American Idioms and Expressions

On (someone`s) Back/case Idiom

This 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. .

on (someone`s) back/case
What does on (someone`s) back/case mean?
making demands or criticizing someone, being an annoyance or bother to someoneMy boss has been on my back all week trying to get me to finish my monthly report.

Some Random Idioms
get one's start
What does "get one's start" mean?
to receive the first major opportunity of one's career The newspaper owner got his start by selling papers when he was a child.

put the finger on (someone)
What does "put the finger on (someone)" mean?
to accuse someone of doing something, to identify someone as the one who did something The police put the finger on the young man as the main suspect for the crime.

ill-gotten gains
What does "ill-gotten gains" mean?
money or other goods acquired illegally or dishonestlyThe man used his ill-gotten gains from the sale of the stolen car to go on a holiday.
Dog-whistle politics
What does "Dog-whistle politics" mean?
(AU) When political parties have policies that will appeal to racists while not being overtly racist, they are indulging in dog-whistle politics.
come to one`s senses
What does "come to one`s senses" mean?
to begin to think clearly or act sensiblyHe came to his senses and decided to buy a cheap car rather than an expensive one.
blackball (someone)
What does "blackball (someone)" mean?
to exclude or ostracize someone socially, to reject someone The businessman was blackballed in the industry because of his bad business practices.

catch up to (someone or something)
What does "catch up to (someone or something)" mean?
move fast or work hard to reach someone or something that is ahead of youAfter my illness I had to study very hard to catch up to the rest of the class.
put on an act
What does "put on an act" mean?
to pretend that one is something other than what one isThe girl was putting on an act when she said that she no longer loved her boyfriend.
closefisted (with money)
What does "closefisted (with money)" mean?
to not want to spend money, to be stingy with money My uncle is very closefisted with money.

as wise as an owl
What does "as wise as an owl" mean?
very wise My grandfather is as wise as an owl and he seems to know everything.

hit the books
What does "hit the books" mean?
study or review school material diligently


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