English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - F
|fool's paradise||If someone is
living in a fool's paradise, they
are in a state of contentment that will not
last because their happiness is based
on illusion or false hope.
Lisa is living in a fool's paradise if she thinks her boss is going to marry her.
|my foot!||This expression is
used to show that you do not believe
something that has just been said.
He said he had a summer home? My foot, I doubt if he owns a tent!
|foot in the door||To say that someone
has a foot in the door means that
they have a small but successful start in
something and will possibly do well in the
With today's unemployment, it is difficult to get a foot in the door in any profession.
|foot in the grave||A person who is
either very old or very ill and close to
death has one foot in the grave.
It's no use talking to the owner. The poor man has one foot in the grave.
|foot in one's mouth||If you put your
foot in your mouth, you do or say
something that offends, upsets or
embarrasses someone else.
She really put her foot in her mouth when she mentioned the housewarming party - Andy hadn't been invited!
|put one's foot down||To put one's
foot down means to exert authority to
prevent something from happening.
The child wanted to sleep on the sofa, but his father put his foot down and made him go to bed.
|right/wrong foot||To get off (or
start off) on the right/wrong foot
means to start a relationship well or badly.
I was looking forward to working with Anna but we seem to have started off on the wrong foot.
|get a foothold||If you get a
foothold somewhere, you secure a
position for yourself in a business,
profession or organisation.
The contract got the firm a foothold in the local administration.
|footloose and fancy free||A person who is
footloose and fancy free has few
responsibilities or commitments of any kind
and feels free to do as they please.
John will never get married. He says he prefers to be footloose and fancy free.
|for the birds||If
you think something is for the birds,
you consider it to be uninteresting, useless
or not to be taken seriously.
As far as I'm concerned, his theory is for the birds.
|for the time being||If you talk about
how a situation is for the time being,
you mean that it is temporary and will
probably change in the future.
Laura has left Ben and is living with her parents for the time being.
|force of habit||When something is
done out of force of habit, it has
become automatic through frequent
Why do I always park here? Out of force of habit I suppose.
|force someone's hand||If you force
someone's hand, you make them do
something unwillingly or sooner than
The interviewer forced Brad's hand and made him reveal his relocation plans.
|forewarned is forearmed||This expression
means that if you know something is going to
happen, you can be prepared for it.
The Chairman is going to attend the meeting tomorrow. Your presentation had better be good. Forewarned is forearmed!
alphabetical lists F ...
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