down in the dumps
- a gloomy
- in low spirits
- in melancholy mood
- in depressed state of mind
- lacking engagement or enthusiasm.
1. As the things were not going well for her at work, she was feeling a bit down in the dumps.
2. Little Jon is down in the dumps because all her friends are gone away with their parents
3. She’s a bit down in the dumps because she’s got to take her exams again.
4. Carl now always remains down in the dumps because of the diabetes.
5. My cat got fever today and she is not playing but feeling down in the dumps.
6. After losing the general election of president, Jack really felt down in the dumps.
7. When her husband left for America she was too down in the dumps.
This idiom is generally used with the felt for example: He felt down in the dumps.
To be ‘in the dumps’ was to be disconsolate and disheartened – what Sir Winston Churchill was later to call ‘black dog’. The first record we have of ‘down in the dumps’ is in Francis Grose’s priceless vocabulary The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1785: Dumps. Down in the dumps; low-spirited, melancholy: jocularly said to be derived from Dumpos, a king of Egypt, who died of melancholy.
play duck and drakes
- to carelessly misuse one’s wealth
- to behave recklessly
- use selfishly to suit oneself
duck and drakes is also a name of stone skipping or skimming game, a pastime game of throwing flat stones across water so as to make them bounce off the surface.
1. He lost his job for playing ducks and drakes with the fund of corporation.
2. Jane played duck and drakes with the financial system of company.
3. George W. Bush had played duck and drakes with the economy of USA.
4. Hey, let’s play duck and drakes on the lake.
1575–85; from a fancied likeness to a waterfowl’s movements.
like or as a duck to water
- to do something very quickly and enjoy doing it
- easily and naturally
- to have a usual aptitude to do something
1. She’s taken to the home of her grandma like a duck to water.
2. Miranda just took to motherhood like a duck to water.
3. She started skating and she learned how quickly, like a duck takes to water.
4. Chris is really a natural surfing. He took to surfing like a duck to water even before he started it as a profession.
5. This baby adapted to the bottle as a duck takes to water.
- a person or thing that is disabled, helpless, ineffective, or inefficient.
- somebody, especially an elected official
- who cannot influence events any more
- a person or company that is in trouble
- someone who is in the last period of a term in an elective office and cannot run for reelection
- a person or thing that isn’t properly able to function, especially one that was previously proficient.
- having lost a re-election bid
1. Knowing she would be lame duck, the mayor decided to resign from office early and retire.
2. You can’t expect a lame duck President to get much accomplished.
3. The best way to avoid being a lame duck in office is to not get elected for another term.
4. You can’t expect much from a lame duck.
5. As a lame duck, there’s not a lot I can do.
6. The President was a lame duck during the end of his second term.
7. What do you expect from a lame-duck mayor?
This expression originated in the 1700s and then meant a stockbroker who did not meet his debts. It was transferred to officeholders in the 1860s.
The explanation of ‘lame duck’ is frequently applied to politicians who are known to be in their closing term of staff, when colleagues and electors look toward a successor. It is also sometimes used to explain office-holders who have lost an election but have not yet left office.
a drop in the ocean
- insignificant amount
- a very small amount compared to the amount needed
- unimportant amount
- a very small proportion of the whole
1. Her cry was only a single drop in the ocean compared to the billions of tears shed by mourners after the war.
2. A hundred thousand may seem a lot but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the millions that need to be spent.
3. I always try to give money to charity but sometimes I feel it is just a drop in the ocean.
4. Our government’s sending a thousand tons of food, but that’s just a drop in the ocean compared to what’s needed.
5. My letter of protest was just a drop in the ocean.
6. I know twenty dollars is just a drop in the ocean, but if everyone gave that much it’d make a big difference.
7. A few thousand pounds is a drop in the ocean when you think about the millions that will be spent on this project.
There is no valid and proper information available about the origin of this Idiom.
It is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too. ’A drop in the bucket’ is the predecessor of ‘a drop in the ocean’, which means the same thing, and is first found in a piece from The Edinburgh Weekly Journal, July 1802.
drop a line
- send a brief letter
- to call over telephone
- send an email, etc.
- send any kind of moral short letter or note to someone for chit-chat or hello.
1. If you’ve got a few minutes to spare you could always drop her a line.
2. We really do like hearing from you, so drop us a line and let us know how you are.
3. I dropped Aunt Kelly a line last Thanks giving.
4. She usually drops me a few lines around the first of the year.
5. Drop me a note when you get a chance.
6. I hope you’ll drop me a line soon
7. The wife is always dropping her husband a line even as they are separated.
8. If you get a chance, drop me a line when you arrive in Surrey, Canada
9. Could you drop me a line when you get moved in to your new home?.
This idiom uses line in the sense of “a few words in writing,” a usage first recorded in 1647.
at the drop of a hat
- at the slightest signal
- immediately, without delay
- without any hesitation
- without any planning and for no obvious reason
1. We now have a situation where laws are bent at the drop of a hat.
2. Dustin was always ready to go fishing at the drop of a hat.
3. If you need help, just call on Mike. He can come at the drop of a hat.
4. I can’t go rushing off to Edinburgh at the drop of a hat.
5. She’d purchase her expensive jewelry at the drop of a hat and worry about how she would pay for it later.
6. We’re expected to just do it at the drop of a hat – no notice or anything. It’s disgraceful.
7. People will file lawsuits at the drop of a hat these days.
8. I’d quit my job at the drop of a hat if I didn’t have a family to support.
9. That girl is so emotional; she’ll start crying at the drop of a hat.
This phrase probably alludes to signalling the start of a race, fight or other contest by dropping a hat. [Late 1800s]
The earliest reference could be found from a hearing on a bankruptcy law from an 1837 Register of Debates in Congress, see this snap shot below:
in the driver’s seat or in the driving seat
- in control
- in charge of things or situation
1. The availability of a wide range of products has made the consumer sit in the driving seat.
2. Money and talent will put you in the driver’s seat.
3. If you are in the driver’s seat, you are in charge of something or in control of a situation.
4. I’m in the driver’s seat now, and I get to decide who gets raises.
5. Destinations are limitless when your dreams are in the driver’s seat.
The first expression dates from the 1800s, the second from the early 1600s.
dressed to kill
- elaborately attired, dressed to draw attraction
- dressed very nicely, extravagantly
- intentionally wearing clothes that attract attention and admiration
1. She arrived at the reception dressed to kill.
2. The man was dressed to kill in a tuxedo, hat, gold watch and expensive shoes, because he was going to accept an award.
3. I want to marry with that beautiful girl who always dressed to kill.
never in wildest dreams
- something that has happened was so strange that one never thought it would happen
1. Never in my wildest dreams did I think she’d abandon her father.
2. Never in my wildest dreams did I think she’d actually carry out her threat.
3. Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined Scotland winning 9/1.