Numbers Idioms (Page 1)

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Meaning "First year introductory course" in US universities, the meaning has broadened in every day language to mean any kind of information for beginners.
A fool at 40 is a fool forever
If someone hasn't matured by the time they reach forty, they never will.
If something is A1, it is the very best or finest.
All sixes
If something is all sixes, it doesn't matter how it's done; it's the same as 'six of one and half a dozen of the other'.
Back to square one
If you are back to square one, you have to start from the beginning again.
Ballpark figure
A ballpark figure is a rough or approximate number (guesstimate) to give a general idea of something, like a rough estimate for a cost, etc.
Behind the eight ball
A difficult position from which it is unlikely one can escape.
Better half
Your better half is your husband or wife.
By the numbers
If something is done by the numbers, it is done in a mechanical manner without room for creativity.
Catch-22 is a situation where conflicting rules make the desired outcome impossible. It comes from a novel by the American author Joseph Heller, in which pilots would not have to fly missions if they were mentally ill, but not wanting to fly dangerous missions was held to be proof of sanity, so they had to fly anyway. ('Catch 22', without the hyphen, is also used.)
Cheaper by the dozen
Things are cheaper or more efficient in bulk than individually.
Double take
If someone does a double take, they react very slowly to something to show how shocked or surprised they are.
Double whammy
A double whammy is when something causes two problems at the same time, or when two setbacks occur at the same time.
Feel like a million
If you feel like a million, you are feeling very well (healthy) and happy.
First come, first served
This means there will be no preferential treatment and a service will be provided to those that arrive first.
Four-square behind
If someone stands four-square behind someone, they give that person their full support.
Give me five
If someone says this, they want to hit your open hand against theirs as a way of congratulation or greeting.
Hindsight is twenty-twenty
After something has gone wrong, it is easy to look back and make criticisms.
I've got your number
You have made a mistake and I am going to call you on it. You are in trouble (a threat). I have a disagreement with you. I understand your true nature.
Lesser of two evils
Something that is the lesser of two evils, is an unpleasant option, but not as bad as the other.
Look out for number one
If you look out for number one, you take care of yourself and your interests, rather than those of other people.
Off on one
(UK) If someone goes off on one, they get extremely angry indeed.
On all fours
If someone is on all fours, they crawl.
On the double
If someone tells you to do something on the double, they want you to do it immediately and quickly.
Once bitten, twice shy
If somebody is said to be once bitten twice shy, it means that someone who has been hurt or who has had something go wrong will be far more careful the next time.
One fell swoop
If something is done at one fell swoop, it is done in a single period of activity, usually swiftly and ruthlessly.
One for the road
A last drink before leaving a pub or bar is one for the road.
One over the eight
(UK) Someone who is one over the eight is drunk.
A one-off event only happens once and will not be repeated.
A one-off occurence is a unique or exceptional event.
Opportunity knocks but once
This idiom means that you only get one chance to achieve what you really want to do.
Problem is thirty
If a problem is 30, the problem is the person who sits 30 cm from the computer screen. It is used to describe people that lack technical knowledge and can be used when you insult someone who's having computer problems.
Pull numbers out of your ass
(USA) If sopmeone pulls numbers out of their ass, they give unreliable or unsubstantiated figures to back their argument.
Put two and two together
If someone puts two and two together, they reach a correct conclusion from the evidence.
If you second-guess someone, you try to predict what they will do.
Six feet under
If someone is six feet under, they are dead.
Six of one and half-a-dozen of the other
This is an idiom used when there is little or no difference between two options.
Sixes and sevens
If something is all at sixes and sevens, then there is a lot of disagreement and confusion about what should be done.
Take forty winks
If you take 40 winks, you have a short sleep.
Take the fifth
(USA) If you do not want to answer a question you can take the fifth, meaning you are choosing not to answer.  ('Plead the fifth' is also used.)
Talk nineteen to the dozen
If someone talks very quickly, they talk nineteen to the dozen.
That makes two of us
A speaker says "that makes two of us" to indicate agreement with what another speaker just said. For example, I can say, "I wish I would win the lottery." A listener who says "That makes two of us" is indicating the he or she wants to win the lottery, too.
Third degree
If someone is given the third degree, they are put under a great deal of pressure and intimidation to force them to tell the truth about something.
Third time lucky
Third time lucky is used when someone has failed twice to do something- it is used for good luck to encourage them.
Watch your six
(USA) This idiom means that you should look behind you for dangers coming that you can't see.
Whole nine yards
The whole nine yards means means everything that is necessary or required for something.
Zero tolerance
If the police have a zero tolerance policy, they will not overlook any crime, no matter how small or trivial.

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