English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|short fuse||When someone
has a short fuse, they are likely to
become angry easily or quickly.
Be careful how you explain the situation. The boss has a short fuse these days!
|short shrift||If someone or
something gets short shrift, they
are given little attention or sympathy.
When the boss is very busy, he gives short shrift to anyone who bothers him.
|shot in the dark||To refer to a question or statement as
a shot in the dark means that it is a complete guess, but at the same time it might be close
to the truth.
He didn't know which players had been selected, so mentioning Carter's name was just a shot in the dark..
|call the shots||If you call the
shots, you are in command of the
situation and make all the important
Ask Julie - she's the one who calls the shots around here.
|shotgun approach||If you use a
shotgun approach, you cover a wide
range in a non-selective, haphazard and
Identifying a specific segment of the market as our target will be more effective than a shotgun approach.
|shoulder surfing||The practice of looking over somebody's shoulder when they are using a computer, cash dispenser or other electronic device, in order to obtain personal information (identification, account number, password, etc.) is called shoulder surfing.|
|chip on the shoulder||If someone has a
chip on their shoulder, the feel
resentful because they feel they are being
treated unfairly, especially because of
their background, their sex or their colour.
He's got a chip on his shoulder because he's from a working-class family.
|give the cold shoulder||To give someone
the cold shoulder means to deliberately
After giving my opinion, he gave me the cold shoulder.
|shouting match||An argument or
debate where people shout loudly at each
other is called a shouting match.
The debate between the two politicians turned into a shouting match which spoiled the event for viewers.
|show of hands||A show of hands
is a method of voting where people give
their opinion by raising a hand.
How many people agree? Could we have a show of hands please?
|show one's true colours||When a person
shows their true colours, their
behaviour reveals their real nature, with
their qualities and/or weaknesses.
In times of crisis people show their true colours.
|show someone the ropes||If you show
someone the ropes, you teach or explain
to them how to do a particular job.
The manager is busy showing the ropes to two new trainees.
|get the show on the road||If you manage to
put a plan or idea into action, you get
the show on the road.
OK, we've got all we need, so let's get the show on the road.
|shrinking violet||A person referred
to as a shrinking violet is a timid
or shy person.
The witness was a shrinking violet who had difficulty expressing herself.
|shrug something off||If your shrug
something off, you dismiss it as being
He was aware of the danger but he just shrugged it off.
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