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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms O, page 2

Idioms O, page 2:  from:   'olive branch'   to:   'on one's uppers'


  • (hold out an) olive branch
    • If a person or organisation holds out an olive branch to another, they show that they want to end a disagreement and make peace.
      "The protesters finally accepted the olive branch extended to them."

  • can't make omelette without breaking eggs
    • This expression means that it is impossible to make important changes without causing some unpleasant effects.
      "Some people will lose their jobs after the merger but you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs."

  • 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 somethingon 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."

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