English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 151-200 of 352 results for letter 'S'
Slap leather
(USA) This is used as an instruction to tell people when to draw their guns.
Slap on the wrist
If someone gets a slap on the wrist, they get a very minor punishment when they could have been punished more severely.
Slave driver
If someone is a slave driver they work you very hard, often with unreal expectations of what you can achieve.
Sleep like a baby
If you sleep very well, you sleep like a baby.
Sleep like a log
If you sleep like a log, you sleep very soundly.
Sleep well- don't let the bedbugs bite
This is a way of wishing someone a good night's sleep.
Sleight of hand
Sleight of hand is the ability to use your hands in a clever way, like a magician performing tricks you can't see.
Slim chance
A slim chance is a very small chance.
Sling your hook
This is used as a way of telling someone to leave or go away.
Slip of the tongue
If you say something accidentally, it is a slip of the tongue.
Slip through one's fingers
If something slips through one’s fingers it escapes or is lost through carelessness.
Slip through the cracks
(UK) If something slips through the cracks, it isn't noticed or avoids detection.
Slip through the net
If something slips through the net, it isn't noticed or avoids detection.
Slippery customer
A person from whom it is difficult to get anything definite or fixed is a slippery customer.
Slippery slope
A slippery slope is where a measure would lead to further worse measures.
Slough of despond
If someone is very depressed or in despair, they're in a slough of despond.
Slow and steady wins the race
This expression means that consistency, although progress may be slow, will eventually be more beneficial than being hasty or careless just to get something done.
Slow boat to China
This idiom is used to describe something that is very slow and takes a long time.
Slow but sure
If something or someone is slow but sure, they may take their time to do something, but they are reliable.
Slow off the mark
If people are slow off the mark, they are slow to respond or act in a situation.
Slower than molasses going uphill in January
(USA) To move extremely slowly. Molasses drips slowly anyway but add January cold and gravity, dripping uphill would be an impossibility, thereby making the molasses move very slowly indeed!
Slowly, slowly catchy monkey
This means that eventually you will achieve your goal.
Sly as a fox
Someone who is as sly as a fox is cunning and experienced and can get what they want, often in an underhand way.
Smack in the face
If something is a smack in the face, it is a shock, usually one that impedes progress.
Small beer
If something is small beer, it's unimportant.
Small dog, tall weeds
This idiom is used to describe someone the speaker does not believe has the ability or resources to handle a task or job.
Small fry
If someone is small fry, they are unimportant. The term is often used when the police arrest the less important criminals, but are unable to catch the leaders and masterminds.
Small potatoes
Someone or something that is unimportant is small potatoes.
Small-time
If a person or a thing is called 'small-time' it means they're inconsequential, not worth much, don't play in the 'big leagues', as in 'a small-time operator'.
Smart Alec
A smart Alec is a conceited person who likes to show off how clever and knowledgeable they are.
Smart as a whip
A person who is smart as a whip is very clever.
Smarty pants
A smarty pants is someone who displays the intelligence in an annoying way.
Smell a rat
If you smell a rat, you know instinctively that something is wrong or that someone is lying to you.
Smoke and mirrors
An attempt to conceal something is smoke and mirrors.
Smoke like a chimney
Someone who smokes very heavily smokes like a chimney.
Smoke the peace pipe
If people smoke the peace pipe, they stop arguing and fighting.
Smokestack industry
Heavy industries like iron and steel production, especially if they produce a lot of pollution, are smokestack industries.
Smoking gun
A smoking gun is definitive proof of someone's guilt.
Smooth as a baby's bottom
If something is smooth as a baby's bottom, it has a regular, flat surface.
Smooth sailing
If something is smooth sailing, then you can progress without difficulty.  ('Plain sailing' is also used.)
Snake in the grass
Someone who is a snake in the grass betrays you even though you have trusted them.
Snake oil
Advice or medicine which is of no use.
Snake oil salesperson
A person who promotes something that doesn't work, is selling snake oil.
Snipe hunt
A snipe hunt is a situation in which someone is tricked into chasing after something that does not exist. The origin comes from a hazing ritual in which someone would be led into the field to catch snipe (an imaginary animal) in a sack while the other hunters pushed the snipe in that direction. The other hunters would in reality leave the hunter there and go on their way.
Snug as a bug in a rug
If you're as snug as a bug in a rug, you are feeling very comfortable indeed.
So it goes
This idiom is used to be fatalistic and accepting when something goes wrong.
So on and so forth
And so on and so forth mean the same as etcetera (etc.).
So what
Impolite reply showing that the speaker is not impressed by what has been said. ex: So what? Why should I care?
Sod's law
Sod's law states that if something can go wrong then it will.
Soft shoe
Speaking to someone or a speech given in a gentle or conciliatory way.

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