English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|in strict confidence||If you say
something in strict confidence, you
tell it as a secret not to be revealed.
Please don't repeat this. I'm telling it to you in strict confidence.
|strictly business||An appointment or
event that is entirely devoted to business,
with no leisure or relaxation, is called
Yes we had lunch together but it was strictly business.
|strike a false note||If you strike a
false note, you do something wrong or
He struck a false note when he arrived at the cocktail party wearing old jeans.
|strike gold||If you strike
gold, you find exactly what you need :
satisfaction, wealth, happiness, etc.
I think she struck gold this time in her new job. It suits her perfectly.
|strike home||When somebody's
comments or remarks strike home,
they make you fully understand the
The seriousness of his injuries struck home as he listened to the surgeon.
|strike while the iron is hot||If you strike
while the iron is hot, you act
immediately because now is the ideal time to
The price of property has dropped. It's a good time to buy. You should strike while the iron is hot.
|strike (it) lucky||When someone
strikes it lucky, they run into good
We had a sunny week in Scotland - we struck it lucky!
|strike pay dirt||If you strike
pay dirt, you are lucky and suddenly
find yourself in a successful money-making
Charlie finally struck pay dirt with his latest invention.
|strike/hit a raw nerve||If something you
say strikes or hits a raw nerve, it
upsets someone because they are very
sensitive about the subject.
You struck a raw nerve when you mentioned divorce. They're separating.
|strike the right note||If you strike
or hit the right note, you say or
do something suitable or appropriate.
He struck the right note with his future mother-in-law when he gave her a book on gardening - her favourite hobby!
|string someone along||If you string
someone along, you deliberately mislead
them about your intentions.
Bob finally realized that Mary had just been stringing him along; she had no intention of marrying him.
|another string to your bow||If you have
another string to your bow, you have
another skill or possible course of action
if everything else fails.
As well as her excellent qualifications, she's got another string to her bow to help her find a job. She speaks fluent Chinese.
|no strings attached||An offer 'with
no strings attached' is an offer made
without conditions or restrictions, and
requires nothing in return.
I managed to get a loan with no strings attached.
|struck dumb||If someone is
struck dumb, they are unable to speak
because they are so surprised, shocked or
frightened by something.
The accused was struck dumb when the verdict was announced.
|stubborn as a mule||If someone is
as stubborn as a mule, they are very
obstinate and unwilling to listen to reason
or change their mind.
His friends advised him to accept the offer, but you know Larry - he's as stubborn as a mule!
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