General Idioms (Page 22)

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Stop the music
'Stop the music' is a way of telling people to stop everything that they're doing as something important has happened or become known.
Straight and narrow
The straight and narrow is the correct, conventional and law-abiding path.('Strait and narrow' was the original form and is still used, but is less common.)
Straw poll
A straw poll is a small unofficial survey or ballot to find out what people think about an issue.
Streets ahead
If people are streets ahead of their rivals, they are a long way in front.
Stretch the point
If you stretch the point, you say something that is not exactly a lie, but is distorting the truth.('Stretch a point' is also used.)
Strike while the iron is hot
If you strike while the iron is hot you do something when things are going well for you and you have a good chance to succeed.
Stroke of luck
When something fortunate happens unexpectedly, it is a stroke of luck.
Sure-fire
If something is sure-fire, it is certain to succeed. ('Surefire' is also used.)
Sweep the board
If you sweep the board, you have a complete victory and win everything possible in a competition, election, etc.
Sweep things under the carpet
If people try to ignore unpleasant things and forget about them, they sweep them under the carpet.
Sweet-talk
If you sweet-talk someone, you use persuasion and charm to get what you want.
Swimmingly
If things are going swimmingly, they are going very well.
Swing into action
When you swing into action, you are quickly beginning to act or operate something.
Swing the lead
(UK) If you swing the lead, you pretend to be ill or do not do your share of the work.
Swings and roundabouts
If something's swings and roundabouts, it has about as many disadvantages as it has advantages.
Take a back seat
If you take a back seat to something or someone, you are surbordinate.
Take a hike
This is a way of telling someone to get out.
Take a leaf out of someone's book
If you take a leaf out of someone's book, you copy something they do because it will help you.
Take a shine to
If you take a shine to something or someone, you like it or them instantly.
Take aback
If you are taken aback, it means that you're surprised or shocked by something.
Take for granted
If you take something for granted, you don't worry or think about it because you assume you will always have it.  If you take someone for granted, you don't show your appreciation to them.
Take it in your stride
If you take something in your stride, you deal with it even though it is difficult or unpleasant without letting it bother or upset you.
Take it or leave it
This is a way of saying that negotiations are over - this is my final offer.
Take it up a notch
If you take it up a notch, you increase the effort or intensity exerted in a situation
Take one for the team
To sacrifice oneself in some way for the good of the group.
Take sand to the beach
Doing something that is completely pointless or unnecessary is like taking sand to the beach.
Take someone down a peg
If someone is taken down a peg (or taken down a peg or two), they lose status in the eyes of others because of something they have done wrong or badly.
Take someone for a ride
If you are taken for a ride, you are deceived by someone.
Take someone to task
If you take someone to task, you scold them for something they have done wrong.
Take stock
To assess a situation, to conduct a personal inventory of ones beliefs and values, etc.
Take the edge off
To reduce the effect of something, usually something unpleasant.
Take the fall
If you tall the fall, you accept the blame and possibly the punishment for another's wrongdoing, with the implication that the true culprit, for political or other reasons, cannot be exposed as guilty (accompanied by a public suspicion that a reward of some sort may follow).
Take the heat
If you take the heat, you take the criticism or blame for something you didn't do, normally to protect the guilty person.
Take the plunge
If you take the plunge, you decide to do something or commit yourself even though you know there is an element of risk involved.
Take the rough with the smooth
People say that you have to take the rough with the smooth, meaning that you have to be prepared to accept the disadvantages as well of the advantages of something.
Take up the torch
If you take up the torch, you take on a challenge or responsibility, usually when someone else retires, or leaves an organisation, etc.
Take your breath away
If something takes your breath away, it astonishes or surprises you.
Taken as read
If something can be taken as read, it is so definite that it's not necessary to talk about it.
Talk is cheap
It's easy to talk about something but harder to actually do it.
Talk of the town
When everybody is talking about particular people and events, they are the talk of the town.
Talk shop
If you talk shop, you talk about work matters, especially if you do this outside work.
Talk your arm off
Someone who talks so much that it is a strain to listen can talk your arm off.
Tall order
Something that is likely to be hard to achieve or fulfil is a tall order.
Tall story
A tall story is one that is untrue and unbelievable.
Tally ho!
(UK) This is an exclamation used for encouragement before doing something difficult or dangerous.
Tar with the same brush
If people are tarred with the same brush, they are said to have the same set of attributes or faults as someone they are associated with.
Teeny-weeny
If something is teensy-weensy, it is very small indeed.('Teeny-weeny' and 'teensie-weensie' are also used.)
Tempt fate
If you tempt fate, you do something where there is a high risk of failure.  It can also be used when talking about something could make it risky.
Test the waters
If you test the waters, or test the water, you experiment to see how successful or acceptable something is before implementing it.
That's a given
This means that there are no ifs or ands ot buts about something; it's a sure thing.

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