English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|shake like a leaf||If you shake
like a leaf, you tremble with fear or
At the beginning of the interview the candidate was shaking like a leaf.
|shank's pony||If you go somewhere
on Shank's pony, you have to walk
rather than travel by bus, car, etc.
It was impossible to find a taxi after the party, so it was Shank's pony for us!
|shape of things to come||If something, such
as a trend or fashion, is the shape of
things to come, it is a sign of what is
likely to be used or enjoyed by many people
in the future.
Do you think speed-dating is the shape of things to come?
|shape up or ship out||This expression is
used to warn someone that if they do not
improve, they will have to leave their job.
When Tom started neglecting the customers, he was told to shape up or ship out.
|in bad shape||A person who is
in bad shape is in poor physical
Have you seen Terry recently? He's really in bad shape.
|all shapes and sizes||Something that can
be found in many different forms, types or
varieties, comes in all shapes and
Computers come in all shapes and sizes nowadays.
|get back into shape||To get yourself
back into shape, you need to take
exercise in order to become fit and healthy
She booked into gym classes, determined to get back into shape.
|sharp cookie||Someone who is not
easily fooled or deceived is a sharp
You can't fool my grandmother. She's a sharp cookie!
|sharp practice||Trying to achieve
something by using underhand, deceitful or
dishonourable means, that are barely within
the law, is called sharp practice.
That company is under investigation for sharp practice so it's better to avoid dealing with them.
|sharp as a tack||A person who is
as sharp as a tack is able to think
quickly and learn very fast.
You won't have to explain it to him twice. He's as sharp as a tack.
|shed light||If you shed
light on something, you help to explain
it or make it easier to understand.
It was hoped that the testimony of the witnesses would shed light on the causes of the accident.
|shelf life||If something such
as food, drink or medicine has a particular
shelf life, it must be used or sold
before the end of that period of time.
Dairy products has quite a short shelf life.
|come out of one's shell||To come out of
one's shell means to be less shy or
more talkative and outgoing.
Gradually the new student started to come out of her shell.
shilly-shally, you hesitate a lot about
something and have difficulty reaching a
Come on! Don't shilly-shally - just make up your mind!
|that ship has sailed||The expression
'that ship has sailed' means that a
particular opportunity has passed by and now
it's too late.
'Is the offer still open?' 'Sorry, that ship has sailed - you missed your chance!'
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