English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 101-150 of 168 results for letter 'W'
Who has eaten of the pot knows the taste of the broth
Experience is the best teacher.
Who wears the pants?
(USA) The person who wears the pants in a relationship is the dominant person who controls things.
Who wears the trousers?
(UK) The person who wears the trousers in a relationship is the dominant person who controls things.
Who will ring the bell?
'Who will ring the bell?' asks who will assume the responsibility to help us out of a difficult situation. 
Whole ball of wax
(USA) The whole ball of wax is everything.
Whole cloth
(USA) If something is made out of whole cloth, it is a fabrication and not true.
Whole kit and caboodle
The whole kit and caboodle means 'everything' required or involved in something. ('Kaboodle' is an alternative spelling.)
Whole new ball game
If something's a whole new ball game, it is completely new or different.
Whole nine yards
The whole nine yards means means everything that is necessary or required for something.
Whole shebang
The whole shebang includes every aspect of something.
Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free
This idiom is usually used to refer to men who don't want to get married, when they can get all the benefits of marriage without getting married.
Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
There's no need to do something yourself when you have somebody to do it for you, usually trivial matters.
Wide berth
If you give someone a wide berth, you keep yourself well away from them because they are dangerous.
Wide of the mark
If something is wide of the mark, it is inaccurate or incorrect.
Wild goose chase
A wild goose chase is a waste of time- time spent trying to do something unsuccessfully.
Wildcat
A wildcat scheme is rash - financially or ethically - and will probably fail.
Wilder than a peach orchard boar
(USA) A person who is out of control or running wild.
Will never fly
If an idea or project, etc, will never fly, it has no chance of succeeding.
Will-o'-the-wisp
Something that deceives by its appearance is a will-o’-the-wisp; it looks good, but turns out to be a disappointment.
Win by a nose
If somebody wins by a nose, they only just beat the others.
Window dressing
If something is done to pretend to be dealing with an issue or problem, rather than actually dealing with it, it is window dressing.
Window to the soul
Eyes are sometimes referred to as the window to the soul.
Wing and a prayer
If you do something on a wing and a prayer, you try to do something and hope you'll succeed even though you have very little chance of success.
Winner takes all
If everything goes to the winner, as in an election, the winner takes all.
Wipe the floor with
(UK) If you wipe the floor with someone, you destroy the arguments or defeat them easily.
Wipe the smile of someone's face
If you wipe the smile of someone's face, you do something to make someone feel less pleased with themselves.
With a heavy hand
If someone does something with a heavy hand, they do it in a strict way, exerting a lot of control.
With child
(UK) If a woman's with child, she's pregnant.
With flying colours (colors)
If you pass something with flying colours (colors), you pass easily, with a very high mark or grade.
With friends like that, who needs enemies?
This expression is used when people behave badly or treat someone badly that they are supposed to be friends with.
Wither on the vine
If something withers on the vine, it fails to get the intended result, doesn't come to fruition.
Within a whisker
If you come within a whisker of doing something, you very nearly manage to do it but  don't succeed.
Without a hitch
If something happens without a hitch, nothing at all goes wrong.
Woe betide you
This is used to wish that bad things will happen to someone, usually because of their bad behaviour.
Woe is me
This means that you are sad or in a difficult situation. It's archaic, but still used.
Wolf in sheep's clothing
A wolf in sheep's clothing is something dangerous that looks quite safe and innocent.
Wood for the trees
(UK) If someone can't see the wood for the trees, they get so caught up in small details that they fail to understand the bigger picture.
Word of mouth
If something becomes known by word of mouth, it is because people are talking about it, not through publicity, etc.
Word of the law
The word of the law means that the law is interpreted in an absolutely literal way which goes against the ideas that the lawmakers had wished to implement.
Words fail me
If words fail you, you can't find the words to express what you are trying to say.
Work like a charm
If something works like a charm, it works perfectly.
Work like a dog
If you work like a dog, you work very hard.
Work the system
If people work the system, they exploit the state or similar setup to their advantage.
Work your fingers to the bone
If you work your fingers to the bone, you work extremely hard on something.
Work your socks off
If you work your socks off, you work very hard.
Work your tail off
If you work your tail off, you work extremely hard.
World at your feet
If everything is going well and the future looks full of opportunity, you have the world at your feet.
World is your oyster
When the world is your oyster, you are getting everything you want from life.
Worm information
If you worm information out of somebody, you persuade them to tell you something they wanted to keep from you.
Worm turns
When the worm turns, people stop accepting a bad situation and become hostile.

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