Idiom Category: General, Page 11

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How long is a piece of string
If someone has no idea of the answer to a question, they can ask 'How long is a piece of string?' as a way of indicating their ignorance.
How's tricks?
This is used as a way of asking people how they are and how things have been going in their life.
Hue and cry
Hue and cry is an expression that used to mean all the people who joined in chasing a criminal or villain. Nowadays, if you do something without hue and cry, you do it discreetly and without drawing attention.
Humming and harring
If someone is humming and harring,they are unsure about a decision and can't nake their mind up.
Hunky Dory
If something is hunky dory, it is perfectly satisfactory, fine.
If something is hush-hush it is confidential.
I hereby give notice of my intention
Hereby is used sometimes in formal, official declarations and statements to give greater force to the speaker' or the writer's affirmation. People will say it sometimes to emphasise their sincerity and correctness.
If at first you don't succeed try try again
When you fail, try until you get it right!
If it ain't broke, don't fix it
Any attempt to improve on a system that already works is pointless and may even hurt it.
If worst comes to worst
This isused to show the worst that could happen in a situation: If worst comes to worst and the hotels are full, we can sleep in the car.('If the worst comes to the worst'  is also  used.)
If you can't run with the big dogs, you'd better stay on the porch
If you can't keep up with what others are doing, then it is best not to attempt it.  
If you will
'If you will' is used as a way of making a concession in a sentence: He wasn't a very honest person, a liar if you will. Here, it is used a way of accepting that the reader or listener might think of the person as a liar, but without commit the writer or speaker to that position fully.
Ill at ease
If someone is ill at ease, they are worried or uncomfortable.
In a cleft stick
If you are in a cleft stick, you are in a difficult situation, caught between choices.
In a coon's age
A long time. Example: I haven't seen her in a coon's age.
In a fix
If you are in a fix, you are in trouble.
In a flash
If something happens in a flash, it happens very quickly indeed.
In a jam
If you are in a jam, you are in some trouble.  If you get out of a jam, you avoid trouble.
In a jiffy
If something happens in a jiffy, it happens very quickly.
In a rut
In a settled or established pattern, habit or course of action, especially a boring one.
In a tick
(UK) If someone will do something in a tick, they'll do it very soon or very quickly.
In a tight spot
If you're in a tight spot, you're in a difficult situation.
In all honesty
If you say something in all honesty, you are telling the complete truth. It can be used as a way of introducing a negative opinion whilst trying to be polite; in all honesty, I have to say that I wasn't very impressed.
In apple-pie order
If something is in apple-pie order, it is very neat and organised.
In cahoots
If people are in cahoots, they are conspiring together.
In dire straits
If you're in dire straits, you're in serious trouble or difficulties.
In dribs and drabs
If people arrive in dribs and drabs, they come in small groups at irregular intervals, instead of all arriving at the same time.
In droves
When things happen in droves, a lot happen at the same time or very quickly.
In full swing
If things are in full swing, they have been going for a sufficient period of time to be going well and very actively.
In high spirits
If someone is in high spirits, they are in a very good mood or feeling confident about something.
In hot water
If you are in hot water, you are in serious trouble.
In league with
If you're in league with someone, you have an agreement with them to do something, often something illegal or against the rules.
In light of
'In light of' is similar to 'due to'.
In my bad books
If you are in someone's bad books, they are angry with you. Likewise, if you are in their good books, they are pleased with you.
In my book
This idiom means 'in my opinion'.
In my good books
If someone is in your good books, you are pleased with or think highly of them at the moment.
In no uncertain terms
Clearly; precisely; emphatically without doubt.
In perfect form
When something is as it ought to be. Or, when used cynically, it may refer to someone whose excesses are on display; a caricature.
In so many words
This phrase may be used to mean 'approximately' or 'more or less'. I think it may have a sarcastic connotation in that the individual listening needed 'so many words' to get the point. It also may suggest the effort on the part of the speaker to explain an unpleasant truth or difficult concept.
In spades
(UK) If you have something in spades, you have a lot of it.
In stitches
If someone is in stitches, they are laughing uncontrollably.
In tandem
If people do things in tandem, they do them at the same time.
In the afterglow
When people feel joy and happiness following a positive event, they are in the afterglow of  it.
In the bag
If something is in the bag, it is certain that you will get it or achieve it
In the clear
If someone is in the clear, they are no longer suspected of or charged with wrongdoing.
In the dark
If you're in the dark, you don't know what is happening around you.
In the hole
If someone is in the hole, they have a lot of problems, especially financial ones.
In the hot seat
If someone's in the hot seat, they are the target for a lot of unwelcome criticism and examination.
In the know
If you are in the know, you have access to all the information about something, which other people don't have.
In the limelight
When you are in the limelight, you are at the center of attention.

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