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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


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(Idioms page 4   :  silver bullet  →  yellow-bellied)

silver bullet This term refers to an extremely effective or magical solution to a difficult problem.
There is no silver bullet that will put an end to unemployment.
silver lining A silver lining refers to the good or pleasant side-effects of an unpleasant situation.
'Every cloud has a silver lining' means that there is a positive or hopeful side to every unpleasant situation.
(born with) silver spoon in your mouth To say that someone is born with a silver spoon in their mouth means that their family is very rich and privileged.
Alice never has to worry about money;  she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
silver surfer A silver surfer is an elderly person who uses the internet.
After just a few questions my grandmother was ready to join the silver surfers.
silver-tongued A silver-tongued person is a smooth talker who speaks so convincingly that they manage to persuade others to do what they want.
A silver-tongued salesman persuaded my mother to buy a new washing machine although the one she had was fine!
shrinking violet A person referred to as a shrinking violet is a timid or shy person.
The witness was a shrinking violet who had difficulty expressing herself.
white Christmas A white Christmas is when it snows at Christmas and the ground is white.
We haven't had a white Christmas in twenty years.
white elephant If you call something a white elephant, you consider it useless although it may have cost a lot of money.
The new cultural centre is a real white elephant.  It's so isolated that nobody goes there!
white as a ghost/
a sheet
A person who is as white as a ghost (or a sheet) looks very pale and frightened.
She went as white as a ghost when she saw the gun.
white lie If you tell a white lie, you say something which is not true in order to protect someone or to avoid hurting their feelings.
Some parents prefer to tell their children a white lie rather than announce bad news.
yellow-bellied A person who is yellow-bellied is cowardly, or not at all brave.
The bus was full of yellow-bellied passengers who disappeared when the driver was attacked by two youths.
   
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