Idioms Beginning With: 'F'
results for letter 'F
- Flogging a dead horse
- (UK) If someone is trying to convince people to do or feel something without any hope of succeeding, they're flogging a dead horse.
This is used when someone is trying to raise interest in an issue that no-one supports anymore; beating a dead horse will not make it do any more work.
- Flowery speech
- Flowery speech is full of lovely words, but may well lack substance.
- Flutter the dovecotes
- (UK) Something that flutters the dovecots causes alarm or excitement.
- Fly by the seat of one's pants
- If you fly by the seat of one's pants, you do something difficult even though you don't have the experience or training required.
- Fly in the face of
- Something that goes against what we know or expect, or what is normal or senible, it flies in the face of it.
- Fly in the ointment
- A fly in the ointment is something that spoils or prevents complete enjoyment of something.
- Fly off the handle
- If someone flies off the handle, they get very angry.
- Fly on the wall
- If you are able to see and hear events as they happen, you are a fly on the wall.
- Fly the coop
- When children leave home to live away from their parents, they fly the coop.
- Fly the flag
- If someone flies the flag, they represent or support their country.
('Wave the flag' and 'show the flag' are alternative forms of this idiom)
- Foam at the mouth
- If you foam at the mouth, you are very, very angry.
- Foggiest idea
- If you don't have the foggiest idea, you don't know or understand anything at all. ('Foggiest notion' is laso used.)
- Follow your nose
- When giving directions, telling someone to follow their nose means that they should go straight ahead.
- Food for thought
- If something is food for thought, it is worth thinking about or considering seriously.
- Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me
- This means that you should learn from your mistakes and not allow people to take advantage of you repeatedly.
- Fool's paradise
- A fool's paradise is a false sense of happiness or success.
- Fools rush in where angels fear to tread
- This idiom is used where people who are inexperienced or lack knowledge do something that more informed people would avoid.
- Foot in mouth
- This is used to describe someone who has just said something embarrassing, inappropriate, wrong or stupid.
- Foot in the door
- If you have or get your foot in the door, you start working in a company or organisation at a low level, hoping that you will be able to progress from there.
- Foot the bill
- The person who foots the bill pays the bill for everybody.
- Football's a game of two halves
- (UK) If something's a game of two halves, it means that it's possible for someone's fortunes or luck to change and the person who's winning could end up a loser.
- For a song
- If you buy or sell something for a song, it is very cheap.
- For donkey's years
- (UK) If people have done something, usually without much if any change, for an awfully long time, they can be said to have done it for donkey's years.
- For England
- (UK) A person who talks for England, talks a lot- if you do something for England, you do it a lot or to the limit.
- For kicks
- If you do something for kicks, or just for kicks, you do it purely for fun or thrills.
- For my money
- This idiom means 'in my opinion'.
- For Pete's sake
- This is used as an exclamation to show exasperation or irritation.
- For the birds
- If something is worthless or ridiculous, it is for the birds.
- For the love of Pete
- Usually used in exasperation, as in 'Oh, for the love of Pete!'
- For the time being
- For the time being indicates that an action or state will continue into the future, but is temporary. I'm sharing an office for the time being.
- Forbidden fruit
- Something enjoyable that is illegal or immoral is forbidden fruit.
- Foregone conclusion
- If the result of, say, a football match is a foregone conclusion, then the result is obvious before the game has even begun.
- Forest for the trees
- (USA) If someone can't see the forest for the trees, they get so caught up in small details that they fail to understand the bigger picture.
- Forewarned is forearmed
- If you have been warned about something to happen, you will be at an advantage.
- Fork in the road
- A fork in the road is a point where you have to make a decision and choose which possibility you are going to stick with.
- Fortune knocks once at every man's door
- Everyone gets one good chance in a lifetime.
- Foul play
- If the police suspect foul play, they think a crime was committed.
- Four corners of the earth
- If something goes to, or comes from, the four corners of the earth, it goes or comes absolutely everywhere.
- A person who wears glasses
- Four-square behind
- If someone stands four-square behind someone, they give that person their full support.
- Fourth estate
- This is an idiomatic way of describing the media, especially the newspapers.
- Free rein
- If someone has a free rein, they have the authority to make the decisions they want without any restrictions.
('Free reign' is a common mistake.)
- A free-for-all is a fight or contest in which everyone gets involved and rules are not respected.
- French leave
- To take French leave is to leave a gathering without saying goodbye or without permission.
- French letter
- A French letter is a condom.
- Fresh from the oven
- If something is fresh from the oven, it is very new.
- Freudian Slip
- If someone makes a Freudian slip, they accidentally use the wrong word, but in doing so reveal what they are really thinking rather than what they think the other person wants to hear.
- Friendly footing
- When relationships are on a friendly footing, they are going well.
- Frog in my throat
- If you have a frog in your throat, you can't speak or you are losing your voice because you have a problem with your throat.
- Frog strangler
- (USA) A frog strangler is a very heavy downpour of rain.
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