Idioms – Letter A

–  Idioms – Letter A  –


Aa


  • (to be) A Cut Above The Rest – this is an Idiomatic, Adjectival and Prepositional-Phrase which is used to express that:  Someone or something is significantly better than “the rest”.  The noun “cut” could be referring to a “cut” of meat, or it could be referring to the “cut” of a fine suit.  This phrase is an “old” one (meaning that it is older than me) 😀 and – as such – the origin is not clear.  However, the use is clear…

GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! is clearly unique among the English language websites.  In fact the others don’t even compare.  You could say that  GiveMeSomeEnglish!!! is a cut above the rest.” 😉

(Also Note that “The Rest” is a Noun Phrase, and has nothing to do with the normal usage of the word “Rest”)


  • (to be) As Cool As A Cucumber – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Phrase which is used to say that someone is really “cool” (in the slang sense of the term).  This just comes from the fact that cucumbers, even though growing in the hot sun are still cool inside and give the same effect when eating them or adding a slice to some water.  Because of this, there is the added element that the person that this phrase describes is able to remain cool, even under pressure (a “hot” situation)

“The pressure was on when the share-holders started to ask a bunch of questions, but Joanne was as cool as a cucumber and handled the situation perfectly.”


1.  In a situation, where-in, a person is having trouble finding the correct words to express what he or she wants to say.

“I have done the presentation a hundred times before but for some reason, today, I was at a total loss for words.”

2.  In a situation where-in a person does not even know how to react (and usually there is another person or group is expecting some sort of response.)

“When the police presented the evidence against him, and it was clear that his story was a lie – suddenly the criminal was at a complete loss for words

(Notice also that the phrase is separable)


  • (to be) At A Standstill – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Prepositional-Phrase which describes a situation where-in one is not able to perform some action because of a condition which is preventing it.  This phrase is often used in a work situation when – for example – a person is not able to perform their part of some task because they must wait for someone else to finish his or her part of the task first…

“The construction of the new office is at a standstill until we are able to get all the proper building permits.”


“Having all my work done early and knowing that I was prepared for the meeting really put me at ease.”


  • (one’s) Batteries Are Dead – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Phrase that, used figuratively, means that one no longer has any energy; that he or she is very tired – either physically or mentally…

“I had such a hard day, my batteries are completely dead!”  –  (Notice also that this phrase is separable  –  See Also:  “To Recharge One’s Batteries”)


  • “Business As Usual” – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Phrasal-Noun that can be used in a lot of different ways, but it is usually used to describe how “bad” things seem to keep happening over and over again (usually in business and politics.)

“The president was practically worshiped for his “prophecy” of “Change that People Can Believe In…”, but as we can all see, it’s just business as usual.”


  • (to) Come To Grips With/About – This is an Idiomatic Prepositional Verb Phrase which is used to mean:  “To understand, comprehend, and finally accept some some information, which is either hard to comprehend, hard to believe, or hard accept”.  The phrase means the same thing with either the preposition “with” or “about”, but it is more common to use “with”…

“People all around the world are finally coming to grips with the fact that their governments do not, have not, and will not ever give a shit about them; and that voting for new leaders is a waste of time.  They will never stop being slave-masters to the mass of sheep which they see the people as.”


  • (a) Free-For-All – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival and Prepositional Phrasal-Noun which is used to describe a situation where-in there is no perceivable rules or organization, and one can do whatever he or she pleases.  This Phrase is also used to describe something which has gotten out of control.

“Both times that there was a Woodstock concert, they turned into a complete free-for-all.  However, the first one was such, just because so many people showed up that it was clear that there was no way to keep all the people from coming in.  The second time it became another kind of free-for-all.  Because un-like the hippies at the first concert who just wanted to be free and love each other – the kids at the second concert just wanted to tear shit up and cause total fʌkɪŋ mayhem…  stupid kids.”


  • (to) Get To Grips With/About (something) – This is an Idiomatic Verb Phrase which is used to mean:  To understand, comprehend, and finally accept some some information, which is either hard to understand, hard to believe, or hard accept.  The phrase means the same thing with either the preposition “with” or “about”, but it is more common to use “with”…

“People all around the world are finally getting to grips with the fact that their governments do not, have not, and will not ever give a shit about them; and that voting for new leaders is a waste of time.  They will never stop being slave-masters to the mass of sheep which they see the people as.”


  • (to be) Head And Shoulders Above (another/others/the rest) – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Phrase which is used to mean that someone is much better at something than another or others.  Imagine two people standing next to each other.  If one person is so much shorter than the other, that the top of that person’s head does not even com up to the shoulders of the other, then that person’s head and shoulders are above them…  This does not mean that the taller person is better, but most people would agree that the taller person is significantly taller (not just a little bit.)  So this phrase is used figuratively to mean that someone is significantly better than another…

“Tony Hawk was such an incredibly good skateboarder that, when he was still competing, he was head and shoulders above everyone else.”


  • (to) Hit/Punch/Push All The Right Buttons – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Verb Phrase.  Though “Hits”, “Punches” and “Pushes” are all verbs, this is not describing an action but rather is using an action to describe a thing.  In computers, and video games (or even when typing a sentence like this) it is necessary to “Hit”, “Punch” or “Push”… “the right buttons”, in the correct order in order to achieve the desired state…  Therefore, to say that something “hits”/”punches”/”pushes”… “all the right buttons” means that the thing one is describing is exactly what is needed for a particular situation.  –  (See Also:  (something) Ticks All The Boxes)

  • (to be) One Step Ahead – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which is often used in business or any areas involving strategy and competition – meaning:  To always be just a little bit ahead of the competitors or those who are working against the other…

“It was through theft, lying, manipulation, and murder, that Thomas Edison was able to stay one step ahead of those who were the real inventors – taking credit for other, greater men’s work. “


  • (to) Tick All The Boxes –This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Verb Phrase.  Though the word “tick” is a verb, this is not describing an action.  Instead it is using the idea of an action to describe the thing.  “Ticking Boxes” is something that is done in a check-list to ensure that something meets all requirements or is up to specification…  So to say that something “Ticks All The Boxes” means that whatever is being described has all of the things necessary to fulfill certain requirements.  –  (See Also: “(to) Hit/Punch/Push All the Right Buttons“)

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– ( IdiomsLetter A ) –

 

 

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