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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - U

(Idioms U, page 2 :  up in the air  →  useful as chocolate teapot)

up in the air If something, such as a plan or decision, is up in the air, it has not been decided or settled yet.
I can't give you a definite answer yet;  the project is still up in the air.
up for grabs If something is up for grabs, it is available for anyone who wants to compete for it.
You should enter the competition - there's $20000 in prizes up for grabs.
up-to-the-minute Something that is up-to-the-minute is the very latest or most recent version available.
The internet is the best place to find up-to-the-minute news.
up to no good When someone is up to no good, they are doing or planning something bad or wrong.
When the shopkeeper saw the boys hiding behind a car, he suspected they were up to no good.
up to par If something is up to par, it meets the required standard.
He didn't get the job because his English wasn't up to par.
up and running If a business or a project is up and running, it has started and is fully operational.
In some countries you can have a company up and running in a very short time.
uphill battle A person faced with an uphill battle has to struggle against very unfavourable circumstances.
After the terrible accident, his recovery was an uphill battle all the way.
upper crust This term refers to the higher levels of society, the upper class or the aristocracy.
William hides his working-class background and pretends to be from the upper crust.
upper hand If a person or organisation gains or gets the upper hand, especially in a fight or competition, they take control over something.
We increased our market share and gained the upper hand over our competitors.
on one's uppers Someone who is on their uppers has very little money or not enough to cover their needs.
Because he was clearly on his uppers when he was hired, he was given an advance in salary.
on the uptake Someone who is quick or slow on the uptake is quick or slow to understand what is meant.
Please explain the problem in simple words - I'm a bit slow on the uptake!
use one's noodle If you use your noodle, you use your brain or your common sense.
How did I figure that out?  I just used my noodle!
useful as a chocolate teapot Something which is of no practical use at all is about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
When there are no roads, a car is about as useful as a chocolate teapot!
   
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