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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms C, page 14

Idioms C, page 14:  from:   'cream rises to the top'   to:   'at cross purposes'


  • cream rises to the top
    • Someone or something exceptionally good will eventually attract attention or stand out from the rest, just as cream rises to the top in coffee or tea.
      "I knew you'd succeed. As the saying goes: 'cream rises to the top'!"

  • creative accounting
    • This term refers to the presentation of a company's results in a way that, although generally legal, glosses over the problems and makes the results appear better than they are.
      "It was suggested that some creative accounting might help to attract investors."

  • creature comforts
    • This expression refers to modern conveniences (such as hot water or central heating) that make life comfortable and pleasant.
      "I need my creature comforts. I don't know how I'd survive without air-conditioning in this climate!"

  • credibility gap
    • The extent of disbelief, of the difference between what you are asked to believe and what you are able to believe, is called a credibility gap.
      "The growing credibility gap may lead to a serious loss of votes in the next elections."

  • crest of a wave
    • If you are on the crest of a wave, you are very successful in what you are doing.
      "Our company is going from success to success. We're on the crest of a wave right now."

  • crocodile tears
    • To shed crocodile tears means to shed false tears or show insincere grief.
      "Caroline pretended to be sad but we all knew her tears were crocodile tears."

  • (as) crooked as a dog's hind leg
    • To say that someone is as crooked as a dog's hind leg means that they are very dishonest indeed.
      "He can't be trusted - he's as crooked as a dog's hind leg."

  • (a) cross to bear
    • A person who has across to bear have a serious problem or heavy responsibility that they must accept because they cannot change it.
      "Alzheimer's is a cross to bear for the whole family."

  • cross that bridge when we come to it
    • This is another way of saying 'we will deal with that problem when it occurs and not worry about it before'.
      "What will happen if we can't repay the loan?"
      "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it."


  • cross the line
    • If you cross the line, you go beyond the authorized limits and do something which is not acceptable.
      "He has an unpleasant habit of telling jokes that really cross the line."

  • cross your mind
    • If an idea or thought crosses your mind, you suddenly think of it.
      "It just crossed my mind that the shops are closed today."

  • cross someone's path
    • If you meet somebody, usually unexpectedly or by chance, you cross their path.
      "Ms. Bridgewater was my English teacher but haven't crossed her path since I left school."

  • at cross purposes
    • If two people areat cross purposes, there is a misunderstanding as to what each one is talking about.
      "Look, we seem to be at cross purposes. You're talking about 'sailing' boats, but I'm talking about 'selling' boats."

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