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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - S

(page 14 :  sneeze at  → spanner in the works)

not to be sneezed at Something that is not to be sneezed at should not be rejected or refused.
If I were you I'd accept the proposal.  An offer like that is not to be sneezed at.
snowed under Someone who is snowed under has so many things to do, usually work, that they unable to cope with it all.
With the 'flu epidemic, doctors and nurses are completely snowed under.
snug as a bug in a rug This is a humorous way of saying that you are warm and comfortable.
Wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa, Sophie looked as snug as a bug in a rug.
social butterfly A person who has a lot of friends and acquaintances and likes to flit from one social event to another is called a social butterfly.
Jessica is constantly out and about;  she's a real social butterfly.
soft option If you choose the easiest course of action available, which is usually not very effective, you take a soft option.
Their father took a soft option and confiscated the skateboard for the week-end, hoping his sons would stop quarrelling.
soft spot If you have a soft spot for someone or something, you particularly like them.
My grandfather has always had a soft spot for fast cars.
soften the blow When someone tries to soften the blow, they do something to make an unpleasant event or action easier to accept.
In spite of the extra payments given to soften the blow, the loss of their jobs was a catastrophe for the miners.
go for a song If something goes for a song, it is sold at an unexpectedly low price.
I was able to buy the car simply because it was going for a song.
sound/smell fishy If something sounds or smells fishy, you are suspicious about it.
Do you believe what she said? Her story sounds fishy to me!
sound hollow If an explanation, apology or promise sounds hollow, it seems false or insincere.
I don't think he's sorry at all.  His apology sounded hollow to me.
from soup to nuts If you do something from soup to nuts, you do it all the way through, from the beginning to the end (like from the first to the last course of a meal).
She told us the whole story, from soup to nuts.
sour grapes To say that someone's attitude is 'sour grapes' means that they are trying to make others believe that something they cannot have is of no importance.
When she didn't get the job she said she wasn't interested in it anyway, but that's just sour grapes!
sow seeds of suspicion If someone's behaviour, or something they say, sows the seeds of suspicion, it leads people to suspect that they are guilty.
The fact that the boy spent a lot of money after the burglary sowed the seeds of suspicion in the neigbours' minds.
sow wild oats A person, usually a man, who sows their wild oats goes through a period of carefree pleasure-seeking while they are young.
He was advised to sow his wild oats before he got married.
spanner in the works If someone or something throws a spanner (or a wrench) in the works, they do something that causes problems and prevents the success of a plan or event.
The two companies were keen to sign the agreement before anything happened to throw a spanner in the works.
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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 ...