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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


CLOTHES, page 4

Idioms
from:   'keep your shirt on'   to:  'wear the trousers'


  • keep your shirt on
    • If you tell somebody to keep their shirt on, you are asking them to calm down.
      "Keep your shirt on Bob. Just give your version of the story!"

  • (the) shoe is on the other foot
    • When the circumstances have reversed and one person is now doing what the other 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. Now my daughter is a nutritionist and the shoe in on the other foot - she advises me!"

  • (be) in someone's shoes
    • To talk about being in someone's shoes means to imagine how you would react if you were in a similar situation.
      "Tom's sales have dropped by 30% this month. I wouldn't like to be in his shoes!"

  • step into someone's shoes
    • If you step into someone's shoes, you take over a job or position held by someone else before you.
      "William has been trained to step into his father's shoes when he retires."

  • where the shoe pinches
    • When people talk about 'where the shoe pinches', they are referring to an area that is often a source of problems or difficulties.
      "She's sure the public transport system works perfectly, but she'll find out where the shoe pinches when she starts using it!"

  • on a shoestring
    • If you do something on a shoestring, you do it with very little money.
      "When I was a student I lived on a shoestring."

  • an ace up one's sleeve
    • If you have an ace up your sleeve, you have something in reserve with which you can gain an advantage.
      "Our new product is an ace up our sleeve."

  • laugh up your sleeve
    • If you laugh up your sleeve, you are secretly amused at another person's problems or difficulties.
      "Tom felt that his demonstration was confusing and that his colleague was laughing up his sleeve."

  • roll up your sleeves
    • When you roll up your sleeves, you get ready for hard work.
      "The house was in a mess after the party so we had to roll up our sleeves and start cleaning."

  • knock your socks off
    • If something amazes you, or impresses you greatly, it knocks your socks off.
      "The magnitude of the project will knock the socks off everyone in the office."

  • swishing (party)
    • Swishing is the name given to a recent fashion phenomenon - a party organised to swap second hand clothes. Everyone takes along clothes they no longer wear and people can then choose the ones they want.

  • (a) black tie event
    • This expression refers to a formal event at which men are required to wear a dinner jacket, or tuxedo, and a black bow tie.
      "I need to know if it's going to be a casual get-together or a black tie event"

  • wear the trousers (or pants)
    • The partner in a couple who wears the trousers is the one who makes all the important decisions.
      "The salesman hesitated before the couple. It was difficult to see who wore the trousers."

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