English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|a storm in a teacup||To refer to
something as a storm in a teacup
means that people are making a lot of
unnecessary fuss or getting excited about
They were arguing about who should go to the supermarket, but it was just a storm in a teacup.
|in the eye of the storm||A person or
organisation who is in the eye of the
storm is deeply involved in a difficult
situation which affects a lot of people.
The Prime Minister was often in the eye of the storm during the debate on the war in Iraq.
|stormy relationship||If you have a
stormy relationship with someone, you
have a lot of arguments and disagreements.
After a very stormy relationship, they decided to separate.
|cut a long story short||When talking about
something, if you say
'to cut a long story short',
you indicate that you are going to say
what is essential rather than go into the
To cut a long story short, Anne and Jim are getting a divorce.
|(same) old story||A common occurrence,
or something that happens regularly or
always in the same way, is called an old
story or the same old story.
It's always the same old story: we do all the work and the boss takes all the credit!
|straight as an arrow||Someone who is
as straight as an arrow is a morally
upright person who is extremely honest.
You can leave the keys with Andy. He's as straight as an arrow.
|straight as a ramrod||Someone who is
(as) straight as a ramrod is a person
who keeps a straight back and looks very
When my grandfather invited us for dinner, he used to sit straight as a ramrod at the head of the table.
|strange bedfellows||This expression
refers to the unusual or unlikely
association of two or more people, companies
A car manufacturer and a bakery - strange bedfellows don't you think?
|the last straw!||This expression
means that this is the latest unpleasant
event and that you cannot tolerate the
situation any longer.
After a long day of negotiations with the protesters, the traffic jam was the last straw!
|street-smart / streetwise||A person who is
street-smart or streetwise has
enough experience and knowledge about life
in the city to be able to deal with
difficult or dangerous situations.
The kids living in this area are all street-smart - they're in less danger than us.
|streets ahead||If a person or
organisation is streets ahead of
another, they are much better or more
In measures to preserve the planet, the Scandinavians are streets ahead of us.
|by no stretch of the imagination||The expression
'by no stretch of the imagination'
means 'however hard you may try to believe
or imagine it'.
By no stretch of the imagination could he be called handsome.
|stretch the truth||When you
stretch the truth, you exaggerate the
facts or say things that are not exactly
Some candidates are tempted to stretch the truth about their skills or work experience.
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