English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|stuck in a time warp||Something that has
not changed at all from some time in the
past, when everything else has, is caught or
stuck in a time warp.
This place seem to be stuck in a time warp. It's exactly as it was in the 1950's.
|stumbling block||A problem or
obstacle that prevents you from achieving
something is a stumbling block.
My father adapted quite well but the language was always a stumbling block for my mother.
|on the stump||Before an election,
when politicians are campaigning for
support and votes, they are on the
On the stump for months, the candidates attended meeting after meeting.
|sublime to ridiculous||If something goes
from the sublime to the ridiculous, it
deteriorates in quality from serious or
admirable to absurd or unimportant.
An opera followed by a Mr. Muscle contest is going from the sublime to the ridiculous!
|sugar the pill||If you sugar
the pill, you try to make some
unpleasant news more acceptable by saying
something pleasant at the same time.
When Tim's parents announced that he was going to boarding school, they tried to sugar the pill by telling him he'd be home at the week-ends.
|suit every pocket||This term refers to
the amount of money you are able to spend or
the price you can afford.
The store offers a wide range of computers at prices to suit every pocket.
|survival of the fittest||This expression
means that the most able, or those best
capable of adapting to particular
conditions, will survive.
I plant some flowers in the spring and hope for the best - it's the survival of the fittest!
|suss out||If you suss out
something, such as a problem or a
situation, you examine it and manage to
Ask Jack to explain - he's got it all sussed out!
|swallow the bait||If you swallow
the bait, you accept an offer made
specially to persuade you to do something.
When customers see a 'special offer' sign, they usually swallow the bait and purchase the product.
|swallow one's pride||If you swallow
your pride, you accept something
humiliating or embarrassing, for example
having to admit that you are wrong, or that
you have less knowledge that you thought.
When Jill failed the exam, she had to swallow her pride and repeat the course.
|swallow your words||If you swallow
your words, you admit that you were
He said I'd never get the job, but he had to swallow his words when I was appointed.
|sweat of your brow||If you earn or
achieve something by the sweat of your
brow, you do it through hard work and
I got a comfortable lifestyle by the sweat of my brow - I owe it to nobody but myself!
|sweep under the rug||If you sweep
something under the rug (or carpet),
you try to hide it because it is
They tried unsuccessfully to sweep the scandal under the rug.
|sweet nothings||Pleasant but
unimportant words that lovers say to each
other are called sweet nothings.
He whispered sweet nothings in her ear as they danced.
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