24/11/17 Idiomatic expressions about Success & Failure (Part 3)
|25. cut one’s losses||If you end or withdraw from something that is already failing, in order to reduce the loss of money, time or effort invested in it, you cut your losses.
The project is heading for failure. Let’s cut our losses before it’s too late.
|26. cut one’s own throat||If you cut your own throat, you do something that will be the cause of your own failure or ruin your chances in the future.
Tony has already missed a lot of classes. He’s cutting his own throat.
|27. dead cert||Something that is certain to happen or be achieved is a dead cert.
After such praise, his appointment as captain of the team is a dead cert.
|28. dead duck||This expression refers to a project or scheme which has been abandoned or is certain to fail.
The new cinema is going to be a dead duck because it’s too far away from the town centre.
|29. dead in the water||A plan or project that is dead in the water is at a standstill or has ceased to function and is unlikely to be reactivated in the future.
Because of the crisis, the planned housing development is now dead in the water.
|30. dice are loaded||If everything seems to work to your disadvantage, and you are not likely to succeed, the dice are loaded against you.
I applied for the job, but being a woman, and over forty, the dice were loaded against me.
|31. disaster written all over||If something, such as a plan or idea, has disaster written all over it, it is thought to be heading for complete failure, or will cause a lot of trouble.
Mary’s idea of a holiday with her in-laws has disaster written all over it!
|32. all downhill
downhill all the way
|If something is all downhill or downhill all the way, it is very easy to achieve considering the difficulties encountered beforehand.
The hardest part for the burglars was turning off the alarm system. After that it was all downhill.
|33. draw a blank||If you look for or try to remember something, and draw a blank, you fail to find it.
I nearly won the quiz; unfortunately I drew a blank at the last question!
|34. every dog has its day||This expression means that everyone can be successful at something at some time in their life.
I didn’t win this time, but I’ll be lucky one day. Every dog has its day.
|35. fall at first hurdle||If you fall at the first hurdle, you fail to overcome the first difficulty encountered.
Scott fell at the first hurdle. He didn’t study enough and failed his first exam.
|36. fall flat||If a joke, a story or a form of entertainment falls flat, it does not amuse people, or fails to have the effect that was intended.
He made a few attempts at humor during his speech but most of his jokes fell flat.