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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - S

(page 5  : sell down the river  → seventh heaven)

sell down the river If you sell someone down the river, you betray a person who trusts you.
When the trade union signed the salary agreement, the workers felt they had been sold down the river.
sell ice to Eskimos This expression is used to describe a person who has the ability
to persuade someone to accept something totally unnecessary or useless.
It's not surprising he was named 'salesman of the year'. He could sell
ice to Eskimos!
sell your soul This is a humorous way of saying that you would be willing to do something morally or legally wrong to obtain what you want.
He'd sell his soul to get an interview.
send about one's business If you tell someone, in an irritated or unfriendly way, to go away,
you send them about their business.
An insurance company representative keeps calling on my mother,
but I told her to send  him about his business.
send packing If you send someone packing, you tell them to leave, in a very forceful and unfriendly way.
When Amanda discovered that Jack was unfaithful, she sent him packing.
send a shiver down your spine If something sends a shiver down your spine, it makes you feel anxious, nervous or excited.
The song always sends a shiver down my spine!
send up a trial balloon If you test something such as an idea, a project or a product, to see how people respond to it, you send up a trial balloon.
The idea seemed excellent but when they sent up a trial balloon the reaction was very negative.
senior moment A momentary lapse of memory, especially in older people, or an absent-minded action such as putting the cereals in the refrigerator,
is humorously referred to as having a senior moment.
I found the phone in the cupboard. I must have had a senior moment!
separate sheep from goats If you separate the sheep from the goats, you examine a group of people and decide which are suitable and which are not.
Examining job applications is the first stage in separating the sheep from the goats.
set you back The sum of money something sets you back is the amount it costs you.
Changing the heating system will set us back about $5000.
set in one's ways A person who is set in their ways is unable or unwilling to change their ideas, habits or methods, often because they are old.
My grandmother has the same routine every day. She is very set in her ways.
set great store by When you consider something to be very important or valuable, you set great store by it.
The company sets great store by its after-sales service.
set the records straight If you set the records straight, you provide facts or an explanation
to correct a mistake or misunderstanding.
An interview on television enabled the actress to set the records straight about her health.
set in stone When something is set in stone, it is permanent and cannot be changed in any way.
The agenda isn't set in stone;  we can add an item if need be.
set the stage If you set the stage for an event or a development, you create conditions that allow it to happen.
The agreement set the stage for their future working relationship.
settle a score To settle a score is to retaliate against someone or take revenge
for a past wrong.
James has made an appointment with his lawyer - he has a score to settle with someone.
seventh heaven If you are in seventh heaven, you are extremely happy.
Every time she wins a match, she's in seventh heaven!
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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 ...