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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms S, page 8

Idioms S, page 8:  from:   'short fuse'   to:   'shrug off'


  • short fuse
    • When someone has a short fuse, they have a quick temper or a tendency to become angry or irritable quickly.
      "Be careful how you explain the situation. The boss has a short fuse these days!"

  • short shrift
    • If someone or something gets short shrift they are given little attention or sympathy.
      "When the boss is very busy, he gives short shrift to anyone who bothers him."

  • a shot in the dark
    • To refer to a question or statement asa shot in the dark means that it is a complete guess, but at the same time it might be closeto the truth.
      "He didn't know which players had been selected, so mentioning Carter's name was just a shot in the dark."

  • call the shots
    • If you call the shots, you are in command of the situation and make all the important decisions.
      "Ask Julie - she's the one who calls the shots around here."

  • shotgun approach
    • If you use a shotgun approach, you cover a wide range in a non-selective, haphazard and inefficient manner.
      "Identifying a specific segment of the market as our target will be more effective than a shotgun approach."

  • (a) shoulder to cry on
    • If you need 'a shoulder to cry on', you need to talk to someone who will listen to your problems and give sympathy and support when you are upset.
      "You can call me any time if you need a shoulder to cry on."

  • shoulder surfing
    • The practice of looking over somebody's shoulder when they are using a computer, cash dispenser or other electronic device, in order to obtain personal information (identification, account number, password, etc.) is called shoulder surfing.

  • chip on the shoulder
    • If someone has a chip on their shoulder, the feel resentful because they feel they are being treated unfairly, especially because of their background, their sex or their colour.
      "He's got a chip on his shoulder because he's from a working-class family."

  • give someone the cold shoulder
    • To means to deliberately ignore them.
      "After giving my opinion, he gave me the cold shoulder."

  • (a) shouting match
    • An argument or debate where people shout loudly at each other is called a shouting match.
      "The debate between the two politicians turned into a shouting match which spoiled the event for viewers."

  • a show of hands
    • A show of hands is a method of voting where people give their opinion by raising a hand.
      "How many people agree? Could we have a show of hands please?"

  • show your true colours
    • When a person shows their true colours, their behaviour reveals their real nature, with their qualities and/or weaknesses.
      "In times of crisis people show their true colours."

  • show someone the ropes
    • If you show someone the ropes, you teach or explain to them how to do a particular job.
      "The manager is busy showing the ropes to two new trainees."

  • get the show on the road
    • If you manage to put a plan or idea into action, you get the show on the road.
      "OK, we've got all we need, so let's get the show on the road."

  • a shrinking violet
    • A person referred to as a shrinking violet is a timid or shy person.
      "The witness was a shrinking violet who had difficulty expressing herself"

  • shrug something off
    • If your shrug something off, you dismiss it as being unimportant.
      "He was aware of the danger but he just shrugged it off."

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