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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List of Idioms - E

(Idioms E page 1:  eager beaver  →  eat crow)

eager beaver The term eager beaver refers to a person who is hardworking and enthusiastic, sometimes considered overzealous.
The new accountant works all the time -  first to arrive and last to leave. He's a real eager beaver!
eagle eyes Someone who has eagle eyes see or notices things more easily than others.
Tony will help us find it - he's got eagle eyes!
in one ear and out the other To say that information goes in one ear and comes out the other means that it is immediately forgotten or ignored.
I keep telling him  about the risks but it goes in one ear and out the other.  He never listens!
keep your ear to the ground If you keep your ear to the ground, you make sure that you are aware of all that is happening and being said.
I'll keep my ear to the ground and as soon as there are any developments I'll call you.
lend an ear If you lend an ear to someone, you listen carefully and sympathetically.
I'll lend you an ear if you want to talk about it.
make your ears burn If something makes your ears burn, you are embarrassed by what you hear, especially if the conversation is about you.
The comments I overheard made my ears burn.
music to your ears To say that something is music to your ears means that the information you receive makes you feel very happy.
The compliments I received were music to my ears.
play it by ear This expression means to improvise or do something without preparation, according to the demands of the situation.
(music : to play by remembering the tune, without printed music.)
I'm not sure what attitude we should adopt so just let's play it by ear.
turn a deaf ear A person who turns a deaf ear to something such as a request or a complaint refuses to pay attention to it.
I tried to explain the situation to the manager but he turned a deaf ear.
earmark something If you earmark something, you assign it to a particular person or reserve it for a specific use.
A certain number of chairs were earmarked for the conference room.
earn while you learn This expression refers to the possibility of earning a salary while in training.
Become an apprentice and get paid while in training.  Earn while you learn!
easier said than done To say that something is easier said than done means that what is suggested sounds easy but it is more difficult to actually do it.
Put the TV aerial on the roof? Easier said than done!
easy does it! You can 'easy does it!' when you want something to be done slowly and carefully.
"Easy does it" said my husband as the sofa was carried through the hall door.
easy as pie Something that is (as) easy as pie is very easy to do.
"How did the English test go?"  "No problem,  it was (as) easy as pie!"
eat crow If you eat crow, you admit that you were wrong about something and apologize.
He had no option but to eat crow and admit that his analysis was wrong.
...next

 alphabetical lists E ... 

E1 E2 E3 E4 E5

  more alphabetical lists ... 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z