English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 51-100 of 238 results for letter 'C'
Cat's whiskers
Something excellent is the cat's whiskers.
Catch as catch can
This means that people should try to get something any way they can.
Catch hell
If you catch hell, you get into trouble or get scolded. ('Catch heck' is also used.)
Catch some z's
If you catch some z's, you get some sleep.
Catch someone red-handed
If someone is caught red-handed, they are found doing something wrong or illegal.
Catch-22
Catch-22 is a situation where conflicting rules make the desired outcome impossible. It comes from a novel by the American author Joseph Heller, in which pilots would not have to fly missions if they were mentally ill, but not wanting to fly dangerous missions was held to be proof of sanity, so they had to fly anyway. ('Catch 22', without the hyphen, is also used.)
Caught with your hand in the cookie jar
(USA) If someone is caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar, he or she is caught doing something wrong.
Caught with your pants down
If you are caught with your pants down, you are exposed in an embarrassing situation.  It can also mean that you were caught unprepared for a situation or an event.
Chafe under the yoke
If you chafe under the yoke, something restricts your freedom and you resent it.('Chafe under the harness' is also used.)
Chalk and cheese
Things, or people, that are like chalk and cheese are very different and have nothing in common.
Champ at the bit
If someone is champing at the bit, they are very eager to accomplish something.  ('Chomping at the bit' is also used.)
Champagne socialist
(UK) A wealthy person who has left-wing views is a champagne socialist, especially if their political beliefs are seen as shallow or hypocritical.
Champagne taste on a beer budget
Someone who lives above their means and likes things they cannot afford has champagne taste on a beer budget.
Champagne tastes, beer wages
(UK) A person who likes expensive things but has a low income has champagne taste and beer wages.
Champing at the bit
To betray impatience, as to begin some action. "I'm champing at the bit to tell you" "Chomping at the bit" is also commonly used, though some regard it as an error.
Change horses in midstream
If people change horses in midstream, they change plans or leaders when they are in the middle of something, even though it may be very risky to do so.
Change of heart
If you change the way you think or feel about something, you have a change of heart.
Change tack
If you change tack, you use a different method for dealing with something.
Change your tune
If someone changes their ideas or the way they talk about them, they change their tune.
Chaps my ass
When something/someone really annoys you, it chaps your ass.
Chapter and verse
When you know something very well, and can quote it, you know it chapter and verse.
Charity begins at home
This idiom means that family members are more important than anyone else, and should be the focus of a person's efforts.
Charley horse
(USA) A charley horse is a stiff leg or a cramp, especially in the leg.
Chase rainbows
If someone chases rainbows, they try to do something that they will never achieve.
Chase your tail
If you are chasing your tail, you are very busy but not being very productive.
Cheap as chips
(UK) If something is very inexpensive, it is as cheap as chips.
Cheap at half the price
If something's cheap at half the price, it's very cheap indeed.
Cheap shot
A cheap shot is an unprincipled criticism.
Cheat death
If someone cheats death, they narrowly avoid a major problem or accident.
Cheek by jowl
If things or people are cheek by jowl, they are very close together.
Cherry pick
If people cherry pick, they choose things that support their position, while ignoring things that contradict it.
Chew on a bone
If someone is chewing on a bone, he or she is thinking about something intently.
Chew the cud
If you chew the cud, you think carefully about something.
Chew the fat
If you chew the fat with someone, you talk at leisure with them.
Chickenfeed
If something is small or unimportant, especially money, it is chickenfeed.
Child's play
If something is child's play, it is very easy and simple.
Chinese walls
Chinese walls are regulatory information barriers that aim to stop the flow of information that could be misused, especially in financial corporations.
Chinese whispers
(UK) When a story is told from person to person, especially if it is gossip or scandal, it inevitably gets distorted and exaggerated. This process is called Chinese whispers.
Chip off the old block
If someone is a chip off the old block, they closely resemble one or both of the parents in character.
Chip on your shoulder
If someone has a chip on their shoulder, they are resentful about something and feel that they have been treated badly.
Chomping at the bit
If you are chomping at the bit, you are eager to start on a task immediately.
Chop and change
If things chop and change, they keep changing, often unexpectedly.
Cigarette paper
If you cannot get or put a cigarette paper between people, they are so closely bonded that nothing will separate them or their positions on issues.
Circle the drain
If someone is circling the drain, they are spiraling downward to a usually inevitable death.
Circle the wagons
(USA) If you circle the wagons, you stop communicating with people who don't think the same way as you to avoid their ideas.  It can also mean to bring everyone together to defend a group against an attack.
Circling the drain
If someone is circling the drain, they are very near death and have little time to live. The phrase can also describe a project or plan or campaign that that is on the brink of failure.
Class act
Someone who's a class act is exceptional in what they do.
Clean as a whistle
If something is as clean as a whistle, it is extremely clean, spotless. It can also be used to mean 'completely', though this meaning is less common nowadays. If somebody is clean as a whistle, they are not involved in anything illegal.
Clean bill of health
If something or someone has a clean bill of health, then there's nothing wrong; everything's fine.
Clean break
If you make a clean break, you break away completely from something.

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