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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Descriptions of people

(personality - character - appearance)

(page 9  :  tar with same brush →  yellow-bellied)

tarred with the same brush When a person is tarred with the same brush, they are regarded as having the same faults or bad qualities as those they associate with.
Don't hang around with those guys or you'll be tarred with the same brush.
thin on the top If someone, usually a man, is thin on the top, they are losing their or going bald.
Dad's gone a bit thin on the top in the last few years.
top dog To say that a person is top dog means that they are better or more powerful than others.
She's top dog in cosmetics today.
tough as old boots If something, specially meat, is (as) tough as old boots, it is hard to cut and difficult to chew.  (This can also refer to a person who is strong either physically or in character.)
I was served a steak as tough as old boots.
tough cookie A person who is a tough cookie is one who is self-confident and ambitious and will do what is necessary to get what they want.
I'm not worried about Jason's future - he's a tough cookie!
tower of strength The term tower of strength is used to describe a person who is very helpful and supportive during difficult times.
All during my illness, my sister was a tower of strength.
ugly as sin This expression is used to refer to people or things that are considered to be very unattractive.
Have you seen the new neighbour's dog? It's as ugly as sin!
upper crust This term refers to the higher levels of society, the upper class or the aristocracy.
William hides his working-class background and pretends to be from the upper crust.
vertically challenged This term is a humoristic way of referring to someone who is not very tall.
High shelves are difficult for vertically challenged shoppers.
wet blanket A person who is a wet blanket is so boring or unenthusiastic that they prevent others from enjoying themselves.
Come on!   Relax !  Don't be such a wet blanket!
whistle-blower If you report an illegal or socially harmful activity to the authorities, and give information about those responsible for it, you are a whistle-blower.
The poor working conditions were reported by a whistle-blower.
whiz kid A whiz kid is someone, usually young, who is very talented and successful at doing something.
Apparently the new engineer knows what he's doing - a real whiz-kid from what I've  heard.
winning ways A person who has winning ways has a charming or persuasive manner of gaining the affection of others or obtaining what they want.
My grandson is hard to resist - he's got such winning ways.
worth one's weight in gold Someone who is worth their weight in gold is considered to be of great value.
We couldn't run the farm without him.  He's worth his weight in gold.
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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