English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Luck - Chance - Opportunity
|fall into one's lap||
If something good
falls into your lap, it happens to you
without any effort on your part.
She's not making much effort to find work. Does she think a job is going to fall into her lap?
fat chance is used to indicate that
something is not very likely to happen.
The boss is thinking of me for the job? Fat chance!
|free ride||Someone who
gets a free ride benefits from a
collective activity without participating in
Only those who share the work can share the benefits - nobody gets a free ride!
|get a second bite at the cherry||This expression means that you get a
second opportunity to do or try something.
He was eliminated in the semi-finals, but he'll get a second bite at the cherry next year.
|off-chance||If you do something on the off
chance, you think there might be a
slight possibility of success.
I went into the supermarket on the off chance that I would find a map.
|anyone's call||This expression is used when the result
of a contest or election is difficult to
"Who do you think will win?" "It's anyone's call."
|jump on bandwagon||If a person or organisation jumps on
the bandwagon, they decide to seize the
opportunity and do something when it is
already successful or fashionable.
When organic food became popular, certain stores were quick to jump on the bandwagon and promote it.
|luck of the draw||To refer to something that happens as
the luck of the draw means that it is
the result of pure chance, with no
possibility of choice.
The samples distributed varied in size and value; it was the luck of the draw.
|pot luck||If you take pot luck, you
accept whatever is available without knowing
what it will be like.
We were so hungry we decided to take pot luck and stopped at the first restaurant we saw.
|make hay while the sun shines||This expression is used as an
encouragement to take advantage of a good
situation which may not last.
Successful athletes are advised to make hay while the sun shines.
|more by accident than by design||Something which happens more by
accident than (by) design is done
without deliberate intention.
I became an interpreter more by accident than design; nobody else could speak the language of the refugees.
|murphy's law||Referring to
Murphy's law expresses a sentiment of
bad luck and the idea that if anything can
go wrong, it will.
We've tried to prepare for every possible incident, but remember Murphy's law ...!
|play a waiting game||If you play a waiting game, you
deliberately delay taking action in order to
be able to act more effectively later.
The cat keeps its eye on the bird, carefully playing a waiting game.
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