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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms N, page 6

Idioms N, page 6:  from:   'not give the time of day'   to:   'strike the right note'


  • not give the time of day
    • If you dislike someone so strongly that you ignore them and refuse to speak to them, you do not give them the time of day.
      "Sarah's parents dislike her boyfriend so much they won't even give him the time of day!"

  • not in the same league
    • If something is not in the same league, it is of much lower standard than something else.
      "He had a good voice but he wasn't in the same league as Pavarotti."

  • not in one's right mind
    • Someone who is not in their right mind is not behaving in a logical or sensible way.
      "Julie wasn't in her right mind the day she bought that outfit. It doesn't suit her at all!"

  • not let grass grow under your feet
    • If someone does not let the grass grow under their feet, they do not delay in getting something done.
      "As soon as he received the permit, he started to build. He doesn't let the grass grow under his feet!"

  • not a patch on
    • If something or someone is not a patch on an other, they are not nearly as good.
      "His second conference wasn't a patch on the first one."

  • not have a stitch on
    • Someone who doesnot have a stitch on is wearing no clothes and is therefore completely naked.
      "When the doorbell rang, he didn't have a stitch on!"

  • not the only pebble on the beach
    • To say that someone is not the only pebble on the beach means that they are not the only person worth considering.
      "He thinks his refusal to join the team will cause problems, but there are other alternatives ...he's not the only pebble on the beach!"

  • not the brightest bulb in the box / the sharpest knife in the drawer / the sharpest tool in the shed
    • These are a few of the expressions used to say that someone is not very intelligent. There are many others.
      "Max has failed the exam for the third time! He's obviously not the brightest bulb in the box!"
      "Nobody was surprised when Johnny misunderstood the message. We all know he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer!"


  • not up to scratch
    • Something which isnot up to scratch fails to reach the expected standard.
      "The quality of the material is not up to scratch. We'll have to change our suppliers."

  • a notch above
    • Something that is a notch above something else is a little better in every way.
      "His rendering of the song was a notch above the others."

  • strike the right note
    • If you strike (or hit) the right note, you say or do something suitable or appropriate
      "He struck the right note with his future mother-in-law when he brought her a book on gardening - her favourite hobby!"

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