English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - F
|fall on one's sword||If you fall on
your sword, you accept the consequences
of an unsuccessful or wrong action.
The organiser of the referendum resigned when the poor results were announced. It was said that he' fell on his sword'.
|fall off the back of a lorry||Goods that have
fallen off the back of a lorry are
Judging by the price of that camera, it must have fallen off the back of a lorry!
|fall over backwards||If you fall
over backwards to accomplish something,
you do everything you possibly can to please
Sally's mother fell over backwards to make her wedding reception a memorable event.
|fall short of||If something proves
inadequate or insufficient, or does not
reach the required standard, it falls
short of what is expected.
Sales of the new product fell short of the company's expectations.
|false move||In a dangerous or
risky situation, if you make a false
do something which may have unpleasant consequences.
He is under close surveillance. If he makes one false move he'll be arrested.
|false pretences||If you obtain
something under false pretences,
you deceive others by lying about your
identity, qualifications, financial or
social position, in order to get what you
The journalist obtained the interview under false pretences.
|take a fancy to||If you take a
fancy to someone or something, you
develop a fondness for them or begin to like
I think Paul has taken a fancy to the new intern!
|far from me be it||This expression
means that the speaker does not feel in a
position to say or do something.
(Usually said before giving advice or expressing an opinion.)
Far be it from me to chose your friends, but I think you should avoid that man.
|farm something out||If something, such
as work, is farmed out, it is sent
away to be done by others.
We farmed out the packaging to another company.
|fast and furious||If an activity is
fast and furious, it is done quickly
and with a lot of energy.
Eager to win the race, the competitors came fast and furious around the bend.
|fast talker||A person who speaks
quickly and easily but cannot always be
trusted is called a fast talker.
The salesman was a fast talker who persuaded the old lady to buy a new washing machine.
|fast track something||If you decide to
fast track something, such as a task or
project, you give it high priority so that
the objective is reached as quickly as
In view of the number of homeless, it was decided to fast track the construction of low-cost housing.
|fat cat||To refer to a rich
and powerful person as a fat cat
means that you disapprove of the way they
use their money or power.
The place was full of fat cats on their big yachts.
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