Idioms Beginning With: 'W'
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In wedge politics, one party uses an issue that they hope will divide members of a different party to create conflict and weaken it.
If a task was wee buns, it means it was very easy. It is similar to "piece of cake"
Wee hours are the first hours after midnight.
Weight off your shoulders
If something is a weight off your shoulders, you have relieved yourself of a burden, normally a something that has been troubling you or worrying you.
Someone who is well-heeled is rich.
If someone is well-oiled, they have drunk a lot.
Something that functions very well is a well-oiled machine.
Were you born in a barn?
If someone asks you this, it means that you forgot to close the door when you came in.
Were you born in a field?
My dad used this idiom a lot when I was a child, to point out to me that I had left the door open after I'd come or gone through it. I presume it has to do with the idea that an animal in a field wouldn't not bother to shut a gate behind them.('Were you born in a barn?' is an alternative form.)
Wet behind the ears
Someone who is wet behind the ears is either very young or inexperienced.
A wet blanket is someone who tries to spoil other people's fun.
Wet your whistle
If you are thirsty and have an alcoholic drink, you wet your whistle.
"Whet your whistle" is also used.
Whale of a time
If you have a whale of a time, you really enjoy yourself.
What can sorry do?
This means that it is not enough to apologise.
What can you expect from a hog but a grunt?
This means that you can't expect people to behave in a way that is not in their character- a 'hog' is a 'pig', so an unrefined person can't be expected to behave in a refined way.
What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?
This idiom is often used when someone says something irrelevant to the topic being discussed.
What goes around comes around
This saying means that of people do bad things to other people, bad things will happen to them.
What goes around, comes around
The good or bad you do to others is requited.
What will be will be
The expression what will be will be is used to describe the notion that fate will decide the outcome of a course of events, even if action is taken to try to alter it.
When you ask what's cooking it means you want to know what's happening.
What's good for the goose is good for the gander
This idiom means that the sexes should be treated the same way and not be subjected to different standards.
What's the damage?
What's the damage? is a way of asking how much something costs.
This can be used to ask 'What's wrong?' or 'How are you?'.
What's your poison?
This is a way of asking someone what they would like to drink, especially alcohol.
What's your take on that?
This idiom is way of asking someone for their opinion and ideas.
Whatever floats your boat
When people say this, they mean that you should do whatever makes you happy.
Wheels fall off
When the wheels fall off something, it goes wrong or fails.
('Wheels come off' is an alternative.)
Wheels within wheels
When there are wheels within wheels, there are complex inter-related processes, motives, etc, that are very difficulty to understand.
When hell freezes over
An impossible or very unlikely situation or event
When in Rome, do as the Romans do
This idiom means that when you are visiting a different place or culture, you should try to follow their customs and practices.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do
This means that you should adapt to the customs of societies when you visit them, or behave in an appropriate manner according to how people around you behave. It is often shortened to "When in Rome".
When it rains, it pours
This idiom means that when things go wrong, a lot of things go wrong at the same time.
When pigs fly
Meaning you will not get something when you want it or someone doesn't want something for you. say you are selling an item and some one doesn't want it. they might say 'I'll buy it when pigs fly'. it just means you will never get someone to say yes to you when you ask for something.
When the chickens come home to roost
When a person pays dearly for something bad he or she did in the past, the chickens come home to roost.
When the dust clears
"When the dust clears" is a way to say when everything's finished and the results are seen. ("When the dust settles" is also used)
Where the rubber meets the road
Where the rubber meets the road is the most important point for something, the moment of truth. An athlete can train all day, but the race is where the rubber meets the road and they'll know how good they really are.
Where there's a will, there's a way
This idiom means that if people really want to do something, they will manage to find a way of doing it.
Where there's muck, there's brass
You can make money doing dirty jobs nobody else wants to do.
"Where there's muck, there's money" is also used.
Where there's smoke, there's fire
When there is an indication or sign of something bad, usually the indication is correct.
Whet your appetite
If something whets your appetite, it interests you and makes you want more of it.
Which came first the chicken or the egg?
This idiomatic expression is used when it is not clear who or what caused something.
While the cat's away, the mouse will play
People whose behaviour is strictly controlled go over the top when the authority is not around, which is why most teenagers have parties when their parents have gone on holiday. The parents are the scary authority figures, but the cat's away and the kids are the mice partying and enjoying their freedom.
Whistle down the wind
If you whistle down the wind, you abandon, send away or leave something or someone.
Whistle for it
If someone says that you can whistle for something, they are determined to ensure that you don't get it.
A whistle-stop tour is when someone visits a number of places quickly, not stopping for long.
If someone is whistling Dixie, they talk about things in a more positive way than the reality.
Whistling in the dark
If someone is whistling in the dark, they believe in a positive result, even though everybody else is sure it will not happen.
Whistling past the graveyard
If someone is whistling past the graveyard, they are trying to remain cheerful in difficult circumstances.
('Whistling past the cemetery' is also used.)
White as a ghost
When someone is very shocked at something that they see or that has happened, they may appear white as a ghost.
White as a sheet
A bad shock can make somebody go as white as a sheet.
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