in someone's hair
Annoying or bothering someone. For example, She was constantly in my hair, overseeing everything I did, or Dad was working on taxes, and the children were getting in his hair. This expression alludes to entangling one's hair. [Mid-1800s] The antonym, out of someone's hair, is often used as an imperative, as in Get out of my hair!
shoot off one's mouth
Speak indiscreetly; also, brag or boast. For example, Now don't go shooting off your mouth about it; it's supposed to be a surprise, or Terry is always shooting off his mouth about how many languages he speaks.
jump down someone's throat
Strongly criticize, reprimand or disagree with someone. For example, Just because I admitted to being there, you needn't jump down my throat.
pay through the nose
Pay an excessive amount for something, as in We paid through the nose for that vacation. The origin of this term has been lost. Possibly it alludes to the Danish nose tax, imposed in Ireland in the 9th century, whereby delinquent taxpayers were punished by having their noses slit.
pull someone's leg
Play a joke on, tease, as in Are you serious about moving back in or are you pulling my leg? This term is thought to allude to tripping someone by so holding a stick or other object that one of his legs is pulled back.
stick one's neck out
Make oneself vulnerable, take a risk, as in I'm going to stick my neck out and ask for a raise. This expression probably alludes to a chicken extending its neck before being slaughtered.
Physically awkward, especially with respect to the hands, as in When it comes to knitting, Mary is all thumbs.
without a leg to stand on
With no chance of success, as in He tried to get the town to change the street lights, but because there was no money in the budget he found himself without a leg to stand on. A related idiom is not have a leg to stand on, as in Once the detective exposed his false alibi, he didn't have a leg to stand on. This metaphoric idiom transfers lack of physical support to arguments or theories.
for the birds
Worthless, not to be taken seriously, no good. For example, This conference is for the birds--let's leave now. This term has been said to allude to horse droppings from which birds would extract seeds. This seemingly fanciful theory is borne out by a more vulgar version of this idiom, shit for the birds.
Straight from the horse's mouth
Straight from the horse's mouth is an idiomatic saying which means (inter alia) "the original source."
To behave in a rowdy, improper, or unruly fashion: act up, carry on, misbehave. Informal cut up.
(idiom) Indulge in frivolous activity or play. For example, The boys were horsing around all afternoon. This term presumably alludes to horseplay, which has meant "rough or boisterous play"
cat got one's tongue
A comment made when someone is unaccountably or unusually quiet, as in We haven't heard from you all morning--has the cat got your tongue? Often put as a question, this term originally was used mainly with a child who did something wrong and refused to answer any questions. Today it is used more generally to ask anyone to speak.
play it by ear
Play it by ear" is an idiom meaning to improvise, act spontaneously, to do something which has not been planned.
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