27/11/17 Idiomatic expressions about Success & Failure (Part 4)
|37. fall from grace||To say that someone has fallen from grace means that they have done something wrong, immoral or unacceptable, and as a result have lost their good reputation.
The Finance Minister fell from grace as a result of a sex scandal.
|38. fall on one’s sword||If you fall on your sword, you accept the consequences of an unsuccessful or wrong action.
The organizer of the referendum resigned when the poor results were announced. It was said that he’ fell on his sword’.
|39. feather in one’s cap||To describe someone’s achievement as a feather in their cap means that it is something they can be proud of.
The overwhelming victory of the team was a feather in the cap for the new manager.
|40. fight a losing battle||If someone is fighting a losing battle, they are trying to do something even when there is little chance of succeeding.
The headmaster is fighting a losing battle trying to ban mobile phones at school.
|41. (reach) first base||When you get to (or reach) first base, you make progress or begin to have success with someone or something.
If you go to the interview dressed like that, you won’t get to first base!
|42. flash in the pan||If you refer to somebody’s success as a flash in the pan, you mean that it is not likely to be repeated.
The manager hoped that the team’s unexpected victory was not just a flash in the pan.
|43. will never fly||To say that something will never fly means that it will not be successful.
He’s got incredible ideas, but none that will ever fly!
|44. with flying colours||To achieve something with flying colors means to do it very successfully.
My daughter passed the entrance exam with flying colors. I’m so proud of her.
|45. flying start||If something gets off to a flying start, it is immediately successful.
Sales of the book got off to a flying start and exceeded our expectations.
|46. fool’s errand||If you go on a fool’s errand, you try to do something which is useless, unnecessary or has no chance of success.
I realized it was a fool’s errand to look for a bank in such an isolated region.
|47. foot in the door||To say that someone has a foot in the door means that they have a small but successful start in something and will possibly do well in the future.
With today’s unemployment, it is difficult to get a foot in the door in any profession.
|48. get a foothold||If you get a foothold somewhere, you secure a position for yourself in a business, profession or organisation.
The contract got the firm a foothold in the local administration.