English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Communication - Contact - Information
|chinese whispers||This expression refers to a process by which a message or piece of information (especially gossip, rumours or scandalous news) is passed on from one person to another, and changes along the way, so that the final version is often very different from the original.|
|drop someone a line||If you drop
someone a line, you write a letter to
I always drop her a line to wish her a Merry Christmas.
|get hold of||If you obtain something, or manage to
contact someone, you get hold of them.
I'd like to contact the owner. Do you know where I can get hold of him?
|get/give the low-down||If you get
or give the low-down, you get or
give complete information or facts about
I'll call you after the meeting and give you the low-down.
|hear through the grapevine||If you hear of something through the
grapevine, you learn about it
informally, for example through friends or
"How did you hear that?" "Oh, through the grapevine as usual!"
|hit the airwaves||When someone
hits the airwaves, they go on radio
and/or TV to be interviewed or to promote
The hospital was embarrassed when the patient hit the airways with his side of the story.
|hot off the press||If a news article, for example, is
hot off the press, it has just been
published and contains the most recent
information on the subject.
I just got it hot off the press; another bank has gone bankrupt.
|keep someone posted||If someone asks you to keep them
posted, they want you to keep them
informed about a situation.
Our agent promised to keep us posted on developments in the negotiations.
|megaphone diplomacy||If the media, through press releases, interviews and announcements, is instrumental in facilitating dialogue between two or more countries, this is called megaphone diplomacy.|
|out of touch||If you are
out of touch, you no longer
communicate with someone, or you are unaware
of recent developments.
I've been out of touch with Jenny since we left college.
|put someone in the picture||If you give somebody all the information
necessary to enable them to fully understand
a situation, you put them in the
Some changes were made during your absence. Let me put you in the picture.
|speed networking||This term refers to a relatively new urban trend which consists in making a potential business contact by briefly talking to a series of people at an organised event and exchanging contact details.|
|spread like wildfire||If something such as news, rumours or
gossip spreads like wildfire, it
becomes widely known very fast.
As soon as the nomination was announced, the news spread like wildfire.
|stool pigeon||A person who acts as an informer,
especially one who gives information to the
police or the authorities, is called a
I don't trust Jack. I think he's a stool pigeon for the management.
|on the stump||Before an election, when politicians
are campaigning for support and votes, they
are on the stump.
On the stump for months, the candidates attended meeting after meeting.
|touch base||If you touch base with someone,
you make contact or renew communication with
I'll try to touch base with you next week in London.
|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.
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