English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - C
|carry the can||If you carry
the can for another person, you accept
blame or take responsibility for something
that goes wrong, even if it is not your
fault or only partly.
The author didn't turn up for the interview and his agent had to carry the can.
|carry the torch||If you carry
the torch, you have strong feelings for
someone with whom you do not or cannot have
He's been carrying the torch for Julie since their college days, before she married Ted.
|carry weight||If a person or
organisation carries weight, they
are influential or important.
I'm glad she's on our side - her opinion carries a lot of weight.
|put the cart before the horse||A person who
puts the cart before the horse is doing
things in the wrong order.
Building a school before knowing the age of the population is putting the cart before the horse.
|carve out a niche||A person or company
who carves out a niche concentrates
on a particular segment of the market, to
which they supply a product or service, and
develop their expertise in that area.
In today's competitive market it is better to carve out a niche and try to become the best in that area.
|case in point||This term refers to
an example which serves to illustrate,
support or prove a point which is currently
Not even the most talented athlete is guaranteed a long career. The latest skiing accident is a case in point.
|cash cow||A product or
service which is a regular source of income
for a company is called a cash cow.
His latest invention turned out to be a real cash cow.
|cash in your chips||If you cash in
your chips, you sell something,
especially shares, either because you need
the money or because you think the value is
going to fall.
Andy cashed in his chips as soon as business started to slow down.
|cast a wide net||When trying to find
something, if you cast a wide net,
you cover an extensive area or use a wide
range of sources.
The hospital cast a wide net in their search for compatible donors.
|cast-iron stomach||If you can eat all
sorts of food and drink what you like,
without any indigestion, discomfort or bad
effects, it is said that you have a
I don't know how you can eat that spicy food. You must have a cast-iron stomach.
|cat in gloves catches no mice||This expression
means that if you are too careful and
polite, you may not obtain what you want.
Negotiate carefully, but remember : a cat in gloves catches no mice!
|cat can look at a king||This expression means that nobody is so important that an ordinary person cannot look at or be curious about them.|
|fat cat||To refer to a rich
and powerful person as a fat cat
means that you disapprove of the way they
use their money or power.
The place was full of fat cats on their big yachts.
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