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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List of Idioms - M

(page 9 :  move in same circles  → my way or the highway)

move in same circles When people move in the same circles, they socialize with others who have a similar background, interests or lifestyle.
I've never met the Duchess personally. We don't move in the same circles!
move up in the world A person who moves up in the world becomes more important in society or successful in their career.
Rachel Jones has moved up in the world since we were kids.
movers and shakers The term movers and shakers refers to people in power who take an active part in making things happen.
Mover and shakers  are assembling in Brussels for the summit.
much of a muchness This expression means 'very similar' or 'almost alike'.
It's hard to choose between the two - they're much of a muchness really.
much ado about nothing If people make much ado about nothing, they make a lot of fuss about something which is not important.
A discussion took place about the colour of the receptionist's shoes - much ado about nothing!
much obliged Some people use this expression to say that they are very grateful.
"It's raining Mr. Brown - take my umbrella."  "Much obliged."
as much use as a handbrake on a canoe This expression refers to something which is completely useless or serves no purpose.
With no electricity, a refrigerator would be as much use as a handbrake on a canoe!
muddy the waters If you muddy the waters, you make something less clear by giving confusing information.
I had difficulty understanding, and Alan's explanation just muddied the waters!
mug's game An unprofitable or ill-advised activity that only a fool (mug) would do is called a mug's game.
Spending hours making home-made cakes for a few customers is a mug's game.
mum's the word To say 'mum's the word' means that the subject or plan is a secret and must not be revealed.
We're organizing a surprise birthday party, so mum's the work - OK?
murder something If you say that you could murder something, such as food or drink, you mean that you want it very much.
I'm so hot and thirsty I could murder a cool drink!
be murder If something is murder, it is very difficult or uncomfortable.
The journey home through the storm was absolute murder!
get away with murder Someone who gets away with murder can do something unacceptable without being punished or criticized.
Some parents let their kids get away with murder.
murphy's law Referring to Murphy's law expresses a sentiment of bad luck and the idea that if anything can go wrong, it will.
We've tried to prepare for every possible incident, but remember Murphy's law ...!
face the music If you have to face the music, you have to accept the unpleasant consequences of your actions.
He was caught stealing. Now he has to face the music!
music to one's ears If something is music to your ears, the information that you receive makes you feel very happy.
His compliments were music to my ear.
mutton dressed as lamb This expression refers to a middle-aged woman who tries to look younger by dressing in clothes designed for younger people.
The style doesn't suit her - it has a mutton-dressed-as-lamb effect on her!
my way or highway If you say to someone 'it's my way or the highway', you are telling them that either they accept to do as you say or they leave the project.
You don't have much choice when someone says: 'it's my way or the highway.'!
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