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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Alphabetical List of Idioms - T

(Idioms T, page 1 :   tail wagging the dog → take with a grain of salt)

  • 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 very brave.
      "When Andy saw the child in the burning house, he took his 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 something 
    • 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 best solution.
      "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." my father 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 accuracy.
      "I hear the tuition fees are going to be reduced, but that should be taken with a grain of salt."

next page ...

More Idioms: 

 alphabetical lists T ... 

T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 T12 T13 T14 T15

 more alphabetical lists... 
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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.