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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


House, furniture and fittings

(Idioms page 3 :  light bulb moment →  born with silver spoon)

light bulb moment A light bulb moment is when you have a sudden moment of inspiration, comprehension or realization.
Harry had a light-bulb moment when he finally realized what was blocking the mechanism.
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!
see in a new light If you see something in a new light, you view it in a way that makes you change the opinion you had before.
After listening to my colleague, I began to see things in a new light.
mug's game An unprofitable or ill-advised activity that only a fool (mug) would do is called a mug's game.
Spending hours making home-made cakes for a few customers is a mug's game.
big picture If you talk about the big picture, you refer to the overall situation, or the project as a whole rather than the details.
While each aspect is important, try not to forget the big picture.
picture of health Someone who looks the picture of health looks extremely healthy.
Nice to see you again Mr. Brown.  I must say you look the picture of health!
a picture is worth a thousand words This expression means that a picture can give just as much information as a large amount of descriptive text.
Look at the picture of the crash! A picture is worth a thousand words isn't it?
get the picture A person who gets the picture understands what is being explained or described.
The alarm went off and people started running everywhere - you get the picture I'm sure!
put in the picture If you give somebody all the information necessary to enable them to fully understand a situation, you put them in the picture.
Some changes were made during your absence.  Let me put you in the picture.
a lot on your plate If someone has a lot on their plate, they are extremely busy or have several problems to handle at the same time.
It's not a good time to discuss the problem with David.  He's got a lot on his plate at the moment.
want head on a platter If someone makes you so angry that you want them to be punished, you want their head on a platter.
He was so angry when he read the article about his family that he wanted the journalist's head on a platter.
poker face If you have a poker face, you show no emotion at all.
All during the trial the criminal kept a poker face.
pot calling kettle black This expression is used in a situation where a person with a fault criticizes someone else for having the same fault.
After being disqualified for not obeying the rules, the player accused another competitor of cheating; it was the pot calling the kettle black!
pot luck If you take pot luck, you accept whatever is available without knowing what it will be like.
We were so hungry we decided to take pot luck and stopped at the first restaurant we saw.
raise the roof When people raise the roof, they make a lot of noise by cheering, shouting, whistling or clapping their hands.
The concert was such a success, the audience raised the roof.
sweep under the rug If you sweep something under the rug (or carpet), you try to hide it because it is embarrassing.
They tried unsuccessfully to sweep the scandal under the rug.
brain/memory like a sieve Someone who has a brain (or memory) like a sieve has a very bad memory and forgets things easily.
Oh, I forgot to buy the bread - I've got a brain like a sieve these days!
pour water into a sieve If someone spends time or energy trying to do something that is inefficient or useless, it is like pouring water into a sieve.
Danny's mother used to say that teaching him good behaviour was like pouring water into a sieve.
born with a silver spoon in one's mouth A person who is born with a silver spoon in their mouth is born into a very rich family.
She never has to worry about money; she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
   
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