English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - C
|caught in the crossfire||If you are
caught in the crossfire, you suffer the
effects of an argument or dispute between
two people or groups.
When the two taxi drivers started to argue, their passengers were caught in the crossfire.
|wouldn't be caught dead/seen dead||If someone says
that they wouldn't be caught or seen
dead in a particular place or doing
something, they mean that they would be too
ashamed or embarrassed.
My seven-year-old son thinks he's a big boy; he wouldn't be caught dead holding my hand in front of his friends!
|caught unawares||If someone is
caught unawares, they are surprised and
unprepared for what happens.
The security guard moved so silently that the thief was caught unawares.
|cause a stir||If something
causes a stir, it creates an atmosphere
of excitement or great interest.
The arrival of the actress caused quite a stir in the village.
|throw caution to the wind||If you throw
caution to the wind, you start taking
risks and stop worrying about the danger
I decided to throw caution to the wind and invest in my best friend's new company.
|caveat emptor||This Latin
expression, which means 'let the buyer
beware', is a warning to customers that
goods are for sale 'as is'. The buyer is
purchasing the articles at his/her own risk
and is responsible for examining them
Caveat emptor is a principle to be remembered when buying second-hand goods.
|chalk and cheese||Two people who are
like chalk and cheese are
completely different from each other.
I'm surprised they get on so well. They're like chalk and cheese.
|champ at the bit||Someone who is
champing at the bit is ready and eager
to start an activity, and is showing
impatience at being delayed.
The press conference was delayed for such a long time that the journalists were champing at the bit.
|champagne taste on a beer budget||Someone who likes
expensive things that they cannot afford has
champagne taste on a beer budget.
Eve borrows money to buy expensive designer clothes - champagne taste on a beer budget!
|take a chance||If you take a
chance on something, you take action in
the hope of success even though you know
that the result may be negative.
I may not be able to get through the traffic, but I'll take a chance on it.
|chance one's arm||If you chance
your arm, you decide to do something
even though there is little hope of success.
Tony knew there was little hope of getting into Harvard but he decided to chance his arm anyway.
|chance in a million||A chance in a
million is a very small chance, or no
chance at all, that something will happen.
There's a chance in a million of finding the key I lost on the golf course.
|change the face of||When an innovation,
discovery or event changes the face of
something, it alters it completely or
in a major way.
Social networks have changed the face of modern communication.
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