General Idioms (Page 20)

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Safe and sound
If you arrive safe and sound, then nothing has harmed you on your way.
Safe bet
A proposition that is a safe bet doesn't have any risks attached.
Safety in numbers
If a lot of people do something risky at the same time, the risk is reduced because there is safety in numbers.
Same old, same old
When nothing changes, it's the same old, same old.
Say when
People say this when pouring a drink as a way of telling you to tell them when there's enough in your glass.
If you do something on someone else's say-so, you do it on the authority, advice or recommendation.
Saying is one thing; doing is another
It's harder to do something than it is to say that you will do it.
Schoolyard pick
When people take it in turns to choose a member of a team, it is a schoolyard pick.
Scraping the barrel
When all the best people, things or ideas and so on are used up and people try to make do with what they have left, they are scraping the barrel.
Scratch the surface
When you scratch the surface of  something, you have a superficial knowledge or understanding of it.
Scream bloody murder
If you scream bloody murder, you protest loudly and angrily, or scream in fear.
Screw loose
If someone has a screw loose, they are crazy.
Screwed if you do, screwed if you don't
This means that no matter what you decide or do in a situation, there will be negative consequences.
Seal of approval
If something, such as a plan, gets your seal of approval, you agree with or support it.
Seamy side
The seamy side of something is the unpleasant or sordid aspect it has.
Searching question
A searching question goes straight to the heart of the subject matter, possibly requiring an answer with a degree of honesty that the other person finds uncomfortable.
Second thoughts
If some has second thoughts, they start to think that an idea, etc, is not as good as it sounded at first and are starting to have doubts.
Second wind
If you overcome tiredness and find new energy and enthusiasm, you have second wind.
See fit
If you see fit to do something, you consider it correct or appropriate to do it.
See the elephant
If you see the elephant, you experience much more than you wish to; it is often used when a soldier goes into a warzone for the first time.
See the light
When someone sees the light, they realise the truth.
See you anon
(UK) If somebody says this when leaving, they expect to see you again soon.
See you later
A casual way of saying to friends I'll see you again, sometime, (without a definite date or time having been set) - this is often abbreviated to 'Later' or 'Laters' as an alternative way of saying goodbye.
Seeing is believing
This idiom means that people can only really believe what they experience personally.
Seen better days
If something's seen better days, it has aged badly and visibly compared to when it was new. The phrase can also be used to describe people.
Send someone packing
If you send someone packing, you send them away, normally when they want something from you.
Serve your country
When someone is serving their country, they have enrolled in the military.
Set in stone
If something is set in stone, it cannot be changed or altered.
Set the stage
If you create the conditions for something to happen or take place, you set the stage for it.
Set the wheels in motion
When you set the wheels in motion, you get something started.
Settle a score
If you settle a score, you take revenge for something that someone did to you in the past.
Shades of meaning
Shades of meaning is a phrase used to describe the small, subtle differences in meaning between similar words or phrases; 'kid' and 'youth' both refer to young people, but carry differing views and ideas about young people.
Shape up or ship out
If someone has to shape up or ship out, they have to improve or leave their job, organisation, etc.
Sharpen your pencil
(USA) If someone says this when negotiating, they want the other person to make a better offer, a lower price.
If people shilly-shally, they can't make up their minds about something and put off the decision.
Shoot your wad
When you have shot your wad, you have expended everything and have no more to say or do about a matter.
Short shrift
If somebody gives you short shrift, they treat you rudely and brusquely, showing no interest or sympathy.
Shot in the dark
If you have a shot in the dark at something, you try something where you have little hope of success.
Show someone the ropes
If you show someone the ropes, you explain to someone new how things work and how to do a job.
Sick and tired
If you are sick and tired of something, it has been going on for a long time and you can no longer tolerate it.
Sight to behold
If something is a sight to behold, it means that seeing it is in some way special, either spectacularly beautiful or, equally, incredibly ugly or revolting, etc.
Silence is golden
It is often better to say nothing than to talk, so silence is golden.
Silver bullet
A silver bullet is a complete solution to a large problem, a solution that seems magical.
Silver screen
The silver screen is the cinema.
Sing the blues
If you're singing the blues, you're complaining or lamenting something.
Sink or swim
If you are left to sink or swim, no one gives you any help and it's up to you whether you fail or succeed.
Sit pretty
Someone who's sitting pretty is in a very advantageous situation.
Sit well with
If something doesn't sit well with you, it doesn't please you or is not acceptable to you.
An unauthorised, or hidden program or activity, often research-oriented, and out of the bureaucratic chain of command is known as a 'skunkworks'.
Sleep like a log
If you sleep like a log, you sleep very soundly.

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