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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Descriptions of places - things - events

(page 2 :   dead as a doornail  →  Freudian slip )

dead as a doornail This expression is used to stress that something is very definitely dead or no longer exists.
They've started fighting again, so the peace agreement is now as dead as
a doornail.
dog and pony show A dog and pony show is a marketing event or presentation which has plenty of style but not much content.
dog's breakfast To describe something as a dog's breakfast means that it is a complete mess.
The new secretary made a dog's breakfast out of the filing system.
doggie bag A bag provided by a restaurant so that you can take the leftover food home with you is called a doggie (or doggy) bag.
The portions were so big that I decided to ask for a doggie bag
fait accompli This French expression refers to something that has been done and cannot be changed.
He used his savings to buy a motorbike and then presented his parents with a fait accompli.
falls between two stools If something falls between two stools, it is neither totally one thing nor another, and is therefore unsatisfactory.
The book didn't sell because it fell between two stools.  It appealed neither to historians nor to the general public.
few and far between Items, places or events which are few and far between are rarely found or do not happen very often.
Restaurants in this part of the country are few and far between.
(of the) first water Something that is of the first water is of the finest or most exceptional quality (like being compared to a diamond).
The violinist gave a performance that was of the first water.
fit the bill If someone or something fits the bill, they are exactly right for a particular situation.
They wanted a quiet place to stay and the country inn fitted the bill.
fit for purpose Something that is suitable for a particular function and is fully operational is said to be fit for purpose.
The mayor promised that the new leisure centre would be ready on time and fit for purpose.
flag of convenience If a ship, boat or yacht sails under a flag of convenience, it is registered in a foreign country in order to avoid regulations and taxes, and reduce operating costs.
fly-by-night A fly-by-night person, business or venture is considered untrustworthy because they operate briefly and disappear overnight
I bought it in one of those fly-by-night stores and now I can't exchange it.  The place has closed down.
for the birds If you describe something as for the birds, you consider it to be uninteresting, useless or not to be taken seriously.
As far as I'm concerned, his theory is for the birds.
free-for-all This term refers to an uncontrolled situation such as a discussion, argument or fight where everyone present can do or say whatever they like.
It started as a serious debate but turned into a free-for-all.
freudian slip A Freudian slip is a mistake made by a speaker which is considered to reveal their true thoughts or feelings.
So you got the job - I'm so sad ...  Sorry, I mean 'glad'!
 
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