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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - S

(page 12 :  sling mud  →  smash hit)

sling mud To say that someone is slinging mud at another person means that they are trying to damage that person's reputation by saying bad things about them.
During election campaigns, candidates often sling mud at each other.
give someone the slip If you give somebody the slip, you manage to hide or get away from the person who is following you.
The police were on his trail, but he managed to give them the slip.
slipped my mind If something has slipped your mind, you have forgotten about it.
Oh dear! It slipped my mind that the shops were closed today!
slippery as an eel To say that someone is as slippery as an eel means that they are difficult to catch and they manage to avoid answering questions.
The man was as slippery as an eel.  He was arrested for theft several times but was never convicted.
slush fund A slush fund is an account or fund in politics or business where money is set aside for various unofficial purposes, often unethical or even illegal.
A large commission taken from the slush fund ensured the success of the negotiations.
(as) sly as a fox Someone who is as sly as a fox is cunning and clever at getting what they want, especially by deceiving or tricking people.
Be wary of that insurance salesman.  He's known to be as sly as a fox.
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.
small dog, tall weeds This expression is used to refer to someone who does not have the ability or the resources necessary to perform a task.
It may be too difficult for the trainee - small dog, tall weeds!
small fry People or organisations that are considered unimportant can be referred to as small fry.
This term can also refer to young children.
The police seized a large quantity of drugs, and some small fry, but not the organisers they were hoping to catch.
small hours The term 'the small hours' means after midnight or the very early hours of the day.
Sarah worked until the small hours on her speech for the ceremony.
small potatoes Something that is small potatoes is considered unimportant or insignificant.
Her first publication was considered small potatoes but her new book has lead to a change of opinion.
it's a small world This expression is used by someone who is surprised to meet familiar people in unexpected places.
Wow!  It's a small world.  I never expected to meet a neighbour on a transatlantic flight!
smart alec A smart alec is an annoying self-assertive person who tries to show off how clever they are.
Some smart alec interrupted the game claiming that the answers were incorrect!
smash hit A very successful performance in music, films, theatre, etc. is called a smash hit.
The film 'Titanic' was a smash hit all over the world.
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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 ...