English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|sling mud||To say that someone
is slinging mud at another person
means that they are trying to damage that
person's reputation by saying bad things
During election campaigns, candidates often sling mud at each other.
|give someone the slip||If you give
somebody the slip, you manage to hide
or get away from the person who is following
The police were on his trail, but he managed to give them the slip.
|slipped my mind||If something has
slipped your mind, you have
forgotten about it.
Oh dear! It slipped my mind that the shops were closed today!
|slippery as an eel||To say that someone
is as slippery as an eel means that
they are difficult to catch and they manage
to avoid answering questions.
The man was as slippery as an eel. He was arrested for theft several times but was never convicted.
|slush fund||A slush fund
is an account or fund in politics or
business where money is set aside for
various unofficial purposes, often unethical
or even illegal.
A large commission taken from the slush fund ensured the success of the negotiations.
|(as) sly as a fox||Someone who is
as sly as a fox is cunning and clever
at getting what they want, especially by
deceiving or tricking people.
Be wary of that insurance salesman. He's known to be as sly as a fox.
|on the sly||If you do something
on the sly, you do it secretly or
He made such quick progress that the others suspected him of having private lessons on the sly.
|small dog, tall weeds||This expression is
used to refer to someone who does not have
the ability or the resources necessary to
perform a task.
It may be too difficult for the trainee - small dog, tall weeds!
|small fry||People or
organisations that are considered
unimportant can be referred to as small
This term can also refer to young children.
The police seized a large quantity of drugs, and some small fry, but not the organisers they were hoping to catch.
|small hours||The term 'the
small hours' means after midnight or
the very early hours of the day.
Sarah worked until the small hours on her speech for the ceremony.
|small potatoes||Something that is
small potatoes is considered
unimportant or insignificant.
Her first publication was considered small potatoes but her new book has lead to a change of opinion.
|it's a small world||This expression is
used by someone who is surprised to meet
familiar people in unexpected places.
Wow! It's a small world. I never expected to meet a neighbour on a transatlantic flight!
|smart alec||A smart alec
is an annoying self-assertive person who
tries to show off how clever they are.
Some smart alec interrupted the game claiming that the answers were incorrect!
|smash hit||A very successful
performance in music, films, theatre, etc.
is called a smash hit.
The film 'Titanic' was a smash hit all over the world.
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