English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|not to be sneezed at||Something that is
not to be sneezed at should not be
rejected or refused.
If I were you I'd accept the proposal. An offer like that is not to be sneezed at.
|snowed under||Someone who is
snowed under has so many things to do,
usually work, that they unable to cope with
With the 'flu epidemic, doctors and nurses are completely snowed under.
|snug as a bug in a rug||This is a humorous
way of saying that you are warm and
Wrapped up in a blanket on the sofa, Sophie looked as snug as a bug in a rug.
|social butterfly||A person who has a
lot of friends and acquaintances and likes
to flit from one social event to another is
called a social butterfly.
Jessica is constantly out and about; she's a real social butterfly.
|soft option||If you choose the
easiest course of action available, which is
usually not very effective, you take a
Their father took a soft option and confiscated the skateboard for the week-end, hoping his sons would stop quarrelling.
|soft spot||If you have a
soft spot for someone or something, you
particularly like them.
My grandfather has always had a soft spot for fast cars.
|soften the blow||When someone tries
to soften the blow, they do
something to make an unpleasant event or
action easier to accept.
In spite of the extra payments given to soften the blow, the loss of their jobs was a catastrophe for the miners.
|go for a song||If something
goes for a song, it is sold at an
unexpectedly low price.
I was able to buy the car simply because it was going for a song.
|sound/smell fishy||If something
sounds or smells fishy, you are
suspicious about it.
Do you believe what she said? Her story sounds fishy to me!
|sound hollow||If an explanation,
apology or promise sounds hollow,
it seems false or insincere.
I don't think he's sorry at all. His apology sounded hollow to me.
|from soup to nuts||If you do something
from soup to nuts, you do it all
the way through, from the beginning to the
end (like from the first to the last course
of a meal).
She told us the whole story, from soup to nuts.
|sour grapes||To say that someone's attitude is
'sour grapes' means that they are
trying to make others believe that something
they cannot have is of no importance.
When she didn't get the job she said she wasn't interested in it anyway, but that's just sour grapes!
|sow seeds of suspicion||If someone's
behaviour, or something they say, sows
the seeds of suspicion, it leads people
to suspect that they are guilty.
The fact that the boy spent a lot of money after the burglary sowed the seeds of suspicion in the neigbours' minds.
|sow wild oats||A person, usually a
man, who sows their wild oats goes
through a period of carefree
pleasure-seeking while they are young.
He was advised to sow his wild oats before he got married.
|spanner in the works||If someone or
throws a spanner (or a wrench) in the works,
they do something that causes problems and
prevents the success of a plan or event.
The two companies were keen to sign the agreement before anything happened to throw a spanner in the works.
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