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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List of Idioms - H

(Idioms H page 11 :   horse of a different colour   →  house room)

horse of a different colour To describe a person or a problem as a horse of a different colour means either that the person does things differently from others, or that the nature of the problem is entirely different.
I expected to negotiate with the sales manager, but the chairman turned up - now he's a horse of a different colour!
horse sense Someone who has horse sense is a practical thinker who has the ability to make sensible decisions.
Don't worry. Andrew has good horse sense. He'll do the right thing.
dark horse If you refer to someone as a dark horse you mean that they are secretive or that little is known about them.
I can't say I know my neighbour.  He's a bit of a dark horse.
could eat a horse To say that you could eat a horse means that you are very hungry.
Let's get something to eat.  I'm starving. I could eat a horse!
flog a horse To say that someone is flogging (or beating) a dead horse means that they are wasting time and effort trying to do or achieve something that is impossible.
Mark is flogging a dead horse trying to get his money reimbursed.  The company has gone bankrupt.
horses for courses This expression means that because horses race better on a course that suits them, it is important to match people with suitable jobs or tasks. A person suited to one activity may not be suited to another.
His experience in sales doesn't necessarily make him ideal for the job. Horses for courses, as the saying goes!
straight from horse's mouth If you learn something straight from the horse's mouth, the information is given to you by someone who is directly involved.
"How do you know Sam has resigned?"
"I got it straight from the horse's mouth - Sam told me himself!"
hot off the press If a news article, for example, is hot off the press, it has just been published and contains the most recent information on the subject.
I just got it hot off the press; another bank has gone bankrupt.
hot on the trail If you are hot on the trail of someone or something, you are very close to finding them.
The police are hot on the trail of the bank robber.
hot under the collar If you get hot under the collar, you feel annoyed, indignant or embarrassed.
If anyone criticizes his proposals, Joe immediately gets hot under the collar.
hot potato A hot potato is a very sensitive and controversial matter which is difficult to deal with.
The new Prime Minister hasn't been confronted with any hot potatoes yet.
like a house on fire Two people who get on like a house on fire have similar interests and quickly become good friends.
As soon as Sarah met her brother's girlfriend, they got on like a  house on fire.
(not) give house room If you refuse to give house room to someone or something, you do not accept them into your home because you dislike or disapprove of them.
I wouldn't give house room to that painting - it's grotesque!
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