you tell someone to pull their socks up, you are saying that they need to make an effort to improve their performance.

Example : If you don't pull up your socks on the new contract, you'll be fired.

13. TO SET THE THAMES ON FIRE

If you do something remarkable, you set the Thames on fire, though this expression is used in the negative; someone who is dull or undistiguished will never set the Thames on fire.

Example:  He is not very intelligent, that's the least we could say, he won't set the Thames on fire.

14. TO SIT ON THE FENCE

It means not to take sides in a dispute; not to make a clear choice between two possibilities.

Example:  I don't know which of the candidates I will vote for. I am sitting on the fence.

15. EVERYBODY AND THEIR UNCLE

This basically means a lot of people or too many people.

Example: Everybody and their uncle was there.

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