English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - H
|wash your hands of||If you wash
your hands of a problem or situation,
you refuse to deal with it any longer.
You can't just wash your hands of David's behaviour. He's your son!
|handbrake on a canoe||Is something is
as much use as a handbrake on a canoe,
it is completely useless or serves no
With no electricity, a refrigerator would be as much use as a handbrake on a canoe.
|handle with kid gloves||If you handle
someone with kid gloves, you treat them
very carefully or tactfully, either because
they are very important or because they are
He is so determined to obtain her agreement that he is handling her with kid gloves.
|fly off the handle||A person who
flies off the handle becomes suddenly
Dad flew off the handle when I told him I had damaged his new car!
|get the hang of||When you get
the hang of an activity, you now know
how to do it correctly.
The apprentice found the task difficult at first but he soon got the hang of it.
|hang in there||This expression is
used to encourage someone to persevere and
not give up in spite of the difficult
I know the atmosphere is very tense, but just hang in there and things will eventually calm down.
|hang on for dear life||If you hang (or
hold) on for dear life, you grip
something firmly so as not to fall.
Andy took his mother on the back of his motorbike where she hung on for dear life!
|hang on by fingernails||When you hang
on by the fingernails, you succeed in
continuing to do something in a very
The restaurant is losing more and more customers; the owner is just hanging on by his fingernails.
|hang out to dry||If you abandon
someone who is in difficulty, without giving
any assistance or support, you hang them
out to dry.
You'll get no help from Jack. He'll hang you out to dry if your plan fails.
|hang up one's boots||When a sports
player hangs up their boots, they
stop playing and retire. (This expression is
often used to refer to retirement in
Dad says he's going to hang up his boots at the end of the year.
|have a hangover||To have a
hangover means to suffer from the
unpleasant after-effects of drinking too
Many young people have a hangover after a party or celebration.
|happy camper||Someone who is a
happy camper is generally content
or satisfied with what is happening in their
lives and has no complaints.
With his new job and his new car, Andy is a happy camper.
|happy as a flea||If someone is (as)
happy as a flea in a doghouse, they are
very happy and contented.
Since she moved to a smaller apartment, my mother is as happy as a flea in a doghouse!
|happy as Larry||If you are (as)
happy as Larry, you are very happy
My dad's as happy as Larry at the week-end when we all arrive home.
alphabetical lists H ...
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