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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Sports - Games - Athletics

(Idioms page 2 :  play the game   →  ride coattails)

play the game If you play the game, you accept to do things according to generally-accepted customs or code of behaviour.
Not all website owners play the game. Some download content from other sites without permission.
play games with someone If you are not completely honest, or behave in a way that is insincere, evasive or intentionally misleading, you are playing games with someone.
Look, stop playing games with us.  Just tell us if you're interested in the project or not.
two can play at that game You say this to tell someone that you can behave towards them in the same unpleasant way that they have behaved towards you.
He refuses to take my call?  Tell him two can play at that game!
a waiting game A person who plays a waiting game delays taking any action or making any decision because they prefer to wait and see how things develop, usually in the hope that this will put them in a stronger position.
Our competitors are not reacting. They're playing a waiting game.
hang up one's boots When a sports player hangs up their boots, they stop playing and retire. (This expression is often used to refer to retirement in general.)
Dad says he's going to hang up his boots at the end of the year.
learn the ropes If you learn the ropes, you learn how to do a particular job correctly.
He's bright.  It won't take him long to learn the ropes.
make the cut If you make the cut, you reach a required standard or succeed in passing from one round of a competition to another.
After intensive training, Sarah made the cut and joined the team.
paddle one's own canoe If you paddle your own canoe, you do what you want to do without help or interference from anyone.
He decided to paddle his own canoe and set up his own business.
race against time When someone is in a race against time, they have to work very quickly in order to do or finish something before a certain time.
It was a race against time to get everything ready for the inauguration.
ride coattails If you use your connections with someone successful in order to achieve fame or success for yourself, without any personal effort, you ride their coattails.
He rode his uncle's coattails in the hope of being elected.
   
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