17/4/18 51 Popular English Idioms (Part 2)
11. Pull Yourself Together
To calm down and behave normally
I understand you’ve had a bad day, but pull yourself together and get on with your job, will you?
12. Shape Up or Ship Out
Either start performing better or leave
This is the last time I’m telling you to arrive on time. Shape up or ship out.
13. Cut Somebody some Slack
To give somebody a break/ not to judge somebody severely
I was extremely busy last week. Cut me some slack and I’ll finish the report by tomorrow morning.
14. By the Skin of your Teeth
When you do something by the skin of your teeth, you only just succeed/ nearly fail
I hadn’t studied much but passed the test by the skin of my teeth.
15. Once in a Blue Moon
When something rarely ever happens
We used to see him all the time, but now he just visits us once in a blue moon.
16. Go Down in Flames
To end or fail suddenly and spectacularly
She’d wanted to become Managing Director, but her career went down in flames when they found out she’d been leaking information to our competitors.
17. Tar Someone with the Same Brush
To believe that someone has the same bad qualities as others in a group
I don’t think much of that band, but the singer shouldn’t be tarred with the same brush. She’s got a fantastic voice.
18. Come Out Swinging
To be confrontational and strongly defend yourself at the beginning of a debate
Our local MP came out swinging against the current leadership and demanded that the government resign.
19. Hang in There
Wait and be patient
I know you’d really like to call him, but I don’t think that’s the right thing to do now. Just hang in there and he will call you.
20. Shoot from the Hip
To speak directly
If you want to get on well with your boss, try not to shoot from the hip next time. You don’t want to offend him, do you?