English Idioms: From Kick the Bucket to Leave in the Lurch, Learn to Live with

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Kick the Bucket

To die

Keep One’S Nose to the Grindstone

  • Stay hard at work we expect John to get good grades again, since he really keeps his nose to the grindstone.

  • This expression, first recorded in 1539, alludes to a tool that must be sharpened by being held to a grindstone.

Like Two Peas in a Pod

Things that are like two peas in a pod are very similar or identical.

Leave in the Lurch

Desert or leave alone and in trouble, refuse to help or support someone He left me in the lurch when he didn’t come over to help me although he had promised to earlier in the day.

Like a Red Rag to a Bull

If something is a red rag to a bull, it is something that will inevitably make somebody angry or cross.

Lip Service

When people pay lip service to something, they express their respect, but they don’t act on their words, so the respect is hollow and empty.

Letter Perfect

The precise wording rather than the spirit or intent. Since it was the first time, he’d broken the rules, the school decided to ignore the letter of the law and just give him a warning. [Late 1500s]

Look down Upon

  • Think nothing of, be contemptuous of

  • Do not look down upon the down and out

Loom Large

  • Appear imminent in a threatening, magnified form the possibility of civil war loomed large on the horizon.

  • Martha wanted to take it easy for a week, but the bar exam loomed large.

  • This term employs loom in the sense of “come into view”, a usage dating from the late 1500s.

Leave in the Lurch

  • Abandon or desert someone in difficult straits Jane was angry enough to quit without giving notice, leaving her boss in the lurch.

  • Where were you Karman, you really left me in the lurch?

  • This expression alludes to a 16th-century French dice game, louche, where to incur a lurch meant to be far behind the other players.

  • It later was used in cribbage and other games, as well as being used in its present figurative sense by about 1600.

Learn to Live With

  • Get used to or accustom oneself to something that is painful, annoying, or unpleasant the doctor said nothing more could be done about improving her sight; she’d just have to learn to live with it.

  • Pat decided she didn’t like the new sofa but would have to learn to live with it.

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