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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - K

(Idioms K, page 3 :  a kickback  →  kowtow to someone)

a kickback This expression refers to money paid illegally for favourable treatment.
The property developers were accused of giving kickbacks to the local authorities.
kill two birds with one stone If you kill two birds with one stone, you succeed in doing two things at the same time.
By studying on the train on the way home, Claire kills two birds with one stone.
kill with kindness When you are excessive in your efforts to be helpful or generous, you can harm someone, or kill them with kindness.
The children are overweight, but their grandmother continues to give them chocolates and cookies - she'll kill them with kindness!
kindred spirit People who have a lot in common and share the same beliefs, attitudes and feelings are kindred spirits.
The immediately felt they were kindred spirits and became close friends.
kiss goodbye to something If you accept as certain that you will not get something that you want, you kiss (or say) goodbye to it.
There will be no bonus this year, so I can kiss goodbye to that car I wanted!
on its knees When something such as a country or organisation is on its knees, or brought to its knees, it is in a very weak situation.
The civil war brought the country to its knees.
knee-high to a grasshopper This term refers to a very young or small child.
Look how tall you are!  Last time I saw you, you were knee-high to a grasshopper!
knickers in a twist If you get your knickers in a twist, you are angry, nervous or upset faced with a difficult situation.
Don't get your knickers in a twist!  Everything is under control.
knock sense into When you knock sense into somebody, you use strong words or methods in order to get that person to stop behaving stupidly.
When Jason announced that he was going to drop out of college, his uncle managed to knock some sense into him.
knock your socks off If something amazes you, or impresses you greatly, it knocks your socks off.
The magnitude of the project will knock the socks off everyone in the office.
knock down with feather To say 'you could have knocked me down with a feather' emphasizes the fact that you were extremely surprised.
When I heard the name of the winner, you could have knocked me down with a feather!
know someone inside out If you know someone inside out, you know them very well.
Sue and Anne have been friends since childhood.  They know each other inside out.
know the score When you know the score, you are well-informed about a situation and know what to expect.
If Laura damages the car, her dad won't lend it to her again.  She knows the score.
know your own mind If you know your own mind, you know what you want or like, and are capable of making a decision.
I don't want to influence you.  You're old enough to know your own mind.
know which side your bread is buttered If you know which side your bread is buttered, you know where your interests lie or what will be to your advantage.
Jack never argues with his father-in-law.  He knows which side his bread is buttered.
know which way the wind is blowing This expression means that it is advisable to know how a situation is developing in order to be prepared for any changes.
Before we decide on anything, we need to know which way the wind is blowing.
knuckle down to If someone knuckles down to something, they start to work on it seriously.
If you want to succeed, you'll have to knuckle down to some serious work.
kowtow to someone If you are very respectful and submissive, giving way to the wishes of a person or organisation in authority in order to please them, you kowtow to them.
Mark refused to kowtow to the committee and decided to work as a consultant.
   
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alphabetical lists K ...

K1 K2 K3
 more alphabetical lists ... 
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