English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - T
|take to the cleaners||If someone is
taken to the cleaners, they lose a lot
of money in an unfair way, usually by being
robbed or cheated.
When the company Tom had invested in went bankrupt, he realized he had been taken to the cleaners.
|take to something like a duck to water||If you take to
something like a duck to water, you do
it naturally and easily, without fear or
When Sophie first tried skiing, she took to it like a duck to water.
|take the words out of someone's mouth||If you say exactly
what someone else was going to say, you
take the words out of their mouth.
I entirely agree with you. You took the words out of my mouth.
|take two to tango||You say this when
you think that a difficult situation or
argument cannot be the fault of one person
Okay, I've heard Fred's side of the story - but it takes two to tango!
|take unawares||If something
takes you unawares, it surprises you
because you were not expecting it.
His angry reaction took me unawares.
|take under your wing||If you offer
guidance and protection to someone younger
or less experienced, you take them under
I owe a lot to Tom who took me under his wing when I first arrived.
|take wind out of sails||If someone or something takes the
wind out of your sails, they make you
feel less confident by doing or saying
something that you do not expect.
The manager's rejection of our marketing strategy really took the wind out of our sails.
|talk the hind leg off a donkey||This expression is
used to describe a very talkative person.
It's difficult to end a conversation with Betty. She could talk the hind leg off a donkey!
|talk nineteen to the dozen||If someone
talks nineteen to the dozen, they speak
He was talking nineteen to the dozen so I didn't catch the whole story.
|talk shop||If you talk
shop, you talk about your work or
business in a social situation with someone
you work with, and make the conversation
boring for the others present.
I never go out with my colleagues because we inevitably end up talking shop.
|tall story||A tall story
is a story which is difficult to believe
because it sounds unlikely.
What he said about a stolen invention sounds like a tall story to me.
|on tap||If something is
on tap, it is easily obtained or
available for immediate use, like water from
You can find a multitude of useful resources on tap on the internet.
|tar baby||This term refers to
a sticky situation or problem for which it
is virtually impossible to find a solution.
He was advised not to get involved in the controversy which was considered a 'tar-baby' issue.
|tar with the same brush||When a person is
tarred with the same brush, they
are regarded as having the same faults or
bad qualities as those they associate with.
Don't hang around with those guys or you'll be tarred with the same brush.
|a taste of one's own medicine||If you give someone
a taste of their own medicine, you
treat them in the same unpleasant way that
they have treated you.
People who always arrive late should be given a taste of their own medicine.
|in tatters||Something that is
badly torn, in very poor condition or
damaged beyond repair is in tatters.
His reputation is in tatters after the latest scandal.
|run a taut ship||When a group or
organisation is run in a well-ordered and
disciplined manner, the person in charge
runs a taut (or tight)
The director of the scout camp runs a taut ship.
alphabetical lists T ...