Furniture and household fittings Idioms (Page 1)

Showing 1-50 of 53 results
A lot on my plate
If you have got a lot on your plate, you are very busy and have commitments.
A watched pot never boils
Some things work out in their own time, so being impatient and constantly checking will just make things seem longer.
Armchair critic
An armchair critic is someone who offers advice but never shows that they could actually do any better.
Bring the curtain down
If you bring the curtain down on something, you bring it to a end.
Bring to the table
If you bring something to the table, you make a contribution or an offer in a discussion or negotiation.
Brush under the carpet
If you brush something under the carpet, you are making an attempt to ignore it, or hide it from others.
Call on the carpet
If you are called on the carpet, you are summoned for a reprimand by superiors or others in power.
Caught with your hand in the cookie jar
(USA) If someone is caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar, he or she is caught doing something wrong.
Clean sheet
When someone has a clean sheet, they have got no criminal record or problems affecting their reputation. In football and other sports, a goalkeeper has a clean sheet when let no goals in.
Come out of the woodwork
When things come out of the woodwork, they appear unexpectedly.  ('Crawl out of the woodwork' is also used.)
Cupboard love
(UK) To show love to gain something from someone
Cut a rug
To cut a rug is to dance.
A person who doesn't stand up for themselves and gets treated badly is a doormat.
Down the drain
If something goes down the drain, especially money or work, it is wasted or produces no results.
Empty vessels make the most noise
The thoughtless often speak the most.
Everything but the kitchen sink
If people include everything but the kitchen sink, they include every possibility, regardless of whether they are useful.
Flash in the pan
If something is a flash in the pan, it is very noticeable but doesn't last long, like most singers, who are very successful for a while, then forgotten.
Fresh from the oven
If something is fresh from the oven, it is very new.
Get out of bed on the wrong side
If you get out of bed on the wrong side, you wake up and start the day in a bad mood for no real reason.
Go to the mat
(USA) If people go  to the mat, they continue to struggle or fight to the end, until they have either won or have finally been defeated.  
Hand that rocks the cradle
Women have a great power and influence because they have the greatest influence over the development of children- the hand that rocks the cradle. ('The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world' is the full form.)
In his cups
If someone is in their cups, they are drunk.
Jump the broom
To jump the broom is to marry. (Jump over the broom, jump over the broomstick, jump the broomstick are also used.)
(UK) Kitchen-sink drama deals with ordinary people's lives.
Lay on the table
This phrase occurs in the official records of meetings or deliberations of various government bodies. If a proposal or motion is laid on the table, it is essentially a euphemism, meaning that "nothing further will be done in this matter" or "we are not going to do anything about this" or "we refuse the petition".
Lie like a rug
If someone lies like a rug, they lie to the point where it becomes obvious that they're lying.
Light bulb moment
A light bulb moment is when you have a sudden realisation about something, like the light bulbs used to indicate an idea in cartoons.
Living over the brush
Living together out of wedlock. "They are living over the brush" originates from a form of marriage when a couple held hands and jumped over a besom to signal their commitment to each other, because they couldn't have a church marriage.
Memory like a sieve
If somebody can't retain things for long in his or her memory and quickly forgets, he or she has a memory like a sieve. A sieve has lots of tiny holes in it to let liquids out while keeping the solids inside.
Never darken my door again
This is a way of telling someone never to visit you again.
New broom sweeps clean
If someone joins a company or organisation and immediately makes many changes, we say that a new broom sweeps clean.
Off the shelf
If a product is off the shelf, it can be used straightaway without any setting-up.
On the carpet
When you are called to the bosses office (since supposedly, they are the only ones who have carpet) and its definitely not for a good reason, i.e., you are in trouble, something has not gone according to plan and either maybe you are responsible and/or have some explaining to do.
On the table
If a plan or proposal is on the table, it is being discussed.
Out of the frying pan, into the fire
If you get out of one problem, but find yourself in a worse situation, you are out of the frying pan, into the fire.
Over the counter
Medicines and drugs that can be sold without a doctor's prescription are sold over the counter.
Part of the furniture
If someone or something is part of the furniture of a place, they have been there for so long that they seem a natural part of it.
Pull the plug
If the plug is pulled on something like a project, it is terminated prematurely, often by stopping funding.
Pushing at an open door
If you're pushing at an open door, you achieve what you want easily because many people agree with you or support you.
Put your name in the pot
If you ask if you should put someone's name in the pot, you are asking whether you should add someone's name to the list of those who will be joining us for a particular meal or event.
Red carpet
If you give someone the red-carpet treatment, you give them a special welcome to show that you think they are important. You can roll out the red carpet, too.
Show someone the door
If you show someone the door, you ask them to leave.
Split the blanket
If people split the blanket, it means they get a divorce or end their relationship.
Swinging door
This idiom refers to something or someone that can go in two conflicting or opposite directions.
Tables are turned
When the tables are turned, the situation has changed giving the advantage to the party who had previously been at a disadvantage.
Take the chair
If you take the chair, your become the chairman or chairwoman of a committee, etc.
Talk the legs off an iron pot
(AU) Somebody who is excessively talkative or is especially convincing is said to talk the legs off an iron pot. ('Talk the legs off an iron chair' is also used)
Tidy desk, tidy mind
A cluttered or disorganised environment will affect your clarity of thought. Organised surroundings and affairs will allow for clearer thought organisation.
Under lock and key
If something is under lock and key, it is stored very securely.
Under the table
Bribes or illegal payments are often described as money under the table.

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