English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - H
|horse of a different colour||To describe a
person or a problem as a horse of a
different colour means either that the
person does things differently from others,
or that the nature of the problem is
I expected to negotiate with the sales manager, but the chairman turned up - now he's a horse of a different colour!
|horse sense||Someone who has
horse sense is a practical thinker who
has the ability to make sensible decisions.
Don't worry. Andrew has good horse sense. He'll do the right thing.
|dark horse||If you refer to
someone as a dark horse you mean
that they are secretive or that little is
known about them.
I can't say I know my neighbour. He's a bit of a dark horse.
|could eat a horse||To say that you
could eat a horse means that you are
Let's get something to eat. I'm starving. I could eat a horse!
|flog a horse||To say that someone
is flogging (or beating) a dead
horse means that they are wasting time
and effort trying to do or achieve something
that is impossible.
Mark is flogging a dead horse trying to get his money reimbursed. The company has gone bankrupt.
|horses for courses||This expression
means that because horses race better on a
course that suits them, it is important to
match people with suitable jobs or tasks. A
person suited to one activity may not be
suited to another.
His experience in sales doesn't necessarily make him ideal for the job. Horses for courses, as the saying goes!
|straight from horse's mouth||If you learn
something straight from the horse's
mouth, the information is given to you
by someone who is directly involved.
"How do you know Sam has resigned?"
"I got it straight from the horse's mouth - Sam told me himself!"
|hot off the press||If a news article,
for example, is hot off the press,
it has just been published and contains the
most recent information on the subject.
I just got it hot off the press; another bank has gone bankrupt.
|hot on the trail||If you are hot
on the trail of someone or something,
you are very close to finding them.
The police are hot on the trail of the bank robber.
|hot under the collar||If you get hot
under the collar, you feel annoyed,
indignant or embarrassed.
If anyone criticizes his proposals, Joe immediately gets hot under the collar.
|hot potato||A hot potato is
a very sensitive and controversial matter
which is difficult to deal with.
The new Prime Minister hasn't been confronted with any hot potatoes yet.
|like a house on fire||Two people who get
on like a house on fire have
similar interests and quickly become good
As soon as Sarah met her brother's girlfriend, they got on like a house on fire.
|(not) give house room||If you refuse to
give house room to someone or
something, you do not accept them into your
home because you dislike or disapprove of
I wouldn't give house room to that painting - it's grotesque!
alphabetical lists H ...
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