English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - P
|in for a penny, in for a pound||This expression
means that once you start doing something,
you might just as well do it wholeheartedly
and not stop at half-measures.
Joe finally accepted to be on the committee, then he accepted to be the chairman. "In for a penny, in for a pound'." he said!
|penny for your thoughts||This phrase is used
to ask someone what they are thinking about.
You look pensive. A penny for your thoughts.
|turn up like a bad penny||If someone
turns up like a bad penny, they appear
at a place or event where they are not
welcome or not wanted.
I try to avoid Jane, but wherever I go she turns up like a bad penny!
|perish the thought||This expression is
used when the speaker really hopes that
something will not happen.
If I lost my job, perish the thought, I don't know how we'd survive.
|put in the right perspective||When people see
or put things in their right perspective,
they keep in proportion all the elements of
a situation, without exaggerating the
importance of any aspect.
If Tom could see things in their right perspective, the situation would be less stressful for him.
|pervert the course of justice||If a person
perverts the course of justice, they
tell a lie or prevent the police from
finding out the truth about something.
The suspect was accused of trying to pervert the course of justice.
|pester power||This term refers to
the power children exert over their parents
by continually nagging or pestering them
until they accept to buy advertised toys or
Pester power leads busy parents to buy more and more for their children.
|pick brains||If you pick
someone's brains, you ask questions
about a particular subject in order to
obtain advice or information.
Could we have lunch together? I'd like to pick your brains about something.
|pick a fight||Someone who
picks a fight deliberately looks for an
opportunity to start a quarrel or begin an
Our new neighbour seizes every occasion to pick a fight.
|pick holes||If someone
picks holes in something such as a
plan, an idea or a proposal, they criticize
it or try to find fault with it.
Why don't you make a suggestion instead of picking holes in all my ideas!
|pick up the pieces||After a disastrous
event, if you pick up the pieces
you do what you can to get the situation
back to normal again.
After fire destroyed their house, it took them a long time to pick up the pieces.
|pick up steam||If a project or
process picks up steam, it starts
to develop or become more active.
The campaign started slowly but picked up steam after Christmas.
|pick up the tab||If you pick up
the tab, you pay the bill or pay the
cost of something.
There was a celebration lunch for the team and Bill picked up the tab.
in a pickle
||If you are in a
pickle, you are in a difficult
situation and need help.
My car won't start and the trains are on strike today, so I'm in a real pickle!
|no picnic||A situation or
activity that is no picnic is
difficult or problematic.
Raising teenagers nowadays is no picnic believe me!
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