English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - H
|holier-than-thou||The attitude of
people who consider themselves to be more
virtuous or morally superior to others can
be called 'holier-than-thou'.
I can't stand the holier-than-thou attitude of some political candidates.
|hollow victory||A victory obtained
in unsatisfactory conditions, which as a
result seems worthless or without
significance for the winner, is called a
Won in the absence of the major ski champions, his gold medal was a hollow victory.
|on the home stretch||To say that you are
on the home stretch means that you are
approaching the end of something such as a
task, a race or a journey.
Don't give up - we're on the home stretch now.
|home truths||If you tell
somebody some home truths, you tell
them some unpleasant facts about themselves
which are often difficult to accept.
David needs to be told some home truths, whether he likes it or not!
|honeymoon is over||To say that the
honeymoon is over means that the initial
of friendship and cooperation between people, groups or organisations has ended.
He was elected only six months ago, but the honeymoon is already over.
|honour among thieves||This expression
means that even criminals have a sense of
loyalty and they respect a certain code of
The bank robber refused to reveal the names of his accomplices which shows that there is honour among thieves.
|by hook or by crook||If you say that you
will do something by hook or by crook,
you mean that you will succeed in doing
it in whatever way is necessary, whether it
is honest or not.
I'll get my revenge, by hook or by crook!
|get off the hook||If you do something
wrong and manage to get off the hook,
you avoid punishment or blame.
Barry was questioned by the police but his lawyer managed to get him off the hook.
|hook, line and sinker||If you fall for a
story or an explanation hook, line and
sinker, you completely believe it.
I didn't think he'd believe my story, but he fell for it hook, line and sinker!
|(not) give a hoot||To say that you
don't or couldn't give a hoot means
that you don't care at all about something.
She wears eccentric clothes but she couldn't give a hoot about what others think.
|hop, skip and jump||To say that a thing
or place is only a hop, skip and a jump
away from another means that they are very
close to each other.
The school's just a hop, skip and a jump away from our new house.
|hope against hope||If you hope
against hope, you continue to hope even
when the situation looks bad.
The whole building was destroyed by fire. John's parents are hoping against hope that he escaped in time.
|horns of a dilemma||If you are on
the horns of a dilemma, you are faced
with a choice between two equally unpleasant
I'm on the horns of a dilemma; I have to choose between a boring job with a good salary or a more interesting job with a lower salary.
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