English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - F
|fit to be tied||Someone who is
fit to be tied is extremely irritated,
upset or angry.
Harry was fit to be tied when his dog dug up the flowers he had planted.
|in fits and starts||If you do something
in fits and starts, you do it in an
irregular manner, often stopping and
You'll never make progress in English if you work in fits and starts.
|five finger discount||If somebody gets a
five-finger discount, they take
something without paying. In other words,
How could he afford that watch? Who knows - perhaps with a five-finger discount!
|five o'clock shadow||This expression
refers to a patch of stubble on the face of
a man who hasn't shaved for at least a day.
He looked tired and had a five o'clock shadow.
|fixed in your ways||People who are
fixed in their ways do not want to
change their normal way of doing things.
My grandparents are very fixed in their ways and dislike any changes.
|flag of convenience||If a ship, boat or yacht sails under a flag of convenience, it is registered in a foreign country in order to avoid regulations and taxes, and reduce operating costs.|
|get/take flak||If you get
or take flak, you receive severe
criticism for something you have done.
He got a lot of flak for the way he handled the situation.
|flash in the pan||If you refer to
somebody's success as a flash in the pan,
you mean that it is not likely to be
The manager hoped that the team's unexpected victory was not just
a flash in the pan.
|flea in one's ear||After an attempt at
something, if you are sent away with a
flea in your ear, you are angrily
reprimanded or humiliated.
When Andy tried to put the blame on Pete, he was sent away with a flea in his ear.
|make your flesh crawl||Something that
makes your flesh crawl fills you with
disgust or makes you feel very nervous.
Just talking about snakes makes my flesh crawl!
|no flies on (someone)||To say that there
are no flies on someone means that
they are quick to understand and cannot be
tricked or deceived easily.
It's better to tell him all the facts. There are no flies on him.
|flight of fancy||To refer to an idea
or plan as a flight of fancy means
that it is very imaginative but not at all
practical or sensible.
He often has good ideas but his latest proposal is just a flight of fancy!
|fling oneself into||If you fling
yourself into an activity, you do it
with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
Ever since she flung herself in the anti-pollution campaign, she rarely has a free moment!
|flog a dead horse||To say that someone
is flogging a dead horse means that
are wasting time and effort trying to do or achieve something that is not possible.
Mark is flogging a dead horse trying to get his money reimbursed.
The company has gone bankrupt!
person, business or venture is
considered untrustworthy because they
operate briefly and disappear overnight
I bought it in one of those fly-by-night stores and now I can't exchange it. The place has closed down.
alphabetical lists F ...
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