Transport & Travel Idioms (Page 1)

Showing 1-50 of 60 results
As much use as a handbrake on a canoe
This idiom is used to describe someone or something as worthless or pointless.
Asleep at the wheel
If someone is asleep at the wheel, they are not doing their job or taking their responsibilities very carefully. 'Asleep at the switch' is an alternative.
At the crossroads
If you're at a crossroads, you are a point where an important decision or choice has to be made.
Backseat driver
A backseat driver is an annoying person who is fond of giving advice to the person performing a task or doing something, especially when the advice is either wrong or unwelcome.
Beam me up, Scotty
Something someone says when they want to get out of a place or situation, meaning 'Get me out of here!'. (It comes from the TV series and movies Star Trek, though the exact words used were a little different.)
Built like a Mack Truck
(USA) This is a common phrase used in the US among its citizens to refer to something that is rugged and solidly built that will provide years of reliable service. It can be a reference to a person, building, piece of furniture, a structure, etc.
Circle the wagons
(USA) If you circle the wagons, you stop communicating with people who don't think the same way as you to avoid their ideas.  It can also mean to bring everyone together to defend a group against an attack.
Clear the decks
When you clear the decks, you get ready for an important action and put away items that might get in your way.
Climb on the bandwagon
When people climb on the bandwagon they do something because it is popular and everyone else is doing it.
Cool your Jets
(USA) If someone is angry or unsettled, telling them to cool their jets means they should calm down.
Country mile
(USA) A country mile is used to describe a long distance.
Fall off the back of a lorry
(UK) If someone tries to sell you something that has fallen of the back of a lorry, they are trying to sell you stolen goods.
Fall off the wagon
If someone falls off the wagon, they start drinking after having given up completely for a time.
Fifth wheel
(USA) A fifth wheel is something unnecessary or useless.
Fork in the road
A fork in the road is a point where you have to make a decision and choose which possibility you are going to stick with.
Full throttle
If you do something full throttle, you do it with as much speed and energy as you can.
Go play in traffic
This is used as a way of telling someone to go away.
Go to town
Someone who goes to town does something enthusiastically and as completely as possible, especially if this involves spending a lot of money.
Hit a roadblock
If you hit a roablock, something stops you from making progress or continuing with something.
Hit the deck
If you hit the deck, you jump or lie down quickly to avoid danger or detection.
Hit the road
When people hit the road, they leave a place to go somewhere else.
I'll cross that road when I come to it
I'll think about something just when it happens, not in advance.
In high gear
(USA) If something is in high gear, it is in a quick-paced mode. If someone is in high gear, they are feverishly on the fast track.
In the driver's seat
If you are in the driver's seat, you are in charge of something or in control of a situation.
Jump on the bandwagon
If people jump on the bandwagon, they get involved in something that has recently become very popular.
Jump ship
If you leave a company or institution for another because it is doing badly, you are jumping ship.
Jump the track
Jumping the track is suddenly changing from one plan, activity, idea, etc, to another.
Kick into gear
If  something kicks into gear, it gets going or started.
Kick over the traces
Kicking over the traces is wild rebellious behaviour or being out of control. It comes from when a horse in harness got a rear leg over the traces, which attach it to the vehicle, it started pulling and became uncontrollable.
Kick someone to the curb
If you kick someone to the curb, you fire them- they are longer employed or wanted.(In British English, you kick someone to the kerb.)
Kick the can down the road
If you  kick the can down the road, you delay a decision in hopes that the problem or issue will go away or somebody else will make the decision later.
Move up a gear
If you move up a gear, you start to perform in a clearly better way, especially in sport.
Off the track
If something puts or throws you off your track, it distracts you or keeps you from achieving what you want.
On the wagon
If someone is on the wagon, they have stopped drinking alcohol.
Put the brakes on
When you put the brakes on, you are blocking someone's activities, or causing someone to stop doing something.
Put the carriage before the horse
If you put the carriage before the horse, you try to do things in the wrong order.
Put the pedal to the metal
If you put the pedal to the metal, you go faster.
Rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic
(UK) If people are rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, they are making small changes that will have no effect as the project, company, etc, is in very serious trouble.
Reinvent the wheel
If someone reinvents the wheel, they waste their time doing something that has already been done by other people, when they could be doing something more worthwhile.
Right up my alley
If something is right up your alley, it suits you perfectly.
Right up your street
If something is ideal for you, it is right up your street.
Rocky road
If someone is going down a rocky road, they have problems and difficulties to deal with.
Running on fumes
If someone has used all their energy on something, but must continue, they are running on fumes. It is an expression used when driving a car when the needle is on empty but still running. We say it is 'running on fumes'.
Ship came in
If your ship has come in, something very good has happened to you.
Smooth sailing
If something is smooth sailing, then you can progress without difficulty.  ('Plain sailing' is also used.)
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.
Step up a gear
If you step up a gear, you perform noticeably better, especially in sport.
Sunday driver
A Sunday driver drives very slowly and makes unexpected manoeuvres.
Take for a test drive
If you take something for a test driver, you try something to see if you like it.
That ship has sailed
A particular opportunity has passed you by when that ship has sailed.

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