English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
results for letter 'C
- Crooked as a dog's hind leg
- Someone who is very dishonest is as crooked as a dog's hind leg.
- Cross my heart and hope to die
- People say this to show how sincere their promise is.
- Cross swords
- When people cross swords, they argue or dispute. This expression is used when some groups accuse each other for non-adherence to norms. Actually no sword is used but the tempo of the argument is high enough to cause worsening of the already bad situation. It is a tussle (vehement struggle without use of arms) between the parties to establish supremacy.
- Cross that bridge when you come to it
- If you will cross that bridge when you come to it, you will deal with a problem when it arises, but not until that point
- Cross the line
- When someone crosses the line, they have done something that goes beyond the limits of acceptable behavior.
- Cross to bear
- If someone has a cross to bear, they have a heavy burden of responsibility or a problem that they alone must cope with.
- Crossing the Rubicon
- When you are crossing the Rubicon, you are passing a point of no return. After you do this thing, there is no way of turning around. The only way left is forward.
- Crunch time
- When people, companies, etc, have to make an important decision that will have a considerable effect on their future, it is crunch time.
- Cry wolf
- If someone cries wolf, they raise a false alarm about something.
- Cry your eyes out
- If you cry your eyes out, you cry uncontrollably.
- A cry-baby is a person who gets emotional and cries too easily.
- Cuckoo in the nest
- Is an issue or a problem, etc, is a cuckoo in the nest, it grows quickly and crowds out everything else.
- Cupboard love
- (UK) To show love to gain something from someone
- Curate's egg
- (UK) If something is a bit of a curate's egg, it is only good in parts.
- Curdle your blood
- If something is very frightening or disturbing, it curdles your blood.
- Curiosity killed the cat
- As cats are naturally curious animals, we use this expression to suggest to people that excessive curiosity is not necessarily a good thing, especially where it is not their business.
- Curry favour
- If people try to curry favour, they try to get people to support them.
('Curry favor' is the American spelling.)
- Curve ball
- (USA) If something is a curve ball, it is deceptive.
- Cut a dash
- If someone cuts a dash, their clothes and appearance makes an impression on people.
- Cut a long story short
- This idiom is used as a way of shortening a story by getting to to the end or the point.
- Cut a rug
- To cut a rug is to dance.
- Cut above
- If a person is described as a cut above other people, they are better in some way.
- Cut and dried
- If something is cut and dried, then everything has already been decided and, in the case of an opinion, might be a little stale and predictable.
- Cut and run
- If people cut and run, they take what they can get and leave before they lose everything.
- Cut corners
- If people try to do something as cheaply or as quickly as possible, often sacrificing quality, they are cutting corners.
- Cut down the tall poppies
- (AU) If people cut down the tall poppies, they criticise people who stand out from the crowd.
- Cut from the same cloth
- If people are cut from the same cloth, they are very similar in terms of ideas, opinions, beliefs, etc.
- Cut it fine
- If you cut it fine, you only just manage to do something- at the very last moment.
'Cut things fine' is the same. 'Cut it a bit fine' is a common variation.
- Cut off your nose to spite your face
- If you cut off your nose to spite your face, you do something rash or silly that ends up making things worse for you, often because you are angry or upset.
- Cut someone off at the knees
- (USA) If you cut someone off at the knees, you humiliate them or force them to do what you want.
- Cut someone some slack
- To relax a rule or make an allowance, as in allowing someone more time to finish something.
- Cut the Gordian knot
- If someone cuts the Gordian knot, they solve a very complex problem in a simple way.
- Cut the mustard
- If somebody or something doesn't cut the mustard, they fail or it fails to reach the required standard.
- Cut to the chase
- If you cut to the chase, you get to the point, or the most interesting or important part of something without delay.
- Cut to the quick
- If someone's cut to the quick by something, they are very hurt and upset indeed.
- Cut your coat according to your cloth
- If you cut your coat according to your cloth, you only buy things that you have sufficient money to pay for.
- Cut your losses
- If you cut your losses, you avoid losing any more money than you already have by getting out of a situation before matters worsen.
- Cut your teeth on
- The place where you gain your early experience is where you cut your teeth.
- Cute as a bug
- (USA) If something is as cute as a bug, it is sweet and endearing.
- Cute as a button
- If someone's as cute as a button, they are very attractive.
- Cuts no ice
- If something cuts no ice, it doesn't have any effect or influence.
- Cutting edge
- Something that is cutting edge is at the forefront of progress in its area.
If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our Idioms Discussion Forum. If you know of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please use our online form to suggest an idiom.
Members Get More
- Sign up for free and gain access to many more idioms and slang expressions. Register now