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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms S, page 15
from: 'go spare'    to:  'spin a yarn'

  • go spare
    • If you go spare, you lost your temper completely.
      "Lea's dad would go spare if he found out how much she had spent in London!"

  • spare-part surgery
    • Spare-part surgery refers to surgery in which a diseased or non-functioning organ is replaced with a transplanted or artificial organ.

  • spare tyre
    • If a person has a spare tyre, they have a roll of flesh around the waist.
      "I'd better go on a diet - I'm getting a spare tyre!"

  • speak ill of someone
    • If you speak ill of someone, you say bad or unkind things about them.
      "He's very loyal man who refuses to speak ill of his colleagues."

  • speak off the cuff
    • If you say something off the cuff, you say it spontaneously, without previous thought or preparation.
      "Politicians are usually careful not to speak off the cuff."

  • speak out of turn
    • If someone speaks out of turn, either they intervene at the wrong moment or they say something tactless or inappropriate.
      "At the first meeting I was afraid of speaking out of turn."

  • speak softly and carry a big stick
    • If you speak softly and carry a big stick, you express your views in a quite non-aggressive manner, but you make it clear that you are in a position to use force if necessary.
      "As a leader he recommends the 'speak softly and carry a big stick' method."

  • speak same language
    • If two or more people speak the same language, they have similar opinions or ideas, so they understand each other very well.
      "We work well together because we speak the same language."

  • speak volumes
    • If something speaks volumes, it expresses a reaction or opinion very clearly, with no need for words.
      "The happy smile on the child's face when he opened the box spoke volumes about my choice of gift."

  • up to speed
    • If something is up to speed, it is operating or functioning at the expected level of efficiency.
      To bring a person up to speed means to update them on the current situation.
      "Some issues still have to be resolved before the new system is up to speed."

  • speed networking
    • This term refers to a relatively new urban trend which consists in making a potential business contact by briefly talking to a series of people at an organised event and exchanging contact details.

  • spell danger/disaster
    • If something spells danger or disaster, it signifies a serious risk and the warning should not be taken lightly.
      "The avalanche risk is high and spells danger for imprudent skiers."

  • spell trouble
    • If something spells trouble, it signifies possible problems in the future.
      "The prolonged cold weather spells trouble for this year's harvest."

  • spick and span
    • To refer to something, usually a place, as spick and span means that it is very clean, neat and tidy.
      "The apartment must be spick and span before our guests arrive."

  • spill the beans
    • If you spill the beans, you reveal a secret or talk about something private.
      "Come on! Spill the beans! What did he say? "

  • spin doctor
    • A spin doctoris a press agent or a public relations officer employed to promote a favourable interpretation of events in business or politics.
      "For a long time spin doctors lead us to believe that the situation was under control."

  • spin a yarn
    • If you spin a yarn, you tell a story, usually a long improbable one, with distorted truths.
      "He failed the exam and spun a yarn about the exam papers being stolen."

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