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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


DESCRIPTIONS of PEOPLE, page 1

(personality - character - appearance)
from:  'abbreviated piece of nothing'   to:  'butter wouldn't melt ...'


  • abbreviated piece of nothing
    • This slang expression refers to someone who is considered to be insignificant or worthless.
      "Bob doesn't think much of his new colleague. He calls him an abbreviated piece of nothing."

  • all brawn and no brain
    • Someone who is physically very strong but not very intelligent is said to be all brawn and no brain.
      "He's an impressive player to watch, but he's all brawn and no brain."

  • all sizzle and no steak
    • Someone who turns out to be disappointing, after a promotional campaign which led us to expect something better, is called all sizzle and no steak.
      "Because of the electoral promises he made, which so far he has failed to keep, many people call the new president 'all sizzle and no steak'."

  • all things to all people
    • If you are all things to all people, you please or satisfy everyone.
      "She's exhausted tying to be a good wife, a good mother and a good teacher, but she can't be all things to all people."

  • apple of your eye
    • A person, usually a child, who is the apple of your eye is one for whom you have great affection.
      "My grandson is the apple of my eye."

  • armchair critic
    • An armchair critic is someone who gives advice based on theory rather than practice.
      "That guy is such an armchair critic - no experience but plenty of advice."

  • armchair traveller
    • Someone who reads books or watches TV programmes about other places and countries, but doesn't actually travel anywhere, is called an armchair traveller.
      "A surprising number of adventure books are bought by armchair travellers."

  • bad egg
    • Someone who is a bad egg is an untrustworthy person often involved in trouble whose company should be avoided.
      "I don't want my son to be friends with Bobby Smith. Bobby's a bad egg."

  • behind the times
    • A person who is behind the times has old-fashioned ideas and does not keep up with modern life in general.
      "Jane doesn't have a mobile phone.She's completely behind the times."

  • big cheese
    • The expression big cheese refers to a person who has a lot of power and influence in an organisation.
      "Tom's father is a big cheese in the oil industry."

  • big fish in a small pond
    • The term big fish in a small pond refers to an important or highly-ranked person in a small group or organisation.
      "He could get a job with a big company but he enjoys being a big fish in a small pond."

  • a closed book
    • The expression a closed book is used to describe someone or something difficult to know or understand, or that you know little about.
      "Julia is something of a closed book. I know nothing about her. She’s a very private person - a mystery to me!"
      "Modern art will always be a closed book to me."

  • an open book
    • If you describe someone as an open book, you find it easy to know what they are thinking and feeling. Nothing is hidden.
      "We could see immediately that she was delighted with the proposal. Her face was an open book."

  • you can't judge a book by its cover
    • This expression means that you should not form an opinion about something from its appearance only.
      "He leads a very simple life but in fact he's an extremely rich man. You can't judge a book by its cover!"

  • a bookworm
    • Someone who loves books and spends a lot of time reading is called a bookworm.
      "A book would be the ideal gift. My mother has always been a bookworm."

  • born with a silver spoon in one's mouth
    • A person who is born with a silver spoon in their mouth is born into a very rich family.
      "She never has to worry about money; she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth."

  • butter wouldn't melt in your mouth
    • If you say that someone looks as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouth, you mean that they look completely innocent, but that they are capable of doing unpleasant things.
      "The boy who stole the purse looked as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth."

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