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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Descriptions of people

(personality - character - appearance)

(page 4  :   feet of clay→  hard as nails)

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.
fifth wheel This expression refers to a person who find themselves in a situation where their presence is unnecessary and as a result they feel useless.
Everyone seemed to have a specific role except me. I felt like a fifth wheel
fixed in our ways People who are fixed in their ways do not want to change their normal way of doing things.
My grandparents are very fixed in their ways and dislike any changes.
fresh as a daisy Someone who is (as) fresh as a daisy is lively and attractive, in a clean and fresh way.
I met Molly the other day.  She looked as fresh as a daisy.
full of beans A person who is full of beans is lively, active and healthy.
He may be getting old but he's still full of beans.
full of hot air Someone who is full of hot air is full of nonsense and talks a lot without saying anything worthwhile.
Don't listen to Alex - he's full of hot air!
full of piss and vinegar People who are full of piss and vinegar are very lively, boisterous or full of youthful vitality.
I had to look after a group of kids full of piss and vinegar.
full of the milk of human kindness Someone who is full of the milk of human kindness, is naturally kind and compassionate to others.
She's a wonderful person - full of the milk of human kindness.
full as a tick If someone is (as) full as a tick, they have eaten or drunk too much.
The little boy ate biscuits and drank lemonade until he was as full as a tick.
fur coat and no knickers A person who tries to appear distinguished but has no real class is referred to as 'fur coat and no knickers'.
Don't let her impress you.  She's what we call  'fur coat and no knickers'!
going places To say that someone is going places means that they show talent and ability that will no doubt lead to a successful future.
Even at college it was obvious that Paul was going places.
hairy at the heel A person who is hairy at the heel is thought to be untrustworthy or even dangerous.
Rumour has it that the owner of the club is a bit hairy at the heel.
hale and hearty Someone, especially an old person, who is hale and hearty is in excellent health.
My grandmother is still hale and hearty at the age of ninety.
happy-go-lucky If you are a happy-go-lucky person, you are cheerful and carefree all the time.
He's a happy-go-lucky sort of guy - always in good humour.
hard as nails A person who is (as) hard as nails is unsentimental and shows no sympathy.
Don't expect any sympathy from him.  He's as hard as nails.
   
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