Idiom Category: General, Page 15

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Nip and tuck
A close contest where neither opponent seems to be gaining the advantage.
Nip at the bit
If someone is nipping at the bit, they are anxious to get something done and don't want to wait.
Nitty gritty
If people get down to the nitty gritty, they concentrate on the most important and serious issues.
No can do
No can do means that the speaker can't do whatever it is that has been asked of him or her.
No go
Something that will not work. 'A square peg in a round hole is a no go.'
No good deed goes unpunished
This means that life is unfair and people can do or try to do good things and still end up in a lot of trouble.
No great shakes
If someone is no great shakes at something, they are not very good at it.
No ifs or buts
Ifs and Buts is a term used to describe the reasons people give for not wanting to do something. To show that you don't wish to accept any excuses, you can tell somebody that you wish to hear no ifs or buts Here IF & BUT have become nouns
No laughing matter
Something that is no laughing matter is very serious.
No love lost
If there is no love lost between two people they have a strong enmity towards or hate for the other and make no effort to conceal it.
No pain, no gain
Achievements require some sort of sacrifice.
No peace for the wicked
Bad people will not be at ease or will be tormented.('No rest for the wicked' is also used.)
No quarter
This means without mercy. We can say no quarter given or asked.
No question
This idiom means that something is certain or definite.
No questions asked
If something is to be done and no questions asked, then it doesn't matter what methods are used or what rules are broken to ensure that it gets done.
No rest for the weary
No rest for the weary means that you must keep on working even though you're exhausted or tired.
No rest for the wicked
Bad people will not be at ease or will be tormented.('No peace for the wicked' is also used.)
No strings attached
If something has no strings attached, there are no obligations or requirements involved.
No time for
If you have no time for an activity, you have absolutely no desire to spend or waste any time doing it. You can have no time for people, too.
No two ways about it
If there are no two ways about something, there is no other possible interpretation.
None so blind as those who will not see
This idiom is used when people refuse to accept facts presented to them. ('None so deaf as those who will not hear' is an alternative.)
Not all there
If someone isn't all there, they are a little bit stupid or crazy.
Not for nothing
Usually followed by the word "but," this is essentially a call to pay attention to the next words out of the speaker's mouth, e.g., "Not for nothing, but did you see the way he looked at you?"
Not know you are born
This indicates that the person described is unaware of his or her good fortune or is unaware of how difficult day to day life was before he/she was born. Typical usage: 'Kids today don't know they are born'.
Not much cop
Describing a film or something as not much cop is a way of saying that you didn't think much of it.
Not our bag
If something is not your bag, it is not really suitable for your needs or you don't like it much.
Not trust someone further than you can throw them
If you don't trust someone further than you could throw them, it means you don't trust them at all.
Not wash
If a story or explanation will not wash, it is not credible.
Not with a bang but a whimper
To end on a muted note - most likely in a situation where one would have expected a more spectacular finish. This expression was coined by T.S. Elliot in his 1925 poem, The Hollow Men, which ends: This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.
Not worth the candle
If something's not worth the candle, it has no value or would be a waste of time and efffort.
Nothing to crow about
If something's nothing to crow about, it's not particularly good or special.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
You can't win if you don't join in the game; if you don't participate in something, you will not achieve anything.
Now I ask you
Used at the end of a story to express disbelief, or in answer to a question to express a mild indignation.
Null and void
If something's null and void, it is invalid or is no longer applicable.
Nuts and bolts
The nuts and bolts are the most essential components of something.
Object lesson
An object lesson serves as a warning to others. (In some varieties of English 'abject lesson' is used.)
Odds and ends
Odds and ends are small, remnant articles and things- the same as 'bits and bobs'.
Off the beaten track
Somewhere that's off the beaten track is in a remote location.
Off the chart
If something goes off the chart, it far exceeds the normal standards, good or bad, for something.
Off the grid
Someone who is off the grid lives outside society and chooses not to follow its rules and conventions.
Off the hook
If someone is off the hook, they have avoided punishment or criticism for something they have done.
Off the rails
If someone has gone off the rails, they have lost track of reality.
Off the record
Something off the record is said in confidence because the speaker doesn't want it attributed to them, especially when talking to the media.
Off the scale
If something goes off the scale, it far exceeds the normal standards, good or bad, for something.
Off your rocker
(UK) Someone who is off their rocker is crazy.
Oh, my goodness!
An expression of surprise.
Oldest trick in the book
The oldest trick in the book is a well-known way of deceiving someone, though still effective.
On a fishing expedition
If someone is on a fishing expedition, they are trying to get information, often using incorrect or improper ways to find things out.
On a mission
Being on a mission refers to acting in a determined way and so focus in doing something that he/she is oblivious of anything else around him/her.
On a razor edge
If something is on a razor edge, it it is in a risky situation and the outcome is very uncertain.

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