English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 1-46 of 46 results for letter 'Y'
Yah boo sucks
Yah boo & yah boo sucks can be used to show that you have no sympathy with someone.
Yank my chain
If some one says this to another person (i.e. stop yanking my chain) it means for the other person to leave the person who said it alone and to stop bothering them.
Yell bloody murder
(USA) If someone yells bloody murder, they protest angrily and loudly, or scream in fear.
Yellow press
The yellow press is a term for the popular and sensationalist newspapers.
Yellow streak
If someone has a yellow streak, they are cowardly about something.
Yellow-bellied
A yellow-bellied person is a coward.
Yen
If you have a yen to do something, you have a desire to do it.
Yeoman's service
(UK) To do yeoman's service is to serve in an exemplary manner.
Yes-man
Someone who always agrees with people in authority is a yes-man.
Yesterday's man or Yesterday's woman
Someone, especially a politician or celebrity, whose career is over or on the decline is yesterday's man or woman.
Yesterday's news
Someone or something that is yesterday's news is no longer interesting.
You are what you eat
This is used to emphasise the importance of a good diet as a key to good health.
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar
This means that it is easier to persuade people if you use polite arguments and flattery than if you are confrontational.
You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family
Some things you can choose, but others you cannot, so you have to try to make the best of what you have where you have no choice.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink
This idiom means you can offer something to someone, like good advice, but you cannot make them take it.
You can say that again
If you want to agree strongly with what someone has said, you can say 'You can say that again' as a way of doing so.
You can't beat that with a stick
This is an extension of the phrase "you can't beat that", meaning that you are unlikely to find a better outcome or deal than the one in question.
You can't fight City Hall
This phrase is used when one is so cynical that one doesn't think one can change their Representatives. The phrase must have started with frustration towards a local body of government.
You can't get there from here
(USA) US expression used in the New England area (most frequently in Maine) by persons being asked for directions to a far distant location that cannot be accessed without extensive, complicated directions.
You can't have cake and the topping, too
(USA) This idiom means that you can't have everything the way you want it, especially if your desires are contradictory.
You can't have your cake and eat it
This idiom means that you can't have things both ways. For example, you can't have very low taxes and a high standard of state care.
You can't hide elephants in mouseholes
You can't hide elephants in mouseholes means that some issues/problems/challenges cannot be hidden/concealed but have to be faced and dealt with.
You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
If something isn't very good to start with, you can't do much to improve it.
You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs
This idiom means that in order to achieve something or make progress, there are often losers in the process.
You can't take it with you
Enjoy life, enjoy what you have and don't worry about not having a lot, especially money...because once you're dead, 'you can't take it with you.' For some, it means to use up all you have before you die because it's no use to you afterwards.
You can't teach an old dog new tricks
It is difficult to make someone change the way they do something when they have been doing it the same way for a long time
You can't unring a bell
This means that once something has been done, you have to live with the consequences as it can't be undone.
You could cut it with a knife
If the air is so thick you could cut it with a knife, it is humid or muggy. It could also mean that there's a lot of tension.
You could have knocked me down with a feather
This idiom is used to mean that the person was very shocked or surprised.
You do not get a dog and bark yourself
(UK) If there is someone in a lower position who can or should do a task, then you shouldn't do it.
You get what you pay for
Something that is very low in price is not usually of very good quality.
You pays your money and you takes your chances
You pays your money and you takes your chances means that when you do something that involves a risk, you cannot control the outcome, so you may win or lose and should accept that.
You pays your money and you takes your choice
You pays your money and you takes your choice is used when people have to make choices that could result in them winning or losing- it is their decision and responsibility.
You reap what you sow
This means that if you do bad things to people, bad things will happen to you, or good things if you do good things.  It is normally used when someone has done something bad.
You said it!
Used to say you agree completely with something just said.
You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours
This idiom means that if you do something for me, I'll return the favour.
You what?
This is a very colloquial way of expressing surprise or disbelief at something you have heard. It can also be used to ask someone to say something again.
You're toast
If someone tells you that you are toast, you are in a lot of trouble.
You've got rocks in your head
(USA) Someone who has acted with a lack of intelligence has rocks in their head.
You've made your bed- you'll have to lie in it
This means that someone will have to live with the consequences of their own actions.
Young blood
Young people with new ideas and fresh approaches are young blood.
Young Turk
A Young Turk is a young person who is rebellious and difficult to control in a company, team or organisation.
Your belly button is bigger than your stomach
If your belly button is bigger than your stomach, you take on more responsibilities than you can handle.
Your call
If something is your call, it is up to you to make a decision on the matter.
Your name is mud
If someone's name is mud, then they have a bad reputation.
Your sins will find you out
This idiom means that things you do wrong will become known.

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