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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Idioms on Actions and Behaviour  
from:  'accidentally on purpose'  to: 'binge drinking'

  • accidentally on purpose
    • If you do something intentionally, but pretend it was an accident, you do it accidentally on purpose.
      "I accidentally-on-purpose erased his email address, so I couldn't contact him again."

  • add fuel to the flames
    • If you add fuel to the flames, you do or say something that makes a difficult situation even worse.
      "He forgot their wedding anniversary, and his apologies only added fuel to the flames."

  • all ears
    • To say that you are all ears means that you are listening very attentively.
      "Of course I want to know - I'm all ears!

  • answer the call of nature
    answer nature's call
    • When a person answers the call of nature, they go to the toilet.
      "I had to get up in the middle of the night to answer the call of nature."

  • backseat driver
    • A passenger in a car who gives unwanted advice to the driver is called a backseat driver.
      "I can't stand backseat drivers like my mother-in-law!"

  • badger someone
    • If you badger someone into doing something, you persistently nag or pester them until you obtain what you want.
      "Sophie badgered her parents into buying her a new computer."

  • balancing act
    • When you try to satisfy two or more people or groups who have different needs, and keep everyone happy, you perform a balancing act.
      "Many people, especially women, have to perform a balancing act between work and family."

  • bare your heart / soul
    • If you bare you soul (or heart) to someone, you reveal your innermost thoughts and feelings to them.
      "Mike couldn't keep things to himself any longer. He decided to bare his soul to his best friend."

  • bark up wrong tree
    • A person who is barking up the wrong tree is doing the wrong thing, because their beliefs or ideas are incorrect or mistaken.
      "The police are barking up the wrong tree if they think Joey stole the car - he can't drive!"

  • beat a (hasty) retreat
    • Someone who beats a (hasty) retreat runs away or goes back hurriedly to avoid a dangerous or difficult situation.
      "The thief beat a hasty retreat as soon as he saw the security officer."

  • be one's best bet
    • The action most likely to succeed is called one's best bet.
      "Your best bet would be to try calling him at home.

  • bide your time
    • If you bide your time, you wait for a good opportunity to do something.
      "He's not hesitating, he's just biding his time, waiting for the price to drop."

  • binge drinking
    • This term refers to heavy drinking where large quantities of alcohol are consumed in a short space of time, often among young people in rowdy groups.
      "Binge drinking is becoming a major problem in some European countries."

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