English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - C
|cat nap||If you have a short
sleep during the day, you have a cat nap.
My dad often has a cat nap on a Sunday afternoon.
|cat in hell's chance||To say that there
is not a cat in hell's chance of
someone doing or achieving something means
that there is no chance at all.
Because of the blizzard, the pilot didn't have a cat in hell's chance of landing safely.
|let the cat out of the bag||If you let the
cat out of the bag, you reveal a
secret, generally not intentionally.
When the child told her grandmother about the plans for her birthday, she let the cat out of the bag.
|like a cat on hot bricks||A person who is
like a cat on hot bricks is very
nervous or restless.
The week before the results were published, she was like a cat on hot bricks.
|like the cat that ate the canary||If, after an
achievement or success, a person seems very
self-satisfied or pleased with themselves,
you can say that they look like the cat
that ate the canary.
When the boss complimented him on his work, Steve looked like the cat that ate the canary.
|like a scalded cat||If something or
something moves like a scalded cat,
they move very fast, usually because they
are frightened or shocked.
As soon as he saw the policeman, he ran off like a scalded cat.
|like something the cat dragged in||If you compare a
person or thing to something the cat
dragged in, you think they they look
dirty, untidy or generally unappealing.
My teenage son often looks like something the cat dragged in.
|like cat and dog||Two people who
fight or argue like cat and dog
frequently have violent arguments, even
though they are fond of each other.
They fight like cat and dog but they're still together after 30 years.
|cat and dog life||A life in which
partners are constantly or frequently
quarrelling is called a cat-and-dog life.
They lead a cat-and-dog life. I don't know why they stay together.
|cat's lick||A cat's lick
means a very quick wash.
A cat's lick was all he had time for before rushing off to catch the bus.
(also: cat's pyjamas)
refers to someone who considers themselves
to be better than others in a particular area : beauty, competence, intelligence, sport, etc.
Ever since she got a promotion, she thinks she's the cat's whiskers!
catch 22 situation refers to a
frustrating situation where you cannot do
one thing without doing a second, and you
cannot do the second before doing the first.
I can't get a job without a work permit, and I can't get a work permit without a job. It's a catch 22 situation!
|catch somebody's eye||If someone
catches you eye, you find them
The pretty girl near the door caught his eye.
|catch redhanded||If a person is
caught red-handed, they are caught
while they are doing something wrong or
The police arrived as the burglar was leaving the house. He was caught red-handed.
|catch as catch can||This expression
means that you try to get something in any
It's difficult to get much sleep with the new baby - it's catch-as-catch-can these days!
|Alphabetical Lists C:|
|more alphabetical lists ...|