English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - H
|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
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
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
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
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
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
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!"
alphabetical lists H ...
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