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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms - F, page 10
from:  'fly by seat of pants'   to:  'fool's errand'

  • fly by the seat of your pants
    • If you fly by the seat of your pants, you do something without any knowledge or experience, using only your instinct and hoping that you will succeed.
      "Without any formal training, he decided to fly by the seat of his pants and try his luck in New York."

  • fly in the face of (something)
    • If an action or statement flies in the face of something, it is completely opposite to what is usual or expected.
      "His style of teaching flies in the face of the school's established methods."

  • on the fly
    • If you do something on the fly, you do it quickly, without thinking much about it, while doing something else.
      "I'm so busy I usually have lunch on the fly."

  • (a) fly in the ointment
    • A fly in the ointmentrefers to a drawback, something that prevents a situation from being completely satisfactory.
      "Tony's poor English was a fly in the ointment when he applied for the job in London."

  • (a) fly on the wall
    • A person who watches a situation without being noticed is called a fly on the wall.
      "I'd like to be a fly on the wall when the management discusses my project."

  • fly off the handle
    • A person who flies off the handle becomes suddenly very angry.
      "Dad flew off the handle when I told him I had damaged his new car."

  • fly under the radar
    • Someone or something that flies under the radar goes without being noticed or detected.
      "For the first few years of her writing career, her books flew largely under the radar."

  • it will never fly
    • To say that something will never fly means that it will not be successful.
      "He's got incredible ideas, but the latest one will never fly!"

  • with flying colours
    • To achieve something with flying colours means to do it very successfully.
      "My daughter passed the entrance exam with flying colours. I'm so proud of her."

  • (a) flying start
    • If something gets off to a flying start, it is immediately successful.
      "Sales of the book got off to a flying start and exceeded our expectations."

  • foam at the mouth
    • Someone who foams at the mouth is extremely angry about something.
      "The director was foaming at the mouth when he saw a picture of his children in the newspaper."

  • follow your nose
    • If you follow your nose, you go straight ahead. (This expression can also mean to follow your instinct in life.)
      "The station is at the end of the road - just follow your nose."

  • follow in someone's footsteps
    • If you follow in someone's footsteps, for example a parent, you lead a similar life or do the same job.
      "Lily followed in her her mother's footsteps and became a teacher."

  • follow suit
    • If you follow suit, you do the same as another person has just done.
      "The first robber held up his hands, then the other two followed suit."

  • food for thought
    • If something give you food for thought, it makes you think seriously about a particular subject.
      "The documentary on poverty in the world really gave me food for thought."

  • (a) fool's errand
    • If you go on a fool's errand, you try to do something which is useless, unnecessary or has no chance of success.
      "I could see that it was a fool's errand to look for a bank in such an isolated region."

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