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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms T, page 14

Idioms T, page 14:  from:   'tunnel vision'   to:   'twiddle your thumbs'

  • tunnel vision
    • If a person has tunnel vision, they focus on only one aspect of something, or they are unable to see more than one way of doing things.
      "Our manager has tunnel vision. He sees no reason to change anything."

  • (like) turkeys voting for Christmas 
    • If turkeys were allowed to vote they would never vote for Christmas because turkey is often eaten at Christmas.
      This expression is used to say that a particular option is unlikely to be chosen because it would be against the interests of the people concerned.
      "Accepting a decrease in salary would be like turkeys voting for Christmas!"

  • turn a blind eye
    • If you turn a blind eye to something, you pretend not to notice what someone is doing.
      "The old man turns a blind eye when he sees children taking apples from his garden."

  • turn a deaf ear
    • If you turn a deaf ear to something, you refuse to listen.
      "Sam turned a deaf ear to his wife's advice and went off in the rain without an umbrella."

  • (not) turn a hair
    • If someone does not turn a hair, they show no emotion in circumstances where a reaction is expected.
      "When the police came to arrest him, he didn't turn a hair."

  • turn the tables
    • If you turn the tables on a person or organisation, you reverse the situation so as to be in a position of superiority.
      "The success of our new product has turned the tables on our competitors."

  • turn on/up the heat
    • If you turn on or up the heat on someone, you put pressure on them in order to obtain what you want.
      "If the goods are not delivered this week, we'll have to turn up the heat."

  • turn on the waterworks
    • If someone turns on the waterworks, they start to cry, especially to obtain something.
      "If he doesn't get what he wants, the child immediately turns on the waterworks. "

  • turn over a new leaf
    • If a person turns over a new leaf, they decide to change their behaviour and lead a better life.
      "When Ted left prison, he was determined to turn over a new leaf."

  • (take a) turn for the worse
    • If a person who is ill takes a turn for the worse, their illness becomes more serious.
      "We hoped he would recover but he took a turn for the worse during the night."

  • turn turtle
    • If a boat turns turtle, it capsizes or turns upside down in the water.
      "We had fun sailing yesterday, although we nearly turned turtle a couple of times!"

  • turn up like a bad penny
    • If someone turns up like a bad penny, they appear at a place or event where they are not welcome or not wanted.
      "I try to avoid Jane, but wherever I go she's turns up like a bad penny!"

  • turn up your nose
    • If you turn up your nose at something, you reject it because you think it is not good enough for you.
      "He's out of work, but he turns up his nose at any job he's offered."

  • twenty-four-seven
    • This term refers to something which is available or happens twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
      "The tourist office provided a list of 24-7 supermarkets in the area."

  • twiddle your thumbs
    • A person who twiddles their thumbs has nothing to do, or is doing nothing useful.
      "Go and help your father! You can't sit there all day twiddling your thumbs!"

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