English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 251-300 of 352 results for letter 'S'
Squared away
Being prepared or ready for business or tasks at hand. Having the proper knowledge, skill and equipment to handle your assignment or station. 'He is a great addition to the squad; he is squared away.'
Squeaky clean
If something is squeaky clean, it is very clean indeed- spotless. If a person is squeaky clean, they have no criminal record and are not suspected of illegal or immoral activities.
Squeaky wheel gets the grease
(USA) When people say that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, they mean that the person who complains or protests the loudest attracts attention and service.
Squeeze blood out of a turnip
(USA) When people say that you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip, it means that you cannot get something from a person, especially money, that they don't have.
Stake a claim
If you stake a claim to something, you announce that it belongs to you.
Stalking horse
A stalking horse is a strategy or something used to conceal your intentions.  It is often used where someone put themselves forwards as a candidate to divide opponents or to hide the real candidate.
Stand head and shoulders above
It means to stand apart from the rest (in a good way), or to be the best. For example, "With his amazing grasp on the subject, John stood head and shoulders above the rest".
Stand in good stead
If something will stand you in good stead, it will probably be advantageous in the future.
Stand tall
If you stand tall, you are brave, proud or confident.
Stand the test of time
If something like a work of art stands the test of time, it is appreciated forever.
Stare down the barrel of a gun
If someone is staring down the barrel of a gun, there's a high risk of something very bad happening.
Stars and stripes
The stars and stripes is the American flag.
Stars in your eyes
Someone who dreams of being famous has stars in their eyes.
Start from scratch
When you start something from scratch, you start at the very beginning.
State of the art
If something is state of the art, it is the most up-to-date model incorporating the latest and best technology.
Status quo
Someone who wants to preserve the status quo wants a particular situation to remain unchanged.
Stay the course
If you stay the course, you continue to do something no matter how difficult it is.
Steal a march
This expression indicates the stealthiness of a person over another to gain advantage of the situation. For instance, if two persons are offered some jobs which are vacant, they resolve to go together next day at an agreed time, but one of them, without telling the other, goes earlier than the other and secures the better of the two jobs, he is said to steal a march on the other person.
Steal someone's thunder
If someone steals your thunder, they take the credit and praise for something you did.
Steal the show
If you steal the show, you act or do so well in a performance that you get most of the attention.
Steer clear of
If you steer clear of something, you avoid it.
Stem the tide
If people try to stem the tide, they are trying to stop something unpleasant from getting worse, usually when they don't succeed.
Step on it
This idiom is a way of telling someone to hurry up or to go faster.
Step on someone's toes
If you step on someone's toes, you upset them, especially if you do something that they should be in charge of.
Step up a gear
If you step up a gear, you perform noticeably better, especially in sport.
Step up to the plate
If someone steps up to the plate, they take on or accept a challenge or a responsibility.
Stew in your own juices
If you leave someone to stew in their own juices, you leave them to worry about the consequences of what they have done wrong or badly.
Stick in your craw
If someone or something really annoys you, it is said to stick in your craw.
Stick out like a sore thumb
If something sticks or stands out like a sore thumb, it is clearly and obviously different from the things that are around it.
Stick to your guns
If you stick to your guns, you keep your position even though people attack or criticise you.
Stick your neck out
If you stick you neck out, you take a risk because you believe in something.
Stick-in-the-mud
A stick-in-the-mud is someone who doesn't like change and wants things to stay the same.
Sticking point
A sticking point is a controversial issue that blocks progress in negotiations, etc, where compromise is unlikely or impossible.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me
To be resistant to criticism.  This is often said to young children upset over the fact that another child called them something that they did not like.
Sticky end
(UK) If someone comes to a sticky end, they die in an unpleasant way. ('Meet a sticky end' is also used.)
Sticky fingers
The tendency to keep (or steal) an object you touch.  Also, to steal something quickly without anyone noticing. (ex: 'You stole that guy's wallet? You have some sticky fingers, my friend.')
Sticky wicket
(UK) If you are on a sticky wicket, you are in a difficult situation.
Stiff as a poker
Something or someone that is stiff as a poker is inflexible. ('Stiff as a board' is also used.)
Stiff upper lip
(UK) If you keep your emotions to yourself and don't let others know how you feel when something bad happens, you keep a stiff upper lip.
Stiff-necked
A stiff-necked person is rather formal and finds it hard to relax in company.
Still in the game
If someone is still in the game, they may be having troubles competing, but they are not yet finished and may come back.
Still waters run deep
People use this idiom to imply that people who are quiet and don't try to attract attention are often more interesting than people who do try to get attention.
Stir the blood
If something stirs your blood, it arouses feelings or passions,.
Stir the pot
To stir the pot is  to agitate a situation to cause a reaction or trouble.
Stitch in time saves nine
A stitch in time saves nine means that if a job needs doing it is better to do it now, because it will only get worse, like a hole in clothes that requires stitching.
Stone dead
This idiom is a way of emphasizing that there were absolutely no signs of life or movement.
Stone deaf
Someone who is stone deaf is completely deaf.
Stone the crows
(AU) Stone the crows is used to convey shock or surprise similarly to "Oh my God". "Stone the flamin' crows" is a more emphatic form of the expression.
Stone's throw
If a place is a stone's throw from where you are, it is a very short distance away.
Stool pigeon
(USA) A stool pigeon is a police informer.

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