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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - S

(page 10 : since time immemorial → skeleton staff )

since time immemorial If something has existed since time immemorial, it has been there for such a long time that nobody can recall a time without it.
I don't know when that bridge was built.  It's been there since time immemorial.
sing a different tune If somebody sings a different tune, they change their opinion about something, or their attitude towards something.
He had no sympathy for people out of work until he lost his own job; 
now he's singing a different tune.
sink or swim If someone has to sink or swim, they have to do something alone, and their success or failure depends entirely on their own efforts.
The sink-or-swim attitude in the company can be very difficult for young recruits.
sink one's differences If people or organisations sink their differences, they decide to forget their disagreements.
We must sink our differences and build a peaceful community.
sink your teeth into If you sink your teeth into something, you do it with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
When Julie got promoted, she immediately sank her teeth into her new job.
siphon off If someone siphons something off, they transfer something from one place to another, often illegally.
It was discovered that he had siphoned off money from the business into an account in a tax haven.
sit on the fence If you sit on the fence, you avoid taking sides in a discussion or argument.
It's an important issue.  You can't continue to sit on the fence!
sit up and take notice A person who sits up and takes notice become alert and attentive.
The announcement of the winner made everyone sit up and take notice.
sitting duck To refer to someone as a sitting duck means that they are an easy target to criticize, attack, etc.
The young actress was a sitting duck for the reporters.
sitting pretty Someone who is sitting pretty is in a good or fortunate situation, especially compared to others who are not so lucky.
He sold his shares at a good time so he's now sitting pretty and enjoying life.
six of one and half a dozen of the other This expression means that there is no real difference between two choices; both are equally good or equally bad.
I didn't know who to vote for. It was six of one and half a dozen of the other!
at sixes and sevens If someone is at sixes and sevens, they are in a state of confusion or not very well organised.
The managers were at sixes and sevens when they were informed of the Chairman's visit.
skating on thin ice If you are skating on thin ice, you are doing or saying something risky, or something that could cause trouble.
Don't mention that subject during the negotiations or you could be skating on thin ice.
skeleton staff/crew If a business or organisation works with a skeleton staff, it is run with the smallest number of people necessary.
The office is closed the week after Christmas but there will be a skeleton staff to handle essential operations.
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 alphabetical lists S ... 
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S22 S23 S24

 more alphabetical lists ...