English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - H
|old habits die hard||This expression
means that people are often reluctant to
change the way they do something, especially
if they have been doing it for a long time.
My grandfather refuses to use a mobile phone - old habits die hard!
|hair of the dog||
Using as a remedy a small amount of what
made you ill, for example a drop of alcohol
when recovering from drinking too much, is
called 'a hair of the dog that bit you'.
Here, have a drop of this. It's a hair of the dog that bit you!
|hair's breadth||If you avoid or miss something by a
hair's breadth, you only just manage to
escape from a danger.
A slate fell off the roof and missed the child by a hair's breadth.
|get in hair||If you are getting in someone's hair,
you are annoying them so much that they
can't get on with what they are doing.
I'd finish the report more quickly if my colleague wasn't getting in my hair all the time.
|(not) hair out of place||If someone does not have a hair out
of place, their appearance is perfect.
Angela is always impeccably dressed - never a hair out of place.
|let your hair down||If you suggest that someone should
let their hair down, you are telling
them to relax and enjoy themselves.
Come on! We're not in the office now. You can let your hair down!
|tear hair out||If someone is tearing their hair out,
they are extremely agitated or distressed
I've been tearing my hair out all morning trying to find the error.
|split hairs||If you split hairs, you pay too
much attention to differences that are very
small or unimportant.
If we start splitting hairs, we'll never reach an agreement!
|hairy at the heel||A person who is hairy at the heel
is thought to be untrustworthy or even
Rumour has it that the owner of the club is a bit hairy at the heel.
|hale and hearty||Someone, especially an old person, who
is hale and hearty is in excellent
My grandmother is still hale and hearty at the age of ninety.
|half the battle||This expression refers to a significant
part of the effort or work needed to achieve
We've already obtained a loan for the project - that's half the battle!
|half an eye||If you have or keep half an eye
on something, you watch it without giving it
your full attention.
She kept half an eye on the TV screen while she was preparing dinner.
|half a mind||If you have half a mind to do
something, you are thinking seriously about
it but have not yet reached a decision.
I've half a mind to start up my own business but first I need some advice.
|(you don't know the) half of it||This expression is used to tell someone
that they know some of the facts but they
don't know how bad the situation is.
You don't know the half of it! He was beating her and terrorizing the children. That's why she left him.
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