Idioms Beginning With: 'S'
results for letter 'S
- When people, states, etc, threaten to use force as a way of getting what they want, especially when they are unlikely to use force, they are sabre-rattling.
- Sacred cow
- Something that is a sacred cow is held in such respect that it cannot be criticised or attacked.
- Safe and sound
- If you arrive safe and sound, then nothing has harmed you on your way.
- Safe as houses
- Something that is as safe as houses is very secure or certain.
- Safe bet
- A proposition that is a safe bet doesn't have any risks attached.
- Safe pair of hands
- A person who can be trusted to do something without causing any trouble is a safe pair of hands.
- Safety in numbers
- If a lot of people do something risky at the same time, the risk is reduced because there is safety in numbers.
- Saigon moment
- (USA) A Saigon moment is when people realise that something has gone wrong and that they will lose or fail.
- Sail close to the wind
- If you sail close to the wind, you take risks to do something, going close to the limit of what is allowed or acceptable.
- Sail under false colours
- Someone who sails under false colours (colors) is hypocritical or pretends to be something they aren't in order to deceive people.
- Salad days
- Your salad days are an especially happy period of your life.
- Salt in a wound
- If you rub salt in a wound, you make someone feel bad about something that is already a painful experience.
'Pour salt on a wound' is an alternative form of the idiom.
- Salt of the earth
- People who are salt of the earth are decent, dependable and unpretentious.
- Salty dog
- A salty dog is an experienced sailor.
- Same old, same old
- When nothing changes, it's the same old, same old.
- Save face
- If someone saves face, they manage to protect their reputation.
- Save someone's bacon
- If something saves your bacon, it saves your life or rescues you from a desperate situation. People can also save your bacon.
- Save your skin
- If someone saves their skin, they manage to avoid getting into serious trouble.
- Saved by the bell
- If you are saved by the bell, you are rescued from a danger or a tricky situation just in time.
- Saving grace
- If someone has some character defects, but has a characteristic that compensate for their failings and shortcomings, this is their saving grace.
- Say uncle
- (USA) If you say uncle, you admit defeat.
('Cry uncle' is an alternative form.)
- Say when
- People say this when pouring a drink as a way of telling you to tell them when there's enough in your glass.
- If you do something on someone else's say-so, you do it on the authority, advice or recommendation.
- Saying is one thing; doing is another
- It's harder to do something than it is to say that you will do it.
- Scales fall from your eyes
- When the scales fall from your eyes, you suddenly realise the truth about something.
- Scarce as hen's teeth
- Hens do not have any teeth, so something that is as scarce as hen's teeth is extremely rare.("Rare as hen's teeth" is also used.)
- Scare the daylights out of someone
- If you scare the daylights out of someone, you terrify them.
(This can be made even stronger by saying 'the living daylights'.)
- Scarlet woman
- This idiom is used as a pejorative term for a sexually promiscuous woman, especially an adulteress.
- Scattered to the four winds
- If something's scattered to the four winds, it goes out in all directions.
- Scent blood
- If you can scent blood, you feel that a rival is having difficulties and you are going to beat them.
- Schoolyard pick
- When people take it in turns to choose a member of a team, it is a schoolyard pick.
- Scot free
- If someone escapes scot free, they avoid payment or punishment. 'Scot' is an old word for a tax, so it originally referred to avoiding taxes, though now has a wider sense of not being punished for someone that you have done.
- Scotch Mist
- The phrase 'Scotch mist' is used humorously to refer to something that is hard to find or doesn't exist - something imagined.
- Scraping the barrel
- When all the best people, things or ideas and so on are used up and people try to make do with what they have left, they are scraping the barrel.
- Scratch the surface
- When you scratch the surface of something, you have a superficial knowledge or understanding of it.
- Scream bloody murder
- If you scream bloody murder, you protest loudly and angrily, or scream in fear.
- Scream blue murder
- If someone shouts very loudly in anger, or fear, they scream blue murder.
- Screw loose
- If someone has a screw loose, they are crazy.
- Screwed if you do, screwed if you don't
- This means that no matter what you decide or do in a situation, there will be negative consequences.
- Sea change
- An expression that connotes big change; a significant change in comparison to a minor, trivial or insignificant change.
- Sea legs
- If you are getting your sea legs, it takes you a while to get used to something new.
- Seal of approval
- If something, such as a plan, gets your seal of approval, you agree with or support it.
- Seamy side
- The seamy side of something is the unpleasant or sordid aspect it has.
- Searching question
- A searching question goes straight to the heart of the subject matter, possibly requiring an answer with a degree of honesty that the other person finds uncomfortable.
- Second thoughts
- If some has second thoughts, they start to think that an idea, etc, is not as good as it sounded at first and are starting to have doubts.
- Second wind
- If you overcome tiredness and find new energy and enthusiasm, you have second wind.
- If you second-guess someone, you try to predict what they will do.
- See eye to eye
- If people see eye to eye, they agree about everything.
- See fit
- If you see fit to do something, you consider it correct or appropriate to do it.
- See red
- If someone sees red, they become very angry about something.
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