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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Descriptions of places - things - events

(page 4 :  idiot box  →  mixed blessing)

idiot box Some people consider television to lack educational value and refer to it as the idiot box.
He spends all his free time in front of the idiot box.
in keeping with If something is in keeping with, for example, a style or tradition, it is suitable or appropriate in a particular situation.
We exchange presents at Christmas in keeping with tradition.
in mint condition Something that is in mint condition is in such perfect condition that it looks new or as good as new.
The car is 10 years old but according to Tom it's in mint condition.
in tatters Something that is badly torn, in very poor condition or damaged beyond repair is in tatters.
His reputation is in tatters after the latest scandal.
in inverted commas When describing something, if you use a word which you say is
'in inverted commas', you indicate that the word is not quite true or appropriate.
We were served a 'meal', in inverted commas, but we were too hungry to complain.
industrial strength This is a humorous way of referring to something which is very strong, powerful or concentrated.
I've got an industrial-strength headache this morning!
just the ticket If something is just the ticket, it is exactly right, or just what you need.
I'm not hungry enough for a meal.  A bowl of soup would be just the ticket.
last word Something described as the last word is the most recent or most fashionable in its category.
Steve's new computer is the last word in technology.
less is more This expression, used particularly in architecture and design, conveys the idea that things that are simple in style and smaller in size are better.
Simplicity is fashionable today.  Less is more.
light years ahead If something is light years ahead, it is far more advanced in tems of development or progress.
We've got to invest more in research - our competitors' new product is  light years ahead!
lives up to reputation If something lives up to its reputation,  it is as good, or as bad, as people say.
The guesthouse lived up to its reputation; the owners were as friendly and hospitable as we had been told.
middle of nowhere If a place is in the middle of nowhere, it is in a remote area, far from towns, villages or houses.
The campsite was in the middle of nowhere so I couldn't send you a postcard.
middle of the road (MOR) This term refers to anything moderate, unadventurous or inoffensive that avoids extremes and appeals to the majority of people.
It's a middle-of-the-road restaurant that's ideal for families.
mixed blessing Something pleasant which also has disadvantages is called a mixed blessing.
He inherited as 18th century mansion but the maintenance costs make it a mixed blessing.
 

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