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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


COUNTRIES, CITIES and NATIONALITIES

Idioms
from:   'Chinese arithmetic'   to:  'talk for England'


  • not for all the tea in China
    • To say that you would not do something for all the tea in China means that you would not do it under any circumstances.
      "I wouldn't take that job for all the tea in China."

  • Chinese arithmetic
    • If something is very complicated or difficult to understand, it is said to be like Chinese arithmetic.
      "When he tried to explain the rules of the game to me, it was like Chinese arithmetic!"

  • Chinese whispers
    • This expression refers to a process by which a message or piece of information (especially gossip, rumours or scandalous news) is passed on from one person to another, and changes along the way, so that the final version is often very different from the original.

  • send someone to Coventry
    • If you send someone to Coventry, you deliberately ostracise them by no longer speaking to them and generally acting as if they no longer exist. This is usually a form of punishment.
      "I don't know for what reason Sam was sent to Coventry by his family but they're no longer speaking to him."

  • Dutch courage
    • Dutch courage means a false sense of confidence gained through drinking some alcohol before doing something.
      "Jack had a quick drink to give him Dutch courage before making his speech."

  • go Dutch
    • When people go Dutch they decide to split the bill in a restaurant.
      "Let's go Dutch on this meal."

  • take French leave
    • If you leave an official or social event without telling anyone, you take French leave.
      "Is Bill coming back has he taken French leave?"

  • excuse my French
    • This is an apology for using swear words or in appropriate language.
      "If you'll excuse my French I think they're a bunch of *****!"

  • it's all Greek to me
    • This expression is used to say that you do not understand something at all (like a foreign language).
      "I don't understand this legal jargon. It's all Greek to me."

  • talk for England
    • Someone who talks for England talks for a very long time.
      "I tried to discuss the problem with Liza but I couldn't get a word in. That girl can talk for England!"

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