100++ List Idioms dari A-Z untuk yang Berguna untuk Percakapan Sehari-hari

50++ Contoh Idiom dalam Kalimat Bahasa Inggris yang Bisa Kamu Pelajari Part 2

Kampung Inggris Bandung E-PLC – Idioms adalah frasa kiasan untuk menggambarkan sesuatu dengan lebih ringkas tanpa menjabarkannya secara jelas menggunakan kata-kata cukup menggunakan satu frasa idioms saja. Dalam bahasa Inggris, banyak sekali idioms yang bisa digunakan dan perlu kita ketahui ketika sedang mempelajari bahasa Inggris. Mari kita lihat satu persatu idioms dari A-Z berikut ini.


Idioms (A)

A Bit Much: More than is reasonable; a bit too much

A Bite at The Cherry: A good opportunity that isn’t available to everyone

A Busy Bee: A busy, active person who moves quickly from task to task.

A Cat Has Nine Lives: Cats seem to get away with dangerous things

A Cat in Gloves Catches No Mice: You can’t get what you need if you’re too careful.

A Cat Nap: A short sleep during the day

A Cold Day In July: (Something that) will never happen

A Cold Fish: Someone who is not often moved by emotions, who is regarded as being hard and unfeeling.

A Cut Above: Slightly better than

A Cut Below: Inferior to; somewhat lower in quality than

A Day Late And A Dollar Short: Too delayed and insignificant to have much effect

A Dog in The Manger: A person who selfishly prevent others from using, enjoying or profiting from something even though he/ she cannot use or enjoy it himself.

A Few Sandwiches Short Of A Picnic: Abnormally stupid, not really sane

A Good Deal: To a large extent, a lot

A Great Deal: To a very large extent

A Guinea Pig: Someone who is part of an experiment or trial

A Hair’s Breadth: A very small distance or amount

A Home Bird: Somebody who prefers to spend his social and free time at home.

A Hundred And Ten Percent: More than what seems to be the maximum

A Lame Duck: A person or enterprise (often a business) that is not a success and that has to be helped.

A Leg Up: An advantage, a boost

A Lemon: A vehicle that does not work properly

A Life Of Its Own: An independent existence

A Little Bird Told Me: I don’t wish to divulge where I got the information

A Little Bird Told Me: I got this information from a source I cannot reveal.

A Little from Column A, a Little from Column B: A course of action drawing on several different ideas or possibilities

A Lone Wolf: Someone who is not very social with other people

A Lot on One’s Plate: A lot to do

A Million and One: Very many

A Notch Above: Superior to; higher in quality

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: A visual presentation can communicate something very effectively


Idioms (B)


Babe In The Woods: An innocent, naive person

Babe Magnet: A man to whom women are attracted

Baby Blues: Blue eyes.

Baby Boomer: A person born in the years following World War II, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate

Babysitter Test: An evaluation of the ease of use of household appliances, especially remote control devices

Back And Forth: Dialogue, negotiations

Back At You: Same to you (used to return a greeting or insult)

Back Burner (On The): Not urgent; set aside until later

Back Forty: Remote, inaccessible land

Back in the Day: Formerly, when I was younger, in earlier times

Back Of Beyond: A remote location

Back Office: Support services for a business

Back to the Drawing Board: Forced to begin something again

Back to the Salt Mine(s): We have to go back to work.

Back to the Salt Mines: It’s time for me (us) to go back to work

Back the Wrong Horse: To support the losing side

Backing and Filling: Delaying a decision by making small changes or arguing about small details

Backseat Driver: A passenger in a car who gives unwanted advice to the driver is called a backseat driver.

Backseat Driver: Someone who likes to give (often annoying) advice to the driver of a car, or the leader of some other enterprise

Bad Apple: A discontented, trouble making, or dishonest person

Bad Blood: Enmity or hatred that stems from something in the past

Bad Egg: Someone who is not to be trusted

Bad Taste In One’s Mouth: Unease, a feeling that something unspecified is wrong in a situation

Bag of Tricks: A set of methods or resources

Bail Out: To rescue someone from a bad situation, to shield someone from the consequences of his or her actions

Bar Fly (or Barfly): Someone who spends much of his or her time in bars

Bare One’s Heart (Soul): To confess one’s deepest secrets

Bark Up the Wrong Tree: Pursue a mistaken approach or belief; be wrong in a course of action

Big Apple: An informal name for New York City

Big Brother: Government, viewed as an intrusive force in the lives of citizens; government spying

Idioms (C)


Call a Spade a Spade: To speak frankly and directly about a problem

Call It a Day: Decide that one has worked enough on something for the day

Call It a Night: End an evening’s activities and go home

Call the Shots: Make the important decisions in an organization

Call the Tune: Making important decisions and controlling a situation.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees: Is unable to maintain a wider perspective

Can’t Swing A Dead Cat In (Place): Without Hitting A (Thing) There are many examples of [thing] in this [place].

Carrot-and-Stick (Approach): A tactic in which rewards are offered, but there is also the threat of punishment

Carry a Torch (for): To continue to be in love with someone even after a relationship has ended

Carry Coals To Newcastle: Supply something that is unneeded; engage in useless labor

Carry the Can: To take the blame for something one did not do

Cash In One’s Chips: 1. To take advantage of a quick profit 2. To die

Cash-Strapped: In need of money

Cast the First Stone: To be the first to criticize or attack someone

Castle in the Air: An impractical plan

Cat Fight: A fight between two women

Cat Got Your Tongue?: Don’t you have anything to say?

Cat on a hot tin roof: Be extremely nervous

Cat-and-Mouse (adj.): In a toying way; playful in an unpleasant way

Catch One’s Death of Cold: To become very ill (with a cold/flu etc.)

Catch Some Rays: To sit or lie outside in the sun

Catch Someone’s Eye: Attract someone’s attention

Catch-22: A difficult situation from which there is no escape because options for avoiding it involve contradictions

Cat’s Paw: A person being used by someone else, a tool

Caught Red-Handed: Apprehended while committing a crime

Circle the Wagons: To prepare as a group to defend against attack, adopt a defensive posture

Claim to Fame: Unusual feature or offering

Clean Up Nicely: Look good when one is dressed up. Usually said of women

Clear the Air: Defuse tension, be honest about conflict so as to reduce it

Clip Someone’s Wings: Reduce someone’s privileges or freedom

Close, But No Cigar: You are very close but not quite correct.

Cock and Bull Story: A far-fetched story, probably untrue

Cock-A-Hoop: Elated, excited

Cold Day in Hell: A condition for something that would be extremely unlikely to occur

Come By Something Honestly: Acquire something honestly, or inherit it

Come Clean: To confess; to admit to wrongdoing

Come Hell or High Water: No matter what happens

Come Out in the Wash: To be resolved with no lasting negative effect

Come Out of the Closet: Reveal a secret about oneself, usually that one is gay (homosexual)


Idioms (D)


Da Man (Slang): An accomplished or skillful person. Generally used in the compliment “”You da man!””

Dance to Someone’s Tune: Consistently follow someone’s directions or influence

Dance with the Devil: Knowingly do something immoral

Dark Horse: A surprise candidate or competitor, especially one who comes from behind to make a strong showing

Darken Someone’s Door (Step): Make an unwanted visit to someone’s home

Dead Ahead: Directly ahead, either in a literal or a figurative sense

Dead as the Dodo: Completely extinct; totally gone

Dead Eye: A good shooter, a good marksman

Dead Heat: An exact tie in a race or competition

Dead of Winter: The coldest, darkest part of winter

Dead ringer: Very similar in appearance

Dead Run: Running as fast as possible

Dead Shot: A good shooter, a good marksman

Deep Pockets: The new owner has deep pockets, so fans are hoping the football team will improve next year with new players

Deliver the Goods: Provide what is expected

Devil’s Advocate: Someone who argues a point not out of conviction, but in order to air various points of view

Dirty Look: A facial manner that signifies disapproval

Do 12-Ounce Curls: Drink beer

Dodge a Bullet: To narrowly escape disaster

Doesn’t Amount to a Hill of Beans: Is unimportant, is negligible

Dog Days of the Summer: The hottest day of summer

Dog in the Manger: A person who prevents others from using something, even though the person himself or herself does not want it

Dog-and-Pony Show: A flashy presentation, often in a marketing context

Dog-Eat-Dog: Intensely competitive

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: Don’t be deceived by looks; don’t rely on looks when judging someone or something

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk: Don’t worry about minor things.

Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth: Do not question the value of a gift. The expression comes from the practice of determining the age and health of a horse by looking at its teeth.


Idioms (E)


Eager beaver: The term eager beaver refers to a person who is hardworking and enthusiastic, sometimes considered overzealous.

Eagle-Eyed: Having sharp vision

Early Bird [noun or adjective]: Someone who does something prior to the usual time, or someone who gets up early.

Eat Crow: To admit one was wrong, and accept humiliation

Eat Humble Pie: To admit defeat or error, to accept humiliation

Eat Someone’s Lunch: Defeat someone thoroughly

Eat Your Heart Out!: (excl.) Go ahead, be jealous.

Eighty-Six (v.): 1) Discard, eliminate. 2) Throw someone out of a bar or store.

Elephant in the Room: A major problem that no one is talking about

Elevator Music: Pleasant but boring recorded music that is played in public places.

Elevator Pitch: A brief presentation of an idea, one short enough to be delivered in an elevator

Eleventh Hour: The last minute

Even Steven: Owing nothing; tied (in a game)

Every Dog Has His (Its): Day Everyone has a moment of fame, power, or influence

Every Man and His Dog: Many people

Every Man for Himself: Pursue your own interests; don’t expect help from others.

Excused Boots: Allowed to avoid mandatory tasks


Idioms (F)


Face the Music: Dealing with consequences of one’s actions

Face the Music: To accept judgment or punishment

Fall for Something: Hook, Line, and Sinker To be completely deceived

Fall in Love with Somebody: Start feeling love towards somebody

Fall Off the Wagon: To begin using alcohol (or another problem substance) after quitting

Fall on One’s Sword: To accept blame; to sacrifice oneself

Fall Prey to: Be victimized by; be harmed by; be vulnerable to

Fancy Someone (British English): To find someone very attractive

Farther (On) Down the Road: Later, at some unspecified time

Farther (On) Down the Road: Later, at some unspecified time

Fashion-Forward: Tending to adopt new styles quickly

Fat Cat: A highly placed, well-paid executive

Father Figure: A mentor, a person who offers guidance

Feast Your Eyes On: To take great pleasure in looking at someone or something

Feather in One’s Cap: An achievement for which one is recognized; a noteworthy achievement

Feather One’s (Own) Nest: Use one’s influence or power improperly for financial gain

Feather One’s Nest: To take advantage of one’s position to benefit oneself

Fed Up With: Refusing to tolerate something any further; out of patience

Feel Like a Million Dollars: To feel great, to feel well and healthy.

Feel On Top of The World: To feel very healthy

Fell off a Truck: Probably stolen or illicitly obtained; said of something offered for sale to avoid discussing its origins

Fell off the Back of a Lorry: Probably stolen or illicitly obtained; said of something offered for sale to avoid discussing its origins

Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Temporary renown

Fifth Wheel: A superfluous person


Idioms (G)


Game of Chicken: A conflict situation in which neither side will back down for fear of seeming cowardly (chicken)

Get A Charley Horse: To develop a cramp in the arm or the leg

Get A Word In Edgewise: Be able to say something while someone else is talking a lot

Get Along (with Someone): To have a satisfactory relationship

Get Bent Out of Shape: Become angry, upset

Get Carried Away: Become overly enthusiastic

Get In on the Ground Floor: Invest in or join something while it is still small

Get in Shape: Undertake a program of physical conditioning; exercise regularly

Get Off Scot Free: Be accused of wrongdoing but pay no penalty at all

Get Off Scot Free: Be accused of wrongdoing but pay no penalty at all

Get One’s Ducks in a Row: Have everything organized; get oneself organized

Get One’s Hands Dirty: To do the unpleasant parts of a job

Get Someone’s Goat: To irritate someone deeply

Get To Grips With: To begin to understand and deal with something

Get the Ball Rolling: Do something to begin a process

Get the Picture: Understand what’s happening

Get the Runaround: Be given an unclear or evasive answer to a question

Get the Sack, Be Sacked: To be fired

Get the Third Degree: To be questioned in great detail about something

Get Wind of: Hear about

Get With the Program: Figure out what everyone else already knows. Often used sarcastically, as a command

Go Along (With): Agree to something, often provisionally

Go Ape: Express wild excitement or anger

Go Ballistic: Fly into a rage

Go Bananas: To become irrational or crazy


Idioms (H)


Hail Mary (n. or adj.): A desperate, last-ditch attempt

Hair of the Dog (That Bit You): A small amount of the alcoholic beverage that caused your hangover

Hands are Tied: You are prevented from doing something. It is not within your power

Hands Down: Undoubtedly

Hang It Up: To retire, to end an activity one has pursued for a long time

Hang Tough: Maintain one’s resolve

Hanging by a Thread: In great danger of elimination or failure

Happy-Go-Lucky: If you are a happy-go-lucky person, you are cheerful and carefree all the time.

Hard Nut to Crack: A difficult problem or a difficult person

Has the Cat Got Your Tongue?: Why are you not saying anything?

Hat Trick: Scoring three goals in hockey or soccer (football), or accomplishing three of anything.

Hatchet Job: A strong attack on someone’s reputation; intentionally destructive criticism; calumny

Haul Over the Coals: To scold someone severely

Have (one’s) head in the clouds: Not know what is happening around you or out of touch with reality

Have A Ball: To have a very enjoyable time

Have a Bone to Pick (with Someone): To want to discuss something someone has done that has angered or annoyed you.

Have a Bone to Pick (with Someone): To want to discuss something someone has done that has angered or annoyed you.

Have a Chip on One’s Shoulder: To harbor resentment; to have an angry attitude

Have a Dog in the Hunt (Fight, Race): To support a certain person in a competition

Have a Lead Foot: A tendency to drive very fast

Have a Lot on One’s Plate: Be busy, be in the middle of many ongoing tasks

Have a Lot Riding On (Something): Be depending on the successful outcome or development of something

Have a Nose for (Something): To have natural ability at something, a talent for finding something

Have a Screw Loose: Be slightly unbalanced or crazy

Have a Tough Row to Hoe: Be faced with a task that is difficult because of unfavorable conditions


Idioms (I)


I Wouldn’t Put It Past (Someone): I think it’s quite possible that [this person] would do this.

If It Had Been a Snake, It Would Have Bitten Me: It was very obvious, but I missed it.

If the Shoe Fits, Wear It: If this description of you is accurate, accept it.

I’m All Ears: You have my attention, so you should talk

In a Fog: Confused, not mentally alert

In a Heartbeat: Immediately. This is especially used in hypothetical situations

In a Jam: In need of help, in a difficult spot

In a New York Minute: Very quickly

In a Nutshell: Expressed in a few words

In a Pickle: In need of help, in a difficult spot

In a Rut: Confined by routine, bored and seeking new experiences

In Broad Daylight: When something occurs in broad daylight, it means the event is clearly visible

In Clover: Benefiting from a positive financial situation

In For a Penny, In for a Pound: Committed to something even though the risks are increasing

In Full Swing: When something, such as an event, gets into full swing, it is at its busiest or liveliest time.

In His Cups: Drunk

In Hot Water: In need of help; in trouble

In One Fell Swoop: All at once, in a single action

In One’s Element: In a situation which is entirely suitable, familiar, or enjoyable.


Idioms (J)


Jack of All Trades: A person with a wide variety of skills

Jam Session: Playing improvised music in an informal setting

Jim Crow: The system of racial segregation in the American South prior to the American civil rights movement.

Join the Club (excl.): I feel sympathy for you because I have experienced something similar.

Jump in with Both Feet: Begin a new experience wholeheartedly

Jump on the Bandwagon: To follow a trend or craze

Jump on the Bandwagon: To follow a trend; follow the crowd

Jump the Gun: Start doing something too soon

Jump the Shark: To pass peak quality and begin to decline. Often used to describe television programs or movie series.

Jump the Track: To shift suddenly from one activity or line of thought to another

Jump Through Hoops: Complete a series of tasks in order to satisfy someone

Just Around the Corner: Occurring soon

Just for the Record: I would like to make it clear that …

Just What the Doctor Ordered: Exactly the thing that is or was needed to help improve something or make one feel better


Idioms (K)


Kangaroo Court: A court of law where proper procedures are not followed at all; a sham judicial proceeding

Keep (Something) at Bay: Maintain a distance from something or someone

Keep a Stiff Upper Lip: Control one’s emotions; not give in to fear or grief

Keep an Eye On: To keep an eye on something or someone is to watch it periodically, to keep it under surveillance.

Keep an Eye Peeled: Be observant; watch out for something

Keep It Under Your Hat: Don’t tell anyone; don’t reveal this secret

Keep Someone at Arm’s Length: Avoid close interaction or cooperation

Keep Your Nose Clean: Avoid trouble or situations that compromise one’e honesty

Keep Your Powder Dry: Do not attack until you are ready.

Keeping One’s Nose to the Grindstone: Working hard on something repetitive or tedious

Kick Ass, Kick Butt: 1) Defeat badly; 2) be excellent or highly effective (only kick ass would be used for 2)

Kick the Bucket: To die

Kick the Can Down the Road: Postpone an important decision

Kill a Fly With an Elephant Gun: Approach a problem with excessive measures

Kill Two Birds with One Stone: Act in such a way as to produce two desirable effects

Kill Two Birds with One Stone: Solve two problems with one move

Kill the Goose That Laid the Golden Egg: To destroy a source of ongoing profits or benefits

Kink in One’s Neck: A cramp in one’s neck that causes pain

King of the Hill: At the top of one’s field; the most influential person in a given field or area

Kiss and Make Up: Make peace after an argument

Kith and Kin: Family (collectively)

Knock on Wood; Touch Wood: Let’s hope I have good luck or continue to have good luck.

Knock Some Sense Into: To beat someone in order to teach him/her a lesson. May be used figuratively.

Knock Someone’s Socks Off: Amaze someone

Knock Up: To impregnate a woman. Often used in the form knocked up.

Knockout: An extremely beautiful woman

Know (Something) Like the Back of One’s Hand: To be very familiar with something, especially an area


Idioms (L)


Larger Than Life: Conveying a sense of greatness, imposing

Last But Not Least: What I have just said does not reflect a ranking in importance.

Laughter is the Best Medicine: Laughing a lot is a very effective means of recovering from physical or mental injury

Learn the Ropes: Become more familiar with a job or field of endeavor; be trained

Leave Someone in the Lurch: Abandon someone in a difficult situation

Lend an Ear: Listen

Let Bygones Be Bygones: Agree to forget about a past conflict

Let Bygones Be Bygones: Agree to forget about a past conflict

Let Off Steam: To express anger and frustration in a way that does no damage

Let One’s Hair Down: To relax and enjoy themselves.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: To avoid stirring up a problem; to leave things alone

Let the Cat Out of the Bag: Reveal a secret, usually a secret you or others are trying to keep

Let the Genie Out of the Bottle: Reveal something hitherto suppressed

Letter of the Law: The explicit meaning of a law, as opposed to the spirit of the law, the law’s general intention

Lick One’s Wounds: Rest after a bad defeat

Life is A Bowl of Cherries: Life is wonderful or very pleasant

Light a Fire Under Someone: Inspire someone to work very hard

Light at the End of the Tunnel: A sign of hope after a long period of difficulties

Like a Kid in a Candy Store: To be so excited about one’s surroundings that one acts in a childlike or silly way

Like a Moth to a Flame: Drawn to something or someone despite the dangers

Like Father, Like Son: Sons inherit their fathers’ traits and preferences, often even without realizing it.


Idioms (M)


Mad As A Box Of (Soapy) Frogs: extremely mentally unstable; psychotic; detached from reality.

Mad as A Hatter: Mentally ill, psychotic

Main Squeeze: Committed romantic partner

Make a Break for It: Try to escape, run off

Make a Mountain out of a Molehill: To take something too seriously; to make too much of something

Make a Silk Purse out of a Sow’s Ear: Turn something ordinary or inferior into something refined and beautiful

Make Ends Meet: Have enough money to cover basic expenses

Make Hay (While the Sun Shines): To take advantage of an opportunity at the right time.

Make Love: To have sexual intercourse

Make Nice: Act cordial despite conflict

Make One’s Mark: Attain influence or recognition

Make Someone’s Day: Do something pleasing that puts someone in a good mood

Make Waves: Cause controversy, disturb a calm group dynamic

Man Cave: A part of the house, often the basement, that is left to the man of the household, perhaps with a workshop, a television for watching sports, etc.

March to the Beat of Your Own Drum: When someone does things the way they want to, without taking anybody else or anything else into consideration.

Match Made in Heaven: A relationship in which the two people are great together, because they complement each other so well

May-December (adj.): Significantly different in age. Said of couples where one member is much older. The most common usage is May-December romance.

May-December Marriage: A marriage between a younger and an older partner, typically a young woman and an old man.

Me Time: Activities undertaken for one’s own enjoyment, free from responsibilities to others.

Meeting of the Minds: Strong instinctive agreement on something

Mend Fences: Improve relations after a dispute


Idioms (N)


Nail-Biter: A suspenseful event

Nailing Jelly/Jello/Pudding To A Wall/Tree: An impossible task

Neck and Neck: Very close in a competition, with neither of two entities clearly in the lead

Neck of the Woods: A region, especially one’s home region

Nest Egg: Retirement savings; wealth saved for a future purpose

Never in A Million Years: Absolutely never

Never Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth: It’s rude to examine a gift closely; accept gifts politely.

New Wrinkle: A novel aspect to a situation, a new development

Nice Chunk of Change: A large amount of money

Nickel and Dime: To negotiate over very small sums; to try to get a better financial deal, in a negative way

Nine Times Out of Ten: Almost always

Nine-to-Five Job: A routine job in an office that involves standard office hours

Nip (Something) In The Bud: Deal with a problem before it becomes large

No Holds Barred (usually adj., often hyphenated): Unrestricted, without rules

No Love Lost Between: There is a mutual animosity between two people

No Names, No Pack Drill: By not accusing anyone specifically, I may avoid trouble.

No Names, No Pack Drill: If no one can be identified, no one will be punished.

No Rhyme or Reason (to): Without logic or pattern

No Room to Swing A Cat: Very small, not big enough

No Shit, Sherlock: That’s very obvious!

No Tree Grows to the Sky: Growth cannot continue indefinitely.

Not Cut Out for (Something): Not naturally skillful enough to do something well

Not Enough Room to Swing a Cat: A very small space

Not Give A Fig: To not care at all about something

Not Have A Cat In Hell’s Chance: Have no possibility of succeeding, coming to pass, or achieving something

Not Have a Prayer: Have no chance of success


Idioms (P)


Pack Heat: Carry a gun

Paddle One’s Own Canoe: To be able to act independently.

Page-Turner: A page-turner is an exciting book that’s easy to read, a book that’s difficult to put down.

Pain in the Ass; Pain in the Butt;

Pain in the Neck: Someone or something making your life difficult

Paint the Town Red: Go out drinking and partying

Par for the Course: What would normally be expected. This has a negative connotation.

Pass the Buck: Transfer a problem to someone else

Pass With Flying Colors: To succeed brilliantly, as on an exam or other test

Passing Fancy: A temporary interest or attraction

Pay Through the Nose (For Something): Pay a large amount of money

Peaches and Cream: A situation, process, etc., that has no trouble or problems

Pecking Order: Hierarchy, rank of importance

Pencil Something In: Make tentative arrangements

Penny-Pinching: Frugal, avoiding expenses whenever possible

Pep Talk: An encouraging speech given to a person or group

Perfect Storm: A rare combination of disastrous occurrences

Pet Peeve: A small thing that you find particularly annoying

Pick a Fight: Intentionally provoke a conflict or fight with someone

Pick Up the Slack: Do something that someone else is not doing; assume someone else’s responsibilities

Pick Up the Tab: To pay a bill presented to a group, especially in a restaurant or bar

Pie in the Sky: Something that is unrealistic or that cannot be achieved

Piece of Cake: Very easily done

Pin Someone Down: Demand a decision or clear answer

Pinch Pennies: To be careful with money, to be thrifty

Pink Slip: A layoff notice; loss of a job, typically because of layoffs

Pipe Dream: An unrealistic hope, a fantasy

Piping Hot: Very hot (generally said of food)

Pipped to the Post: Defeated by a narrow margin

Pissing Contest: A meaningless argument or competition, typically between males

Play Ball: Cooperate, agree to participate

Play Cat And Mouse: Trying to trick someone into making a mistake so you can defeat them.

Play Hardball: Adopt a tough negotiating position; act aggressively

Play it by Ear: To play a piece of music without referencing sheet music or a recording

Play It by Ear: To respond to circumstances instead of having a fixed plan


Idioms (Q)


Quake In One’s Boots: To be very frightened

Quarter Past: Fifteen minutes after the hour

Quarter To/Of: Fifteen minutes before the hour

Queer the Pitch: Interfere with someone’s plans; make something more difficult

Quick as a Flash: Very fast

Quick-and-Dirty: Approximate, hastily done

Quote Unquote: Ironically speaking; suggesting that if a phrase were written out, it would be in quotation marks to convey sarcasm


Idioms (R)


Race Against Time: To rush to meet a deadline, to be forced to do something very quickly

Rain Cats And Dogs: Rain heavily

Rain Cats and Dogs: Rain very heavily

Rain on Someone’s Parade: Spoil someone’s plans

Raise (Someone’s) Hackles: Make someone angry and defensive

Raise One’s Voice: Talk loudly

Raise Red Flags: Warn of trouble ahead

Raise the Bar: Increase standards in a certain competition or area of endeavor

Raise the Roof: Make a great deal of noise (said of a crowd)

Rake (Someone) Over the Coals: To scold someone severely

Rake Over the Ashes: Restart a settled argument; examine a failure

Rake Someone Over the Coals: Scold severely

Rank and File: The ordinary members of an organization

Read Between the Lines: Perceive what is not explicitly stated

Read the Tea Leaves: Predict the future from small signs

Rear Its Ugly Head (said of a problem or something unpleasant): Appear, be revealed

Rearrange the Deck Chairs on the Titanic: Taking superficial actions while ignoring a much larger and perhaps fatal problem

Red Flag: A warning; a sign of trouble ahead

Red Herring: A misleading clue; something intended to mislead

Red Meat: Political appeals designed to excite one’s core supporters; demagoguery

Red Tape: Bureaucracy; difficult bureaucratic or governmental requirements

Red-Light District: A neighborhood with many houses of prostitution

Reinvent the Wheel: Devise a solution to a problem for which a solution already exists

Riding High: Enjoying success

Right as Rain: Absolutely correct

Right Under (One’s) Nose: In an obvious location, yet overlooked

Right-Hand Man: Chief assistant

Right-Hand Man: Chief assistant

Ring a Bell: Sound familiar

Ring a Bell: When something seems familiar

Rob Peter to Pay Paul: Pay off a debt with another loan; solve a problem in such a way that it leads to a new problem

Rob the Cradle: To be sexually or romantically involved with someone who is very young

Rob the Cradle: To be sexually or romantically involved with someone who is very young

Rock Bottom: An absolute low point

Rock the Boat: Cause a disruption in a group. Often used in the negative: don’t rock the boat.

Roll the Dice On: Take a risk

Roll With the Punches: Deal with problems by being flexible

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day: Complex projects take time

Rookie Mistake: An error made by an inexperienced person

Rotten to the Core: Entirely evil

Rub (Something) in Someone’s Face: Humiliate someone by repeating and criticizing his or her mistake

Rub It In: Say something that makes someone feel even worse about a mistake

Rub Someone’s Nose in (Something): Humiliate someone by repeating and criticizing his or her mistake


Idioms (S)


Sacred Cow: An individual or organization that one cannot criticize

Saving Grace: Something that redeems a bad situation

Scare the Living Daylights Out of Someone: Frighten someone severely

Scorched Earth (Tactics, Policy, etc.): Ruthless, extremely destructive

Screw The Pooch: To make a serious error

School Of Hard Knocks: Difficult real-life experiences from which one has learned

Second Banana: A person in a subservient position

Second Stringer: A substitute player in a sport; a substitute for a job who is not the most talented person

Second Wind: Renewed energy

See Eye to Eye: To concur, agree

See Something Out of the Corner of Your Eye: Use peripheral vision

Seize (Take) the Bull By the Horns: Attack a problem directly

Seize the Day: Take an opportunity

Sell (Someone) a Bill of Goods: Trick someone; be deceptive

Sell Like Hotcakes: Be sold very quickly

Selling Point: An attractive feature of something for sale

Set in Stone: Fixed; unchangeable

Set something to Music: To write a piece of music to accompany a set of words

Set the Bar (Too) High: To set a high standard for something

Set the Thames on Fire: Do something amazing. Usually used in the negative.

Set the World on Fire: Do something amazing; have a brilliant stretch in one’s career

Shake the Dust off Your Shoes (Feet): Make a clean break with a relationship or situation

Shape Up or Ship Out: Behave properly or leave the organization

Sharp as A Tack: Mentally agile

Shell Game: A method of deception in which you conceal your actions by moving something frequently

Shift Gears: Change the subject, or change what one is doing

Shipshape And Bristol Fashion: Tidy, clean

Shit a Brick: Be extremely fearful.

Shoot from the Hip: Talk or act without consideration

Shoot Off One’s Mouth: Talk without considering one’s words

Shoot Oneself In The Foot: Do something that damages oneself or one’s own cause

Short Fuse: A quick temper; a tendency to anger quickly

Shot Across the Bow: A warning of more serious actions to come

Shoulder A Weight Off Your Shoulders: You no longer worry about something or deal with something difficult

Show Me an X And I’ll Show You a Y: There is a consequence to X that you may not have thought of.

Show One’s True Colors: Reveal one’s true nature

Show Your Cards: Reveal your resources or plans

Sick and Tired of: Extremely annoyed by something that occurs repeatedly

Sick as a Dog: Extremely ill.

Sick as a Parrot: Very disappointed

Sight for Sore Eyes: A sight that makes you happy

Silver Bullet: Something simple that resolves a difficult problem

Simmer Down: Become less angry; regain one’s composure

Sink or Swim: Fail or succeed

Sing a Different Tune: Change your opinion

Sit On (Something): Delay revealing or acting on something

Sit Tight: Wait and do not go anywhere

Sitting Duck: Something or someone easily attacked or criticized

Sitting Pretty: In a favorable situation

Six Feet Under: Dead and buried


Idioms (T)


Take (Someone) to the Cleaners: 1) Swindle; 2) defeat badly

Take a Deep Dive (Into): Explore something extensively

Take a Flyer: To take a rise; especially to make a speculative investment

Take a Gander: Go to take a look at something

Take a Hike: Go away

Take A Powder: To leave, especially in order to avoid a difficult situation

Take a Rain Check: Decline an invitation but suggest that you’ll accept it at a later time.

Take Five (Ten): Take a short break of five (ten) minutes

Take Five: To take one brief (about five minutes) rest period

Take It Easy: 1) Relax, rest; 2) (as a command) Calm down!

Take It Easy: Don’t hurry; relax; don’t get angry

Take It Easy: When you relax, or do things at a comfortable pace, you take it easy.

Take It on The Chin: Be attacked; suffer an attack

Take It or Leave It (command): You must decide now whether you will accept this proposal

Take Someone to Task: Reprimand someone strongly

Take Something with a Pinch (grain) of Salt: If you take what someone says with a pinch of salt, you do not completely believe it.

Take the Cake: Be the most extreme instance

Take the Edge Off (of Something): To slightly improve something negative

Take the Fifth: Refuse to answer because answering might incriminate or cause problems for you

Take the Gloves Off: Negotiate in a more aggressive way

Take the High Road: Refuse to descend to immoral activities or personal attacks

Take The Mickey (Piss) (Out Of Someone): Make fun of or ridicule someone

Take the Shine Off (Something): To do something that diminishes a positive event

Take the Starch out of (Someone): Make someone less confident or less arrogant

Take The Wind Out of Someone’s Sails: To reduce someone’s confidence, often by doing something unexpected

Take Your Life in Your Hands: Undergo extreme risk

Take Your Medicine: Accept something unpleasant, for example, punishment, without protesting or complaining

Take Your Time: Don’t hurry, work at a relaxed pace

Taste of Your Own Medicine: The same unpleasant experience or treatment that one has given to others

Teach an Old Dog New Tricks: To change someone’s long-established habits. Usually used in the negative: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

Tear One’s Hair out: Be extremely worried or frustrated


Idioms (U)


U Turn: A complete change of opinion, direction, etc.

Ugly Duckling: An awkward child or young person who grows into a beautiful person

Under (Below) the Radar: Not generally perceived, below popular consciousness

Under Someone’s Spell: Fascinated, entranced by someone

Under the Impression: Believing something, perhaps mistakenly

Under the Table: Without being officially recorded

Under the Weather: Feeling ill

Under the Weather: Not feeling well

Under Wraps: Temporarily hidden, secret

University of Life: Difficult real-life experience, as opposed to formal education

Until the Cows Come Home: For a long time

Until You’re Blue in the Face: For a long time with no results

Up a Creek: In a very bad situation

Up for Grabs: Available

Up for Grabs: Available for anyone

Up in Arms: Angry, protesting (usually said of a group)

Up in the Air: Not yet decided

Up to One’s Neck: Nearly overwhelmed

Up to Scratch: Meeting a basic standard of competence or quality

Up to Snuff: Meeting a basic standard

Up the Ante: Raise the stakes; increase the importance of something under discussion

Up the Duff: Pregnant

Upset the Apple Cart: To disorganize or spoil something, especially an established arrangement or plan

Use One’s Head: To think, to have common sense


Idioms (V)


Vale of Tears: The world in general, envisioned as a sad place; the tribulations of life

Vicious Circle: A situation in which an attempt to solve a problem makes the original problem worse.

Victory Lap: Visible public appearances after a victory or accomplishment

Virgin Territory: Something that has never been explored, physically or intellectually

Vote with One’s Feet: To physically depart from something as a way of showing disapproval


Idioms (W)


Waiting in the Wings: Ready to assume responsibilities but not yet active, ready to become a successor

Waka-Jumping: Change political parties (said of politicians themselves)

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee: Stop deluding yourself

Wake Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed: Be grumpy or ill-humored. Generally used in past tense

Walk on Eggshells: To have to act very sensitively in order to avoid offending someone

Walk the Plank: Be forced to resign a position

Wandering Eye: A tendency to look at and desire women or men other than one’s committed romantic partner

Wandering Eye: A tendency to look at and desire women or men other than one’s committed romantic partner

Wash Your Hands of (Something): Decline to take further responsibility; refuse to be involved with something anymore

Water Under the Bridge: Something in the past that’s no longer worth worrying about

Watering Hole: A place where alcoholic beverages are served, a bar

Weekend Warrior: Someone who has an office job but enjoys contact sports on weekends; a member of a military reserve force (whose exercises are typically on weekends)

We’ll Cross That Bridge: When We Come to It We’ll deal with that problem if and when it comes up

Welsh (Welch) on a Deal: Not observe the terms of an agreement

Wet Behind the Ears: inexperienced, immature, new to something

Wet Behind the Ears: Inexperienced, immature, new to something

Wet Blanket: Someone who dampens a festive occasion

Wet Your Whistle: Drink something

What Do You Make of (Him)?: What is your evaluation of this person?

What Goes Around Comes Around: The kind of treatment you give to others will eventually return to you; things go in cycles

What’s Good for the Goose Is Good for the Gander: What’s OK for a man is OK for a woman, too

Whistling Dixie: Being unrealistically optimistic

White Elephant: An unwanted item that is difficult to sell or dispose of

Who’s She, the Cat’s Mother?: Why does she have such a high opinion of herself?

Wild Goose Chase: An impossible or futile search or task

Window Dressing: A misleading disguise intended to present a favorable impression

Window Shop: To look at merchandise in a store without intending to buy it

Witch Hunt: An organized attempt to persecute an unpopular group of people and blame them for a problem.

With Bells On: Eagerly, willingly, and on time.

Work One’s Fingers to the Bone: Work very hard over an extended period

Worn to a Frazzle: Exhausted, completely worn out

Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead: Would absolutely not allow myself to do this

Writing (Handwriting) on the Wall: Hints of coming disaster


Idioms (Y)


Year In, Year Out: Annually without change

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but You Can’t Make It Drink: It’s very hard to force someone to do something against his or her will.

You Can Say That Again!: I agree totally!

You Can Take It to the Bank: I absolutely guarantee this

You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover: You can’t know people (or things) well by their external appearances.

You Can’t Make an Omelet (Omelette): Without Breaking

You Can’t Make Fish of One and Fowl of the Other: People must be treated equally.

You Know the Drill: You are already familiar with the procedure.

You Snooze, You Lose: If you delay or are not alert, you will miss opportunities

Young at Heart: Having a youthful outlook, regardless of age

Your Guess Is as Good as Mine: I don’t know; I have no idea

Your Mileage May Vary: You may get different results. This does not necessarily refer to a car, although it may.

Your Number Is Up: You are going to die (or suffer some bad misfortune or setback)

You’re Driving Me Nuts: To make someone giddy or crazy

Yours Truly: Me


Idioms (Z)


Zero In On: Focus closely on something; take aim at something

Zig When One Should Be Zagging: To make an error; to choose an incorrect course

Zip One’s Lip: Be quiet


Baca juga: Hal-hal Penting dari Idiom dan Bagaimana Cara Menggunakan-nya


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