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take it easy: relax.

"I don't have any special vacation plans. I'm just going to take it easy."

tell a white lie: say something that isn't true in order not to hurt or offend someone.

"The cake that Susan made tasted terrible, but I knew that shemade it because she wanted to please me, so when she askedif I liked it, I told a white lie and said it was good."

toss something: throw something away; put something in the trash.

"These shoes are worn out. I guess I'll have to toss them."

tough: difficult.

"Question number three is a tough one.Do you know the answer?"

There, there.: expression of comfort.

"There, there. Everything's going to be OK."

tight-fisted: very frugal; unwilling to spend money unnecessarily.

A: Do you think Charlie will donate any money to the activities fund?
B: No way! He's too tight-fisted!

a tightwad: someone who is very frugal and unwilling to spend money unnecessarily.

A: Will Charlie donate any money to the activities fund?
B: Absolutely not! He's a real tightwad!"

tricky: easily confused or misunderstood.

"This problem is tricky. I don't really understand it."

two-faced: deceitful; disolyal; someone who pretends to be a friend but isn't.

"I thought he was my friend, but he's two-faced. He says nice things
to me when we're together, but makes jokes about me when we aren't.





__ -savvy: knowledgeable about ___ .

"If you're having problems with your hard disk, talk to Jim. 
He's very computer-savvy. "

schmooze: make relaxed, casual conversation.

"No, we weren't talking about anything important.
We were just schmoozing."

shoot the breeze: make relaxed, casual conversation.

"No, we weren't talking about anything important.
We were just shooting the breeze."

sleep on it: take at least a day to think about something before making a decision.

"The job that you're offering me sounds really good, but I'd like
to sleep on it before giving you my final decision."

a snap: something that's very easy to do.

A: "Is your job difficult?"
B: "No, actually it's a snap. In fact, it's so easy that it's a little bit boring."

Someone's made his/her own bed; now let him/her lie in it.: Someone has caused 
his/her own problems; he/she will have to solve them himself/herself.

A: Jim upset everyone when he got angry at the meeting. Can we do anything 
to make the situation better?

B: No. He's made his own bed; now let him lie in it."

sooner or later: eventually.

"You've been working too hard for too long. If you don't relax a little,
sooner or later you're going to get sick."

sort of: rather; somewhat.

"I think I'll lie down. I feel sort of dizzy."

so-so: fair; not particularly good.

A: "How're you doing?"
B: "So-so. I've been better, but I've also been worse."

state of the art: using the latest technology.

"The company is very proud of the equipment in its
computer room. It's state of the art."

Step on it!: Hurry up!

"Step on it! The taxi will be here at any time and you're not even dressed!"




R and R: rest and relaxation (a vacation).

"I think you're working too hard, Dave. You need some R and R."

rain or shine: (describing something scheduled) no matter what the weather is.

"We're leaving tomorrow, rain or shine."

rain cats and dogs: rain very hard.

"You can't leave just now! It's raining cats and dogs
and you don't have an umbrella or raincoat!"

read someone's mind: know what someone is thinking.

A: "I'll be you're thinking of what you're going to have for dinner."

B: "Hey, did you read my mind?"

A: "No. I just know that you're always hungry and lunch was several hours ago!"

rub someone the wrong way: irritate someone; bother or annoy someone.

"All my little brother says is 'Why?' Usually I'm patient with him,
but sometimes all his questions rub me the wrong way."

run-down: (1) not well; weak; fatigued.

"Are you eating regularly and getting enough sleep? You look run-down."

run-down: (2) in poor condition; needing repair.

"This must be a poor neighborhood. All the buildings look really run-down."




quite a few: several; numerous.

"I don't think I can meet you after work. I have quite a few errands that I have to do."

a quick study: someone who learns new things quickly and easily.

A: "Annie seems to be doing well at her new job."
B: "I'm not surprised. She's a quick study."




pay the piper: face the consequences for something you've done.

"I stayed up too late tonight. Tomorrow I'll have to pay the piper."

plastic: credit card(s).

"Oh, no! I forgot to get any cash! I hope this restaurant accepts plastic!"

pooped: very tired; exhausted.

"I went to bed really early last night. I was pooped!"

pop quiz: unannounced short test.

"You shouldn't have missed class yesterday. We had a pop quiz."

pretty (adv.): rather; somewhat.

"That car's pretty expensive. Are you sure you can afford it?"

pull an all-nighter: study or work all night without getting any sleep.

A: "You look really tired."
B: "I am. I pulled an all-nighter to get ready for the meeting this morning."

pull someone's leg: tease someone by trying to make her/him believe something
that's exaggerated or untrue.

A: "Wow! Carl has done some really amazing things!"
B: "Don't believe everything he tells you. He was probably pulling your leg."




OK: (1) yes (to show agreement--often reluctant agreement).

A: "Come on, Al. We really need your help!"
B: "Oh, OK; I may be crazy, but I'll help you."

OK: (2) neither good nor bad; so-so.

A: "How was the movie?"
B: "OK, I guess, but I've seen better ones."

OK: (3) in satisfactory condition; well.

A: "You look awfully pale. Are you OK?"
B: "Actually, I'm not. I have a terrible headache. "

OK: (4) approve (verb).

A: "Did your boss OK your vacation plans?"
B: "No, but he said that taking them two weeks later would be all right.

on the dot: exactly at a given time.

"We're leaving at 9:00 on the dot. If you're late, we'll go without you."

on time: at the scheduled time.

"It's getting late. You'd better hurry if you want to get to work on time."

(on the) cutting edge: using the most recent technology.

"The university's computer lab is (on the) cutting edge. It has
all the latest hardware and software."

once in a while: occasionally; from time to time.

A: "Would you like coffee or tea?"
B: "Coffee, please. I drink tea once in a while, but I generally drink coffee."

over one's head: too difficult or complicated for someone to understand.

"This explanation of cgi scripting is over my head.
Can you explain it in a less technical way?"





No way!: Absolutely not! / Definitely not!

A: "You didn't open this letter addressed to me, did you?"
B: "No way! I'd never read look at else's mail!"

nosh: snack.

"There's plenty in the refrigerator if you want something to nosh on."

Not on your life!: Absolutely not! (a strong "no").

A: "Someone said you cheated on the test. Did you?"
B: "Not on your life!"

now and then: occasionally; from time to time.

A: "Do you see Jennifer often?"
B: "No, not really. I see her now and then, but not regularly."

nuke: heat in a microwave.

"If your coffee's cold, just nuke it for about a minute."

nuts: crazy.

A: "Stuart says some really strange things sometimes."
B: "Sometimes? All the time! He's nuts!"




macho: super masculine / masculine to an extreme (in appearance and behavior).

"Her husband would never agree to help with the housework;
he's too macho to do that."

make a mountain out of a molehill: make something seem much more important than it really is.

"Calm down. There's really nothing to worry about.
You're making a mountain out of a molehill."

make up one's mind: decide what to do.

A: Where are you going on your vacation?
B: Maybe Canada, maybe Mexico. I can't make up my mind."




lend someone a hand: help someone.

"I can't do this alone. Can you lend me a hand?"

leave well enough alone: do nothing (because doing something would make things worse).

"Don't tell Jim how to discipline his children. Leave well enough alone."

a let-down: a disappointment; something that's very disappointing.

"It must've been quite a let-down not to be chosen for that job.
I know you really hoped you would get it."

Let sleeping dogs lie.: Don't cause problems by doing something when it isn't necessary.

"I know that what Julie said made you angry, but let sleeping dogs lie
If you say or do anything, you'll only make things worse."

live from hand to mouth: survive on very little money; have only enough money
to pay for basic needs.

"Chuck and Alice are living from hand to mouth since Chuck lost his job."

live and let live: don't unnecessarily make things difficult;
do as you wish and let others do as they wish.

"I'm not going to criticize Alice's family just because their habits
are a little strange. My motto is 'Live and let live.'"

a low blow: a big disappointment.

A: "Fred seems depressed. Is he OK?"
B: "He's OK, but not good. It was a low blow for him to be laid off from his job."

lousy: terrible; very bad.

"Why did you speak so rudely to your grandmother? That was a lousy thing to do!"




keep an eye on: check something regularly.

"You're busy, so you'll need to keep an eye on the time. 
Remember that we have to leave at 4:30."

keep an eye out for: watch for.

"I'll keep an eye out for John. If I see him, I'll tell him you want to talk to him."

keep one's chin up: remain brave and confident in a difficult situation; 
don't despair or worry too much.

"I know that things have been difficult for you recently, 
but keep your chin up. Everything will be better soon."

keep one's nose to the grindstone: stay diligent; steadily work hard,
without breaks or an uneven pace.

"If I keep my nose to the grindstone, I should be finished by the end of the day."

keep/stay in touch (with someone): remain informed (about someone) / in contact (with someone) by writing, calling, sending e-mail, etc. on a regular basis.

"I haven't seen Frank for two or three years but we keep (stay) in touch by e-mail."

keep one's fingers crossed: hope for the best.

A: "How did you do on the test?"

B: "I think I passed, but I won't know until tomorrow.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed!"

kid (noun): child.

A: "You have three kids, don't you?"
B: "That's right. I have two girls and a boy."

kid (verb): playfully say something that isn't true.

"I was kidding when I said my teacher was a monster. She's strict,
but she's actually a very nice person."

kind of: rather; more or less; a little.

"I'm feeling kind of hungry. I think I'll make myself a sandwich."

a klutz: an awkward, uncoordinated person.

"Don't ask Jeff to dance with you. He's a real klutz and will probably step on your feet!"

a know-it-all: someone who acts as if he/she knows everything--as if no one
can tell him/her anything that he/she doesn't already know.

"Don't try to make any suggestions to Bob. He's a know-it-all
and won't pay attention to anything you say."

know something backwards and forwards: know/understand something
completely and thoroughly.

"If you have a question about html tags, ask Susan. She knows html
backwards and forwards."

know something inside out: know/understand something thoroughly.

"If you have a question about grammar, ask Dr. Martin. She knows grammar inside out."

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