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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


from:   'ill-gotten gains'   to:  'loan shark'

  • ill-gotten gains
    • Money, profit or benefits that are made in a dishonest or illegal manner are called ill-gotten gains.
      "He won money by cheating and is now enjoying his ill-gotten gains."

  • itchy/itching palm
    • Someone who has an itching palm is greedy for money, for example tips or commission (as if putting money in the palm of their hand would ease the itch).
      "He's said to have an itching palm - he does nothing without payment!"

  • keep your head above water
    • To keep one's head above water means to try to survive by staying out of debt, for example a small business.
      "Business has been slow, but we've managed to keep our head above water."

  • keep the wolf from the door
    • In order to keep the wolf from the door, you need to have enough money to buy food and other essentials.
      "My grandparents earned barely enough money to keep the wolf from the door."

  • a kickback
    • This expression refers to money paid illegally for favourable treatment.
      "The property developers were accused of giving kickbacks to the local authorities."

  • laugh all the way to the bank
    • A person who makes a lot of money easily, especially through someone else's stupidity, is said to laugh all the way to the bank.
      "If we fail to renew the contract, our competitors will be laughing all the way to the bank."

  • (a) licence to print money
    • An officially authorized activity which enables people to make a lot of money without much effort is called a licence to print money.
      "The contract to supply computers to schools was a licence to print money."

  • live beyond your means
    • If someone lives beyond their means, they spend more money than they earn or can afford.
      "The cost of living was so much higher in New York that he was soon living beyond his means."

  • live (or be) on the breadline
    • People who live on the breadline have a very low income or barely enough money to survive.
      "Due to the recent crisis, there are more people living on the breadline than ever before."

  • live in clover
    • Someone who lives in clover has enough money to lead a very comfortable life.
      "I dream of making an enormous amount of money and living in clover for the rest of my life!"

  • live from hand to mouth
    • If you live from hand to mouth, you don't have any money to save because whatever you earn is spent on food and other essentials.
      "Most families in that area live from hand to mouth."

  • live high off the hog
    • Someone who lives high off the hog has a lot of money and a very comfortable lifestyle.
      "Now he's wealthy and living high off the hog."

  • (a) loan shark
    • A loan shark is a person who lends money at extremely high interest rates to people who are unable to obtain a loan from the bank.
      "The young immigrant was beaten because he was late paying back money to a loan shark."

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