English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - G
|go haywire||If something
goes haywire, it becomes disorganised
or goes out of control.
The photocopier has gone completely haywire. It's only printing half of each page!
|go hell for leather||If you go hell
for leather, you go somewhere or do
something very fast.
I saw Tom going hell for leather towards the station.
|go the whole hog||When you go the
whole hog, you do something thoroughly
The put up a few decorations for Christmas, then they decided to go the whole hog and buy a tree and all the trimmings.
|go into overdrive||If someone or
something goes into overdrive, they
begin to work very hard or start to perform
At the start of every new collection my imagination goes into overdrive.
|go nuts||To say that a person has gone nuts
means that they have become completely
foolish, eccentric or mad.
I think the old lady has gone nuts! It's very hot today and she's wearing a fur coat!
|go off the deep end||If a person
goes off the deep end, they become so
angry or upset that they cannot control
Eva will go off the deep end if her kids leave the kitchen in a mess again.
|go off the rails||If someone goes
off the rails, they go out of control
and begin to behave in a manner that is
unacceptable to society.
Given the unstable environment, it's a miracle that none of their children ever went off the rails.
|go off on a tangent||If someone goes
off on a tangent, they change the
subject completely in the middle of a speech
Sometimes when he's teaching, he goes off on a tangent and starts talking about his dog!
|go off with a bang||If something such
as an event or performance goes off with
a bang, it is very successful.
The party went off with a bang - everyone enjoyed it.
|got out of business||If a shop, firm or
enterprise goes out of business, it
closes down or goes bankrupt.
If the new road bypasses the town, a lot of shops will go out of business.
|go out of your way||If you go out
of your way, you take particular care
or make a special effort when doing
Aunt Betty went out of her way to make us feel comfortable.
|go out the window||If a quality,
principle or opportunity goes out the
window, it disappears, is lost or
When the plant closed down, all hopes of finding a job went out the window.
|go overboard||If you go
overboard, you are over-enthusiastic
about something and do too much or behave in
an excessive way.
We need to prepare the dining room for Christmas, but don't go overboard with the decorations.
|go pear-shaped||If a plan or
project goes pear-shaped, it either
goes wrong or it produces an undesirable
Jane organised a treasure hunt in the park for the kids but it all went pear-shaped and everyone was disappointed.
|go to pieces||If you go to
pieces, for example after a terrible
shock, you are so upset or distressed that
you cannot lead a normal life.
Jack nearly went to pieces when his son died in a car crash.
|go postal||If someone goes
postal, they lose their temper and
express their anger in a violent way.
My parents will go postal when they see the state of the house!
alphabetical lists G ...
more alphabetical lists ...