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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - N

(page 4 :  no holds barred → not give the time of day)

no holds barred This expression, which derives from wrestling, is used to describe something done with no restraints, limits or rules of conduct.
It's a live talk show with no holds barred, which is not to everyone's taste.
no picnic An activity or task that is no picnic is unpleasant or difficult.
Tom is a bit depressed these days, but then job-hunting is no picnic.
no smoke without fire If many people say that something bad is happening,  there is possibly some truth in it.
Although no proof was ever found, people continue to say: 'There's no smoke without fire'.
no two ways about it To say that there are no two ways about something means that there is only one suitable ay of dealing with something.
There are no two ways about it. You can't accept the money, so you must give it back.
no use crying over spilt milk This expression means that it is useless to complain or have regrets about something that is done and cannot be changed.
Sometimes I regret not accepting the offer, but it's no use crying over spilt milk.
nodding terms If you are on nodding terms with someone, you don't know them very well, just well enough to say 'hello' when you meet them.
We haven't made any friends yet but we're on nodding terms with our neighbours.
non sequitur This Latin term refers to a statement which does not seem to be a logical follow-up to the previous statement or argument.
After announcing the merger, the chairman began talking about global warming which seemed a complete non sequitur.
none the wiser If you do not know more about something after obtaining an explanation, or if you fail to find information on the subject, you are none the wiser.
I tried to understand the voting system but I was none the wiser after Joe's explanation.
use one's noodle If you use your noodle, you use your brain or your common sense.
How did I figure that out? I just used my noodle!
nose out of joint If something puts your nose out of joint, it offends or annoys you.
When he discovered he wasn't on the invitation list,  that really put his nose out of joint!
not all there Someone who is not all there behaves strangely at times, or seems a bit odd.
Our new neighbour wears a hat and coat even in summer; he's not all there!
not for all the tea in China To say that you would not do something for all the tea in China means that you would not do it under any conditions.
I wouldn't live there for all the tea in China.
not for love or money If you say that you cannot or will not do something for love or money, you mean that you will not do it under any circumstances.
I would not try bungee jumping for love or money!
not getting anywhere If you are not getting anywhere, you are making no progress at all.
I've spent the whole day looking for a solution but I'm not getting anywhere.
not give a hoot! To say that you don't or couldn't give a hoot means that you don't care at all about something.
She wears eccentric clothes but she couldn't give a hoot about what others think.
not give the time of day If you dislike someone so strongly that you ignore them and refuse to speak to them, you do not give them the time of day.
Sarah's parents dislike her boyfriend so much they won't even give him the time of day!
   
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