English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - C
|common knowledge||When information is
well-known to everyone (particularly in a
community or group), it is called common
You didn't know the intern was Jack's son? It thought it was common knowledge.
|cook the books||A person who
cooks the books is one who changes the
facts or figures in the financial accounts,
often in order to steal money.
The actor discovered after a while that his agent was cooking the books.
|cook somebody's goose||To cook
somebody's goose means to spoil that
person's chances of success.
When the burglar saw the police car arriving, he realized his goose was cooked!
|that's the way the cookie crumbles||To say 'that's the way the cookie crumbles' means that is the way things are and nothing can be done about it - that's life!|
|cool as a cucumber||A person who is as
cool as a cucumber is not anxious,
but relaxed and non-emotional.
The bride's mother stayed as cool as a cucumber all through the ceremony.
|cool one's heels||If you are left to
cool your heels, someone keeps you waiting.
After rushing to be on time for my appointment, I was left to cool my heels in the waiting room for an hour.
something such as a plan, a contract or a
financial arrangement as copper-bottomed
means that it is completely safe or
He signed a copper-bottomed agreement with a distributor.
|cork something up||If you cork up
your feelings or emotions, you fail to show
or express them.
It would be better if she showed her grief and didn't cork up her feelings.
|corner the market||If a company
dominates an area of business, and leaves no
room for competition, it is said to have
cornered the market.
By importing large quantities and selling at low prices, they have cornered the market.
|corridors of power||This term refers to
the higher levels of government or
administration where important decisions are
The matter is the subject of much discussion in the corridors of power at the present time.
|cost an arm and a leg||If something
costs an arm and a leg, it is very
The house cost us an arm and a leg, but we have no regrets.
|cost the earth||If something
costs the earth, it is very expensive
She wears designer clothes that must cost the earth!
|at all costs||If you are
determined to obtain or achieve something
at all costs, you want it
regardless of the expense, effort or
The journalist was determined at all costs to get a report from the war zone.
|couch potato||If you refer to
someone as a couch potato, you
criticize them for spending a lot of time
sitting and watching television.
Don't be such a couch potato. There are better ways of spending your time than in front of the TV.
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