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nfretaes English Idioms English Idioms Jennifer Seidl W. McMordie A fifth edition of English Idioms and How to Use Them ‘Oxford University Press Oatord University Press ‘teat later Street, Oxford OX2 6DP Osford New York Auckland anghok Buenos Aires Cape Town Chennai Dares Salaam Delhi Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi. Kolkata Kala Lumpur Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Mumbai Nairobi Sdo Paulo Shanghai Taipei ‘Tokyo Toronto ‘Oxford and Oxford English ae trade marks of Oxford University Pres. ISBN 019432775 2 (paperback) ISBN 0 19 432774 4 (hardback) First Oxford edition by W. MeMordie 1909 Second edition 1913 (eprinted 21 times) Third edition revised by R. C. Goin 1954 (reprinted 17 times) Fourth edition by Jennifer Sei 1978 (reprinted 10 times) Fifth edition 1988 Eleventh impression 2003, © Oxford University Press 1978, 1988 ‘No unauthorized photocopying All rights reserved. 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Oxford University Press disclaims any responsibility forthe content Photorypeset in 4/10/pt Ehrhardt by Tradespools Lid, Frome, Somerset Printed in China Contents Introduction 9 1 Idioms in perspective 17 Growth and change in English vocabulary 1 hanging attitudes to language 12 Diflerent aspects ofthe idiom 12 1 What is an idiom? 2 Kinds ofidioms Where and when to useidioms 13 liomatic uses 14 2. Key words with i Adjectives and adverbs 14 bad 14 hot 22 big 15 long 23 dead 16 old 23 flat 17 short 24 good 18. thick 25 hard 20 thin 25 high 27 Nouns 26 end 26 line 27 matter 29 29 point 37 thing 33. way 33. word 35, world 37 Miscellancous 37 all 37 how "41 ittassubjec) 42 itGsobjecy that 49 there 51 oo 53 what 55 3 Idioms with nouns and adjectives 58 Noun phrases 58 (eng in the machine, a drop inthe ocean Adjective + noun 63 ga biter pill, a close shave ns 80 pieces, wear and tear Pairsofadverbs 82 ia ce. mare or less, far and wide Pairs ofverbs 82 eg. chop and change, hit and miss Wentical pairs 85 eb by bit, through and through 5 Idioms with prepositions 86 ‘e.g. above board, after a fashion, in a scrape 86 of 93 above across 86 off 93 after 86 on 9 against 86 out 97. a 86 over 98 behind 89 round 98 below 89 wo 99 by 89 under 99 for 89 up 100 from 90 within 100 in 90 6 Phrasalverbs 0] a eg. ac up, allow for something, be into something, cal something off, make something upto someone 7 Verbalidioms 155 eg. blow one's own trumpet, calla spade a spade, ‘come o grips with something, doa hunk 8 Idioms from special subjects 186 Banking 186 Business 187 Buyingand selling 187 Health illness, death 189 Motoring 190 Polities and government 91 tock Exchange — 192 ming 193 TH ‘Work and industrial ret jons 194 9 Idioms with key words from special categories 197 Animals 197 203 203 grey 205 204 red 205 green "205 white” 206 Numbers, size, measurement 207 number 207 22 one 207 212 two 209 212 three ete. 210 Parts of the body 273 arm 213. hand 222 back 213 head 225 blood 214 heat 226 bone 2/5 heel 227 brain 2/5 leg 228 chest 216 neck 228 ear 216 nose 229 elbow 216 shoulder 229 eye 217 skin 230 face 219 we 230. finger 220 tongue 230 foot, feet 227 woth, teeth 237 hair 222 Time 237 day 231 moment 233 hour "233 night 234 minute 233 time 234 10 Idioms with comparisons 337 Comparisons with as...8 237 eK. a5 hold as brass Comparisons with like 238 exit e ind 2 att Index 2h veer Introduction About this book Since its first publication by Oxford University Press in 1909 English aioms has proved is usefalness through four editions. This new fith edition includes important changes which have taken place in the English language in recent years, Iisa mode ‘current use in Britain, It also includes a number of tigi which ave been adopted by Irish speakers, Loe marked (US) or (mainly US) are not generally used in Britain, Idioms marked (GB) are used in British English only Level Phe book is intended primarily for advanced foreign learners of English, ‘but upper intermediate students should benefit too, Teachers of English will also find it useful Organization The book is divided into ten chapters. Fach chapter deals with various key words (c high-frequency adjectives or nouns, numbers, colours) or with aakey structure (¢ arases, phrasal verbs, phrases with. prepositions). ‘chapter are arranged alphabetically for easy reference. The contents list shows in detail where the various types of nd and a full index makes the book particularly user How to use the book “The book can be used as are fence book for finding out the meaning of an idiom. More important, it can be used for systematic learning of groups ‘of idioms both in and out of the classroom. This isa unique feature of English Idioms, Almost all idioms are accompanied by examples of typical use. Where two examples are given they are separated by this symbol. When looking for an idiom, see iit contains one ofthe key words (eg ‘bad, end, all, lack, two, arm, day, etc). All the key words are listed separately in the contents list and are indexed atthe back of the book. If the idiom contains two key words, e.g. the end of the ine, you will find it under the first key word, ic. under end. Ifthete is no key word in the idiom, look atits structure. For example, a raw deal or a wet blanket are 10 Innreduetion iructure Adjective + noun ‘of something, hit on something, put in for something are listed under Phrasal verbs chapter 6. Use of the stress mark() n stress auniliary) adjective or adverb, take the biscuit and eun for stressed. Idioms which have an tunusual or unpredictable stress are the stress mark(), Use of /and ( ) “The slant mark / is used to show alternative possibilities in idioms. For example, break fresh new ground can be used in either of the forms break fresh ground, break new ground. words. F can be used, ‘The brackets ( ) are used to show opto sea both the forms all at sex and at sample, in (al) at Sometimes an idiom is given with both a slant and brackets. For example, not (s0”t00) bad means that any of the forms not bad, not so bad, not too bad can be used Exercises English Idioms: Exercises on Idioms, which isa revised edition of Idioms in Practice (1982), contains exercises on al the types of idioms presented in this reference volume. A seeond book of exercises, English Idioms: Exercises on Phrasal Verbs, which deals very flly wth phrasal verbs alone, i also available. Both books may be used alongside English Idioms or om their own, " 1 Idioms in perspective We often read the phrase “language is living thing’, but most of us do not ‘top to think what itreally means. Living things grow and change, so does Tanguage. This chapter takes a look at how and shy. Since the general tendencies of present-day English are towards more is important that this book on idioms should show the language is developing. Idioms are nota separate part of nguage, which one can choose either to use ot to omit; they form an ‘sential part of the vocabulary of English. A description of how the vocabulary of the language is growing and changing will help to place idioms in perspective Growth and change in English vocabulary “The vocabulary of language grows continually with new developmen knowledge. New ideas need new labels to name them. Without new labels, communication of these new ileas would be impossible. Many new words ome from the English of special subjects such as computer sciences, sociology, alverising, politics and economics. ‘Computer technology has given bith to softare, dsket, high-tech, on-line, ‘printout, modem, eomputer-hiterae, to format, to interface, to logon, to mention only afew. The technology of nuclear power has given us interesting noun ‘compounds such as meltdomn o reactor spent-fe reprocessing lant. From economics we have mage-freee, price freze, stagflation (sce also below). ‘The field of advertising has given us sof sell and hard el (subtle and aggressive sales techniques), hype (intensive, exaggerated sales promotion/ publiity/ marketing) and the corresponding verb fo hype Words which already exist can take on an additional meaning ina special context. For example, the field of industrial relations has given new ‘meaning to the verbs to malk out, to lock ut, ot in, 1 go slow. The noun forms walk-out, lack-out, sit-in and go-slow are used almost exclusively in this context. The words leak, spill and mast are typically used in the context of the technology of nuclear power, as well as in everyday contexts. In computer jargon, the verb fo hack and the nouns memory, drive and hardware have taken on new meanings. The word hand as used for © in hard copy has taken on the specialized meaning ‘readable by the eye not only machine-readable output as on magnetic tape. le American English is particulary flexible and creates new words by changing a word's grammatical funetion, eg verb to noun, asin a se-up, {buy a ere-up, a trade-off a work-out, a phone-in, a shoot-out. Nouns are made into verbs, a in aces, o window (computer jargon), tv micrmmav, 1 ruber-stamp, to scapegoat, tclour-match, 0 ar-feght, to headline. Adjectives are made into verbs, as in to soundproof steaming, 121 Aioms in perspective 1 skidproof, 10 net (i.e. 10b work). British English q changes are short and more dircet, and language, asthe make the form of words shorter hat roan ar becoming ineteasingly pop. ther popular shortcut joins words together to form one adjective stead ofa long phrase. Here are a few typical ones: ¢ round-the-clock servic, instead ofa service which is offered around the clock (i.e. for 24 hhouts'a day)’, a same-day serice, on-the-job training, low-income groups, non-prjit-making organisation, New words are made by adding endings such as ~ie, ization to adjectives ‘or nouns. ‘This indicates a process: 1 decimaliz, to comtainerize, to ‘computerize, to departmentalize, computerization ete Prefixes such as mini-, maxi~ super-, miro-, maga, hyper- indicate the ‘quantity or quality of n the shortest possible way. Here are some well-established examples: mini-disete, superchip, micro-teaching microsurgery, megustar, megachip, hypermarket, hypersonic New words are made by combining parts of tw existing words: snag (smoke + fog), newscast (news + broadcast), flesitime (exible + time), staglation (stagnant + inflation). Here are some typical combinations from American English, which uses more than British Fish Jhnanch (breakfast + hunch), motel (motorist + hotel), Taundromar (laundry + automat, medicare (medical + care) ‘ablegram (cable + telegram), workaholic (work + alcoholic), -asohol (gasoline + alcohol Changing attitudes to language Educated usage has become much more flexible and tolerant about what is considered to be correct or acceptable. Such changes of attitude can be “observed in several parts of grammar, including case, number and tense. ‘The attitude of users towards style has also become more flexible. Several words which were considered to be slangin the past have gradually been ‘up-grade in status and are now often considered informal or cllouial “Much of what was labelled informal in the past is now considered neural in style. This is partly due to the spread inthe use of tabve words by educated speakers. Several such words give much les offence than inthe past and are widely used in both American and British television productions. Different aspects of the idiom 1 What isan idiom? Itis important to realize that idioms are not only colloquial expressions, as ‘many people believe. They appear informal style and in slang, in poetry, in the language of Shakespeare and the Bible. What then isan idiom? An Iilioms in perspective 1 idiom can be defined as a number of words which, when taken together, hhave a different meaning from the individual meanings of each word. 2 Kinds of idioms Idlioms take many different forms or structures. An idiom can have a roqular structure, an irregular or even a grammatically incorrect stru The elarity of meaning is not dependent on the ‘grammatical correctness. A few examples will illustrate this | Form irregular, meaning clear, asin give someone to understand, do someone proud, do the dirty on someone. 2. Form regular, meaning unclear, asin havea bee in one's bonnet, cw no ie bring the honse down. 3 Form irregular, meaning unclear, as in beat lare, go great guns, be at daggers drum. We find, in fact, that most idioms belong to the second group, where the form is regular but the meaning unclear. However, even in this group some idioms are clearer than others. For example, the meaning of to give someane the green light can be guessed as to give someone permission to start’. Others are too difficult to guess because they have no assoc ‘sith the original meaning of the individual words. Such examples are: 0 sell someane where tw get of to carry the can, to drop a brick, teal the sass Several ied idioms cannot be changed in any part (except the tense of the verb). For example, t pain the town red, to fight shy of something, to get dozen 1 business. Others allow a different number of variants, For example, now one's onions/stuf, a hard/tough nut to crack, to take/have/enjay forty ivinks, 10 come toa had/nasty/stcky/no good/untimely end. Where and when to use idioms (One of the main difficulties for learners is knowing in which situations itis ‘correct to use an idiom, i. the level of style. The book gives help with lates such as infirmal, slang taboo and US. Unmarked idioms are neutral and may be used in most situations. Informal idioms are used in everyday spoken English and in personal letters. Learners are advised to avoid using slang and taboo expressions until their mastery ofthe language is complete. Several examples are, however, included for reference purposes. \ further difficulty is knowing whether an idiom is natural or appropriate ina certain situation. Examples of typical use in particular situations, such as in business contexts, are given and these should be studied carefully \nother difficulty is that of fixed idioms and idioms with variants. Itis ‘most important to be exactin one’s use of fixed idioms, as an inaccurate ‘idiom may mean nothing toa native speaker. Above all remember that itis extremely unwise to translate idioms into or from one's native language. ‘One may be lucky that the tvo languages have the same form and ‘ocabulary, but in most cases the result will be utterly bewildering to the English native speaker ~ and possibly highly amusing. ” 2 Key words with idiomatic uses Adjectives and adverbs bad bbad blood uniriendliness or enmity between two people or fami There's ben bad bload betmeen the tno brothers eve since ther fathers death He lofi more w onesan than tthe ater ‘bad language swear words or taboo words. No had language in the classroom! Ifyou must sear, save it until you're outside! abad lot (informal a person with bad personal qualities, someone who is dishonest etc 'm so glad that Jery has stopped going about with Mike Parsons. heard that he had been in prison for stealing, In my opinion, he's a ad to ‘bad news_a person, often with criminal tendencies, who brings trouble to others. Take care, Lucy! That young man is bad news. bad news travels fast (saying) bad news is spread more quickly than ‘good news. ‘My som few 10 Cara last eck and I haven't heard from him yet." "He'l be fin, because bad news travels fast” ‘bad patch a period of difficulty or unhappiness; problems. AU right, 1 ‘admit that our marrige song through a bad patch, bu it isn't the frst time, ‘and we're stil gether. bad workman always blames his tools (saying) an unskilled, inefficient person puts the blame for his mistakes on the materials, tool smachine et. he is using. “This knife isnt sharp enough to carce the meat propery. "105 not the fe thas the problem a ad workman alvays Blames his tos.” be in someone’s bad books be out of favour with someone. /yeu don't ‘et the say finshed by tomorrow, you'll be in your teachers bad books again. come to a bad end. become a criminal, have to go to prison, suffer disgrace. Said of someone who leads a wild life and perhaps has criminal tendencies. Harry was expelled from schoo for stealing and now he's ben sacked from his wry frst jb. He'U cme toa bad end ifhe's not care sive someone/have a bad/hard time treat someone badly or unfurl, make someone suffer/be treated badly or unfairly, suffer x my fis 1 hhad a very dificul boss who gave me a rally bad time. sive something up as a bad job stop tring to do something because it seems very unlikely to suecced, Jonathan started learning German three times, but he didn't make much progres. So now he's given it up asa ad job 0 from bad to worse deteriorate stil further. Busines is going rom bad to ‘morse ~ me may have to dase down. Adjectives and adverbs 15 in a bad way (informal) in a poor condition state of mental or physical health. How's yur far after his heart attack?" "Ina bad ay, actualy ‘Making very lite progress.” (Ge’s/that's) too bad it's pity/unfortunate. 11's t0 bad that you cam’ come to Peter's menty-first birthday party. We'l miss you ‘make the best of a bad job do the best one can in a difficult "unfortunate position, regard a problem optimistically. Andrew didn’t get a ‘lace at untversiy, so he can't study maths afterall. He's decided to make the ‘est of had jb ana go int banking not (60/t00) bad (informal) relatively yood, satisfactory. ‘ello, Sue! How ‘nas the exam?" ‘Oh, not to bad, thanks, ‘business, offen in the entertainment business; eeome Famous. Li int the bigtime now ~ hr latest albu’ been a reat suces inthe States. athe big cheese (informal) the mo someone who thinks hei the most promoted and sabi cheese at work, Jame, too. big deal! Gnformal terri! grea! (ronial. Said when one is not impressed/pleased ete, by something. 1 go the ob! I got the jo!” "Big deal! You were the only applicant, werent you?” big fish in alittle /small pond someone who is important only ina simall unit, group, community, company ete, Bob prefers tobe a big fishin a lite pan, 0h works fora small company with only fy employee. a big hit something/someone very popular with others. By she ay, your su lat isa big hi with your paren. They hink its ere for you big league (informal) something to be taken seriously beeause is ‘important, dangerous, involves alo of money ec. You muant get invoked in that, Davi 1's big league. Those men are criminal big mouth informal) someone who boasts, exaggerates, makes promises he doesn't keep etc. ‘Graham says fe hasan uncle ith a ila in Cannes and hel take me there one day." Well, do belie it. He's us a ig smouth."Note also: have ~. 4’big noise shot (informal) an important person with influence (implies arrogance, self-importance). There's some big noise cmting up from Teadguarers tomorro, soe have to get things tidied wp in here big of someone (informal) generous orkid of someone. (Often s ironically because one thinks the opposite.) ‘Uncle Harold sen! me ify pound for my birthday.” That's big of im ~ considering he's a milliomaire.” big talk/words boastful, empty alk heard Mark lng Alex that he couldn’ decide mhether wo buy a Feguar ora Mercedes ~ all bg talk I'm sure ‘He'lkeap his Ford Fiesta, I et in a big way on alarge scale. Carol and Tony have incited wera hundred ‘guests other sifer meddling party. The altoay do thins ina big ay. ;portant person ofa group; nportant. Just because Dad's been seems to think he ea boss us around at 162 Key words with idiomatic uses izive someone a big hand applaud someone with enthusiasm. George ‘acted very mel in the drama group's performance of An Inspector Call. He was sven a big hand every night make it big (slang) be very suceessful, usually in business. Make a name for oneself, money ete. His dream mas to make it big in telecision ~ but it's sill usta dream. too big for one’s boots conceited, arrogant, feeling and acting in a superior way. Since Dowglas at his novel published he's hen leer oo bigfor his bass. 1s time someme taught hin a esom. dead bbe dead s'gainst something ‘someone be completely opposed to something’ someone. fam dead against camping holiday. I cam neve slep comfortably ina ten come to a dead halt come to a complete stop (ea vehicle). The lory ‘came oa dead halt justin front ofthe fallen child. Note alo: stop dead. We ‘abmost had an accident this moruing. A big van pulled out in front of our car ‘and stopped dead without gcinga signal cut someone dead ignore someone completely, treat someone as though ‘one does not know him, 1ha's wrong with Linda? She cut me dead in the ‘bank this morning. dead ahead /in front ina position exactly ahead. We came ou of the wood ‘and found the village we were looking for dead ahead of us. dead and buried/gone long forgotten, of the past. Noone ver alls about (Uncle Joe's prison sentence any mare. That's all deud and buried wow. dead beat/tired (informal) physically exhausted after hard work. You ‘aught to have an early night you lok dead beat! aadead cert (slang)/certainty something that i very sure wll certainly happen; someone who will certainly achieve a target, win etc. ‘Who do ow think will win the Cup?” ‘Leeds United ~ it's a dead cer.” dead drunk extremely drunk, ve ever seen Simon in such a state. He was dead drunk. dead easy very easy. I expected the maths test to be dead easy, but I couldn't do «single question, dead end 1 road that does not lead anywhere. He tok theft turning afer the church, but the road mas unfortunatly a dead end that oy led a fed. 2a point or stage where no further progress can be made. No ‘dead end job is a job without prospects or opportunities for the future. eter feels that he's ina dead end job mith his present firm, He's thinking of ‘making a fresh star as a fecance journalist. ‘dead heat result of a race or competition in which two competitors finish at the same time or withthe same score. Inthe European Song Contest there was a dea heat for fist place, so there were to inners this Year ‘adead loss (informal) someone something that is of no use/help to anyone in a certain matter or with a certain job ete. I's mouse asking Jack He's a dead loss at maths Adjectives and adverbs 17 dead on time cxactly on time, punctual. The train arrived dead om time, s0 ‘me didn't have to wait long an the plafor. deadpan expressionless dull, showing no emotion (e.g. on one’s face.) “Maradens Jace i alioays so deadpan. never know whether he's ina good mood tra bad one dead right (informal exactly right Remember you tld me that John was “Friendly mith tlson Miller andl did't belive you? Well you mere dead right 1 caw them together yesterday dead silence a total, unbroken silence. There mas a dead silence inthe ‘room as the olitor opened the encclope ana prepared to read Uncle John's last ml and testament dead slow hardly moving, almost stopped. Unfortunatly, 1 got stuck on the inside lane ofthe motoroay and te rafic as dead slow for abut ffcen miles dead to the world in a deep sleep. 1 whisper. I don't want t wake the ‘hildren.""Ohe, that's okay. They've een dead othe wari for aver a hour.” ight very heavy. can’ posh carry this suitase I's a dead adead eight ‘dead wood somcone/ something thats no longer needed or useful ors Couto date, 1F4fime me brought hee fils upto date, We start by throwing ‘ut al the dead wood. flog a dead horse (informal) waste one’ time /eflorts. I've heen showing “enw erk how tous the computer bu it's ike ging a dead horse He simply can’t remember which kes to prs rake a dead set at someone try deliberately to atack someone (with ‘words, angry looks ete); make an obvious ater to intcrest someone of the opposite sex. Robert met agirlat Joes party ad made a dead set at her— without much luck, according to Jo. over my dead body! (informal) used to state that the speaker i very ‘much against something, wll not agree to/allow something, that Something wll not happen if he can prevent it. 'm going on holiday with tec oer boys this year, Dad “Over my dead body! You're coming holiday mith ws.” wouldn't be seen dead (doing something ete.) (informal) would not do Something because one considers it unacceptable. (Used to express Strong dislike) What a terrible colour! I wouldn't be seen dead in it. Liz ton | acept Barry's noiation 1 the dsc. She docs ike him ~ says she smonldn't be sen dead with him. flat --and that’s lat! (informal) and thats my last word on the matter. (Used to end an argument or after giving an order.) You wil go to Aunt ‘Maus ith us for the meckend and tha’ fat! fall lat (a plan/project etc) not materialize, filto develop. Ve had plans io go to Canada to visit friends ut thy fll flat when father had to go into hospital 182 Key words with idiomati flat battery a battery that must be re-charged. There's no monder the ‘engine won't start. You've got a flat batery. ‘flat denial/refusal ete. an absolute, d sod offer, but he gave us alt refisa fat out with all one’s powers or energy; as much or as quickly as possible (with go/run/race/work ete.) ve heen working flat out all day trying to et the las chapter of the book finished. aaflat tyre a tyre with no air init, or not enough, Sorry we're late. We had a lat tyre on the may here. in two minutes ete. flat (informal) in no more than two minutes ete (Expresses surprise atthe shor time needed or emphasizes that litle time will be needed.) When [old the children me mere going tothe park, they mere ready in tn seconds fla knock someone flat 1 knock someone off his feet with a blow, This mart started making trouble in the pub. Joc was very pation at firs, but when he insulted Joe's wife, Joe stood up aid knocked him fat. 2shock/stun someone with a mental blow. The dreadfl news knocked us flat. tell someone flat tell someone in a very positive and definite manner. She tld him lat that she had no intention of lending iva any money. nite denial ete, He made him a good ‘good deal often, alot. He iavelled in India a good deal when he was young, 1 good few/many (+ plural noun) quite alot, several. There mere a good ‘few people at the concert ast night, more thane had expected a good way quite along way. ‘How far is Wells from here?" Well, t's a goad may, actually. I'l take you too hours.” as good as almost certainly, forall practical purposes. Mike as goad as evo that he has passed his exam. He saw his profesor and he gave him a broad smile and a wink. ‘as good as gold said of a well-behaved child. Mary is as good as gold most ofthe time as good as one’s word true to one’s promise, absolutely reliable. Steve is «good as his ord. Ifhe said he'd help you, then he will. be (all) to the good be an additional advantage. ‘I'm considering taking a Secretarial course after my degre." think you're very mise 1 would be allo the good." be for one’s own good be for one’s own advantage or benefit. We bring ‘our som up rather sri, 1 suppose, and he dosn't lays see that it's for is ‘won good. bbe good for (+ noun) have the necessary qualities, energy, ability ete. to provide something or to survive. ‘s your ld car still running?” ‘Oh, yx. 1's 00d fr another ten thousand miles yet." ‘be in good company be in the same situation as someone else/others. ‘Gaid to encourage, comfort or agree about something.) ‘failed my driving test yesterday" Oh mel, you're in good company ~ so did I ast meek." Adjectives and adverbs 19 be in someone's good books be in favour with someone. Joanna has been in er teacher's ood books since she started taking school more seriously and smarking hard. be om to a good thing. (informal) have found a pleasant, financially advantageous occupation, Afr: Bellamy pays Prank generously forthe few ins he dos in her garden. Frank knows when he's onto good thing. do someone good help/be good for someone's health, sate of mind ete Why don’t you take a short holiday? 1 would do you good. do someone a good turn do someone a favour in order to help him ike Henry. Just afer the war he did me a realy good turn and I've never Sorgoten it for good forever, permanently. Rosalnd’s gone to Canada for good. She's not coming buck sive (someone) as good as one gets retaliate, fight hack, ae towards ‘someone in the same way ashe acted towards you. Sheila said a oman in the accounts departments alnays rade ta her, but knowing Sheila I'm sure she ives eras good as she gets sive someone a good ‘talking-to/telling"off criticize someone Vigorously. castomer complained about one ofthe waiters, so the manageress came and gave hi a goad talking 00d for nothing. (a person) having no goo! qualities; lazy, unreliable, worthless ete. Note also: ‘good for nothing. I've ncver liked Charles ‘He's a good for nothing. x00d God! a strong expression of surprise (often unpleasant), shock or amavement. Gaod Gad! He’ dead 00d gracious/heavens/Lord! an expression of surprise. Good heavens! 1's Jolin, He's two days early. ‘good grief! an expression of dismay or displeasure. Good grief! You'll necer pass any exams if you ca’ do beter wark than this. ‘s00d riddance! (informal) sad to show relief when one gets rid of an "unpleasant person or something unwanted, or when one completes a tiresome job of work ete. Thank goodness tha’ finished ~ and good riddancel I've never had sch a tricky report to write have a good time enjoy oneself. masn’t looking formard to the staff outing, brut me all had a really god time have had a good innings have lived a long time; have enjoyed something pleasant fora long period, e- influence, suecess, fume. 1/Paul ist re~ elected Chairman, he can't complain. After tele years he's had a god innings ‘hold good continue to be true or valid (eg. a promise, an offer). your invitation tl holds good, Pd like to visit you this surumer with my family sgood time early, with plenty of time to spare. We got tothe theatre in oad time, 0 me were able o have a sandwich before the play began. it’s a good job (that...) itis lucky itis good thing that... 1's. good job that the ight was an hour late or we would hace mised it 202 Key words with idiomatic uses it’s no/not much good doing something there is n something. I no good phoning Peter. He's in Spain, make good do well; be successful in getting a good job, secu Martin is avery ambitious young mau. He's determined to make good, and Fim sure he will ‘make good time (usually in a vehicle) progress with a journey faster than 1 was pretty quiet om the motornay, so we made god time and carrived an hour early throw good money after bad lose more money in an attempt to for a loss. Douglas last mancy an some foreign investments, sof suggested a god inestment scheme inthis country. But he said that he wasn't prepared to throw good maney afer bad. while the going’s good as long as the situation is favourable, Said when ¢ speaker expects the situation to be unfavourable in the Future Than’ got alot of work ado atthe moment, s0 1 taking a few days ‘oid mile the going’s good. value in doing hard be hard hit be severely alfeeted by something unpleasant. The univers shave een hard hit by the government cus i spending, bbe hard on someone treat someone in asrict harsh manner. /dhink Bill, is hing unnecessarily hard om his son. He von tale any f the freedoms ana pleasures that other boys of his age have. be hard pressed (to do something) ‘Could you name all the sates ofthe itheu! preparation.” bbe hard to please said of a person who is critical or who sets unusually high standards. Our nem teacher sets erifially high standards and is very hard to please. bbe hard ‘up be short of money. Come on, John. Ifyou re hard up again, 1 pay for lunch (do something) the hard way by the most fficult or most unpteasant method. Nicole has a French mother, so she’s hilingnal learat French the Ihard may — years of regular vert schol! drive a hard bargain be tough in business dealings and consider only ‘one’s own advantages, profits ete, often unfairly. think cam persuade Hawkins to accept our terms." Dan't he ton sure. He drives avery hard bargain.” athard and fast rule a rule that applies without exception. ssh addition of in the third person singular resent tensea hard and fst rule? hard cash notes and coins, not a cheque or credit card. I've heard that ‘Palmer pays all his bills hard cash, even if they're for thousands of pounds. hhard of hearing partly deaf. You'll have to speak up. Father’ rather hard of hearing ahard ‘luck story an unhappy story judged to be untrue) told by someone who wants money, sympathy oF help. A mam came tothe door difficulty doing something. Well, Ud be hard pres ta do it Adjectives and adverbs 21 smarting money. Hesaid he was out of work and hs wife and children merit {real hard ack sin. 1 hard tough nut to crack a difficult problem to overcome: difficult person to deal with it desig ful that me can cove or not? Whatever i sr, it's going tobe a hard nt to crack the hard stuf? (inform) a drink high in aleoholic content, 4 vodka Tat alas of white wine for me, plese. No spirits ~ I an’ take the hard suf. have a hard time (of it) experience a difficult o unpleasant time, Many families hada hand ime of it during the ar. play hard to get. pretend tobe less interested in someone’ something than one really is. ‘David hasn't sad defintely whether hel es shaw his -rintngs tthe exitin."°Oh, playing hard a es he?™ take hard ‘line be uncompromising, not give in, The government has taken a ery hardline aguns strikes ave he past few years high be for the ‘high jump (informal be liable to be punished, criticized ete severely. J shall be fo the high jump if make a mes of these export order forms again be got high (on something) be/get high spirited as a result ofthe infhuenee of alcohol, drugs ete. Grandad won’ drink Coke. Hescems to think he lt et high om it be in high spirits ys cheerful mood. “You're in high spirits taday."Yes, I've just had some very good news. be get on one’s high horse behave in an arrogant manner. Patrick's ben ‘im his high horse ever since he mon a scholarship to Oxford be riding high be very successful in one’s career, especially in the eyes of ‘others: Diana’s riding high atthe moment. She's just been promoted and is ‘expected to be made head of department within the year high and dry abandoned, ignored, isolated. The car broke do, mils aay Jam anyiter. Avan tok Barry tothe next village to get help, s0 1 was efi igh and dry unui he got back "high flyer a person who is very ambitious in his career wishes/ plans. Resemary is trying for ajb in the diplomatic service — but then she always mas a high fiver hhigh and low everywhere possible (with look, search). Where om earth can the keys be? Vv searched high and lw for them! hhigh and mighty behaving in a superior, arrogant manner. Why is Roger sn arrogant these days? What's he got to be high and mighty about? igh places (friends, people) in top-level positions in government and administration; people of influence and power. 1 hear Charles is ina spot ‘of trauble with a drunken driving charge" Yes, but he'l eal right. He has Jriends in high places” it’s high time (one did something) said when something must be done without more delay. fhe examination’s next meek, its high time you started dong some work 22, 2 Key words with idiomatic uses with « high hand, in a high-handed fashion/manner in an arrogant ‘without consideration forthe wishes or opinions of others. Jan deals with everyone’ complaints with a very high hand. Some customers have ‘complained about her. state of worry and upset, ing. Don’ listurb Mur. Her train leaves in an hour and she’s stil packing, so she's all hot and bothered. be hot on something. (informal) be very well informed, knowledgeable ‘and good at something. Sarah was never to hot on science in school. She anas beter at languages be in/get into hot water be in/get into serious trouble. You'l ei hot snaier hen your father finds out what you've done t his car! blow hot and cold (informal) be undecided, wanting something and then not wanting it alternately. ‘ave you decided whether or not to mave house? ‘Not yet. We're still Bowing hot and cold." thot line a dircet, seeret telephone link between two important people, ‘ex heads of government. Throughout the entire cris there was a hot line detmeen the te heads of state thot potato (informal) an issue that is dangerous, highly controversial or ‘embarrassing to deal with, [this ta goverament cover-up, then it's areal ‘ot potato and Flet Street won't touch it! Note also: drop someove like a hhot potato break off contact with someone abruptly. When you are no ong wef to Ken, he'll drop you like a ot potato. the ‘hot seat animportant postion in which one is open to criticism and attack and has to face difficult questions ete. As managing director ofa chemical concern I'm continually in the hot seat now tha everyone is 30 imorvied about the environment ‘hot spot anarea of political unrest or danger. / don't shink I'd like to bea Jnurnaist being sent around the globe to al the politcal hot spas hhot under the collar annoyed and iritated. Te elitor has just hen told 10 ‘ut her budgets she's rather hot under the collar this morning, ‘make it hot for someone (informal) make things unpleasant or dificult for someone. IJ were you, I would treat Kenneth Marden with a litle mare respect Ie doesn't like yu, e's in a position to make it hot for you. ping hot (food) served very hot, suggesting that it has just been freshly ‘cooked. When the meathers old ike wo have piping hot soup for lnc strike while the iron is hot (saying) take advantage of something while ‘the situation/time is favourable; make the most of present opportuni- ties. Ifyour father has offered to pay fr your holiday, strike while the irons Ft! Ifyou say no, he may not offer again Adjectives and adverbs 23 «tong last finaly afer long wait. (Expresses relief) se heen expecting a ure marie fin the State fr ar thee mek Tong ls it has are thc as broad asits long the resll/stuation ithe same whatever one eis to do 17% a: broad ait ong. Taking your cart Spain sas ‘panes fring and renting car when yon hee soalong way he sucessfil, make a career for oneself Said of a person ‘sho shows promise when young atthe start of his working ite. The re sitet manager seems tbe ery bright yong mun. He shuld goa ime ey. Tong way towards (doing) something be a great help. The mony sn tn la Tong may tard paying for theme a. have come a long way have matured in one's views and outlook, have Tearnta lo about life, gained in personal or professional experience et Marge has come lo ay sin her divorce She wed a bey oid and reserved, but now she's confident and resolute inthe Tong run over along period of time, We had apa it of work into emprosemont onthe house, Bu er hoping that wl pay off in the fing ran athe long term in planning forthe distant future, Make sure that you Fulfil the comoract, It's important for our credibility én the long term. long drawn ‘out (ahs, negotiations taking 10 much time, too slow or Iengthy, Wht did you thik ofthe headmaster’ peck?” Not ba, bu ow Jing dren ot. «Tong shot a hopefial guess, a attempt shat wil probably fil because of lick ofinformation ete. May’ disappeared. know i's aTon sho, ut could sheave gone iit her amin in Coral? wot by a Tong chalk (informal) nota all inno way. (Phe phrase refers to S previous statement.) ‘Trade has een very brit today. Hee never had such a goad day." ‘You're right, We haven't. Not by a long chalk." the longand the short oft th essential facts of a matter/even Sinsation. Brian has fod thee ood reasons why ie sould rasor hi a Yer, but the longa the short of that he just dsm wat tg. old aa chip off/ of the old block a son or daughter who is very much like his or her father in character or temperament. ‘Young Ben is jus a stubborn «and short-sighted as his father."’Oh, yes, he’s certainly a chip off the old block.” or old ‘times’ sake for sentimental reasons related to pleasant memories. from the past. [spent my childhood in Worcester. like to go back there one day = for ld times! sake an old flame someone of the opposite sex to whom one was strongly attracted at some time in the past. David met Linda by chance in a restaurant yesterday. She's an old flame of his fom their student days at Cambridge. 24-2 Key words with idiomatic uses aan old fogey an elderly, narrow-minded person who is out of touch with ‘modern thinking. You cam call me an old foge if you want, but I think that young people today are totally misguided. an old hand (at something) someone with a lot of experience and practice at (doing) something. ‘need somevme to help me fr these selves’ ‘Wel, ask Larry. He's am old hand at that sort of thing,” hhat out of date, no longer original, topical or fashionable. ‘What did you think ofthe guest speakers lecture?” "Well, quite honestly, most of it as old tl" the old man (informal) a term used fora father or a man in authority over group of employees etc. e.g. firm's director, a headmaster. Oh, by the ‘nay, 1 just sam the old man. Le wants to see you in his office immediately. the old school traditional thinking’ standards/code of behaviour asin former times, as opposed to modern thinking ete. Our history professor is (one of the old school. He expects us toe the sare as students in his day. short short cut a quicker or easier way of going somewhere or doing Don't take the main road, it's to far, There's a shortcut behind the church and through the woods. There are no short eats to succes in ecoming a goad doctor, just lot of hard work and experience at short notice with tle warning, shortly before something has to be done ete. You cant expect me to translate en pages of dificult contract at such short note. be short with someone be abrupt, uni rorang? Mrs Bellamy as ery short wth me. bbe/run short (of something) not have enough of something, eg. ‘money, food, writing-paper. He're running rather shor of time, ome had brater discuss the last vo points om the agenda net meek bbe taken short have to make a hurried visit (a lavatory. How ‘embarrassing tobe taken short inthe middle of a speech! ‘cut something short bring something to an end before the expected time. He got am emergency cll say that there had Been an acide in the Jactoy, 0 me had to ut the meeting short. fall short of one’s hopes/expectations be inadequate, disappointing, ‘not as much/s good as one had hoped or expected. Tie intecicw ment ery el, bu the salary they offered me fll hor of my expectations for short as an abbreviation. His name's Konrad Jackson, but everybody calls ‘him “Kojak for short have a short temper become angry easly, frequently or quickly. Father ‘had a shor temper, 501 ras seldom really naught) asa child. in short briefly in afew words, in summary. The weather was goad, the ‘ote was frstorate, and we had lt of fn. fn shor, the holiday was mast enjoyable, in short supply scarce, not enough available. Hard workers sem to bein ‘short supply in this department. Almest everyone's taking a coffec break again. lly. Have I dome something Adjectives and adverbs 25 little/ nothing short of... litle/nothing less suggesting me dai tle short of blackmail make short work of something. deal with something quickly. Are shee ‘many leters to ansoer?" ‘Only three, so we'll make shart work of them. pull something ‘someone up short 1 stop a vehicle suddenly. This car pulled up short in front of me, 0 1 had t swerve and almost fll off my bicydel 2 interrupt someone when speaking, often in order to correct. The buss noticed immediately that Iwas quoting the wrong figures and pulled mc up ht short and to the point (a speech, order, leter etc) short, direct and clear, possibly abrupt. Don’t make the speech tov long. Kp it short and to ‘the pinta What she had ta say was short and othe point she was not standing again for election. short of something/doing something except, apart from. They say e's ‘upable of anything short of murder) Short of throwing me out, he are everything to get me to leave. What you are es (two people) vey friendly, sharing the same (often profitable) interest, es and Larry have ben as thik s this for yeas They bh have a large share in the ndusiril redevelopment projet. as thick as two short planks (informal) very stupid. / Gloria doesn't see ‘rh Jim's ite scheme, she must be as thick a vo short plans have/grow a thick skin be/becom veo criticism, rebuke, reproach; not be hurt by these. Asa politician in the public eve, you quickly earn to graw a thick skin. Note also: be thick~ skinned. in the thick of it/of doing something right in the middle of some activity atthe busiest part or time of something. We were in the thick of decorating the lving-room ~ buckets of paint and paste everywhere ~ hen our istrsfrom Chicago arrived, a week ear! lay’ pile it on thick (informal) exaggerate, especially when praising or ‘criticizing. John gave a good talk at the conference but Dawson was piling it ‘on thick en he spoke of ‘an unforgetable experience’ thick and fast in large numbers/ quantity and quickly. Our advertising ‘campaign hasbeen a great sucess. Onders fr the nei produc ae coming i thick and fas. thick on the ground numerous, in great supply/quantity. [1 were you, would take the job. Suc good opportunites arnt thik onthe ground. ‘through thick and thin through good times and difficult times, under all conditions. Jack and Bert ment through thick and thin together in the ar, sand they've Been great friends ever since. thin, as thin as a rake (a person) extremely thin. Some people cam eat as many fatty foods aa sweet things as they lke, an sill be as thin as rake 26 2 Key words with idiomatic uses bbe skating on thin ice be in an uncertain, risky situation, Be careful, Bab. {you make any promises, you're skating om thin we. We dno yet whether me can guarantee thes prs. disappear/vanish into thin air disappear without trace. Mercer cam my bu mtcook be? Ucn’ have vanished int thi at ‘out of thin aie feom nowhere. The story I told you about Roger didn't just ‘ame oof thin air, you kom. There's some rth nit whether you want to helive i or mh thin audience not many spectators. he local drama group gave a really ood performance of Private Lives. What a pity that there as sacha thin nuienceon the st night. the thin end of the wedge just the beginning of something that will ‘velop into a much greatcr event, problem, scandal ete 1 have the eling ‘tha this om incident at te fatory is ony the hin end of the wee. The dissatisfaction aoe the workers likely to lead ta major strike. a thin exeuse_an uneomsineing eveus. you could’ fnd your pen st that «rather thin excuse for not doin your homework? thin on top not having much hair, becoming bald ' a bit thin ontop already. exec Ube bald by the tine I'm 33. a thin time a period of unpleasantness, por health, lack of money ete ‘When Fak cane ou of prison, he had a ret hin time. His wife had lft him, Iie couldn's get work and nobody was willing to help him. Nouns end at the end of one’s tether in a position where one has no more patience, hope ete. eft. Children il, usband out of work, mother in hasptal~ poor Annie's atte end of her ter. at the end of the day when one has considered everything, J know Chris ‘has his faults, but at the end of the day he’s the only man wh can do the job properly. ata loose end having nothing todo, having time to waste. Judy fees at a Ioase end, now tha the term i ver be the end (informal the worst, the most exasperating ete. J kom some ‘people talk a lot, bul Marilyn is the end. She neverstops! (not) be the end of the world (for someone) (informal) (no!) be a total disaster. If didn't get the job, i wouldn't he the end ofthe orld. I've got another offer sethold of the wrong end of the stick misunderstand the meaning, intention, situation totally. No, no, said exacly the opposite! I's just like Iris to get ld of the rang end of the stick £0 off at) the “deep end_ (informal) lose control and become angry. When father heard that'd given up physics, he wen off a the deep end. Nouns 27 in the end finaly, atlas afer ther things have happened. Rut dd’ ‘nt tv dure commit, bt teen me era peta her keep one's end up contnuc abe in go spins ven when ones sad “sappointed ete. Bad lac, Steve but hp youre op ere wll oer pportuiti light atthe end of the tunnel promise of beter things (€ sucess, happiness) alter along tne offical, hardship ete er moths of ‘hard mork and na incume, there was light atthe end ofthe tunel. simall ‘Dubie dared tw publ hisfint med never hear the end of (informal) hea a matter aboot gain and ‘again. My husband as so angry when hw ay il gerd trousers. Fi never hear the end fit? mioend of. very many mich, Jeremy has n end hooks nfl. (2 There mas endo argument atthe ecg lst ht. son end continuously, Billstuies or hours on end the end justifies the means (saying. Ite am got ay be achieved by any method, fair or unfair. / know I exaggerated about my past a ‘experience at the interview, but I got the job, and after all, the end justifies themmeans, the end ofthe line/road the point at which some activity oF station must stop (¢4relationship) because no further progress is possible oF trecause thas no future ete When Stephane deter hat Din was ‘engante asec th ial mem to ifort relainship. to-no end in in, fr nothing. Hedved oomsine hse hath was cling the tat, ut ia al moon. He didn elie i, smake (both) ends meet manage with the money one rs oF hs. Hom can anyone make ends meet an £40 a week? tie/clear up loose ends complete small matters/jobs; attend to matters, are still to be decided. / still have quite a few loose ends to tieup athe oie hefore pon holiday. line all along/ right down the line at every point/stage, in every way/aspect, inall mater. Since he started paying mrcatention ois eprom, Bes ‘ena succes right down the ine— go himself goad job and made los of frends © im ned our suppor Tel him tha mei im alan the be (next) in line for something be the next person due for something Who's next in line for promotion in your department? bein one’s line be to someone's taste, what someone likes doing ete. 'm sorry, but discos aren't exactly in my line be off/on line (a machine) 1 be out of operation/in operation. Attention! Printer not on ine! 2 not computer-contolled computer-contolle. 3 (a person) informal) not working/ functioning as normal. Barry haz Just had six weeks” vacation, but he'll soon be back om line when he’s had two or ‘thre days of ofc sires and routine. 28 2 Key words with idiomatic uses ‘be do something in/out of fine (with something) be/actin ‘agreement/disagreement, Your suggestions ar out of ine with my former ropa. 1 The Minister as clearly mot acting in line with party policy. bbe/get/step out of line act ina way that is offensive to others, say ‘something to someone that is unfair, ineorrce, insulting, hurtful ete Ch yo are wary out of line! Tha's bth selfish anal unreasonable. 1 think you ‘ave Diane an apology the bottom line the essential resut/outcome/ conclusion of a mater; the sum of money that has to be [No explanations pleas, just give ‘me the bots fine, How much did we lose on the del? bring someone/something into line persuade someone to conform, make something fit, match, suit. At fist he didn't agree ith my ay of dangunizing the business, but T managed to bring him int line.» She must ‘ning her peeh fly ito line with company poi ’choose/follow take the line of feast resistance choose ete. the easiest, least unpleasant way of achieving something, Afer the scandal, Joe took the line of least resistance and simply lf the county. ‘come fall into line with someone something. agrce with someone; accept plan or procedure. 'm sure Damien nil all ma line mith us on the matter when he realises how serious it draw the line at something/somewhere set. limit/standard for one’s ‘bchaviour of forthe behaviour of others, puta stop something. led you another fifty pounds and no more. Ihave te draw the line somerohere drop someone a line write an informal letter or note to someone. Besure ‘drop ws ine and let ws row your new addres eta line on someone /something find out information about someone? something. Cam yu get «line on Walker’ whereabouts? He ‘hasn't reported ta headguartrs fr toa weeks. sive someone a line on someone/something_ give someone ormation about someone/something. Get Trevar i give you a line on Daniels. He sed ta work with him in Scotland. in the line of fire in a position between two opposing sides, groups ete. and therefore likey to get hurt by thei attacks on each other. As both Joe's sister and Bill's wif she as right inthe line offre whenever the tivo ‘men quareled. layit on the line (informal state something with foree, e.g. an order, ‘threat, opinion. The feum manager nas very dissatisfied ith the discipline in the team. Then when two of us mised training, bay, did he ay itm te ine! lay something on the line (informal) put something at risk. Tio years ago Tad my reputation om the line for himn— and this is how he repays me. sign on the dotted line agree to do something unconditionally (as ifone had signed one’s name tit). The boss nceds volunteers for our branch in Glasgow, bu so far no one has signed on the dotted line. somewhere along the line at some stage’ point in the process or development. The progres of a new project is rarely rapid. There's always a hitch somerhere along the line. Nouns 29 take a firm/hard/strong line (with someone) (on/over ing) deal firmly or decisively with. Some of the emplayees have ‘produced bad work, The management will baking femer line with them in inthe lines of something. in the syle/fashion of, similar to. The writen along the lines of hs first mace, hich is set inthe Far East Bet one’s ines/wires crossed. be mistaken about/ misunderstand what another person means/intends/wants ete. Va that's nol hat I meant at al. think seve got our lines erased somewhere. explain again. read between the lines tand or sense more than the actual words ‘ay; have insight into a situation, She didn’ tell me directly, but reading ‘etmeen the tines 1 think she intends to seule in Geneve ‘matter of concern something to worry about. Oursen’s behaviour at school hasbeen a matter of concern tous fr sane Hine wow. matter of life and/or death something wally important/ urgent. Maureen has been working furiously ta fimish the designs all day ~ as if they tere a mater of Hear dethe ‘4 matter of opinion a subject on which people have different o Whether or not vido games are bad for childrens a attr of pinion. matter of time: something whieh is ceriain to happen sooner or later. sont mater of time before Toh’ old ear fal to ples altogether. I's ‘ment year od (5) a matter of course in accordance with what happens naturally or with what usually happens. Mot young married auplesstart a family as a ater of enue. Tm young maid eps, atin amily a maner be the matter be wrong, nt be inorder, Prick pale and tire. kucw something asthe matter. for'that matter also, aswell. France makes ae thre milion cara year sa for that matter, does West Germany. 1g to laugh about, something very serious. ‘Being ou of work these days i no laughing matter ‘no matter what/who/where/which ete. itis not important what etc No mater who phones, I'm no at home, okay? Lust spe ther, so ask ‘er phone me, no mater how late is mind «atthe back of one’s/someone’s mind a sccret/hidden intention/idea/ worry ina person's thoughts only, not told to others. John's worried about ‘he stomach pains he afin gets. Hoe mar’ a the back of his mind. He's sfaid he has a serious ills. be (alin the mind in one’s imagination, not factor reality. ‘ut 'm sure ‘that man's following us." People often say tha. Its all the mind.” 302 Key words with idiomatic uses be of one/of the same mind be in agreement with someone about something. My wife and I are ofone mind about the education of children, We ‘both elev they learn mare at home than a schoo. be out of one’s mind be mad, erazy. Frazer must be out of his mind to cancel the contrac! call/bring something to mind recall something to one’s memory. The mame saunas familiar to me, but 1 just ca’ call her face to mind. change one's mind (about something/someone) make a different decision or choice. Frances wanted ogo to Hal fora holiday, bu now she's ‘hanged her mind and is going w Spain instead. cross someone’s mind (a though, id weone. ‘Perhaps ‘Sandra mould like ogo to the art exhibition with ws. Shall we ask her? Ves, ‘the thongs had rssed my mind aswell” drive someone out of his mind. make someone very nervous or angry. ‘For the last tie, turn that muse inn! I driving me out of my mind. sive put/set one’s mind to something give one’s attention or mental «nergy to solving or finishing something. Ifyou really put your mind tit you could have the letter writen in no time. sive someone a piece of one’s mind reprimand someone; tell someone exactly what one thinks about his behaviour ete I'm tired of Jack's excuses. The nxt time he says he hasn't go time to hep, shal give him apiece of my mind. have half a mind to do something be inclined to do something but not sure that one will dit. 've haifa mand to tell Tim’s mother about his bad ‘behaviour ~ but then I don’t really want him tobe punished. have a good mind to do something want to do something and be almost sure that one will do it, especialy if one is angry. [ve a good mind ‘wall the waiter and send this food back othe kitchen. 1's almast cold hhave a mind of one’s own have a strong and independent will, not be easily influenced by others. You won't succeed in telling Roger hat he ought ‘or ught not to do— he has & mind of his own. have something/a lot/enough ete. on one’s mind be worried, troubled; have many things to think about. Janice is very quiet these days ‘must hace something on her mind. in one’s/the minds eye in one’s/the imagination. /n my mind's eye can still picture the house by the river vhere spent my early childhood. kkeep/bear someone /something in mind remember. lll keep you in rind when I ant to sell my car. © Please bear in min that I'd like have _your decision by tomorrow. keep one’s mind on something concentrate on something. The class is very resles because ofthe eat, The children can't keep their minds on their ork know one’s (own) mind know exactly what one wants, what one’s aims are ete, Dicks alvays changing obs. I do's think he knows his oom mind. ‘load /weight offone’s/someone’s mind a great relic, the end of a worrying or anxious time. Tom has just heard from the dcr that thee mil Deno permanent damage w his legfrom the accident. That's great load off our minds make up one's mind take a decision. Has Sally made up her mind which universitis 1 apply 10? ‘mind over matter overcoming a physical weakness or inconvenience by ‘means of willpower. Theat stage of any mountain climb sana a ‘question of mind over matter. slip one’s mind be forgotten, Magee said she mould give me her new adres, but it must have slipped her mind, ‘speak one's mind say openly what one thinks or feels. know you don’t ‘man to hurt anyone, but I thinkin this case you ought to speak your mind. take one's/someone’s mind off someone /something divert on ‘own or another pers someone’ something ‘unpleasant. Les go 10 town and sea film. Lt wil help take your mind off our trouble ‘out of sight, out of mind (saying) people or things who are faraway, or whom we do not see often, are soon forgotten. Janet promised to wnite from Kuwait, but 've heard nothing A case of out of sight, ot of mind, 1 suppose ‘0 'my mind in my opinion, the way I see it. Look, to my mind the question’ ‘quite simple either he impraves the ofer or you reise it point be beside the point not be relevant to the matter being discussed. sre Helen il like he presen don't think she deseres it~ bu then, that's reside the point ‘be om the point of doing something be about to do something. [a "inst onthe point of picking up the phone ving hin men healed in, ‘case in point anillustrative case, an example for the subject of discussion. ‘shard to bly that anyone mould est his entre savings in sch aris entrprie. Wel, Jake Haring i casein aint. Hedi." come /get to/reach the point come tothe most important thing that ‘ome wants to ay. Thar’ all ery intersting, I'm sure, but do wish he'd eto th point. get the/someone’s point understand what someone wishes o express ‘understand someone's purpose in saying something. Would yu say that again please? I didn't quite get your po. set/wander off the point become vague lose the main argument/ direction ofthe discussion. James sited someinterting a aft, but later gt off the point completly. have (got) a point have an idea/angument/reason et. that others accept astruc, good ete. You've at a point there, Ken. telly would be eter a do ‘the easy is frst and eae the dice its wei last 22 Key words with idiomatic uses in point of fact in fact, in reality. Chris may have tld you that he has paid cll eis debts, but in point of act he til owes me four hundred pours ‘make one’s point state or explain clearly one's argument or idea. Al right, Sharon, you've made your point, Now is Mark's ura tote 1s what he thinks. ‘make a point of doing something make sure of doing something ‘because one thinksitisimportant. alas make a point of remembering ‘my friends birthdays ‘not to put ‘too fine a point on it speaking openly and bluntly. Not pul too fine a point omit, think i's time you stopped being preocupied ith private problems and devoted more time t company matters the point of no return the point at which itis impossible to turn back because the consequences of doing so would be worse than those of continuing. We can't reverse aur decision now or we'llase the contrac. We reached the poin of return when we offered an unconditional guarantee. see the point (of/in doing something) understand the purpose or use (ot something). J really don’t sce he ponnt of ging by train arken i's ust as cheap to fy sore point (with someone) a matter which iritates oF upsets someone ‘when mentioned. When Sally come, don't mention Roger. He went on olay Las Palas om his nvm ad its a sore pind with her stretch a point go beyond what is usual or do more than is usual. Wien it ‘exe tothe salary increases, hd hoped the bass would strech a point in my Favour but he didn't got the same as everyone ese the ‘sticking point the absolute limit beyond which one cannot or will not go. At the auction, don't go higher than ton thousand if you can acid it ‘and remember that eleven isthe sticking point. ‘one’s strong/weak point the thing one can do best, knows most about, ‘one’s best quality/something one cannot do well ete. If thre’ a mord you can Yspel, ask Jeff. Spellings his eran poi take someone's point understand and appreciate someone's argument or attitude. (Also: point taken.) / take your print about not wanting to risk Jarther moncy on sucha daub underaking © 'T'm nat wiling to risk ‘further money on the undertaking." Point taken, Fred. Neither am I that’s the (whole) point the essence; the most important thing one trying to say. Yes, that’s the whole point! Ifyou cance the holiday at short otce, you hace tw pay 50%! what's the point? there islitle use/ purpose. You cam speak athe bank ‘manager again, but whats the point? He's already said tha they mont extend the loan. (what is) ‘more to the point (what is) more important or relevant. Janes idea is very good, and, what’s more tothe point, we cam putt into practice ithoutexra cost Nouns 3 accident, failure or misfortune; a narow Hel that as a close hing! Udi shine” do one's (own) thing (informal) do what one wants to do without being influenced by other people or by rules; act ice. The new asian wil Jace toler that he cn’ st do his eo thing here. Thee are relation to ‘amply with irs things frst (saying) do things in the necessary ar coreeet order: (Often sai asa slight warning or emir) First things frst! Wat wail on’ got yur degre fore ou ak about a career in banking for ‘one thing one good reason/ argument is... (Often introduces an explanation, I really don’ think leyd isthe right man for the job For one ‘thing he's got no specialized kuowledge ofthe problem, and for another he cant speak German. ‘have (got) a thing about something/someone have a strong liking ot dislike for something/ someone. Marjorie has a thing about Chines fd ~ she cats nothing ce We mere neve allowed to havea cat as children. Mother had thing about them. just one of those ing) something (usually unpleasant oF regetable) that isunavoldabe and must be accepted eins and ot being able to eta jabs wnfortnaily just ome of those things these days. just the thing exactly the thing tha is needed. How abou a nce hot cup of 14 to warm you wp?” Oh, ye! That would be just the thing,” not quite the thing not what is socially acceptable, You tr hurry up ‘and change your clothes, Fred. It wouldn't be quite the thing to arrive at ‘Sarah's wedding wearing our gardening rowers ‘one thing leads to another (saying) one small event starts whole sequence of events. Dehhic met Roger ata laundercte. Heasked her aut, one thing led to another, and now they're engaged. show teach /tell someone a thing or two show etc. someone Something useful or important which they do not know. Linda thinks she dons all about computes, but I bt I ould teach her a thing to. ‘sure thing! (informal certainly of course. ‘Could you ge me aif tthe ‘brary? "Sure thing! Hop in!” «thing ofthe past something/someone no longer in demand or of topical intrest et. 1s Carob till seing Howard?” ‘Goodness, na. Thats teen thing ofthe pas for months naw.” ‘what with ‘one thing and another (saying) because so many jobs tasks, dlfculies et, came together. (Often used as an excuse or explanation for something left undone.) I'm sorry about Jo's birthday, bu sha ith ‘me thing and anaser I've ben so buy that Fcmpletey forgot abou i way bye ‘get something under way be/get something going/ working; make progress with something. / there going to he a une elon, me hae to set thecleaion campaign underway by early May. 342 Key words with idiomatic uses an extra comment or question that is not opie of conversation. Oh, by the way, Jack swans you to give him the sales figures forthe lst quarter. YFsomething 1 through; via a certain route. The drugs are being rl int Britain by way of London Airpurt. 2 asa ind of; for. What shall we d by way ofa surprise for Mother birthday? et/have one’s own way get what one wants in spite of opposition from ‘others. Gerad say he's src th his chilen, but they always seer to get sheirown way give way I break, fall down/in ete. The bridge docsn't lok safe Ifyou walk ‘m tit wil give way, Fm sure. 2 yield to someone's wishes, demands ete You should give may tall the child's wishes. You'l pol him. 0 one’s own way act independently, even fii against the advice of ‘others, 15a mast of time giving Peter advice. He' always go his own way in theend. 0 out of one’s way to do something do everything possible to help, ‘even ifit is inconvenient, Our neighbours went ont oftheir way to help us when we moved into the new house hhave a way with one have something charming or pleasant in one’s ‘character which is attractive to others. Julia isnt really prety, but she has a nay with her which is mest appealing have a way with someone/something have a talent for/skillin dealing with somcone/something. Susan has a may with children. They love her (Father has a way wih flowers. Everyone admire his garden in a way/in some ways ina sense, 10a certain extent. J knom it mas Ben's ‘nm fa that he dda win, bu fel sorry far him in way. any way at all, in any respect. Can I help you in any way? in the way causing an obstruction. can’ pull ou ofthe drive. There's big lorry inthe may. in the way of something as regards something. There won't he much in the say of trafic if you take the country roads ‘no way! (exclamation) under no circumstances, certainly not. ‘Can 1 ‘borrow your car over the weekend?” ‘No way!” not know which way to turn be in a state of worry and confusion, bein sthopeless situation. L's lst his job and can’t pay the bls. On top of that ‘is wif’ left hi, He simply dosn't kno sohich may to turn any more ‘on the way ‘out going out of fashion, notin demand any more. Tape recorders have ben am the ay out for Jears. Most people buy cassette recorder. that’s the way the cookie crumbles/ that’s the way it goes (saying) that is the situation and no one can change it. Sory to hear you did’ get into the inals, Ken, But thats the way the cookie rumble. ‘way ahead/behind/above/below ete. far ahead ete. Temperatures are say above average forthe time ofthe year. ‘way out (informal) unconventional because very modem; ahead of ts time (clothing, music, art, someone's life-style ete) She’ an artst— really may ou, blice me! She makes salpre out of bit of old cas Nouns 45 where there’s a will there's a way (saying) if wants (to do) something very much, he will it. Paul smants to go to India, bute hasn't got enough money." Wel, V'm sure hel get enough someliow, Where there's a wil there's a way.” cuts both ways (saying) the same also applies to the other person. Jack refed to lend me the maney. But it cut oth ways. won't ever lend hime ‘money again, ether. hhave it both ways. have advantages from two opposing things atthe same ‘ime. Mirunda wants to have a child and carry on working as journalist at ‘he same time, Tve told her that she ust can't ave it oth ways mend one’s ways improve one’s atitudes, habits, behaviour ete, Brian sll have to mend his mays if he wants to ran a stucessfl business. He's too carless and irresponsible at the moment ‘set in one’s ways not willing to change fixed habits, opinions ete, Aumt Lilian and Uncle Herbert got Brighton every year om holiday. They are so set in their ways that they mont even consider guing anywhere else ways and means methods (ofien unoflicial ofc successfully. You're only allowed in hereifyow're a club member. Mary n't ‘ne, ofcourse, but she's go her mays and means word by word of mouth ina spoken, not writen, form, Mast old fgends were handed down byword of mouth from the word go from the beginning. Neil and Gilher both joined the company in 1977 and were ial fora dtetarship from the werd a give someone one’s word make a promise to someone. ive you my sword that I mon tll anyone goback on one’s word break promise. Steven said he moul ond me the ‘mony, but he went back ow his word have the last word make the lat statement in an argument etc t which ‘no ame can make a reply or objection. Father alays likes tu hase the last sword in any discussion have a word with someone speak or discuss privately with ‘havea word ith my wife, and [el you our decision tomorraw. household word a person, company, product et. inthe public eye ‘whose name is known by everybody. Surely youve heard of Terey Wogan san his alk show! His name's a houschold word with British telecsion ina word briefly. What did she say? Willshe ever forgive me?” Wel, ina ord no.” keep one’s word do what one has promised. Melissa said she would try to get me a job with the agency. I hope she keeps her word a man/woman of his/her word. person who keeps a promise. Vou can relyon Frank completely. He'.a man of his ord. meone. FL 362 Key words with idiomatic uses ‘mum's the word! don't tell anyone, it's secret! Now remember, mum's the word, rit won't be a surprise! not a word don’t speak about it. Remember nam, nota mord of this fo your mother —it's joing to be a surprise. not another word! don’t speak about it any more! Tats enough, now. Nor ‘anather word? ‘one’s last word one’s final statement, warning, offer, advice. give you three hundred pounds and that's my lst word. Take it or leave i put in a good word for someone speak ina complimentary way in order tw help, support, defend someone, J put ina good word for you withthe ‘manageres. She ging to give you a second chance. take someone at his word act onthe belief that someone will do what he says. Whew Henry sad he mas ging ta sell his car, Look him at his word and found him auger fo it take someone's word for it believe someone when there is no proof that what he says is true. Penny says she’s already paid me back I can’t remember whether she did or nt 011 have to tae her wo frit that’s not the word for it! an exclamation that something i “Ws cl i ere""Cald! That’ not the word for it 1 freezing! the last word (in something) the most up-to-date, the best kind, the latest style or fashion. The dress isa Marcello made he's the last word in alin fashion at the moment word for word exactly literally, using all the words. You ca ranslave sword for word. Is won't make sense. He copied my exsay word for word. word perfect knowing perfeetly a text one has learnt, e.8. poem, apart ina play. The children have worked hard t lear their pars in the play. Most ofthem are already word peje. actions speak louder than words (saying) what one does is more nportant than what one says. Don’t ust tell Jane that you miss her. Actions speak louder than words, so gv and visit her! hhave words (with someone) have a quarrel or disagreement. Pat's in a ‘bad mood. She had words with her boyfriend again. ‘mark my words! listen to me! note what I say! (used as a warning). The ‘man has neither drive nor ambition. Ifyou empley kom asa sales representative, youl regret it. Mark my words! mince (one’s) words not speak frecly and directly. Stop mincing your swords and just tell me straight what you think of my idea not in so many words not exactly expressed or stated, only hinted at ‘Did Sue iit you to her party?” ‘Wel, ot in so many words. But she did tel sme that i's on Saturday.” ‘words fail me! an expression of shock, surprise, anger. Words fail me! I smasn t expecting such a wonderil birthday surprise! understated, Miscellaneous 37 world carry the world on one’s shoulders carry a lot of responsibility. The boss Jooks as if he's carrying the world on his shoulders again this morning. come ‘down in the world lose one’s social or financial position, The ‘Lammonds have cenainly come down in the word since his company went ‘bankrupt, The Jaguar's gone and the children aren't ata private school any do someone a world of good be very good for someone, You need some fresh air and exercise, It ould do you a world of good! get ‘on in the world he successful in one’s job, improve one’s financial or social standing. Debora is chif consultant with an American high-tech ¢ world. er social or financial postion, not ‘sown success or abilities. Since Sarah married ‘hat vich industrials, she’s certainly gone up in the world. (it’s a) small world! expression of surprise when one meets an acquaintance somewhere unexpectedly. Just imagine, met Paul Hil in a taxi quewe at Kennedy Airport. Small world, isn't? man/woman of the world experienced, with a cosmopolitan background. Simon's a mum of the world. He'll know whether or no this is a casera lanyer, not for the world under no circum ‘wn forthe world, so don’t be afraid, ‘on top of the world ina very happy mood because of success, good health ete. Alan's ecing om lop ofthe world He's just heard that he’s won a prize for the most outstanding journalist of the year out of this world wonderful. He's a brilliant designer His designs are realy ‘ut of this world! the world ‘over all over the world, everywhere. People are the same the smorld over~ good, bad and indiferent worlds apart very different from each other. You moulin’ belive how dierent Jane is from her sister. They are worlds apart. ces. Lmould’t leave you om your Miscellaneous all after all contrary to what one thinks, supposes or expects to happen (with this meaning it usually stands atthe end ofa statement). took my tumbrlla, but it didn’t rain afterall. Roger said he wouldn't be able to attend the meeting but he managed to come after al i of everything. Don't beso harsh on Tiny. He's only a chil, afer all. 3 after all (Often used to introduce an argument or reason that the listener should consider, therefore usualy t the beginning ofa statement. Note also the usual siress pattern with this meaning.) one mustn’t forget... itisimportant twrealize... [think me should agree lend Fohs the money he needs. After 382 Key words with idiomatic uses all, he did help ws to years ago with a small oan You realy shouldn't worry so much about your danger. Mier all. she snimeten and mot a chil all aTong. all the time, from the start until now. [sd all along that you shold invest all your money in omy one scheme, but you woulda’ stn t ‘me.c1 You're telling me nothing new. I've knot all alan! alland sundry everybody, ll kinds of people. Dan alk so loudly. There's ‘na need forall and sundry to hear our business all being well if nothing unexpected or unfortunate happens. Goad! So all ‘cing welll expect you on Sunday. “all but very nearly almost. He mas ery curt and rather rad. He al but asked me to eave. (1 e all but finshed fice chapter so there isn't much mare toda the all clear (usually get/give someone ~) 1a signal that a danger threat/something unpleasant is past Whew the doorbell rang, Barbara ran int the next roomy as she didn't vant Tomy to ind her here As soon ashe ad Jef, Have her te all clear to come out. 2 permission to stat or continue. Wecats star on the projet as soon as meget the all dear Jom headquarter ‘all day and ‘every day without a break or change; continuously. Sieve is smorking hard to finish his novel He's been siting at his typewriter al day and every day for five weeks now. ‘all hours at all times whether very early or very late.’ been working all urs recently to get my near navel finshed all'in_ 1 everything included. The staff outing will cst £6.50 per person all in. 2 (informal) exhausted from physical work or exertion. After travelling two days ad too nights, he was alin. dering everything. We didn’t agree on every point, but all in cessful meeting. Allin all, and mot forgeting that he's a beginner, he speaks English very well 's)all in a/the day's work (saying) itis part of the normal routine expected and accepted as part of one’s duties/ work, even ifitis Unpleasant, tiresome, difficult ete. When you work as an air hstess, irvtatng and complaining passengers arcalln a day's work all in good time when the time is right; ata suitable opportunity. I'm very anxious to hear what advice Jers lamyer gave him.""Wel, expect hel tell us ll n good ie.” ‘all of at least (used to emphasize a number or amount). It must be all of 200 miles from hereto Colchester. The new house must have cost the Folsons all of «hundred thousand pounds! Martha must be alo sety-fce, ‘ut she certainly doesn’t look erage. allover the place/shop/show everywhere, in every possible place, (used for emphasis). What a mes! There mere canuns piled up tothe citing ‘and books and paper aller the plac. © So there you are! Ise been looking for you all ewer the shop! all the rage very popular, arousing much interest and enthusiasm. Surely you've heard of the pop-graup Kings and Queens. They're al the rage! Miscellaneous 39 all the same nevertheless, in any ease, J expect the specifications willbe curate, but 1 check them myself all the same. 1m sure she'll ay ys, but 1 ‘shun ask her first all the same. all told. including all things’ persons, having counted and included all, “Hom many names have me got om the ts?” Frse hundred and sixty, all old.” all well and good all it, acceptable (expresses approval of a cer situation). he ofers to help us, all mel and good, but don’t ask him. specs wecks away fms home, travelling, Thats al nell and yoo if you ‘haven't go children to look afer ‘all's well that ‘ends well (saying) if the final result/outcome is good, nothing that happened before really matters. cy wads trafic hold-up, ‘an then the acidemt =I thought me would never get here. Bus here we are and cd's ll tha ends well and all in addition, as well. The thiews sole money, jeweller paintings, siler, fr coat and all! at/till/ until ‘all hours ery late; from night well into the morning. There masa big party somewhere close by lastnight. Car dors mere banging until all hour one’s/the be-all and ‘end-all. the most important aim, interest, thing ete in someone's thoughts life ete. [Frescurch work realy interests you, take the job evn though isnot well-paid. Momey isnt he be-all and end-all, in life. Golf s Jack's be-all and end-all I's all he ever talks about. be all for something/all for ‘doing something be very enthusiastic ‘about/ very much in favour of something. ‘Did she bas approve your plan?” “Oh, yes! She's all for it! Whatecer you do ith the ld cari your decision, dou Fail for keeping it be all go (activites, a situation involving people) be very active, hectic, ‘busy, eventful Wve expecting an important trade delegation from China omorra, 50 it was all go at the ofc today. bbe all'Greek to someone be unintelligible, be to dificult to ‘understand, technical details, terminology ete. The lawyer quoted lot of lass and paragraphs, but I'm afraid that mest of the information ans all Greckto me be allover someone (informal) flatter; fuss over someone in an ‘exaggerated manner. When Jack realized that Mrs Winters wold be resposibleor casting the main part in th new ply, he was all cer her be allright with someone suit someone, be acceptable or agreeable to someone, ‘Would you like to come to supper tonight?" Wel, yes, if tall right with your wife” be all the ‘same to someone not matter, not be important, make no difference to someone. ‘Which date suits you beter, the thirtcenth or the Jifteenth?" I's al the same to me. Either.” bbe someone all over (informal) be typical characteristic of someone, be the way one would expecta person to behave. ‘Everane paid fr a round of drinks except Tom." V'm nat surprised. That's Tam allover. He never gives anything amoay.” whe 40 Key words with idiomatic uses for all + noun in spite of, For all his money, he's not really happy. ‘01 wouldn't ike te inher position, forall her wealth for all ete. care expresses indifference, i. ete. do not care, Jack's ‘coming back from the Stats next week, Bob says forall he cares Tack can stay there afew months longer forall ‘Letc. know expresses ignorance ‘At home, forall know.” for all one is worth. with the greatest physical effort, with When he saw the bul coming, he ran across the fed forall hem Jumped aver the gate goall out (to do something) try one’s hardest, be very determined. Jane's going all ou to win a prize in the annual piano-playing competition. he's never Practsed so much! i all in total ‘How many coins have you got in your eollection?* “Three ‘thousand two hundred in all. it’s all up with someone someone's career position ‘success has come ton abrupt end, 11s all up mith Walters. The managing director has found ‘out that he save a rival frm confidential information. Gi’s/they’re) all yours ete. 1 you ete. can have something because someone has finished with it "Do you need these ditionaries any more?” ‘No, no! They're all yours." 2you ete. can have something because | ete do not want it (usually something unpleasant or difficult) don't mant to ‘he club treasurer any more, so if Ted mants the jb, i’ all his! nd indifference, ‘Wheres Jane? itis ‘all someone can do (not) to do something. I have great difficulty in doing something. Employing extra staffs out ofthe question. I's all we cars do to kep the shop in busines. 2 (with not) someone could hardly stop himself from doing something. [mas all she could do not laugh, when she saz him in top hat anc als. Itjust masn't his style. (not) all'there (informal) 1 mentally alert, clever, not easily deceived. ‘you thnk Barry won't natice hat you've done, you're wrong. He's all there! 2 (with not) mentally deficient, lacking in practical intelligence or ‘common sense (also used humorousl). hadn't ben listening, so I gave a rather stupid ansiver. They must have thought I wasn't all here! ofall the ‘fools ete./‘foolish ete. things to do! expresses annoyance ‘when someone has done something which one thinks i foolish ee “Tugh has sold his paintings to some dealer or other in town, for only three Ahsan ponds Nel Ol th fo! Thy wee oh ates teins that much!” of ‘all people things places used to express surprise, because a certain ‘person/thing/place etc. was thought to be unlikely, unsuitable Guess who I met atthe Frankfurt Book Far! Bill Parkinson, ofall people (0 When I told Maggi that I had got engaged, she said, ‘And thebestof British uch! Of al things to say! fonce and for all (used for emphasis) for the only or final time. J’ telling ‘you once and forall No, I mont lend you another fifty pounds! when all is said and done when all the fact, details, aspects of a matter/ situation have been considered. You can compare old and new teaching Miscellaneous 41 ‘methds as much as you want, but when all's said and done, its the amount of work ana elf putin by the students that really counts how and how! (informal) toa great extent, very much. ‘hear that Bill liked the ‘present sent him." "Oh, and how!” dl how in a carcless, bad manner. Johnny doesn’t care what his ‘umenor: looks tke, He does it any old how. 3 Dom tg to the hairdresser’ in Church Stree, He'l eu your hair any old how. “how about...? | used for making a suggestion oF to ask someone's ‘opinion. Hon about a cup of tea? vi How about going tothe theatre on Saturday? Ifyou can’t come before lunch, how about 2.307 2used to remind someone of something. You say you've never heen drunk, but how ‘about the time you had to seep at Fred's because you couldn't wall home after his party? how come: (informal) why? How does/