English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - G
|go to hell in a handcart||If something is going to hell in a
handcart, it is in a bad state and
continues to deteriorate.
This used to be a nice place to live but now the area is going to hell in a handcart.
|go to rack and ruin||If something
goes to rack and ruin, it falls into
very bad condition because of lack of care.
When the factory closed down, the building went to rack and ruin.
|go spare||If you go spare
you lose your temper completely.
Lea's dad would go spare if he knew how much she spent in London!
|go through the roof||If someone goes
through the roof, they become very
My father went through the roof when Paul damaged his new car.
|go through the mill||If you go
through the mill, you experience a very
difficult period, or are exposed to rough
When I was an intern, I was put through the mill. Nothing went unnoticed.
|go through the motions||If someone goes
through the motions, they do something
because they have to, but without
After his wife died, he tried to continue life as before, but he just went through the motions.
|go up in smoke||If a plan or
project goes up in smoke, it is
spoiled, fails, or ends before producing a
When Amy and Tom separated, my mother's dream of a romantic wedding went up in smoke.
|going concern||A business or
activity that is dynamic and successful is a
They opened a coffee shop that is a going concern today.
|going places||To say that someone
is going places means that they
show talent and ability that will no doubt
lead to a successful future.
Even at college it was obvious that Paul was going places.
|when the going gets tough||This expression
means that when faced with a difficult or
dangerous situation, strong people take
action in order to solve the problem.
Tom has a positive attitude. He often says 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going'.
|golden handcuffs||The term golden handcuffs refers to a large sum of money or a generous financial arrangement granted to an executive as an incentive to stay in their job, or to ensure long-term cooperation after their departure.|
|golden handshake||A golden handshake is a generous sum of money given to a person when they leave a company or retire (sometimes given to encourage early retirement).|
|golden opportunity||A golden
opportunity is a favourable time or an
excellent occasion which should not be
An internship in that company would be a golden opportunity for you - it might lead to a permanent job later.
|golden parachute||A golden parachute is a clause in an executive's employment contract stating that the executive will receive certain large benefits if their employment is terminated.|
|golden rule||The most important
rule or principle to be remembered when
doing something is called the golden
When travelling abroad, the golden rule is to respect the local customs.
|gone with the wind||If something has
gone with the wind, it has
I lost everything during the crisis. My savings are gone with the wind.
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