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English idioms~sayings slang 2003




Idioms: 'at a boy (that a boy) -- 'at a girl (that a girl)

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: 'at a boy (that a boy) -- 'at a girl (that a girl)
 
Idiom
'at a boy (that a boy)

Meaning
good work, well done, attaboy

'at a girl (that a girl)

good work, well done, attagirl

Example

Whenever I win, Don says, " 'at a boy! Good
game!"
When Judy gets good grades, her mom says, "
'at a girl, Judy!"

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A printed version of these idioms is available as ISBN 1-895012-09-0 (New: 4th printing now available) and a CD-ROM version
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file:///F|/books/English%20Idioms%20Sayings%20and%20Slang/iD1.htm[24.06.2011 9:13:00]


Idioms: a close shave -- a cut-up

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: a close shave -- a cut-up
 
Idiom
a close shave
a clutch hitter (baseball)
a common thread
a contract out on


a coon's age
a crash course

Meaning
very close to serious injury or
death
a batter who hits when runners
are on base
an idea or theme that is similar
to others
a contract that pays to have
someone killed
many years, a dog's age

a crying shame

a short course that has the
main facts and skills
sudden feeling of love or
romance
a sad event, it is too bad

a cut above

superior, better

a cut-up

a joker, a person who tells
jokes and has fun

a crush on

Example
The old man described his fight with the bear as
a close shave.
Joe's a clutch hitter. He's batting .431 with
runners on base.
There's a common thread in most of Berton's
stories.
There's a contract out on Mike. The boss
doesn't like him.
We haven't been out to the coast in a coon's
age. It's been years.
He took a crash course in cooking and bought a
cafe.
Judy has a crush on Tim. See the way she
looks at him.
It's a crying shame that they didn't have fire
insurance.
A scholar's work is a cut above. It's superior to
the others.
When Marsha goes to a party she's a real cutup - a lot of fun.

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phbooks@telusplanet.net
A printed version of these idioms is available as ISBN 1-895012-09-0 (New: 4th printing now available) and a CD-ROM version
as ISBN 1-895012-19-8.

file:///F|/books/English%20Idioms%20Sayings%20and%20Slang/iD10.htm[24.06.2011 9:13:00]


Idioms: a close shave -- a cut-up

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Idioms: butter up -- buy time

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: butter up -- buy time
 
Idiom
butter up
butter wouldn't melt in his
mouth
button your lip
buttonhole you
buy a round

buy into
buy out
buy that
buy the farm
buy time

Meaning
be nice to, suck up to
he is very calm and clear, he
has an air of innocence, cool,
smooth talker
do not tell anyone, on the QT

Example
Butter him up before you ask to borrow his car.
When he's talking to voters, butter wouldn't melt
in his mouth.

Button your lip about the speeding ticket. Don't
tell Dad.
stop you and talk to you, corner At the meeting, Al buttonholed me and asked
you and bore you
me to vote Reform.
buy a drink for everyone at the When Gina was born, I bought a round for the
table, this one is on me
team. Every player had a drink to honor our
baby.
believe and support, agree to
He will buy into our plan if the money goes to
support, come onside
needy children.
buy a business and all the
We knew his business was in debt, so we
inventory
offered to buy him out.
believe that, eat that
He says he went to see his friends at the park. I
can buy that.
die, kick the bucket, pass away "Where's Henry?" "Oh, he bought the farm
years ago - died of cancer, eh."
request time to plan, ask for
If we can just buy a little time, maybe the price
extra time
will go down.

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phbooks@telusplanet.net
A printed version of these idioms is available as ISBN 1-895012-09-0 (New: 4th printing now available) and a CD-ROM version

file:///F|/books/English%20Idioms%20Sayings%20and%20Slang/iD100.htm[24.06.2011 9:13:01]


Idioms: butter up -- buy time

as ISBN 1-895012-19-8.
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file:///F|/books/English%20Idioms%20Sayings%20and%20Slang/iD100.htm[24.06.2011 9:13:01]


Idioms: buy up -- by and large

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: buy up -- by and large
 
Idiom
buy up

buzz off

Meaning
buy all of a product or all the
shares in a company
a time when prices are low, soft
market
a person who stops the fun,
party-pooper
go away, beat it, get lost

buzzed

slightly intoxicated, tipsy

buzzword

new word or expression, the
latest jargon, catch phrase
by a long distance, by a wide
margin
(See not by a long shot)
yes, please do it

buyer's market
buzz-kill

by a country mile
by a long shot
by all means
by and large

Example
At closing time, Abe comes in and buys up the
last shares.
The price of gold is low. It's a buyer's market in
precious metals.
You buzz-kill! Don't talk about air disasters
when I'm flying to Rome.
Next time he asks to borrow something, tell him
to buzz off.
Jane got buzzed on fermented coconut juice.
She was happy!
Internet, zero tolerance - these were buzzwords
of the 1990s.
Black Beauty won the race by a country mile.
She was far ahead.

By all means, come to the Learning Skills
Centre.
mostly, mainly, most of the time By and large, chocolate is the favorite flavor.

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Idioms: buy up -- by and large

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Idioms: by any means -- by its very nature

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: by any means -- by its very nature
 
Idiom
by any means
by any stretch...
by cracky

by dint of
by golly
by gosh
by guess or by gosh
by heart
by hook or by crook
by its very nature

Meaning
any way or method, by doing
any job
(See not by any stretch of the
imagination)
you listen to what I say, this is
the truth, by gosh This is
serious, by cracky! We're lost
and we have no water!
as a result of, because of
I am surprised, impressed; by
gosh
what an experience, this is
interesting, by golly
any way that is possible, by
chance
memorized every word, down
pat
any way that is possible, by any
means
because of its natural habits,
because it is that way

Example
He survived by any means when he first came
to Canada.

By dint of her efforts alone, this family is happy
and healthy.
By golly! She did it. She made a cherry pie!
Well, by gosh! This is my first look at Niagara
Falls!
How did I learn to speak French? By guess or
by gosh, that's how.
Eva knew the speech by heart. She didn't look
at her notes.
He'll get that car - by hook or by crook! He'll get
it somehow.
A dog, by its very nature, is dependent on
humans.

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file:///F|/books/English%20Idioms%20Sayings%20and%20Slang/iD102.htm[24.06.2011 9:13:01]


Idioms: by any means -- by its very nature

A printed version of these idioms is available as ISBN 1-895012-09-0 (New: 4th printing now available) and a CD-ROM version
as ISBN 1-895012-19-8.
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Idioms: by jove -- by word of mouth

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: by jove -- by word of mouth
 
Idiom
by jove

Meaning
it happened, it is amazing

by leaps and bounds

by large amounts, by a lot

by no means

not in any way, not by any
stretch...
(See by the way)
judging by the same rule, to be
fair to both sides
with little money, without
planning, a lick and a promise
(See got you by the short hairs)
by a little, barely

by the by
by the same token
by the seat of your pants
by the short hairs
by the skin of their teeth
by the way
by word of mouth

Example
By jove! We reached our goal. We sold 15,000
tickets!
The population of Calgary has grown by leaps
and bounds.
By no means is a car a good investment. It will
depreciate.
By the same token, he should help with the
housework.
You can't operate a business by the seat of
your pants.

He won the election by one vote, by the skin of
his teeth.
in addition to what I was saying, By the way, I heard that Ed is resigning.
incidentally
by one person speaking to
News of his birth traveled by word of mouth.
another, person to person,
Soon everyone knew that Mary had a baby boy.
through the grapevine

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A printed version of these idioms is available as ISBN 1-895012-09-0 (New: 4th printing now available) and a CD-ROM version
as ISBN 1-895012-19-8.

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Idioms: by jove -- by word of mouth

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Idioms: bye -- bye for now

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: bye -- bye for now
 
Idiom
bye
bye for now

Meaning
Example
goodbye
Bye, Mom. I love you.
goodbye but I will see you soon Bye for now. See you tonight at choir practice.

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Idioms: c'est la vie -- call it a day

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: c'est la vie -- call it a day
 
Idiom
c'est la vie
Cabbagetown
cabin fever
cackleberries
call a spade a spade
call attention to
call for
call his bluff
call into account
call it a day

Meaning
that is fate, that's life
a district in Toronto where
European immigrants live
feeling depressed because you
have to stay inside
eggs, chicken eggs
say it in plain language; the
straight goods
ask you to read or notice, draw
attention to
require, ask for
challenge his story, give it to
me straight, put up or shut up
consider, factor in, reckon with,
account for
not work anymore today, call it
quits

Example
If you have bad luck some days, it's natural.
C'est la vie!
Restaurants in Cabbagetown serve European
food.
After three weeks of cold weather we all had
cabin fever.
Look! This hen laid five cackleberries!
Kris will report the facts. She's not afraid to call
a spade a spade.
I would like to call attention to the student
parking problem.
This recipe calls for bee pollen. Where can we
get that?
When I called his bluff about low profits, he
admitted that the company made 11 million.
If you want to go to Ottawa on the first of July,
you have to call holiday traffic into account.
I'm feeling very tired. I think I'll call it a day.

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Idioms: c'est la vie -- call it a day

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Idioms: call it quits -- calm down

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: call it quits -- calm down
 
Idiom
call it quits
call it square
call off
call off the dogs
call on
call tabs
call the shots
call up
calm before the storm
calm down

Meaning
stop doing something, quit what
you are doing
we do not owe each other, it is
a wash, we are even
cancel, postpone
tell your friends to stop
harassing me
ask, request

Example
The dust is bothering all of us. I think we should
call it quits.
I bought the pizza; you bought the beer. Let's
call it square.
They called off the concert because the lead
singer is sick.
Okay, I'll pay what I owe you. But call off the
dogs!
I may call on you to speak at the meeting. Will
you speak to us?
If customers are drunk, you call their tabs and
ask them to leave.
Mr. Binks may be the president, but Ms. Barker
calls the shots.
Call her up and ask her for a date. Go ahead,
phone her.

collect money from bar
customers
make the decisions, decide
what happens
phone, dingle you, give me a
ring,
(See the calm before the storm)
not be so upset, settle down
Please calm down, Mr. Tse. Your daughter is
safe.

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Idioms: call it quits -- calm down

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Idioms: camel toes [B] -- can't help

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: camel toes [B] -- can't help
 
Idiom
camel toes [B]
can
can
can help it
can it
can of worms
can't believe my ears
can't believe my eyes
can't have it both ways
can't help

Meaning
Example
the folds of the vagina revealed When Betty wears her old jeans you can see
by tight jeans
her camel toes.
(See the can)
dismiss, fire, let go
He was canned for drinking liquor at work. They
dismissed him.
can stop it, can prevent it
Abortion won't become legal if he can help it.
He's against it.
stop it, knock it off
Miss Schmidt heard a boy say, "Can it! Here
comes the teacher."
a controversial issue, an old
Gun control - let's not open that can of worms!
problem
cannot believe what I hear, it is The cat is babysitting the kids? I can't believe
unbelievable
my ears!
cannot believe what I see, it is When you walked into that cafe, I couldn't
unbelievable
believe my eyes.
you have to choose one or the When children are allowed to make choices,
other; cannot have your cake... they learn that they can't have it both ways.
cannot prevent, cannot stop
I can't help crying at weddings. They make me
feel sad.

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Idioms: camel toes [B] -- can't help

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Idioms: can't hold a candle -- canned

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: can't hold a candle -- canned
 
Idiom
can't hold a candle
can't put my finger on it

Meaning
(See hold a candle)
cannot remember the exact
words
can't put my hands on it
cannot remember exactly
where it is
can't see for looking
cannot see because I have
been looking too long
can't see the forest for the I am so close that I cannot see
trees
the whole picture or the big
picture
can't stand
does not like, hate
Canada goose
canary
candy-ass
canned

Example
I know the answer, but I can't put my finger on
it.
Your book is in my office, but I can't put my
hands on it now.
Will you try to find my glove? I can't see for
looking.
I'm so involved in teaching that I've lost my view
of education. I can't see the forest for the trees.

Don can't stand love songs. He thinks the words
are silly.
getting goosed in Canada by a "There," he said. "Now you've had your Canada
Canadian
goose."
a person who tells the police, a Ken - that canary! He tells the boss who comes
squealer
in late.
a person without courage or
Larry, that candy-ass! He's afraid to play me
confidence
because he may lose.
prepared, memorized, a pat
His answers sound canned, like he memorized
them.
answer

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A printed version of these idioms is available as ISBN 1-895012-09-0 (New: 4th printing now available) and a CD-ROM version
as ISBN 1-895012-19-8.

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Idioms: can't hold a candle -- canned

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Idioms: Canuck -- carry on

Wayne Magnuson: English Idioms
 

Idioms: Canuck -- carry on
 
Idiom
Canuck
capture the imagination
car buff
card
card-carrying member
caribouboo
carry a tune
carry it off
carry on
carry on

Meaning
a Canadian, a citizen of
Canada, Johnny Canuck
cause a person to imagine a
scene or character
a person who loves to repair or
restore cars
(See such a card)
a regular member, a person on
the membership list
a mistake made by a caribou,
make a booboo
sing well, sing in tune, pipes

Example
When we visited Montana, a clerk called us
"Canucks."
The story of Jacob Two-Two will capture the
kids' imagination.
Colin has been a car buff ever since he bought
his first Ford.

Only card-carrying members will be allowed to
attend the meeting.
"Why did the caribou get lost?" "He made a
caribouboo! Ha ha!"
Ask June to lead the singing. She can carry a
tune.
make it happen, pull it off
This project requires planning and skill, but he
can carry it off.
continue, keep on
Carry on with your game. I'll wait until you're
finished.
talk or act silly, not be sensible They were kissing in church. Imagine carrying
on like that!

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The small print:
Copyright ©1995-2003 Wayne Magnuson
The contents of this page are free for personal and non-commercial use, provided this copyright notice is kept intact. All further
rights, including the rights of publication in any form, have to be obtained by written permission from the publisher:
Prairie House Books
Box 84007 Market Mall, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3A 5C4, Phone +1 403 202-5438, FAX +1 403 202-5437, Email
phbooks@telusplanet.net
A printed version of these idioms is available as ISBN 1-895012-09-0 (New: 4th printing now available) and a CD-ROM version
as ISBN 1-895012-19-8.

file:///F|/books/English%20Idioms%20Sayings%20and%20Slang/iD109.htm[24.06.2011 9:13:04]


Idioms: Canuck -- carry on

Get the book at

.

file:///F|/books/English%20Idioms%20Sayings%20and%20Slang/iD109.htm[24.06.2011 9:13:04]


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