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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Body Idioms:  Foot, Feet
from: 'feet of clay'   to:  'footloose and fancy free'

  • feet of clay
    • If someone who is admired is found to have a weakness, fault or defect of character, they are said to have feet of clay.
      "No one is perfect. Many successful people have feet of clay"

  • back on your feet
    • If you are back on your feet, after an illness or an accident, you are physically healthy again.
      "My grandmother had a bad 'flu, but she's back on her feet again."

  • cut the ground from under someone's feet
    • When someone cuts the ground from under another's feet, they do something which weakens their position or spoils their plans.
      "When we launched the new product, we cut the ground from under our competitors' feet."

  • drag one's feet
    • If you say that a person is dragging their feet, you think they are unnecessarily delaying a decision which is important to you.
      "The government is dragging it's feet on measures to reduce pollution."

  • find one's feet
    • To say that someone in a new position is finding their feet means that they are learning what to do and gaining self-confidence.
      "Our new trainee is beginning to find his feet."

  • get cold feet
    • If you get cold feet about something, you begin to hesitate about doing it; you are no longer sure whether you want to do it or not.
      "I wanted to enter the competition but at the last minute I got cold feet."

  • get one's feet wet
    • If you get your feet wet (or dip your toes in the water), you start to do something new or unfamiliar or explore new territory for the first time.
      "It will be a totally new experience for me but I can't wait to get my feet wet!"

  • have itchy feet
    • A person who has itchy feet  is someone who finds it difficult to stay in one place and likes to move often and discover new places.
      "Scott never stays long anywhere. He's got itchy feet!"

  • have the world at your feet
    • If you have the world at your feet, you are extremely successful and greatly admired.
      "The talented young actress has the world at her feet."

  • keep your feet on the ground
    • A person who keeps their feet on the ground continues to act in a sensible and practical way, even if they become successful.
      "Success hasn't changed him. He has always kept his feet on the ground."

  • land on your feet
    • If you land on your feet, you make a quick recovery after a difficulty such as a business failure, an illness, a loss, etc.
      "Don't worry about Bob. He always lands on his feet."

  • pull the rug from under someone's feet
    • If you pull the rug from under someone's feet, you suddenly and unexpectedly remove all help or support.
      "When Andy's mother stopped sending him money, she pulled the rug from under his feet and forced him to find a job."

  • regain one's feet
    • If you regain your feet, you stand up again after stumbling or falling.
      This expression can also mean that you are once again financially solvent after a difficult period.
      "John helped his father to regain his feet when he tripped on the steps."

  • rushed off your feet
    • If you are rushed off your feet, you are extremely busy.
      "I'd love to have lunch with you but I'm rushed off my feet at work!"

  • stand on your own two feet
    • If you stand on your own two feet, you are independent and need no help from anyone.
      "When young peope leave home, they learn to stand on their own two feet."

  • think on one's feet
    • A person who thinks on their feet  is capable of making good decisions without previous thinking or planning.
      "Good lawyers need to be able to think on their feet when pleading a case."

  • have two left feet
    • If you have two left feet, you are clumsy or awkward in your movements.
      "I'm afraid I'm a bad dancer! I've got two left feet!"
  • my foot!
    • The expression 'my foot!' is used to show that you do not believe something that has just been said.
      "He said he had a summer home? My foot!  I doubt if he owns a tent!"

  • have/get a foot in the door
    • If you say that someone has a foot in the door, you mean that they have a small but successful start in something and will possibly do well in the future.
      "With today's unemployment, it's difficult to get a foot in the door in any profession."

  • have one foot in the grave
    • A person who is either very old or very ill and close to death has one foot in the grave.
      "It's no use talking to the owner. The poor man has one foot in the grave."

  • put one's best foot forward
    • If someone puts their best foot forward, they do something as fast as they can.
      "It's a long way to the station but if I put my best foot forward I should catch the next train."

  • put one's foot down
    • To put one's foot down means to exert authority to prevent something from happening.
      "The child wanted to sleep on the sofa, but his father put his foot down and made him go to bed."

  • put one's foot in one's mouth
    • If you put your foot in your mouth, you do or say something that offends, upsets or embarrasses someone else.
      "She really put her foot in her mouth when she mentioned the housewarming party - Andy hadn't been invited!"

  • right/wrong foot
    • To get off (or start off) on the right/wrong foot means to start a relationship well or badly.
      "I was looking forward to working with Anna but we seem to have started off on the wrong foot."

  • the shoe is on the other foot
    • When the circumstances have reversed, and one person is now doing what the other person did in the past, you can say that the shoe is on the other foot.
      "I used to advise my children to eat healthy food, but now that my daughter is a nutritionist, the shoe is on the other foot! "

  • shoot yourself in the foot
    • If you shoot yourself in the foot, you do or say something which is against your own interests.
      "When Julie was asked at the interview if she had any weaknesses, she really shot herself in the foot the way she answered."

  • get a foothold
    • If you get a foothold somewhere, you secure a position for yourself in a business, profession or organisation.
      "The contract got the firm a foothold in the local administration."

  • footloose and fancy free
    • A person who is footloose and fancy free has few responsibilities or  commitments of any kind and feels free to do as they please.
      "John will never get married. He says he prefers to be footloose and fancy free."

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