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Clothing Idioms 05/06/2010
 
Idioms
Meanings
Example Sentences
--------------------------

At the drop of a hat
without needing any advance notice
My Grandma will babysit for anyone at the drop of a hat.

(Have a) bee in one's bonnet
something that is annoying someone
Milan has had a bee in his bonnet all day, but he won't tell me what's wrong.

Below the belt
beyond what is fair or socially acceptable
His comment about Manfred's handicap was below the belt.

Bursting at the seams
not fitting anymore
I ate too much. I'm bursting at the seams in these jeans.

Caught with one's pants down
unprepared
My students caught me with my pants down on Monday. I forgot about the field trip.

(Have a) card up one's sleeve
have a secret or reserve plan
I think Josh has a card up his sleeve cause he wants me to wear a dress to the fast-food restaurant.

Buckle down
work extra hard
It's almost exam time, so I need to buckle down this weekend.

Burn a hole in one's pocket
money that one is tempted to spend
Let's go to the mall after school. There's a hundred dollar bill burning a hole in my pocket.

Dress to kill, dress to the nines, be in your Sunday’s best
dress in nice, attractive or best clothes
My cousin was dressed to kill on her birthday.

Fit like a glove
fit perfectly (tight to one's body)
Anita's prom dress fits me like a glove.

Fine-tooth comb
in great detail, extremely carefully
The police looked for fingerprints with a fine-tooth comb.

Fly by the seat of one's pants
do by instinct, not by plan
I had never taught art to kids before. I had to fly by the seat of my pants.

Handle with kid gloves
treat delicately
Please handle my grandmother's tea set with kid gloves.

Hand-me-down
used clothing
We buy hand-me-down skates because the kids' feet grow so quickly.

Hat trick
three goals scored by one person
The fans cheered when the hockey player got a hat trick.

In one's birthday suit
in the nude
The swimmers in the lake were in their birthday suits.

Keep one's shirt on
try to stay calm
I know you're in a hurry, but please keep your shirt on.

Keep something zipped
keep something a secret
We know we're having a boy, but we're keeping it zipped from the grandparents.

Off the cuff
said without planning
I didn't have a speech prepared. Everything I said was off the cuff.

Pull up one's socks
try harder
Marco will have to pull up his socks if he wants to make the football team.

Put a sock in it
stop talking
Put a sock in it! I'm trying to tell a story.

Put one's thinking cap on
think hard in order to solve a problem
I can't remember where the Christmas decorations are. I'll have to put my thinking cap on.

Put oneself in someone else's shoes
imagine what it would be like to be in someone else's situation
Put yourself in Sara's shoes. She doesn't even have a car to drive.

Ride one's coattails
let someone else do all of the work
It was a group project, but everyone rode Andrew's coattails.

Roll up one's sleeves
get down to hard work
The celebrities rolled up their sleeves and washed cars for charity.

Take one's hat off to someone
recognize or honour someone for something
take my hat off to Jim. The doctors said he'd never walk, and he just ran a marathon.

Wear one's heart on one's sleeve
display emotions openly
My Dad's not afraid to cry. He always wears his heart on his sleeve.

Wear the trousers
be in charge, make the rules
By the looks of things, the kids wear the trousers in this household.
 

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