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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


from:  'go down the rabbit hole'   to:  'see light at the end of the tunnel'

  • go down the rabbit hole
    • If you go down the rabbit hole, you start searching for something specific and then find yourself with information that keeps leading to you to more and more areas to explore.
      "“It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole when you start surfing on the Internet."

  • go haywire
    • If something goes haywire, it becomes disorganised or goes out of control.
      "The photocopier has gone completely haywire. It's only printing half of each page!"

  • go pear-shaped
    • If a plan or project goes pear-shaped, it either goes wrong or it produces an undesirable result.
      "Jane organised a treasure hunt in the park for the kids but it all went pear-shaped and everyone was disappointed."

  • go through the mill
    • If you go through the mill, you experience a very difficult period, or are exposed to rough treatment.
      "When I was an intern, I was put through the mill. Nothing went unnoticed."

  • when the going gets tough ...
    • This expression means that when faced with a difficult or dangerous situation, strong people take action in order to solve the problem.
      "Tom has a positive attitude. He often says 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going'."

  • grasp at straws
    • If you are in a desperate situation and you grasp at straws, you try any method, even if it has little chance of success, in an attempt to find a solution.
      "In his search for a cure, he turned to a faith healer, knowing that he was grasping at straws."

  • hang (someone) out to dry
    • If you abandon someone who is in difficulty, without giving any assistance or support, you hang them out to dry.
      "You'll get no help from Jack. He'll hang you out to dry if your plan fails."

  • have your hands tied
    • If a person has their hands tied, something such as an agreement or a rule is preventing them from doing what they would like to do.
      "Mark deserves to earn more, but the manager's hands are tied by the recent salary agreement."

  • Himalayan blunder
    • If you stupidly make a serious mistake or error, you commit a Himalayan blunder.
      "Apparently Tony lost his job because of a Himalayan blunder."

  • hit the panic button
    • When you hit or press the panic button, you raise the alarm too quickly or react too hastily in a difficult or stressful situation.
      "Calm down! There's no need to hit the panic button yet!"

  • hot potato
    • A hot potato is a very sensitive and controversial matter which is a difficult problem to have to deal with.
      "The new Prime Minister hasn't been confronted with any hot potatoes yet."

  • in dire straits
    • If a person or organisation is in dire straits, they are in a very difficult situation.
      "The loss of major contracts has put the company in dire straits."

  • leave high and dry
    • If you are left high and dry, you find yourself in a difficult situation without help or resources.
      "When her husband walked out on her, Amanda was left high and dry with two kids to raise."

  • leave in the lurch
    • If something leaves you in the lurch, it leaves you in a difficult or embarrassing situation.
      "When Paul missed the last bus, he was left in the lurch."

  • left hanging in the air
    • If a problem or issue is left hanging in the air (or in mid-air), no decision has been taken so it remains without a solution.
      "No solution was proposed during the meeting so the question was left hanging in the air."

  • in over your head
    • If you are in over your head, you are involved in something that is too difficult for you to handle.
      "I accepted to organise the festival, but I quickly realized that I was in over my head."

  • juggle frogs
    • A person who is juggling frogs is trying to deal with many different tasks at the same time and finding the situation difficult.
      "I've got so many things to do at the moment, I feel like I'm juggling frogs!"

  • a last resort
    • To say that you would so something as a last resort means that it is the last thing you would do if you were desperate and all other courses of action had failed.
      "I still haven't found a hotel for the night; I can always sleep in the car as a last resort!"

  • see light at the end of the tunnel
    • If you see light at the end of the tunnnel, you see signs of hope for the future after a long period of difficulty.
      "Sales dropped heavily last year but we're beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel."

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