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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms - I,
from:  'in safe hands'   to:  'be an item'

  • in safe hands
    • If something is in safe (or good) hands, it is being looked after by a reliable person or organisation and is therefore at no risk.
      "I'll look after Jamie while you go shopping. Don't worry, he'll be in safe hands."

  • in seventh heaven
    • If you are in seventh heaven, you are extremely happy.
      "Every time Julia wins a match, she's in seventh heaven!"

  • in a stew / get into a stew
    • When someone is in a stew about something, they are worried and agitated.
      "When she was organizing the wedding reception, Laura got into a stew over the seating arrangements. "

  • in trouble with the law
    • If someone is in trouble with the law, they are being questioned by the police in connection with something illegal or criminal.
      "The suspect has often been in trouble with the law."

  • in the twinkling of an eye
    • Something that happens in the twinkling of an eye happens very fast or instantaneously.
      "Public opinion can change in the twinkling of an eye."

  • in two shakes of a lamb's tail
    • To do something in two shakes of a lamb's tail means to do it very quickly or in a moment.
      "I'll be ready in two shakes of a lamb's tail."

  • in vino veritas
    • The expression in vino veritas, which in Latin means 'in wine there is truth', is a way of saying that wine makes people less inhibited and leads them to speak more freely and reveal their true feelings.
      "After a few drinks he told us the whole story - in vino veritas!"

  • in words of one syllable
    • If you explain something in words of one syllable, you use very simple language.
      "Not so fast! Say that again in words of one syllable."

  • ins and outs
    • The term 'ins and outs' of a situation means all the details or facts.
      "I know he was involved in a car accident, but I don't know the ins and outs of his injuries."

  • add insult to injury
    • To add insult to injury means to make a bad situation worse by harming or upsetting someone you have already harmed in some other way.
      "Not only did he steal money from his best friend, he added insult to injury by damaging his car!"

  • (an) iron fist/hand in a velvet glove
    • This expression is used to describe someone who, behind an appearance of gentleness, is inflexible and determined.
      "To impose the necessary reforms, the leader used persuasion followed by force - an iron fist in a velvet glove."

  • (a few/many) irons in the fire
    • If you have a few, or many, irons in the fire, you are involved in several projects at the same time.
      "The travel agency is not his only venture - he's got more than one iron in the fire."

  • (have) itchy feet
    • A person who has itchy feet is someone who finds it difficult to stay in one place and likes to travel and discover new places.
      "Andrew's got itchy feet again. He says he's going to teach in China for a few years."

  • itching (or itchy) palm
    • Someone who has an itching palm is greedy for money, for example tips or commission (as if putting money in the palm of their hand would ease the itch).
      "He's said to have an itching palm - he does nothing without payment!"

  • it beats me
    • Th expression 'it beats me' is used when you find it difficult to understand something.
      "It beats me why Alice stays with Jason. He's totally unreliable!"

  • it's all well and good
    • The expression it's all well and good(followed by 'but') is used to say that while something may appear acceptable or legitimate, it also has some disadvantages or problems connected with it.
      "It’s all well and good wanting a big house, but you have to consider the cost of maintenance."

  • it's anyone's call
    • This expression is used when the result of a contest or election is difficult to predict.
      "Who do you think will win?"  "I don't know. It's anyone's call."

  • it's a small world
    • People use this expression to show surprise when, for example, unexpectedly meeting someone they know in an unusual place, or discovering that they have a friend or acquaintance in common, etc.
      "My new colleague is your brother’s girlfriend? Wow, it’s a small world!"

  • it's no use crying over spilt milk
    • This expression means that it is useless to complain or have regrets about something that is done and cannot be changed.
      "Sometimes I regret not accepting the offer, but it's no use crying over spilt milk."

  • be an item
    • To say that two people are an item means that they are involved in a romantic relationship.
      "So Sally and Harry are an item, are they?"

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 alphabetical lists I...   I1    I2    I3

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