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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - W

(Idioms W, page 8 :   touch wood → work like a charm)

touch/knock on wood This humorous expression, based on superstition, is used to avoid bad luck, often while touching something made of wood.
The order will be confirmed shortly - touch wood!
wooden spoon The person who finishes last in a race or competition receives an imaginary prize called the wooden spoon.
Our team got the wooden spoon in this year's tournament.
come out of the woodwork When things, or people, come out of the woodwork, they appear or emerge unexpectedly, as if from nowhere, and usually in large numbers.
As soon as we added the swimming pool, our children had 'friends' coming out of the woodwork!
wool-gathering A person who is wool-gathering is daydreaming and not concentrating on what his happening;  their thoughts are elsewhere.
Justin spent the whole afternoon wool-gathering.  He must be in love!
by word of mouth Information passed on through conversation is transmitted by word of mouth.
No announcement was necessary - the news had already spread by word of mouth.
from the word go This expression means from the very beginning of an activity.
Right from the word go he was rejected by the rest of the group.
(not) get a word in edgeways During a discussion, if you can't get a word in edgeways, you can't say something because the others are talking so much.
I tried to give my opinion, but I couldn't get a word in edgeways.
put in a good word If you put in a good word for someone, you say positive things in support of that person in order to help them.
If you apply for the job, I'll put in a good word for you.
put words in someone's mouth If you claim that someone has said something, or suggest what they should say, you are putting words in their mouth.
You're putting words in my mouth. I did not say I saw Mr. Brown. I said I saw his car!
words fail me This expression is often used when someone is so shocked, surprised or touched by something that they don't know what to say.
"What do you think of Bob's attitude?"  "Words fail me!"
words of one syllable If you explain something in words of one syllable, you use very simple language.
Not so fast!  Tell me in words of one syllable!
have your work cut out If you have to face a difficult task or a challenging situation, you have your work cut out for you.
I've got a month to reorganise the accounts department.  I have my work cut out for me!
work your fingers to the bone A person who works their fingers to the bone is extremely hardworking.
He deserves his success; he worked his fingers to the bone when he started the business.
work like a charm If something such as a product or method works like a charm, it functions very well or has the desired effect.
I tried cleaning it with vinegar and it worked like a charm!
   
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 alphabetical lists W ... 
W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10

 more alphabetical lists ... 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z