English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - D
|in the doldrums||To say that a
person, a business or the economy in general
is in the doldrums means that the
situation is gloomy and that nothing new is
Despite the recent measures, the economy is in the doldrums.
|on the dole||A
person who receives financial assistance
from the government when they are unemployed
is on the dole.
Their father is on the dole so the family is living on a tight budget.
expression is used to refer to an agreement
or decision which has been reached on a
We're still considering several proposals, so it's not a done deal yet.
|done and dusted||When a project,
task or activity is done and dusted,
it is completely finished or ready.
I've nearly finished preparing the presentation. When it's all done and dusted I'll be able to relax.
|done thing||The correct way to
behave in a particular social situation is
called the done thing.
Wearing jeans to play golf is not the done thing.
|donkey work||This expression is
used to describe the unpleasant, repetitive
or boring parts of a job.
I do the donkey work - my boss gets the credit!
|donkey's years||If someone has been
doing something for donkey's years,
they have been doing it for a very long
He knows the town inside out. He's been living here for donkey's years.
|doom and gloom||A general
atmosphere of pessimism, and a feeling that
the situation is not going to improve, is
referred to as doom and gloom.
Fortunately it's not doom and gloom for all businesses, in spite of the economic situation.
|door swings both ways||If you say that the
door swings both ways, you mean
that the same principle or argument applies
to both sides of a situation.
"You never call me."
"You don't contact me either. The door swings both ways you know!"
|beyond the shadow of a doubt||This expression is
used to indicate absolute certainty about
There wasn't a shadow of doubt in our minds about Susan's sincerity.
|doubting Thomas||A 'doubting Thomas'
is a person who will not believe something
without proof, or without seeing it for
I had to show him my membership card. What a doubting Thomas!
|down at heel||A person who is
down-at-heel is someone whose
appearance is untidy or neglected because of
lack of money.
The down-at-heel student I first met became a successful writer.
|down in the dumps||Someone who is
down in the dumps is depressed or
Alex has been down in the dumps since he failed his exam.
|down in the mouth||When someone is
down in the mouth, they look unhappy,
discouraged or depressed.
You look a bit down in the mouth. What's the matter?
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