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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Problems - Difficulties

(page 6 :  throw money at  → yoke around neck)

throw money at If you throw money at something, you try to solve a problem by spending money on it, without using any other methods.
The refugee problem cannot be solved just by throwing money at it!
throw it over the wall If someone throws something over the wall, they deal with part of a problem or project, then pass the responsibility to another person or department without any communication or coordination.
You can't just manufacture a product then throw it over the wall to the sales department!
tide over If you tide someone over, you support them through a difficult period for a certain length of time.
With this weather it's impossible to get to the shops, but we have enough food to tide us over until next week.
tight spot Someone who is in a tight spot is in a very difficult situation.
The recent strike has put the airline company in a tight spot.
tip of the iceberg The tip of the iceberg is the part that is known of a problem or situation which is thought to be much more serious.
Journalists say that the report on corruption only examines the tip of the iceberg.
trilemma This term is used for a situation which is even more difficult than a dilemma, because a choice must be made between three options that seem equally undesirable.
twist in the wind If someone is left to twist in the wind, they are left to face a difficult situation without any assistance or support.
He walked out of the press conference and left his agent twisting in the wind.
unmitigated disaster An unmitigated disaster is a complete failure or a total catastrophe.
The organisation of the tournament was an unmitigated disaster!
uphill battle A person faced with an uphill battle has to struggle against very unfavourable circumstances.
After the terrible accident, his recovery was an uphill battle all the way.
vicious circle When the solution to a problem creates another problem similar to the original, or makes it worse, so that the process starts all over again, the situation is called a vicious circle.
I borrowed money to reimburse Paul. Now I've got to reimburse the bank, with interest.  It's a vicious circle.
wave a dead chicken When faced with a serious problem, if you take steps that you  know in advance will be futile, to show that you made an effort, you wave a dead chicken.
The TV set was permanently damaged, but the technician decided to wave a dead chicken to satisfy the old lady before announcing the bad news.
wheels fall off When a situation gets out of control and everything starts to go wrong, the wheels fall off.
The wheels fell off her career when she started taking drugs and cancelling concerts.
without a hitch If something happens without a hitch, it takes place exactly as planned, without any difficulties.
The ceremony went off without a hitch, to our great relief!
work cut out for you If you have to face a difficult task or a challenging situation, you have your work cut out for you.
I've got a month to reorganise the accounts department.  I have my work cut out for me!
yoke around neck An obligation, commitment or restraint that becomes an oppressive burden is called a yoke around one's neck.
When John lost his job, the repayments on the house became a yoke around his neck.
   
   
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