English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - P
|put in one's place||If someone causes
offence or irritation by speaking or
behaving in an inappropriate manner, you
put them in their place by letting them
know that they are not as important as they
seem to believe.
The new trainee is not in a position to criticize our methods. He needs to be put in his place!
|put in a good word||If you put in a
good word for someone, you say positive
things in support of that person in order to
If you apply for the job, I'll put in a good word for you.
|put in the picture||If you give
somebody all the information necessary to
enable them to fully understand a situation,
you put them in the picture.
Some changes were made during your absence. Let me put you in the picture.
|put on the long finger||If
you put something on the long finger,
you postpone it indefinitely.
She intends to go back to college, but she keeps putting it on the long finger.
|put on the spot||If you put
someone on the spot, you put them in a
difficult position, for example by asking
difficult questions which they cannot avoid.
The reporter was put on the spot when he was asked to reveal his source.
|put on your thinking cap||If you tell someone to put their
thinking cap on, you ask them to find
an idea or solve a problem by thinking about
Now here's this week's quiz; it's time to put your thinking caps on!
|put out feelers||Before doing
something, if you try to discover what other
people thnk about it by making discreet
enquiries, you put out feelers.
The politician put out feelers to test public reaction to his proposals.
|put out to pasture||To say that someone
has been put out to pasture means
that they have been forced to retire or give
up their responsibilities.
He's in good health and he feels it's too early to be put out to pasture.
|put pants on one leg at a time||To say that someone
puts their pants on one leg at a time
means that the person is a human being no
different from enyone else.
Don't be scared to speak to him. He puts his pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us!
|put shoulder to wheel||If you put your
shoulder to the wheel, you start
putting a lot of effort into a difficult
We'll have to put our shoulders to the wheel to deliver the goods on time.
|put that in your pipe and smoke it||This expressions
means that you have to accept what the
speaker says, whether you like it or not.
I'm not going to buy you a scooter, so put that in your pipe and smoke it!
|put the kibosh on||If you do something
to prevent a plan or activity from happening
or developing, you
put the kibosh on it.
The bank's refusal to grant him a loan put the kibosh on Jack's project.
|put the squeeze on||If you put the
squeeze on someone, you put pressure on
them to force them to do something.
Bob was reluctant to work with Ben until the boss put the squeeze on him.
|put through one's paces||If you put
someone or something through their paces,
you test their ability to do something
by making them perform certain actions.
During the presentation, the new machine was put through its paces.
|put two and two together||A person who can
put two and two together is capable
of reaching the right conclusion based on
the information they have.
Forget your explanation. She won't believe you. She can put two and two together!
|put words in mouth||If you claim that
someone has said something, or suggest what
they should say, you are putting words
in their mouth.
You're putting words in my mouth. I did not say I saw Mr. Brown. I said I saw his car!
|Pyrrhic victory||A victory that is
obtained at a tremendous cost, or causes
such a great loss that it is not worth
winning, is called a Pyrrhic victory.
It was a Pyrrhic victory. The shop owner won the lawsuit but went bankrupt because of the legal expenses involved.
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