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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


from:   'a bolt from the blue'   to:  'take a rain check'

  • (a) bolt from the blue
    • To refer to something as a bolt from the blue means that it happened totally unexpectedly.
      "The chairman's resignation came as a bolt from the blue."

  • on cloud nine
    • A person who is on cloud nine is very happy because something wonderful has happened.
      "When the boss announced my promotion, I was on cloud nine."

  • (a) cloud on the horizon
    • A problem or difficulty that is predictable, or seems likely to arise in the future, is called a cloud on the horizon.
      "They are happily married and for the moment there appear to be no clouds on the horizon."

  • (keep) in the dark
    • If someone is kept or left in the dark about something, they are not informed about it.
      "The personnel was kept in the dark about the merger until the last minute."

  • (a) 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."

  • (the) heavens open
    • When the heavens open, it suddenly starts to rain heavily.
      "As soon as the race started, the heavens opened and the runners were soaked."

  • once in a blue moon
    • If something occurs once in a blue moon, it happens very rarely.
      "Bill has very little contact with his brother. They see each other once in a blue moon."

  • reach for the moon
    • If you reach for the moon, you are very ambitious and try to achieve something even if it is difficult.
      "His parents were hardworking people who encouraged their children to reach for the moon."

  • come rain or shine
    • If a person does something come rain or shine, they do it regularly, whatever the circumstances.
      "He goes to the gym club every day, come rain or shine."

  • it never rains but it pours
    • This expression is used to comment on the fact that when something bad happens, other bad things often happen too, and make the situation even worse.
      "First he forgot his briefcase, then he lost his wallet, and when he reached the car park, his car had been stolen - it never rains but it pours!"

  • take a rain check (on something)
    • To say that you take a rain check on something means that you cannot accept an invitation or offer now, but you will be happy to accept it later.
      "Do you mind if I take a rain check on that lunch invitation? I'm going to be away all week."

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