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Cliches starting with A

a bald faced liarThe cliche a bald faced liar is a common term used when referring to someone who is a very good liar with lies that are hard to recognize. The term originated in the 18th century when businessmen would wear heavy facial hair to cover up their facial expressions while making business deals. Therefore, being a bald-faced liar, or a liar without facial hair, is someone who can lie convincingly without showing guilt on their face.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bushA bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, also sometimes given as a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush, and is a proverb that is basically saying it is better to stick with something you already have, than pursue something you might never have. By keeping what you have rather than giving it up for something bigger and better, you avoid being greedy.
a blast from the pastWhen someone uses the very common cliche, a blast from the past, they are talking about someone or something that happened in the past and they think of fondly. The term originated on radio spoken by DJs about older records, can be referred to as a person who meant something to them, a song or movie with meaning, or the memory of an event that happened and they are reminded of in a positive way.
a bull in a china shopA bull in a china shop is a cliche, also known as an idiom, which is the practical term for saying somebody is very clumsy or aggressive. If you imagine a bull literally in a china shop, they will be aggressive, clumsy, knocking fragile items over, have no self-control and no care or concern for the items in the china shop; this is the epitome of what this cliche means.
a carrot on a stickA carrot on a stick is an old term referring to the offering of a combination of rewards and punishment to induce good behavior. Historically, a carrot on a stick refers to a cart driver dangling a carrot in front of a mule and holding a stick behind it; the mule moves towards the carrot while at the same time moving away from the stick behind it to avoid the punishment.
a case in pointA case in point is a cliche often used when speaking of something that has just occurred that was previously discussed, such as common behavior of a mutual friend or something that always seems to happen during a certain time of day. When two people are speaking of a particular instance that seems to happen regularly, and later in the day it indeed happens again, they have proved their case, thus calling it a case in point.
a case of mistaken identityA case of mistaken identity is a literal term when you are speaking of a case of actual mistaken identity, such as the police arresting the wrong person. However, it can be used for a variety of instances in which the identity of someone was revealed to be different than what it was previously assumed to be, thus the term mistaken identity.
a chain is only as strong as its weakest linkA chain is only as strong as its weakest link is referring to the weakest link in a group of people which can then bring the entire group or organization down. In business, it is used in reference to an organization only being as strong as their weakest member. The cliche began as the literal meaning of a chain only working as good as the weakest link within it since a weak link will make the entire chain faulty.
a chip off the old blockA chip off the old block refers to someone being just like their parents whether in physical appearance, behavioral patterns or emotional tendencies. Literally, a chip off the old block is talking about the chip being made of the same stuff as the block, therefore a child who is referred to as a chip off the old block, is being related to his or her parent.
a corn-fed hickA corn-fed hick has a variety of connotations but to summarize, it means that someone who was raised in the south and raised in a barn ate the same thing the rest of the farm animals did, such as corn. The cliche is referring to a hick which is a slang word for someone in the south, with the corn-fed part of the cliche being a literal term.
a cult of personalityA cult of personality is a term often used in occupations surrounding advertising and media, and the business world. It is referring to an individual who uses mass media, propaganda or other similar methods in order to create an idealized or heroic public image through flattery and praise. A cult of personality is similar to hero worship, where they praise someone relentlessly in order to sell something, similar to a cult who tend to worship the cult leader, or hero.
a dark horseA dark horse is the idiom or cliche used when describing a lesser known person or thing that will then emerge to prominence and become more known. This is often used in competition when speaking of someone who was not likely to succeed, but against all odds wins the race or competition in question. It originally began as a horse racing term, thus the wording dark horse.
a diamond in the roughA diamond in the rough is a commonly used cliche which is speaking of someone who may be good hearted but lack the appropriate appearance or social graces to be seen as a diamond. A diamond in the rough in the literal sense, is something beautiful and rare within an unpleasant and tough environment. It is often used to describe a criminal that is actually a good person.
a face only a mother could loveA face only a mother could love is a gentle way of speaking of someone who is unattractive. It derives from the fact that a mother loves her child no matter what he or she looks like and acts like, so it is speaking of someone that is unattractive or unpleasant to look at that only a mother could love, otherwise insulting someones unattractive appearance.
a feather in his capA feather in his cap is the term used when referring to an achievement or success by an individual that will help them in the future. It originated from some cultures in which a warrior will place a new feather in his cap every time he has slain an enemy, thus showing his victory and establishing himself as a successful hunter, which will positively affect himself in the future.
a fool and his money are soon partedA fool and his money are soon parted is an ancient proverb in the English language which is referring to someone that has received a large or small sum of money but due to their ignorance, will soon lose it. It is basically defining the way some people mistreat the fact that they have money and make irresponsible decisions, thus the fool will part from his money or lose it.
a friend in need, is a friend indeedA friend in need is a friend indeed is speaking of several connotations, centering on a true friend is one that will help you when you are in need. It can also refer to a friend helping you when you are in need, being a true friend, a friend indeed being someone who will show they can show their friendships worth, and a friend who is in need is helped by a true friend.
a frog in my throatA frog in my throat is the cliche or idiom used by people when saying there is something wrong with their throat, and thus their voice is inaudible or doesnt sound like it normally would. If someone had an actual frog in their throat, you will not be able to hear them speak, so the term is often used when someone has lost their voice due to a variety of medical reasons.
a gleam in your fathers eyeA gleam in your fathers eye is a term used when speaking of someone in the past before they were thought of in the physical sense. In other words, when a persons father was merely seeking the mother as a sexual partner, the possible idea of bearing a child was not in his mind, only lust was; so the child was merely a gleam in the fathers eye.
a good man is hard to findA good man is hard to find is a newer, more modern proverb, also known as a cliche or idiom. It is referring literally to how hard it is to find a good man. Whether the woman is speaking of the mans physical appearance, occupation and financial situation, personality, or whatever she deems as being good in her own eyes, that there are few of them left and are hard to find.
a good rule of thumbA good rule of thumb, sometimes simply the rule of thumb, is a principle that is not necessarily intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every type of situation. It is more of a broad generalization of a rule that should be applied for most situations, though for particular situations, it might vary slightly. A good rule of thumb is an overview of something to follow through in most situations.
a good time was had by allWhen someone uses the cliche, a good time was had by all, they are speaking in the literal sense that everyone had a good time. For instance, if there is a party or social gathering and everyone there enjoyed themselves, someone might paraphrase this meaning by simply saying that a good time was had by all. It is an old way of speaking for new and modern lifestyles.
a hair of the dog that bit youA hair of the dog that bit you in speaking of being healed by the very thing that caused you pain and discomfort, such as in the case of someone with a hangover healing that hangover with the very drink that caused it in the first place. It started in Scotland when the hairs of the dog that bit the person would be applied to their wound to avoid evil consequences.
a horse of a different colorWhen using the cliche a horse of a different color, someone is saying that what they are talking about or bringing up in a debate is a different matter or issue altogether. If you are having a conversation with someone and are trying to make a point, and they bring up something completely unrelated to the current issue, it is a horse of a different color.
a jack of all trades and a master of noneA jack of all trades and a master of none is a figure of speech referring to someone that is competent at many things but isnt outstanding or perfect at any of them. Jack of all trades is a cliche used for someone skilled at many things, so when they are not a master of one, they may be moderately skilled at many different things, but they are not a master, or professional, at any of them.
a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first stepA journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step is a cliche that is referring to a long and difficult venture or journey having a starting off point. This saying is talking about that no matter how hard or long something is going to be, it will always need to have a starting point. Other phrasing of this cliche are Even the longest journey must begin where you stand and A journey of a thousand miles begins at the spot under ones feet.
a leopard doesnt change its spotsWhen someone uses the cliche, a leopard doesnt change its spots, they are speaking of the fact that the basic elements and aspects of a person cannot be changed no matter what, whether they are positive or negative. It may be speaking of someone who does or says things negatively and their spouse wants to change them, but cant because a leopard cant change its spots.
a little of this, a little of thatA little of this, a little of that is an old term still used today when speaking of using a little bit of everything to make or form something. It is said to be originated from making old potions or stews using a little of this and a little of that, and the term is still commonly used for the same meaning except under a variety of different circumstances. The basic meaning is making something with a little bit of everything.
a man for all seasonsA man for all seasons is the term used for a man who is very successful at a variety of different activities, and another way of saying someone is a jack of all trades. It is speaking of someone who is able to arise to the occasion, no matter the circumstances and stand up and be courageous and good for each of these activities or occasions.
a mans home is his castleA mans home is his castle is a cliche, also referred to as a sentiment, in speaking of a persons right to personal privacy and security. A mans home is his castle is talking about the fact that someones home is where they express themselves, have a right to personal privacy, have the utmost security and should be the place they feel safe, such as a mans castle.
a memory like an elephantA memory like an elephant is a term used for someone with a very good memory. The memory of an elephant is astounding, which is where this term originated from. If you have heard the saying an elephant never forgets you can imagine what having a memory like an elephant is referring to. If someone says you have a memory like an elephant, it is a good memory indeed.
a mind is a terrible thing to wasteA mind is a terrible thing to waste is a literal cliche when speaking about someone wasting their mind through whatever is keeping them from using its full potential. It is referring to someone who is extremely intelligent and talented and is not using it to their potential, such as not getting formal education, using their talent and being involved in something where their intelligence can be used.
a necessary evilA necessary evil is a term used for something that way be evil, unacceptable or deemed bad but is actually necessary for one reason or another. It may literally be necessary in order to commit an evil or illegal act, or it may just be the way someone rationalizes bad behavior in saying they admit the behavior was evil in a sense, but it was also necessary.
a new lease on lifeHaving a new lease on life is when someone has the opportunity to improve their own circumstances or outlook. The term lease is used as explaining that their life is occupied or owned by themselves, hence the lease, where they have regained control over their life when in the past they may have felt out of control over where their life leads. It is another way of someone is given a fresh start.
a one-horse townA one-horse town originated as a literal term for describing a small town, hence a one-horse town. Small towns in history often had just one horse throughout the entire town, typically an unimportant place in a rural area. In modern usage of the word, when talking about a one-horse town, they are speaking of an unknown, small and secluded town most people dont know about.
a penny saved is a penny earnedA penny saved is a penny earned is a cliche often used when speaking of the importance of saving money. It is referring to the fact that is quite useful to save money you already have, just as useful as earning more money. You can continue to earn more money, but if you spend it, earning the money becomes mute. While if you save your money, it becomes twice as valuable.
a picture is worth a thousand wordsA picture is worth a thousand words is a very common cliche or idiom used when speaking of the power of a photograph. It is referring to the fact that one picture can have a variety of connotations and that many different complex ideas can be formed with the single image whether it is literally a printed photograph or other form of visualization; as images often produce more data more quickly than words do.
a poor excuse forThe cliche a poor excuse for, is typically followed by an additional term used for a person such as someone being a poor excuse for a person, a poor excuse for a human being, or a poor excuse for a man. The meaning of this cliche is that they are not living up to the desired expectations as what they are, such as a poor excuse of a man doing or saying things that do not live up to the expectations of being a man.
a rolling stone gathers no mossA rolling stone gathers no moss is an ancient proverb referring to people who are always moving with no roots in place not having responsibilities or cares. Stones which are kept firmly in place grow moss in their home so when speaking this cliche of people, it is talking about the fact that a person who does not find roots somewhere, will never find a true home.
a rose by any other name would smell as sweetA rose by any other name would smell as sweet originated in the story Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The meaning of this cliche is that even if something is called by a different name, it still remains what it is. You can call a rose any other name, even an unpleasant one, but it doesnt change the smell or beauty of the rose with the new name.
a shot in the darkA shot in the dark refers to doing something where you cannot see what exactly you are aiming at. It originated in war when a shot in the dark referred to literally shooting someone or something in the dark, with no recollection of where the target was. In modern-day the term is still used when you are attempting to complete something without being able to see the result.
a shotgun weddingA shotgun wedding, also known as a shotgun marriage, is a wedding in which must be planned very quickly do to a certain circumstance requiring it such as a pregnancy or the spouse leaving for the military. It originated when young women got pregnant and then married the father of their child very suddenly, in what is called a shotgun marriage. Nowadays, any wedding happening quickly is referred to as a shotgun wedding.
a sigh of reliefA sigh of relief is when you suddenly feel very happy or relived that someone unpleasant is over or did not happen at all. This can true to for an even or a person being in your presence, such as an unpleasant person who has just left the room, and you suddenly feel that sigh of relief. The same can be said for a situation which you want to avoid and breathe a sigh of relief when it doesnt happen.
a smooth operatorA smooth operator is the cliche term used for someone who is always on top of things, and everything he or she does is always nearly perfect. This person is constantly in control of various situations and if they arent in control, will gain control. A smooth operator not only helps themselves, but in this way will ultimately help others in the same situation. A smooth operator often talks smooth in order to get out of a bind.
a snake in the grassCalling someone a snake in the grass is the way of telling them they are sneaky or despised. It began in the literal sense as a snake in the grass is very sneaky and quiet, often creeping up on their victim or using these methods to escape an attacker. When used as a cliche term, it is typically speaking of a person who acts sneakily and is often despised or simply disliked for their ways.
a snowballs chance in hellA snowballs chance in hell is a term used for when referring to the unlikelihood that something will come to pass. This can refer to a person completing a goal or a situation being successful. As snowballs are made of ice and hell typically means somewhere very hot with fire, it goes to show a snowball wouldnt last long at all. This is where the root of the saying comes from.
a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go downA spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down is a term used when speaking of something sweet or rewarding helping with an unpleasant taste or situation. It dates back to the movie Mary Poppins, when it was used in the literal sense of adding a spoonful of sugar to medicine that didnt taste very good. In the modern day, it is a cliche used for using something sweet to help with things that may be unpleasant.
a stitch in time saves nineIf you have heard the cliche a stitch in time saves nine, it is referring to doing something right away in order to avoid more work later on. A stitch is done on material when a thread comes loose; if you stitch it right away it will only require one stitch, but if you leave it, more threads will loosen and in time you need to do many stitches. This cliche is a way of showing the negative consequences of procrastinating.
a stones throw awayUsing the cliche a stones throw away means that you are very close to something, most commonly in distance though it can be emotionally or spiritually as well. A stones throw away began as a way to describe being so close to something physically that you can throw a stone at hit that thing or person, but the term now is more for describing something is relatively close, but not close enough to actually throw a stone to.
a sweet dealA sweet deal is a way to describe a very good business agreement or arrangement. A sweet deal can also be used to describe deals or arrangements that arent business related, but are most commonly used in business related agreements. Using the word sweet refers to it being pleasant, good and desirable in terms of the deal and the term is commonly used in todays language.
a tall taleA tall tale is an old cliche that is referring to a story or statement that is often difficult for people to believe due to it being very far-fetches, exciting or interesting. Tall tale is the term used when someone is describing a story or something that once happened to them or someone else and showing how very unimaginable it really is. The word tale is often used for stories which are not true.
a taste of his own medicineIf someone has had a taste of his own medicine (or her own medicine or their own medicine), the term is referring to someone receiving the same consequence that they have been giving to other people. This may include any type of unpleasantness such as unkind words, being selfish, doing selfish and irresponsible things; just about anything can have to do with getting a taste of your own medicine.
a wakeup callA wakeup call when referring to the non-literal sense (as opposed to a literal wakeup call when someone receives a call in place of an alarm clock) is defined as a sign or warning altering someone to the potential dangers and negative behaviors or circumstances of what they have or are about to do. Getting a wakeup call means finally understanding that what you have been doing is wrong due to the negative consequences.
a watched pot never boilsThe idiom called a watched pot never boils is a way of saying if you are watching and waiting for something to happen, it isnt going to happen while you concentrate so hard on it. If you watch a pot waiting for it to boil it will seem to take forever but if you leave and do other things, you will notice it boils before you realize it. Not waiting for something to happen is usually when things happen the most.
a wild goose chaseA wild goose chase in terms of a cliche is when a chase is a hopeless quest where the end result will most likely not be successful. The term originated from how difficult it is to actually chase wild geese due to how cunning and quickly they run. The term wild goose chase can be used for any type of race, adventure, chase or anything similar in which the end result is probably nearly impossible.
a winning combinationA winning combination is a cliche often used in modern day language to describe something that is the best of both worlds. For instance, a winning combination in a person such as a girl in a beauty contest will have not only outer beauty in order to win that portion of the contest, but she also has the inner beauty to win the contest. Having the best of both worlds in terms of beauty is known as a winning combination.
absence makes the heart grow fonderWhen someone is speaking of the term: Absence makes the heart grow fonder; they are usually referring to the lack of something increasing the desire for it. For instance, if you are near your significant other all of the time, you will not feel the depth of the love you have for each other as you would when one of you is gone for a length of time and return to each other to realize through the absence how much you love each other.
ace in the holeAce in the hole is a cliche referring to something that can supply a for sure victory when it is revealed, such as a tip, trick or hint. Ace in the hole originated from the game of poker whereas a card would be dealt face down and is kept hidden, this is called a hole card; the most propitious card is the ace. Ace in the hole is most commonly used when describing the fact that you have found a way to be sure of the end result.
actions speak louder than wordsActions speak louder than words is an idiom or cliche often heard in modern day language. Actions speak louder than words is fairly literal in that the things you do have far more meaning and are more significant than the words you say. Anyone can come up with the right thing to say, but the only way to prove the words are factual is to show that they are true by acting on them.
ah, to be young and foolish...Ah, to be young and foolish is a way that someone older and wiser speaks of young people after they do an immature, irresponsible or foolish thing. It is somewhat of a way they remember what it was like to be young and do foolish things without realizing it or caring much about the consequences. It is typically spoken fondly of younger people doing foolish things, rather than an insult.
airing dirty laundryAiring your dirty laundry refers to airing your dirty laundry in public where everyone can see it. The meaning behind airing your laundry (usually spoken as that you should not air your dirty laundry) is that you should not reveal aspects of your private life in public that should be kept private such as telling secrets, private details about you or your family, having a public argument, and other things that should be kept private.
all bets are offAll bets are off is an expression that is describing a situation where one factor alone can change or cancel out everything else in that given situation. All bets are off is meaning that the situation in question has suddenly and drastically changed and therefore any guarantees, assumptions or implications of the situations outcome dont apply anymore. This can be true for many different types of situations in which the outcome was expected, but then it changes and all bets are off.
all dressed up and nowhere to goAll dressed up and nowhere to go (or all dressed up with nowhere to go) is a way of saying that you are fully prepared and ready for something that isnt going to happen. This can be used in the literal sense where you dressed up for a special occasion but now the plans have changed and you literally have nowhere to go, or it can be used for other situations where you are prepared but it is moot because the thing youre ready for is no longer valid.
all earsWhen a person says they are all ears, they are saying that they are very interesting in hearing what you have to say and will not interrupt nor zone out during your story, lecture or conversation. It is typically used in the middle of a conversation or in response to you mentioning you have something to tell them in which they will say I am all ears. If someone says this, they are prepared to hear you out.
all for one, and one for allAll for one, and one for all means that you are all in no matter what the circumstances. This term is typically used for standing as a united group against all attacks from the enemy or opposing group, where the group will stay together no matter what. It is often heard in the matter of a physical war where every member of the group is all in, no matter what happens; hence all for one and one for all.
all in a days workAll in a days work typically is referring to something that might seem difficult or strange to one person, but is so common for the other person that is part of their daily life. In saying it is all in a days work, no matter how much or how difficult these tasks or activities are, they are considered in a days work because they do them often in a day, or they do them regularly every single day.
all roads lead to RomeAll roads lead to Rome is an idiom often used in conversation or stories to explain that many different paths taken by a person can actually lead them to the same place or goal. This may be used in conversation when someone is explaining no matter what decision they choose or which path they go down, they will most likely end up in the same place. It is also used when speaking of a goal and how many different ways one can achieve this goal.
all sizzle, no steakWhen someone uses the cliche all sizzle and no steak they are referring to the person or situation not having proof of the things that they have been claiming. For instance, a person who has received an advanced promotion, they are not measuring up to that advanced title in their promotion, thus they are all sizzle (all talk) but no steak (not proving the talk or hype).
all talk and no actionAll talk and no action is another way to show that even when someone constantly boasts and brags about something, they dont do things to prove what they say is factual. For instance, someone who is regularly speaking, boasting and promising something to someone else, they are all talk and no action if they dont conclude the talk with actions that show what they can accomplish as they have been saying.
all that glitters is not goldAll that glitters is not gold is a way of saying that just because something looks beautiful and precious, does not believe it is. This saying means that not everything that glitters, such as shiny, glittery, gold jewelry is not indeed as valuable as it might look, such as real 14K gold jewelry. It is often used in regards to actual valuable items like gold, diamonds, and other gemstones as well as a way to describe other things that might look precious but arent.
all the worlds a stageAll the worlds a stage is a way to show that the world we live in is much like a play, where each stage of a mans life is referred to as the seven ages of man such as infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, pantaloon, and second childhood. It originated in the William Shakespeare play As you Like It, and spoken in Act II Scene VII by Jaques who was a very melancholy man.
all work and no play makes Jack a dull boyAll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy is a way of saying that if you do nothing but work with no time off to enjoy things you love, you will become very bored and boring. You may recognize the saying as a quote from the move and book The Shining by Stephen King. The meaning behind it is that a person becomes dull when all they do is work all day and night and do not get a vacation or time off for themselves.
alls fair in love and warAlls fair in love and war is often heard in conversation, movies and television shows. This cliche or idiom basically means that in certain situations, such as being in love or waging war against each other, you are given the chance to be deceitful in order to get what you want. This is a way of giving yourself an excuse for deception such as in love and war.
alls well that ends wellAlls well that ends well is referring to a risky enterprise that is justified as long as it turns out well in the end. This can be used for a variety of different situations and circumstances in which the process or situation itself seems like an extremely risky endeavor with many trials and tribulations, but so long as the end result is the desired result and that it will turn out good in the end, it will be worth it.
almighty dollarAlmighty dollar
always a bridesmaidAlways a bridesmaid (never a bride) is a way to say you never manage to fulfill your ambition though you get extremely close. For instance in terms of a bride and bridesmaid, a woman may long to be married and she gets close to a wedding as always being the bridesmaid, but never actually the bride, thus she can never manage to fulfill this ambition. It is used in many other situations as well.
always look on the bright sideAlways look on the bright side is the literal way of saying you should be more optimistic. By saying you should look on the bright side is a way of saying that every situation, no matter how bad it may seem, has a positive, bright side of it. It is another way of saying you should be optimistic even under dire circumstances and severe situations as there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.
am I my brothers keeper?Am I my brothers keeper is an ancient proverb which has gradually become a cliche or idiom used in modern day language. It is basically referring to a persons unwillingness to accept the responsibility for the welfare of their peers or fellows. In some situations, a person is responding to someone asking where their friend, sibling or co-worker is, and the person responds with this idiom.
an apple a day keeps the doctor awayAn apple a day keeps the doctor away is a literal way of showing the importance of healthy eating. Apples are known to promote health and are often the first fruit thought of when speaking of a healthy diet which is why this cliche has apple and not a different type of fruit. Apples contain plenty of Vitamin C which helps the immune system, reduce tooth decay and reduce cholesterol; all of which will keep someone from frequent doctor visits.
an easy studyAn easy study, also called a quick study, is a way of showing that someone is very quick to learn things and easy to teach new ways of doing things. Someone that is a quick study is highly intelligent, intuitive and known as a quick learner. This may be used in terms of a student or sometimes a new co-worker learning the way things work at their new job.
an eye for an eyeWhen someone talks about an eye for an eye they are referring to the principle that one person injured by another should receive the same injury. It is a way of compensating for the pain or even loss of life caused by one person to another. Those who speak of an eye for an eye may not be in reference to physical pain as it can work for many different instances as well where the judgment served is right and fair.
an inch deep and a mile wideAn inch deep and a mile wide is a cliche used for when something may seem extravagant and impressive at first, but is actually quite unimaginative. When talking about a person, this typically means that they know a lot about everything, or at least act like they know about a lot of things, but in reality dont know much about any given topic. An inch deep is the reality while a mile wide is the hype.
an oldie, but a goodieAn oldie but goodie is a cliche referring to something or someone that may be old but still likable. This can be used in reference to a number of things, but is often used to describe older music which is still popular is has regained its popularity. It is also sometimes used in reference to people who are old and wise but still act young and hip and are likable or favorable in some way.
an open bookAn open book is a very common cliche often used in modern day language, nearly as often as it was used when first originated. To be an open book, you are someone with no secrecy, especially regarding personal issues. It is usually in reference to people who display their life publicly for everyone to see, not bothering to hide personal or private details from others.
an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cureAn ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is an ancient proverb that is now a fairly common cliche spoken about the importance of prevention rather than curing something that has happened. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure relies on the fact that preventing illness is worth much more than curing it once the illness has arrived as preventing stops the ramification from the illness in the first place.
and were not just whistling dixieAnd were not just whistling Dixie is a cliche idiom term referring to talking in fact and being serious about something that seems far-fetched. Whistling Dixie is a slang term which means unrealistic fantasizing, so when someone says they arent just whistling Dixie, they are saying that even though it seems far-fetched, they are actually being truthful and serious. It is commonly used after a person tells a story that doesnt seem realistic but in order to prove it is truthful, will say they arent whistling Dixie.
and you can take that to the bankAnd you can take that to the bank is a figurative term that basically means what they are saying is not only the absolute truth but can be verified by a third party source. By referencing taking it to the bank, they are saying that there is a guarantee what they say is true as there would be if you took a check to the bank and redeemed it for value as the bank will guarantee its validity.
another day, another dollarAnother day, another dollar has been around for decades, but in todays society, is often used to refer to an unimportant job. Another day, another dollar is a cliche typically used when speaking in a sarcastic tone about ones job or place of employment with a lack of excitement and mentioning that their job is low pay and unimportant, but they must go to make a living; or that they are just going to work for the money and nothing else.
ants in your pantsAnts in your pants is more of a modern day cliche spoken by children, teens and some young adults. When someone says you have ants in your pants, they are talking about the fact that you seem agitated, on edge, or cant seem to sit still. It is also another way of saying someone seems very excited about something in a physical way as proven by not sitting still; as a person would if they literally had ants in their pants.
any friend of _________s is a friend of mine.Any friend of _________s is a friend of mine is often spoken in reference to a friend of a friend. When someone says if youre a friend of theirs, youre a friend of mine, they are saying that if your mutual friend thinks highly of you, then you must be good and trustworthy and therefore could also be a good friend. It is often spoken about a friend of a friend or a mutual friend of yours, someone you dont know well but will trust due to this mutual friendship.
apple of my eyeApple of my eye has both a literal and figurative meaning, which both lead to the ultimate cliched version of this term. The literal meaning of apple of my eye is the central aperture of the eye, therefore when someone says it figuratively; they are talking about the center of their vision, or someone who is more cherished to them and more important to them than anyone else in their life.
armchair quarterbackAn armchair quarterback is a cliche used for someone who thinks they can make better decision than the coach of a sports team, even though they are simply watching the competitive sport on television. The term originated when people who would sit in their armchairs watching sports games, would shout at the television about what they think is a bad decision on the coach or players parts.
armed to the teethIf you are armed to the teeth, then you are heavily armed with deadly weapons. Armed to the teeth is typically used in reference to actual weapons which you may have noticed in war or action movies where the hero or heroine is literally armed with these weapons, while other times it is simply a way of saying they are armed or ready for whatever awaits. Armed to the teeth is in reference to the amount of weapons they have.
army bratAn army brat is a term commonly used in modern language which most people can relate to or at least remember hearing at some point or another. An army brat is a child who grew up with one or both parents that were in the army. It is usually in reference to the fact that their family moved around a lot, which is common when people are in the military. Children of parents in the army often refer to themselves as army brats to explain why they move around and other consequences.
art imitates lifeArt imitates life is a cliche that is used as an observation for creative works that was inspired by true events or based on a true story. This can be an actual work of art such as a painting or sculpture which is imitating life or an actual event that has happened. Other ways art imitates life is in the case of documentaries or movies which are based on true stories and true events.
artsy-fartsyIf someone is artsy fartsy they are typically trying very hard to be artistic or seen as being a creative person. This type of person has an overly and obsessively strong interest in appearing to be aesthetically aware. While the term originated from people wanting to appear very artistic, it is now commonly used simply to explain how someone is interested in art, not as much about wanting to appear artistic.
as dense as a London fogAs dense as a London fog is an old cliche term with the means of explaining that someone is very slow to learn or to understand things. As the fog in London is very dense in a literal sense, the term dense in this idiom is used in more of a figurative sense. Saying someone is as dense as a London fog is saying they are very dense, slow learning, and slow to understanding new ideals.
as far as the eye can seeAs far as the eye can see is a cliche when speaking about something being able to see something from a long distance until it is so far away and small it can no longer be seen by the naked eye. While the term as far as the eye can see is sometimes used literally when speaking about a physical location, it also sometimes used in conversation when talking about anything that seems far but within your field of vision whether literally or figuratively.
as luck would have itAs luck would have it is a way of speaking about good or bad luck after the way something turned out. By saying as luck would have it, you are saying that as it turned out, this is what happened. In other words, by chance this is how things ended up. It can be used to describe something that shows it to be good luck and on the other hand, things that may have been bad luck and turned out badly.
as nutty as a fruitcakeAs nutty as a fruitcake is a way of saying someone is crazy. Nutty is a slang term often used to describe someone as being crazy, whether they are talking about someone clinically insane or simply silly and a little bit awkward; fruitcakes are known for having a lot of nuts in them (literally) therefore the saying is saying someone is very nutty, i.e. crazy based on how they are, how they speak or how they behave.
as old as timeAs old as time is speaking of someone or something that is very old or ancient. This cliche has been used for decades, maybe even centuries. In saying that something or someone is as old as time, it is a way of exaggerating how old someone or something is. Since time is one of the oldest known things in history, it is typically a good way of describing the actual depth of how old this something or someone really is.
as plain as the nose on your faceAs plain as the nose on your face is a cliche idiom term which is used for explaining how obvious something is. The nose on your face is often the most obvious thing that sticks out (literally and figuratively) of a persons face, and the first thing many notice on someones face. So when speaking of something that is very obvious, the term as plain as the nose on your face is often used.
as the crow fliesAs the crow flies is an idiom often used to explain the shortest route between two points, also known as the geodesic distance. The cliche term beelining is also sometimes used which is talking about the same thing. To beeline, or to go as the crow flies, someone is taking the shortest route for the purpose of getting there quickly without many interruptions or things to get in the way.
ask me no questions and Ill tell you no liesAsk me no questions and Ill tell you no lies is a way to say that if you dont ask me any questions, I wont be able to give you an untrue answer. This cliche originated in the 1700s by Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith who would say it often. It became an idiom used when people were blamed of lying, and their response would be that if you stopped asking questions, I wouldnt tell a lie.
ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your countryAsk not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country is another way of saying you shouldnt wait for your country or for others to do things for you, but you should learn to do things yourself. This is also a way of saying your life is what you make it, not what others make it. It has been heard in many famous speeches, including in the movie The Outsiders where he helps his country by telling his story.
at the drop of a hatAt the drop of a hat means to do or stop doing something very quickly and instantly. The dropping of a hat is typically a signal that something is urgent, so urgent in fact that they dont even have time to hang their hat up. Saying at the drop of the hat means the person did something extremely quickly with very little signal.
at the end of the dayAt the end of the day is a cliche used to say that after everything has been said and done, this is what happened. In other words, when everything else has been taken into consideration, this is what the end result was. At the end of the day is usually a way of explaining how and why something happened in a certain type of situation when explaining why it ended up in an unexpected way.