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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List of Idioms - L

(page 4  :  let me bounce this   →   keep a lid on)

let me bounce this off you  You can say this when you present an idea or plan to someone in order to test their reaction or obtain feedback.
I think I've found a way of making money. Let me bounce this off you.
let the cat out of the bag If you let the cat out of the bag, you reveal a secret, often unintentionally.
When the child told her grandmother about the plans for her birthday, she let the cat out of the bag.  It was supposed to be a secret!
let one's hair down If you suggest that someone should let their hair down, you are telling them to relax and enjoy themselves.
Come on!  We're not in the office now.  You can let your hair down!
let off steam A person who lets off steam releases surplus energy or strong feelings either through intense physical activity or by talking in an unrestrained manner.
Let's bring the kids to the playground so they can let off steam.
let ride When you decide to do nothing about a particular situation and allow it to remain as it is, you let it ride.
Bill didn't like the way his wife spoke to the operator, but he let it ride because he didn't want another quarrel.
let sleeping dogs lie If you tell someone to let sleeping dogs lie, you are asking them not to interfere with a situation because they could cause problems.
Look, they've settled their differences.  It's time to let sleeping dogs lie.
let slip through fingers If you let something slip through your fingers, such as a good opportunity, you fail to obtain it or keep it.
He should have accepted the job when it was offered. He let the opportunity slip through his fingers.
to the letter If you follow instructions or directions to the letter, you do exactly as is told or written.
Although she followed the instructions to the letter, she couldn't get the DVD player to work.
on the level If you say that someone is on the level, you are referring to a truthful or honest person.
Tell me straight : Is he on the level or not?
barefaced liar Someone who lies easily, with a total lack of shame, is called a barefaced liar.
That barefaced liar stole my watch and then said that he'd found it!
licence to print money An officially authorized activity which enables people to make a lot of money without much effort is called a licence to print money.
The contract to supply computers to schools was a licence to print money.
lick/smack your lips A person who is licking (or smacking) their lips is showing that they are excited about something and are eager for it to happen.
He was licking his lips at the idea of the money he was going to make.
lick and promise If you give something a lick and a promise, you make a quick attempt to clean it, with the intention of doing it more thoroughly later.
She gave the kitchen a lick and a promise before she ran to catch the bus.
lick into shape If you make an effort to put someone or something into satisfactory condition or appearance, you lick them into shape.
I've got to lick this place into shape before my in-laws arrive.
lick someone's boots To say that one person is licking another's boots means that they are trying to please that person, often in order to obtain something.
Sam is licking the manager's boots in the hope of obtaining a pay rise.
lick one's wounds When a person licks their wounds, they try to recover their confidence or spirits after a defeat, failure or disappointment.
Poor Harry is licking his wounds after being dropped from the team.
keep a 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.
   
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