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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


House, furniture and fittings

(Idioms page 2 :  darken someone's door → under the knife)

darken somebody's door If you darken somebody's door, you come as an unwanted or unwelcome visitor.
Just get out of here and never darken my door again!
the door swings both ways If you say that the door swings both ways, you mean that the same principle or argument applies to both sides of a situation.
"You never call me." "You don't contact me either. The door swings both ways you know!"
open doors to-from something If something opens doors, it provides opportunities or possibilities for the future.
A degree from a top university generally opens doors to major companies.
dead as a doornail This expression is used to stress that a person or thing is very definitely dead.
They've started fighting again, so the peace agreement is now as dead as
a doornail.
out of the frying pan into the fire This expression means to go from one difficult situation to another one which is usually even worse.
The flight was delayed because of snow.  When the plane eventually took off, it had to turn back because of engine trouble - out of the frying pan into the fire!
hammer home If you hammer home a point or an argument, you repeat it often to make sure that it is fully understood.
The police hammered home the dangers of drinking and driving.
hammer and tongs If people are going at it hammer and tongs, they are arguing fiercely, with a lot of energy and noise.
Our neighbours are going at it hammer and tongs again. They're constantly arguing.
fly off the handle A person who flies off the handle becomes suddenly very angry.
Dad flew off the handle when I told him I had damaged his new car.
bring the house down If you bring the house down, you give a very successful performance.
If he sings like that on Saturday, he'll bring the house down.
get on like a house on fire Two people who get on like a house on fire have similar interests and quickly become good friends.
As soon as Sarah met her brother's girlfriend, they got on like a  house on fire.
(not) give house room If you refuse to give house room to someone or something, you do not accept them into your home because you dislike or disapprove of them.
I wouldn't give house room to that painting - it's grotesque!
on the house Something which is on the house is offered free of charge, usually in a bar or restaurant.
The new owner offered us a drink on the house.
put house in order If you tell someone to put their house in order, you are saying that they should organise their own affairs or take care of their own problems before giving advice to other people.
You should put your house in order before telling me what to do!
different kettle of fish To describe a person, thing or situation as a different kettle of fish means that it is completely different from what was previously mentioned.
You may have good business relations, but living in that country is a different kettle of fish.
not the sharpest knife in the drawer ‘Sharp’ means ‘clever’ or ‘intelligent’.
This expression is used to say that someone is not very intelligent.
Nobody was surprised when Johnny misunderstood the message.
We all know he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer!
under the knife If a person goes under the knife, they have surgery.
I'm not worried about the anaesthetic.  I've been under the knife several times.
   
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