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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - C 

(Idioms C page 4 :  cat nap →  catch as catch can)

cat nap If you have a short sleep during the day, you have a cat nap.
My dad often has a cat nap on a Sunday afternoon.
cat in hell's chance To say that there is not a cat in hell's chance of someone doing or achieving something means that there is no chance at all.
Because of the blizzard, the pilot didn't have a cat in hell's chance of landing safely.
let the cat out of the bag If you let the cat out of the bag, you reveal a secret, generally not intentionally.
When the child told her grandmother about the plans for her birthday, she let the cat out of the bag.
like a cat on hot bricks A person who is like a cat on hot bricks is very nervous or restless.
The week before the results were published, she was like a cat on hot bricks.
like the cat that ate the canary If, after an achievement or success, a person seems very self-satisfied or pleased with themselves, you can say that they look like the cat that ate the canary.
When the boss complimented him on his work, Steve looked like the cat that ate the canary.
like a scalded cat If something or something moves like a scalded cat, they move very fast, usually because they are frightened or shocked.
As soon as he saw the policeman, he ran off like a scalded cat.
like something the cat  dragged in If you compare a person or thing to something the cat dragged in, you think they they look dirty, untidy or generally unappealing.
My teenage son often looks like something the cat dragged in.
like cat and dog Two people who fight or argue like cat and dog frequently have violent arguments, even though they are fond of each other.
They fight like cat and dog but they're still together after 30 years.
cat and dog life A life in which partners are constantly or frequently quarrelling is called a cat-and-dog life.
They lead a cat-and-dog life.  I don't know why they stay together.
cat's lick A cat's lick means a very quick wash.
A cat's lick was all he had time for before rushing off to catch the bus.
cat's whiskers
(also: cat's pyjamas)
This expression refers to someone who considers themselves
to be better than others in a particular area : beauty, competence, intelligence, sport, etc.
Ever since she got a promotion, she thinks she's the cat's whiskers!
catch 22 A catch 22 situation refers to a frustrating situation where you cannot do one thing without doing a second, and you cannot do the second before doing the first.
I can't get a job without a work permit, and I can't get a work permit without a job.  It's a catch 22 situation!
catch somebody's eye If someone catches you eye, you find them attractive.
The pretty girl near the door caught his eye.
catch redhanded If a person is caught red-handed, they are caught while they are doing something wrong or illegal.
The police arrived as the burglar was leaving the house.  He was caught red-handed.
catch as catch can This expression means that you try to get something in any way possible.
It's difficult to get much sleep with the new baby - it's catch-as-catch-can these days!
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Alphabetical Lists C:
C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10 C11 C12 C13 C14 C15 C16 C17
 more alphabetical lists ...