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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms L, page 7

Idioms L, page 7:  from:   'like taking candy'   to:   'live in clover'


  • like taking candy from a baby
    • To say that something is like taking candy from a baby means that it is very easy to do.
      "Don't worry - you'll manage. It'll be like taking candy from a baby!"

  • like taking sand to the beach
    • Doing something that is unnecessary or of no use at all is said to be like taking sand to the beach.
      "Bringing a cake to Judy's party is like taking sand to the beach; she always uses a caterer."

  • like talking to a brick wall
    • To say that a conversation with someone is like talking to brick wall means that communication is impossible because there is no reaction or response.
      "I tried to discuss the problem with him but it was like talking to a brick wall."

  • like there's no tomorrow
    • If someone does something like there's no tomorrow, they do it fast and eagerly, regardless of the future, as if this could be their last opportunity to do it.
      "I don't understand him; he's spending money like there's no tomorrow."

  • like a thief in the night
    • Someone who acts like a thief in the night does something secretly or in an unexpected manner.
      "He left the company like a thief in the night, without telling his colleagues or saying goodbye."

  • like a ton of bricks
    • If somebody comes down on you like a ton of bricks, they criticize you severely because you have done something wrong.
      "If you don't follow his instructions carefully, he'll come down on you like a ton of bricks!"

  • like turkeys voting for Christmas
    • This expression is used to say that a particular option is unlikely to be chosen because it would not be in the interest of the people concerned.
      (In many countries people eat turkey at Christmas.)
      "Expecting them to accept a decrease in salary would be like turkeys voting for Christmas."

  • like two peas in a pod
    • Two people who are like two peas in a pod are very similar to each other in appearance or character. They look, behave, or think exactly the same.
      "It doesn't matter which brother you contact - they're like two peas in a pod.!"

  • like water off a duck's back
    • Criticism, advice or comments which have no effect on someone are said to be 'like water off a duck's back'.
      "He's been warned of the dangers of smoking but it's like water off a duck's back."

  • like wildfire
    • If something such as news, rumours or gossip spreads like wildfire, it becomes widely known very fast.
      "As soon as the nomination was announced, the news spread like wildfire."

  • (a) likely story
    • This expression is used to say that you do not believe what has just been said.
      "He said he'd found the money on the street - that's a likely story!"

  • bottom line
    • If you use the termbottom line in an explanation or discussion , you refer to the most essential point or the conclusion reached.
      "The bottom line is that part of the manufacturing will be outsourced."

  • cross the line
    • If you cross the line you go beyond the authorized limits by doing something unacceptable.
      "He has an unpleasant habit of telling jokes that really cross the line."

  • line of least resistance
    • If you opt for the line of least resistance, you choose the easiest way of doing something.
      "To make sure the children would stay inside, he chose the line of least resistance and rented a film."

  • read between the lines
    • To read between the lines means to understand the real meaning of what is written or said, without need for any further detail.
      "Reading between the lines, I'd say that the situation is worse than expected."

  • lion's share
    • The lion's share of something is the largest portion, or the best part.
      "He left very little money to his children; the lion's share was donated to charity."

  • be on everyone's lips
    • Something that is on everyon's lips is currently a popular topic of conversation or gossip.
      "The question on everyone's lips is: Is he going to resign or not after the latest scandal?"

  • give someone some lip
    • To give someone some lip means to speak to somone in an insolent or disrespectful way.
      "I’m warning you! If you continue to give lip like that you’ll be in trouble ! "

  • keep a stiff upper lip
    • If a person keeps a stiff upper lip, they contain their emotion and do not let other people see their feelings.
      "When she heard the bad news, she kept a stiff upper lip."

  • read someone's lips
    • If you read someone’s lips, you are able to understand what they are saying by observing the movements of their lips.
      "When he whispered something, he put his hand in front of his mouth so that nobody could read his lips."

  • lips are sealed
    • If you say that your lips are sealed, you promise not to reveal a secret.
      "I promise I won't tell anyone. My lips are sealed."

  • pay lip service
    • If you pay lip service to an idea or cause, you give verbal support or approval, but fail to actually do anything.
      "In spite of promising equal pay for women, the management is paying lip service to the promotion of women's rights."

  • smack or lick your lips
    • To say that a person is smacking or licking their lips means that they are showing that they are excited about something and are eager for it to happen.
      "They were smacking their lips at the idea of the money they were going to make."

  • lipstick on a pig
    • This expression means that trying to 'dress up' something unappealing or ugly, in a vain attempt to make it look better, is like putting lipstick on a pig.
      "Flowers will not improve that ugly bridge; every one agrees that it's lipstick on a pig."

  • live a lie
    • If you spend your life hiding something important about yourself, or inventing something which is not true, you live a lie.
      "To hide his humble origins, he told his wife he had no family and spent his life living a lie."

  • live beyond your means
    • If someone lives beyond their means, they spend more money than they earn or can afford.
      "The cost of living was so much higher in New York that Charlie was soon living beyond his means."

  • live (or be) on the breadline
    • People who live on the breadline have a very low income or barely enough money to survive.
      "Due to the recent crisis, there are more people living on the breadline than ever before."

  • live from hand to mouth
    • If you live from hand to mouth, you don't have any money to save because whatever you earn is spent on food and other essentials.
      "Most families in that area live from hand to mouth."

  • live high off the hog
    • Someone who lives high off the hog has a lot of money and a very comfortable lifestyle.
      "Now he's wealthy and living high off the hog."

  • live in an ivory tower
    • A person who lives in an ivory tower has a lifestyle that preserves them from the problems and difficulties experienced by others.
      "You're completely out of touch - it's time to come out of your ivory tower and see what's going on!"

  • live in clover
    • Someone who lives in clover has enough money to lead a very comfortable  life.
      "I dream of making an enormous amount of money and living in clover for the rest of my life!"

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