English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Arguments - Disagreements - Disputes
|much ado about nothing||If people make
much ado about nothing, they make a lot
of fuss about something which is not
A discussion took place about the colour of the receptionist's shoes - much ado about nothing!
|argue the toss||
If you argue the toss, you dispute
a decision or choice which has already been
The final choice was made yesterday, so don't argue the toss now!
|all hell broke loose||If you say that all hell broke loose,
you mean that there was a sudden angry or
noisy reaction to something.
All hell broke loose when it was announced that the plant was going to close down.
|get off by back!||If you tell someone to get off your
back, you are annoyed and ask them to
stop finding faults or criticizing you.
Liz, please, get off my back! You've been making comments about my work all morning!
|battle lines are drawn||This expression is used to say that
opposing groups are ready to defend the
reason behind the conflict.
The battle lines have been drawn between those who accept the changes and those who are against the proposed reforms.
|battle of wills||A conflict, argument or struggle where
both sides are determined to win is described
battle of wills.
When they separated, neither party would make concessions - it was a battle of wills.
|blamestorming||A discussion among a group of people who
try to determine who
or what is to blame for a particular mistake, failure or wrongdoing, is called 'blamestorming'.
A blamestorming session took place following the unfavourable reviews in the press.
|bone of contention||A bone of contention is a
matter or subject about which there is
a lot of disagreement.
The salaries have been agreed on, but opening on Sundays is still a bone of contention.
|bone to pick||If you have a
bone to pick with someone, you are
annoyed with them and want to talk to them
Mark wants to see the boss. He says he's got a bone to pick with him.
|in good/bad books||If you are in somebody's good or bad
books, you have their approval or
I'm in my wife's bad books at the moment because I forgot our wedding anniversary.
|bury the hatchet||When people who have had a disagreement
decide to forget their quarrel and become
friends again, they bury the hatchet.
I didn't agree with my colleague's decision, but for the sake of peace,
I decided to bury the hatchet.
|call someone's bluff||If you call someone's bluff,
you challenge them to do what they threaten
to do (while believing that they will not
dare to do it).
After the neighbour's threats to demolish the fence, when Jack decided to call his bluff, there were no more complaints.
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