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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms H, page 3

Idioms H, page 3:  from:   'wash your hands'   to:   'happy as Larry'


  • wash your hands of (something)
    • If you wash your hands of a problem or situation, you refuse to deal with it any longer.
      "You can't just wash your hands of David's behaviour. He's your son!"

  • handbrake on a canoe
    • Is something is as much use as a handbrake on a canoe, it is completely useless or serves no purpose.
      "With no electricity, a refrigerator would be as much use as a handbrake on a canoe."

  • handle with kid gloves
    • If you handle someone with kid gloves, you treat them very carefully or tactfully, either because they are very important or because they are easily upset.
      "He is so determined to obtain her agreement that he is handling her with kid gloves."

  • 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!"

  • get the hang of (something)
    • When you get the hang of an activity, you now know how to do it correctly.
      "The apprentice found the task difficult at first but he soon got the hang of it."

  • hang in there
    • This expression is used to encourage someone to persevere and not give up in spite of the difficult circumstances.
      "I know the atmosphere is very tense, but just hang in there and things will eventually calm down."

  • hang (or hold) on for dear life
    • If you hang (or hold) on for dear life, you grip something firmly so as not to fall.
      "Andy took his mother on the back of his motorbike where she hung on for dear life!"

  • hang on by the fingernails
    • When you hang on by the fingernails, you succeed in continuing to do something in a very difficult situation.
      "The restaurant is losing more and more customers; the owner is just hanging on by his fingernails."

  • hang out to dry
    • If you abandon someone who is in difficulty, without giving any assistance or support, you hang them out to dry.
      "You'll get no help from Jack. He'll hang you out to dry if your plan fails."

  • hang up one's boots
    • When a sports player hangs up their boots, they stop playing and retire.
      (This expression is often used to refer to retirement in general.)
      "Dad says he's going to hang up his boots at the end of the year."

  • have a hangover
    • To have a hangover means to suffer from the unpleasant after-effects of drinking too much alcohol.
      "Many young people have a hangover after a party or celebration."

  • happy camper
    • Someone who is ahappy camper is generally content or satisfied with what is happening in their lives and has no complaints.
      "With his new job and his new car, Andy is a happy camper."

  • happy as a flea in a doghouse
    • If someone is (as) happy as a flea in a doghouse, they are very happy and contented.
      "Since she moved to a smaller apartment, my mother is as happy as a flea in a doghouse!"

  • happy as Larry
    • If you are (as) happy as Larry, you are very happy indeed.
      "My dad's as happy as Larry at the week-end when we all arrive home."

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