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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms - W, page 2
from:  'walking on air'   to:  'same wavelength'

  • walking on air
    • When you are happy and excited because of a pleasant event that makes you feel as if you are floating, you are walking on air.
      "Sophie has been walking on air since her painting won the first prize."

  • walking encyclopaedia
    • This term refers to a person who is very knowledgeable about a lot of subjects.
      "The origin of Halloween? Ask Jill - she's a walking encyclopaedia!"

  • walking papers
    • If you get or are given your walking papers, you are informed that your contract or a relationship has ended.
      "After causing a diplomatic incident, Carter got his walking papers."

  • want someone's head on a platter
    • If someone makes you so angry that you want them to be punished, you want their head on a platter.
      "He was so angry when he read the article about his family that he wanted the journalist's head on a platter."

  • in/through the wars
    • If a person or thing has been in (or through) the wars, they show signs of rough treatment, injury or damage.
      "He arrived in a car that looked as if it had been in the wars."

  • watch your step
    • If you tell someone to watch their step, you are advising them to be careful how they behave in order to avoid getting into trouble.
      "There is zero tolerance in this school for bad behaviour, so watch your step!"

  • watch like a hawk
    • If you watch someone like a hawk, you keep your eyes on them or watch them very carefully.
      "Sarah watches the children like a hawk when she takes them swimming."

  • of the first water
    • Something that isof the first water is of the finest or most exceptional quality (like being compared to a diamond).
      "The violinist gave a performance that was of the first water."

  • in hot water
    • To say that somebody is in hot water means that they have done something wrong and people are angry with them.
      "Simon has been in hot water since his boss discovered that he had been using the internet for personal purposes."

  • not hold water
    • If an explanation or argument does not hold water, it does not stand up to critical examination and can be shown to be unfounded.
      "The reasons given for the government's new measures just do not hold water."

  • water down
    • If you water down something such as a report, declaration or proposal, you try to make it weaker or less likely to cause anger.
      "When announcing the rejection of the proposal, he tried to water down the committee's negative comments."

  • water off a duck's back
    • Criticism, comments or warnings that have no effect on someone is referred to as being 'like water off a duck's back'.
      "He's been warned of the dangers of smoking but it's like water off a duck's back."

  • water under the bridge
    • If something difficult or unpleasant took place in the past but is no longer important, it is referred to as water under the bridge.
      "They had a serious disagreement in the past, but that's water under the bridge today."

  • test the waters(s)
    • If you test the water(s), you try to find out how acceptable or successful something is before becoming involved in it.
      "You should go to a gym class to test the water before enrolling."

  • tread water
    • If you are treading water, your unsatisfactory 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."

  • wave a dead chicken
    • When faced with a serious problem, if you take steps that you know in advance will be futile, to show that you made an effort, you wave a dead chicken.
      "The TV set was permanently damaged, but the technician decided to wave a dead chicken to satisfy the old lady before announcing the bad news."

  • (on the) same wavelength
    • If you are on the same wavelength as someone else, you both feel or think the same way about something.
      "We rarely argue. We're generally on the same wavelength."

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