Idioms Beginning With: 'W'
results for letter 'W
- White elephant
- A white elephant is an expensive burden; something that costs far too much money to run, like the Millennium Dome in the UK.
- White feather
- If someone shows a white feather, they are cowards.
- White lie
- If you tell a white lie, you lie in order not to hurt someone's feelings.
- If something is white-bread, it is very ordinary, safe and boring.
- Who has eaten of the pot knows the taste of the broth
- Experience is the best teacher.
- Who wears the pants?
- (USA) The person who wears the pants in a relationship is the dominant person who controls things.
- Who wears the trousers?
- (UK) The person who wears the trousers in a relationship is the dominant person who controls things.
- Who will ring the bell?
- 'Who will ring the bell?' asks who will assume the responsibility to help us out of a difficult situation.
- Whole ball of wax
- (USA) The whole ball of wax is everything.
- Whole cloth
- (USA) If something is made out of whole cloth, it is a fabrication and not true.
- Whole kit and caboodle
- The whole kit and caboodle means 'everything' required or involved in something.
('Kaboodle' is an alternative spelling.)
- Whole new ball game
- If something's a whole new ball game, it is completely new or different.
- Whole nine yards
- The whole nine yards means means everything that is necessary or required for something.
- Whole shebang
- The whole shebang includes every aspect of something.
- Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free
- This idiom is usually used to refer to men who don't want to get married, when they can get all the benefits of marriage without getting married.
- Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
- There's no need to do something yourself when you have somebody to do it for you, usually trivial matters.
- Wide berth
- If you give someone a wide berth, you keep yourself well away from them because they are dangerous.
- Wide of the mark
- If something is wide of the mark, it is inaccurate or incorrect.
- Wild goose chase
- A wild goose chase is a waste of time- time spent trying to do something unsuccessfully.
- A wildcat scheme is rash - financially or ethically - and will probably fail.
- Wilder than a peach orchard boar
- (USA) A person who is out of control or running wild.
- Will never fly
- If an idea or project, etc, will never fly, it has no chance of succeeding.
- Something that deceives by its appearance is a will-o’-the-wisp; it looks good, but turns out to be a disappointment.
- Win by a nose
- If somebody wins by a nose, they only just beat the others.
- Window dressing
- If something is done to pretend to be dealing with an issue or problem, rather than actually dealing with it, it is window dressing.
- Window to the soul
- Eyes are sometimes referred to as the window to the soul.
- Wing and a prayer
- If you do something on a wing and a prayer, you try to do something and hope you'll succeed even though you have very little chance of success.
- Winner takes all
- If everything goes to the winner, as in an election, the winner takes all.
- Wipe the floor with
- (UK) If you wipe the floor with someone, you destroy the arguments or defeat them easily.
- Wipe the slate clean
- If you wipe the slate clean, you make a new start and forget about past problems, disagreements, etc.
- Wipe the smile of someone's face
- If you wipe the smile of someone's face, you do something to make someone feel less pleased with themselves.
- With a heavy hand
- If someone does something with a heavy hand, they do it in a strict way, exerting a lot of control.
- With child
- (UK) If a woman's with child, she's pregnant.
- With flying colours (colors)
- If you pass something with flying colours (colors), you pass easily, with a very high mark or grade.
- With friends like that, who needs enemies?
- This expression is used when people behave badly or treat someone badly that they are supposed to be friends with.
- Wither on the vine
- If something withers on the vine, it fails to get the intended result, doesn't come to fruition.
- Within a whisker
- If you come within a whisker of doing something, you very nearly manage to do it but don't succeed.
- Without a hitch
- If something happens without a hitch, nothing at all goes wrong.
- Without batting an eye
- If someone does something without batting an eye, they do it without showing alarm or any response; acting as though nothing were unusual.(Without batting an eyelid is also used.)
- Woe betide you
- This is used to wish that bad things will happen to someone, usually because of their bad behaviour.
- Woe is me
- This means that you are sad or in a difficult situation. It's archaic, but still used.
- Wolf in sheep's clothing
- A wolf in sheep's clothing is something dangerous that looks quite safe and innocent.
- Wood for the trees
- (UK) If someone can't see the wood for the trees, they get so caught up in small details that they fail to understand the bigger picture.
- Word of mouth
- If something becomes known by word of mouth, it is because people are talking about it, not through publicity, etc.
- Word of the law
- The word of the law means that the law is interpreted in an absolutely literal way which goes against the ideas that the lawmakers had wished to implement.
- Words fail me
- If words fail you, you can't find the words to express what you are trying to say.
- Work like a charm
- If something works like a charm, it works perfectly.
- Work like a dog
- If you work like a dog, you work very hard.
- Work the system
- If people work the system, they exploit the state or similar setup to their advantage.
- Work your fingers to the bone
- If you work your fingers to the bone, you work extremely hard on something.
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