Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

you’ve got to be kidding

you’ve got to be kidding

Meaning

  • implies that something that someone said is a joke
  • used when you are very surprised by what someone has said and that you disagree with them
  • used to imply that something that someone has said cannot be true

Example Sentences

  1. Dan said. “I got a job as an associate professor in the university! Wow!” Tina replied. “You’ve got to be kidding!”
  2. Samuel said. “I think I broke my permanent teeth!” His Mother replied, “You’ve got to be kidding!”
  3. You want me to drive to Chicago at this time? You’ve got to be kidding me!
  4. “Are you having breakfast at this hour of the day? You’ve got to be kidding me!”
  5. Jonathan said, “Hey do you have an extra pair of socks? I for got mine at home.” Jim replied, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
  6. “60 dollars for a plain white top? : You’ve got to be kidding me!
  7. Leah asked her husband, “Do you think I should invite the Simpsons from across the streets for dinner?” He replied with frustration, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
  8. “You still believe that Santa Claus exists somewhere on North pole of earth? You’ve got to be kidding me.
  9. “Is this really what they want from us? You’ve got to be kidding me!

Origin

The origin of this proverb is not known.

young blood

young blood

Meaning

  • new members that provide various new schemes and ideas for the organization
  • a young member, or group of members who are brave and more inclined to taking risks and bringing reform
  • can also be associated with a new person in the group

Example Sentences

  1. The Peace corps is in need of a young blood like Adam.
  2. They keep the young blood of today so occupied with work that they do not even have the time to look out of the window let alone lead a revolution.
  3. Tell that young blood to just zip it or else I will have him fired!
  4. The only reason why he managed to succeed is because he is always open to bringing young blood in his company and accepting ideas.
  5. The only problem with this committee is that they do not feel the need to incorporate the young blood in their decision-making processes.
  6. We need some young blood in this company, if we want to know the expectations of today’s generation and make our marketing strategies accordingly.
  7. The covert operation in Kandahar was handled completely by the young blood of the team.

Origin

The idiomatic expression ‘young blood’ is believed to be originated from the  African-American culture.

you can say that again

you can say that again

Meaning

  • used to agree with another person or group of people
  • used to express accordance with another person’s views

Example Sentences

  1. She said, “This horrible weather has been killing me.” He said, “You can say that again!”
  2. Ryan said, “That was an extremely cute outfit that baby was wearing.” Rachel replied, “You can say that again!”
  3. He said, “I am so glad that you are okay. “Robert replies, “You can say that again!”
  4. Looking at the massive mansion Andrea said, “That is a huge living space.” Crowley agreed, “You can say that again!”
  5. Alex said, “We should have voted better.” Everyone unanimously replied, “You can say that again!”
  6. He said that it  was such a difficult job to be completed in a week and Sam just laughed and replied you can say that again!
  7. I said that I think that it was impossible to finish reading the entire book in a week and he just  agreed and said you can say that again!
  8. He said, “It is impossible to draw that on a fair sheet of paper without practicing it once.” Madonna replied, “You can say that again!”
  9. I told him how stupid his decision of dropping out from the university was. He solemnly replied you could say that again.

Origin

This phrase was originated in first half of 1900s but the exact origin details of this idiomatic expression ‘you can say that’ is not known.

you know better than that

you know better than that

Meaning

  • used to express disappointment when someone makes a mistake which they probably shouldn’t have
  • used to show disapproval of someone’s actions

Example Sentences

  1. She told me that you abused her, you know better than that.
  2. You know better than that. Just go and do your homework before coming down.
  3. Oh Come on Dean, you know better than that.
  4. Father said, “Well you know better than that. Make sure you do not make the same mistake again. “Son replied arrogantly,”Okay, is that all.”
  5. Ted said, “I think I should go for this night out with them because I am sure it will be a lot of fun. “His mom replied,” I’m sure you know better than that. It is your wish though.”
  6. He childishly argued, “I want to play now, I can study later for tomorrow’s exam.” His father replied, “You know better than that. Do what you feel is correct.”
  7. She told me that you have been skipping school to spend time with her, you know better than that.
  8. Mollie asked, “Did you abuse her for using your laptop yesterday?” He replied,” It was not my fault, she should have asked me. “Mollie scolded him, “You know better than that now go apologize to her.”

Origin

The origin of this idiom is closely related to ‘know better’ but is not stated clearly.

you wish

you wish

Meaning

  • used to make a sardonic comment
  • implies that something will most likely not happen
  • used to state to someone that what they have been expecting is not possible

Example Sentences

  1. I told her that we have been dating for 5 years now and she said “you wish!”
  2. I told Summer, “Oh, I’m definitely getting a new car this summer.” She said, “you wish!”
  3. Alex said, “Do you want to go out with me for a movie tonight?” Rebecca meanly replied, “you wish!”
  4. Ronald said, “I might win a lottery worth 10k today!” Sarah replied,”you wish!”
  5. “You want a 10 pointer in every semester? you wish!”
  6. “You think she’ll ever forgive you for this? you wish!”
  7. “You think I have plans to go to Turkey during Christmas holidays? you wish!”
  8. He said, “Will you help me move this piano?” His brother replied,” Ha! you wish!”
  9. Bobby asked his elder sister, “Will you buy me my favorite candy today?” She said, “you wish!”
  10. He asked, “Will you go out with me for dinner tonight?” She said ,”you wish!”
  11. Dean said, “I might just get a new car today cause it is my birthday”. Suzanne said, “you wish!”
  12. Tina said, “I think Jason will ask me out for prom this year! I feel positive!” Katy snidely commented, “Yeah! you wish! why don’t you wait and see for yourself.”

Origin

The idiomatic expression ‘you wish’ does not have a clear origin.

 

you can’t win them all

you can’t win them all

Meaning

  • indicates the reality that it is not possible to always succeed
  • failure is inevitable and is bound to happen
  • implies that it is impossible to always keep succeeding without disappointment

Example Sentences

  1.  To be very frank, I am very disappointed that they did not give me the post of  the manager as I feel I truly deserved it after 5 years of work experience. Oh well, you can’t win them all you see.
  2. Obviously, I would have loved to win the national trophy for the school this year as well but you just can’t win them all.
  3. It would have been amazing to bag that offer for a trip to Paris you know but you can’t have it all.
  4. They published your review in the magazine but did not publish your interview? Well, you can’t win them all I guess.
  5. I expected to come first this semester as I had been scoring really well in all the exams but I guess you can’t win them all.
  6. The guy I was dating took me to meet his family and they all loved me except for his dog Tobias who kept barking at me the whole evening. I suppose you can’t win them all.

Origin

The idiom is mostly used in its informal form of ‘you can’t win em all’. The exact origin of this idiom is not well known.

you’ve made your bed

you’ve made your bed, now lie in it

or you’ve made your bed , you’ll have to lie in it

Meaning

  • to make a decision and to accept the consequences of those decisions
  • to have  done something in the past which is either good or bad and to bear the ramifications of it
  • to accept and bear the repugnant results of the deeds committed by oneself

Example Sentences

  1. Don’t come back when it is all over and you have nowhere to go. Once you’ve made your bed , you’ll have to lie in it.
  2. You can’t go back to them when this does not work out. I’m warning you because you’ve made your bed and you’ll have to lie in it.
  3. My mother always told me to make the right choices because once you make your bed, you have to lie in it.
  4. The mistakes you made are all yours. You’ve made your bed and now lie in it.
  5. You could have only looked out for her, you couldn’t have chosen her life for her. She has made her bed and she’ll have to lie in it. There is nothing you can do about it.
  6. Having cheated on his wife of 25 years, David knew he had made a mistake but he also knew he had made his bed and would have to lie in it.

Origin

The origin of this idiom isn’t known yet.

yes man

yes man

Meaning

  • a person who only agrees with the crowd or a group of people in order to please them or look good in front of them
  • individuals who do not really put any thought in what the other people are saying but simply agrees in order to impress them
  • people who are believed to be spinelessly and cannot stand up for their own views, but rather brainlessly follow the person with power or a person in charge
  • a person who will just agree with their supervisor irrespective of their own views

Example Sentences

  1. You really can’t trust what Donald might say in front of the boss. Everyone knows that he is just a yes man and I am not even sure if he has his own views on anything.
  2. Well, I think that he is just a yes man and does not have the strength to say what he actually feels in front of his wife. He will just agree with her.
  3. I don’t want you to be just a yes man but rather have your own views on things as well.
  4. He is just a yes man, trust me I have been working with him for 5 years. He will only say what the boss wants to hear.

Origin

The idiom yes-men originated from Rome when Julius Caesar was furious at his council of lawyers for their denial to give him correct answers. He had his lawyers killed which led to more years being added to his punishment and eventually led to his death by lions which was painful and gruesome.

your call

your call

Meaning

  • to leave a decision on  another person
  • when someone else takes the final call of what has to be done or decides the same
  • when someone else regulates what has to be done  or someone else finalises the decision

Example Sentences

  1. I don’t really care where we go right now for dinner. It’s your call.
  2. I suggest that we use the funds to make new parks for under privileged children but it is your call in the end.
  3. He said, “I am not sure about this article yet. I don’t think it is ready to be published.” She replied, “Okay. It’s your call.”
  4. “Well, I have shown you both the sides to it – It’s your call.” Everything has its pros and cons in the end.
  5. It totally depends on you if  accept or refuse his proposal to be Manager. It’s your call.
  6. “Do you want to leave now or rest for some time before that? It’s your call, I don’t mind either way”
  7. Would never go ahead and do such a thing, but it’s your call.
  8. You know it’s your call if you want to watch a movie or go for dinner with me tonight. I’ll be fine with anything as far as we are together.
  9. I don’t know why but I just can’t decide on one thing here because it’s all so messed up. It’s your call. I just can’t think of anything.

Origin

Currently we are unable to locate the origin of this idiomatic expression. If you’ve something about it’s origin please share in comments.

prick ears up

prick ears up

also prick up ears

Meaning

  • listen carefully
  • begin to listen attentively
  • become very alert and start listening
  • start to listen with full attention

Example Sentences

  1. She pricked up her ears when she heard her name being mentioned by the group chatting animatedly at the corner.
  2. His ears pricked up when he heard the word “incentive” during the otherwise boring all employees’ meet.
  3. He pricked up his ears when he overheard a juicy bit of gossip being discussed at the office lobby.
  4. He pricked up his ears when he heard that they were going away for a vacation to a place he had always wanted to go to.
  5. An interesting piece of news always gets everyone to prick their ears up and listen carefully.
  6. Jeff pricked his ears up when he heard his wife’s name being mentioned.
  7. Everyone pricked up their ears when the announcement about the new policy came in.

Origin

The phrase alludes to the ability of some animals like dogs and horses to lift their ears in order to hear more clearly. It has been in use since the 1500s-1600s. An early reference is found in Francis Bacon’s Essays – On Fame in 1626.

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