CAE Idioms

  1. step into someone's shoes
    to take the job or position that someone else had before you
  2. not to be out of the woods
    slightly better but not yet well
  3. not playing with a full deck
    lacking in intellectual ability
  4. to be off the hook
    having avoided a difficult situation
  5. pulling someone's leg
    subject to a playful joke
  6. pass the buck
    avoid responsibility by giving it somebody else
  7. run out of steam
    to be completely out of energy
  8. when pigs fly
    very unlikable; it's never gonna happen
  9. feeling under the weather
    feeling not so well
  10. tie the knot
    to get married
  11. zip your lip!
    Be quiet!
  12. the ball is in your court
    it's your turn
  13. win hands down
    to win easily
  14. First come, first served
    Wer zuerst kommt, mahlt zuerst
  15. champagn tasts, beer wages
  16. the calm before the storm
    die Ruhe vor dem Sturm
  17. as keen as mustard
    very enthusiastic
  18. the lame duck
  19. hair of a dog
    an alcoholic drink supposed to cure a hangover
  20. safe and sound
    free from danger or injury
  21. piece of cake
    very easy to complete
  22. costs an arm and a leg
    very expensive
  23. break a leg!
    good luck!
  24. hit the books
    study hard
  25. let the cat out of the bag
    to reveal a secret or a surprise by accident
  26. hit the nail on the head
    to describe exactly what is causing a situation or a problem
  27. you can't judge a book by its cover
    you cannot judge the quality or character of something just by looking at it
  28. bite off more than you can chew
    den Mund zu voll nehmen
  29. scratch someone's back
    jmd. einen Gefallen tun
  30. A penny for your thoughts
    Ich würde zu gern wissen, was du gerade denkst.
  31. Add insult to injury
    das Ganze nur noch schlimmer machen
  32. A hot potato
    heisses Eisen
  33. Once in a blue moon
    alle Jubeljahre, ganz selten
  34. Caught between two stools
    zwischen den Stühlen sitzen
  35. See eye to eye
    einer Meinung sein
  36. Hear it through the grapevine
    es ist mir zu ohren gekommen
  37. Miss the boat
    be too late to get something that you want
  38. Kill two birds with one stone
    solve two problems at one time with a single action
  39. On the ball
  40. Cut corners
    an allen Ecken und Kanten sparen
  41. To hear something from horse's mouth
    aus erster hand erfahren
  42. to be the last straw
    das Fass zum Überlaufen bringen
  43. take with a pinch of salt
    nicht ganz wörtlich nehmen
  44. Sit on the fence
    not to make a clear choice between two possibilities
  45. The best of both worlds
    das beste von allen
  46. Put wool over sbdy's eyes
    jmd. hinters licht führen
  47. Speak of the devil!
    wenn man vom teufel spricht
  48. be sick and tired of
    hate something
  49. figure something out
    come to understand a problem
  50. to get the ball rolling
    start something (big)
  51. know something like the back of your hand
    know something very well
  52. keep one's chin up
    remain brave and keep on trying
  53. give someone a hand
    help someone
  54. change one's mind
    decide to do something different from what had been decided earlier
  55. to be on the same page
    gleicher Meinung sein
  56. Let's agree to disagree!
    Wir müssen anerkennen, unterschiedlicher Meinung zu sein!
  57. to be serious
    es ernst meinen
  58. turn over a new leaf
  59. pull up one's socks
    to make an effort to improve
  60. hit below the belt
    to act in an unfair matter
  61. gift of the gab
    the ability to speak well
  62. have second thoughts
    reconsideration of a decision
  63. face the music
    to face the consequence of one's action
  64. break the ice
    overcome shyness
  65. make a mountain out of a molehill
    to give great importance to minor things
  66. throw in the towel
    to accept defeat
  67. no stone unturned
    make all possible efforts
  68. keep one's fingers crossed
    hope for a positive outcome
  69. burn one's fingers
    suffer from something that one has done
  70. do sth. behind someone's back
    act deceitfully
  71. have sth. on the brain
    to be obsessed about it
  72. to be all ears
    listen very carefully
  73. catch someone's eye
    want to attract his attention
  74. keep a straight face
    try not to laugh
  75. have light fingers
    to steal
  76. not to turn a hair when something happens
    not to show any sign of emotion
  77. to give someone a hand
    help somebody
  78. have your heart in your mouth
    to be very frightened, nervous
  79. have sth. on the tip of your tongue
    almost remember it
  80. pa through the nose for sth
    to pay more than it is really worth
  81. do sth. in cold blood
    on purpose, without scruple
  82. have a lump in your throat
    einen frosch im hals haben
  83. to be a bit long in the tooth
    to be very old
Card Set
CAE Idioms
useful idioms to improve my writing