English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List of Idioms - T
|tail wagging the dog||This expression
refers to a situation where there is a
reversal of roles, with the small or minor element having a controlling influence on
the most important element.
If you let your children decide on everything, it will be a case of the tail wagging the dog!
|on somebody's tail||
If you are on somebody's tail, you
are following them closely.
The suspect hasn't been arrested yet, but the police are on his tail.
|take a back seat||If you take a back seat you
choose to have a less important function and
become less involved in something.
He decided it was time to take a back seat and let someone younger run the club.
|take the bloom off something||If an incident or event takes the
bloom off something, it spoils it or
makes it less enjoyable.
Their noisy argument in the middle of the party took the bloom off the atmosphere.
|take the bull by the horns||To take the
bull by the horns means that a person
decides to act decisively in order to deal
with a difficult situation or problem.
When the argument turned into a fight, the bar owner took the bull by the horns and called the police.
|take it on the chin||When you take it on the chin,
you are brave and accept adversity,
criticism or defeat without complaining.
When his contract was not renewed, Mark took it on the chin.
|take your courage in both hands||If you take your courage in both
hands, you make yourself do something
When I saw the child in the burning house, I took my courage in both hands and ran inside.
|take cover||When someone takes cover, they
hide from a danger, or bad weather, in a
place where they find protection.
As soon as the explosion was heard, people ran to take cover.
|take one's cue||When you take your cue from
someone, you wait for a signal or follow
someone's example, so as to know what to do
yourself or when to act.
The waiter took his cue from Jack and starting serving the drinks.
|take a dim view of||If you take a dim view of
something, you disapprove of it.
When Harry and Sally decided to live together without getting married, their grandparents took a dim view of the situation.
|take it easy||When you relax, or do things at a
comfortable pace, you take it easy.
It's nice to slow down at the week-end and take it easy.
|take the easy way out||If you take the easy way out,
you choose the easiest way to deal with a
difficult situation, even if it is not the
The weather conditions were so bad that Mary took the easy way out and cancelled her appointment.
|take a fancy||If you take a fancy to someone
or something, you develop a fondness for
them or begin to like them.
I think Paul has taken a fancy to the new intern!
|take the floor||When someone takes the floor,
they rise to make a speech or presentation.
'When I take the floor, my speech will be short.' he said.
|take with a grain of salt||To say that certain
information should be taken with a grain
of salt means that you doubt its
I hear the tuition fees are going to be reduced, but that should be taken with a grain of salt.
alphabetical lists T ...