English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - C
|cough up||If you have to
cough up something, such as money or
information, you give it reluctantly or
He refused to say who attacked him until his father made him cough up the names.
|count your blessings||If you count
your blessings, you focus your thoughts
on all the good things in your life rather
than on the negative ones.
Whenever anyone in the family starts to complain, my mother always advises us to count our blessings.
|take your courage in both hands||If you take
your courage in both hands, you make
yourself do something very brave.
When I saw the child in the burning house, I took my courage in both hands and ran inside.
|on course||If you are on
course for something, you are likely to
Our team is on course for a victory in the national championship.
|cover your tracks||If you cover
your tracks, you conceal or destroy
evidence of what you have been doing or
where you have been.
Charlie was sorry he hadn't covered his tracks better when his wife discovered he had been unfaithful.
|cover a multitude of sins||If something
covers or hides a multitude of sins,
it prevents others from seeing the less
Loose-fitting clothes can cover a multitude of sins!
|why buy a cow when you can get milk for free?||This refers to not
paying for something that you can obtain for
(Sometimes refers to a decision not to marry when you can have the benefits of marriage without any commitment.)
Rent is high so Bobby is still living with his parents.
He says : why buy a cow when you can get milk for free?
|till the cows come home||To say that a
person could do something till the cows
come home means that they could do it
for a ong time.
You can ask me till the cows come home but I'm not buying you a scooter!
|crack down on something||If the authorities
crack down on something, they
enforce the law by taking severe measures to
restrict undesirable or criminal actions.
To reduce road accidents, it was decided to crack down on speeding.
|crack the whip||If you crack
the whip, you use your authority to
make someone obey you or work more
efficiently, usually by threatening them.
Every so often I'll crack the whip to make sure we meet the deadline.
|cramp someone's style||If you cramp
someone's style you do something to
prevent them from behaving freely, or
performing to the best of their ability.
I can't paint with people watching me - it cramps my style!.
|crank into gear||When a person or
activity cranks (or gets) into gear, they
start to work or become effective.
Immediately after the announcement, a group of protesters cranked into gear.
|crash course||If you do a
crash course, you do an intensive
training course in order to obtain quick
Before going to Tokyo, he did a crash course in Japanese.
|cream of the crop||This expression
refers to the best people or things in a
As usual, the cream of the crop of this year's graduates were offered the best jobs.
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