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 English Idioms and Expressions 

Idioms: Actions and Behaviour-10
from:  'look down your nose'  to: 'throw under the bus'


  • look down your nose
    • If someone looks down their nose at a person or thing, they consider that person or thing as inferior.
      "Intellectuals often look down their noses at amusement parks and such."

  • lord it over (someone)
    • A person who lords it over others behaves as though they are superior or more important.
      "Steve has been lording it over his colleagues since he got a promotion."

  • make an ass of yourself
    • If you behave so stupidly that you appear ridiculous, you make an ass of yourself.
      "Tom made an ass of himself by singing a love song outside Laura's door!"

  • make the best of things
    • If you make the best of things, you react in a positive way to an unsatisfactory situation that you cannot change and do the best you can with it.
      "The apartment was badly located, but the rent was low, so they decided to make the best of things."

  • make an exhibition of yourself
      When someone behaves in such a foolish way in public that they look ridiculous, they make an exhibition of themselves.
    • "Get down off the table Fred! You're making an exhibition of yourself!"

  • make light of something
    • If you make light of something , you behave as though it is less serious than it really is.
      "He won several awards for his work but he made light of it when the subject was mentioned."

  • make light work of something
    • If a person makes light work of something, they do it very easily or with little effort.
      "The boys made light work of the cleaning up. The house was spotless in no time."

  • make mincemeat of
    • If you make mincemeat of someone or something, you completely and utterly defeat or destroy them.
      "A good lawyer would make mincemeat of your rival's accusations."

  • make a mountain out of a molehill
    • If someone makes a mountain out of a molehill, they make a small, unimportant problem seem much more serious than it is.
      "Stop making mountains out of molehills! It's not a major problem."

  • make no bones about something
    • If you make no bones about something, you don't hesitate to say what you think in a frank and open way.
      "I made no bones about it. I told him his offer was unacceptable."

  • make nothing of something
    • If you make nothing of something, you attach no importance to it.
      "It took him an hour to walk to the station but he made nothing of it."

  • make short work of something
    • If you make short work of something, you do it or finish it quickly.
      "The players were hungry after the match so they made short work of the food."

  • make someone see reason
    • If you make someone see reason, you persuade them to stop acting foolishly and behave more sensibly.
      "He wanted to drop out of medical school in his fourth year but his uncle managed to make him see reason."

  • make up for lost time
    • If you make up for lost time, you increase your efforts or work harder to complete something or meet a deadline.
      "Progress has stopped because of bad weather, but we are determined to make up for lost time."

  • mind your Ps and Qs
    • If you tell someone to mind their Ps and Qs, you are advising them to be careful about how they behave and what they say.
      "Politeness is very important to my grandparents, so mind your Ps and Qs."

  • (be) on another planet
    • Someone who is on another planet is oblivious to their surroundings or acts in a strange manner.
      "Charlie couldn’t do the assignment because he was on another planet during the teacher’s explanation."

  • one good turn deserves another
    • This expression means that when somebody helps you, you should do something helpful in return.
      "You took my kids to school last week, so I'll take yours this week. One good turn deserves another! "

  • out of character
    • If you do something that is out of character, it is unlike your usual behaviour or not what is expected from you.
      "The way she panicked was out of character for such a normally calm person."

  • point the finger at someone
    • If you point the finger at someone, you accuse or blame them for doing something wrong, or identify them as being guilty of something.
      "Don’t point the finger at the caretaker. It’s not his fault!"

  • (give/get) a pat on the back
    • To give or get a pat on the back means to praise or congratulate someone, or yourself, for an achievement, or for doing something well.
      Hugo got a pat on the back from the manager for his presentation.”
      “I patted myself on the back for the way I handled the situation.”

  • put out feelers
    • When someone puts out feelers, they try to discover in a discreet or indirect manner what people think about something they are planning to do.
      "The company is putting out feelers to find out how employees might react to a change in working hours."

  • Rome was not built in a day
    • To say that Rome was not built in a day means that you cannot expect to succeed immediately or reach a target in a short period of time. Worthwhile achievements require time and effort.
      "He expects the product to be successful immediately, but Rome was not built in a day"

  • same old story
    • This expression refers to an unpleasant situation that frequently occurs in the same way as before.
      "Why am I annoyed with my brother ? It’s the same old story: he borrows money from me and « forgets » to pay me back!"

  • spread one's wings
    • When someone spreads their wings, they become independent, begin to use their abilities and develop their interests.
      "There comes a time when young people must be encouraged to spread their wings."

  • throw a sprat to catch a mackerel
    • If you throw a sprat to catch a mackerel, you sacrifice something of little value, or make a small expenditure, in the hope that it will bring you greater rewards.
      "The store’s free contest is a sprat to catch a mackerel. The amount customers spend largely outweighs the cost of the prizes.”

  • throw (someone) under the bus
    • If you throw someone under the bus, you blame someone else or do something harmful in order to save yourself or gain an advantage.
      "He never hesitates to throw a colleague under the bus when something goes wrong in the office."

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