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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List of Idioms - H

(Idioms H page 5 :   have kittens  →  hear through the grapevine)

have kittens To say  that you're going to have kittens is a dramatic way of expressing worry, anxiety or fear.
His mother nearly had kittens when Alex announced that he wanted to be a trapeze artist.
have the makings of A person who has the makings of something has qualities and potential that could be developed.
The teacher says Sarah has the makings of an excellent journalist.
make hay while the sun shines This expression is used as an encouragement to take advantage of a good situation which may not last.
Successful athletes are advised to make hay while the sun shines.
head and shoulders above To say that one person is head and shoulders above the others means that they are much better than the rest  of them.
The award winner was head and shoulders above the others.
old head on young shoulders This expression refers to a child or young person who thinks and expresses themselves like an older more-experienced person.
When she heard Emily warning her brother to stay out of trouble, her mother thought : "That's an old head on young shoulders."
head against brick wall If you bang your head against a brick wall, you continue vainly to try and achieve something in spite of several unsuccessful attempts.
I've been banging my head against a brick wall trying to explain the internet to my grandmother.
head in the clouds If you have your head in the clouds, you are so absorbed by your thoughts that you are not paying attention to what is happening around you.
He doesn't listen to the teacher - he's got his head in the clouds all the time!
head on a platter If someone makes you so angry that you want them to be punished, you want their head on a platter.
He was so angry when he read the article about his family that he wanted the journalist's head on a platter.
head screwed on Someone who has their head screwed on is a sensible and realistic person.
Don't worry about him. He's adventurous but he's got his head screwed on.
head start If you have a head start, you have an advantage that enables you to make progress more quickly and have a greater chance of success.
Bringing detailed maps of the area gave us a head start over the others in the treasure hunt.
head over heels in love When a person falls passionately in love with another, they are said to be head over heels in love.
Tony's only interest at the moment is Maria.  He's head over heels in love with her!
headless chicken If a person rushes about like a headless chicken, they act in a disorderly way, without thinking or analyzing the situation carefully.
As soon as the store opened, my mother started running around like a headless chicken, eager to find bargains.
hear a pin drop To say that you could hear a pin drop means that it is so silent you could hear the slightest noise.
People were listening so intently that you could hear a pin drop.
hear through the grapevine If you hear of something through the grapevine, you learn about it informally, for example through friends or colleagues.
"How did you hear that?" "Oh, through the grapevine as usual!"
 
...back next...
 

  alphabetical lists H ... 

H1 H2 H3 H4 H5 H6 H7 H8 H9 H10 H11 H12

  more alphabetical lists ... 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z