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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms - U, page 2
from:  'up in arms'   to:  'useful as a chocolate teapot'


  • up in arms  
    • If you are up in arms about something, you are very angry.
      "The population was up in arms over the demolition of the old theatre."

  • up in the air
    • If something, such as a plan or decision, is up in the air, it has not been decided or settled yet.
      "I can't give you a definite answer yet; the project is still up in the air."

  • up for grabs
    • If something is up for grabs, it is available for anyone who wants to compete for it.
      "You should enter the competition - there's $20000 in prizes up for grabs. "

  • up-to-the-minute
    • Something that is up-to-the-minute is the very latest or most recent version available.
      "The internet is the best place to find up-to-the-minute news."

  • up to your eyes
    • Someone who is up to their eyes is extremely busy doing or dealing with something.
      "We can't ask Amanda to help. She's up to her eyes with the wedding arrangements."

  • up to no good
    • When someone is up to no good, they are doing or planning something bad or wrong.
      "When the shopkeeper saw the boys hiding behind a car, he suspected they were up to no good. "

  • up to par / up to scratch / up to standard
    • If something is up to par, scratch or standard, it is satisfactory and meets requirements.
      "Javier didn't get the job because his English wasn't up to par."
      “I’m afraid your last paper didn't come up to scratch.”
      "We returned the goods because they were not up to standard."

  • up and running
    • If a business or a project is up and running, it has started and is fully operational.
      "In some countries you can have a company up and running in a very short time."

  • up for something
    • When someone is up for something, they are enthusiastic about something that is proposed and willing to participate.
      "We're organizing a treasure hunt for charity on Sunday. Are you up for it?"

  • up to something
    • When someone is up to something, they are doing or planning something, usually in clandestine way.
      "There’s a guy snooping around the building - I think he's up to something."

  • up to (doing) something
    • A person who is up to (doing) something is physically and mentally capable of doing it.
      "My mother doesn't think she's up to walking such a long distance."

  • uphill battle
    • A person faced with an uphill battle has to struggle against very unfavourable circumstances.
      "After the terrible accident, his recovery was an uphill battle all the way."

  • upper crust
    • This term refers to the higher levels of society, the upper class or the aristocracy.
      "William hides his working-class background and pretends to be from the upper crust."

  • upper hand
    • If a person or organisation gains or gets the upper hand, especially in a fight or competition, they take control over something.
      "We increased our market share and gained the upper hand over our competitors."

  • on one's uppers
    • Someone who is on their uppers has very little money or not enough to cover their needs.
      "Because he was clearly on his uppers when he was hired, he was given an advance in salary."

  • (quick or slow) on the uptake
    • Someone who is quick or slow on the uptake understands quickly or slowly what is meant.
      "Please explain the problem in simple words - I'm a bit slow on the uptake!"

  • use one's noodle
    • If you use your noodle, you use your brain or your common sense.
      "How did I figure that out? I just used my noodle!"

  • (as) useful as a chocolate teapot
    • Something which is of no practical use at all is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
      "When there are no roads, a car is about as useful as a chocolate teapot!"

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