Phrases part 6.

Pull Your Horns In
Meaning: Become less ambitious; curb your enthusiasm.
Use in #sentence: The team came bottom of the league last year and now has no money. They'll have to pull their horns in when making bids for new players.

Pulling Your Leg
Meaning: Tricking someone as a joke.
Use in #sentence: You believed her when she said she was the Queen's cousin? I think she was pulling your leg mate.

Put A Sock In It
Meaning: An instruction to a noisy person or a group to be quiet.
Use in #sentence: Hey, you kids, put a sock in it I can't hear myself think in here.

Quality Time
Meaning: Time spent with a child, spouse or friend in an uninterrupted and attentive way.
Use in #sentence: I've been working 12 hours a day this week and haven't been home once for the toddler's bedtime. This weekend I'm going to give them some quality time and take them to the zoo

Queer Street
Meaning: The imaginary location of people who have major problems in their life, especially debt. (Note: not a real place, nor connected to homosexuality)
Use in #sentence: The business has gone into liquidation, my wife has left and the mortgage company want the house. I'm really in queer street.

Queer The Pitch
Meaning: Ruin a plan or undertaking.
Use in #sentence: That scrapyard opening next to Julies bridal shop has really queered her pitch.

Rabbit And Pork
Meaning: Cockney rhyming slang for talk.
Use in #sentence: He just goes on and on about his hobbies rabbit, rabbit, rabbit!

Rag's To Riche's
Meaning: From poverty to wealth.
Use in #sentence: J K Rowling was on benefits when she wrote Harry Potter. That's a real rags to riches story.

Raining Cats And Dogs
Meaning: Raining very heavily.
Use in #sentence: The monsoon will be here soon then it will rain cats and dogs.

Red Letter Day
Meaning: A significant, important or happy day.
Use in #sentence: Mom will be a hundred years old on the 23rd. That's a real red-letter day for the family.

Red Tape
Meaning: Bureaucracy, especially in public business.
Use in #sentence: It's hardly worth applying for a grant from the council. There's so much red tape to contend with it will take years.

Rest Up
Meaning: Take a break from one's efforts.
Use in #sentence: You did well to get this far in the marathon before collapsing. Rest up now and wait for the paramedics to get here.

Riding Shotgun
Meaning: Riding in the front passenger seat of a car.
Use in #sentence: I prefer to drive but since my drink conviction I have to ride shotgun.

Ring Fencing
Meaning: Earmarking funds to guarantee a specific project can go ahead.
Use in #sentence: The government is making major cuts in spending, but at least the hospital will stay open medical funding is ring-fenced.

Rise And Shine
Meaning: Instruction to get out of bed and get ready for work.
Use in #sentence: Okay, sleepy heads. Kit inspection in ten minutes rise and shine.

Rome Was Not Built In One Day
Meaning: Major and important projects take time.
Use in #sentence: The new airport won't be finished for another ten years. I know Rome wasn't built in a day but that seems too long to wait.

Rosie Lea
Meaning: Cockney rhyming slang for tea.
Use in #sentence: Put the kettle on would you? I'd love a nice cup of rosie lea.

Ruby Murray
Meaning: Cockney rhyming slang for curry.
Use in #sentence: Every Friday night after work, the lads all pile into the Star of India for a ruby.

Rule Of Thumb
Meaning: A rough estimate.
Use in #sentence: I've no tape measure with me but I'd say, as a rule of thumb, that building is twelve metres high.

Run Out Of Steam
Meaning: Completely out of energy.
Use in #sentence: I was going strong in the marathon until I hit the wall at the twenty mile mark. Then I was right out of steam.

Salad Days
Meaning: The days of one's youthful inexperience and enthusiasm.
Use in #sentence: I'm too old and cynical to believe politician's promises now. I'm well past my salad days.

Saved By The Bell
Meaning: Saved by a last minute intervention.
Use in #sentence: That solar panel scheme was just about to be cancelled, then an environmentalist minister came in and it was saved by the bell.

Scarper Flow
Meaning: Cockney rhyming slang for go.
Use in #sentence: The police are on there way. With your record they are bound to think the fight was your fault you'd better scarper before they get here.

Meaning: Without payment.
Use in #sentence: He was lucky that the traffic warden's pen ran out and he didn't get a ticket. He got off scot free.

Scrape Together
Meaning: To manage, with difficulty, enough of what is needed especially money.
Use in #sentence: Between three three of us we managed to scrape together ??5 for a taxi home.

Scrub Up
Meaning: Make an effort to present oneself well dressed and smartly turned out.
Use in #sentence: I'd only ever seen Jim in jeans before. Now he's in a suit and had a haircut I think he scrubs up really well.

See Eye To Eye
Meaning: When two or more people agree.
Use in #sentence: Our taste in music is the only thing we don't agree on. Apart from that we see eye to eye on everything.

Sexton Blake
Meaning: Cockney rhyming slang for fake.
Use in #sentence: That picture was supposed to be by Monet but there was a mobile phone in the background I knew right away it was a sexton.

Shoot Down In Flames
Meaning: Destroy an argument or theory.
Use in #sentence: They sent their perpetual motion ideas to the Royal Society. Of course, it was all nonsense and they were shot down in flames.

Shoot Straight
Meaning: To talk or deal honestly.
Use in #sentence: I've worked with Jabril for twenty years and never had reason to doubt his word. He's a real straight-shooter.

Shoot Through
Meaning: To leave or abscond.
Use in #sentence: When we got up this morning Jeff had gone. He shot through without a word.

Shovel Ready
Meaning: A building project in which all the preliminaries have been arranged.
Use in #sentence: Planning consent is done. The site is cleared. The project is shovel ready.

Silver Bullet
Meaning: A simple and seeming effortless solution to a difficult problem.
Use in #sentence: We are thousands in debt. That loan seemed to be the silver bullet that would sort out our problems, but it really wasn't.

Silver Fox
Meaning: A handsome grey-haired man.
Use in #sentence: Richard Gere used to be the typical matinee idol. These days he's a real silver fox.

Silver Surfer
Meaning: An older person who uses the World Wide Web.
Use in #sentence: Granny didn't want the iPad we bought her but since we showed her how to Skype the kids in Australia she's become a real silver surfer.

Silver Threads Amongst The Gold
Meaning: Blonde hair that is turning grey.
Use in #sentence: Thirty years ago Janine had strawberry blonde hair. These days she's going grey, or as she prefers to say silver threads among the gold.

Silver Tongued
Meaning: Eloquent or persuasive manner of speech.
Use in #sentence: Reagan didn't always have much in the way of policies but he certainly could hold a crowd with his silver tongued speeches.

Sixth Sense
Meaning: An imaginary intuitive facility.
Use in #sentence: My sixth sense is telling me that I'm going to meet my perfect partner today.

Skid Row
Meaning: The rundown area of a city inhabited by the destitute.
Use in #sentence: Lost my job, Jill left me, started drinking pretty soon I was on skid row.

Smell A Rat
Meaning: To begin to suspect that things aren't as they should be.
Use in #sentence: It was when he said I needed to email him my bank details that I began to smell a rat.

Smell Something Fishy
Meaning: Detect that something isn't as it should be.
Use in #sentence: He's always hanging around outside the women's dorm with a camera. It looks a bit fishy to me.

Sniff Test
Meaning: Sniff an item of clothing (or food) to check if it might be suitable to wear (or eat).
Use in #sentence: I've worn that shirt before but when I gave the underarms the sniff test I thought I'd be okay to wear it again.

Son Of A Gun
Meaning: A rogue.
Use in #sentence: He was always up to mischief at school the real class son of a gun.

Sparrow Fart
Meaning: Jokey term for the early morning.
Use in #sentence: I know we have to get the early flight but isn't 2am too soon to be getting up? It isn't even sparrow fart yet.

Spitting Image
Meaning: The exact likeness.
Use in #sentence: I could have picked them out as father and son in a football crowd. They were the spitting image of each other.

Spoiler Alert
Meaning: Said, or printed, as a warning that the following will give away the ending or important plot development of a drama.
Use in #sentence: I've just been to see Shakespeare's Othello. Spoiler alert Othello dies.

Steal SomeoneS Thunder
Meaning: Take the credit for something someone else did.
Use in #sentence: Joseph Swan had the first working lightbulb but Edison filed the first patent and effectively stole Swan's thunder.

Step Up To The Mark
Meaning: Mark yourself ready to take responsibility.
Use in #sentence: If you really want to top job you need to step up to the mark and show the board what you are worth.

Stitch Up
Meaning: 1. Put someone in difficulty, often by making it appear that they are to blame for a misdemeanour. 2. Repair with needle and thread.
Use in #sentence: 1. When she hid the money she'd stolen in my jacket she really stitched me up for the crime. 2. those jeans are ripped. Pass them over and I'll stitch them up for you.

Sit Tight
Meaning: Wait and take do nothing until the time is right for action.
Use in #sentence: I know you hoped to be promoted by now. Don't worry though. It will happen; just sit tight, do your job well and wait.

Straight From The HorseS Mouth
Meaning: Heard from the authoritative source.
Use in #sentence: There's going to be an election in May. My sister is the Prime Ministers secretary so I got that straight from the horses mouth.

Stranger Things Have Happened
Meaning: Said when the feasibility of some unlikely event is questioned.
Use in #sentence: Jamie says he just saw a chimp waiting at the bus stop. I don't really believe him, but then, stranger things have happened.

Suck It Up
Meaning: Accept a bad situation.
Use in #sentence: Listen Jedd, it's over, Janine will never be coming back. Suck it up and move on.

Swing By
Meaning: Drop in for a visit.
Use in #sentence: Come and join us well be down at the pub until 9pm. Why don't you swing by around 8.30?

Syrup Of Figs
Meaning: Cockney rhyming slang for wig.
Use in #sentence: That thatch on Donald Trump's head it has to be a syrup.

Take A Butchers
Meaning: Cockney rhyming slang for look.
Use in #sentence: There's a triple rainbow over there. If you don't believe me take a butchers yourself.

Take A Raincheck
Meaning: An offer that is declined now but may be reconsidered later.
Use in #sentence: I can't go bowling tonight, I've work to finish, but I'll take a raincheck for next time.

Take With A Grain Of Salt
Meaning: Don't take what someone says too seriously the the implication that it isn't true.
Use in #sentence: She says that she's Prince Charles' niece. I'd take that with a grain of salt if I were you.

Tea Leaf
Meaning: Cockney rhyming slang for thief.
Use in #sentence: Just be careful to keep your purse safe when you go down to the market there are plenty of tea leaves ready to steal it.

That Friday Feeling
Meaning: Anticipation of the weekend after a hard working week.
Use in #sentence: I'm ready for a few jars at the pub after work I've got that friday feeling.

That Sucks
Meaning: 1. An expression of sympathy. 2. Said of something that the speaker rates very lowly.
Use in #sentence: 1. I heard that your child has leukaemia. That sucks I'm so sorry. 2. His singing is out of tune and he just can't dance. The whole performance sucks.

The Acid Test
Meaning: 1. A scientific test to distinguish between gold and base metals. 2. A conclusive test to determine the validity of a claim.
Use in #sentence: 1. We found a mineral that looked valuable but it might be fools gold we need to give it the acid test. 2. The acid test of the quality of a singer is to ask them to sing unaccompanied.

The Apple Of My Eye
Meaning: Someone who is cherished above all others.
Use in #sentence: She's my only child the apple of my eye.

The Author Of Your Own Misfortune
Meaning: Be to blame for one's own problems.
Use in #sentence: Tommy just took off across the moors with no gear and no phone. He ended up in hospital but no one is too sorry for him he was the author of his own misfortune.

The Ball Is In Your Court
Meaning: It is your turn to make a decision.
Use in #sentence: I've done more than my share in this partnership. The ball is in your court to decide what happens next.

The Best Of Both Worlds
Meaning: The benefits available from two apparently conflicting options.
Use in #sentence: I went on a sailing holiday and got to stay in a cosy beachside villa each night. It seemed like the best of both worlds.

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
Meaning: An outstandingly good idea or plan.
Use in #sentence: Some people hate iPhones Apple fanboys think they are the best thing since sliced bread.

The Big Pond
Meaning: Nickname of the Atlantic Ocean between the UK and the USA.
Use in #sentence: London's getting boring I'm planning to hop the big pond and have a weekend in New York.

The Empty Chair
Meaning: The perceived absense of someone who is recently deceased.
Use in #sentence: Some days I can forget about Jim's death for a while, then I see the empty chair and the grief comes back.

The Fog Of War
Meaning: Confusion caused by the chaos of battle.
Use in #sentence: After the bombing raid we had no idea where the enemy were of what was going to happen next that's to be expected in the fog of war.

The Glorious Twelfth
Meaning: The 12th of August the start of the British grouse shooting season.
Use in #sentence: Just two weeks to go. I've booked all the beaters and the trip to the grouse moor is all set bring on the glorious twelfth.

The Hair Of The Dog
Meaning: A state of nervous anxiety or fear.
Use in #sentence: I didn't like staying in that old house overnight. The creaks and bumps gave me the heebie-jeebies.

The God Squad
Meaning: Enthusiastic Christian believers.
Use in #sentence: Every friday we the doorbell goes and it's the Jehovah's Witnesses or some other god squad folks.

The Icing On The Cake
Meaning: Something that makes a good situation even better.
Use in #sentence: Winning the race was great. Getting a medal and a prize was the icing on the cake.

The Last Straw
Meaning: The last of a series of problems, which pushes one's endurance beyond its limits.
Use in #sentence: I've put up with his taunting for years but picking on my daughter was the last straw and I punched him.

The Nitty-Gritty
Meaning: The important aspects of a situation; the heart of the matter.
Use in #sentence: The solicitor spent ages listing the business details of Grandad's will. We were all waiting for him to get to the nitty-gritty when we found out how much money we would inherit.

The Sound Of Leather On Willow
Meaning: The sound of the ball on the bat in cricket.
Use in #sentence: There's nothing more English than this sitting in a deckchair at the Worcester county ground, watching the match and the sound of leather on willow.

The Tail Is Wagging The Dog
Meaning: A small and usually insignificant factor (or person) dominates over one that is normally more powerful and influential.
Use in #sentence: Even small countries like Estonia have a veto in European Union voting and can't be over-ruled. I'd call that the tail wagging the dog.

The Whole Nine Yards
Meaning: The full entirety of something.
Use in #sentence: The allies went full-on in the attack on Baghdad bombs, missiles, the whole nine yards.

The Wheels Have Come Off
Meaning: Said when a previously promising enterprise goes irretrievably wrong.
Use in #sentence: It was pretty easy to get a loan in 2007, but the wheels came off the world banking system when they found out they had loaned out far too much.

Third Time Lucky
Meaning: Said when trying something for the third time.
Use in #sentence: Two divorces and now I'm engaged again. Let's hope it's third time lucky.

Third TimeS A Charm
Meaning: The third try is often successful.
Use in #sentence: Have you noticed that, in TV dramas, when the police try a lock with a set of keys it's always the third that works. They must think third times a charm.

Throw The Towel In
Meaning: Give up, especially to avoid further punishment when facing certain defeat.
Use in #sentence: AltaVista tried to hang on and compete with Google, but eventually they just couldn't compete and were forced to throw the towel in.

Tie The Knot
Meaning: Get married.
Use in #sentence: Jane's been pressing Jim to get married for years. They're finally tying the knot this weekend.

Til The Cows Come Home
Meaning: A long time to wait.
Use in #sentence: He borrows but he never pays back. You'll not see your money before the cows come home.


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