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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - S

(page 21:  storm in a teacup  →  stretch the truth)

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 something unimportant.
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 details.
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 serious.
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 or states.
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 advanced.
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 true.
Some candidates are tempted to stretch the truth about their skills or work experience.
   
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 alphabetical lists S ... 
S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 S8 S9 S10 S11 S12 S13 S14 S15 S16 S17 S18 S19 S20 S21 S22 S23 S24

 more alphabetical lists ... 
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