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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - O

(page 2 : on the cards  → one good turn)

on the cards
(US : in the cards)
Something which is on the cards is planned and likely to happen.
A coalition between the two parties is still on the cards.
on the fly If you do something on the fly, you do it quickly, without thinking much about it, while doing something else.
I'm so busy I usually have lunch on the fly.
on ice If a project or plan is put on ice, all further action has been suspended or postponed for an indefinite period of time.
Plans for the nuclear power station have been put on ice.
on one's last legs If you are on your last legs, you are in a very weak condition or about to die.
I was so sick that I felt as though I was on my last legs!
on the level If you say that someone is on the level, you are referring to an honest and truthful person.
Tell me straight - is he on the level or not?
on the lookout If you are on the lookout for something, you are constantly watchful and attentive  so as not to miss it.
Being a collector, he's always on the lookout for interesting items.
on the map If a place becomes well-known, it is put on the map.
The president's visit really put the restaurant on the map.
on the mend If someone or something is on the mend, they are improving after an illness or a difficult period.
My mother caught the 'flu but she's on the mend now.
on the QT Something that is done on the QT is done quietly or discreetly.
They got married on the QT last summer and told nobody.
on the safe side If you do something to be on the safe side, you do it as a precaution, to avoid any risks.
I think I locked the door but I'll check again to be on the safe side.
on the up and up A person who is on the up and up is becoming increasingly successful.
The architect has been on the up and up since he designed a building in Dubai.
on one's uppers Someone who is on their uppers has very little money or not enough to cover their needs.
Because he was clearly on his uppers when he was hired, he was given an advance in salary.
on the sly If you do something on the sly, you do it secretly or furtively.
He made such quick progress that the others suspected him of having private lessons on the sly.
once in a blue moon If something occurs once in a blue moon, it happens very rarely.
Bill has very little contact with his brother. They see each other once in a blue moon.
one in the eye If an event or development is an unexpected defeat or disappointment for someone, it is one in the eye for that person.
My promotion was one in the eye for my ambitious colleague.
one fell swoop If something is accomplished at (or in) one fell swoop, it is done in a single action, usually rapidly and ruthlessly.
The three houses were demolished at one fell swoop.
one good turn deserves another If someone helps you, it is natural and right to help them in return.
We helped Alex and Sara when they moved into their new house, just as they helped us last year; one good turn deserves another.
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  alphabetical lists O ... 

O1 O2 O3 O4 O5 O6

  more alphabetical lists ...