1. 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.
  2. A little learning is a dangerous thing
    • A small amount of knowledge can cause people to think they are more expert than they really he said he'd done a course on
    • home electrics, but when he tried to mend my table lamp, he fused all the lights! I t
  3. A long row to hoe
    Something that is a long row to hoe is a difficult task that takes a long time.
  4. A penny for your thoughts
    This idiom is used as a way of asking someone what they are thinking about.
  5. A penny saved is a penny earned
    This means that we shouldn't spend or waste money, but try to save it.
  6. 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.
  7. A steal
    If something is a steal, it costs much less than it is really worth.
  8. A watched pot never boils
    Some things work out in their own time, so being impatient and constantly checking will just make things seem longer.
  9. About face
    • If someone changes their mind completely, this is an about face. It can be used when companies, governments, etc, change their
    • position on an issue.
  10. Above board
    If things are done above board, they are carried out in a legal and proper manner.
  11. Above par
    Better than average or normal
  12. Absence makes the heart grow fonder
    This idiom means that when people are apart, their love grows stronger.
  13. 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.)
  14. 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.
  15. 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 know about.
  16. Achilles' heel
    A person's weak spot is their Achilles' heel.
  17. Acid test
    An acid test is something that proves whether something is good, effective, etc, or not.
  18. Across the board
    If something applies to everybody, it applies across the board.
  19. Act of God
    An act of God is something like an earthquake or floods that human beings cannot prevent or control.
  20. 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 a war.
  21. Adam's apple
    The Adam's apple is a bulge in the throat, mostly seen in men.
  22. Add fuel to the fire
    If people add fuel to the fire, they make a bad situation worse.
  23. After your own heart
    A person after your own heart thinks the same way as you.
  24. Against the clock
    If you do something against the clock, you are rushed and have very little time to do it.
  25. 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.
  26. Age before beauty
    When this idiom is used, it is a way of allowing an older person to do something first, though often in a slightly sarcastic way.
  27. 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 the top perce
  28. Ahead of the pack
    If you are ahead of the pack, you have made more progress than your rivals.
  29. Ahead of time
    If something happens ahead of time, it happens early or before the set time.
  30. 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, by telling a secret,
    • arguing in public, etc.
  31. Alive and kicking
    If something is active and doing well, it is alive and kicking.� (It can be used for people too.)
  32. All along
    If you have known or suspected something all along, then you have felt this from the beginning.
  33. All and sundry
    This idiom is a way of emphasising 'all', like saying 'each and every one'.
Card Set
English Idioms