You Said What?

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  On thin ice   Meaning: a risky situation. “I was already on thin ice with my professor before I handed in my final papers late.”   Right as rain   Meaning: perfectly fine. “If you’re feeling a seasonal flu coming on, be sure to stay dry, rest up and get some extra vitamin C;

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    Act up   Meaning: when someone behaves badly. “On Fridays Jesse’s students tend to act up more often. I guess they know the weekend is coming.”   Hot ticket   Meaning: something or someone that is very much in demand at the moment. “With Apple releasing a new phone so close to Christmas,

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    Witch hunt   Meaning: an unfair search to harass or punish people with different views. “The company’s been on a witch-hunt—pricing out all the competitors in the industry.”   Night owl   Meaning: someone who likes being awake and active at night. “Amy is a night owl, she always looks sleepy during morning

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  Below the belt   Meaning: describing a cruel or unfair action or remark. Originates from hitting below the belt in boxing—which is against the rules. “The reviews for the new Kristen Stewart movie really hit below the belt.”   Fits like a glove   Meaning: something that fits perfectly. “The new spandex dress Marlene

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  Honour roll   Meaning: a list of people or students with exceptional achievements. “I was on the honour roll in high school, but I think all these university parties have since affected my marks.”   Play hooky   Meaning: to skip school when you should be in class. “I would rather play hooky than

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  Fancy free   Meaning: without any ties or commitments. Coined by Shakespeare in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “I was young and fancy free once. Now I’m chained to a desk every day of the week.”   A foregone conclusion   Meaning: a decision made before all the evidence is known. An inevitable conclusion. From

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  Kick off   Meaning: to start something. “I’d like to kick off this meeting by welcoming our very special guest, Lionel Messi.”   On the ball   Meaning: to keep one’s focus on an important matter. To respond quickly to new developments. “If you want to launch a successful business, you need to keep

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  Surf’s up   Meaning: When the waves are good enough to surf on. “Surf’s up dudes! Let’s kill it today.”   Ripping   Meaning: To surf really well. “Did you see me out there? I was totally ripping.”   Wipeout   Meaning: Falling off the surfboard. “He lost the finals because of a rookie

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  Piece of cake Meaning: When a task is quite easy to complete. “An arts degree is a piece of cake.”   Easy A Meaning: Getting a high score with minimal effort. “I love my International Law class, its an easy A.”   Victory lap Meaning: When a student has to take a fifth year

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  Guidebook explains some common English idioms Every language has expressions that have special meanings. The meanings are more than the sum of the words. These expressions are called idioms. English has many idioms. The meanings of these expressions are not always clear. You might hear these phrases on the street, or in conversation with

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You Said What?

Guidebook explains some common English idioms Every language has expressions that have special meanings. The meanings are more than the sum of the words. These expressions are called idioms. English has many idioms. The meanings of these expressions are not always clear. You might hear these phrases on the street, or in conversation with English

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  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink   Meaning: when someone can try their complete best in helping another, but there’s only so much one can do. Used in reference to stubborn people.   “I’ve tried to help her out with her university applications as much as I

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  Uphill battle   Meaning: a task that’s very difficult, often because other people are causing problems. “This semester’s been an uphill battle—my timetable is full, plus I’m taking a distance course.”   Tit for tat   Meaning: giving back exactly what one receives. Similar to: eye for an eye. “He insulted me, so I

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  Sweet tooth   Meaning: to like candy, chocolate and other sweet foods. “I can’t resist these sour cherry candies! My sweet tooth simply won’t allow it.”   Stiff upper lip   Meaning: to be brave. To face trouble with courage. “She kept a stiff upper lip all through exam season—even when her history professor

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  Get to the bottom of it   Meaning: to discover the truth about, or understand the causes of something. “There is clearly something fishy happening here, and I feel determined to get to the bottom of it.”   Keep your eyes peeled   Meaning: to watch very carefully for something. “There’s an orange sign

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