General Idioms (Page 18)
- 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.
- Piping hot
If food is piping hot, it is very hot indeed.
- Plain as a pikestaff
If something is as plain as a pikestaff, it is very clear.
- Plain sailing
If something is relatively easy and there are no problems doing it, it is plain sailing.
- Plan B
Plan is an alternate or fall-back position or method when the initial attempt or plan goes wrong.
- Play fast and loose
If people play fast and loose, they behave in an irresponsible way and don't respect rules, etc.
- Play for keeps
If you are playing for keeps, you take things very seriously and the outcome is very important to you; it is not a mere game.
- Play hard to get
If someone plays hard to get, they pretend not to be interewsted or attracted by someone, usually to make the other person increase their efforts.
- Play havoc
Playing havoc with something is creating disorder and confusion; computer viruses can play havoc with your programs.
- Play hooky
If people play hooky, they don't attend school when they should and don't have a valid reason for their absence.
- Play the fool
If someone plays the fool, they behave in a silly way to make people laugh.
('Act the fool' is and alternative form.)
- Play with fire
If people take foolish risks, they are playing with fire.
- Playing to the gallery
If someone plays to the gallery, they say or do things that will make them popular at the expense of more important issues.
- Please revert
Please respond to me if the solution provided is incorrect or insufficient.
- Poetry in motion
Something that is poetry in motion is beautiful to watch.
- Poles apart
When two people or parties have an opinion or point of view that is as far apart as they could possibly be, they are poles apart.
- Pop the question
When someone pops the question, they ask someone to marry them.
Post-haste means as quickly as possible.
If you take pot-luck, you take whatever happens to be available at the time.
- Pour oil on troubled waters
If someone pours oil on troubled waters, they try to calm things down.
- Powers that be
The powers that be are the people who are in charge of something.
- Practical joke
A practical joke is a trick played on someone that is meant to be funny for people watching, though normally embarrassing for the person being tricked.
- Presence of mind
If someone behaves calmly and rationally in difficult circumstances, they show presence of mind.
- Pride goes before a fall
Excessive pride or confidence can allow people to make mistakes or go wrong.
- Prim and proper
Someone who is prim and proper always behaves in the correct way and never breaks the rules of etiquette.
- Pros and cons
Pros and cons are arguments for or against a particular issue. Pros are arguments which aim to promote the issue, while cons suggest points against it. The term has been in use since the 16th century and is a shortening of a Latin phrase, pro et contra, which means “for and against.” Considering the pros and cons of an issue is a very useful way to weigh the issue thoughtfully and reach an informed decision.
- Pull in the reins
When you pull in the reins, you slow down or stop something that has been a bit out of control.
- Pull strings
If you pull strings, you use contacts you have got to help you get what you want.
- Pull the other one, it's got brass bells on
This idiom is way of telling somebody that you don't believe them. The word 'brass' is optional.
- Pull the pin
If you pull the pin, you put an end to something, quit or resign.
- Pull your chain
If someone pulls your chain, they take advantage of you in an unfair way or do something to annoy you.
- Pull your weight
If someone is not pulling their weight, they aren't making enough effort, especially in group work.
- Pulling chocks
If you pull chocks, you get ready and leave a place.
- Push comes to shove
If or when push comes to shove, the situation has become some bad that you are forced to do something:
If push comes to shove, we'll just have to use our savings.
- Push the envelope
This means to go to the limits, to do something to the maximum possible.
- Put a cork in it!
This is a way of telling someone to be quiet.
- Put on airs
If someone puts on airs, they pretend to be grander and more important than they really are.
- Put some dirt on it
This means that when you get hurt, you should rub it off or shake it off and you'll be ok.
- Put someone on a pedestal
If you put someone on a pedestal, you admire them greatly, idolise them.
- Put the kybosh on
To put an end to something.
- Put up or shut up
'Put up or shut up' means you do something you are talking about or not to talk about it any more.
- Put you in mind
If something suggests something to you, it puts you in mind of that thing.
- Put you in the picture
If you put someone in the picture, you tell them the information they need to know about something.
- Queer Street
If someone is in a lot of trouble, especially financial, they are in Queer Street.
- Queer your pitch
If someone queers your pitch, they interfere in your affairs and spoil things.
- Queue jumping
Someone who goes to the front of a queue instead of waiting is jumping the queue.
- Quick as a flash
If something happens quick as a flash, it happens very fast indeed.
Suggest an Idiom
Members Get More
- Sign up for free and gain access to many more
idioms and slang expressions. Register now