English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
results for letter 'G
- Get your head around something
- If you get your head around something, you come to understand it even though it is difficult to comprehend.
- Get your hopes up
- If you get your hopes up, you convince yourself that what you want to happen will happen, especially if it is unlikely to.
- Get your skates on
- This is used as a way of telling people to hurry up.
- Get your teeth into
- If you get your teeth into something, you become involved in or do something that is intellectually challenging or satisfying. ('Dig you teeth into' and 'sink your teeth into' are also used.)
- Get your wires crossed
- If people get their wires cross, they misunderstand each other, especially when making arrangements. ('Get your lines crossed' is also used.)
- Ghost of a chance
- If something or someone hasn't got a ghost of a chance, they have no hope whatsoever of succeeding.
- Ghost town
- A ghost town is a town that has been abandoned or is in decline and has very little activity.
- Ghostly presence
- You can feel or otherwise sense a ghostly presence, but you cannot do it clearly only vaguely.
- Gift of the gab
- If someone has the gift of the gab, they speak in a persuasive and interesting way.
- Gild the lily
- If you gild the lily, you decorate something that is already ornate.
- Gilded cage
- If someone is in a gilded cage, they are trapped and have restricted or no freedom, but have very comfortable surroundings- many famous people live in luxury but cannot walk out of their house alone.
- Gird one's loins
- If you gird your loins, you prepare for conflict or a difficult time.
- Girl Friday
- A girl Friday is a female employee who assists someone without any specific duties.
- Give a big hand
- Applaud by clapping hands. 'Let's give all the contestents a big hand.'
- Give a dog a bad name
- A person who is generally known to have been guilty of some offence will always be suspected to be the author of all similar types of offence. Once someone has gained a bad reputation, it is very difficult to lose it.
- Give and take
- Where there is give and take, people make concessions in order to get things they want in negotiations.
- Give as good as you get
- If you give as good as you get, you are prepared to treat people as badly as they treat you and to fight for what you believe.
- Give away the store
- (USA) If someone gives away the store, they say or do something that makes their position in negotiations, debates, etc, much weaker.
- Give it some stick
- (UK) If you give something some stick, you put a lot of effort into it.
- Give me a hand
- If someone gives you a hand, they help you.
- Give me five
- If someone says this, they want to hit your open hand against theirs as a way of congratulation or greeting.
- Give someone a leg up
- If you give someone a leg up, you help them to achieve something that they couldn't have done alone.
- Give someone a piece of your mind
- If you give someone a piece of your mind, you criticise them strongly and angrily.
- Give someone a run for their money
- If you can give someone a run for the money, you are as good, or nearly as good, as they are at something.
- Give someone enough rope
- If you give someone enough rope, you give them the chance to get themselves into trouble or expose themselves.
(The full form is 'give someone enough rope and they'll hang themselves)
- Give someone stick
- (UK) If someone gives you stick, they criticise you or punish you.
- Give someone the axe
- If you give someone the axe, you terminate their employment or discharge them from an office or position.('Ax' is the American spelling)
- Give someone the boot
- If you give someone the boot, you fire them from a job or expel them from an organisation, etc.
- Give someone the runaround
- If someone gives you the runaround, they make excuses and give you false explanations to avoid doing something.
- Give the nod
- (UK) If you give the nod to something, you approve it or give permission to do it.
- Give the shirt off your back
- If you would give the shirt off your back, you would do anythingto help, no matter what the personal sacrifice.
- Give up the ghost
- People give up the ghost when they die. Machines stop working when they give up the ghost.
- Give your eye teeth
- If you really want something and would be prepared to sacrifice a lot to get it, you would give your eye teeth for it.
- Given the day that's in it
- (Irish) This idiom is used when something is obvious because of the day that it occurs: traffic, for example would be busy around a football stadium on game day, given the day that's in it. On any other day the traffic would be unexplainable, but because its game day its obvious why there is traffic.
- Glass ceiling
- The glass ceiling is the discrimination that prevents women and minorities from getting promoted to the highest levels of companies and organisations.
- Glimmer of hope
- A glimmer of hope is the belief that there is a slight chance that something positive will happen.
- Glory hound
- A glory hound is a person seeking popularity, fame and glory.
- Gloves are off
- When the gloves are off, people start to argue or fight in a more serious way.
('The gloves come off' and 'take the gloves off' are also used. It comes from boxing, where fighters normally wear gloves so that they don't do too much damage to each other.)
- Glutton for punishment
- If a person is described as a glutton for punishment, the happily accept jobs and tasks that most people would try to get out of. A glutton is a person who eats a lot.
- Gnaw your vitals
- If something gnaws your vitals, it troubles you greatly and affects you at a very deep level.
('Gnaw at your vitals' is also used.)
- Go against the grain
- A person who does things in an unconventional manner, especially if their methods are not generally approved of, is said to go against the grain. Such an individual can be called a maverick.
- Go awry
- If things go awry, they go wrong.
- Go bananas
- If you go bananas, you are wild with excitement, anxiety, or worry.
- Go blue
- If you go blue, you are very cold indeed.
('Turn blue' is an alternative form.)
- Go bust
- If a company goes bust, it goes bankrupt.
- Go by the board
- When something has gone by the board, it no longer exists or an opportunity has been lost.
- Go by the boards
- If something goes by the boards, it fails to get approved or accepted.
- Go down a storm
- To say that something has been enjoyable or successful, you can say that it has gone down a storm. Eg. Last night's party went down a storm, it was incredible.
- Go down like a cup of cold sick
- (UK) An idea or excuse that will not be well accepted will go down like a cup of cold sick.
- Go down like a lead balloon
- (UK) If something goes down like a lead balloon, it fails or is extremely badly received.
If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our Idioms Discussion Forum. If you know of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please use our online form to suggest an idiom.
Members Get More
- Sign up for free and gain access to many more idioms and slang expressions. Register now