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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

House, furniture and fittings

(Idioms page 1 :  armchair critic →  rob the cradle)

armchair critic An armchair critic is someone who gives advice based on theory rather than practice.
That guy is such an armchair critic - no experience but plenty of advice. 
armchair traveller Someone who reads books or watches TV programmes about other places and countries, but doesn't actually travel anywhere, is called an armchair traveller.
 A surprising number of adventure books are bought by armchair travellers. 
basket case A person whose agitated mental state leaves them helpless or unable to cope with things is called a basket case.
 Jenny will turn into a basket case if this stressful situation continues. 
wet blanket To refer to someone as a wet blanket means that they spoil other people's fun, or make an event less enjoyable than it could have been.
Come on Mike!  Don't be such a wet blanket. You're spoiling the party!
you can't put new wine in old bottles This expression means that you should not try to combine new concepts or innovations with an old or  long-established framework or system.
You'll never get that program to work on your father's old computer - you can't put new wine into old bottles.
not the brightest bulb in the box  ‘Bright’ means ‘clever’ or ‘intelligent’.
This expression is used to say that someone is not very intelligent.
Max has failed the exam for the third time!
He's obviously not the brightest bulb in the box!
burn the candle at both ends If you burn the candle at both ends, you exhaust yourself by doing too much, especially going to bed late and getting up early.
Scott looks exhausted - I'll bet he's been burning the candle at both ends lately.
can't hold a candle to If one person can't hold a candle to another, they are much less competent or do not perform as well as the other.
John is very intelligent but he can't hold a candle to his brother Paul when it comes to sports.
red carpet To roll out the red carpet means to give special treatment to an important or honoured visitor.
The management is going to roll out the red carpet for the visit of the Nobel prize winner.
glass ceiling This term refers to a discriminatory barrier perceived by women and minorities that prevents them from rising to positions of power or responsibility.
Claire knew she would never break the glass ceiling and rise to a senior management position.
clock in/out When you clock in or out, you record the time you arrive or leave your job by punching a time clock to the show the  number of hours you have worked.
I'm going to clock out early today.  I've got a dental appointment.
couch potato If you refer to someone as a couch potato, you criticize them for spending a lot of time sitting and watching television.
Don't be such a couch potato. There are better ways of spending your time than in front of the TV.
rob the cradle If you rob the cradle, you have a romantic relationship with someone who is much younger than yourself.
My uncle Ted is dating a twenty-year-old girl.  That's really robbing the cradle!

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