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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


from: 'cat and dog life'   to 'make a mountain out of a molehill'

  • cat and dog life
    • A life in which partners are constantly or frequently quarrelling is called a cat-and-dog life.
      "They lead a cat-and-dog life.  I don't know why they stay together."

  • caught in the crossfire
    • If you are caught in the crossfire, you suffer the effects of an argument or dispute between two people or groups.
      "When the two taxi drivers started to argue, their passengers were caught in the crossfire."

  • clear the air
    • If you decide to clear the air, you try to remove the causes of fear, worry or suspicion by talking about the problem openly.
      "The atmosphere had become so unpleasant that he decided it was time to clear the air."

  • dead set against
    • If you are dead set against something, you are strongly opposed to it.
      "My father wanted a dog, but my mother was dead set against the idea."

  • devil's advocate
    • During a discussion or debate, if you play devil's advocate, you pretend to be against an idea or plan in order to determine the validity of the arguments in favour of it.
      "She decided to play devil's advocatejust to see how strongly people felt about the project."

  • fight like cat and dog
    • Two people who fight or argue like cat and dog frequently have violent arguments, even though they are fond of each other.
      "They fight like cat and dog but they're still together after 30 years."

  • go against the tide/stream
    • If you go against the tide (or the stream), you refuse to conform to current trends, or the opinions or behaviour of other people.
      "Bill can be difficult to work with; he constantly goes against the tide."

  • hammer and tongs
    • If people are going at it hammer and tongs, they are arguing fiercely, with a lot of energy and noise.
      "Our neighbours are going at it hammer and tongs again. They're constantly arguing."

  • let sleeping dogs lie
    • If you tell someone to let sleeping dogs lie, you are asking them not to interfere with a situation because they could cause problems.
      "Look, they've settled their differences. It's time to let sleeping dogs lie."

  • at loggerheads
    • If you are at loggerheads with a person or organisation, you disagree very strongly with them.
      "The management and the trade unions are at loggerheads over the decision to close down the plant."

  • lock horns
    • If you lock horns with somebody, you argue or fight with them about something.
      "If there is another incident like that in the building, the occupants will be locking horns!"

  • no love lost
    • To say that there is no love lost between two people or organisations means that they do not like each other at all.
      "There is no love lost between the Conservatives and Democrats."

  • make a mountain out of a molehill
    • If someone makes a mountain out of a molehill, they make a small, unimportant problem seem much more serious than it is.
      "Don't make a mountain out of molehill! It's not a major problem."

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