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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - P

(page 7 : play footsie  → pleased as punch)

play footsie If you play footsie with someone, you touch their feet lightly, especially under the table, to show your interest.
Pete says they were playing footsie at the office Christmas lunch.
play to the gallery A person who plays to the gallery tries to gain popularity by behaving in a way that will appeal to the majority.
It's no secret that he got elected by playing to the gallery.
play the game If you play the game, you accept to do things according to generally-accepted customs or code of behaviour.
Not all website owners play the game. Some download content from other sites without permission.
play games with someone If you are not completely honest, or behave in a way that is insincere, evasive or intentionally misleading, you are playing games with someone.
Look, stop playing games with us.  Just tell us if you're interested in the project or not.
play havoc If someone or something plays havoc, they cause disorder and confusion.
The floods played havoc with the construction work.
play the market If you play the market, you buy stocks and shares in the hope of making a profit when you sell them.
It's always tempting to play the market, but it's more risky at the present time.
play by the rules If you play by the rules, you behave in a fair and honest way with people.
You can trust him, don't worry.  He always plays by the rules.
play into someone's hands If you play into someone's hands, you do exactly what your opponent or enemy wants you to do, so that they gain an advantage over you.
When the leaders of the protest movement became violent, they played right into the hands of the police.
play possum When someone plays possum, they pretend to be dead or asleep in order to avoid something they don't want to do.
Sarah's not asleep.  She's just playing possum because she doesn't want to come swimming.
play second fiddle If you play second fiddle to another person, you accept to be second in importance to that person, or have a lower position.
John resented having to play second fiddle to the sales manager when the company was restructured.
play for time If you play for time, you try to delay or prevent something from happening in order to gain an advantage.
He decided to play for time in the hope that the price would decrease.
play truant A young person who plays truant stays away from school without permission or excuse.
Ben has no reason to be absent from school - he's playing truant again!
play a waiting game If you play a waiting game, you deliberately delay taking action in order to be able to act more effectively later.
The cat keeps its eye on the bird, carefully playing a waiting game.
(not) playing with a full deck (of cards) Someone who is not playing with a full deck (of cards) lacks intelligence or does not have full mental abilities.
Old Mrs.Whitehead was not playing with a full deck when she bought that fancy lawnmower!
pleased/proud as punch Someone who is as pleased or as proud as punch is delighted or feels very satisfied about something.
Danny was as proud as punch when he won the tennis match.
guilty pleasure Enjoying something which is not generally held in high regard, while at the same time feeling a bit guilty about it, is called a guilty pleasure.
Reading gossip magazines is a guilty pleasure for many women… and some men too!
   
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 alphabetical lists P ... 

P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 P7 P8 P9 P10 P11 P12 P13

 more alphabetical lists ... 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z