Phrases



Phrases :



Animal spirits = This expression denotes the natural cheerfulness and buoyancy of youth.

She had high animal spirits.


Apple of discord = Golden apple contended for by Juno, Minerva, and Venus. Hence this expression means something which causes strife.

Their ancestral house is the apple of discord among them.


Apple-pie order = perfect order

The origin of the phrase is uncertain.

His affairs are in apple-pie order.


Bad blood = active enmity

There has for long been bad blood between these two political parties.


A bed of roses = an easy comfortable situation

The life of a coal-miner can hardly be called a bed of roses.


A bed of thorns = a very uncomfortable situation

A soldier's life is often a bed of thorns.


A bird's-eye view = a general view from above.

We had a bird's-eye view of the town from the church tower.


Birds of a feather = persons of like tastes (Usually disparaging)

Birds of a feather flock together


A black sheep = Stands for one who has a bad reputation in a company of people.

It is a small flock that has not a black sheep.


A wet blanket = one who discourages others

Whatever schemes we propose are sure to be turned down by the chairman.

He is always a wet blanket.


A blue stocking = a woman having or affecting literary-tastes and learning

Her standing of a blue stocking made her became the President.


A bone of contention = the subject of frequent dispute

His smoking was a bone of contention between them.


Castles in the air = visionary projects or imaginary schemes

He is always building castles in the air.


A cold-blooded murder = a murder committed in cold blood or done deliberately without the excuse of heat or excitement

Many a cold-blooded murder has been committed for very little gain.


Crocodile tears = hypocritical tears shed by an unfeeling person

Don't believe him. He does not really sympathize with you in your misfortunes. His are only crocodile tears.


The sword of Damocles = imminent danger in midst of prosperity

Damocles was a Greek who was feasted while a sword hung by a hair over him

The threat of war hangs like the sword of Damocles over the heads of the European nations.


A dog-in-the-manger policy = the policy of a selfish man who refuses to allow another to enjoy even what he himself cannot enjoy. The allusion is to the fable of the dog who made his bed in a manger of hay and would not let the ox come near to eat the hay.

He won't let me use it and he cannot use it himself. He is a dog-in-the-manger.


A fish out of water = a person in unfamiliar or uncongenial surroundings

Away from his books he was like a fish out of water.


Flesh and blood = human nature

This is more than flesh and blood can stand. Flesh and blood can bear it no longer. (Thackeray)


The ins and outs = the full details

Now if you want to know the ins and outs of black-marketing you must read A Black-Marketeer's Confessions.


A Jack of all trades = a person who can turn his hand to almost anything (usually disparaging)

He is a jack of all trades and master of none.



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