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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List of Idioms - U

(Idioms U, page 1 :  ugly as sin  →  up in arms)

ugly as sin This expression is used to refer to people or things that are considered to be very unattractive.
Have you seen the new neighbour's dog?  It's as ugly as sin!
uncharted waters If you are in uncharted waters, you are in a situation that you have never experienced before, so you don't know what's going to happen.
In some countries, democracy is an adventure into uncharted waters.
under one's belt If you have something under your belt, you have acquired experience or have satisfactorily achieved something.
You've got to have some work experience under your belt before you can hope to get a permanent job.
under close scrutiny Someone or something that is under (close) scrutiny is being watched or examined carefully.
The police are keeping the suspect under close scrutiny.
under the knife If a person goes under the knife, they have surgery.
I'm not worried about the anaesthetic.  I've been under the knife several times.
under your thumb If someone is under your thumb, they are completely under your control or influence.
Nobody ever protests.  He has the whole group under his thumb.
under the weather If you are under the weather, you are not feeling very well.
You look a bit under the weather.  What's the matter?
unmitigated disaster An unmitigated disaster is a complete failure or a total catastrophe.
The organisation of the tournament was an unmitigated disaster!
(you can't) unring a bell This expression means that you cannot undo what has been done, so you must live with the consequences of your actions.
until hell freezes over If you tell someone that they can do something until hell freezes over, you mean that they can do it forever but they won't obtain what they want.
You can ask until hell freezes over; I will not allow you to go bungee-jumping!
unvarnished truth If you present someone with plain facts, without trying to embellish or soften the reality, you give them the unvarnished truth.
Tell me how the accident happened, and I want the unvarnished truth.
up and about If someone is up and about, they are out of bed or have recovered after an illness.
She was kept in hospital for a week but she's up and about again.
up/down one's alley If something is (right) up or down your alley, it is exactly the sort of thing that will suit your tastes or abilities.
Alex loves reading, so a job in a bookshop is right up his alley.
on the up and up If you are on the up and up, you are becoming increasingly successful.
The architect has been on the up and up since he designed a building in Dubai.
up in arms If you are up in arms about something, you are very angry.
The population was up in arms over the demolition of the old theatre.

   
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