General Idioms (Page 17)

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On the map
If a place becomes widely known, it is put on the map. A place that remains unknown is off the map.
On the off-chance
If you do something on the off-chance, you do it in case it works, even though the chance of success may be small.
On the same page
If people are on the same page, they have the same information and are thinking the same way.
On the shelf
If something like a project is on the shelf, nothing is being done about it at the moment.
On the skids
When things or people are on the skids, they are in serious decline and trouble.
On the sly
If someone does something on the sly, they do it furtively or secretly.
On the take
(UK) Someone who is stealing from work is on the take.
On the trot
(UK) This idiom means 'consecutively'; I'd saw them three days on the trot, which means that I saw them on three consecutive days.
On the up and up
If you are on the up and up, you are making very good progress in life and doing well.
On the up and up
To say that something or someone is on the up and up means that the thing or person is legitimate, honest, respectable.
On the uptake
If someone is quick on the uptake, they understand something quickly, but if they're slow on the uptake, it takes them a long time to get it.
On top of the world
If you are on top of the world, everything is going well for you.
On track
If you are on track, you are on schedule to achieve something as planned.
On your soapbox
If someone is up on their soapbox about something, they are very overtly and verbally passionate about the topic.
On your tod
If you are on your tod, you are alone.
One good turn deserves another
This means that when people do something good, something good will happen to them.
One nail drives out another
A new pain or problem will stop you worrying or feeling bad about something else.
Open book
If a person is an open book, it is easy to know what they think or how they feel about things.
Open old sores
When a sore is almost healed, and if a person rips or tears it open, it is way of preventing the healing process and further aggravating the pain. This phrase, metaphorically suggests, to revive or reopen a quarrel or enmity which was almost forgotten.
Open secret
An open secret is something that is supposed to be secret but is common knowledge.
Open the floodgates
If you open the floodgates, you make something possible to happen that had been difficult, illegal or impossible.
Open-and-shut
A question or issue that is open-and-shut is easily proved or settled.
Out and about
If someone is out and about, they have left their home and are getting things done that they need to do.
Out in the sticks
(UK) If someone lives out in the sticks, they live out in the country, a long way from any metropolitan area.
Out like a light
If you are out like a light, you fall fast asleep.
Out of my league
If someone or something is out of your league, you aren't good enough or rich enough, etc, for it or them.
Out of sight, out of mind
Out of sight, out of mind is used to suggest that someone will not think or worry about something if it isn't directly visible or available to them.
Out of sorts
If you are feeling a bit upset and depressed, you are out of sorts.
Out of the box
Thinking out of the box is thinking in a creative way. However, it can also be used for a ready-made product that requires no specialist knowledge to set it up.
Out of this world
If something is out of this world, it is fantastic.
Out of Whack
If something is out of whack, it is not working correctly or not in the correct order.
Out-and-out
This means complete or total; an out-and-out lie is completey false.
Over a barrel
If someone has you over a barrel, they have you in a position where you have no choice but to accept what they want.
Over and over
If something happens over and over, it happens repeatedly.
Over the hill
If someone is over the hill they have reached an age at which they can longer perform as well as they used to.
Over the moon
If you are over the moon about something, you are overjoyed.
Paddle your own canoe
(USA) If you paddle your own canoe, you do things for yourself without outside help.
Page turner
A book so interesting that you can't stop reading it is a page turner.
Paint yourself into a corner
(USA) If someone paints themselves into a corner, they get themselves into a mess.
Part and parcel
If something is part and parcel of your job, say, it is an essential and unavoidable part that has to be accepted.
Pass muster
If something passes muster, it meets the required standard.
Pass the buck
If you pass the buck, you avoid taking responsibility by saying that someone else is responsible.
Pearl of wisdom
A pearl of wisdom is a good or important piece of advice, but it is often used in an ironic way when someone gives advice that is very obvious or not very useful.
Pep talk
When someone gives you a pep talk it is to build you up to help you accomplish something. In sports a coach might give a player a pep talk before the game to bolster his confidence. At work the boss might give you a pep talk to get you to do a better job.
Perish the thought
Perish the thought is an expression meaning that you really hope something will not happen.
Pick holes
If you pick holes in a plan,theory, argument, etc, you find problems with it.
Pick up the pace
To speed things up
Picture perfect
When something is exactly as it should be it is said to be picture perfect.
Pile it on thick
To pile it on thick is to exaggerate or overstate something, usually flattery or praise.  ('Lay it on thick' is also used.)
Pin down with a label
If you pin someone down with a label, you characterise them, often meant negatively as the label is restrictive.

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