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*last modified on December 29, 2009*



“Child’s pie.”

root expressions:

“Child’s play.”
“Easy as pie.”





“Don’t tempt your luck.”

root expressions:

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





“Look who’s calling the kettle black.”

root expressions:

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





“Everything under the kitchen sink.”

root expressions:

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





“A chain effect.”

root expressions:

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





“Double-edged blessing”

root expressions:

“Double-edged sword”
“Mixed blessing”





“Chew the breeze.”

root expressions:

“Chew the fat.”
“Shoot the breeze.”





“Pet beef.”

root expressions:

“Pet peeve.”
“A beef”





“Give it a stab.”

root expressions:

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





“Put the dots together.”

root expressions:

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





“State of the edge.”

root expressions:

“State of the art.”
“Cutting edge.”





“A vicious prophecy.”

root expressions:

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





“Great minds flock together.”

root expressions:

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





“By hook or high water.”

root expressions:

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





“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.






“Count your lucky stars.”

root expressions:

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





“I can’t make Greek of this.”

root expressions:

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





“No two buts about it.”

root expressions:

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





“A spitting ringer.”
root expressions:

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





“Green behind the ears.”

root expressions:

“Green”
“Wet behind the ears.”





“The last laugh is served cold.”

root expressions:

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





“When in Rome, join ‘em.”

root expressions:

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





“Skirt around the bush.”

root expressions:

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





“Earn your own weight.”

root expressions:

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





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

root expressions:

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





“Up to mustard.”

root expressions:

“Up to snuff.”
“Cut the mustard.”





“Opening Pandora’s worms.”

root expressions:

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





“Que sera la vie.”

root expressions:

“Que sera, sera.”
“C’est la vie.”

n.b. two different languages are used here.





“Armchair driver.”

root expressions:

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





“Spare belly.”

root expressions:

“Spare tire.”
“Pot-belly.”





“Gauche pas.”

root expressions:

“Gauche.”
“Faux pas.”





“Beat around the eggshells.”

root expressions:

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





“Sugar your punches.”

root expressions:

“Sugar-coat it.”
“Pull your punches.”





“The meat of the matter.”

root expressions:

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





“Go ape-wild.”

root expressions:

“Go ape-shit.”
“Go hog-wild.”





“Nobody’s human.”

root expressions:

“Nobody's perfect.”
“Only human.”





“Bowled away.”

root expressions:

“Bowled over.”
“Blown away.”





“The boob box.”

root expressions:

“The boob tube.”
“The idiot box.”





“Small fish.”

root expressions:

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





“Hunky dandy.”

root expressions:

“Hunky dory.”
“Fine and dandy.”





“A slippery inch.”

root expressions:

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





“The chip doesn't fall far from the block.”

root expressions:

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





“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.”





“A beef to grind.”

root expressions:

“A beef.”
“An axe to grind.”





“Healthy as a fiddle.”

root expressions:

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





“Pay through the arm and leg.”

root expressions:

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





“Hands away.”

root expressions:

“Hands down.”
“Far and away.”





“Does that jog a bell?”

root expressions:

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





“Easy as taking candy from a barrel”

root expressions:

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





“Get off your ivory horse.”

root expressions:

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





“You’re telling the choir.”

root expressions:

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





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

root expressions:

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





“Trial by error.”

root expressions:

“Trial by fire.”
“Trial and error.”





“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.”





“Oy carumba.”

root expressions:

“Oy vey.”
“Aye carumba.”





“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.”





“Turn a few eyebrows.”

root expressions:

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





“Cut from the same ilk.”

root expressions:

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





“Burst your sails.”

root expressions:

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





“Rain on your thunder.”

root expressions:

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





“I cracked my ass off.”

root expressions:

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





“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.”





“Cream of the heap.”

root expressions:

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





“The onus is in your court.”

root expressions:

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