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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Idioms relating to arguments, disagreements and disputes  
from:  'much ado about nothing'   to:  'call someone's bluff'

  • much ado about nothing
    • If people make much ado about nothing, they make a lot of fuss about something which is not important.
      "A discussion took place about the colour of the receptionist's shoes - much ado about nothing!"

  • argue the toss
    • If you argue the toss, you dispute a decision or choice which has already been made.
      "The final choice was made yesterday, so don't argue the toss now!"

  • all hell broke loose
    • If you say that all hell broke loose, you mean that there was a sudden angry or noisy reaction to something.
      "When it was announced that the plant was going to close down all hell broke loose."

  • get off by back!
    • If you tell someone to get off your back, you are annoyed and ask them to stop finding faults or criticizing you.
      "Liz, please, get off my back! You've been making comments about my work all morning!"

  • battle lines are drawn
    • This expression is used to say that opposing groups are ready to defend the reason behind the conflict.
      "The battle lines have been drawn between those who accept the changes and those who are against the proposed reforms. "

  • battle of wills
    • A conflict, argument or struggle where both sides are determined to win is described as a battle of wills.
      "When they separated, neither party would make concessions - it was a battle of wills."

  • blamestorming
    • A discussion among a group of people who try to determine who or what is to blame for a particular mistake, failure or wrongdoing, is called 'blamestorming'.
      "A blamestorming session took place following the unfavourable reviews in the press."

  • bone of contention
    • A bone of contention is a matter or subject about which there is a lot of disagreement.
      "The salaries have been agreed on, but opening on Sundays is still a bone of contention."

  • bone to pick
    • If you have a bone to pick with someone, you are annoyed with them and want to talk to them about it.
      "Mark wants to see the boss. He says he's got a bone to pick with him."

  • in good/bad books
    • If you are in somebody's good or bad books, you have their approval or disapproval.
      "I'm in my wife's bad books at the moment because I forgot our wedding anniversary."

  • bury the hatchet
    • When people who have had a disagreement decide to forget their quarrel and become friends again, they bury the hatchet.
      "I didn't agree with my colleague's decision, but for the sake of peace, I decided to bury the hatchet."

  • call someone's bluff
    • If you call someone's bluff, you challenge them to do what they threaten to do (while believing that they will not dare to do it).
      "When Jack decided to call his bluff after the next-door neighbour threatened to demolish the fence between their houses, there were no more complaints."

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