Idioms Beginning With: 'I'
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I don't give a pin! (UK) If you don't give a pin, you don't care about something, someone, or a situation. I hereby give notice of my intention Hereby is used sometimes in formal, official declarations and statements to give greater force to the speaker' or the writer's affirmation. People will say it sometimes to emphasise their sincerity and correctness. I may be daft, but I'm not stupid I might do or say silly things occasionally, but in this instance I know what I am doing (Usually used when someone questions your application of common-sense). I may have been born at night, but not last night (USA) This is an expression used in the Southern USA meaning I am not a fool. I should cocoa (UK) This idiom comes from 'I should think so', but is normally used sarcastically to mean the opposite. I'll be a monkey's uncle I'll be a monkey's uncle is used as an expression of surprise. I'll cross that road when I come to it I'll think about something just when it happens, not in advance. I'll eat my hat You can say this when you are absolutely sure that you are right to let the other person know that there is no chance of your being wrong. I've got a bone to pick with you If somebody says this, they mean that they have some complaint to make against the person they are addressing. 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. Icing on the cake This expression is used to refer to something good that happens on top of an already good thing or situation. Idle hands are the devil's handiwork When someone is not busy, or being productive, trouble is bound to follow. If at first you don't succeed try try again When you fail, try until you get it right! If I had a nickel for every time (USA) When someone uses this expression, they mean that the specific thing happens a lot. It is an abbreviation of the statement 'If I had a nickel for every time that happened, I would be rich' If it ain't broke, don't fix it Any attempt to improve on a system that already works is pointless and may even hurt it. If Mohammed won't come to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed If something cannot or will not happen the easy way, then sometimes it must be done the hard way. If the cap fits, wear it This idiom means that if the description is correct, then it is describing the truth, often when someone is being criticised. ('If the shoe fits, wear it' is an alternative) If the shoe fits, wear it This is used to suggest that something that has been said might apply to a person. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride This means that wishing for something or wanting it is not the same as getting or having it. If worst comes to worst This isused to show the worst that could happen in a situation: If worst comes to worst and the hotels are full, we can sleep in the car.('If the worst comes to the worst' is also used.) If you are given lemons make lemonade Always try and make the best out of a bad situation. With some ingenuity you can make a bad situation useful. If you can't run with the big dogs, you'd better stay on the porch If you can't keep up with what others are doing, then it is best not to attempt it. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen Originally a Harry S. Truman quote, this means that if you can't take the pressure, then you should remove yourself from the situation. If you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows If you wish to be associated with a particular high risk and/or high profile situation and benefit from the rewards of that association, you have to accept the consequences if things go wrong - you cannot dissociate yourself. If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas This means that if you become involved with bad company, there will be negative consequences. If you lie down with the Devil, you will wake up in hell This means that if you become involved with bad company, there will be negative consequences. If you will 'If you will' is used as a way of making a concession in a sentence: He wasn't a very honest person, a liar if you will. Here, it is used a way of accepting that the reader or listener might think of the person as a liar, but without commit the writer or speaker to that position fully. If you'll pardon my French (UK) This idiom is used as a way of apologising for swearing. Ill at ease If someone is ill at ease, they are worried or uncomfortable. Ill-gotten gains Ill-gotten gains are profits or benefits that are made either illegally or unfairly. In a cleft stick If you are in a cleft stick, you are in a difficult situation, caught between choices. In a coon's age A long time. Example: I haven't seen her in a coon's age. In a dog's age I you haven't done something in a dog's age, you haven't done it for a very long time. In a fix If you are in a fix, you are in trouble. In a flash If something happens in a flash, it happens very quickly indeed. In a fog If you're in a fog, you are confused, dazed or unaware. In a heartbeat If something happens very quickly or immediately, it happens in a heartbeat. In a jam If you are in a jam, you are in some trouble. If you get out of a jam, you avoid trouble. In a jiffy If something happens in a jiffy, it happens very quickly. In a nutshell This idiom is used to introduce a concise summary. In a pickle If you are in a pickle, you are in some trouble or a mess. In a rut In a settled or established pattern, habit or course of action, especially a boring one. In a tick (UK) If someone will do something in a tick, they'll do it very soon or very quickly. In a tight spot If you're in a tight spot, you're in a difficult situation. In all honesty If you say something in all honesty, you are telling the complete truth. It can be used as a way of introducing a negative opinion whilst trying to be polite; in all honesty, I have to say that I wasn't very impressed. In an instant If something happens in an instant, it happens very rapidly. In another's shoes It is difficult to know what another person's life is really like, so we don't know what it is like to be in someone's shoes. In apple-pie order If something is in apple-pie order, it is very neat and organised. In broad daylight If a crime or problem happens in broad daylight, it happens during the day and should have been seen and stopped. In cahoots If people are in cahoots, they are conspiring together. If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our . 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