Idiom Category: General, Page 20

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Seeing is believing
This idiom means that people can only really believe what they experience personally.
Seen better days
If something's seen better days, it has aged badly and visibly compared to when it was new. The phrase can also be used to describe people.
Send someone packing
If you send someone packing, you send them away, normally when they want something from you.
Serve your country
When someone is serving their country, they have enrolled in the military.
Set in stone
If something is set in stone, it cannot be changed or altered.
Set the stage
If you create the conditions for something to happen or take place, you set the stage for it.
Set the wheels in motion
When you set the wheels in motion, you get something started.
Shades of meaning
Shades of meaning is a phrase used to describe the small, subtle differences in meaning between similar words or phrases; 'kid' and 'youth' both refer to young people, but carry differing views and ideas about young people.
Shape up or ship out
If someone has to shape up or ship out, they have to improve or leave their job, organisation, etc.
Sharpen your pencil
(USA) If someone says this when negotiating, they want the other person to make a better offer, a lower price.
If people shilly-shally, they can't make up their minds about something and put off the decision.
Shoot your wad
When you have shot your wad, you have expended everything and have no more to say or do about a matter.
Short shrift
If somebody gives you short shrift, they treat you rudely and brusquely, showing no interest or sympathy.
Shot in the dark
If you have a shot in the dark at something, you try something where you have little hope of success.
Show someone the ropes
If you show someone the ropes, you explain to someone new how things work and how to do a job.
Sick and tired
If you are sick and tired of something, it has been going on for a long time and you can no longer tolerate it.
Sight to behold
If something is a sight to behold, it means that seeing it is in some way special, either spectacularly beautiful or, equally, incredibly ugly or revolting, etc.
Silence is golden
It is often better to say nothing than to talk, so silence is golden.
Silver bullet
A silver bullet is a complete solution to a large problem, a solution that seems magical.
Silver screen
The silver screen is the cinema.
Sing the blues
If you're singing the blues, you're complaining or lamenting something.
Sink or swim
If you are left to sink or swim, no one gives you any help and it's up to you whether you fail or succeed.
Sit pretty
Someone who's sitting pretty is in a very advantageous situation.
Sit well with
If something doesn't sit well with you, it doesn't please you or is not acceptable to you.
An unauthorised, or hidden program or activity, often research-oriented, and out of the bureaucratic chain of command is known as a 'skunkworks'.
Sleep like a log
If you sleep like a log, you sleep very soundly.
Slim chance
A slim chance is a very small chance.
Sling your hook
This is used as a way of telling someone to leave or go away.
Slip through the cracks
(UK) If something slips through the cracks, it isn't noticed or avoids detection.
Slip through the net
If something slips through the net, it isn't noticed or avoids detection.
Slippery customer
A person from whom it is difficult to get anything definite or fixed is a slippery customer.
Slow and steady wins the race
This expression means that consistency, although progress may be slow, will eventually be more beneficial than being hasty or careless just to get something done.
Slow but sure
If something or someone is slow but sure, they may take their time to do something, but they are reliable.
Slow off the mark
If people are slow off the mark, they are slow to respond or act in a situation.
Smart as a whip
A person who is smart as a whip is very clever.
Smoke and mirrors
An attempt to conceal something is smoke and mirrors.
Smokestack industry
Heavy industries like iron and steel production, especially if they produce a lot of pollution, are smokestack industries.
So it goes
This idiom is used to be fatalistic and accepting when something goes wrong.
So on and so forth
And so on and so forth mean the same as etcetera (etc.).
So what
Impolite reply showing that the speaker is not impressed by what has been said. ex: So what? Why should I care?
Soft soap someone
If you soft soap someone, you flatter them.
Sore loser
A sore loser is a person who does not take loss or failure well, especially if they complain about it or try to dispute it.
Sound as a bell
If something or someone is as sound as a bell, they are very healthy or in very good condition.
Spanner in the works
(UK) If someone puts or throws a spanner in the works, they ruin a plan. In American English, 'wrench' is used instead of 'spanner'.
Speak volumes
If something speaks volumes, it tells us a lot about the real nature of something or someone,even though it may only be a small detail.
Speak your mind
If you speak your mind, you say what you exactly think about a subject regardless of whether others will agree with you or not.
Spick and span
If a room is spick and span, it is very clean and tidy.
Spin a yarn
If someone spins a yarn, they tell a story, usually a long or fanciful one.
Spinning a line
When someone spins you a line, they are trying to deceive you by lying.
Spinning a yarn
When someone spins you a yarn, they are trying to deceive you by lying.

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