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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


(Idioms:  disappear into thin air  → err on the side of caution))

  • disappear/vanish into thin air
    • If someone or something disappears or vanishes into thin air, they vanish totally and completely in a mysterious way, without leaving a trace.
      "I don't know how to contact my former colleague. After he was fired he vanished into thin air!"

  • dive in headfirst
    • If you begin something enthusiastically, without thinking about the possible consequences, you dive in headfirst.
      "Tony accepted the project without realizing how much time it would take; he always dives in headfirst!"

  • do a disappearing act
    • If someone does a disappearing act, they simply vanish, especially if they have done something wrong or dishonest
      "Just before the police arrived, the suspect did a disappearing act."

  • do a moonlight flit
    • Someone who does a moonlight flit leaves a place quickly and in secret, usually to avoid paying debts.
      "Just before the rent was due he did a moonlight flit."

  • do more harm than good
    • If the effect of an action is more damaging than helpful, it does more harm than good.
      "Giving him money did more harm than good - he spent it on alcohol."

  • do a good turn
    • If you do someone a good turn, you act in a helpful way.
      "Mike is a great guy - always ready to do a good turn."

  • the done thing
    • The correct way to behave in a particular social situation is called the done thing.
      "Wearing jeans to play golf is not the done thing."

  • drag your feet
    • If you drag your feet, you delay a decision or participate without any real enthusiasm.
      "The government is dragging its feet on measures to reduce pollution."

  • drop names
    • When you drop names, you mention the names of famous people you know or have met in order to impress others.
      "There goes Jack dropping names again. People will get tired of listening to him!"

  • eat crow
    • If you eat crow, you admit that you were wrong about something and apologize.
      "He had no option but to eat crow and admit that his analysis was wrong."

  • eat dirt
    • If you eat dirt, you are forced to accept bad treatment or insulting remarks without complaining.
      "Found guilty of fraud and corruption, the director had to eat dirt."

  • eat out of house and home
    • This is a humorous way of saying that someone is eating large quantities of your food.
      "I stock up with food when my teenage sons invite their friends over. They'd eat you out of house and home!"

  • eat out of someone's hand
    • If you eat out of somebody's hand, you are eager to please and will accept to do anything that person asks.
      "She is so persuasive that she has people eating out of her hand in no time."

  • ego trip
    • If you do something primarily to draw attention to yourself and feel important or superior to others, you are on an ego trip.
      "His speech about creating an association to help the underprivileged was one long ego trip."

  • err on the side of caution
    • When uncertain about what to do, if you err on the side of caution you do more than what is adequate rather than take any risks.
      "When I'm not sure how much food to prepare, I tend to err on the side of caution and prepare far too much."

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