English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - L
|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
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.
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
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
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
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,
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
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.
alphabetical lists L ...
more alphabetical lists ...