23/11/17 Idiomatic expressions about Success & Failure (Part 2)
|13. bring the house down||If you bring the house down, you give a very successful performance.
If he sings like that on Saturday, he’ll bring the house down.
|14. cake not worth the candle||To say that the cake is not worth the candle means that the advantages to be gained from doing something are not worth the effort involved.
He recorded an album but sold very few copies; the cake wasn’t worth the candle.
|15. chance one’s arm||If you chance your arm, you decide to do something even though there is little hope of success.
Tony knew there was little hope of getting into Harvard but he decided to chance his arm anyway.
|16. had one’s chips||To say that someone has had their chips means that they have completely failed in what they set out to achieve.
After the second round, it looked as though Watson had had his chips.
|17. close but no cigar||This expression refers to an effort to do something which was a good attempt but not quite good enough to succeed.
The ball touched the goal post – close but no cigar!
|18. come to grief||If someone or something comes to grief, they either have an accident, are destroyed or end in failure.
Their plans for a golf course came to grief when it was decided to build a motorway.
|19. come up in the world||A person who has come up in the world is richer than before and has a higher social status.
My old school friend has bought an apartment overlooking Central Park. She has certainly come up in the world.
|20. come up roses||If things come up roses, the end result is successful or positive, even if there were difficult times.
After several disappointments, everything seems to be coming up roses for the tennis player this year.
|21. come/turn up trumps||To say that someone has come up trumps means that they have achieved unexpectedly good results.
Against all expectations, our team came up trumps in the cup final.
|22. cook someone’s goose||To cook somebody’s goose means to spoil that person’s chances of success.
When the burglar saw the police car arriving, he realized his goose was cooked!
|23. on course for||If you are on course for something, you are likely to achieve it.
Our team is on course for a victory in the national championship.
|24. crest of the wave||If you are on the crest of a wave, you are very successful in what you are doing.
Our company is going from success to success. We’re on the crest of a wave right now.