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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Feelings - Emotions - Reactions

(page 5 :  strike a raw nerve → written all over face )

strike a raw nerve If something you say strikes or hits a raw nerve, it upsets someone because they are very sensitive about the subject.
You struck a raw nerve when you mentioned divorce. They're separating.
swallow one's pride If you swallow your pride, you accept something humiliating or embarrassing, for example having to admit that you are wrong, or that you have less knowledge that you thought.
When Jill failed the exam, she had to swallow her pride and repeat the course.
sweet nothings Pleasant but unimportant words that lovers say to each other are called sweet nothings.
He whispered sweet nothings in her ear as they danced.
take a fancy If you take a fancy to someone or something, you develop a fondness for them or begin to like them.
I think Paul has taken a fancy to the new intern!
take a load/weight off your mind If something takes a load (or weight) off someone's mind, it brings great relief because a problem has been solved.
When the company closed down, finding a new job took a load off Tom's mind.
tear your hair out If someone is tearing their hair out, they are extremely agitated or distressed about something.
I've been tearing my hair out all morning trying to find the error!
on tenterhooks A person who is on tenterhooks is in a state of anxious suspense or excitement.
The candidate were kept on tenterhooks for hours while the panel deliberated.
thank one's lucky stars  When someone says they can thank their lucky stars, they are expressing heartfelt gratitude or feeling particularly fortunate.
I can thank my lucky stars I wasn't on the train that crashed.
think the sun rises and sets on someone If you consider someone to be the most wonderful person in the world, you think the sun rises and sets on them.
She adores her husband - she thinks the sun rises and sets on him!
think the world of If you think the world of someone, you like or admire them very much.
She's a wonderful grandmother - the children think the world of her.
thinly veiled If something such as a feeling or reaction is thinly veiled, it is barely hidden.
His disappointment was thinly veiled when he saw what he had won.
tongue-tied If you are tongue-tied, you have difficulty in expressing yourself because you are nervous or embarrassed.
At the start of the interview I was completely tongue-tied!
tug at the heartstrings Something or someone who tugs at the heartstrings causes others to feel a great deal of pity or sadness.
The hospital's plea for donors tugged at the heartstrings of millions of viewers.
over the moon If you are over the moon, you are absolutely delighted.
We were all over the moon when we heard the good news.
weak at the knees Someone who is weak at the knees is (temporarily) barely able to stand because of emotion, fear or illness.
The shock of the announcement make me go weak at the knees!
wear your heart on your sleeve If you wear your heart on your sleeve, you allow others to see your emotions or feelings.
You could see that she was hurt - she wears her heart on her sleeve!
wish the ground would swallow you up When you are so embarrassed by something that you would like to disappear, you wish the ground would swallow you up.
When I realized I was reading the wrong report, I stood there in front of the group wishing the ground would swallow me up!
be/mean the world to someone When you are or mean the world to someone, you are very important or precious to them.
His daughter means all the world to Mr. Jones.
written all over face When someone's feelings or thoughts are very clear, you can say that they are written all over their face.
Her affection for her grandson was written all over the old lady's face.
   
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