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 English Idioms and Expressions 

Idioms: Descriptions of People-8
from:  'sea legs'  to: 'smart alec'

  • sea legs
    • A person who has sea legs is used to walking on a moving ship, or has the ability to adjust to a new situation.
      "It takes a while in a new job to find your sea legs."

  • sell ice to Eskimos
    • This expression is used to describe a person who has the ability to persuade someone to accept something totally unnecessary or useless.
      "It's not surprising he was named 'salesman of the year'. He could sell ice to Eskimos!"

  • set in one's ways
    • A person who is set in their ways is unable or unwilling to change their ideas, habits or methods, often because they are old.
      "My grandmother has the same routine every day. She is very set in her ways."

  • show one's true colours
    • When a person shows their true colours, their behaviour reveals their real nature, with their qualities and/or weaknesses.
      "In times of crisis people show their true colours."

  • shrinking violet
    • A person referred to as a shrinking violet is a timid or shy person.
      "The witness was a shrinking violet who had difficulty expressing herself."

  • significant other
    • The term 'significant other' refers to a person, such as a spouse, partner or lover, with whom you have a long-term relationship.
      "Harry says he makes no decisions without consulting his significant other."

  • silver surfer
    • A silver surfer is an elderly person who uses the internet.
      "After just a few questions my grandmother was ready to join the silver surfers."

  • silver-tongued
    • A silver-tongued person is a smooth talker who speaks so convincingly that they manage to persuade others to do what they want.
      "A silver-tongued salesman persuaded my mother to buy a new washing machine although the one she had was fine!"

  • sitting duck
    • A sitting duck is an easy target, a person who is easy to deceive.
      "The young girl was a sitting duck for the photographer."

  • sleeping partner
    • The term sleeping partner refers to a person who invests in a business without taking an active part in its management, and whose association with the enterprise is not public knowledge.
      "He works alone but his business is partly financed by a sleeping partner."

  • slippery as an eel
    • To say that someone is as slippery as an eel means that they are difficult to catch and they manage to avoid answering questions.
      "The man was as slippery as an eel. He was arrested for theft several times but was never convicted."

  • sly as a fox
    • Someone who is as sly as a fox is cunning and clever at getting what they want, especially by deceiving or tricking people.
      "Be wary of that insurance salesman. He's known to be as sly as a fox."

  • small dog, tall weeds
    • This expression is used to refer to someone who does not have the ability or the resources necessary to perform a task.
      "It may be too difficult for the trainee - small dog, tall weeds!"

  • small fry
    • People or organisations that are considered unimportant can be referred to as small fry.
      This term can also refer to young children.
      "The police seized a large quantity of drugs, and some small fry, but not the organisers they were hoping to catch."

  • smart alec
    • A smart alec is an annoying self-assertive person who tries to show off how clever they are.
      "Some smart alec interrupted the game claiming that the answers were incorrect!"

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