Idioms Beginning With: 'W'
101 - 150
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White as snow If something or someone is as white as snow, they are perfect or completely uncorrupted and honest. 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. White-bread 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. Wildcat 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. Will-o'-the-wisp 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. If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our . If you know of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please use our online form to Idioms Discussion Forum suggest an idiom. 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