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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Descriptions of places - things - events

(page 6 :  second to none →  worth its weight in gold)

second to none Something that is second to none is excellent or much better than any other.
The service was perfect and the food was second to none.
seen better days If something has seen better days, it has aged visibly in comparison with when it was new.
My much-travelled suitcase has seen better days!
set in stone When something is set in stone, it is permanent and cannot be changed in any way.
The agenda isn't set in stone;  we can add an item if need be.
(comes in) all shapes and sizes Something that can be found in many different forms, types or varieties, comes in all shapes and sizes.
Computers come in all shapes and sizes nowadays.
small potatoes Something that is small potatoes is considered unimportant or insignificant.
Her first publication was considered small potatoes but her new book has lead to a change of opinion.
snail mail This term refers to the standard system of mail delivery, or postal service, considered very slow compared to electronic mail.
More and more people are using e-mail rather than the traditional postal service, snail mail.
stand the test of time If something stands the test of time, people continue to find it valuable or useful after many years.
The teaching method has stood the test of time.  It is still used in schools today.
stick out a mile If something sticks out a mile, it is very obvious or very easy to see.
You can see she's had a facelift - it sticks out a mile!
stink to high heaven If something has a very strong unpleasant smell, it stinks to high heaven.
Take off those socks - they stink to high heaven!
streets ahead To say that something is streets ahead of something else means that it is much better or more advanced.
In measures to preserve the planet, the Scandinavians are streets ahead of us.
sublime to ridiculous If something goes from the sublime to the ridiculous, it deteriorates in quality from serious or admirable to absurd or unimportant.
An opera followed by a Mr.Muscle contest is going from the sublime to the ridiculous!
ticks all the right boxes If something ticks all the right boxes, it is perfect for you because it meets all your criteria.
We're in luck!  We visited an apartment today that ticks all the right boxes!
top notch To say that something is top notch means that it is of the highest possible quality or standard.
The hotel was wonderful and the service was top notch.
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.
up/down one's alley If something is (right) up or down your alley, it is exactly the sort of thing that will suit your tastes or abilities.
Alex loves reading, so a job in a bookshop is right up his alley.
up-to-the-minute Something that is up-to-the-minute is the very latest or most recent version available.
The internet is the best place to find up-to-the-minute news.
the works Something that has the works contains everything that is possible, or the full range of options.
The first thing he did was order a new computer with the works.
worth its weight in gold Someone or something that 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.
 
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