English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 1-48 of 48 results for letter 'J'
Jack Frost
If everything has frozen in winter, then Jack Frost has visited.
Jack the Lad
A confident and not very serious young man who behaves as he wants to without thinking about other people is a Jack the Lad.
Jack-of-all-trades
A jack-of-all-trades is someone that can do many different jobs.
Jam on your face
If you say that someone has jam on their face, they appear to be caught, embarrassed or found guilty.
Jam tomorrow
(UK) This idiom is used when people promise good things for the future that will never come.
Jane Doe
Jane Doe is a name given to an unidentified female who may be party to legal proceedings, or to an unidentified person in hospital, or dead. John Doe is the male equivalent.
Jekyll and Hyde
Someone who has a Jekyll and Hyde personality has a pleasant and a very unpleasant side to the character.
Jerkwater town
(USA) A jerwater town is a small and insignificant town without many amenities.
Jersey justice
(UK) Jersey justice is very severe justice.
Jet set
Very wealthy people who travel around the world to attend parties or functions are the jet set.
Jet-black
To emphasise just how black something is, such as someone's hair, we can call it jet-black.
Job's comforter
Someone who says they want to comfort, but actually discomforts people is a Job's comforter. (Job's is pronounced 'jobes', not 'jobs')
Jobs for the boys
Where people give jobs, contracts, etc, to their friends and associates, these are jobs for the boys.
Jockey for position
If a number of people want the same opportunity and are struggling to emerge as the most likely candidate, they are jockeying for position.
Jog my memory
If you jog someone's memory, you say words that will help someone trying to remember a thought, event, word, phrase, experience, etc.
John Doe
John Doe is a name given to an unidentified male who may be party to legal proceedings, or to an unidentified person in hospital, or dead. Jane Doe is the female equivalent.
John Hancock
(USA) John Hancock means a signature- his signature on the engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence is very prominent.
John Q Public
(USA) John Q Public is the typical, average person.
Johnny on the spot
A person who is always available; ready, willing, and able to do what needs to be done.('Johnny-on-the-spot' is also used.)
Johnny-come-lately
A Johnny-come-lately is someone who has recently joined something or arrived somewhere, especially when they want to make changes that are not welcome.
Join the club
Said when someone has expressed a desire or opinion, meaning "That viewpoint is not unique to you". It can suggest that the speaker should stop complaining since many others are in the same position. Example: "If this train doesn't come, I'll be late for work!"  "Join the club!"
Joined at the hip
If people are joined at the hip, they are very closely connected and think the same way.
Judge, jury and executioner
If someone is said to be the judge, jury, and executioner, it means they are in charge of every decision made, and they have the power to be rid of whomever they choose.
Juggle frogs
If you are juggling frogs, you are trying to do something very difficult.
Jump down someone's throat
If you jump down someone's throat, you criticise or chastise them severely.
Jump in feet first
If you jump in feet first, you approach a task or activity with little to no hesitation. When you jump into a swimming pool,  there's no going back once your feet leave the ground- you will enter the water. When you jump in feet first with a new activity or task or requirement, you give it your best, knowing there is no going back.
Jump off the page
If someone jumps off the page, he or she stands out or is extraordinarily intelligent or talented.
Jump on the bandwagon
If people jump on the bandwagon, they get involved in something that has recently become very popular.
Jump ship
If you leave a company or institution for another because it is doing badly, you are jumping ship.
Jump the broom
To jump the broom is to marry. (Jump over the broom, jump over the broomstick, jump the broomstick are also used.)
Jump the gun
If you jump the gun, you start doing something before the appropriate time.
Jump the shark
Said of a salient point in a television show or other activity at which the popularity thereof begins to wane: The Flintstones jumped the shark when a man from outer space came to visit them. The expression derives from an episode of the television sitcom 'Happy Days' in which Fonzie, clad in leather jacket and on water skis, jumps over a shark. That episode was widely seen as the beginning of the end for the formerly popular series.
Jump the track
Jumping the track is suddenly changing from one plan, activity, idea, etc, to another.
Jump through hoops
If you are prepared to jump through hoops for someone, you are prepared to make great efforts and sacrifices for them.
Jump to a conclusion
If someone jumps to a conclusion, they evaluate or judge something without a sufficient examination of the facts.
Jumping Judas!
An expression of surprise or shock.
Jungle out there
If someone says that it is a jungle out there, they mean that the situation is dangerous and there are no rules.
Jury's out
If the jury's out on an issue, then there is no general agreement or consensus on it.
Just around the corner
If something is just around the corner, then it is expected to happen very soon.
Just as the twig is bent, the tree’s inclined
Things, especially education, that affect and influence us in our childhood shape the kind of adult we turn out to be.  (There are various versions of this, like 'As the twig is bent, the tree's inclined' and 'As the twig is bent, so the tree inclines', 'As the twig is  bent so is the tree inclined')    
Just coming up to
If the time is just coming up to nine o'clock, it means that it will be nine o'clock in a very few seconds. You'll hear them say it on the radio in the morning.
Just deserts
If a bad or evil person gets their just deserts, they get the punishment or suffer the misfortune that it is felt they deserve.
Just for the heck of it
When someone does something just for the heck of it, they do it without a good reason.
Just for the record
If something is said to be just for the record, the person is saying it so that people know but does not necessarily agree with or support it.
Just in the nick of time
If you do something in the nick of time, you just manage to do it just in time, with seconds to spare.
Just off the boat
If someone is just off the boat, they are naive and inexperienced.
Just what the doctor ordered
If something's just what the doctor ordered, it is precisely what is needed.
Justice is blind
Justice is blind means that justice is impartial and objective.

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