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Idiom Category: General, Page 24
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.
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.
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
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.'
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.
(UK) A watering hole is a pub.
Way to go
This is used to congratulate someone when they achieve something. It can be used sarcastically when then mess up.
(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.
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.
Who will ring the bell?
'Who will ring the bell?' asks who will assume the responsibility to help us out of a difficult situation.
Whole ball of wax
(USA) The whole ball of wax is everything.
Whole kit and caboodle
The whole kit and caboodle means 'everything' required or involved in something. ('Kaboodle' is an alternative spelling.)
The whole shebang includes every aspect of something.
If you give someone a wide berth, you keep yourself well away from them because they are dangerous.
Will never fly
If an idea or project, etc, will never fly, it has no chance of succeeding.
Something that deceives by its appearance is a will-o’-the-wisp; it looks good, but turns out to be a disappointment.
If something is done to pretend to be dealing with an issue or problem, rather than actually dealing with it, it is window dressing.
Winner takes all
If everything goes to the winner, as in an election, the winner takes all.
With a heavy hand
If someone does something with a heavy hand, they do it in a strict way, exerting a lot of control.
With friends like that, who needs enemies?
This expression is used when people behave badly or treat someone badly that they are supposed to be friends with.
Without a hitch
If something happens without a hitch, nothing at all goes wrong.
Woe betide you
This is used to wish that bad things will happen to someone, usually because of their bad behaviour.
Woe is me
This means that you are sad or in a difficult situation. It's archaic, but still used.
Words fail me
If words fail you, you can't find the words to express what you are trying to say.
Work like a charm
If something works like a charm, it works perfectly.
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