1. THE LIST OF ENGLISH IDIOMS

AMBER

  1. AN AMBER GAMBLER- someone who drives very fast past the lights that control traffic when the signal is about to tell them to stop


Castle

  1. BUILD CASTLES IN THE AIR- to daydream; to make plans that can never come true.
  2. MAN´S HOME IS HIS CASTLE- Cliché One can do whatever one wants to in one's own home
  3. KING OF THE CASTLE- the most successful or most powerful person in a group of people
  4. CASTLES IN THE AIR- plans or hopes that have very little chance of happening


Cave

  1. CAVE IN- [for a roof or ceiling] to collapse.
  2. CAVE IN (to someone or something)- Fig. to give in to someone or something.
- to agree to something after originally opposing it give in (to somebody/something)
  1. AN ALADIN´S CAVE(British)-a place that contains many interesting or valuable objects (often + of )
  2. THE ROOF CAVES/ FALLS IN(American)-if the roof caves in, something very bad suddenly happens to you

CLAY

  1. HAVE FEET OF CLAY- Fig. [for a strong person] to have a defect of character. If you say that someone you admire has feet of clay, you mean they have hidden faults.
Coal

  1. BLACK AS COAL- completely dark or black.. After playing in the mud all morning, the children were as black as coal.
  2. CARRY COALS TO NEWCASTLE-Prov. to do something unnecessary; to do something that is redundant or duplicative. (Newcastle is an English town from which coal was shipped to other parts of England.) Mr. Smith is so rich he doesn't need any more money. To give him a gift certificate is like carrying coals to Newcastle.
  3. RAKE SOMEONE OVER THE COALS AND HAUL SOMEONE OVER THE COALS-Fig. to give someone a severe scolding. My mother hauled me over the coals for coming in late last night.
- to speak angrily to someone because they have done something wrong If I make a spelling mistake, I get hauled over the coals by my boss. (often + for ) They dragged her over the coals for being late with her assignment.

Crystal
  1. CLEAR AS CRYSTAL- a) Cliché very clear; transparent ,b) Cliché very clear; easy to understand.

EARTH

  1. HELL ON EARTH- a living hell also hell on earth. An extremely unpleasant place or experience.
  2. ALL OVER THE EARTH and all over the world- Fig. everywhere.
  3. AN EARTH MOTHER- a woman who has children and who has a natural ability as a mother
  4. BACK TO EARTH-returning to a more usual condition
  5. TO BE SALT OF THE EARTH -if someone is the salt of the earth, they are a very good and honest person
  6. BRING SOMEONE DOWN TO EARTH- Fig. to help someone face reality; to help someone who is euphoric become more realistic.
  7. COME DOWN TO EARTH- a. Lit. to arrive on earth from above b. Fig. to become realistic; to become alert to what is going on around one.
  8. COST THE EARTH- Fig. to be expensive; to cost a lot of money.
  9. FALL OF THE EARTH( AMERICAN)-to disappear completely
  10. DOWN TO EARTH- people or ideas are practical and work well
  11. FOLLOW YOU TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH- as far as possible
  12. FROM THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH- Fig. from all places in the world.
  13. GO TO EARTH(British & Australian)- a) to go away somewhere where people will not be able to find you b) go to the ends of the earth c) to do everything possible in order to achieve something (often + to do sth)
  14. EARTH SHATTERING- not very surprising or shocking
  15. HEAVEN ON EARTH- something extremely good
  16. LIKE NOTHING ON EARTH- Fig. very untidy or very unattractive.
  17. MOVE HEAVEN AND EARTH-to do everything you can to achieve something (usually + to do sth) Fig. to make a major effort to do something.
  18. OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH, FROM THE FACE OF THE EARTH- completely gone
  19. ON EARTH- Fig. really; indeed; in fact. (Used as an intensifier after on the face of the earth existing
  20. PLUMMET TO EARTH- to fall rapidly to earth from a great height.

21. RUN SOMEONE OR SOMETHING TO EARTH- to find something after a search..
22. SALT OF THE EARTH-Fig. the most worthy of people; a very good or worthy person. (A biblical reference, Matthew 5:13the earth moved (humorous) - The best people
23. THE SCUM OF EARTH( very informal)- if a group of people are the scum of the earth, they are the worst type of people. Usage notes: Scum is a layer of unpleasant or dirty substance that has formed on top of a liquid.
24. TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH- Fig. to the remotest and most inaccessible points on the earth

GOLD

  1. GOOD AS GOLD- Cliché very good. (Usually used to describe children.
  2. GOLD MINE OF INFORMATION- Fig. someone or something that is full of information.
  3. ALL THAT GLISTENS IS NOT GOLD- Prov. Just because something looks attractive does not mean it is genuine or valuable. (Often said as a warning.)
  4. HAVE A HEART OF GOLD- Cliché to be generous, sincere, and friendly.
  5. POT OF GOLD- - a. Lit. a container filled with gold, as in myth guarded by a leprechaun. b. Fig. an imaginary reward.
  6. WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD- Fig. very valuable.
  7. GOLD DIGGER(old-fashioned)- a woman who has relationships with rich men so that they will give her Money
  8. BE WORTH ITS/ YOUR WEIGHT IN GOLD- to be extremely useful or valuable
  9. LIKE GOLD DUST- (British & Australian) also like gold (American)- if things or people are like gold dust, they are difficult to get because a lot of people want them
  10. STRIKE GOLD- a. to become rich, happy, or successful b. to win a sports competition


ICEBERG

  1. TIP OF THE ICEBERG- Fig. only the part of something that can be easily observed, but not the rest of it, which is hidden. (Referring to the fact that the majority of an iceberg is below the surface of the water.)

Usage notes: An iceberg is a very large mass of ice that floats in the sea and often it is only possible to see a small part of it.


Iron

  1. ALL OAK AND IRON BOUND AND *sound as a barrel- Rur. in good health; feeling good.
  2. CAST- IRON STOMACH- Fig. a very strong stomach that can withstand bad food or anything nauseating.
  3. HAVE TOO MANY IRONS IN THE FIRE-Fig. to be doing too many things at once.
  4. IRON SOMETHING OUT- a. Lit. to use a flatiron to make cloth flat or smooth. b. Fig. to ease a problem; to smooth out a problem. (Here problem is synonymous with)
  5. PUMP (SOME) IRON-Sl. to lift weights for exercise.
  6. RULE WITH AN IRON FIST-Fig. to rule in a very stern manner.
  7. STRIKE WHILE THE IRON IS HOT-Prov. When you have an opportunity to do something, do it before you lose your chance.
  8. AN IRON FIST/ HAND IN A VELVET GLOVE-something that you say when you are describing someone who seems to be gentle but is in fact severe and firm
  9. AN IRON MAN (American & Australian)- a man who is physically very strong and can work hard for a long time
  10. CAN TALK THE LEGS OFF AN IRON POT(Australian)- if someone can talk the legs off an iron pot, they talk a lot
  11. CAST- IRON- a cast-iron promise or arrangement is one that can be trusted completely (always before noun)
  12. HAVE[a few/a lot etc.] IRONS IN THE FIRE- to have several jobs at the same time or to have several possibilities of work
  13. IRON OUT THE KINKS(mainly American)- to get rid of any problems that you are having with the way that you are doing something
  14. RULE ( SOMEBODY) WITH A ROD OF IRON(British, American & Australian) also rule (somebody) with an iron fist/hand (American & Australian)- to control a group of people very firmly, having complete power over everything that they do

ISLAND

1. MAROON SOMEONE ON AN ISLAND - to strand someone on something; to abandon someone on something, such as an island

METAL

  1. PUT THE PEDAL TO THE METAL- a. Sl. to press a car's accelerator to the floor; to drive very fast. b. to make something go forward or increase as fast as possible

Mine

  1. GOLD MINE OF INFORMATION- Fig. someone or something that is full of information.
  2. BACK TO THE SALT MINES- Cliché time to return to work, school, or something else that might be unpleasant. (The phrase implies that the speaker is a slave who works in the salt mines.)
  3. MAKE MINE SOMETHING- I wish to have the thing named. (The something can be a particular food or drink, a flavor of a food, a size of a garment, or a type of almost anything. Most typically used for food or drink.)
  4. MINE FOR SOMETHING- to dig into the ground in search of a mineral, a metal, or an ore.
  5. SITTING ON A GOLD MINE- Fig. in control of something very valuable; in control of something potentially very valuable.


MOON

1. PROMISE THE MOON- to make extravagant promises to someone.

MOUNTAIN

  1. FAITH WILL MOVE MOUNTAINS- Prov. If you believe in what you are doing, you can overcome any obstacle. (Sometimes refers to faith in God.)
  2. IF THE MOUNTAIN WILL NOT COME TO MOHAMMED, MOHAMMED MUST GO TO THE MOUNTAIN- Prov. If things do not change the way you want them to, you must adjust to the way they are. There are many variations of this proverb. See the examples make a mountain out of a molehill
  3. MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL- to make a slight difficulty seem like a serious problem (usually in continuous tenses)
  4. MOVE MOUNTAINS- a. if someone or someone's beliefs or feelings can move mountains, they can achieve something that is very difficult- If faith can move mountains, we'll win the Cup. b. if you would move mountains for someone, they are so important to you that you would do anything to please them c. to achieve something difficult

Rock

  1. HARD AS A ROCK- very hard. This cake is as hard as a rock! I can't drive a nail into this wood. It's hard as a rock.
  2. SOLID AS A ROCK-Cliché very solid; dependable. Jean has been lifting weights every day, and her arm muscles are solid as a rock. This company has always built power tools that are as solid as a rock.
  3. STEADY AS A ROCK- Cliché very steady and unmovable; very stable. His hand was steady as a rock as he made each incision.
  4. BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE- Fig. in a very difficult position; facing a hard decision. I couldn't make up my mind. I was caught between a rock and a hard place. He had a dilemma on his hands.
  5. HAVE ROCKS IN ONE´S HEAD-Fig. to be silly or crazy. John is a real nut. He has rocks in his head. I don't have rocks in my head—I'm just different.
  6. LET´S ROCK AND ROLL-Inf. Let's get started!; Let's get moving! A: Everybody ready? B: Yeah. A: Good. Let's rock and roll!
  7. ON THE ROCKS- a. Lit. [of a ship] broken and marooned on rocks in the sea. The ship crashed and was on the rocks until the next high tide. b. Fig. [of an alcoholic drink] served with ice cubes. I'd like mine on the rocks, please. Give me a scotch on the rocks, please. c. Fig. in a state of ruin or bankruptcy. That bank is on the rocks. Don't put your money in it. My finances are on the rocks just now.
8. ROCK SOMEONE TO SOMETHING- to help someone, usually an infant, get to sleep by rocking in a rocking chair, cradle, or carriage. It is best to rock the baby to sleep after you feed her. Somehow she learned to rock herself to sleep.
9. ROCK AROUND- to tilt or totter about. The boat rocked around, tossing the passengers to and from. The road was bumpy and the huge car rocked around.
10. ROCK THE BOAT- a. Lit. to do something to move a boat from side to side, causing it to rock. (Often in a negative sense.) Sit down and stop rocking the boat. You'll turn it over! b. Fig. to cause trouble where none is welcome; to disturb a situation that is otherwise stable and satisfactory. (Often negative.) Look, Tom, everything is going fine here. Don't rock the boat! You can depend on Tom to mess things up by rocking the boat.The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.

SALT

  1. BACK TO THE SALT MINES- Cliché time to return to work, school, or something else that might be unpleasant. (The phrase implies that the speaker is a slave who works in the salt mines.)
  2. EAT SOMEONE´S SALT- Rur. to be someone's guest.
  3. GO THROUGH SOMEONE LIKE A DOSE OF THE SALTS- Fig. [for something] to be excreted very soon after being eaten; [for something] to go immediately through the alimentary canal of a person. (Use with discretion.)
  4. HAVE SOMETHING HUNG UP AND SALTED- Rur. to know everything about something. (Often used ironically, as in the second example.)
  5. RUB SALT IN A WOUND- Fig. to deliberately make someone's unhappiness, shame, or misfortune worse.
  6. SALT SOMETHING AWAY- a. Lit. to store and preserve a foodstuff by salting it. The farmer's wife salted a lot of fish and hams away for the winter. She salted away a lot of food. b. Fig. to store something; to place something in reserve. I need to salt some money away for my retirement. I will salt away some money for emergencies.
  7. SALT SOMETHING DOWN- to place salt on something, such as icy roads.
  8. SALT SOMETHING WITH SOMETHING- a. Lit. to put a variety of salt or a salt substitute onto some food. Oscar salts his food with a salt substitute. Did you salt your meat with salt or something else b. Fig. to put something into something as a lure. (Refers to putting a bit of gold dust into a mine in order to deceive someone into buying the mine.) The land agent salted the bank of the stream with a little gold dust hoping for a land rush to start. Someone salted the mine to fool the prospectors
  9. SALT OF THE EARTH- Fig. the most worthy of people; a very good or worthy person. (A biblical reference, Matthew 5:13.)
  10. TAKE SOMETHING WITH A PINCH OF SALT, TAKE SOMETHING WITH A GRAIN OF SALT- Fig. to listen to a story or an explanation with considerable doubt.
  11. WORTH ONE´S SALT- Fig. worth (in productivity) what it costs to keep or support one. Any [judge/lawyer/teacher etc.] worth their salt if is good at their job.


Sand

  1. BURY ONE´S HEAD IN THE SAND, HIDE ONE´S HEAD IN THE SAND-
Fig. to ignore or hide from obvious signs of danger.
  1. DRAW A LINE IN THE SAND- Fig. to create or declare an artificial boundary and imply that crossing it will cause trouble.
  2. SAND SOMETHING DOWN- a. to make something smooth by rubbing it with sandpaper. (To act on the main body of the object, not the imperfections.) b. to remove bumps or imperfections on the surface of something by rubbing them with sandpaper. (To act on the imperfections, not the main body of the object.)
  3. SANDS OF TIME- Fig. the accumulated tiny amounts of time; time represented by the sand in an hourglass.
  4. BE BUILT ON SAND- if something is built on sand, it is not firmly established and is likely to fail

SILVER

  1. ON A SILVER PLATTER- Fig. using a presentation [of something] that is appropriate for a very formal setting. (*Typically: give something to someone ~; present something ~; serve something ~; want something ~.)
  2. BORN WITH A SILVER SPOON IN ONE´S MOUTH- Fig. born into wealth and privilege.
  3. CROSS SOMEONE´S PALM WITH SILVER- Fig. to pay money to someone in payment for a service. (A fortune-teller might ask for a potential customer to cross her palm with silver. Used in that sense or jocularly for something like tipping a porter.)
  4. EVERY CLOUD HAS A SILVER LINING- - Prov. You can derive some benefit from every bad thing that happens to you. (You can also refer to the silver lining of a particular cloud, the benefit you can derive from a particular misfortune.)
  5. BE BORN WITH A SILVER SPOON IN YOUR MOUTH- to be the son or daughter of a very rich family
  6. SILVER- TONGUED( LITERARY)- a silver-tongued person speaks to someone in a pleasant way and praises them in order to persuade them to do what they want (always before noun)
  7. THE SILVER SCREEN( old- fashioned)- the cinema

SOIL

  1. GET ONE´S HANDS DIRTY, SOIL ONE´S HANDS- a. Fig. to get closely involved in a difficult task. b. Fig. to become involved with something illegal; to do a shameful thing; to do something that is beneath one.
2. SOIL ONE´S DIAPER(S)- [for a baby] to excrete waste into its diaper.


STONE

  1. SINK LIKE A STONE- to fail completely
  2. STICKS AND STONES MAY BREAK MY BONES, BUT WORDS WILL NEVER HURT ME-something that you say which means that people cannot hurt you with bad things they say or write about you
  3. STONE DEAD-Rur. dead; unquestionably dead; long dead.
  4. STONE( - COLD) SOBER- absolutely sober.
  5. STONE THE CROWS!- something that you say in order to show that you are very surprised
  6. STONE´S THROW AWAY- Fig. a short distance; a relatively short distance. The same meaning has: within a stone's throw (of something) and (just) a stone's throw away (from something); (just) a stone's throw (from something)- Fig. very close (to something). (Possibly as close as the distance one could throw a stone. It usually refers to a distance much greater than one could throw a stone.)
  7. YOU CANNOT GET BLOOD FROM A STONE- Prov. You cannot get help from an uncharitable person or money from someone who has none.

  1. GET BLOOD OUT OF A STONE- if making someone give or tell you something is like getting blood out of a stone, it is very difficult
  2. HARD AS STONE- very hard
  3. HAVE A HEART OF STONE- to be cold and unfriendly
  4. KILL TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE- to solve two problems at one time with a single action
  5. LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED- to search in all possible places
  6. PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS HOUSES SHOULDN´T THROW STONES- You should not criticize other people for having the same faults that you yourself have
  7. ROLLING STONES GATHERS NO MOSS- A person who does not settle down is not attached to anything or anyone. (Can be said in admiration or in censure, depending on whether or not the speaker feels it is good to be attached to something or someone.)
  8. RUN INTO A STONE WALL- to come to a barrier against further progress
  9. SET IN STONE- firmly established and very difficult to change
  10. A HEART OF STONE- an unfriendly and unkind character
  11. BE CARVED/ SET IN STONE- If an arrangement, a plan, or a rule is set in stone, it is completely fixed so that it cannot be changed (usually negative)
  12. BREAK (someone's) STONES; BUST (someone's) STONES- a. Sl. to wreck or ruin (someone); to overwork someone; to overwhelm someone. (Potentially offensive. Use only with discretion.) b. Sl. to kid or tease (someone).
  13. CAST THE FIRST STONE- Fig. to make the first criticism; to be the first to attack. (From a biblical quotation.)
  14. CONSTANT DROPPING WEARS AWAY A STONE, CONSTANT DRIPPING WEARS AWAY A STONE- Prov. Persistence accomplishes things
  15. GET BLOOD FROM A STONE, GET BLOOD OUT OF A STONE- to do something very difficult


MORE IDIOMS CONNECTED TO STONES
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