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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Luck  -  Chance  -  Opportunity

(Idioms page 1 :  fall into one's lap  →  play waiting game)

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! The expression 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 it.
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 predict.
"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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