English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - T
|turkeys voting for Christmas||This expression is
used to say that a particular option is
unlikely to be chosen because it would not
be in the interest of the people concerned.
(In many countries people eat turkey at
Expecting them to accept a decrease in salary would be like turkeys voting for Christmas.
|turn a blind eye||If you turn a
blind eye to something, you pretend not
to notice what someone is doing.
The old man turns a blind eye when he sees children taking apples from his garden.
|turn a deaf ear||If you turn a
deaf ear to something, you refuse to
Sam turned a deaf ear to his wife's advice and went off in the rain without an umbrella.
|(not) turn a hair||If someone does
not turn a hair, they show no emotion
in circumstances where a reaction is
When the police came to arrest him, he didn't turn a hair.
|turn the tables||If you turn the
tables on a person or organisation, you
reverse the situation so as to be in a
position of superiority.
The success of our new product has turned the tables on our competitors.
|turn on/up the heat||If you turn on
or up the heat on someone, you put
pressure on them in order to obtain what you
If the goods are not delivered this week, we'll have to turn up the heat.
|turn on the waterworks||If someone
turns on the waterworks, they start to
cry, especially to obtain something.
If he doesn't get what he wants, the child immediately turns on the waterworks.
|turn over a new leaf||If a person
turns over a new leaf, they decide to
change their behaviour and lead a better
When Ted left prison, he was determined to turn over a new leaf.
|take a turn for the worse||If a person who is
ill takes a turn for the worse,
their illness becomes more serious.
We hoped he would recover but he took a turn for the worse during the night.
|turn turtle||If a boat turns
turtle, it capsizes or turns upside
down in the water.
We had fun sailing yesterday, although we nearly turned turtle a couple of times!
|turn up like a bad penny||If someone
turns up like a bad penny, they appear
at a place or event where they are not
welcome or not wanted.
I try to avoid Jane, but wherever I go she's turns up like a bad penny!
|turn up one's nose||If you turn up
your nose at something, you reject it
because you think it is not good enough for
He's out of work, but he turns up his nose at any job he's offered.
|twenty-four-seven||This term refers to
something which is available or happens
twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The tourist office provided a list of 24-7 supermarkets in the area.
|twiddle one's thumbs||A person who
twiddles their thumbs has nothing to
do, or is doing nothing useful.
Go and help your father! You can't sit there all day twiddling your thumbs!
|in the twinkling of an eye||This expression
means 'very fast' or 'instantaneously'.
Public opinion can change in the twinkling of an eye.
alphabetical lists T ...