A little bird told me
If someone doesn't want to say where they got some information from
they can say that a little bird told them.
A little learning is a dangerous thing
A small amount of knowledge can cause people to think they are more expert than they really are.eg. he said
he'd done a course on home electrics
but when he tried to mend my table lamp
A long row to hoe
Something that is a long row to hoe is a difficult task that takes a long time.
A penny for your thoughts
This idiom is used as a way of asking someone what they are thinking about.
A penny saved is a penny earned
This means that we shouldn't spend or waste money
but try to save it.
A poor man's something
Something or someone that can be compared to something or someone else
but is not as good is a poor man's
version; a writer who uses lots of puns but isn't very funny would be a poor man's Oscar Wilde.
If something is a steal
it costs much less than it is really worth.
A watched pot never boils
Some things work out in their own time
so being impatient and constantly checking will just make things seem
If someone changes their mind completely
this is an about face. It can be used when companies
change their position on an issue.
If things are done above board
they are carried out in a legal and proper manner.
Better than average or normal
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
This idiom means that when people are apart
their love grows stronger.
Accident waiting to happen
If something is an accident waiting to happen
there's definitely going to be an accident or it's bound to go
wrong. ('Disaster waiting to happen' is also used.)
Ace in the hole
An ace in the hole is something other people are not aware of that can be used to your advantage when the
time is right.
Ace up your sleeve
If you have an ace up your sleeve
you have something that will give you an advantage that other people don't
A person's weak spot is their Achilles' heel.
An acid test is something that proves whether something is good
Across the board
If something applies to everybody
it applies across the board.
Act of God
An act of God is something like an earthquake or floods that human beings cannot prevent or control.
Act of war
An act of war is a action that is either intended to start a war or that is interpreted as being sufficient cause for
The Adam's apple is a bulge in the throat
mostly seen in men.
Add fuel to the fire
If people add fuel to the fire
they make a bad situation worse.
After your own heart
A person after your own heart thinks the same way as you.
Against the clock
If you do something against the clock
you are rushed and have very little time to do it.
Against the grain
If doing something goes against the grain
you're unwilling to do it because it contradicts what you believe in
but you have no real choice.
Age before beauty
When this idiom is used
it is a way of allowing an older person to do something first
Ahead of the curve
Similar to ahead of the pack
ahead of the curve literally refers to your position on the statistical bell curve
where the top of the curve represents the median
average result. By being ahead of the curve you represent
Ahead of the pack
If you are ahead of the pack
you have made more progress than your rivals.
Ahead of time
If something happens ahead of time
it happens early or before the set time.
Air your dirty laundry in public
If you air your dirty laundry in public
you reveal aspects of your private life that should really remain private
telling a secret
arguing in public
Alive and kicking
If something is active and doing well
it is alive and kicking.� (It can be used for people too.)
If you have known or suspected something all along
then you have felt this from the beginning.
All and sundry
This idiom is a way of emphasising 'all'
like saying 'each and every one'.