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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

SAFETY and DANGER, page 3

from:   'safety in numbers'   to:  'wrapped in cotton wool'

  • safety in numbers
    • This expression means that being part of a group makes people feel more secure and more confident when taking action.
      "None of the group went sightseeing alone, knowing there was safety in numbers."

  • sail close to the wind
    • If you sail close to the wind, you do something dangerous or act just within the limits of what is legal or acceptable.
      "He seems to invest his money well although he often sails close to the wind."

  • save one's neck/skin
    • If you manage to escape from serious danger or trouble, you save your skin (or neck).
      "He saved his neck by reversing off the bridge just before it collapsed"

  • skating on thin ice
    • If you are skating on thin ice, you are doing or saying something risky, or something that could cause trouble.
      "Don't mention that subject during the negotiations or you could be skating on thin ice."

  • spell danger/disaster
    • If something spells danger or disaster, it signifies a serious risk.
      "The avalanche risk is high and spells danger for imprudent skiers."

  • (a lot) at stake
    • Someone who has a lot at stake is in a risky situation, with a lot to be won or lost.
      "He was nervous about signing the agreement because there was a lot at stake."

  • take cover
    • When someone takes cover, they hide from a danger, or bad weather, in a place where they find protection.
      "As soon as the explosion was heard, people ran to take cover."

  • taking your life in your hands
    • To say that someone is taking their life in their hands means that they are taking the risk of being killed.
      "If you drive home on this icy road, you'll be taking your life in your hands."

  • watch your step
      If you tell someone to watch their step, you are advising them to be careful how they behave in order to avoid danger.
    • "There is zero tolerance in this school for bad behaviour, so watch your step!"

  • wrapped up in cotton wool
    • Someone who is wrapped up in cotton wool is over-protected from dangers and risks.
      "Their children are kept wrapped up in cotton wool."

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