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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - T

(Idioms T, page 14 :  turkeys voting  →  twinkling of an eye)

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 Christmas.)
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 listen.
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 expected.
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 want.
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 life.
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 you.
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.
   
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 alphabetical lists T ... 
T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6 T7 T8 T9 T10 T11 T12 T13 T14 T15

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