General Idioms (Page 18)

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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
(UK) 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
(India) 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
(USA) 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.

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