database is a comprehensive collection of all the American idioms and slang available.
American Idioms are many and varied. We hope you enjoy our collection. We are adding more all the time.
|Get a leg up|
What does Get a leg up mean?
|To get a boost or advantage.||I could get up a 5:00 am to get a leg up on my competition, but I don't think so.|
This phrase may incorrectly invoke images of a dog raising its leg.
In fact "Getting a leg up" is from the act of an equestrian receiving help in mounting a horse. The helper would create a foothold by cupping the hands to heft the rider upward, throwing a leg up and over the steed.
Some Random Idioms
|go by the book|
What does "go by the book" mean?
| to follow the rules exactly||Most police officers go by the book when they arrest a criminal.|
|in bad faith|
What does "in bad faith" mean?
| insincerity, with bad or dishonest intentions, the intention to deceive someone||The manager was acting in bad faith when she refused to give the documents to the other department.|
What does "on order" mean?
| ordered with the delivery expected at some future date||The store has several computer printers on order.|
|edge (someone) out|
What does "edge (someone) out" mean?
| to win a competition against someone and get a job or position||I was able to edge out the other applicants to get the job.|
|get (someone's) back up|
What does "get (someone's) back up" mean?
| make someone become angry||I got my friend's back up when I again asked her to borrow her notes from school. |
|straight from the shoulder|
What does "straight from the shoulder" mean?
| an open and honest way of speaking||He was speaking straight from the shoulder when he told the workers about the possible factory closing.|
|a pep talk|
What does "a pep talk" mean?
| a speech to encourage people to try harder and not give up||The coach gave his team a pep talk after they lost three games last month.|
|sit bolt upright|
What does "sit bolt upright" mean?
| to sit up straight||I sat bolt upright when I heard the news about my cousin.|
|get out of here|
What does "get out of here" mean?
| no way; that can't be right; that's wrong|
|jump the gun|
What does "jump the gun" mean?
| start before you should||He jumped the gun and started selling the tickets before he should have.|
|out of one`s hair|
What does "out of one`s hair" mean?
| to get rid of an annoying person or thing||My sister is trying to get her daughter out of her hair.|
What does "bitch" mean?
|complaint; gripe.|| What's your bitch now?|
|Strike while the iron is hot|
What does "Strike while the iron is hot" mean?
|Act quickly while the opportunity is still available.||If you want the job, you need to strike while the iron is hot.|
Blacksmiths working iron by hand heat the iron in a fire to red-hot making it malleable. The Smith removes the iron from the fire and shapes it with blows from a hammer. They need to work quickly before the iron cools. Once the iron is cool, it becomes brittle and the opportunity to hammer it into shape has passed.