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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


ARGUMENTS - DISAGREEMENTS - DISPUTES, page 3

Idioms
from:  'a moot point'  to:  'wipe the slate clean'


  • a moot point
    • A subject which gives rise to argument or debate is called a moot point.
      "Whether Bach composed it himself or not is a moot point among musicians."

  • nothing doing!
    • This term means that there is no way you would accept to do what is proposed.
      "Work on Sunday? Nothing doing!"

  • at odds (with someone)
    • If one person is at odds with another, they disagree with each other.
      "Sam is at odds with his father over the purchase of a new tractor."

  • olive branch
    • If a person or organisation holds out an olive branch to another, they show that they want to end a disagreement and make peace.
      "The protesters finally accepted the olive branch extended to them."

  • out of the question
    • Something which is out of the question is impossible and is therefore not worth discussing.
      "Buying a new car is out of the question - we simply can't afford it."

  • over my dead body!
    • This expression is used by someone who absolutely refuses to allow someone to do something.
      "Mum, can I get by nose pierced?"  "Over my dead body!"

  • pick a fight
    • Someone who picks a fight deliberately looks for an opportunity to start a quarrel or begin an argument.
      "Our new neighbour seizes every occasion to pick a fight."

  • pick holes
    • If someone picks holes in something such as a plan, an idea or a proposal, they criticize it or try to find fault with it.
      "Why don't you make a suggestion instead of picking holes in all my ideas!"

  • press something home
    • If you press something home, you insist on a point in a discussion or argument.
      "Her lawyer kept pressing home the fact that she was a single mother."

  • a running battle
    • If two people or groups have a running battle with each other, they argue or disagree about something over a long period of time.
      "There's been a running battle between the local authorities and the population over the school bus route."

  • send someone packing
    • If you send someone packing, you tell them to leave, in a very forceful and unfriendly way.
      "When Amanda discovered that Jack was unfaithful, she sent him packing."

  • shouting match
    • An argument or debate where people shout loudly at each other is called a shouting match.
      "The debate between the two politicians turned into a shouting match which spoiled the event for viewers."

  • sink one's differences
    • If people or organisations sink their differences, they decide to forget their disagreements.
      "We must sink our differences and build a peaceful community."

  • sit on the fence
    • If you sit on the fence, you avoid taking sides in a discussion or argument.
      "It's an important issue. You can't continue to sit on the fence!"

  • skating in thin ice
    • If you are skating on thin ice, you are doing or saying something that could cause disagreement or trouble.
      "Don't mention that subject during the negotiations or you could be skating on thin ice."

  • split hairs
    • If you split hairs, you pay too much attention to differences that are very small or unimportant.
      "If we start splitting hairs, we'll never reach an agreement."

  • 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."

  • wipe the slate clean
    • If you wipe the slate clean, you make a fresh start and forget all past offences, disagreements or mistakes.
      "When their father died, Bob and his brother decided to wipe the slate clean and forget the old family quarrels."

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