English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 101-150 of 162 results for letter 'L'
Like the clappers
If something is going like the clappers, it is going very fast.
Like there's no tomorrow
If you do something like there's no tomorrow, you do it fast or energetically.
Like to died
(USA) This is regional southern Midwest American English, and may extend to other areas in the U.S. South. In the phrase, "like to" means "almost," and "died" is hyperbole, expressing the extreme effect on the speaker. Here's an example: "That job was so hard, I like to died".
Like two peas in a pod
Things that are like two peas in a pod are very similar or identical,
Like watching sausage getting made
If something is like watching sausages getting made, unpleasant truths about it emerge that make it much less appealing.  The idea is that if people watched sausages getting made, they would probably be less fond of them.
Like white on rice
(USA) If you do something like white on rice, you do it very closely: When Bob found out I had front row tickets for the concert, he stuck to me like white on rice.
Like wildfire
If something happens or spreads like wildfire, it happens very quickly and intensely.
Lily-livered
Someone who is lily-livered is a coward.
Lines of communication
Lines of communication are the routes used to communicate by people or groups who are in conflict; a government might open lines of communication with terrorists if it wished to negotiate with them.
Lion's share
The lion's share of something is the biggest or best part.
Lip service
When people pay lip service to something, they express their respect, but they don't act on their words, so the respect is hollow and empty.
Little ol' me
Little ol' me is a way of referring to yourself that is meant to be modest or self-deprecatory, though often fake.
Little pitchers have big ears
(USA) This means that children hear more and understand the world around them better than many adults realize.
Little strokes fell great oaks
Meaning: even though something may seem impossible, if you break it up into small parts and take one step at a time, you will succeed.
Live and let live
If you live and let live, you accept other people as they are, although they may have a different way of life.
Live high off the hog
If you are living high off the hog, you are living lavishly.
Live wire
A person who is very active, both mentally and physically, is a live wire.
Living over the brush
Living together out of wedlock. "They are living over the brush" originates from a form of marriage when a couple held hands and jumped over a besom to signal their commitment to each other, because they couldn't have a church marriage.
Lo and behold
This phrase is used to express surprise.
Loan shark
A loan shark lends money at very high rates of interest.
Lock and load
This is a military term meaning "be ready and prepared".
Lock horns
When people lock horns, they argue or fight about something.
Lock the stable door after the horse has bolted
If someone takes action too late, they do this; there is no reason to lock an empty stable.
Lock, stock and barrel
This is an expressions that means 'everything'; if someone buys a company lock, stock and barrel, they buy absolutely everything to do with the company.
Lone wolf
A lone wolf is a person who prefers to do things on their own or without help from other people.
Long face
Someone with a long face is sad or depressed about something.
Long in the tooth
If someone is long in the tooth, they are a bit too old to do something.
Long shot
If something is a long shot, there is only a very small chance of success.
Long time no hear
The speaker could say this when they have not heard from a person, either through phone calls or emails for a long time.
Long time no see
'Long time no see' means that the speaker has not seen that person for a long time.
Look after number 1
You are number one, so this idiom means that you should think about yourself first, rather than worrying about other people.
Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves
(UK) If you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves, meaning that if someone takes care not to waste small amounts of money, they will accumulate capital. ('Look after the pence and the pounds will look after themselves' is an alternative form of this idiom.)
Look before you leap
This idiom means that you should think carefully about the possible results or consequences before doing something.
Look on the bright side
If you look on the bright side, you try to see things in an optimistic way, especially when something has gone wrong.
Look out for number one
If you look out for number one, you take care of yourself and your interests, rather than those of other people.
Look what the cat dragged in
This idiom is used when someone arrives somewhere looking a mess or flustered and bothered.
Looks like we're the last dogs hung
When you are the last people left in the hall after an event. You look around and say..."looks like we're the last dogs hung."
Loose cannon
A person who is very difficult to control and unpredictable is a loose cannon.
Loose end
A loose end is an unresolved problem or unifinished business.
Loose lips sink ships
To have loose lips means to have a big mouth, susceptible to talking about everything and everyone. Sinking ships refers to anything from small acquaintances to long and hearty relationships (with friends or a significant other). So when one says loose lips sink ships, one is basically saying if you can't shut up you are going to end hurting people, usually psychologically or emotionally.Loose lips sink ships comes from World War I and/or WWII, when sailors on leave from their ships might talk about what ship they sailed on or where it had come from, or where it was going. If they talked too much (had 'loose lips') they might accidentally provide the enemy with anecdotal information that might later cause their ship to be tracked, and bombed and sunk, hence 'Loose lips sink ships.' Later, it came to mean any excessive talk might sabotage a project.
Lord love a duck
An exclamation used when nothing else will fit. Often fitting when one is stunned or dismayed.
Lord willing and the creek don't rise
Pertains to the ability to accomplish a task or meet an obligation, barring unforseen complications. Example: "I will be at work tomorrow, Lord willing and the creek don't rise."
Lose face
To lose one's reputation or standing is to lose face
Lose heart
If you lose heart, you stop believing that you can succeed in something, or lose your confidence, courage or conviction.
Lose the plot
If someone loses the plot, they have stopped being rational about something.
Lose your bottle
(UK) If someone loses their bottle, they lose the courage to do something.
Lose your gourd
If someone has lost the gourd, they are out of the mind or have gone crazy- "gourd" is a melon-like plant that symbolizes a person's head. ("Out of your gourd" and "Off your gourd" are also used.)
Lose your head
If you lose your head, you cannot control your emotions and actions.
Lose your lunch
(UK) If you lose your lunch, you vomit.
Lose your marbles
If someone has lost their marbles, they've gone mad.

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