|At the drop of a hat
||Without hesitation, immediately.
||She would help me at the drop of a hat, she is such a great friend.
|Beat around the bush
|| Avoid the important issue.
||Please don’t beat around the bush! Just tell me if there is something for me to worry about or not.
|A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
||Having something for certain is better than risking it for more as you may lose both.
||John won $100 dollars at cards last night. They wanted him to gamble again to win more, but he decided that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush so he kept the money.
|Blood, sweat and tears
||A lot of effort and hard work
||It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears for him to get to the top of the mountain.
|Best of both worlds
||Have all advantages
||My job is both well paid and flexible – I have the best of both worlds.
|Ball park figure
||A rough estimate; approximation
||They haven’t calculated precisely, but they suggested a ball park figure of nearly $2 million.
|Catch someone red handed
||To see or catch somebody in the middle of commiting a crime.
||He was just climbing through the window with the jewellery in his pocket when the police arrived. He was caught red handed!
||A frustrating situation – you cannot do the first thing until the second thing is done, but you cannot do the second thing unless the first is done.
||I can’t get a job without a driving licence, and I can’t afford a driving licence unless I have a job. It’s a Catch 22 situation.
||Something is not done properly (to save money)
||If they hadn’t cut corners, the accident wouldn’t have occurred.
|Draw the line
||Deciding when a person or an action has gone too far.
||I don’t mind you borrowing the car, but I draw the line at you not returning it all weekend.
||To present a counter argument.
||It’s good that he plays devil’s advocate – it makes us think about all possibilities.
||Hard work or physical effort
||The best way to clean the floor is hot soapy water and a lot of elbow grease.
|Far cry from
|| Very different from
||The reality of the situation is a far cry from what they wanted to achieve.
|Give the benefit of the doubt
||Believe what someone says without proof
|| I always like to give people the benefit of the doubt – it’s better than not trusting anyone.
|Get a kick out of (something)
||To find something funny or entertaining
||I really get a kick out of playing computer games.
|Have a whale of a time
||To have a lot of fun.
|| I had a whale of a time at the party on Saturday!
|In the heat of the moment
||Overwhelmed by present circumstances.
||She didn’t mean it, she said it in the heat of the moment.
|Jump on the bandwagon
||Join a popular trend or activity.
||Other companies are jumping on the bandwagon as it is proving to be such a popular idea.
|Judge a book by its cover
||To assume something based on appearance.
||“See that man over there, with the old t-shirt and torn jeans? He’s actually a millionaire!” “Really? Well, I guess you can’t judge a book by its cover!”
|Keep (your) eye on the ball
|| To stay focussed, give something full attention.
||His boss advised him that he really needed to keep his eye on the ball if he wanted to succeed.
|Let off steam
||Relieve strong / negative feelings without hurting others.
||I had to let off steam and tell them what I really thought rather than keep it all to myself.The children ran around in the playground and let off some steam after studying hard all morning.
||Final problem in a series of problems
||This is the last straw! I need to leave and look for a new job, I’ve had enough.
|Make up (your) mind
||To make a decision
||She still hasn’t decided what dress to wear – I wish she’d make up her mind!
|On the ball
|| Understand a situation well
|| The new boss is so on the ball – he’s so efficient.
|Once in a blue moon
||Happens very rarely.
|| You were so lucky to win that. That happens once in a blue moon!
|Over the moon
||To be very excited or happy
||He had a new car for his birthday and he’s over the moon with it!
|Piece of cake
||That exam was a piece of cake! I’m sure I’ve done well.
|Pass the buck
||Not taking responsibility; passing the blame to someone else.
||Nobody admitted it was their fault – they just passed the buck and told me to contact customer service.
|See eye to eye
||Be in agreement with someone
|| They have never seen eye to eye and are always disagreeing.
|Sit on the fence
||Does not want to choose or make a decision.
||You really can’t sit on the fence, we need to know what you really think we should do.
|To hear something straight from the horse’s mouth
||Hear something from someone of authority
||Don’t listen to office gossip, ask the boss and get the information straight from the horse’s mouth!