English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - G
|give the shirt off one's back||This expression is
used to describe a kind-hearted or generous
person who would give you anything he/she
owns to help you.
Mike would give the shirt off his back to help a friend in difficulty.
|give the slip||If you give the
slip to somebody who is following you,
you manage to hide or get away from them.
The police were on his trail, but he managed to give them the slip.
|give a tongue-lashing||When you scold
someone severely, you give them a
The teacher gave Jeremy a tongue-lashing when he arrived late for school for the third time.
|give up the ghost||If someone or
something gives up the ghost, they die or
My mother's old TV set has finally given up the ghost. I'm off to buy her a new one.
|give or take (quantity)||This term is used
when expressing an amount or estimate that
is not exactly right. It means 'plus or
minus', 'more or less', or 'approximately'.
The nearest town is about 100 miles away, give or take a few miles.
|gizmo||The term 'gizmo' refers to a gadget or any small technological item which is unusual or novel, and for which the proper term is unknown or forgotten.|
|glass ceiling||This term refers to
a discriminatory barrier perceived by women
and minorities that prevents them from
rising to positions of power or
Claire knew she would never break the glass ceiling and rise to a senior management position.
|gloves are off||This expression is
used when there are signs that a fight is
about to start.
The two candidates are out of their seats. The gloves are off!
|glowing terms||If you speak about
something in glowing terms, you
talk about it in a very positive way.
Mary talks about her home town in glowing terms; it must be a wonderful place.
|glutton for punishment||If you say that
someone is a glutton for punishment,
you express your surprise that they continue
to do something which they find unpleasant
You get seasick but you're going to travel by boat - you're a glutton for punishment!
|gnomes of Zurich||This is a
disparaging term for Swiss bankers who
control a lot of money, are said to be
uninterested in the provenance of funds and
protect their clients' identity.
The gnomes of Zurich refuse to cooperate with the investigating officials.
|go against the grain||If something
goes against the grain, it is difficult
to accept because it is very different from
what is considered normal or natural.
Having to import apples in an apple-growing region really goes against the grain!
|go against the tide||If you go
against the tide (or the stream),
you refuse to conform to current trends, or
the opinions or behaviour of other people.
Bill can be difficult to work with; he constantly goes against the tide.
alphabetical lists G ...
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