Idioms


Idioms

  • Absence makes the heart grow fonder
    If people are parted for a time, they tend to appreciate each other more
  • Actions speak louder than words
    People can say many things, because talking is easy, but what really matters is what one does, not what one says
  • All good things come to an end
    No pleasure lasts for ever.
  • All's fair in love and war
    All tactics are allowed, fair or unfair, when fighting for someone (ie love) or against someone (ie war)
  • All's well that `ends well
    (Shakespeare) If the final result is good, previous failures are forgotten, as the end result is most important.
  • As you `make your bed, so you must `lie in it
    Each person must bear the consequences of his own actions and take full responsibility for them, even if the consequences are unpleasent or harmful to him.
  • Bend (lean) over backwards
    To take great trouble (to do something), esp mistakenly or without results: I bent over backwards to be nice to her because she was a stranger, but she wasn't at all grateful!
  • Better late than never
    It is better to do something, even if it should have been done earlier, than not to do it at all.
  • A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
    It is better to be content with what we have or can easily get, than to reject it in the hope of getting something better, as this may never happen.
  • Buy (get) a pig in a poke
    To buy, get something without knowing whether it is worth anything or not: 'The new car we bought was a pig in a poke because we were unable to get mechanic to check it before we paid for it. [allegedly from a fairground trick which involved selling unwary customers a cat in a bag while assuring them it was a piglet. Whether this is true or not, selling a piglet in a bag would make it impossible to check its value.]
  • Catch 22
    An absurd situation in which one can never win, being constantly balked by a clause, rule, etc which itself can change to block any change in one's course of action. [The title of a novel by J. Heller (1961).]
  • Clothes do not make the man
    Inner qualities, not outward appearance, show the true nature of a person (H.C. Andersen).
  • Don't count your chickens before they hatch (are hatched)
    Do not be sure of success until all difficulties have been overcome.
  • Don't make a mountain out of a molehill
    Don't treat unimportant things as if they were important.
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket
    It is risky to concentrate all one's hopes, chances, money etc on only one thing, for if this one thing is lost, there wil be nothing left.
  • Don't put the cart before the horse
    We should deal with things in the right order and should not start from the wrong end.
  • First come, first served
    The man who has arrived, finished etc first has the best chance of success
  • Hindsight is always 20/20 (vision)
    It is easyer to say what should have been done to avoid failure after the failure has happened. "It's easy to be wise after the event"
  • Honesty is the best policy
    Dishonesty may seem more profitable for a short time, but in the long run honesty brings more advantages
  • Flog a dead horse
    To try to make people interested in a subject which everyone has already fully discussed, which is no longer interesting.
  • Rock the boat
    To do something which endangers a pleasant or satisfactory situation ect in which one shares: We were all doing very well untill he began rocking the boat by asking if our actions were legal and morally justifiable.
  • The opera ainīt over till the fat lady sings
    You should not make a decision too early or before all the acts are presented. [It ainīt over till it's over!]
  • Cross the Rubicon
    To do something which commits one to a particular course of action: He had always wanted to work free-lance, and decided to cross the Rubicon by giving up his present job. [As the Rubicon was the boundary between Cisalpine Gaul and Italy, into which generals were not permitted to bring their armies, Caesarīs crossing of the river in 49 BC committed him to a war with the Senate.]
  • It's easy to be wise after the event
    It is easyer to say what should have been done to avoid failure after the failure has happened. "Hindsight is always 20/20" (vision).



  • Torben Laurberg