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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms S, page 19

Idioms S, page 19:  from:   'step out of line'   to:   'swim with sharks'

  • step out of line
    • If you step out of line, you do something unacceptable or break the rules.
      "It was made clear upon arrival that we would be dismissed if we stepped out of line."

  • take steps
    • If you take steps, you start a course of action in order to accomplish something.
      "The town is taking steps to improve security in public car parks."

  • sterner stuff
    • If someone is made of sterner stuff, they have a strong character and are better able to deal with difficulties than others.
      "I was surprised to see him so upset. I thought he was made of sterner stuff."

  • in a stew
    • When someone is in a stew about something, they are worried and agitated.
      "When she was planning the wedding reception, Laura got into a stew over the seating arrangements."

  • stew in your own juice
    • If you let someone stew in their own juice, you leave them to worry about the consequences of their own actions.
      "Ricky spent last night in prison for starting a fight - let him just stew in his own juice!"

  • stick in one's throat
    • If something sticks in your throat (or craw), it is very difficult to accept and makes you angry or resentful.
      "The way he treats women really sticks in my throat!"

  • stick something out
    • If you stick something out, you continue to endure it in spite of the difficulties or unpleasant aspects of the situation.
      "Life is difficult here, but Luke is going to stick it out because he is determined to succeed."

  • stick out a mile
    • If something sticks out a mile, it is very obvious or very easy to see.
      "You can see she's had a facelift - it sticks out a mile!"

  • stick out like a sore thumb
    • If something sticks out like a sore thumb, it is very obvious or visible in an unpleasant way.
      "The modern building sticks out like a sore thumb among the old houses."

  • stick to your guns
    • If you stick to your guns, you show determination when faced with opposition.
      "The government stuck to its guns in spite of the criticism."

  • stick to your last
    • If you tell someone to stick to their last, you are asking them to restrict their intervention or comments to an area where they have knowledge and experience, and to keep away from areas where they know nothing.
      (A 'last' is used in making and repairing shoes.)
      "Why don't you stick to your last and let me handle this matter."

  • sticking point
    • A sticking point is a controversial issue that causes an interruption or blocks progress in discussions or negotiations.
      "The choice of distributor was a sticking point in the negotiations."

  • stickler for the rules
    • Someone who is a stickler for the rules is a disciplinarian who demands strict observance of the rules or procedures.
      "Be sure to use the proper form. Mr. Brown is a stickler for the rules."

  • sticky fingers
    • Someone who hassticky fingers has a tendency to steal.
      "Items have been disappearing from the stock recently. Do any of the employees have sticky fingers?"

  • strike while the iron is hot
    • This expression means that you should do something immediately because now is the ideal time to do it and you should not miss the opportunity.
      "They're offering a really good deal. If I were you, I'd strike while the iron is hot!"

  • sweetheart deal
    • A sweetheart deal refers to an advantageous agreement between a public body and a private individual or company.
      "The company's income tax arrangement has been denounced as a sweetheart deal."

  • sweeten the deal
    • When someone makes an offer or arrangement more attractive by adding extra benefits, they are said to sweeten the deal.
      "They sweetened the deal by including a pension plan to get him to accept the job."

  • swim with sharks
    • If you swim with sharks, you take a major risk by becoming involved with devious, possibly dangerous people.
      "Charlie shouldn’t have associated with those people. He obviously didn’t realize he was swimming with sharks!"

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