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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - W

(Idioms W, page 5  :  whiz kid →  get wind of)

whiz kid A whiz kid is someone, usually young, who is very talented and successful at doing something.
Apparently the new engineer knows what he's doing - a real whiz-kid from what I've  heard.
whole caboodle
whole kit and caboodle
This expression means 'everything'.
They provided everything we needed, tables, chairs, cutlery ... the whole caboodle.
why buy a cow when you can get milk for free This refers to not paying for something that you can obtain for free.
(Sometimes refers to a decision not to marry when you can have the benefits of marriage without any commitment.)
Rent is high so Bobby is still living with his parents. 
He says : why buy a cow when you can get milk for free?
why keep a dog and bark yourself This expression means that if someone or something can do a task for you, there's no reason to do it yourself.
My grandmother has an electric mixer but she continues to make her cakes by hand. Why keep a dog and bark yourself?
whys and wherefores To talk about the whys and wherefores means to discuss the reasons.
We need to discuss the whys and wherefores of our failure.
give a wide berth If you give someone or something a wide berth, you stay at a prudent distance from them in order to avoid unwanted consequences.
The only way to avoid traffic jams is to give the town centre a wide berth.
wide off the mark If something is (or falls) wide off the mark, it is incorrect or inadequate, or it is not what was expected.
The price offered was wide off the mark; it was sold for ten times more!
widow's peak A V-shaped point formed by the hair in the centre of the forehead is called a widow's peak.
(was believed to be a sign of early widowhood)
wild goose chase If someone is sent on a wild goose chase, they waste their time looking for something that there is little chance of finding.
They tried to find out who sent the anonymous complaint, but it turned out to be a wild goose chase.
at will When it is possible to do something at will, you can do it as and when you please, wherever and whenever you wish, without limit or restriction.
He's so rich, he travel the world at will.
win by a nose When there is a very slight difference between the winner and the other competitors, victory is won by a nose.
One second ahead of the others, he won by a nose.
win-win The term win-win refers to a situation or proposition where both or all parties benefit from the outcome.
There were smiles all round when the contract was signed - it was a win-win situation.
wind up in the wrong hands If something winds up in the wrong hands, it comes into the possession of someone undesirable, for example an opponent or a competitor.
Put the plans away carefully.  We don't want them to wind up in the wrong hands.
get wind of If you get wind of something, you hear about something you were unaware of, usually a private or secret matter.
The chairman didn't want the press to get wind of the takeover before the agreement was signed.
knock/take wind out of sails If someone or something knocks or 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.
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 alphabetical lists W ... 
W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10

 more alphabetical lists ...