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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - K

(Idioms K, page 1 : kangaroo court → keep nose to grindstone)

kangaroo court A kangaroo court is an illegal tribunal set up by a group of people who have taken the law into their own hands and conduct trials which deny fundamental justice.
Calm down please!  Is this a meeting or a kangaroo court?
keen as mustard If someone is as keen as mustard, they are very eager, enthusiastic or motivated.
We should ask Emily to join the team.  She's as keen as mustard.
keep at arm's length If you keep someone at arm's length, you do not allow yourself to become too friendly with them.
It's not easy to become friends with Sophie; she tends to keep everyone at arm's length.
keep your back covered If you do something in case a problem arises later for which you might be blamed, you keep your back covered.
You'd better make a copy of that letter to keep your back covered.
keep body and soul together If someone is able to keep body and soul together, they manage to survive.
He was unemployed and homeless, but somehow he managed to keep body and soul together.
keep a civil tongue People who keep a civil tongue express themselves in polite terms.
Don't speak so rudely! You must learn to keep a civil tongue in all circumstances.
keep your ear to the ground If you keep your ear to the ground, you make sure that you are aware of all that is happening and being said.
We don't know what has been decided, but Jack is  keeping his ear to the ground!
keep one's feet on the ground A person who keeps their feet on the ground continues to act in a sensible and practical way, even if they become successful.
His invention was an instant success but he kept his feet on the ground and invested his money very wisely.
keep finger on pulse If you keep a finger on the pulse, you are constantly aware of the most recent events or developments.
A successful investor keeps his finger on the pulse of international business.
keep fingers crossed If you keep your fingers crossed, you hope that something will be successful.
I'm doing my driving test tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!
keep head above water To keep one's head above water means to try to survive by staying out of debt, for example a small business.
Business has been slow, but we've managed to keep our head above water.
keep a level head If you keep a level head,  you remain calm and sensible no matter  how difficult or distressful the situation may be.
All through the hijacking the pilot kept a level  head.
keep the lid on If you keep the lid on something, you hide it or control it to prevent people from finding out about it.
The company tried to keep a lid on the negotiations but word got out to the press.
keep a low profile A person who keeps a low profile tries not to attract public attention.
The inventor is a discreet man who keeps a low profile.
keep your nose clean A person who keeps their nose clean behaves well and avoids trouble.
He spent a term in prison a few years ago but he's kept his nose clean ever since.
keep nose to the grindstone A person who keeps their nose to the grindstone is someone who concentrates on working  or studying hard.
She was so determined to get into the college of her choice that she kept her nose to the grindstone all year.

alphabetical lists K ...

K1 K2 K3
 more alphabetical lists ...