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 English Idioms and Expressions  

Alphabetical List of Idioms A, page 4,
from: 'all sizzle'  to: 'apple of your eye'

  • all sizzle and no steak
    • Someone or something that turns out to be disappointing, for example after a promotional campaign or marketing operation 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 skin and bone
    • If someone is all skin and bone, they are very thin or too thin.
      "After trekking in the Himalayas, he was all skin and bone."

  • 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.

  • all thumbs
    all fingers and thumbs
    • If you are all fingers and thumbs, you are awkward and clumsy and do things incorrectly.
      "Would you mind wrapping this for me? I'm all fingers and thumbs!"

  • all told
    • All told means the final number, when everything has been counted.
      "The number of visitors to the exhibition, all told, was 12543."

  • (it's) all well and good
    • The expression it's all well and good(followed by 'but') is used to say that while something may appear acceptable or legitimate, it also has some disadvantages or problems connected with it.
      "It’s all well and good wanting a big house, but you have to consider the cost of maintenance."

  • up/down your alley
    • If something is (right) up or down your alley, it is exactly the sort of thing that will suit your tastes or abilities.
      "Alex loves reading, so the job in the bookshop is right up his alley."

  • also-ran
    • This term refers to an unsuccessful competitor whose performance is so much poorer than the winner's that it appears insignificant.
      "He entered the contest hoping that he wouldn't end up as an 'also-ran'."

  • alter ego
    • The term alter ego, which in Latin means 'other self', refers to a very close and trusted friend who is very like yourself. (It can also mean a person's alternative personality.)
      "She is, above all, her husband's alter ego."

  • ambulance chaser
    • A lawyer who finds work by persuading people injured in accidents to claim money from the person who caused the accident is called an 'ambulance chaser'.
      "Peterson and Scott are well-known ambulance chasers - that's how they make their money!"

  • answer for something
    • If someone has to answer for something, they have to accept responsibility for their actions.
      He will have to answer for his dishonesty.

  • answer the call of nature
    answer nature's call
    • When a person answers the call of nature, they go to the toilet.
      "I had to get up in the middle of the night to answer the call of nature."

  • ants in one's pants
    • People who have ants in their pants are very restless or excited about something.
      "I wish he'd relax. He's got ants in his pants about something today."

  • anyone's call
    • This expression is used when the result of a contest or election is difficult to predict.
      "Who do you think will win?" "It's anyone's call."

  • any port in a storm
    • When you have no choice, any port in a storm refers to a solution you accept, which in normal circumstances you would find unacceptable.
      "The hotel was substandard, but it was a case of any port in a storm; all the others were full."

  • the 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."

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