Idiom Category: General, Page 24

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Twist of fate
A twist of fate is an unpredicted or random occurrence with far-reaching consequences.
If a government changes its position radically on an issue, especially when they have promised not to do so, this is a U-turn.
Uncalled for
If someone does something bad and unnecessary without consideration for anothers feelings, what they do is uncalled for.
Under a flag of convenience
If a ship sails under a flag of convenience, it is registered in a country where taxes, etc, are lower than in the country it comes from, so if someone does something under a flag of convenience, they attempt to avoid regulations and taxes by a similar means.
Under fire
If someone is being attacked and cricitised heavily, they are under fire.
Under the radar
If something slips under the radar, it isn't detected or noticed.
Under the wire
(USA) If a person does something under the wire, they do it at the last possible moment.
Under your breath
If you say something under your breath, you whisper or say it very quietly.
Unwavering loyalty
Unwavering loyalty does not question or doubt the person or issue and supports them completely.
Up for grabs
If something is up for grabs, it is available and whoever is first or is successful will get it.
Up in the air
If a matter is up in the air, no decision has been made and there is uncertainty about it.
Up stakes
If you up stakes, you get ready to leave a place.
Up sticks
(UK) If you up sticks, you leave somewhere, usually permanently and without warning- he upped sticks and went to work abroad.
Up the ante
If you up the ante, you increase the importance or value of something, especially where there's an element of risk as the term comes from gambling, where it means to increase the stake (the amount of money bet).
Up the creek
If someone or something is up the creek, they are in real trouble. 'Up the creek without a paddle' is an alternative, and 'up shit creek (without a paddle)' is a ruder form.
Up the spout
(UK) If something has gone up the spout, it has gone wrong or been ruined.
Up to scratch
If something doesn't come up to scratch, it doesn't meet the standard required or expected.
Up to snuff
If something isn't up to snuff, it doesn't meet the standard expected.
Up to speed
If you bring someone up to speed, you update them on something.
Up to the hilt
If you do something up to the hilt, you do it completely.
Vicious circle
A vicious circle is a sequence of events that make each other worse- someone drinks because they are unhappy at work, then loses their job... 'Vicious cycle' is also used.
Waiting in the wings
If someone is waiting in the wings, or in the wings, they are in the background, but nearby, ready to act on short notice.
Wake-up call
A wake-up call is a warning of a threat or a challenge, especially when it means that people will have to change their behaviour to meet it.
Walk a fine line
If you have to walk a fine line, you have to be very careful not to annoy or anger people or groups that are competing. ('Walk a thin line' is an alternative.)
Walk a tightrope
If you walk a tightrope, you have to be very careful not to annoy or anger people who could become enemies.
Walk in the park
An undertaking that is easy is a walk in the park. The opposite is also true - "no walk in the park".
Walk the plank
If someone walks the plank, they are going toward their own destruction or downfall
Walking encyclopedia
A very knowledgeable person is a walking encyclopedia.
Walking on broken glass
When a person is punished for something. e.g. 'She had me walking on broken glass.'
Walking time-bomb
A person whose behaviour is erratic and totally unpredictable is a walking time-bomb.
(USA) A shy person who is not asked to dance is a wallflower.
Warm and fuzzy
Meaning the feeling evoked as though you were enclosed in a warm and fuzzy blanket.
If someone is on the warpath, they are very angry about something and will do anything to get things sorted the way they want.
Waste not, want not
If you don't waste things, you are less likely to end up lacking.
Watching paint dry
If something is like watching paint dry, it is really boring.
Watering hole
(UK) A watering hole is a pub.
Wax poetic
If you wax poetic, you speak in a more poetic style than normal, using more imagery, metaphors, etc.
Way to go
This  is used to congratulate someone when they achieve something.   It can be used sarcastically when then mess up.
Wee buns
(Irish) If a task was wee buns, it means it was very easy. It is similar to "piece of cake"
What can sorry do?
This means that it is not enough to apologise.
What goes around comes around
This saying means that of people do bad things to other people, bad things will happen to them.
What goes around, comes around
The good or bad you do to others is requited.
What will be will be
The expression what will be will be is used to describe the notion that fate will decide the outcome of a course of events, even if action is taken to try to alter it.
What's up?
This can be used to ask 'What's wrong?' or 'How are you?'.
What's your poison?
This is a way of asking someone what they would like to drink, especially alcohol.
What's your take on that?
This idiom is way of asking someone for their opinion and ideas.
When the dust clears
"When the dust clears" is a way to say when everything's finished and the results are seen.  ("When the dust settles" is also used)
Where there's a will, there's a way
This idiom means that if people really want to do something, they will manage to find a way of doing it.
Where there's muck, there's brass
You can make money doing dirty jobs nobody else wants to do. "Where there's muck, there's money" is also used.
Whet your appetite
If something whets your appetite, it interests you and makes you want more of it.

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