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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List of Idioms - F 

(Idioms F page 10 : fly by seat of pants → fool's errand)

fly by the seat of your pants If you fly by the seat of your pants, you do something without any knowledge or experience, using only your instinct and hoping that you will succeed.
Without any formal training, he decided to fly by the seat of his pants and try his luck in New York.
fly in the face of If an action or statement flies in the face of something, it is completely opposite to what is usual or expected.
His style of teaching flies in the face of the school's established methods.
on the fly If you do something on the fly, you do it quickly, without thinking much about it, while doing something else.
I'm so busy I usually have lunch on the fly.
fly in the ointment A fly in the ointment refers to something that prevents a situation from being completely satisfactory.
Tony's poor English was a fly in the ointment when he applied for the job.
fly off the handle A person who flies off the handle becomes suddenly very angry.
Dad flew off the handle when I told him I had damaged his new car.
fly on the wall A person who watches a situation without being noticed is called a fly on the wall.
I'd like to be a fly on the wall when the management discusses my project.
it will never fly To say that something will never fly means that it will not be successful.
He's got incredible ideas, but none that will ever fly!
with flying colours To achieve something with flying colours means to do it very successfully.
My daughter passed the entrance exam with flying colours.  I'm so proud of her.
flying start If something gets off to a flying start, it is immediately successful.
Sales of the book got off to a flying start and exceeded our expectations.
foam at the mouth Someone who foams at the mouth is extremely angry about something.
The director was foaming at the mouth when he saw a picture of his children in the newspaper.
follow one's nose If you follow your nose, you go straight ahead.
This can also mean to follow your instinct in life.
The station is at the end of the road - just follow your nose.
follow in someone's footsteps If you follow in someone's footsteps, for example a parent, you lead a similar life or do the same job.
Lily followed in her her mother's footsteps and became a teacher.
follow suit If you follow suit, you do the same as another person has just done.
The first robber held up his hands, then the other two followed suit.
food for thought If something give you food for thought, it makes you think seriously about a particular subject.
The documentary on poverty in the world really gave me food for thought.
fool's errand If you go on a fool's errand, you try to do something which is useless, unnecessary or has no chance of success.
I realized it was a fool's errand to look for a bank in such an isolated region.
   
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 alphabetical lists F ... 

F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 F11 F12 F13

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