1. Beat around the bush.
- To talk about lots of unimportant things because you want to avoid talking about what is really important
Quit beating around the bush and say what’s on your mind.
2. The best of both worlds
- A situation in which you can enjoy the advantages of two very different things at the same time
Ex: She works in the city and lives in the countryside, so she gets the best of both worlds.
3. bite of more than you can chew
- To try to do something that is too difficult for you.
We bit off more than we could chew in our original reform proposals.
4. give the benefit of the doubt
- To decide that you will believe someone, even though you are not sure that what the person is saying is true.
- Believe someone’s statement, without proof.
Ex: She said she was late because her flight was canceled, and we gave her the benefit of the doubt.
5. blessing in disguise
- Something that seems bad or unlucky at first but causes something good to happen later
Ex1: Being laid off was a blessing in disguise – within a month I got a much better job.
Ex2: The hotel is full tonight, i will need to find a new place to stay
It’s just blessing in disguise, i’ve been wanting to try a new place anyway.
6. Can’t judge a book its cover
- Said to show that you cannot know what something or someone is like by looking only at that person or thing’s appearance
Ex: “Don’t judge a book by its cover, see a man by his cloth, as there is often a good deal of solid worth and superior skill underneath a [???] jacket and yaller pants.”
7. In the heat of the moment
- If you say or do something in the heat of the moment, you say or do it without thinking because you are very angry or excited
Ex: He didn’t mean it – he said it in the heat of the moment.
8. Kill two birds with one stone
- To succeed in achieving two things in a single action
I killed two birds with one stone and picked the kids up on the way to the supermarket.
9. Let the cat out of the bag
- To allow a secret to be known, usually without intending to
I was trying to keep the party a secret, but Mel went and let the cat out of the bag.
10. Miss the boat
- To lose an opportunity to do something by being slow to act
There were tickets available last week, but he missed the boat by waiting till today to try to buy some.
11. Once in a blue moon
- Not very often
My sister lives in Alaska, so I only see her once in a blue moon. Once in a blue moon, there’s an issue I can’t resolve.
12. Take with a grain of salt
- To not completely believe something that you are told, because you think it is unlikely to be true
You have to take everything she says with a pinch of salt, because she tends to exaggerate.
13. Be up in the air
- If something is up in the air, no decision has been made
Ex1: Our plans for the summer are still up in the air.
Ex2: The whole future of the project is still up in the air.
14. Stab someone in the back
- To harm someone who trusts you
Ex: A lot of people in this business think they have to stab each other in the back to succeed.
15. Lose your touch
- If you lose your touch, you can no longer do something as well as you could before
Ex: It’s good to see their goalkeeper’s not losing his touch.
16. Sit tight
- To stay where you are
Ex: You’d better sit tight and I’ll call the doctor.
17. Face the music
- To accept responsibility for something you have done
Ex: If she lied to me, then she’ll just have to face the music
18. Rule of thumb
- A practical and approximate way of doing or measuring something
Ex: A good rule of thumb is that a portion of rice is two handfuls.
19. Look like a millon dollars
- To look or feel extremely good, often because you are wearing something that costs a lot of money:
Ex: “You look like a million dollars in that dress, honey!”
20. Get over something
- To accept an unpleasant fact or situation after dealing with it for a while
Ex: They’re upset that you didn’t call, but they’ll get over it.
21. Crunch time
- A point at which something difficult must be done:
Ex:He plays well without pressure, but can he produce at crunch time?
22. Get out of hand
- To become difficult to control
Ex: It was the end of term and the children were getting a little out of hand.
23. Get out if your system
- If you get something out of your system, you get rid of a wish or emotion, especially a negative one, by allowing yourself to express it:
Ex: I had a good cry and got it out of my system.
24. Hang in there
- Said as a way of telling someone to not give up, despite difficulties:
Ex: Work can get tough in the middle of a term but hang in there and it’ll be OK.