English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - H
|(all) hell broke loose||To say that
(all) hell broke loose means that there
was a sudden angry, noisy reaction to
All hell broke loose when it was announced that the plant was going to close down.
|(come) hell or high water||If you declare that
you will do something come hell or high
water, you mean that you will do it in
spite of the difficulties involved.
Come hell or high water I've got to be on time for the interview.
|(go to) hell in a handcart||If someone or
something is going to hell in a
their condition is poor and continues to
This used to be a nice place to live, but now the area is going to hell in a handcart.
|hell-bent on something||If you are
hell-bent on doing something, you are
recklessly determined to do it, even if it
is dangerous or stupid.
Although he is still weak, he's hell-bent on playing the match.
|help a lame dog||If you help a
lame dog over a stile, you help someone
who is in difficulty or trouble.
You can trust him - he's always ready to help a lame dog over a stile.
|hem and haw||When someone
hems and haws, they are very evasive
and avoid giving a clear answer.
Bobby hemmed and hawed when his parents asked him where had spent the night.
|herd mentality||People with the
herd mentality tend to do what everyone
else does, no matter how ridiculous or
One example of herd mentality is when people rush to get on the first bus when there are several empty ones waiting.
|herding cats||This expression
refers to the difficulty of coordinating a
situation which involves people who all want
to act independently.
Organizing an outing for a group of people from different countries is like herding cats!
|here today, gone tomorrow||This is said of
something which appears and disappears very
quickly, or does not last long,
The shops in this area change very often - here today, gone tomorrow.
|neither here nor there||Something which is
neither here nor there is
considered to have no effect on the
OK, he lives close to you, but that's neither here nor there. We're talking about his results!
|hide one's light||If you hide
your light under a bushel, you are
modest or do not reveal a talent, quality or
skill you possess.
So you play the saxophone in a club on Saturday nights - you really hide your light under a bushel, don't you!
|hide multitude of sins||If something
hides (or covers) a multitude of sins,
it prevents people from seeing the less
Loose-fitting clothes can cover a multitude of sins!
|hidden agenda||If a person or
organisation has a hidden agenda,
they have hidden interests or ulterior
I can guarantee that we have no hidden agenda. Our intentions have always been clear.
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