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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - S

(page 16 :  spinach cinema  →  no spring chicken)

spinach cinema Films that are neither exciting nor interesting but are considered educational or uplifting, in the same way as certain foods are good for your health, are referred to as spinach cinema.
spiral out of control When difficulties or costs spiral out of control, they get worse or increase continuously, creating a situation that becomes difficult to manage.
Some items were expensive but we were careful not to let the costs spiral out of control.
spit in someone's eye If you spit in someone's eye, you treat that person with disrespect or contempt.
Your father raised you as best he could.  Don't start spitting in his eye.
spitting image If one person is the spitting image of another, they look exactly like each other.
Sarah is the spitting image of her mother.
spitting in the wind If you spend time trying to do something that is impossible to achieve, you are said to be spitting in the wind.
You'll never make him change his mind.  You're just spitting in the wind.
splash out on If you splash out on something, you spend a lot of money on it.
Chloe's parents really splashed out on her wedding.
split hairs If you split hairs, you pay too much attention to differences that are very small or unimportant.
If we start splitting hairs, we'll never reach an agreement.
sponge off someone If you sponge off someone, you live at the expense of another person, accepting their hospitality without sharing the costs or doing something in return.
Amy has been sponging off her grandparents for the past two months. She neither shares the expenses nor helps in the house.
spoon feed If a person is spoon-fed, they are helped too much rather than encouraged to think by themselves or use their own initiative.
Some teachers tend to spoon-feed their pupils.
put someone on the spot If you put someone on the spot, you put them in a difficult position,
for example by asking difficult questions which they cannot avoid.
The reporter was put on the spot when he was asked to reveal his source.
(be) spot on If something is spot on, it is exactly right.
That bag is an absolute match for my outfit!  The colour is spot on!
spread like wildfire If something such as news, rumours or gossip spreads like wildfire,
it becomes widely known very fast.
As soon as the nomination was announced, the news spread like wildfire.
spread one's wings When someone spreads their wings, they become independent, begin to use their abilities and develop their interests.
There comes a time when young people must be encouraged to spread their wings.
spread oneself too thin If you spread yourself too thin, you do too many things at the same time and can't do any of them well.
Don't spread yourself too thin or you'll get nowhere.
no spring chicken To say that someone is no spring chicken means that they are quite old or well past their youth.
"How old is the owner?"  "I don't know, but she's no spring chicken."
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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 ...