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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms - W, page 5
from:  'white lie'   to:  'get wind of'

  • white lie
    • If you tell a white lie, you say something which is not true in order to protect someone or to avoid hurting their feelings.
      "Some parents prefer to tell their children a white lie rather than announce bad news."

  • weird and wonderful
    • Something referred to as weird and wonderful  is considered strange or unusual but also ingenious.
      “A collection of weird and wonderfulinventions was on display.”

  • white elephant
    • A white elephant is something considered to be a waste of money: an expensive possession whose maintenance costs are a financial burden disproportionate to its usefulness.
      "The museum has turned out to be a real white elephant. It cost millions to build and attracts very few visitors."

  • whiz kid
    • The term 'whiz kid' refers to a very talented person, usually young, who is innovatively clever and/or successful at doing something.
      "Apparently the new engineer knows what he's doing - a real whiz-kid from what I've heard."

  • whole caboodle / whole kit and caboodle
    • This expression means 'everything'.
      "They provided everything we needed, tables, chairs, cutlery ... the whole caboodle."

  • why buy a cow when you can get milk for free
    • This refers to not paying for something that you can obtain for free.
      "Rent is high, so Bobby is still living with his parents. He says : why buy a cow when you can get milk for free?"

  • why keep a dog and bark yourself
    • This expression means that there's no reason to do something yourself if someone or something can do the task for you.
      "My grandmother has an electric mixer but she continues to make her cakes by hand. Why keep a dog and bark yourself?"

  • whys and wherefores
    • To talk about the whys and wherefores means to discuss the reasons.
      "We need to discuss the whys and wherefores of our failure."

  • wide berth
    • If you give someone or something a wide berth, you stay at a prudent distance from them in order to avoid unwanted consequences.
      "The only way to avoid traffic jams is to give the town centre a wide berth."

  • wide off the mark
    • If something is (or falls) wide off the mark, it is incorrect or inadequate, or it is not what was expected.
      "The price offered was wide off the mark; it was sold for ten times more!"

  • widow's peak
    • A V-shaped point formed by the hair in the centre of the forehead is called a widow's peak. (It was believed to be a sign of early widowhood.)

  • wild goose chase
    • If someone is sent on a wild goose chase, they waste their time looking for something that there is little chance of finding.
      "They tried to find out who sent the anonymous complaint, but it turned out to be a wild goose chase."

  • at will
    • When it is possible to do something at will, you can do it as and when you please, wherever and whenever you wish, without limit or restriction.
      "He's so rich, he travel the world at will."

  • win by a nose
    • When there is a very slight difference between the winner and the other competitors, victory is won by a nose.
      "One second ahead of the others, he won by a nose."

  • win-win
    • The term win-win refers to a situation or proposition where both or all parties benefit from the outcome.
      "There were smiles all round when the contract was signed - it was a win-win situation."

  • wind up in the wrong hands
    • If something winds up in the wrong hands, it comes into the possession of someone undesirable, for example an opponent or a competitor.
      "Put the plans away carefully. We don't want them to wind up in the wrong hands."

  • get wind of something
    • If you get wind of something, you hear about something you were unaware of, usually a private or secret matter.
      "The chairman didn't want the press to get wind of the takeover before the agreement was signed."

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