English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 201-250 of 352 results for letter 'S'
Soft soap someone
If you soft soap someone, you flatter them.
Some other time
If somebody says they'll do something some other time, they mean at some indefinite time in the future, possibly never, but they certainly don't want to feel obliged to fix a specific time or date.
Something nasty in the woodshed
Something nasty in the woodshed means that someone as a dark secret or an unpleasant experience in their past.
Sound as a bell
If something or someone is as sound as a bell, they are very healthy or in very good condition.
Sound as a pound
(UK) if something is as sound as a pound, it is very good or reliable.
Sour grapes
When someone says something critical or negative because they are jealous, it is a case of sour grapes.
Sow the seeds
When people sow the seeds, they start something that will have a much greater impact in the future.
Sow your wild oats
If a young man sows his wild oats, he has a period of his life when he does a lot of exciting things and has a lot of sexual relationships. for e.g. He'd spent his twenties sowing his wild oats but felt that it was time to settle down.
Spanish practices
Unauthorized working methods that benefit those who follow them are Spanish practices.
Spanner in the works
(UK) If someone puts or throws a spanner in the works, they ruin a plan. In American English, 'wrench' is used instead of 'spanner'.
Spare the rod and spoil the child
This means that if you don't discipline children, they will become spoilt.
Speak of the devil!
If you are talking about someone and they happen to walk in, you can use this idiom as a way of letting them know you were talking about them.
Speak softly and carry a big stick
If you speak softly and carry a big stick, you make your case quietly but can back it up forcefully if necessary.
Speak to the organ grinder not the monkey
Talk to the boss not the subordinate
Speak volumes
If something speaks volumes, it tells us a lot about the real nature of something or someone,even though it may only be a small detail.
Speak with a forked tongue
To say one thing and mean another, to lie, to be two-faced
Speak your mind
If you speak your mind, you say what you exactly think about a subject regardless of whether others will agree with you or not.
Spend a penny
(UK) This is a euphemistic idiom meaning to go to the toilet.
Spend like a sailor
Someone who spends their money wildly spends like a sailor.
Spice of life
The spice of life is something that makes it feel worth living.
Spick and span
If a room is spick and span, it is very clean and tidy.
Spike your guns
If you spike someone's guns, you ruin their plans.
Spill the beans
If you spill the beans, you reveal a secret or confess to something.
Spin a yarn
If someone spins a yarn, they tell a story, usually a long or fanciful one.
Spinning a line
When someone spins you a line, they are trying to deceive you by lying.
Spinning a yarn
When someone spins you a yarn, they are trying to deceive you by lying.
Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak
If the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, someone lacks the willpower to change things they do because they derive too much pleasure from them.
Spirit of the law
The spirit of the law is the idea or ideas that the people who made the law wanted to have effect.
Spit blood
If someone is spitting blood, they are absolutely furious.
Spit it out
People say this when someone has something to say but is too embarrassed, shy, etc, to say it.
Spit nails
If someone is spitting nails, they are speaking or behaving in an extremely angry way.('Spit tacks' is also used.)
Spit the dummy
Reference to an infant spitting out their dummy (or pacifier) in order to cry. 'To spit the dummy' is to give up.
Spitting image
If a person is the spitting image of somebody, they look exactly alike.('Spit and image' is also used and some suggest it is a hasty pronunciation of "spirit & image", to suggest that someone completely resembles someone else. Example: He's the spirit & image of his grandfather.) 
Split hairs
If people split hairs, they concentrate on tiny and unimportant details to find fault with something.
Split the blanket
If people split the blanket, it means they get a divorce or end their relationship.
Spoil the ship for a ha'pworth of tar
(UK) If someone spoils the ship for a ha'pworth (halfpenny's worth) of tar, they spoil something completely by trying to make a small economy.
Spoilt for choice
When you have too many possibilities, and all of them good, you are spoilt for choice.
Spot on
If something is spot on, it is exactly right.
Sprat to catch a mackerel
If you use a sprat to catch a mackerel, you make a small expenditure or take a small risk in the hope of a much greater gain.
Spread the word
If you spread the word about something, you let as many people know about it as you can.
Spread the word
If you spreqad the word, you tell people or the public about something.
Spread yourself too thin
If you spread youself too thin, you overextend yourself and take on too many things to deal with them properly.
Spring chicken
Someone who's a spring chicken is very young, often inexperienced.
Spring to mind
If something springs to mind, it appears suddenly and unexpectedly in your thoughts.
Spur of the moment
If you do something on the spur of the moment, you do it because you felt like it at that time, without any planning or preparation.
Sputnik moment
A Sputnik moment is a point where people realise that they are threatened of challenged and have to redouble their efforts to catch up. It comes from the time when the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, the Sputnik 1, and beat the USA into space.
Square meal
A square meal is a substantial or filling meal.
Square Mile
(UK) The Square Mile is the City, the financial area of London.
Square peg in a round hole
If somebody's in a situation, organisation, etc, where they don't fit in and feel out of place, they are a square peg in a round hole.
Square the circle
When someone is squaring the circle, they are trying to do something impossible.

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