English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|spinach cinema||Films that are neither exciting nor interesting but are considered educational or uplifting, in the same way as certain foods are good for your health, are referred to as spinach cinema.|
|spiral out of control||When difficulties
or costs spiral out of control,
they get worse or increase continuously,
creating a situation that becomes difficult
Some items were expensive but we were careful not to let the costs spiral out of control.
|spit in someone's eye||If you spit in
someone's eye, you treat that person
with disrespect or contempt.
Your father raised you as best he could. Don't start spitting in his eye.
|spitting image||If one person is
the spitting image of another, they
look exactly like each other.
Sarah is the spitting image of her mother.
|spitting in the wind||If you spend time
trying to do something that is impossible to
achieve, you are said to be spitting in
You'll never make him change his mind. You're just spitting in the wind.
|splash out on||If you splash
out on something, you spend a lot of
money on it.
Chloe's parents really splashed out on her wedding.
|split hairs||If you split
hairs, you pay too much attention to
differences that are very small or
If we start splitting hairs, we'll never reach an agreement.
|sponge off someone||If you sponge
off someone, you live at the expense of
another person, accepting their hospitality
without sharing the costs or doing something
Amy has been sponging off her grandparents for the past two months. She neither shares the expenses nor helps in the house.
|spoon feed||If a person is
spoon-fed, they are helped too much
rather than encouraged to think by
themselves or use their own initiative.
Some teachers tend to spoon-feed their pupils.
|put someone on the spot||If you put
someone on the spot, you put them in a
for example by asking difficult questions which they cannot avoid.
The reporter was put on the spot when he was asked to reveal his source.
|(be) spot on||If something is
spot on, it is exactly right.
That bag is an absolute match for my outfit! The colour is spot on!
|spread like wildfire||If something such
as news, rumours or gossip spreads like
it becomes widely known very fast.
As soon as the nomination was announced, the news spread like wildfire.
|spread one's wings||When someone
spreads their wings, they become
independent, begin to use their abilities
and develop their interests.
There comes a time when young people must be encouraged to spread their wings.
|spread oneself too thin||If you spread
yourself too thin, you do too many
things at the same time and can't do any of
Don't spread yourself too thin or you'll get nowhere.
|no spring chicken||To say that someone
is no spring chicken means that
they are quite old or well past their youth.
"How old is the owner?" "I don't know, but she's no spring chicken."
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