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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms - T, page 13
from:  'toy with an idea'   to:  'tug at heartstrings'

  • toy with the idea
    • If you consider something without giving it serious thought, you toy with the idea.
      "Sally has often toyed with the idea of moving abroad, but she's still here!"

  • trade secret 
    • This term refers to the secrecy of a company's production methods but is often used teasingly.
      "Can you give me the recipe for your lemon meringue pie?"  " No way - that's a trade secret!"

  • train of thought
    • A sequence of connected ideas is called a train of thought.
      "I was considering the different options when the noise outside broke my train of thought."

  • travel light
    • When you travel light, you travel with as little luggage as possible.
      "If you intend to go trekking, you'd better travel light."

  • tread water
    • If you are treading water, your situation remains stationary in spite of your efforts, with no sign of any progress.
      "I've been treading water for the past year hoping to find a better job."

  • trial and error
    • Attempting to achieve a satisfactory result by testing and eliminating various methods until the best one is found is called trial and error.
      "Some of the best cooks learn by trial and error."

  • 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."

  • the oldest trick in the book
    • A well-known and much-used trick which is still effective today is called the oldest trick in the book.
      "He made noise to attract my attention while his accomplice stole my wallet - the oldest trick in the book!"

  • tricks of the trade
    • This term refers to a clever or expert way of doing things, especially in a job.
      "He's a tough negotiator; he knows all the tricks of the trade."

  • tried and tested
    • If a method has been tried and tested, it can be trusted because it has been used successfully in the past and is known to work.
      "There's no risk involved. The method has been tried and tested."

  • trilemma
    • The term trilemma is used for a situation which is even more difficult than a dilemma, because a choice must be made between three options that seem equally undesirable.

  • wear the trousers
    • The partner who wears the trousers (or pants) is the one who makes the important decisions.
      "The salesman hesitated. It was difficult to see who wore the trousers in the couple."

  • come up trumps
    • To say that someone has come up trumps means that they have achieved unexpectedly good results.
      "Against all expectations, our team came up trumps in the cup final."

  • truth will out
    • This expression means that despite efforts to conceal the facts, the truth cannot be hidden forever.
      "I don't know if the police gave the full details, but inevitably truth will out."

  • try someone's patience
    • If you find it difficult to be patient with someone because of their irritating attitude or behaviour, you can say that they are trying your patience.
      "His constant interruptions began to try the teacher's patience."

  • tug at the heartstrings
    • Something or someone who tugs at the heartstrings causes others to feel a great deal of pity or sadness.
      "The hospital's plea for donors tugged at the heartstrings of millions of viewers."

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