English Idioms: From under the Thumb of, under a Cloud to 1-Bear Out

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Under the Thumb Of

  • Controlled or dominated by someone he՚s been under his mother՚s thumb for years.
  • The allusion in this metaphoric idiom is unclear, that is, why a thumb rather than a fist or some other anatomic part should symbolize control. [Mid-1700s]

Under a Cloud

If someone is suspected of having done something wrong, they are under a cloud.

Vested Interests

  • A personal stake in something she has a vested interest in keeping the house in her name.
  • This term, first recorded in 1818, uses vested in the sense of “established” or “secured.”

Vamp Up

Make up vamp up an excuse for not attending the meeting

White Elephant

A white elephant is an expensive burden; something that costs far too much money to run, like the Millennium Dome in the UK.

Weather the Storm

  • Survive difficulties if she can just weather the storm of that contract violation, she՚ll be fine.
  • This expression alludes to a ship coming safely through bad weather. [Mid-1600s]

Where the Shoe Pinches

  • The source of trouble, grief, difficulty, etc.

Worth Your Salt

Someone who is worth their salt deserves respect.

When All is Said and Done/After All is Said and Done

  • In the end, nevertheless when all՚s said and done, the doctors did what they could for Gordon, but he was too ill to survive.
  • This term was first recorded in 1560.

Wear the Pants in the Family

Exercise controlling authority in a household Grandma or husband (in case of husband and wife) wears the pants at our house.

Whittle Away

  • Cut away in small pieces, to cut or carve something away the carver whittled the wood away until only a small figure was left.
  • He whittled away the wood.

Winkle Out

Force from a place or position the committee winkled out the unqualified candidates.

With Open Arms

  • Enthusiastically, warmly they received their new daughter-in-law with open arms.
  • This term alludes to an embrace. [Mid-1600s]

Wash One՚s Hand of (To)

  • Refuse to accept responsibility for; abandon or renounce I՚ve done all I can for him, and now I՚m washing my hands of him.
  • This expression alludes to Pontius Pilate՚s washing his hands before having Jesus put to death, saying “I am innocent of the blood of this just person” (Matthew 27: 24) .

Yeoman՚s Service

  • Efficient, useful or loyal service; arduous work
  • Tipu sultan rendered yeoman service for the Islam

Zero Hours

The time when something important is to begin is zero hour.

1- Bear Out

  • Back up or confirm the results bear out what he predicted. His story bears me out exactly. [Late 1400s]
  • Back out/back out of something Move or retreat backwards without turning; same as back away; withdraw from a situation or break an agreement or engagement After the announcement appeared in the papers, Mary found it doubly difficult to back out of her engagement to Todd. [Early 1800s]