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Cliches starting with I

I beg to differI beg to differ is often used as a way to say you disagree with something that someone has just said to you. It is a more polite way of telling them they are wrong or simply that you disagree. Instead of being blunt and telling them flat out that what they are telling you is wrong or they have incorrect facts, you will say you beg to differ before explaining why you disagree and think youre right.
I bought it for a songI bought it for a song is an old expression used when you want to say you bought something for a cheap price. Buying something for a song means that instead of using to money to purchase something, you instead traded it for a song, such as by playing them a song, singing them a song or use it figuratively as a way to say you traded this item for a favor you have done for them. It is another way of saying you didnt pay for this item, but traded something in return.
I busted my humpI busted my hump is an idiom that is often used to refer to putting in extra time and effort in order to accomplish something. This is another way of saying you worked very hard, usually harder than other people who were trying to complete the same task. It is sometimes used in relation to being underappreciated for the hard work you did, where you will tell them you busted your hump in order to receive the proper recognition.
I cant stand itI cant stand it is a phrase used when someone wants to express their dislike with something. This idiom includes a very broad range of uses and situations where it can be used literally or figuratively. It is often used in relation to something you dislike greatly to a more extreme or severe degree, as a kinder way to say you hate something. You can say you cant stand it in relation to an item, food product, or behaviors of a person.
I cant tell you what a pleasure its been / Its been a pleasureI cant tell you what a pleasure its been is a way of saying what a pleasure its been. In other words, you are telling this person how incredibly nice it was to do this thing with them, be in this situation, have this reward or task, or to meet them. It is often used when you first meet someone or spend time with someone, and tell them what a pleasure it was to be in their company.
I could eat a horseI could eat a horse is the expression used when you want to show the extent of how hungry you are, in other words, are practically starving. By saying you could eat a horse, you are responding to someone who has asked if youre hungry and want to eat something, and by saying this, you are showing that yes you are indeed very hungry; so hungry you could eat something like, such as a horse (though usually not literally).
I could whip you with one arm tied behind my backI could whip you with one arm tied behind my back is a phrase commonly used to express how easy it would be to do something; so easy in fact, they can do it with just one hand. By saying they can whip you with one hand tied behind their back, this person means whipping or beating you would be so simple a task they dont need both hands to do it and can have just one working hand.
I didnt come down the Clyde in a banana boat (Scottish, Glasgow)I didnt come down the Clyde in a banana boat, which is most often spoken in Scotland where Clyde is (in Glasgow), is a figure of speech which means they have the strength and courage in order to get something done. It is also is an expression used to show someone else the possible hardships you have faced and havent been given the easy way out. This is because a banana boat was often considered a safer alternative.
I didnt expect the Spanish InquisitionI didnt expect the Spanish Inquisition is something someone will say in respond to being asked a lot of questions. In history, the Spanish Inquisition involved people being questions over and over again which is where the saying comes from. It is often spoken in a sarcastic tone with the purpose of showing how displeased someone is about all of the questions they are asked, which seem more like an interrogation.
I got hosedI got hosed is a way of reflecting on a situation in a negative manner and to be forced into a troublesome situation. If someone got hosed, they are going through something very unpleasantly and usually being forced into it, such as being hosed down which is not only unpleasant and sometimes painful, but the force of the water keeps you there until it is over. To be hosed goes along these lines in which the situation is undoubtedly unpleasant.
I hate to say this, but...I hate to say this, but... is an idiom often used before mentioning something that is judgmental, insulting, self-satisfying or smug to someone else. By saying I hate to say this before you continue with your statement, it is somewhat of a way to protect yourself from being called a negative or hateful person and to try to show sympathy for what you are about to say.
I have a bone to pick with youI have a bone to pick with you is a figure of speech which you will say to someone when you tell them you want to speak with them, usually about something they have done that you disapprove of. This may be something illegal or wrong, something they did indirectly to you or that affects you, or simply something that has annoyed you or has caused you to be disappointed in them.
I have an ax to grindI have an ax to grind is another way of saying you have a selfish reason for saying or doing something. This pertains to anything a person might do for an entirely selfish reason that will only benefit themselves in the long run and not anyone else. The severity of this can range from a mild annoyance to the other person to something that caused them emotional or physical harm.
I have no bones about thatI have no bones about that is an idiom used when you want to state a fact in a way that will not allow any doubt and nobody will be able to object to. By saying you have no bones about something, you are saying you personally do not have proof that it isnt true, therefore you are willing to concede that what this person is saying is indeed a fact; by saying it like this, they wont doubt or object your response.
I havent a clueI havent a clue is the expression used when you dont understand something, havent got any advice or information for them, or you just arent sure about what they are asking. If you dont have a clue, you literally do not have any clues as to what the possible answer could be. This is in response to any type of query such as if you know where a certain person is, how to do something, or any idea of how something works.
I havent the foggiestI havent the foggiest is another way of saying you arent sure about something that has just been asked of you or that you dont have even a clue about what theyre asking. Foggiest is used in this saying as a way to show your mind is foggy or clouding when considering this thing, therefore you arent able to come up with any sort of ideas about what they are asking you; it could be in response to knowing where someone has gone or any other type of query.
I need that like a hole in the headI need that like a hole in the head, usually worded like I need that like I need a hole in my head is a phrase used when you want to say that you definitely dont want or need something offered to you or asked of you, usually spoken in a sarcastic way. By saying you need it like you need another hole in your head, you are saying matter-of-fact you absolutely do not need this thing being offered, since you definitely dont need another hole in your head.
I need that like a moose needs a hat rackI need that like a moose needs a hat rack is another way of saying you dont need something in such a way that it is both severe and comical in the way the expression is said. If someone hears that you need something like a moose needs a hat rack, it will be plainly obvious to them that you dont need what is being offered to them. A mouse certainly does not need a hat rack, therefore you have your answer.
I never met a man I didnt likeI never met a man I didnt like is an idiom used when you want to say that you like pretty much everyone. This phrase can also be used in other connotation and phrasing such as you never met a woman you didnt like, never met a teacher you didnt like, or basically any person (or thing) where you want to say you basically have liked them all an equal amount.
I ought to tan your hideI ought to tan your hide is an expression used when you get into some sort of trouble and this person wants to punish you. To tan your hide in the literal sense usually means to spank or punish in a physical way. When used figuratively, I ought to tan your hide can mean to give any sort of punishment for being caught doing something wrong, illegal or otherwise against the rules; it is more common to say this to children who have misbehaved.
I smell a ratI smell a rat is a common phrase people use when talking about someone who is being dishonest. This is usually relating to believe that something is going wrong, usually with one person who is pretending to be one person while they are really someone else. It is also sometimes used in the instance where the rat is someone who is double-crossing a person or group or intentionally messing up a project of some kind.
I trust him as far as I can throw himI trust him as far as I can throw him is a phrase which means that you dont trust this person very much. By saying you trust him as far as you can throw him; you are saying you dont trust him much because you certainly wouldnt be able to throw a person very far. This phrase is commonly used when asked if you have trust or belief in someones skills or trusting this person in general.
I was roped into itI was roped into it is a figure of speech in which someone is saying that they were forced to get involved into something, such as a bad situation, dilemma, crisis or even some sort of project. While many times, you are roped into doing something illegal or that has potential risks, it can also be used more mildly pertaining to a job or task you werent very excited about doing but were convinced to do it.
I wouldnt touch it with a ten foot poleI wouldnt touch it with a ten foot pole is a figure of speech in which the purpose is to tell someone you wouldnt come anywhere near something. By saying you wouldnt touch it with a ten foot pole, you are saying you wouldnt come near it even if it were a far distance from you. This can be in reference to anything you have a dislike for and can even be used in reference to a person you greatly dislike.
Id bet my bottom dollarId bet my bottom dollar is a common phrase used when you would bet your last dollar which makes it a for sure thing. By saying you would bet your bottom dollar, also known as your last dollar or all of your money, you are saying you feel so strongly about the potential success and that it is almost guaranteed, you are willing to risk all of your money. It is another way of saying the thing you are speaking of is practically guaranteed.
Id lose my head if it wasnt attachedId lose my head if it wasnt attached is a common and well-known phrase spoken by people who have a tendency to lose things often and very easily. It is used in reference to the fact that anything not attached to their body gets lost, such as their car keys or a clothing or shoe item. This type of person usually loses things on a regular basis and is constantly looking around for their lost items.
Id rather be a hammer than a nailId rather be a hammer than a nail is an idiom which is referring to wanting to be the one doing the beating or abusing (literally or figuratively) than the one taking the beating. It is another way of saying it is better being the one to inflict the damage, whether physically or emotionally, than it is to be the victim who is accepting it. By being the one who is in control, you stop being the victim.
Id rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomyId rather have a full bottle in front of me, than a full frontal lobotomy is a satirical phrase which means that a person would rather be drinking in order to dull reality over going crazy, being mentally ill or facing reality. This idiom is often spoken by someone who wants to forget about the flaws and realistic expectations of life, and would rather drown their sorrows with alcohol which numbs the sadness and reality of life.
idle chit-chatIdle chit chat is the cliched term for a conversation which is short, friendly and often lacks substance. In other words, idle chit chat is what you might call small talk. This type of conversation never has much substance or depth to it, rather it is simply a way to pass the time or a good way to have a polite and friendly conversation with someone who you have just met and are getting to know.
idle hands are the devils workshopIdle hands are the devils workshop is another way of saying that nothing good will comes from boredom or from not working hard at something. This saying dates back to the twelfth century when Chaucer called idle hands the devils tools as a way to say that people who did not constantly work hard and keep themselves busy, would get into trouble out of boredom. The phrase is commonly used in everyday conversation.
If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Is the philosophical thought experiment that raises questions about observation and the knowledge of reality. It is the concept that if you are in a forest with all of the other sounds around you, and a tree falls; would you even hears it? It is also worded as If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?; in other words; how do you know what happens when nobody is around?
if at first you dont succeed, try, try, againIf at first you dont succeed, try, try, again is a very common and well known proverb which means that you should keep trying until you succeed or get what you want. It is also a way to say how importance practice is because the more you practice and attempt to do something, the higher the chance you have of succeeding. This phrase is saying that even if you dont get it right the first time, you should keep trying until you do.
if God had meant for man to fly, he wouldve given us wingsIf God had meant for man to fly, he wouldve given us wings is another way of saying that if you werent given something by nature (or God if you believe in Him), you probably werent meant to have it in the first place. This phrase is in relation to the fact that people tend to complain about what they dont have, and become frustrated and not being given certain abilities. The purpose of this cliche is to prove that if you dont have it, maybe you werent meant to.
if I had a nickel for every time he _______, Id be a millionaireIf I had a nickel for every time he _______, Id be a millionaire is another way of saying that he (or she) did this thing over and over again. By saying you would be a millionaire if you had a nickel for every time they did this, it means they must do it a lot of times because it would take a lot to turn nickels into millions of dollars. This is simply a way to exaggerate how much someone does something.
if I were in his shoesIf I were in his shoes is an idiom often used to say that if you were in his place you would do things a certain way. It is also a way of showing that you would understand things from his point of view if you were in his shoes. Any time a phrase mentions being in someone elses shoes, the meaning of this is that you would then be this person and have control of their actions, what they do and say, and see things from their angle.
if it aint broke, dont fix itIf it aint broke, dont fix it is a common idiom which expresses the fact that if something is already working, you should leave it well and not try to change it. Many times people want to constantly change things, people, television shows, whatever it happens to be, because they feel it can be improved upon. However what this phrase is saying is that there is no need to change or fix something already working adequately.
if it werent for bad luck, Id have no luck at allif it werent for bad luck, Id have no luck at all is a phrase most often used by someone who seems to be having a lot of bad luck. This phrase is telling someone else that all of their luck is bad luck and never any good luck. If your only luck is bad luck, in other words, bad things always seem to happen to you, you might tell someone If it werent for bad luck, Id have no luck at all. The meaning of this is that good things never happen to you.
if its not one thing its anotherIf its not one thing its another is a way to tell someone that something bad always seems to be happening to you whether from bad luck or being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If its not one, its another is the phrase which insists that no matter what, another bad thing is going to come along, once one problem is resolved. It is a negative attitude possessing the pessimism you feel about life.
if looks could killIf looks could kill is the cliched idiom term, also known as a catch phrase, used when someone makes a frown at someone else or that person is caught giving them a dirty look. A dirty look is typically one that shows the persons negative feelings towards the other person with just his or her facial expressions. If looks could kill is a way of saying you have caught this person giving a hateful, dirty look to another person.
if the mountain wont come to Mohammed, Mohammud must go to the mountianif the mountain wont come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain is an ancient proverb which is relating to the fact that if you cant get your own way, you must accept that it is inevitable. It can also be portrayed to mean that things dont always happen for you, and sometimes you must get up, put in the work and make things happen yourself. You may not be able to have the mountain come to you, but you can make the effort to go to the mountain.
if the shoe fits, wear itIf the shoe fits, wear it is a figure of speech which insists that if a certain description indeed applies to you, then you should learn to accept it. This can be true with any type of description ranging from your personal appearance to your talents or skills, attitude and behavioral patterns. The phrase means that sometimes you are given a certain label or told you are a certain way and dont like it; but if its true you should just accept it and move on.
if you build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your doorif you build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door means that if you develop or invent something superior to a device that is widely used, you will soon have the recognition of inventing this device. The phrase isnt used very often but you can occasionally hear people say it or read it used in articles, blogs or even short stories and fictional novels. The phrase basically means that if you are to invent something that is better than what is used for its purpose, you will be noticed.
if you cant beat em, join emIf you cant beat em, join em is the common figure of speech which says that if your adversaries or opponents are stronger than you and you have no way of beating them, it is better to join their side. By joining your adversaries or enemies, you will at least to be able to fight along side them rather than being overcome by their strengths. It is a phrase that shows the importance of settling during certain moments of your life and accepting the inevitable.
if you cant find it, grind itIf you cant find it, grind it is an automotive term that means if you cant find the gear you want, you should just move it to any gear you can find, which will cause it to make a grinding sound. This is used primarily as a literal term for vehicles and motorcycles that have a manual transmission. Sometimes you arent able to find the gear quickly, but in order to go, you need to put it in any gear; this may cause a grinding sound, but it will get you from point A to point B.
if you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchenIf you cant stand the heat, get out of the kitchen is a figurative phrase that means if something is putting too much pressure on you or if you dislike a certain type of situation, you should just get out of it, ignore it or avoid it altogether. The implication of this phrase is that if you cant cope with something, you shouldnt be doing it and should leave this type of work or situation for someone who can cope.
if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at allIf you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all is more than likely a phrase you have heard at least once in your life, probably by your parents, grandparents or another close family member. What this phrase means is that you should only speak kindly and politely to others; if you feel the need to say something rude, mean, judgmental or insulting, you should just remain silent and not say the words if they are not nice.
if you love something set it freeIf you love something set it free is part of the ancient proverb If you love something set it free; if it returns, it is yours forever, if not it was never meant to be. There are a lot of different variations of this saying which all mean basically the same thing. The idea behind this phrase is that if you really love something or someone, you should be comfortable letting them go with the understanding that if you were meant to be with that person, they will come back to you.
if you play your cards rightIf you play your cards right is a common and well-known idiom which is referring to working or negotiating correctly and skillfully. The idea behind playing your cards right, is that you attempt to finish a job, project or task in the right and correct way with talent and skill behind your intention, and you will certainly succeed. It is often spoken after someone asks if they can handle it, and you would reply that if they play the cards right, it can definitely be successful.
if you were any closer, it would bite youIf you were any closer, it would bite you is an exaggerative and sarcastic way to say that you are much to close to something or someone. This phrase is most commonly used for something that has the potential of being harmful or dangerous if yu get too close such as a fire, stove burner or even a wild animal. In the case of the animal, this person is speaking literal in that you are too close to it and risk being bitten.
if youve seen one, youve seen em allIf youve seen one, youve seen em all is another way of saying that theyre all the same and can be used in reference to a variety of different situations, groups of people, or individuals in some instances. Typically when someone says if youve seen one, youve seen
ignorance is blissIgnorance is bliss is a very common and well-known figure of speech that relates to the lack of knowledge of any type of situation. The proverb insists that once you know the whole truth of something, you suddenly realize you were much happier when you didnt know it at all. It means that sometimes being ignorant, or not having the whole truth, is better than being aware of what is going on.
Ill be a monkeys uncleIll be a monkeys uncle is an older phrase which is referring to an expression of surprise or disbelief. It is based on past experiences with this kind of situation or person you are surprised at, because what has happened seems very unlikely. You never would of that something like this would have happened (it can be good or bad) and therefore say, well Ill be a monkeys uncle, because that is also nearly impossible but has happened regardless.
Ill be damnedIll be damned is a cliched term which means to be very surprised about something. It is typically used in reference to something you didnt expect based on past experienced with this person or type of situation. When you say youll be damned about something that has just happened or something you have just heard, you are shocked and surprised on what you have just heard or witnessed.
Ill be the judge of thatIll be the judge of that is the phrase used when you want to form an opinion or estimation of something after careful consideration. This idiom is typically spoken to someone who seems to make an assumption or fact about something to you that has obviously not been considered carefully. You will then tell them youll be the judge of whatever is being discussed in order to form your own opinion.
Ill bet a dollar to a donutIll bet a dollar to a donut is another way of saying you will bet the same amount of dollars to donuts as the other person; the phrase is often used in places where gambling is common as a literal term but can also be used figuratively to describe betting the same amount of something different. Dollars to donuts is a fake bet where one person will agree to put up the same amount of dollars to the others persons donuts in a bet.
Ill leave you with something to chew onIll leave you with something to chew on is a phrase told to someone when you want to leave them with something to ponder and think about, or to consider in order to keep their mind occupied. If you want to leave them something to chew on, it means to keep their mind off the subject at hand and consider another angle of the subject in which you are referring to.
Ill punch his lights outIll punch his lights out is a phrase which indicates a warning that if this person continues to do what they are doing, you are going to give him a physical beating or other type of abuse. Punching someones lights out means to knock them completely out where they are unconscious for a certain period of time, but this phrase is slightly less literal where even if you dont knock him out, you will still do some form of physical abuse.
Ill see you in hellIll see you in hell is another way of saying we will not meet again for a long time but we will see each other again once we die. There are different opinions on what this phrase means which include different variations. Another way to look at this saying is that they are mentioning the other person is doing bad things that will get them in hell and pointing out this fact by saying they too will be there.
Im ___ years youngIm ___ years young is another way of saying how old you are but you dont want to use the word old because eve though you are getting up in years, you still feel or want to appear to be younger. This is simply a play on words for the amusement of others. Traditionally when asked your age, you would say you are a certain number of years old, but this phrase switches it as says you are that many years young.
Im going bananasIm going bananas is a term used when you feel like you are going crazy or insane. Bananas have long since been used as a symbolism for acting weird, strange, crazy or insane in the mentally unstable sort of way which is why they are used as the example in this phrase. By saying you are going bananas you are acknowledging that things are starting to happen around you and causing you to act quite different than how you normally would.
Im gonna clean your clockIm gonna clean your clock is the thread to hit someone in the face. You may also recognize it when used in different terms such as when someone says they got clocked; it means they got hit or punched in the face. Clock faces have long since been associated with human faces which is part of the reason this phrase means to hit someone in the face. While not common to be spoken in everyday conversation, you have more than likely heard it during an older movie, usually a crime solving or action type.
Im gonna lay down the lawIm gonna lay down the law is a figure of speech which means to scold someone, show them the right way to do things or otherwise face the consequences and to make something very clear to someone in a stern and blunt manner. IF you are laying down the law to someone, you are telling them what the rules are and the proper way to behave, insisting they behave in this manner or face the consequences.
Im gonna wash that man right outta my hairIm gonna wash that man right outta my hair is another way of saying that you are going to get rid of someones presence, tight down to the scent they have left behind. By saying you are getting him out of your house, you are saying that you want everything about him out of your life. This can pertain to his smell being left behind on you and in your hair or if he touched your hair with his hands, to wash those memories away.
Im in hog heavenIm in hog heaven is a phrase used when someone is talking about being very happy and having a wonderful time. It originates from a pig or hog being very happy in mud, which is like heaven to them. This phrase gradually transformed into being in hog heaven as describing someone who is extremely happy and usually very excited, energetic, playful and simply enjoying themselves.
Im not a rocket scientistIm not a rocket scientist is a phrase often used when someone wants to make a point that they dont understand something not because they arent intelligent, but that it is too complicated to understand. This phrase is often used in the opposite way by saying something isnt rocket science, in that you are telling someone in a sarcastic way that it shouldnt be that difficult to understand.
Im not getting any youngerIm not getting any younger is a very common and well-known phrase which means that youre wasting their time. It is a figure of speech often told to someone in response to them taking too long to do something and wasting their time with the delay. By saying they arent getting any younger, it is a way to say they continue to get older as this other person takes so long and continues to waste their time.
Im okay, youre okayIm okay, youre okay is from a book written by Thomas A. Harris MD of the same name and happens to be one of the best selling self help books ever published. The phrase Im OK, Youre OK was often used in the book which provides practical advice to begin understanding the physical and verbal cues required to analyze transactions. Basically the cliche Im okay, youre okay is a way to say you are trying to understand another persons actions and the reasons for them.
Im on a rollIm on a roll means to currently be on a winning streak or to be doing well continuously for a certain period of time. This phrase can be used a variety of different games or situations. It is sometimes used literally when someone is playing a game and they keep winning, making it say they are on a roll. Figuratively, the phrase is used for other types of situations such as good things happening to someone on a continuous basis.
imitation is the sincerest form of flatteryImitation is the sincerest form of flattery is the figure of speech that is referring to the fact that copying someone is flattering because it shows they want to be like the person they are copying. This phrase is often used in response to the point being brought up someone is copying your fashion style, hairstyle, behaviors or attitude. Instead of being offended by it, you should be flattered because the reason they are copying you, is because they like and admire you.
in a New York minuteIn a New York minute is another way of saying you will be something instantly or very quickly. A New York minute has since been known as a very fast minute because people in New York and everything in the big city seem to move faster and at a more rushed pace than people of other cities of its kind. Whenever someone uses the words New York minute in a phrase, they mean to say something will happen faster than normally or will be done in an instant.
in a nutshellIn a nutshell is another way of saying you will do something in a few words or concisely. When someone says that something is true in a nutshell, they mean to say that is concisely what has happened or that how they worded something is a good way to put it if they want to use few words. By putting something in a nutshell, it is somewhat of a summary where you are using as few words as possible to describe something.
in a pigs eyeIn a pigs eye is something you say that means you think there is no chance that something is true ot that something is going to happen the way they say it will happen. In a pigs eye is a common phrase used often when you are responding to a situation, event or dilemma that someone is explaining to you in a way that they predict how it will end up. When you disagree with this and doubt it, you say in a pigs eye as if there is little chance of it happening.
in a pinchIn a pinch is another way of necessary if this thing is necessary, you will be able to do it. In a pinch is most often used in relation to doing something quickly if it is absolutely necessary. If someone says that they might need to do something if it comes to that, or if the situation in question changes, then you might interpret that as something they will do if they are in a pinch, or in a bind.
in a winkIn a wink is an idiom often used to describe something that has happened or is going to happen in a very short time, or very quickly. Since a wink happens so quickly you usually dont even notice it, or when you are winking you hardly notice anything is different during that millisecond, in a wink can be used to describe just how quickly something will happen. Of course this isnt literal as virtually nothing happens that quickly, but a way to show it will happen quickly.
in every life a little rain must fallIn every life a little rain must fall is another way to say that in every persons life there will be some trouble, even if it is minor and may turn out to be beneficial. It is another way of saying that nobodys life is perfect even if it seems so. That for each person, something that seems bad on the outside will happen and in the end it turns out to be a good thing, such as in the case of rain helping things grow but can also be a burden to some.
in for a fleecingIn for a fleecing is an idiom not commonly used in everyday conversation but that you might read in old novels. To be in for a fleecing means to be swindled or defrauded of money or property. Several decades ago many people used in for a fleecing as a way of saying they were caught up in a fraud where they had their money, property or other values taken from them in a way that they did not expect.
in for the long haulIn for the long haul is a phrase often used when someone wants to say that are in it for a long term basis over a long period of time and will not give up, quit or walk out on the person or situation. To be in it for the long haul it can be pertaining to anything which occurs over a long period of time such as a work project, relationship or another more personal matter. Anything which happens over an extended period of time and the person wants to stick it out, is being in it for the long haul.
in harms wayIn harms way is a figure of speech that means you are liable to be harmed or subject to a potential cause of physical, emotional or psychological harm. In harms way is usually pertaining to some kind of physical harm or ailment whether it is a mild or severe risk. Someone who is in harms way may be intentionally putting themselves in the middle of a dangerous situation or simply caught in the crossfire.
in hot waterIn hot water means to be in trouble, whether mild or severe trouble. This idiom is often used when relating to someone who is getting in trouble, or in over their head. Usually someone in hot water isnt entirely aware of it and it isnt intentional, but they may figure it out sooner or later. A lot of the time someone in hot water or in trouble in this instance, doesnt know it until it is too late.
in one ear and out the otherIn one ear and out the other is a common and well-known phrase which is used often to describe that someone is heard but not acknowledged or remembered. If you are taking in information through one ear and out the other, you are hearing the words but not bothering to think about them, acknowledge them or try to ponder what is being said. You are simply hearing the words and forgetting them an instant later.
in over your headTo be in over your head means to be out of depth in something you are involved in, which usually leads to some sort of troublesome situation or may end up in a big mess. Being in over your head usually start unintentionally where you think the end result will be successful and worth the risk. Someone else might point out that you are in over your head, which is another way of warning you to get out while you still can.
in seventh heavenIn seventh heaven means to be in a state of bliss and happiness. The phrase refers to when John was in seventh heaven when the director praised his speech and has been used figuratively since the 1800s. IT speaks of being in seventh heaven, or being extremely happy and content about the way things are going. If you are in seventh heaven, something good is happening to you making you feel blissful.
in the blackIn the black is another way of saying you are in something that proves to be positive, especially in regards to financial circumstances or net income. This phrase comes from the accounting practice of using black ink when you are profiting or having success in the books, whereas red ink was used to show negative balances in net income. Figuratively, to be in the black means to be positive and earning money.
in the buffIn the buff has been long since used as a way to say someone is nude or naked. When you doo not have any clothes on, someone might say you are in the buff. This phrase has been used so much for so many years to mean you are nude with no clothes on, that it has gradually become a cliche which most everyone understands to mean that you are nude.
in the doghouseIn the doghouse is a figure of speech used to describe that someone is in trouble by something they did, or someone close to them is annoyed with what they did. Nowadays, to be in the doghouse is more commonly referred to as a spouse (usually the husband for this cliche) which they have done something to annoy, irritate or offend their spouse, and must now sleep on the couch or be punished in another way.
in the moneyIn the money is another way to say somebody is either wealthy and rich or someone is in the winning position of a race or contest. To be in the money used in more of a figurative sense, it means to be in a winning position of a race where bets were placed and the people placing the bets get money from you. However it is also used more literally which is to say you are very wealthy, and in the money means to be literally having a lot of money.
in the nick of timeIn the nick of time means something has happened or someone has appeared at the precise moment they were needed. This is another way of saying just in time, or at the right time which is usually most beneficial for the situation at hand. The nick of time is right on the dot, right at the very moment in time this thing or person or situation was needed the most.
in the redTo be in the red means to be in debt or to have negative bank balances. As opposed to being in the black where you have a positive outcome or profit, being in the red is the exact opposite. Like the phrase being in the black, being in the red comes from accounting where they use red ink to show where the balances are negative such as if you lose money, the balance doesnt add up or your account becomes overdrawn.
in the tankIn the tank means to be favoring or casting in a favorable light so that you appear on the side of an issue or person. This phrase is often associated with the medias coverage during various presidential campaigns where the media is portrayed as being on one side or the other of the presidential campaign debates. To be in the tank is used for other situations as well where you tend to favor one person or group over another.
in your dreamsIn your dreams is a phrase often used when you want to describe something that isnt very likely to happen. By saying it is in your dreams, you are saying it is a way of fantasizing about something that you may want, hope and wish to happen but realistically it probably wont. Dreaming, like in daydreaming, is another way of seeing things from more of an unrealistic and hopeful way, rather than something that could really happen.
in your faceIn your face is a slang phrase often used for a variety of different situations where you are saying something in a bold or aggressive manner. Most often, someone will say in your face when they have won a competition or proved that their point is right after an argument and they want to get in your face in a way that shows aggressively how they won the argument or the competition.
inexorably drawnInexorably drawn is another way to say something has happened in an inexorable manner or without the possibility of stopping or having prevention of it. To be inexorably drawn means that this something or someone which is happening, is going to happen regardless of what you do about it. Inexorable means that there is little to no possibility of preventing or stopping it once it has begun.
influence peddlingInfluence peddling is the practice of using someones influence with people involved in the authority in order to get favors or preferential treatment for another person. This is often true in the form of a payment or other benefit by using these influential people. Peddling is known as someone who is begging or asking for something to be given to them, while influential adds the angle of using an influential person In order to gain this thing.
innocent as the day he was bornInnocent as the day he was born means to say someone is very innocent since babies when they are first born are as innocent as they can possibly be. Another way to say someone is innocent is to refer to them as babies, children, being young or have just been born, as in relation to not yet having the intelligence to understand things. This phrase is commonly used when describing how innocent somebody is.
is a loose cannonIs a loose cannon is a phrase usually accompanied by a person, by saying He (or she) is a loose cannon. The idiom is referring to someone who is unpredictable, who might cause damage if they arent kept in check, and who tends to do things without thinking of the consequences first. People who are loose cannons also tend to have short tempers where the smallest thing than cause them to become very angry.
is it hot enough for you?Is it hot enough for you? Is an idiom which is usually in the form of a question and is a way to ask someone if everything is going as planned, and if it is working out good enough for them. This is often used literally as well which is to say if the temperature, heater, or food is actually hot enough to please them. It can also be used figuratively where they are asking about the severity of the situation.
is nothing sacred?Is nothing sacred? Is a way to ask someone if nothing is devoted or dedicated exclusively to one person, use or situation. This is usually in response to someone telling your secret or speaking openly about a person or situation that was meant to be kept private between two people. If you constantly tell other peoples secrets, you are stopping your conversations or relationships from being sacred.
is the glass half-empty or half-fullIs the glass half-empty or half-full is question asked of people to find out how they view the world, whether they see it in a more positive and hopeful way or a negative, cynical way. To see the glass as half full, means to be positive and optimistic and hopeful that it will soon fill up. When people see things with the glass as half empty, they are more negative and pessimistic and feel things are half over.
Is the Pope Catholic?Is the Pope Catholic? Is usually framed as a question and is an idiom which is spoken in the form of a sarcastic rhetorical question. This is most commonly said to someone who has asked a question which the answer should seem very obvious and a way to say yes, without question. The pope is very obviously catholic, so by asking this to someone, you are saying that the answer should be very clear.
isnt that specialIsnt that special is a phrase used in a sarcastic manner when saying something isnt a big deal, or that something which may seem like a good thing or a successful situation for other people, doesnt excite you as much. Most often, someone will say isnt that special as a response to someone getting something that they dont deserve or that the person is partially jealous of.
it aint over till the fat lady singsIt aint over till the fat lady sings is a very common phrase which is used when you want to say that nothing is irreversible until the final act is played out. This is why it is related to a fat lady singing; a fat lady is a stereotypical term for an opera singer so in this phrase, the person is saying not to give up or quit until the last step of the process is complete because you never know what can happen until it is over.
it aint rocket scienceIt aint (or isnt) rocket science is a way to respond to something which shouldnt be that difficult to do or to understand. Rocket science is known as one of the most complex and complicated things to learn and therefore is used as an example of something very complicated to do or to learn. When you are explaining something new to someone and they dont get it, saying it aint rocket science implies it shouldnt be very hard.
it all boils down to thisIt all boils down to this is another way of saying that this is what it comes to in the end or this is the final answer or resolution to what is going on. It is something used in a positive way and sometimes in a sarcastic, negative way. Something boiling down to this is when something has ended and this is what the end result is; whether it is a good thing or a bad thing for everyone involved.
it goes without sayingIt goes without saying is another way of something should be very obvious and that the next thing to say or that will happen should be generally accepted or understood. If someone says something goes without saying, that are trying to tell you that this topic you are talking about should be so obvious, he or she should not have to say anything in regards to explaining it.
it is always darkest before the dawnIt is always darkest before the dawn is an old proverb used to explain that there is always hope even when you are in the worst of circumstances. While this phrase isnt actually correct in a literal sense, it is simply a way to explain that you shouldnt give up. The fact this it is darkest before dawn begins in a day, is not true. But even with that being said, most people understand what this phrase means in regards to the proper figurative use.
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at allIt is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all is a very common and well-known phrase which means to say that even if you have lost your love, you should appreciate you had it in the first place. While it is typically used in the literal sense such as losing the one you love, it can also be used figuratively. The point of this idiom is that even if you lose what you love, you should instead be grateful you had it than if you never had it at all.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool that to speak and remove all doubtIt is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt is a line that was originally spoken by Abraham Lincoln and has since become a very common phrase and quote. The phrase means that if you are silent, people dont know if you are a fool or not because you have not said anything, but if you speak you may sound like a fool and they will not doubt how foolish you are.
it just goes to show...It just goes to show is an idiom often used by someone who wants to say that what has just been done or said has a very important moral or message behind it. If something that has just happened has given a message to younger children about the importance of safety for example, then someone may say it just goes to show, and continues with the phrase in that this even has shown this message coming from it.
it seems like old timesIt seems like old times, or it feels like old times, is a literal phrase which means something that has just been done or said has reminded you of the past. Sometimes memories are merely visual things you see in your head while other things remind you of things that have happened such as scents or sounds; when one of these things happens to remind you of how things used to be, it may seem like old times.
it stands to reasonIt stands to reason is another way of saying that something that has just happened is true or is exactly what you would expect. It means that something you have just heard or witnessed is reasonable, and follows along the line of what anyone would have expected as the result of what you saw. By saying it stands to reason, you are acknowledging that it is proven by what has happened.
it takes two to tangoIt takes two to tango is a common phrase that is referring to the fact that if two people are involved in something which ended badly, both are to blame for the consequences. This idiom means to show the importance of both parties taking responsibility in a wrong or illegal act such in the case of a married man or woman cheating on their spouse; it is both the married persons fault and the person they had an affair with.
it took my breath awayIt took my breath away is another way to say that something has happened which was so surprising and astounding, it overwhelmed this person. This is often most true in the case of beauty, grandeur or a similar situation in which the person seeing this beauty or act, was so startled and in awe of it, that they momentarily forgot to breathe due to the immense surprise. It is also a way of exaggerating how much you enjoyed seeing something.
it was a dark and stormy nightIt was a dark and stormy night is a very common way to start a story, so common in fact this opening line has become a cliche due to being used in many stories and movies. It was a dark and stormy night was first written by a Victorian novelist by the name of Edward Bulwer-Lytton which wrote the novel Paul Clifford in 1830 and this was the very first line in the novel. The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest also uses the phrase as a signifier or purple prose.
it was a piece of cakeIt was a piece of cake is a way of saying something was very easy to do. There is no factual evidence of when this idiom first began, but it has been used for several decades as a cliched term for anything someone has done and wants to show how simple it was. This can be in reference to anything which they have already done or will do such as saying it will be a piece of cake to finish.
it was a white-knuckle rideIt was a white-knuckle ride is the term used when someone wants to say that they survived something threatening with very strained endurance in which they had to hold on tight. If you are gripping hard on something for an extended period of time, your knuckles will typically turn white which is where this phrase originates. If something is a white-knuckle ride, it is something you had to endure with hard work but got through it.
it was an ill-fated ideaIt was an ill-fated idea is a fairly old cliche which refers to an idea which has potentially bad consequences. When speaking of something that was an ill-fated idea it means that this was doomed to fail and will most likely not end well. The opposite of something that is fated to happen, is something bad or doomed, with a possible chance of not succeeding in the long run.
it will be a cold day in hellIt will be a cold day in hell is another way of saying something is never going to happen or that it is very unlikely. As hell is supposed to be a very hot place, literally, with fire burning constantly; it would certainly not be cold. If it was a cold day in hell, then it is under the most unforeseen circumstances. When someone says it will be a cold day in hell, they mean it is highly unlikely and would be shocking if it happened.
it wont flyIt wont fly is a phrase often used to say something wont go over very well, is unlikely or nearly impossible. This is often used when not referring in the literal sense of something that wont fly into the air, but figuratively as to say the other people involved arent going to agree and there is very little chance of success. The word fly when used as slang term, means good so the opposite refers to it in the negative.
its a catch 22Its a catch 22 is what many people say when they are describing a situation with very little positive outcomes available to them. A catch 22 is when a situation with a desired outcome or solution is rather impossible to achieve because of a set of circumstances, illogical rules or conditions. For instance, if you have to work to make money in order to buy a car but you need a car in order to get to work, that is a catch 22.
its a dog-eat-dog worldIts a dog-eat-dog world is a phrase often used when someone is talking about a situation where people need to look out for themselves and their own interests first because this is what everyone else is doing. This idiom refers to the fact that dogs in the wild are only out for taking care of themselves, such as finding food and wont worry about other dogs; in life, you sometimes have to behave in the way that is for your own benefit.
its a dogs lifeIts a dogs life is a phrase said by someone who wants to point out that under the current circumstances, life is extremely hard and unpleasant. Many people believe that dogs have easy lives and therefore believe this phrase to be sarcastic in the way a dog has a very simply and easy life. However, the phrase actually originated from the fact that many things a dog has to do to survive are unpleasant and rather boring at times
its a long shotIts a long shot is another way of saying the thing currently being discussed is a very risky bet with little probability of success. Literally speaking, a long shot is one of the hardest shots to make with a weapon because the target is hard to see and therefore hard to aim at. Figuratively, the phrase is used whenever the chances of something working out successfully are very low.
its a sure thingIts a sure thing is a way to say something is definitely going to happened and that it is almost guaranteed. If you hear someone say that something is a sure thing whether that be an expected event or how well a meeting or occasion will go, then what they are telling you is that there is very little doubt about how it will go and it is most definitely going to happen as planned.
its all cut and driedIts all cut and dried is a phrase used when somebody wants to say that something is very simple and basic, determined beforehand and uninteresting in how typical it is. If you hear someone say it is very cut and dried, it is well determined and simply to understand. You may also hear it in the negative where they say something isnt so cut and dried which means it is more complex.
its all Greek to meIts all Greek to me is an idiom which is referring to claiming that an expression or concept is incomprehensible and very hard to understand either because it is imprecise or complex. Greek is known as one of the hardest languages to understand, therefore when you say something is all Greek to you, it means you dont understand what it means because it is so complicated or not detailed enough.
its all in your headIts all in your head is another way of saying that what you think you saw or hears is actually something you are imagining and that is not real. It may be used literally in that you are actually just imagining something happened when it really didnt. It can also be used more figuratively where what you are saying must be true, someone else simply doesnt agree and says it must all be in your head.
its all topsy turvyIts all topsy turvy is a phrase commonly used to describe something, someone or even a situation which seems very confused or disordered. A person can be topsy turvy in that they seem confused constantly and are very disordered and never organized. A situation is topsy turvy in much the same way when it doesnt make a whole lot of sense, and things are going in so many different directions its hard to make sense of it.
its an ill wind that blows no goodIts an ill wind that blows no good is an older proverb which means that something has gone wrong but there can always be some sort of positive results that came from it. This is a saying that is trying to tell you even if everything has gone wrong in a situation which you thought would be no big deal, bad things can happen but the bad things might actually end up being good things.
its better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stickIts better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick is an older phrase which was used to describe than even if something you are currently enduring seems very unpleasant, it could always be worse and more painful. There are always more painful things to go through and this phrase is showing that fact and to prove that you should appreciate it isnt worse.
its cutting edgeIts cutting edge is a phrase which is referring to something which is shown to others and is very new whether it be a new fashion trend, concept or idea, or even a person that is cutting edge. When something cutting edge is an item, it is usually some new type of merchandise which will start a new trend while a person who is cutting edge tends to break the boundaries and develop new ideas.
Its just one of those daysIts just one of those days is a phrase most commonly used by someone who is having a very bad day. By saying it is one of those days they are referring to the day in the negative in that it is a bad day indeed. Those days are known as days (or weeks or months) where everything seems to go wrong and usually in situations where things should have been right and simple to do.
its like my daddy used to sayIts like my daddy used to say is an expression used by someone who wants to make a point based on a lesson they were taught as a child. You might hear this person say it was something their daddy used to say or another relative such as a grandmother or aunt. It is usually in reference to speaking about something that is factual or an important lesson to learn.
its neck and neckWhen someone is neck and neck it is usually used in some type of competition such as a race or game where both components are very close and at this point either one of them can win. Saying something is neck and neck when not referring to a competition or race can also be another type of competition such as two people vying for the same promotion or job at their employer.
its never too late to learnIts never too late to learn is the phrase most commonly used when referring to the fact that there is always something new to learn. Rather than think you are too old to learn something or already know everything there is to know, you can always get involved in education and learn new things. It is to say that no matter your age or educational background, you can always benefit from learning more.
its not all its cracked up to beIts not all its cracked up to be is another way of saying that something is disappointing and that it does not live up to its reputation. This phrase is usually in reference to something that has a certain reputation where people talk about how great and wonderful it is, when in fact it is nowhere near that good. When something isnt all its cracked up to be, it means people boast about it but it doesnt deserve to be boasted about.
its not over till its overIts not over till its over is a well-known and commonly used idiom which means that its not too late to find out who the winner is, particularly in a race or competition. This phrase is used when someone thinks a certain opponent or competitor is for sure going to win, but until the race or competition or situation in question is over with, there is no telling what could happen.
its not the heat its the humidityits not the heat its the humidity is a phrase used when someone wants to explain that what they think has gone wrong is actually due to another thing which has caused the trouble. This idiom refers to the fact that when it is humid and the air is damp, the temperature can feel even hotter and more miserable than just heat itself. Figuratively, this means that one bad thing is making the situation feel worse than why you think it is that way.
its not whether you win or lose, its how you play the gameIts not whether you win or lose, its how you play the game is a common saying for the importance of doing your best and giving your best effort rather than what the final result of the game is. This is also another way of saying enjoy yourself in the present rather than worrying about the end. People often say this when someone else seems to be overly anxious or worried about the possibility of not winning.
its not written in stoneIts not written in stone is another way of saying something is not permanent and is always subject to change. This phrase refers to the fact that writing something in stone is usually the most permanent way to do something so figuratively speaking, not having something written in stone means it could always change in one way or another at a later date.
its nothing earth-shatteringIts nothing earth-shattering is an idiom which is often used to describe something has happened that was simple, calm or neutral and nothing magnificent happened. Earth-shattering is when something is decisive, historic, shocking or momentous; something people would certainly remember. If something happened to you that wasnt earth-shattering, it means it was really no big deal.
its now or neverIts now or never is another way of saying that you should do something immediately right now or you may lose the chance to do it. Now or never is a phrase commonly used for showing the importance of acting immediately and without pause otherwise you may never get a chance to do it. People often put things off thinking they will get another chance, but sometimes you never do.
its on the tip on my tongueIts on the tip on my tongue is an idiom used when describing you can almost remember something but not quite. Sometimes when asked a question about something you know about, such as a particular persons name or an important date or place, your brain wants to tell you the answer but it never quite reaches your tongue. This means you can almost say what it is, but not quite remember it.
its only a matter of timeIts only a matter of time is another way of saying that something is sure to happen at some time in the future and is almost guaranteed to happen at some point. When you say a matter of time, it means at some time, even if the time isnt now or even in the near future. But by saying its only a matter of time, it is to mean that at some point in time this thing is going to happen.
Ive been hadIve been had is a phrase used by someone to say that they have just been lied to, cheated on, or scammed by someone. Being had means to be duped, or lied to in order for the other persons benefit or gain. Usually this is in regards to someone who trusted this person and was lied to for a certain period of time by them until the other person scammed the person who trusted them in order to gain something.
Ive got a monkey on my backIve got a monkey on my back is a common phrase which refers to the fact that this person has a serious problem that wont go away. If you think of having a monkey on your back literally, you can imagine how frustrating and tiring this would become. Figuratively, to have a monkey on your back means you are in the middle of a big dilemma that doesnt seem to be going away or getting resolved.
Ive got bigger fish to fryIve got bigger fish to fry is another way of saying that you have more important things to do. Usually by saying someone has bigger fish to try, what they mean to say is that while this current dilemma or situation might be important in its own right, they have even more important matters to attend to which are currently a top priority and must be attended to first.