English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - C
|clock in/out||When you clock
in or out, you record the time
you arrive or leave your job by punching a
time clock to show the number of hours
you have worked.
I'm going to clock out early today. I've got a dental appointment.
|like clockwork||To say that someone
or something goes, runs or behaves like
clockwork means that everything happens
exactly as expected.
Meals are always served on time. In their home everything runs like clockwork.
|close but no cigar||This expression
refers to an effort to do something which
was a good attempt but not quite good enough
The ball touched the goal post - close but no cigar!
|close call||If something
happens, or is avoided or missed, with very
little margin, it is called a close
She won the election with 0.5% of the votes - it was a close call.
|close shave||This term describes
a situation where an accident or a disaster
I almost hit the child who ran out in front of my car. It was a close shave.
|close to home||If a remark or
comment is close to home, it is so
true, or it affects you so directly, that
you feel uncomfortable.
Alan looks embarrassed. Bob's comment must have been close to home.
|close (/dumb) as an oyster||Someone who is as
close ( or 'dumb') as an oyster
will never reveal something told in
confidence, or betray a secret.
Sophie will never repeat what you tell her. She's as close as an oyster.
|cloud cuckoo land||This expression
refers to an imaginary unrealistic place
where everything is perfect and impossible
things can happen.
Anyone who thinks these measures are going to solve the crisis is living in cloud-cuckoo-land!
|on cloud nine||A person who is
on cloud nine is very happy because
something wonderful has happened.
When the boss announced my promotion, I was on cloud nine.
|cloud on the horizon||A problem or
difficulty that is predictable, or seems
likely to arise in the future, is called a
cloud on the horizon.
They are happily married and for the moment there appear to be no clouds on the horizon.
|not have a clue||If you don't
have a clue about something, you don't
know anything about it.
My wife's grandmother's maiden name? I don't have a clue!
|coast is clear||To say that the
coast is clear means that there is no
danger in sight or that nobody can see you.
OK. The dog has gone inside. The coast is clear.
|cog in the machine||If you say that
someone is a cog in the machine,
you mean that, while they are necessary,
they only play a small part in an
organisation or plan.
The police quickly realized that the suspect was just a cog in the machine.
|cold calls||If you make
cold calls, you telephone potential
customers from a list of people you do not
In my first job I had to make cold calls using the telephone directory.
|Alphabetical Lists C:|
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