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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms O, page 4

Idioms O, page 4:  from:   'one upmanship'   to:   'out of character'

  • one upmanship
    • The term one-upmanship refers to the art of gaining and keeping an advantage over other people.
      "He's a successful man, but his one-upmanship has left him with few friends."

  • only to be expected
    • If an event or outcome is only to be expected, it is most likely to happen.
      "The teacher was angry because you cheated at the exam? That was only to be expected!"

  • open doors to/for
    • If something opens doors, it provides opportunities or possibilities for the future.
      "A degree from a top university generally opens doors to major companies."

  • open the floodgates
    • If someone or something opens the floodgates, they release something that had previously been held under control.
      "It is feared that easing price controls will open the floodgates to inflation."

  • open the kimono
    • If a person or organisation opens the kimono, they reveal something previously hidden.
      "It's time to open the kimono and explain that we cannot meet the deadline."

  • open (or reopen) old wounds
    • If you open or reopen old wounds you revive memories of an unpleasant event, situation or dispute that took place in the past.
      "He carefully avoided the subject so as not to open old wounds."

  • open secret
    • A fact that is supposed to be a secret but is actually widely known is called an open secret.
      "It's an open secret that Paul and Emily are living together."

  • open and shut case
    • An open-and-shut case is one where the facts are so clear that the matter can be dealt with or solved easily.
      "He was caught driving the stolen car. It's an open-and-shut case."

  • opposite number
    • A person who holds the same position as oneself in another company or organisation is called one's opposite number.
      "I spoke to my opposite number in several local companies and we all agreed to join the anti-pollution campaign."

  • ostrich strategy (or policy)
    • Someone who adopts an ostrich strategy or policy chooses to ignore or evade an obvious problem in the hope that it will resolve itself or disappear.
      "Adopting an ostrich strategy will only make matters worse - we've got to find a solution."

  • other side of the coin
    • When you want to mention a different or contradictory aspect of a situation, you refer to the other side of the coin.
      "The house is lovely and spacious, but the other side of the coin is that it is far from shops and schools."

  • other things being equal
    • This expression refers to a probable situation if the conditions elsewhere remain unchanged or equal.
      "Other things being equal, a reduction in the cost of transport should enable us to lower our prices."

  • out and about
    • If someone is out and about, they regularly go out and take part in an activity, especially after an illness.
      "My mother was ill for a while but she's out and about again."

  • out of the blue
    • If something happens out of the blue, it happens unexpectedly.
      "I had nearly given up hope when out of the blue I was offered a job."

  • out of character
    • If you do something that is out of character, it is unlike your usual behaviour or not what is expected from you.
      "The way she panicked was out of character for such a normally calm person."

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