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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Social, working and personal relationships

from:  'birds of a feather'   to:  'know someone inside out'

  • birds of a feather flock together
    • If two people are birds of a feather, they are very similar in many ways, so they naturally spend time together.
      "No wonder they get on well. They're birds of a feather!"

  • build bridges
    • If a person builds bridges between opposing groups, they help them to cooperate and understand each other better.
      "A mediator is trying to build bridges between the local community and the owners of the new plant."

  • cut loose
    • If someone cuts loose or is cut loose, they stop being influenced or controlled by another person or group.
      "He's thirty years old and still hasn't cut loose from his family."

  • see eye to eye with someone
    • If you see eye to eye with somebody, you agree with them.
      "I'm glad we see eye to eye on the choice of colour scheme."

  • fair-weather friend
    • Someone who acts as a friend when times are good, and is not there when you are in trouble, is called a fair-weather friend.
      "I thought I could count on Bill, but I've discovered he's just a fair-weather friend."

  • get on like a house on fire
    • Two people who get on like a house on fire have similar interests and quickly become good friends.
      "As soon as Sarah met her brother's girlfriend, they got on like a house on fire."

  • get a raw deal
    • If you say that some has got a raw deal, you think they have been treated unfairly or badly.
      "Lisa got a raw deal in that company. After working so hard, she got neither a pay increase nor a promotion."

  • go with the flow
    • If you go with the flow, you follow the general tendency and go along with whatever happens.
      "When my colleagues organise an office party, I just go with the flow."

  • good walls make good neighbours
    • This expression means that respecting one another's privacy helps create a good relationship between neighbours.
      "We try not to disturb the people next door. Good walls make good neighbours!"

  • play gooseberry
    • If you play gooseberry, you join or accompany two people who have a romantic relationship and want to be alone.
      "They invited me to join them but I didn't want to play gooseberry."

  • (like) herding cats
    • This expression refers to the difficulty of coordinating a situation which involves people who all want to act independently.
      "Trying to manage a group of people from different countries is like herding cats!"

  • be an item
    • To say that two people are an item means that they are involved in a romantic relationship.
      "So Sally and Harry are an item, are they?"

  • know someone inside out
    • If you know someone inside out, you know them very well.
      "Sue and Anne have been friends since childhood. They know each other inside out."

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