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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - C 

(Idioms C page 6 :  change of heart  →  chicken out)

change of heart If someone has a change of heart, they change their attitude or feelings, especially towards greater friendliness or cooperation.
He was against charity, but he had a change of heart when he saw the plight of the homeless.
change horses in midstream If you change horses in midstream, you change your plan, or choose a new leader, in the middle of an important activity.
Let's go through with the original plan; it's risky to change horses in midstream.
chapter and verse This term refers to word-for-word details, or very specific facts, especially the exact place where the information can be found.
The phrase is attributed to Oscar Wilde, although I can't give you chapter and verse.
chase rainbows Someone who is chasing rainbows is trying to get something they will never obtain.
She's trying to get into Oxford, but I think she's chasing rainbows.
chase you (own) tail Someone who is chasing their (own) tail is spending a lot of time and energy doing many things but achieving very little.
He's been chasing his tail all week collecting data but the report is still  not ready.
cheap shot A cruel, unfair or unwarranted comment or verbal attack is called a cheap shot.
Referring to Tom as an 'unqualified speaker' was really a cheap shot.
cheek by jowl When people are cheek by jowl, they are crammed uncomfortably close together.
The refugees are living cheek by jowl in a temporary camp.
cheesed off If someone is cheesed off with something, they are annoyed, bored or frustrated.
Jenny is absolutely cheesed off with her job.
cherry pick When you cherry pick, you choose something with great care and select only the best.
Top university graduates are often cherry-picked by large companies.
get a second bite/two bites at the cherry This expression means that you get a second opportunity to do or try something.
He was eliminated in the semi-finals, but he'll get a second bite at the cherry next year.
old chestnut A story, joke or an idea that has been repeated so often that it has lost its novelty is referred to as an 'old chestnut'.
The story about his boat capsizing has become an old chestnut!
chew the fat If you chew the fat with somebody, you chat in an informal way about unimportant things.
It's amazing the amount of time my grandparents can spend chewing the fat with their neighbours.
chicken feed An amount of money considered small or unimportant is called chicken feed.
I got a job during the holidays but the pay was chicken feed.
chicken out             If you chicken out of something, you decide not to do something because you are afraid.
He decided to join a karate class, but chickened out  at the last minute.
(no) spring chicken To say that someone is no spring chicken means that they are quite old or well past their youth.
"How old is the owner?" "I don't know, but she's no spring chicken!"
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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 ...