Idiom Category: General, Page 1

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A bit much
If something is excessive or annoying, it is a bit much.
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link
This means that processes, organisations, etc, are vulnerable because the weakest person or part can always damage or break them.
A hitch in your giddy-up
If you have a hitch in your giddy-up, you're not feeling well. ('A hitch in your gittie-up' is also used.)
A lick and a promise
If you give something a lick and a promise, you do it hurriedly, most often incompletely, intending to return to it later.
A List
Prominent and influential people who comprise the most desirable guests at a social function or gathering.
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, he fused all the lights! I think a little learning is a dangerous thing
A long row to hoe
Something that is a long row to hoe is a difficult task that takes a long time.
A OK
If things are A OK, they are absolutely fine.
A picture is worth a thousand words
A picture can often get a message across much better than the best verbal description.
A problem shared is a problem halved
If you talk about your problems, it will make you feel better.
A textbook case
A textbook case, it is a classic or common example of something.
ABC
ABC means the basics of something- knowing the ABC of science, etc.
ABC
Meaning:basic terms or basic steps example:she don't know even ABC steps in dance.
Abide by a decision
If you abide by a decision, you accept it and comply with it, even though you might disagree with it.
Abject lesson
(India) An abject lesson serves as a warning to others. (In some varieties of English 'object lesson' is used.)
Above and beyond
This means more than what is expected or required.
Above board
If things are done above board, they are carried out in a legal and proper manner.
Above par
Better than average or normal
Above the fold
If a news story is important, it will be above the fold- in the top half of the page of a newspaper.
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.)
Acid test
An acid test is something that proves whether something is good, effective, etc, or not.
Across the board
If something applies to everybody, it applies across the board.
Across the ditch
(NZ) This idiom means on the other side of the Tasman Sea, used to refer to Australia or New Zealand depending on the speaker's location.
Actions speak louder than words
This idiom means that what people actually do is more important than what they say- people can promise things but then fail to deliver.
Add fuel to the fire
If people add fuel to the fire, they make a bad situation worse.
Add insult to injury
When people add insult to injury, they make a bad situation even worse.
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, though often in a slightly sarcastic way.
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 percentile of results that either has the advanced skills or understanding that sets you apart.
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.
Alive and kicking
If something is active and doing well, it is alive and kicking.  (It can be used for people too.)
All along
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'.
All but
If someone all but does something, they almost do it, but don't manage to.
All mod cons
If something has all mod cons, it has all the best and most desirable features. It is an abbreviation of 'modern convenience' that was used in house adverts.
All my eye and Peggy Martin
(UK) An idiom that appears to have gone out of use but was prevalent in the English north Midlands of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire from at least the turn of the 20th century until the early 1950s or so. The idiom's meaning is literally something said or written that is unbelievable, rumor, over embellished, the result of malicious village gossip etc.
All of the above
This idiom can be used to mean everything that has been said or written, especially all the choices or possibilities.
All over bar the shouting
When something is all over bar the shouting, the outcome is absolutely certain.('All over but the shouting' is also used.)
All over Hell's half acre
(USA) If you have been all over Hell's half acre, you have been traveling and visiting many more places than originally intended, usually because you were unsuccessful in finding what you were looking for. It can also be used to mean everywhere.
All over the map
(USA) If something like a discussion is all over the map, it doesn't stick to the main topic and goes off on tangents.
All over the place
If something is completely disorganised or confused, it is all over the place.
All over the shop
If something is completely disorganised or confused, it is all over the shop.
All over the show
If something is all over the show, it's in a complete mess.An alternative to 'All over the shop'.
All set
If you're all set, you are ready for something.
All square
If something is all square, nobody has an advantage or is ahead of the others.
All the rage
If something's all the rage, it is very popular or fashionable at the moment.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
This expression means that people need time off from working and if they don't get it, they will become bored and lack interest and enthusiasm.(It is often shortened to All work and no play.)
All's well that ends well
If the end result is good, then everything is good.
Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades
(USA) Used in response to someone saying "almost" in a win/lose situation. The full expression is "Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades." An alternate form puts "and flinging shit from a shovel" at the end.
Alter ego
An alter ego is a very close and intimate friend. It is a Latin phrase that literally means 'other self'.

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