English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
|below the belt||An action or remark
described as below the belt is
considered to be unfair or cruel.
Politicians sometimes use personal information to hit their rivals below the belt.
|tighten your belt||If you need to
tighten your belt, you must spend less
money or be careful how you spend it because
there is less available.
Another bill? I'll have to tighten my belt this month!
|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.
|die with one's boots on||A person who
dies with their boots on dies while
still leading an active life.
He says he'll never retire. He'd rather die with his boots on!
|too big for your boots (or britches)||To say that a person is getting too
big for their boots (or britches) means
that you think they are behaving as if they
were more important than they really are.
Tom is really getting too bit for his boots since he got a promotion - he hardly says hello any more!
|hang up one's boots||When a sports player hangs up their
boots, they stop playing and retire.
(This expression is often used to refer to
retirement in general.)
Dad says he's going to hang up his boots at the end of the year.
|lick someone's boots||To say that one person is licking
another's boots means that they are
trying to please that person, often in order
to obtain something.
Sam is licking the manager's boots in the hope of obtaining a pay rise.
|tough as old boots||If something, specially meat, is
(as) tough as old boots, it is hard to
cut and difficult to chew. (This can also
refer to a person who is strong either
physically or in character.)
I was served a steak as tough as old boots.
|cap in hand||If you do something
cap in hand, you ask for something in a
very respectful manner.
They went to the teacher, cap in hand, and asked for more time to complete their project.
|if the cap fits wear it||You can say 'if
the cap fits, wear it' to let someone
know that the critical remark they have just
heard applies to them.
"Are you referring to me?" "If the cap fits, wear it!"
|put on your thinking cap||If you tell someone
to put their thinking cap on, you
ask them to find an idea or solve a problem
by thinking about it.
Now here's this week's quiz; it's time to put your thinking caps on!
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