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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms H, page 11

Idioms H, page 11:  from:   'by hook or by crook'   to:   'horses for courses'


  • 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 a 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 is 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 options.
      "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"

  • 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 entirely different.
      "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 very hungry.
      "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!"

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