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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - C

(Idioms C page 9 :  clock in/out  →  cold calls)

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 to succeed.
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 call.
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 nearly happened.
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 know.
In my first job I had to make cold calls using the telephone directory.
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Alphabetical Lists C:
C1 C2 C3 C4 C5 C6 C7 C8 C9 C10 C11 C12 C13 C14 C15 C16 C17
more alphabetical lists ... 
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