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*last modified on December 29, 2009*



“Armchair driver.”

root expressions:

“Armchair quarterback.”
“Back-seat driver.”





“Throw your name in the ring.”

root expressions:

“Throw your name in the hat.”
“Throw your hat in the ring.”





“You don’t shit.”
&
“No say.”

root expressions:

“You don’t say.”
“No shit.”




“You’ve got a chip up your ass.”

root expressions:

“You’ve got a chip on your shoulder.”
“You’ve got a stick up your ass.”





“Mince punches.”

root expressions:

“Mince words.”
“Pull punches.”





“Spare belly.”

root expressions:

“Spare tire.”
“Pot-belly.”





“Tough it up.”

root expressions:

“Tough it out.”
“Suck it up.”




“You can’t teach an old dog to change its spots.”

root expressions:

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
“A leopard can’t change its spots.”





“I blew the pooch.”

root expressions:

“I blew it.”
“I screwed the pooch.”





“Glory salad.”

root expressions:

“Glory days.”
“Salad days.”





“The short end of the shaft.”

root expressions:

“The short end of the stick.”
“Shafted.”




“Treading my wheels.”

root expressions:

“Treading water.”
“Spinning my wheels.”





“Uprage.”

root expressions:

“Uproar.”
“Outrage.”





“Know-it-pants.”

root expressions:

“Know-it-all.”
“Smarty-pants.”





“WTFWJD?”

root expressions:

“WTF?”
“WWJD?”




“A wrench in the ointment.”

root expressions:

“A wrench in the gears.”
“A fly in the ointment.”





“Gauche pas.”

root expressions:

“Gauche.”
“Faux pas.”





“A crap in the dark.”

root expressions:

“A crap shoot.”
“A shot in the dark.”





“Don’t get your hackles in a dander!”

root expressions:

“Don’t get your hackles up.”
“Don’t get your dander up.”
“Don’t get your panties in a knot.”




“Leaper beware.”

root expressions:

“Look before you leap.”
“Buyer beware.”





“Veri-dat.”

root expressions:

“Veritas.”
“True dat.”





“Screwed me under the bus..”

root expressions:

“Screwed me over.”
“Threw me under the bus.”




“A stick in the pooper.”

root expressions:

“A stick in the mud.”
“A party pooper.”





“Zip your pie trap!”

root expressions:

“Zip it!”
“Shut your pie hole!”
“Shut your trap!”

n.b. triple conflation.






“Wrapping down.”

root expressions:

“Wrapping up.”
“Winding down.”





“Free season.”

root expressions:

“Free for all.”
“Open season.”




“Invisible thumb.”

root expressions:

“The invisible hand.”
“A thumb on the scales.”





“Baconwinner.”

root expressions:

“Bring home the bacon.”
“Breadwinner.”





“Beat around the eggshells.”

root expressions:

“Beat around the bush.”
“Walk on eggshells.”





“Plain as crystal.”

root expressions:

“Plain as day.”
“Crystal clear.”




“Lunch cadet.”

root expressions:

“Out to lunch.”
“Space cadet.”





“Dot your P’s and Q’s.”

root expressions:

“Dot your I’s and cross your T’s.”
“Mind your P’s and Q’s.”





“A tool bag.”

root expressions:

“A tool.”
“A douche bag.”





“Mr. money pockets.”

root expressions:

“Mr. money bucks.”
“Deep pockets.”




“Past the hill.”

root expressions:

“Past your prime.”
“Over the hill.”





“Child’s pie.”

root expressions:

“Child’s play.”
“Easy as pie.”





“Sugar your punches.”

root expressions:

“Sugar-coat it.”
“Pull your punches.”





“The cream of the litter.”

root expressions:

“The cream of the crop.”
“The pick of the litter.”




“Blind robbery.”

root expressions:

“Robbed blind.”
“Highway robbery.”





“Clean off your chest.”

root expressions:

“Come clean.”
“Get something off your chest.”





“In a thumbnail.”

root expressions:

“In a nutshell.”
“A thumbnail sketch.”





“Bite the plunge.”

root expressions:

“Bite the bullet.”
“Take the plunge.”




“At the drop of a heartbeat.”

root expressions:

“At the drop of a hat.”
“In a heartbeat.”





“Painted in.”

root expressions:

“Paint yourself into a corner.”
“Boxed in.”





“Thieves in a pod.”

root expressions:

“Thick as thieves.”
“Peas in a pod.”





“Peachy beans.”

root expressions:

“Peachy keen.”
“Cool beans.”




“Face the piper.”

root expressions:

“Face the music.”
“Pay the piper.”





“Getting ahead of the cart.”

root expressions:

“Getting ahead of yourself.”
“Putting the cart before the horse.”





“Frothing at the bit.”

root expressions:

“Frothing at the mouth.”
“Champing at the bit.”





“[I don’t know what’s] come into [him].”

root expressions:

“[I don’t know what’s] come over [him].”
“[I don’t know what’s] gotten into [him].”




“Come up to (the idea).”

root expressions:

“Come around to (the idea).”
“Warm up to (the idea).”





“F.U.F.U. (Fucked up, Fucked up).”

root expressions:

“F.U.B.A.R. (Fucked up beyond all recognition).”
“S.N.A.F.U. (Situation normal, all fucked up).”





“Go ape-wild.”

root expressions:

“Go ape-shit.”
“Go hog-wild.”





“High-line.”

root expressions:

“High-end.”
“Top of the line.”




“Leading art.”

root expressions:

“Leading edge.”
“State of the art.”





“Cut me a bone.”

root expressions:

“Cut me some slack.”
“Throw me a bone.”





“Beat a broken record.”

root expressions:

“Beat a dead horse.”
“Sound like a broken record.”





“Some loose business.”

root expressions:

“Some loose ends to tie up.”
“Some unfinished business.”




“You hit the nose on the head.”

root expressions:

“You hit the nail on the head.”
“You hit it right on the nose.”





“Take the trouble.”

root expressions:

“Take the time.”
“Go to the trouble.”





“Blow a cow.”

root expressions:

“Blow a fuse.”
“Have a cow.”





“A side-slapper.”

root expressions:

“A side-splitter.”
“A knee-slapper.”




“Working both ends of the candle.”

root expressions:

“Working around the clock.”
“Burning both ends of the candle.”





“Riding down my neck.”

root expressions:

“Riding me.”
“Breathing down my neck.”





“Put it out of its mercy.”

root expressions:

“Put it out of its misery.”
“A mercy killing.”





“For f*cking out loud.”

root expressions:

“For f*ck’s sake.”
“For crying out loud.”




“A red canard.”

root expressions:

“A red herring.”
“A canard.”





“Like shooting cake in the park.”

root expressions:

“Like shooting fish in a barrel.”
“A cakewalk.”
“A walk in the park.”

n.b. triple conflation.






“Walk what you preach.”

root expressions:

“If you’re going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk.”
“Practice what you preach.”





“Up in debate.”

root expressions:

“Up in the air.”
“Open to debate.”




“At a stump.”

root expressions:

“At a loss.”
“Stumped.”





“Shift the buck.”

root expressions:

“Shift the blame.”
“Pass the buck.”





“Hang up the towel.”

root expressions:

“Hang up my spurs.”
“Throw in the towel.”





“The meat of the matter.”

root expressions:

“The meat of it.”
“The heart of the matter.”




“Mind-frame.”

root expressions:

“Mind-set.”
“Frame of mind.”





“Straight o’ the mill.”

root expressions:

“Straight ahead.”
“Run of the mill.”





“Long voyage.”

root expressions:

“So long.”
“Bon voyage.”





“Oompzvah.”

root expressions:

“Oomph.”
“Hutzvah.”




“Middle of the mill.”

root expressions:

“Middle of the road.”
“Run of the mill.”





“Spur of the hat.”

root expressions:

“Spur of the moment.”
“At the drop of a hat.”





“Nobody’s human.”

root expressions:

“Nobody's perfect.”
“Only human.”





“Out-stage.”

root expressions:

“Out-do.”
“Upstage.”




“Bowled away.”

root expressions:

“Bowled over.”
“Blown away.”





“Shiver m’egads!”

root expressions:

“Shiver me timbers!”
“Egads!”





“Happy as punch.”

root expressions:

“Happy as a clam.”
“Pleased as punch.”





“Passing of the guard.”

root expressions:

“Passing of the torch.”
“Changing of the guard.”




“The cream de la crème.”

root expressions:

“The cream of the crop.”
“The crème de la crème.”





“The boob box.”

root expressions:

“The boob tube.”
“The idiot box.”





“Sitting on easy street.”

root expressions:

“Sitting pretty.”
“Living on easy street.”





“Hold your guns.”

root expressions:

“Hold your ground.”
“Stick to your guns.”




“Small fish.”

root expressions:

“Small potatoes.”
“You’ve got bigger fish to fry.”





“Every cloud has a bright side.”

root expressions:

“ Every cloud has a silver lining.”
“Look on the bright side.”





“Selling like gangbusters.”

root expressions:

“Selling like hotcakes.”
“Going like gangbusters.”





“Shake your nose at.”

root expressions:

“Shake a stick at.”
“Thumb your nose at.”




“You can’t squeeze blood from a sow’s ear.”

root expressions:

“ You can’t squeeze blood from a stone.”
“ You can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.”





“Wild cannon.”

root expressions:

“Wild card.”
“Loose cannon.”





“I’ve got the upper leg.”

root expressions:

“I’ve got the upper hand.”
“I’ve got a leg up on the competition.”





“Don’t sweat the small fish.”

root expressions:

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
“We’ve got bigger fish to fry.”




“Nit-splitting.”

root expressions:

“Nit-picking.”
“Splitting hairs.”





“Everything under the kitchen sink.”

root expressions:

“Everything under the sun.”
“Everything but the kitchen sink.”





“Skating on the edge.”

root expressions:

“Skating on thin ice.”
“Living on the edge.”





“Sharp as a whip.”
&
“Smart as a tack.”

root expressions:

“Sharp as a tack.”
“Smart as a whip.”




“In the long picture.”

root expressions:

“In the long run.”
“In the big picture.”





“Throw in the quits.”

root expressions:

“Throw in the towel.”
“Call it quits.”





“Flip a cow.”

root expressions:

“Flip out.”
“Have a cow.”





“That’s the way the cookie bounces.”

root expressions:

“That’s the way the ball bounces.”
“That’s the way the cookie crumbles.”




“Put your nose to the wheel.”

root expressions:

“Nose to the grindstone.”
“Put your shoulder to the wheel.”





“Straight cut.”
&
“Clean edge.”

root expressions:

“Straight edge.”
“Clean cut.”





“Get your act in a row.”

root expressions:

“Get your act together.”
“Get all your ducks in a row.”





“When the day is said and done.”

root expressions:

“At the end of the day.”
“When all is said and done.”




“A chain effect.”

root expressions:

“A chain reaction.”
“The domino effect.”





“Snowed me over.”

root expressions:

“Snow job.”
“Pulled one over on me.”





“Hunky dandy.”

root expressions:

“Hunky dory.”
“Fine and dandy.”





“To make a nutshell.”

root expressions:

“To make a long story short.”
“In a nutshell.”




“Deep-wired.”

root expressions:

“Deep-seated.”
“Hard-wired.”





“Long in the dumps.”

root expressions:

“Why the long face?”
“Down in the dumps.”





“A slippery inch.”

root expressions:

“A slippery slope.”
“Give them an inch, they'll take a mile.”





“Think outside the envelope.”

root expressions:

“Think outside the box.”
“Push the envelope.”




“Give it a stab.”

root expressions:

“Give it a shot.”
“Take a stab at it.”





“The penny of no return.”

root expressions:

“In for a penny, in for a pound.”
“The point of no return.”





“Under the wire of time.”

root expressions:

“Just under the wire.”
“In the nick of time.”





“Put the dots together.”

root expressions:

“Put two and two together.”
“Connect the dots.”




“Along the same vein.”

root expressions:

“Along the same lines.”
“In the same vein.”





“Your fifteen minutes in the sun.”

root expressions:

“Everyone has their fifteen minutes of fame.”
“Your moment in the sun.”





“Long in the mouth.”

root expressions:

“Why the long face?”
“Down in the mouth.”





“State of the edge.”

root expressions:

“State of the art.”
“Cutting edge.”




“On the horns of a hard place.”

root expressions:

“On the horns of a dilemma.”
“Between a rock and a hard place.”





“Aim big.”

root expressions:

“Aim high.”
“Think big.”





“At this juncture in time.”

root expressions:

“At this point in time.”
“At this juncture.”





“A water-change.”

root expressions:

“A watershed moment.”
“A sea-change.”




“Trail-breaker.”
&
“Ground-blazing.”

root expressions:

“Trailblazer.”
“Ground-breaking.”





“Right off the outset.”

root expressions:

“Right off the bat.”
“From the outset.”





“The early bird gets the spoils.”

root expressions:

“The early bird catches the worm.”
“To the victor go the spoils.”





“That’s getting on my skin.”

root expressions:

“That’s getting on my nerves.”
“That gets under my skin.”




“A bit of a fetch.”

root expressions:

“A bit of a stretch.”
“Far-fetched.”





“Give up the farm.”

root expressions:

“Bought the farm.”
“Give up the ghost.”





“Kick the ghost.”

root expressions:

“Kick the bucket.”
“Give up the ghost.”





“A holy goose chase.”

root expressions:

“A quest for the holy grail.”
“A wild goose chase.”




“Flip someone the middle eye.”

root expressions:

“Flip someone the bird.”
“Give someone the middle finger.”
“Give someone the evil eye.”

n.b. triple conflation.






“Hot off the spanking.”

root expressions:

“Hot off the presses.”
“Brand spanking new.”





“A feather of honour.”

root expressions:

“A feather in your cap.”
“A badge of honour.”





“In clam heaven.”

root expressions:

“Happy as a clam.”
“In hog heaven.”




“By the skin of a wire.”

root expressions:

“By the skin of my teeth.”
“Just under the wire.”





“A vicious prophecy.”
&
“A self-fulfilling cycle.”

root expressions:

“A self-fulfilling prophecy.”
“A vicious cycle.”





“The whole can of kaboodle.”

root expressions:

“The whole can of beans.”
“The whole kit and kaboodle.”





“Jump in edgewise.”

root expressions:

“Jump in.”
“Get a word in edgewise.”




“Touch in.”

root expressions:

“Touch base.”
“Check in.”





“Great minds flock together.”

root expressions:

“Great minds think alike.”
“Birds of a feather flock together.”





“Don’t sugar-coat any punches.”

root expressions:

“Don’t sugar-coat it.”
“Don’t pull any punches.”





“Type-holed.”

root expressions:

“Typecast.”
“Pigeon-holed.”




“Heard wind.”

root expressions:

“Heard tell.”
“Caught wind.”





“By hook or high water.”

root expressions:

“By hook or by crook.”
“Come hell or high water.”





“Piece of pie.”

root expressions:

“Piece of cake.”
“Easy as pie.”





“A pie dream.”

root expressions:

“A pipe dream.”
“Pie in the sky.”




“On top of the ball.”

root expressions:

“On top of things.”
“On the ball.”





“Hit gold.”

root expressions:

“Hit the jackpot.”
“Struck gold.”





“The raw end of the deal.”

root expressions:

“A raw deal.”
“The short end of the stick.”





“Getting carried overboard.”

root expressions:

“Getting carried away.”
“Going overboard.”




“Jack of many hats.”

root expressions:

“Jack of all trades.”
“She wears many hats.”





“Decked to the nines.”

root expressions:

“Decked out.”
“Dressed to the nines.”





“Squeaky as a whistle.”

root expressions:

“Squeaky clean.”
“Clean as a whistle.”

n.b. this expression is an example of the “absent pivot” type, with the word shared
by both original expressions (in this case “clean”) eliminated in the conflation.






“It rings off the tongue nicely.”

root expressions:

“It has a nice ring to it.”
“It rolls off the tongue nicely.”




“You can’t have your cake both ways.”

root expressions:

“You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
“You can’t have it both ways.”





“One good scratch deserves another.”

root expressions:

“One good turn deserves another.”
“You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.”





“The full nine yards.”

root expressions:

“The fully monty.”
“The whole nine yards.”





“Rubs me to no end.”

root expressions:

“Rubs me the wrong way.”
“Bothers me to no end.”




“On pins and hooks.”

root expressions:

“On pins and needles.”
“On tenterhooks.”





“Kettle of worms.”

root expressions:

“Kettle of fish.”
“Can of worms.”





“Happy trigger finger.”

root expressions:

“Trigger-happy.”
“Itchy trigger finger.”





“You’re dead toast.”

root expressions:

“You're dead meat.”
“You're toast.”




“Count your lucky stars.”

root expressions:

“Count your blessings.”
“Thank your lucky stars.”





“Run of the dozen.”

root expressions:

“Run of the mill.”
“Dime a dozen.”





“Picking ground.”

root expressions:

“Ripe for the picking.”
“Fertile ground.”





“Packblazer.”

root expressions:

“Leader of the pack.”
“Trailblazer.”




“On the top of my fly.”

root expressions:

“On the fly.”
“Off the top of my head.”





“That tastes like my alley.”

root expressions:

“That suits my taste.”
“That's right up my alley.”





“Slim to fat.”

root expressions:

“Slim to none.”
“Fat chance.”





“Shrifted.”

root expressions:

“Shafted.”
“Short shrift.”




“The short end of the shrift.”

root expressions:

“The short end of the stick.”
“Short shrift.”





“On the fly of your pants.”

root expressions:

“On the fly.”
“By the seat of your pants.”





“Like a pig in heaven.”

root expressions:

“Like a pig in slop.”
“In hog heaven.”





“In cloud heaven.”

root expressions:

“In hog heaven.”
“On cloud nine.”




“Go full hog.”

root expressions:

“Go full bore.”
“Go whole hog.”





“Bury it under the bridge.”

root expressions:

“Bury the hatchet.”
“Water under the bridge.”





“Cheaper said than done.”

root expressions:

“Talk is cheap.”
“Easier said than done.”





“You’re making mountains out of spilt milk.”

root expressions:

“You’re making mountains out of molehills.”
“Don’t cry over spilt milk.”




“[expletive] or get off the fence.”

root expressions:

“[expletive] or get off the pot.”
“Stop sitting on the fence.”





“That makes my blood red.”

root expressions:

“That makes my blood boil.”
“I’m seeing red.”





“No such dice.”

root expressions:

“No such luck.”
“No dice.”





“Burnt to a pulp.”

root expressions:

“Burnt to a crisp.”
“Beaten to a pulp.”




“Paypot!”

root expressions:

“Jackpot!”
“Paydirt!”





“I’ve got him wrapped around the palm of my hand.”

root expressions:

“I’ve got him wrapped around my finger.”
“I’ve got him eating out of the palm of my hand.”





“Show-dog.”

root expressions:

“Show off.”
“Hot-dog.”





“Make hay while the iron is hot.”

root expressions:

“Make hay while the sun shines.”
“Strike while the iron is hot.”




“Leave no cranny unturned.”

root expressions:

“Leave no stone unturned.”
“Check every nook and cranny.”





“That fits the trick.”

root expressions:

“That fits the bill.”
“That does the trick.”





“The chip doesn't fall far from the block.”
&
“An apple off the old tree.”


root expressions:

“A chip off the old block.”
“The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.”





“Snug as a clam.”

root expressions:

“Snug as a bug.”
“Happy as a clam.”




“That's the short of the matter.”

root expressions:

“That's the long and short of it.”
“The fact of the matter.”





“We beat the cream out of them.”

root expressions:

“We beat the pants off of them.”
“We creamed them.”





“On gravy street.”

root expressions:

“Riding the gravy train.”
“On easy street.”





“Hold your own weight.”

root expressions:

“Hold your own.”
“Pull your own weight.”




“He pushes my goat.”

root expressions:

“He pushes my buttons.”
“He gets my goat.”





“When pigs freeze over.”

root expressions:

“When pigs fly.”
“When hell freezes over.”





“Until the cows turn blue.”

root expressions:

“Until the cows come home.”
“Until you’re blue in the face.”





“It’s not rocket surgery.”

root expressions:

“It’s not rocket science.”
“It’s not brain surgery.”




“Get your teeth wet.”

root expressions:

“Get your feet wet.”
“Cut your teeth.”





“A crap toss.”

root expressions:

“A crap shoot.”
“A coin toss.”





“At the drop of a dime.”

root expressions:

“At the drop of a hat.”
“On a dime.”





“Another notch in your cap.”
&
“A feather in your belt.”


root expressions:

“Another notch on your belt.”
“A feather in your cap.”




“A diamond in a million.”

root expressions:

“A diamond in the rough.”
“One in a million.”





“A beef to grind.”

root expressions:

“A beef.”
“An axe to grind.”





“Don’t get bent out of joint.”

root expressions:

“Don’t get bent out of shape.”
“Don’t get your nose out of joint.”





“The jig is out of the bag.”

root expressions:

“The jig is up.”
“The cat is out of the bag.”




“Chew the breeze.”
&
“Shoot the fat.”


root expressions:

“Chew the fat.”
“Shoot the breeze.”





“Stop the phone.”

root expressions:

“Stop the presses.”
“Hold the phone.”





“Lost your rocker.”

root expressions:

“Lost your marbles.”
“Off your rocker.”





“Get a head up.”

root expressions:

“Get a head start.”
“Get a leg up.”




“An ax to grudge.”

root expressions:

“An ax to grind.”
“Hold a grudge.”





“Healthy as a fiddle.”
&
“Fit as a horse.”


root expressions:

“Healthy as a horse.”
“Fit as a fiddle.”





“Black and day.”

root expressions:

“Black and white.”
“Night and day.”





“When worse comes to shove.”

root expressions:

“When worse comes to worst.”
“When push comes to shove.”




“Down to the gritty brass.”

root expressions:

“Down to the nitty gritty.”
“Down to brass tacks.”





“I can’t make Greek of this.”

root expressions:

“I can’t make heads or tails of this.”
“It’s all Greek to me.”





“On the devil’s hand.”

root expressions:

“On the other hand.”
“Devil’s advocate”





“Move the ends of the earth.”

root expressions:

“Move heaven and earth.”
“To the ends of the earth.”




“Wing it by ear.”

root expressions:

“Wing it.”
“Play it by ear.”





“Tell it like a spade.”

root expressions:

“Tell it like it is.”
“Call a spade a spade.”





“No two buts about it.”

root expressions:

“No two ways about it.”
“No ifs, ands, or buts.”





“Balls to the grindstone.”

root expressions:

“Balls to the wall.”
“Nose to the grindstone.”




“In the flash of an eye.”

root expressions:

“In a flash.”
“In the twinkling of an eye.”





“Off the hip.”

root expressions:

“Off the cuff.”
“Shoot from the hip.”





“A stand-down”

root expressions:

“A stand-off”
“A showdown”





“The tables have shifted.”

root expressions:

“The tables have turned.”
“The winds have shifted.”




“Swim or die.”

root expressions:

“Sink or swim.”
“Do or die.”





“If you live by the sword, it comes around.”

root expressions:

“If you live by the sword, you die by the sword.”
“What goes around comes around.”





“Pay through the arm and leg.”

root expressions:

“Pay through the nose.”
“Pay an arm and a leg.”





“You’re not the sharpest cookie in the drawer.”

root expressions:

“You’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer.”
“Smart cookie”





“Losing an uphill battle.”

root expressions:

“Fighting a losing battle.”
“Fighting an uphill battle.”





“You make my knees flutter.”

root expressions:

“You make my knees weak.”
“You make my heart flutter.”





“Out like a rock.”

root expressions:

“Out like a light.”
“Slept like a rock.”





“Add insult to the fire.”

root expressions:

“Add insult to injury.”
“Adding fuel to the fire.”




“Hands away.”

root expressions:

“Hands down.”
“Far and away.”





“Keep your ears peeled.”

root expressions:

“Keep your ears to the ground.”
“Keep your eyes peeled.”





“Meat and butter.”
&
“Bread and potatoes.”

root expressions:

“Meat and potatoes.”
“Bread and butter.”





“Kicked the farm.”
&
“Bought the bucket.”

root expressions:

“Kicked the bucket.”
“Bought the farm.”




“Cat got you tied?”


root expressions:

“Cat got your tongue?”
“Tongue tied?”

n.b. absent pivot






“Get both worlds with one stone.”

root expressions:

“Get the best of both worlds.”
“Get two birds with one stone.”





“When in Rome, join ‘em.”

root expressions:

“When in Rome, do as the Romans.”
“If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”





“By the skin of a prayer.”

root expressions:

“By the skin of my teeth.”
“On a wing and a prayer.”




“Get the bearings of the land.”

root expressions:

“Get my bearings.”
“The lay of the land.”





“Kill the dog.”

root expressions:

“Kill time.”
“[expletive] the dog.”





“Set him out.”

root expressions:

“Set him straight.”
“Straighten him out.”

n.b. absent pivot






“The last laugh is served cold.”

root expressions:

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”
“He who laughs last laughs best.”





“If it ain’t broke, don’t rock it.”

root expressions:

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“Don’t rock the boat.”





“Off-head”

root expressions:

“Off-hand”
“Off the top of my head.”





“Off the top of my hand.”

root expressions:

“Off the top of my head.”
“Off-hand.”





“Does that jog a bell?”

root expressions:

“Does that ring a bell?”
“Does that jog your memory?”





“Hang you high and dry.”

root expressions:

“Hang you out to dry.”
“Leave you high and dry.”





“Caught with your hands down.”

root expressions:

“Caught with your pants down.”
“Caught red-handed.”





“Up to mustard.”

root expressions:

“Up to snuff.”
“Cut the mustard.”





“It’s bound to happen to the best of us.”

root expressions:

“It’s bound to happen.”
“It happens to the best of us.”





“Easy daisy.”

root expressions:

“Easy does it.”
“Oopsy daisy.”





“I had a riot.”

root expressions:

“I had a blast.”
“It was a riot.”





“Grab the bull by the reins.”

root expressions:

“Grab the bull by the horns.”
“Take the reins.”





“The cat’s knees.”
&
“The bee’s pajamas.”

root expressions:

“The cat’s pajamas.”
“The bee’s knees.”





“Opening Pandora’s worms.”

root expressions:

“Opening Pandora’s box.”
“Opening a can of worms.”





“Roll up your bootstraps.”

root expressions:

“Roll up your sleeves.”
“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”





“Que sera la vie.”

root expressions:

“Que sera, sera.”
“C’est la vie.”

n.b. two different languages are used here.





“Get off your ivory horse.”

root expressions:

“Get off your high horse.”
“An ivory tower.”




“Easy as taking candy from a barrel”

root expressions:

“Easy as taking candy from a baby.”
“Easy as shooting fish in a barrel.”





“A stitch in time is worth a pound of cure.”

root expressions:

“A stitch in time saves nine.”
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”





“Back to ground one.”

root expressions:

“Back to ground zero.”
“Back to square one.”





“Rest your laurels.”

root expressions:

“Rest your heels.”
“Rest on your laurels.”





“You’re telling the choir.”

root expressions:

“You’re telling me.”
“You’re preaching to the choir.”





“A square shake.”

root expressions:

“A square deal.”
“A fair shake.”





“Through the charts.”

root expressions:

“Through the roof.”
“Off the charts.”





“Thorn in my bonnet.”
&
“Bee in my side.”

root expressions:

“Thorn in my side.”
“Bee in my bonnet.”





“Cut and white.”

root expressions:

“Cut and dry.”
“Black and white.”





“Candy livered”
&
“Lily assed”

root expressions:

“Candy assed”
“Lily livered”





“Home is where the hat is.”

root expressions:

“Home is where the heart is.”
“A place to hang your hat.”





“Old chain”

root expressions:

“Old lady”
“Ball and chain”





“You only live a little.”

root expressions:

“You only live once.”
“Live a little.”





“Sock it on me.”

root expressions:

“Sock it to me.”
“Lay it on me.”





“Spine chilling”

root expressions:

“Spine tingling”
“Bone chilling”





“Eager at the bit.”

root expressions:

“Eager beaver.”
“Chomping at the bit.”





“Quid for tat.”

root expressions:

“Quid pro quo.”
“Tit for tat.”





“Second downs.”

root expressions:

“Second hand.”
“Hand-me-downs.”

n.b. absent pivot





“You don’t get a free lunch for nothing.”

root expressions:

“You don’t get something for nothing.”
“There’s no free lunch.”





“A guess in the dark.”

root expressions:

“A wild guess.”
“A shot in the dark.”





“Lower the bomb.”

root expressions:

“Lower the axe.”
“Drop the bomb.”





“Don’t tempt your luck.”

root expressions:

“Don’t tempt fate.”
“Don’t push your luck.”





“Double-edged blessing”

root expressions:

“Double-edged sword”
“Mixed blessing”





“Locked in stone.”

root expressions:

“Locked in”
“Written in stone”





“Loggermate”

root expressions:

“Loggerheads”
“Stalemate”





“I’m laying down the foot.”

root expressions:

“I’m laying down the law.”
“I’m putting my foot down.”





“The rumor vine.”
&
“The grape mill.”

root expressions:

“The rumor mill.”
“The grape vine.”





“There’s hope at the end of the tunnel.”

root expressions:

“There’s hope yet.”
“There’s light at the end of the tunnel.”





“Look who’s calling the kettle black.”

root expressions:

“Look who’s talking.”
“The pot is calling the kettle black.”





“Extraordinary times justify the means.”

root expressions:

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.”
“The ends justify the means.”





“People from all strokes of life.”

root expressions:

“People from all walks of life.”
“Different strokes for different folks.”





“To each his stroke.”

root expressions:

“To each his own.”
“Different strokes for different folks.”





“I know it like the back of my heart.”

root expressions:

“I know it like the back of my hand.”
“I know it by heart.”





“Beat a dead point.”
&
“Belabour the horse.”

root expressions:

“Beat a dead horse.”
“Belabour the point.”





“Pet beef.”

root expressions:

“Pet peeve.”
“A beef”





“Give up the towel.”

root expressions:

“Give up.”
“Throw in the towel.”





“He’s got a few cards loose.”

root expressions:

“He’s got a few screws loose.”
“He’s not playing with a full deck of cards.”





“He’s not playing with a full deck of marbles.”

root expressions:

“He’s not playing with a full deck of cards
“He’s lost his marbles.”





“Outside the pale of debate.”

root expressions:

“Outside the realm of debate.”
“Beyond the pale.”





“Trial by error.”

root expressions:

“Trial by fire.”
“Trial and error.”





“A spitting ringer.”
&
“The dead image.”
&
“A dead spitter.”

root expressions:

“A dead ringer.”
“The spitting image.”





“I’ve got the whole oyster in my hand.”

root expressions:

“I’ve got the whole world in my hand.”
“The world is my oyster.”





“On the same base.”

root expressions:

“On the same page.”
“Touch base.”





“On the same page length.”

root expressions:

“On the same page.”
“On the same wavelength.”





“Face the bullet.”
&
“Bite the music.”

root expressions:

“Face the music.”
“Bite the bullet.”





“If the going gets tough, make lemonade.”

root expressions:

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”
“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”





“Back to the rat grind.”

root expressions:

“Back to the grind.”
“The rat race.”





“Roll with the flow.”

root expressions:

“Roll with the punches.”
“Go with the flow.”





“A diamond around the edges.”

root expressions:

“A diamond in the rough.”
“Rough around the edges.”





“Green behind the ears.”

root expressions:

“Green”
“Wet behind the ears.”





“Scaredy shit”
&
“Chicken cat”

root expressions:

“Scaredy cat”
“Chicken shit”





“On my corner.”

root expressions:

“On my side.”
“In my corner.”





“Patience comes to those who wait.”

root expressions:

“Patience is a virtue.”
“Good things come to those who wait.”




“By the drop of your pants.”

root expressions:

“By the seat of your pants.”
“At the drop of a hat.”





“Oy carumba.”

root expressions:

“Oy vey.”
“Aye carumba.”





“Old nature.”

root expressions:

“Second nature.”
“Old hat.”





“Look on the full side of the glass.”

root expressions:

“Look on the bright side.”
“The glass is half full.”





“Skating on eggshells.”

root expressions:

“Skating on thin ice.”
“Walking on eggshells.”





“Skating on a hair trigger.”

root expressions:

“Skating on thin ice.”
“On a hair trigger.”





“Rise beyond the occasion.”

root expressions:

“Rise to the occasion.”
“Above and beyond.”





“Chill down.”

root expressions:

“Chill out.”
“Calm down.”





“Mellow down.”

root expressions:

“Mellow out.”
“Calm down.”





“When the dust is said and done.”

root expressions:

“When the dust settles.”
“When all is said and done.”





“A blank start.”

root expressions:

“A blank slate.”
“A fresh start.”





“The whole ball of kaboodle.”

root expressions:

“The whole ball of wax.”
“The whole kit and kaboodle.”





“On top of world nine.”

root expressions:

“On top of the world.”
“On cloud nine.”





“Benchstone.”

root expressions:

“Benchmark.”
“Milestone.”





“Healthy as a picture.”

root expressions:

“Healthy as a horse.”
“The picture of health.”





“Turn a few eyebrows.”

root expressions:

“Turn some heads.”
“Raise a few eyebrows.”





“If you want to make an omelet, you’ve got to get your hands dirty.”

root expressions:

“If you want to make an omelet, you’ve got to break some eggs.”
“Get your hands dirty.”





“Every dog has his fifteen minutes.”

root expressions:

“Every dog has his day.”
“Fifteen minutes of fame.”





“Peas of a cloth.”
&
“Cut from the same pod.”

root expressions:

“Peas in a pod.”
“Cut from the same cloth.”





“Cut from the same feathers.”

root expressions:

“Cut from the same cloth.”
“Birds of a feather flock together.”





“Cut from the same ilk.”

root expressions:

“Cut from the same cloth.”
“Of the same ilk.”





“Don’t bite a gift horse in the mouth.”

root expressions:

“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”
“Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.”





“Rain on your bubble.”

root expressions:

“Rain on your parade.”
“Burst your bubble.”





“Burst your sails.”

root expressions:

“Burst your bubble.”
“Take the wind out of your sails.”





“Take the wind out of your parade.”

root expressions:

“Take the wind out of your sails.”
“Rain on your parade.”





“Rain on your thunder.”

root expressions:

“Rain on your parade.”
“Steal your thunder.”





“There are bound to be some wrinkles in the road.”

root expressions:

“Some wrinkles to iron out.”
“Some bumps in the road.”





“Bite your mouth.”

root expressions:

“Bite your tongue.”
“Watch your mouth.”





“The nail in the camel’s back.”

root expressions:

“The last nail in the coffin.”
“The straw that broke the camel’s back.”





“You hit the nail on the money.”

root expressions:

“You hit the nail on the head.”
“On the money.”





“Skirt around the bush.”

root expressions:

“Skirt the issue.”
“Beat around the bush.”





“Bygones under the bridge.”

root expressions:

“Let bygones be bygones.”
“Water under the bridge.”





“Turn over a new slate.”

root expressions:

“Turn over a new leaf.”
“Start with a clean slate.”





“Think outside the beaten path.”

root expressions:

“Think outside the box.”
“Off the beaten path.”





“A taste of your own fire.”

root expressions:

“A taste of your own medicine.”
“Fight fire with fire.”





“Nothing to shake a sneeze at.”

root expressions:

“Nothing to shake a stick at.”
“Nothing to sneeze at.”





“Earn your own weight.”

root expressions:

“Earn your keep.”
“Pull your own weight.”





“Cross-tail.”

root expressions:

“Cross-fade.”
“Dovetail.”





“In your perspective.”

root expressions:

“In your view.”
“From your perspective.”





“That’s a monkey off my mind.”
&
“That’s a load off my monkey.”

root expressions:

“A monkey on my back.”
“That’s a load off my mind.”





“You’ve sown your bed, now sleep in it.”

root expressions:

“You reap what you sow.”
“You’ve made your bed, now sleep in it.”





“We’ve just scratched the tip of the iceberg.”

root expressions:

“We’ve just scratched the surface.”
“The tip of the iceberg.”





“Bumped across.”

root expressions:

“Bumped into.”
“Ran across.”





“Time is ticking.”

root expressions:

“Time’s ‘a wastin’.”
“The clock is ticking.”





“I’ve got a beef to pick with you.”

root expressions:

“I’ve got a bone to pick with you.”
“I’ve got a beef with you.”





“I cracked my ass off.”

root expressions:

“I cracked up.”
“I laughed my ass off.”





“You’ll have crow on your face.”

root expressions:

“You’ll have egg on your face.”
“You’ll have to eat crow.”





“I’ve got my back against a hard place.”

root expressions:

“I’ve got my back against a wall.”
“Between a rock and hard place.”





“Over a barrel and a hard place.”

root expressions:

“Over a barrel.”
“Between a rock and a hard place.”





“Wake up and read the handwriting.”

root expressions:

“Wake up and smell the coffee.”
“Read the handwriting on the wall.”





“The jewel in the crop.”

root expressions:

“The jewel in the crown.”
“The cream of the crop.”





“Cream of the heap.”

root expressions:

“Cream of the crop.”
“Top of the heap.”





“Cream of the earth.”

root expressions:

“Cream of the crop.”
“Salt of the earth.”





“Don’t bite off more than you can handle.”

root expressions:

“Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
“More than you can handle.”





“Seize while the iron is hot.”

root expressions:

“Seize the day.”
“Strike while the iron is hot.”





“Making mountains out of teacups.”

root expressions:

“Making mountains out of molehills.”
“A tempest in a teacup.”





“Mind dropping”
&
“Jaw blowing”

root expressions:

“Mind blowing”
“Jaw dropping”





“It’ll blow your socks away.”

root expressions:

“It’ll blow you away.”
“It’ll knock your socks off.”





“The cart is wagging the horse.”

root expressions:

“Don’t put the cart before the horse.”
“The tail is wagging the dog.”




“Hold your shirt on.”

root expressions:

“Hold your horses.”
“Keep your shirt on.”





“Vim and Vinegar.”

root expressions:

“Vim and vigour.”
“Piss and vinegar.”





“As a general thumb.”

root expressions:

“As a general rule.”
“A rule of thumb.”

n.b. absent pivot






“On the same hand.”

root expressions:

“On the other hand.”
“At the same time.”




“The onus is in your court.”

root expressions:

“The onus is on you.”
“The ball is in your court.”





“Let the beans out of the bag.”

root expressions:

“Let the cat out of the bag.”
“Spill the beans.”