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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - S

(page 3 : scarce as hen's teeth  →  sea legs)

scarce as hen's teeth To say that something is as scarce as hen's teeth emphasizes that it is extremely rare, to the point of non-existence.
Take enough supplies.  Water is as scarce as hen's teeth where you're going!
scare out of one's wits If something scares you out of your wits, it makes you very frightened or worried.
The feeling that a house is haunted can scare people out of their wits.
scare the daylights out of If something scares the (living) daylights out of you, it terrifies you.
The sudden screaming scared the daylights out of me.
scared stiff
Someone who is scared stiff is so frightened that they are unable to move.
My mother is scared stiff of heights.
school of hard knocks Someone who goes through the school of hard knocks learns through the positive and negative experiences of life rather than through a formal classroom education.
He never went to college but the school of hard knocks made him a shrewd businessman.
get off scot-free Someone who gets off scot-free escapes the punishment they deserve.
We were all punished except James who managed to get off scot-free!
scrape the bottom of the barrel If you scrape the bottom of the barrel, you use the worst or the least satisfactory ideas, things or people because you have no choice.
When they started to recruit, they had to scrape the bottom of the barrel because the best people has already found jobs elsewhere.
scratch the surface When you only scratch the surface of a problem or subject, you deal with only a small part of it.
Some countries are only scratching the surface of their environment problems.
not up to scratch
Something which is not up to scratch fails to reach the expected standard.
The quality of the material is not up to scratch.  We'll have to change our suppliers.
scream blue murder People who scream blue murder shout or complain very loudly as if something very serious has happened.
The crowd started screaming blue murder when the football match was interrupted.
screw loose If someone has a screw loose, their behaviour is strange and they appear slightly mad.
She wears a fur coat in the summer - she must have a screw loose!
scrimp and save If you scrimp and save, you spend as little as possible over a certain period of time in order to save money.
The parents scrimped and saved for years so that their children could have a college education.
under (close) scrutiny Someone or something that is under (close) scrutiny is being watched or examined carefully.
The police are keeping the suspect under close scrutiny.
sea legs A person who has sea legs is used to walking on a moving ship, or has the ability to adjust to a new situation.
It takes a while in a new job to find your sea legs.
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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 ...