English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 51-100 of 204 results for letter 'P'
Pieces of the same cake
Pieces of the same cake are things that have the same characteristics or qualities.
Pig in a poke
If someone buys a pig in a poke, they buy something without checking the condition it was in, usually finding out later that it was defective.
Pig in clover
Someone who is very happy and pleased is as happy as a pig in clover.
Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered
(USA) This idiom is used to express being satisfied with enough, that being greedy or too ambitious will be your ruin.
Pigs might fly
If you think something will never happen or succeed, you can say that 'pigs might fly' (or 'pigs can fly' and 'pigs will fly'- the idiom is used in many forms)
Pile it on thick
To pile it on thick is to exaggerate or overstate something, usually flattery or praise.  ('Lay it on thick' is also used.)
Pin down with a label
If you pin someone down with a label, you characterise them, often meant negatively as the label is restrictive.
Pin money
(UK) If you work for pin money, you work not because you need to but because it gives you money for extra little luxuries and treats.
Pinch of salt
If what someone says should be taken with a pinch of salt, then they exaggerate and distort things, so what they say shouldn't be believed unquestioningly. ('with a grain of salt' is an alternative.)
Pink pound
(UK) In the UK, the pink pound is an idiom for the economic power of gay people.
Pink slip
If someone receives a pink slip, they receive a letter telling them they have lost their job.
Pipe dream
A pipe dream is an unrealistic, impractical idea or scheme.
Piping hot
If food is piping hot, it is very hot indeed.
Place in the sun
If you have your place in the sun, you find wealth, happiness or whatever you are looking for in life.
Plain as a pikestaff
(UK) If something is as plain as a pikestaff, it is very clear.
Plain as the nose on your face
If something is as plain as the nose on your face, it is very clear and obvious.
Plain Jane
A plain Jane is a woman who isn't particularly attractive.
Plain sailing
If something is relatively easy and there are no problems doing it, it is plain sailing.
Plan B
Plan  is an alternate or fall-back position or method when the initial attempt or plan goes wrong.
Plastic smile
When someone is wearing a plastic smile, they are appear to be happier with a situation or events than they actually are. This is actually a description of the forced smile you might see in many photographs.
Play ball
If you play ball, you agree to do what someone asks you to do, or to agree to work with someone in order to achieve something together (often negative)
Play by ear
If you play by ear, you deal with something in an impromptu manner, without guidelines or rules. It refers to playing music without using written notation.
Play fast and loose
If people play fast and loose, they behave in an irresponsible way and don't respect rules, etc.
Play for keeps
If you are playing for keeps, you take things very seriously and the outcome is very important to you; it is not a mere game.
Play for time
If you play for time, you delay something because because you are not ready or need more time to thing about it.  Eg. I knew I had to play for time until the police arrived.
Play hard to get
If someone plays hard to get, they pretend not to be interewsted or attracted by someone, usually to make the other person increase their efforts.
Play hardball
If someone plays hardball, they are very aggressive in trying to achieve their aim.
Play havoc
Playing havoc with something is creating disorder and confusion; computer viruses can play havoc with your programs.
Play hooky
If people play hooky, they don't attend school when they should and don't have a valid reason for their absence.
Play into someone's hands
If you play into someone's hands, you do what they were expecting you to do and take advantage of this.
Play it by ear
If you play it by ear, you don't have a plan of action, but decide what to do as events take shape.
Play out of your skin
If someone plays out of their skin, they give an outstanding performance.
Play possum
To pretend to be dead or sleeping. His younger sister jumped on him because she knew he was just playing possum.
Play second fiddle
If you play second fiddle, you take a subordinate role behind someone more important.
Play the field
Someone who plays the field dates or has sexual relationships with many people.
Play the fool
If someone plays the fool, they behave in a silly way to make people laugh. ('Act the fool' is and alternative form.)
Play with fire
If people take foolish risks, they are playing with fire.
Playing to the gallery
If someone plays to the gallery, they say or do things that will make them popular at the expense of more important issues.
Please revert
(India) Please respond to me if the solution provided is incorrect or insufficient.
Pleased as punch
When someone is pleased as punch, they are very satisfied about something
Poacher turned gamekeeper
Someone who gets a legitimate job which is the opposite of their previous one. E.G a computer hacker who then helps to catch other hackers or an ex-bank robber who then advises banks on security.
Poetry in motion
Something that is poetry in motion is beautiful to watch.
Point the finger
When you point the finger at someone, you are accusing and blaming them for something.
Pointy-heads
Pointy-heads are supposed intellectuals or experts, but who don't really know that much.
Poison pill
A poison pill is a strategy designed to prevent a company from being taken over.
Poisoned chalice
If someone is given a poisoned chalice, they are given a job or task which appears attractive but is actually doomed to failure or beset with problems that will damage their reputation or harm them.
Poker face
Someone with a poker face doesn't show any emotion or reaction so that people don't know what they are feeling.
Pole position
If you're in pole position, you're in the best position to win or achieve something.
Poles apart
When two people or parties have an opinion or point of view that is as far apart as they could possibly be, they are poles apart.
Polish the apples
(USA) Someone who polishes the apples with someone, tries to get into that person's favor.

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