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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Idioms relating to the face, cheek and chin  
from:  'face like a bulldog chewing a wasp'   to:  'take it on the chin'

  • face like a bulldog chewing a wasp
    • To say that someone has a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp means that you find them very unattractive because they have a screwed-up ugly expression on their face.
      "Not only was he rude but he had a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp!"

  • face like thunder
    • If someone has a face like thunder, they look very angry.
      "When Dad is really angry, he has a face like thunder!"

  • face like a wet week-end
    • If someone has a face like a wet week-end, they look sad and miserable (as if their week-end had been spoiled).
      "What's wrong with Pete? He's got a face like a wet week-end!"

  • face only a mother could love
    • This is a humorous way of saying that someone is ugly or unattractive.
      "The poor guy has a face only a mother could love."

  • face that would stop a clock
    • Someone who has a face that would stop a clock has a shockingly unattractive face.
      "You'll recognize him - he's tall and thin, with a face that would stop a clock."

  • face the music
    • If you have to face the music, you have to accept the unpleasant consequences of your actions.
      "He was caught stealing. Now he has to face the music."

  • face value
    • If you take something at its face value, you assume that it is genuinely what it appears to be.
      "The car seems to be in good condition, but don't take it at its face value; get a mechanic to check it out."

  • change the face of (something)
    • When an innovation, discovery or event changes the face of something, it alters it completely or in a major way.
      "Social networks have changed the face of modern communication."

  • blow up in someone's face
    • When working on a plan or project, if it suddenly goes wrong or fails, it blows up in your face.
      "He accepted to organise the trip, but it blew up in his face when the airline company went on strike."

  • brave face
    • When confronted with difficulties, if you put on a brave face, you try to look cheerful and pretend that the situation is not as bad as it looks.
      "Even at the worst of times she put on a brave face."

  • poker face
    • If you have a poker face, you show no emotion at all.
      "All during the trial the suspect kept a poker face."

  • save face
    • When someone saves face, they manage to avoid humiliation or embarrassment and preserve both their dignity and the respect of others.
      "They allowed him to save face by accepting his resignation."

  • keep a straight face
    • If you keep a straight face, you look serious although you really want to laugh.
      "Our teacher was dressed so strangely that it was hard to keep a straight face!"

  • two-faced
    • Someone who is two-faced  is deceitful or insincere;  they will say one thing when you are present, and something else when you are not there.
      "I don't trust Billy. I find him two-faced."

  • cheek by jowl
    • When people are cheek by jowl, they are crammed uncomfortably close together.
      "The refugees are living cheek by jowl in a temporary camp."

  • of all the cheek!
    • Expresses annoyance or irritation at what someone has done or said.
      "He said my presentation was one of the poorest. Well, of all the cheek!"

  • tongue in cheek
    • If you describe a remark as 'tongue in cheek' you mean that it is not meant to be taken seriously; it is meant to be funny or ironic.
      "Peter's remark was taken more seriously than intended.  It was supposed to be tongue in cheek."

  • turn the other cheek
    • The expression 'turn the other cheek'  means to accept mistreatment or rudeness without retaliating.
      "Yes, he was very unpleasant, but I took that as unnecessary provocation, so I turned the other cheek."

  • keep your chin up
    • If you keep your chin up, you try to remain optimistic and cheerful when you find yourself in a difficult or unpleasant situation.
      "You didn't win this time but keep your chin up. There will be plenty more occasions."

  • take it on the chin
    • When you take it on the chin, you are brave and accept adversity, criticism or defeat without complaining.
      "When his contract was not renewed, Mark took it on the chin."

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