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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Money - Finance - Wealth

(Idioms page 6 :  penny for thoughts  →  on one's uppers)

penny for your thoughts This phrase is used to ask someone what they are thinking about.
You look pensive.  A penny for your thoughts.
turn up like a bad penny If someone turns up like a bad penny, they appear at a place or event where they are not welcome or not wanted.
I try to avoid Jane, but wherever I go she turns up like a bad penny!
pick up the tab If you pick up the tab, you pay the bill or pay the cost of something.
There was a celebration lunch for the team and Bill picked up the tab.
play the market If you play the market, you buy stocks and shares in the hope of making a profit when you sell them.
It's always tempting to play the market, but it's more risky at the present time.
price oneself out of the market If you price yourself out of the market, you charge such a high price for your goods or services that nobody wants to buy them.
He was so eager to make money that he priced himself out of the market.
rags to riches If a person goes from rags to riches, they start off being very poor and become very rich and successful.
By renovating old houses in the right places, he went from rags to riches.
rob Peter to pay Paul If someone robs Peter to pay Paul, they pay one debt with money borrowed from someone else, thus creating another debt.
David borrowed from a friend to pay his overdraft, a typical case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
saddled with debt If you are saddled with debt, the amount of money that you owe is a financial burden.
Be careful.  If you buy a house that is too expensive, you could be saddled with debt for many years.
scrimp and save If you scrimp and save, you spend as little as possible over a certain period of time in order to save money.
The parents scrimped and saved for years so that their children could have a college education.
set you back The sum of money something sets you back is the amount it costs you.
Changing the heating system will set us back about $5000.
on a shoestring If you do something on a shoestring, you do it with very little money.
When I was a student I lived on a shoestring.
(put) skin in the game If you put skin in the game, you show your confidence in a company by making a considerable investment or a financial commitment.
I got good news today.  Apparently a serious investor is willing to put skin in the game.
slice/share of the cake When people feel entitled to a share of the profits or benefits, they want a (larger) slice of the cake.
Since profits are higher this year, the workers feel they deserve a bigger slice of the cake.
slush fund A slush fund is an account or fund in politics or business where money is set aside for various unofficial purposes, often unethical or even illegal.
A large commission taken from the slush fund ensured the success of the negotiations.
splash out If you splash out on something, you spend a lot of money on it.
Chloe's parents really splashed out on her wedding.
it's a steal If you find something that you want for a very low price, much lower than what it is worth, you can say 'it's a steal!'.
He's selling it for $20?  At that price it's a steal!
sting someone If you sting someone for an amount of money, you make them pay for something, usually in a deceitful manner.
Not only was the lunch boring but I was stung for $25!
suit every pocket This term refers to the amount of money you are able to spend or the price you can afford.
The store offers a wide range of computers at prices to suit every pocket.
on one's uppers Someone who is on their uppers has very little money or not enough to cover their needs.
Because he was clearly on his uppers when he was hired, he was given an advance in salary.
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