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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms P, page 2

Idioms P, page 2:  from:   'paper tiger'   to:   'not a patch on'


  • paper tiger
    • This term refers to a person, organisation or country that is less powerful or threatening than they appear to be.
      "He threatens to take strong action but he's just another paper tiger."

  • paper trail
    • If a person or organisation leaves a paper trail, they leave evidence in writing or in document form that will serve as proof of their actions.
      "The police found a paper trail which lead to the author of the hoax."

  • on paper
    • To say that an idea, plan or scheme seems good on paper means that it looks good in theory or in writing but may not work when put into practice.
      "His plan looks good on paper but I'm not convinced it will work."

  • par for the course
    • If something is par for the course, it is typical of what to expect in that particular situation.
      "I spent the week-end working on the project but nobody showed any appreciation. That's par for the course in this firm."

  • part and parcel
    • Something that is part and parcel of an activity or role is a key component or an essential element that cannot be avoided.
      "I'm an events manager. Travelling is part and parcel of my job."

  • parting shot
    • A parting shot is a final remark, often incisive or disparaging, made just as one is leaving.
      "He has a way of making parting shots that can be very discouraging."

  • partner in crime
    • A person who helps you to plan something dishonest or unlawful is called your partner in crime.
      (This expression can be used jokingly as in the example below.)
      "Sam was my partner in crime. He hid my son's bicycle until his birthday."

  • (the) party is over
    • To say that the party is over means that a period of happiness, freedom, enjoyment etc. has come to an end, and life is going to return to normal.
      "I had a wonderful time here but the party's over and I must get back to work."

  • pass the buck
    • If you say that someone is passing the buck, you are accusing them of not taking responsibility for a problem and letting others deal with it instead.
      "Whenever a customer comes to complain, she always finds a way of looking busy - a great way of passing the buck!"

  • pass muster
    • If someone or something passes muster, they are considered to be satisfactory or acceptable.
      "The interview went well. I hope I'll pass muster."

  • passing fancy
    • If you have a passing fancy for something, you become fond of it for a short time.
      "My father started collecting stamps a few years ago, but it was just a passing fancy."

  • (a) pat answer
    • A simplified response that is memorized or prepared in advance is called a .
      "Many journalists at the press conference found his pat answers totally frustrating."

  • have (something) down pat
    • If you memorize or practice something until you know it perfectly or have it exactly right, you have it down pat.
      "I rehearsed my presentation until I had it down pat."

  • not a patch on
    • If something or someone is not a patch on an other, they are not nearly as good.
      "His second conference wasn't a patch on the first one."

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