English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - S
|shut the stable door when the horse has bolted||If
you shut the stable door after the horse
has bolted, you try to prevent
something bad from happening when it is
already too late.
Jack decided to insure the contents of his apartment after it was burgled.
Now that's shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted!
|other side of the coin||When
you want to mention a different or
contradictory aspect of a situation, you
refer to the other side of the coin.
The house is lovely and spacious, but the other side of the coin is that it is far from shops and schools.
|sight for sore eyes||This expression
refers to a person or thing that you are
happy to see.
Sam! You're a sight for sore eyes! I haven't seen you in a long time!
|sign of the times||This expression
refers to something that shows the nature of
The rising level of violence is a sign of the times.
|sign own death warrant||If you do something
that causes your own downfall, or prevents
you from being successful, you sign your
own death warrant.
When he decided to drop out of college, he signed his own death warrant.
|sign on dotted line||If
you sign on the dotted line, you
formally give your consent to something by
signing an official document.
I consulted a lawyer before signing on the dotted line.
|signed, sealed, and delivered||When an agreement,
contract or treaty is signed, sealed and
delivered, all the legal documents are
It is hoped that the agreement will be signed, sealed and delivered before the end of the week.
|significant other||The term
'significant other' refers to a person,
such as a spouse, partner or lover, with
whom you have a long-term relationship.
Harry says he makes no decisions without consulting his significant other.
|silver bullet||This term refers to
an extremely effective or magical solution
to a difficult problem.
There is no silver bullet that will put an end to unemployment.
|silver lining||A silver lining
refers to the good or pleasant
side-effects of an unpleasant situation.
'Every cloud has a silver lining' means that there is a positive or hopeful side to every unpleasant situation.
|born with silver spoon in your mouth||To say that someone
is born with a silver spoon in their
mouth means that their family is very
rich and privileged.
Alice never has to worry about money; she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
|silver surfer||A silver surfer
is an elderly person who uses the
After just a few questions my grandmother was ready to join the silver surfers.
silver-tongued person is a smooth
talker who speaks so convincingly that they
manage to persuade others to do what they
A silver-tongued salesman persuaded my mother to buy a new washing machine although the one she had was fine!
|simplicity itself||Something that is
simplicity itself is extremely easy to
Using the tool is simplicity itself; just turn it on and the instructions appear.
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