English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - T
|not for all the tea in China||To say that you
would not do something for all the tea
in China means that you would not do it
under any conditions.
I wouldn't live there for all the tea in China.
|teach someone a lesson||If you teach
somebody a lesson, you do something to
punish them for behaving badly and make them
understand that they should not do it again.
The next time she arrives late, she'll find the door closed. That'll teach her a lesson!
|(you can't) teach an old dog new tricks||This expression
means that someone who is used to doing
things in a certain way will find it
difficult to change their habits.
Your grandfather will never use a smart phone. You can't teach an old dog new tricks!
|tear one's hair out||If someone is
tearing their hair out, they are
extremely agitated or distressed about
I've been tearing my hair out all morning trying to find the error!
|tear a strip off||If you tear a
strip off someone, you reprimand them
severely for doing something wrong.
The teacher tore a strip off Charlie for not doing his homework.
|tech savvy||People who are
tech savvy have sufficient technical
knowledge and skills to be comfortable using
computers and other electronic devices.
Many students are more tech-savvy than their teachers.
|by the skin of one's teeth||If you manage to do
something by the skin of your teeth,
you succeed in doing it but you almost fail.
The traffic was so heavy I thought I'd miss the train, but I caught it by the skin of my teeth.
|sink one's teeth into||If you sink
your teeth into something, you do it
with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
When Julie got promoted, she immediately sank her teeth into her new job.
|teeth chattering||If your teeth
are chattering, you are extremely cold.
Was I cold? My teeth were chattering!
|teething problems||The difficulties
encountered during the initial stage of an
activity or project are called teething
We had some teething problems when we first opened the bookshop, but now everything is okay.
|tell someone a thing or two||If you tell
someone a thing or two, you express you
thoughts (usually criticism) very clearly.
'Let me tell you a thing or two about your son's behaviour' said John to the boy's father.
|on tenterhooks||A person who is
on tenterhooks is in a state of anxious
suspense or excitement.
The candidate were kept on tenterhooks for hours while the panel deliberated.
|test the waters||If you test the
water(s), you try to find out how
acceptable or successful something is before
becoming involved in it.
You should go to a gym class to test the water before enrolling.
|text-walking||This term refers to
a recently-developed and somewhat dangerous
habit of walking while texting a message on
a mobile phone, completely unaware of what
is happening around you.
In recent months there has been an increase in the number of serious accidents involving text-walkers.
alphabetical lists T ...