Idiom Category: General, Page 25

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When the dust clears
"When the dust clears" is a way to say when everything's finished and the results are seen.  ("When the dust settles" is also used)
Where there's a will, there's a way
This idiom means that if people really want to do something, they will manage to find a way of doing it.
Where there's muck, there's brass
You can make money doing dirty jobs nobody else wants to do. "Where there's muck, there's money" is also used.
Whet your appetite
If something whets your appetite, it interests you and makes you want more of it.
Who will ring the bell?
'Who will ring the bell?' asks who will assume the responsibility to help us out of a difficult situation.
Whole ball of wax
(USA) The whole ball of wax is everything.
Whole kit and caboodle
The whole kit and caboodle means 'everything' required or involved in something. ('Kaboodle' is an alternative spelling.)
Whole shebang
The whole shebang includes every aspect of something.
Wide berth
If you give someone a wide berth, you keep yourself well away from them because they are dangerous.
Will never fly
If an idea or project, etc, will never fly, it has no chance of succeeding.
Something that deceives by its appearance is a will-o-the-wisp; it looks good, but turns out to be a disappointment.
Window dressing
If something is done to pretend to be dealing with an issue or problem, rather than actually dealing with it, it is window dressing.
Winner takes all
If everything goes to the winner, as in an election, the winner takes all.
Wipe the slate clean
If you wipe the slate clean, you make a new start and forget about past problems, disagreements, etc.
With a heavy hand
If someone does something with a heavy hand, they do it in a strict way, exerting a lot of control.
With friends like that, who needs enemies?
This expression is used when people behave badly or treat someone badly that they are supposed to be friends with.
Without a hitch
If something happens without a hitch, nothing at all goes wrong.
Woe betide you
This is used to wish that bad things will happen to someone, usually because of their bad behaviour.
Woe is me
This means that you are sad or in a difficult situation. It's archaic, but still used.
Words fail me
If words fail you, you can't find the words to express what you are trying to say.
Work like a charm
If something works like a charm, it works perfectly.
Worse for wear
If something's worse for wear, it has been used for a long time and, consequently, isn't in very good condition. A person who's worse for wear is drunk or high on drugs and looking rough.
Worth a shot
If something is worth a shot, it is worth trying as there is some chance of success.
Wouldn't touch it with a bargepole
(UK) If you wouldn't touch something with a bargepole, you would not consider being involved under any circumstances. (In American English, people say they wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole)
Wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole
(USA) If you wouldn't touch something with a ten-foot pole, you would not consider being involved under any circumstances. (In British English, people say they wouldn't touch it with a bargepole)
Wrap yourself in the flag
If someone wraps themselves in the flag, they pretend to be doing something for patriotic reasons or out of loyalty, but their real motives are selfish. ('Drape yourself in the flag' is an alternative form of this idiom)
Wrench in the works
(USA) If someone puts or throws a wrench, or monkey wrench, in the works, they ruin a plan. In British English, 'spanner' is used instead of 'wrench'.
Writ large
If something is writ large, it is emphasised or highlighted.
Write your own ticket
If you write your own ticket, you control the terms and conditions for something and have them exactly the way you want.
Written in stone
If something is written in stone, it is permanent and cannot be changed.
Wrong end of the stick
If someone has got the wrong end of the stick, they have misunderstood what someone has said to them.
X factor
The dangers for people in the military that civilians do not face, for which they receive payment, are known as the X factor.
X marks the spot
This is used to say where something is located or hidden.
Yah boo sucks
Yah boo & yah boo sucks can be used to show that you have no sympathy with someone.
Yank my chain
If some one says this to another person (i.e. stop yanking my chain) it means for the other person to leave the person who said it alone and to stop bothering them.
Yell bloody murder
(USA) If someone yells bloody murder, they protest angrily and loudly, or scream in fear.
If you have a yen to do something, you have a desire to do it.
You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family
Some things you can choose, but others you cannot, so you have to try to make the best of what you have where you have no choice.
You can say that again
If you want to agree strongly with what someone has said, you can say 'You can say that again' as a way of doing so.
You can't beat that with a stick
This is an extension of the phrase "you can't beat that", meaning that you are unlikely to find a better outcome or deal than the one in question.
You can't take it with you
Enjoy life, enjoy what you have and don't worry about not having a lot, especially money...because once you're dead, 'you can't take it with you.' For some, it means to use up all you have before you die because it's no use to you afterwards.
You could cut it with a knife
If the air is so thick you could cut it with a knife, it is humid or muggy. It could also mean that there's a lot of tension.
You reap what you sow
This means that if you do bad things to people, bad things will happen to you, or good things if you do good things. It is normally used when someone has done something bad.
You said it!
Used to say you agree completely with something just said.
You what?
This is a very colloquial way of expressing surprise or disbelief at something you have heard. It can also be used to ask someone to say something again.
You're killing me!
When laughing hysterically at someone’s humor, we can tell them, “you’re killing me!”
Your call
If something is your call, it is up to you to make a decision on the matter.
Your name is mud
If someone's name is mud, then they have a bad reputation.
Zigged before you zagged
If you did things in the wrong order, you zigged before you zagged.

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