Idioms Beginning With: 'P'
results for letter 'P
- Pole position
- If you're in pole position, you're in the best position to win or achieve something.
- Poles apart
- When two people or parties have an opinion or point of view that is as far apart as they could possibly be, they are poles apart.
- Polish the apples
- (USA) Someone who polishes the apples with someone, tries to get into that person's favor.
- Polishing peanuts
- To work very hard at something for little or no return. In other words, wasting time on work which will not yield reasonable value.
- Politically correct
- Things or people that are politically correct use language that will not cause offence.
- Poor as a church mouse
- If someone is as poor as a church mouse, they are very poor indeed.
- Pop the question
- When someone pops the question, they ask someone to marry them.
- Pop your clogs
- When someone pops their clogs, they die.
- Pork barrel
- Pork barrel politics involves investing money in an area to get political support rather than using the money for the common good.
- Post-haste means as quickly as possible.
- Pot calling the kettle black
- If someone hypocritically criticises a person for something that they themselves do, then it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
- If you take pot-luck, you take whatever happens to be available at the time.
- Pound of flesh
- If someone wants their pound of flesh, the force someone to pay or give back something owed, even though they don't need it and it will cause the other person a lot of difficulty.
- Pour oil on troubled waters
- If someone pours oil on troubled waters, they try to calm things down.
- Powder your nose
- If somebody goes to powder your nose, it is a euphemism for going to the lavatory (toilet).
- Powers that be
- The powers that be are the people who are in charge of something.
- Practical joke
- A practical joke is a trick played on someone that is meant to be funny for people watching, though normally embarrassing for the person being tricked.
- Practise what you preach
- If you practise what you preach, you do what you say other people should do.(In American English, the verb is 'practice')
- Preaching to the choir
- If someone preaches to the choir, they talking about a subject or issue with which their audience already agrees.
('Preaching to the converted' is an alternative form.)
- Presence of mind
- If someone behaves calmly and rationally in difficult circumstances, they show presence of mind.
- Press the flesh
- When people, especially politicians, press the flesh, they meet members of the public and shake their hands, usually when trying to get support.
- Pressed for time
- If you are pressed for time, you are in a hurry or working against a very tight schedule.
- Prick up your ears
- If you prick up your ears, you listen very carefully. ('Pick up your ears' is also used.)
- Pride goes before a fall
- Excessive pride or confidence can allow people to make mistakes or go wrong.
- Prim and proper
- Someone who is prim and proper always behaves in the correct way and never breaks the rules of etiquette.
- Primrose path
- The primrose path is an easy and pleasurable lifestyle, but one that ends in unpleasantness and problems.
- Prince charming
- A prince charming is the perfect man in a woman's life.
- 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.
- Proclaim it from the rooftops
- If something is proclaimed from the rooftops, it is made as widely known and as public as possible.
- Prodigal son
- A prodigal son is a young man who wastes a lot on money on a lavish lifestyle. If the prodigal son returns, they return to a better way of living.
- Proof of the pudding is in the eating
- This means that something can only be judged when it is tested or by its results. (It is often shortened to 'Proof of the pudding'.)
- Pros and cons
- Pros and cons are arguments for or against a particular issue. Pros are arguments which aim to promote the issue, while cons suggest points against it. The term has been in use since the 16th century and is a shortening of a Latin phrase, pro et contra, which means “for and against.” Considering the pros and cons of an issue is a very useful way to weigh the issue thoughtfully and reach an informed decision.
- Proud as a peacock
- Someone who is as proud as a peacock is excessively proud.
- Pull a rabbit out of your hat
- If you pull a rabbit out of a hat, you do something that no one was expecting.
- Pull in the reins
- When you pull in the reins, you slow down or stop something that has been a bit out of control.
- Pull no punches
- If you pull no punches, you hold nothing back.
- 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.
- Pull out all the stops
- If you pull out all the stops, you do everything you possibly can to achieve the result you want.
- Pull out of the fire
- (USA) If you pull something out of the fire, you save or rescue it.
- Pull rank
- A person of higher position or in authority pulls rank, he or she exercises his/her authority, generally ending any discussion and ignoring other people's views.
- Pull someone's leg
- If you pull someone's leg, you tease them, but not maliciously.
- Pull strings
- If you pull strings, you use contacts you have got to help you get what you want.
- Pull the fat from the fire
- If you pull the fat from the fire, you help someone in a difficult situation.
- Pull the other one, it's got brass bells on
- This idiom is way of telling somebody that you don't believe them. The word 'brass' is optional.
- Pull the pin
- If you pull the pin, you put an end to something, quit or resign.
- Pull the plug
- If the plug is pulled on something like a project, it is terminated prematurely, often by stopping funding.
- Pull the trigger
- The person who pulls the trigger is the one who does the action that closes or finishes something.
- Pull the wool over someone's eyes
- If you pull the wool over someone's eyes, you deceive or cheat them.
- Pull up your socks
- If you aren't satisfied with someone and want them to do better, you can tell them to pull up their socks.
- Pull your chain
- (USA) If someone pulls your chain, they take advantage of you in an unfair way or do something to annoy you.
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