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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


(Idioms:  French leave →  go too far)

  • (take) French leave
    • If you leave an official or social event without notifying the person who invited you, you take French leave.
      "Is Bill coming back for the closing speech or has he taken French leave?"

  • a Freudian slip
    • A Freudian slip is a mistake made by a speaker which is considered to reveal their true thoughts or feelings.
      "So you got the job - I'm so sad ... Sorry, I mean 'glad'!"

  • gatecrash
    • If someone gatecrashes, they attend a private social event without being invited.
      "We need volunteers to keep an eye out for gatecrashers tonight."

  • get on your high horse
    • If you get on your high horse, you start behaving in a haughty manner, as though you should be treated with more respect.
      "He got on his high horse when he was asked to show his membership card."

  • give as good as you get
    • This expression means that you are prepared to treat people as badly as they treat you, and defend yourself, especially in an argument or fight.
      "Don't worry about the bullies at school. Charlie can look after himself and give as good as he gets."

  • give someone the cold shoulder
    • To give someone the cold shoulder means to deliberately ignore them, treat them in a cold manner or stop being friendly with them.
      "I don't understand. Since we had lunch with Tom and Jane they've been giving us the cold shoulder."

  • give someone a hard time
    • If you give someone a hard time, you annoy them or make things difficult for them.
      "Susan says the pupils in her new school are giving her a hard time."

  • give someone a run for their money
    • If you give someone a run for their money, you present strong competition in circumstances where the other person expects to win easily.
      "We didn't win the match but we gave the other team a run for their money"

  • give someone the run-around
    • If someone gives you the run-around, they deliberately give you confusing information or evasive answers.
      "I'm trying to contact the manager, but every time I call the firm I'm given the run-around."

  • give the shirt off your back
    • This expression is used to describe a kind-hearted or generous person who would give you anything he/she owns to help you.
      "Mike would give the shirt off his back to help a friend in difficulty."

  • give the slip
    • If you give the slip to somebody who is following you, you manage to hide or get away from them.
      "The police were on his trail, but the suspect managed to give them the slip."

  • give a taste of their own medicine
    • If you give someone a taste of their own medicine, you treat them in the same unpleasant way that they have treated you.
      "People who always arrive late should be given a taste of their own medicine."

  • go through the motions
    • If someone goes through the motions, they do something because they have to do it, but without enthusiasm.
      "After his wife died, he tried to continue life as before, but he just went through the motions."

  • go too far
    • If you go too far, you do something that is considered extreme or unacceptable.
      "Stealing is bad, but stealing from a poor person is really going too far!"

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