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Cliches starting with S

ClicheMeaning
salt of the earthSalt of the earth is one of the most worthy of all people, or a very good and worthy person. This person is usually one of the best people to know based on your own definition of what being good means. In general, this is a person who does not have many faults and who follows their own morals, values and beliefs. A situation can also be the salt of the earth where it is one of the best situations to be in.
same ol same olSame ol same ol is another way of saying this situation or behavior remains the same, particularly when it is very boring or annoying. This phrase is most commonly used in the negative where you arent very interested in the fact that it is done or said or used over and over again. It might be for a persons behavior which you find annoying, frustrating or boring and because it is always the same, you will say sarcastically that it is the same ol same ol.
same song and danceThe same song and dance means to start repeating excuses or stories about something in a continuous manner such as a song and dance has a rhythm which is repeated over and over again. To say something is the same song and dance is usually said in the negative, where it is said in a sarcastic manner and this person is saying they do not like that this thing is constantly repeated because it annoys or frustrates them.
save faceTo save face means to do something so that people will continue to like and respect you. If you are saving face, your actions and words are intentional in the way they are delivered so at so keep this person respecting you are liking you and the things you are saying. Saving face is not only keeping those who already respecting you, continuing to respect you, but to try to gain more people on your side as well.
saved by the bellSaved by the bell means that you have been saved by the timely intervention of someone or something; most often an actual bell or someone calling you which prevented something else unpleasant from happening. This phrase originates from when a boxer would be saved from being knocked out or counted out when the ball rang to end that round.
say what you willSay what you will is an expression often used in reference to being told to say whatever you want. Usually when someone says this to you, they mean to say they dont really agree with what you are saying or the point you are trying to get across, but that they respect your opinion and the fact that you have a right to think about things differently than they do.
scared of his own shadowScared of his own shadow is an idiom which describes someone who is scared of things which are very harmless and innocent. This person is also commonly someone who is very timid and shy, and a person with these types of traits are generally scared of everything. Someone who seems to be very easily frightened is often told they are scared of their own shadow as a way to explain how easily they get scared.
scared stiffTo be scared stiff is another way of saying someone is very badly frightened. Often when people get scared, rather than screaming from the fear, they will instead become very stiff and unable to move. This temporary paralysis is an indication of very severe fright and is common of someone badly frightened whether by something they saw or heard. It is often the result of something surprisingly scary rather than something in a movie which is partly expected.
scared to deathTo be scared to death means to be extremely frightened but in a slightly different way than being scared stiff. When you are scared stiff, you are so frightened that you remain stiff for a moment. Scared to death is more reserved for a very quick and instantly startling in which your heart practically stops; you do become stiff as a board with this type of scare as well, but is usually only lasting for a brief moment.
scaredy-catA scaredy-cat is someone who is excessively fearful on a regular basis and usually scared quite easily and often. This slang term for someone always scared is often used for someone whose personality is mostly timid and shy as this type of person will often be frightened of nearly anything, even their own shadow in some cases. While this seems extreme, scaredy-cats literally jump and get startled from seeing their own shadow thinking it is someone else.
scattered to the four windsScattered to the four winds refers to a group of things or people which are scattered to the four winds, in that they are all sent to different places from each other. The four winds stand for four different directions; north, south, east and west. This is another way to describe the fact that a group of things or people which were very close to one another are now scattered all over the place.
schools outSchools out is a term which often which to say wise up or another way to tell you to relax. By saying school is out, they are making a point that there is no way to act foolish and childish because you are no longer in school. The origin of this wording is from a song which the artist heard from a popular television show. Schools out is now a phrase heard in a variety of different circumstances.
scraping the bottom of the barrelWhen you are scraping the bottom of the barrel, it means that you are selecting from among the worst and choosing from what is leftover. The phrase scraping the bottom of the barrel can be used in a variety of different situations and circumstances where you are one of the last people to get the chance to choose something, therefore get the worst choices because you only get what is leftover.
screaming bloody murderTo be screaming bloody murder means to be screaming so loudly and at such a high pitched, it sounds like you are screaming for help because you are about to be murdered by someone. The origin of this phrase comes from a person who is suspected of making this kind of scream when they are literally in a situation where they might be killed, and therefore it is high-pitched as to attract the most attention.
see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evilSee no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil is a phrase often depicted or represented with a visual of three monkeys, each of which is either covering his eyes, his ears or his mouth, respectively. What this saying means is that you should ignore any type of evil you come into contact with, whether it is what you hear, what you see, or even what you might say to someone. It is saying you should be honorable no matter how much evil is around you.
see the world through rose colored glassesTo see the world through rose colored glasses means to see the world with an unduly cheerful, positive, optimistic and favorable view of things and people around you. This type of person sees the world and life in a way that is much more positive and optimistic than others. Pessimists, or negative people, see the world more as it is, rather than in a haze of being hopeful about the possibilities.
see you later, alligatorSee you later, alligator is simply another way of saying goodbye to someone. It is usually followed by after a while, crocodile and originated from a childrens rhyming song where they often say this to other children as a fun way to say goodbye to each other but to make a point that they will be seeing each other again soon. Many people shorten it simply to see you later, alligator and forgo the rest of the phrase.
seeing eye to eyeIf you are seeing eye to eye with someone it means you are agreeing about someone or something with another person. To be seeing eye to eye, you typically have either the same opinions, views or values in relation to something casual or a very serious cause or topic of conversation. You may be seeing eye to eye with anyone whether a family member, friend, neighbor or co-worker on just one topic or several.
seeing redSeeing red is another way of saying you are currently in a state of anger, frustration, irritation or annoyance. This refers to the fact when someone is very upset about something, they can no longer see clearly whether this is factual or psychological from the anger. The phrase means to say that when you are very upset, whether the emotion is anger, irritation or frustration, you see nothing but red in front of you.
set your teeth on edgeTo set your teeth on edge means someone has annoyed you or upset you to an extreme degree or you feel nervous or uncomfortable about the current situation. There are a variety of reasons to feel like your teeth are on edge, in other words, they may be grinding or chattering. The most common reason for this state of being is anger or annoyance, but can also be for feeling nervous, anxious or uncomfortable.
sharp as a tackSharp as a tack is another way to say someone is very intelligence, usually with both book smarts and street smarts. Someone who is sharp as a tack is usually able to handle a variety of different situations in which they can problem solve each one both due to their intelligence and their ability to form common sense and coherent resolutions to any sort of problem, dilemma or situation.
shes all thatShes all that is often said to someone is very superior or think they are is good as it gets or as good as someone can get in regards to a female of her type. To be al that means to be the best at something whether in relation to their physical appearance, certain physical or emotional traits, behavioral habits, skills or talents. This person often boasts about themselves and feels this way about herself as do others.
shes not the only fish in the seaShes (or hes) not the only fish in the sea is another way of saying that this person is not the only one of their kind and that there are plenty of others just like him or her to choose from. This phrase is often said to someone who is upset about a recent break-up and you want to reassure them that even though it didnt work out with that particular person, it doesnt mean it wont work out with someone else.
shiver me timbersShiver me timbers, or sometimes said as shiver my timbers, is an exclamation in the form of a mocking oath which is often attributed to the speech of pirates in various fiction works such as novels or movies. This is the speech in which pirates often use as a sarcastic and mocking way to make an expression. Shiver me timbers is used more often than shiver my timbers, and can be heard quite often.
shoot straightTo shoot straight means to talk or deal honestly and in a straightforward manner with someone else. If you are shooting straight with someone, you are being very blunt and straightforward with the way you speak to them, telling the complete and absolute truth without leaving anything out or sugar coating anything. You are very forthcoming when asked a question and dont dawdle when telling them something.
shoot the breezeShooting the breeze is another way of saying that you re spending time talking with another person and talking idly. Shooting the breeze typically involves a very casual conversation with topics not very personal or complex. Rather than a direct conversation with someone filled with series connotations, it is more of a calm, relaxed and comfortable talk in which you pass the time by having this conversation with them.
shoot yourself in the footShoot yourself in the foot is an idiom used when you want to express that you have done something that damages your ambition, career and goals. Rather than a literal phrase where shooting yourself in the foot would cause physical harm and pain, this is more of a psychological pain in which it affects and damages your future including your career and personal and professional ambitions and goals.
shooting for the moonTo be shooting for the moon means to be going for something that will show the best of your abilities based on your accurate aim and hitting of something. This is used in the figurative sense in which you are going to shoot for something which is the furthest away and the hardest thing to shoot at, because when you succeed at this shot, it will show the ability and skill you possess.
shoulder to the wheelShoulder to the wheel is a catch phrase which means to apply oneself vigorously and to make a very concentrated effort. The origin of shoulder to the wheel is from a person who is trying very hard, such as in a vehicle and will put your shoulder to the wheel in order to control some of the force from a car accident. Figuratively, the phrase is used for any situation in which you must make a concentrated effort.
shouldered his wayShouldered his way is an idiom used for someone who has taken something on and assumed some sort of responsibility. Shouldering your way is any form of taking on responsibility for yourself, taking the brunt of the blame, or to agree to do some sort of job, project or task. The phrase isnt used as often as some others which have the same meaning, but is still current in the English language.
shove offTo shove off is a phrase used when you are leaving some place and is a slang term for leaving. This is most commonly used as an expression told to someone else when you want them to leave, and is most commonly spoken in a very rude and impolite way, sometimes even stern. This person might be upset by things the person is saying or doing and therefore tells them to shove off.
show me the moneyShow me the money is a literal term which means you are asking someone to show you how much money can be earned if you complete a certain deal. It is often said to someone who seems to be all talk in the way that they try to convince you that if you sign this particular deal or contract, you will then earn a lot of money. By saying show me the money, you want proof and evidence of this money first.
show some spineTo show some spine means to be very courageous, to be strong and to stand up for yourself or what you believe strongly in. Someone who has spine (or backbone) does not let themselves be intimated or pushed around in a sense by other people. If you are showing your spine, you are showing that you have backbone in the sense that you will stand up straight for yourself and anyone who needs your support.
shut your trapShut your trap is an expression said to someone in a rude and impolite manner which tells someone you no longer want to continue this conversation because you feel that it is becoming somewhat of a one-way conversation where the other person is constantly talking but not allowing you to speak at all. When you get very annoyed or frustrated with how the conversation is going, you might tell them to shut their trap.
sick as a dogTo be sick as a dog means to be very ill and is a way to show exactly how sick you are. The origin of this phrase and why it is referred to as being sick as a dog is not vastly agreed upon, except for the meaning. The majority of people who use this phrase understand it to mean that you are very sick to an extreme degree where you just dont feel like yourself and cant do much other than get rest and hope to get better soon.
sick to death of itSick to death of it is an idiom used when you want to express how bored you are with someone. To be sick to death, it means you are so bored and tired of doing something, watching something or hearing about something, that you feel physically nauseated to the point where you want to exaggerate this feeling into feeling like you are sick to death of it. It is a way to express the level of severity of your boredom.
signed, sealed and deliveredSigned, sealed and delivered is a phrase which refers to a document or agreement that is signed, sealed and delivered as it has been officially signed and completed. While this is the literal way to comprehend the saying, it is also used as somewhat of a figurative phrase in which you speak of a more verbal agreement. This is the case for the popular song of the same name sung by Stevie Wonder.
silence is goldenSilence is golden is another way of saying that silence is often deemed as being good and desirable. As opposed to the thought that talking a lot, being social and outgoing is most favorable, some people feel quite the opposite to be true. Some people feel that silence is golden, in that it is highly favorable and desirable by many because it shows the ability to be calm and relaxed rather than constantly in motion.
simple pleasures are the bestSimple pleasures are the best is an idiom which is often used to describe the importance of appreciating the small things in life such as taking a walk in the park or appreciating every little gift that you are given. This is a phrase which is often used to show the importance and quality of life you can have by having the simple and small pleasures in life rather than relying only on the extravagant ones.
sing for your supperSing for your supper is a phrase which refers to the fact that you may have to work hard to get the pay or reward that you want or need. This is another way of saying that for everything in life which is deemed a reward or payment, you will have to work for. In this instance, singing for your supper is the example, but this can be used figuratively for any situation in which you must work for everything you get.
sing like a birdTo sing like a bird means to tell other peoples secrets with very little coercion. This means that you dont need convincing or someone to get you for these secret or things which you promised never to tell, but you are more than willing to share the secret things. Singing like a bird is often what people are referred to when they are constantly speaking to other people about things which are very private and personal to someone else.
sink or swimIf you are left in a situation where you must sink or swim, it means that you are not given any sort of help or support in this situation and you must help yourself. To sink or swim is another way to say that it is entirely up to you whether you fail or succeed at something in regards to this particular situation. This is often used figuratively as a way to say that people wont always be there to help you and you have to learn how to help yourself.
sitting on pins and needlesTo be sitting on pins and needles means that you are anxiously waiting for something to happen or for someone to show up at a certain time or place. Usually you are very anxious or nervous because what you are waiting for happens to be something which is also nerve-wracking once it arrives. It is often a difficult thing to be impatient about something which will be unpleasant which is why it feels like you are sitting on pins and needles.
sitting on the fenceIf you are sitting on the fence about something, it means you do not want to take sides in a certain dispute and are unable to make a clear choice between two very real possibilities. When you are unsure about making this choice because each possibility or opportunity lends its own reasoning, you are on the fence. To be on the fence figuratively is in regards to any situation where you dont take sides in this type of dispute.
six feet underSix feet under is the phrase used for someone who is dead and buried. By saying six feet under, they mean to refer to the fact that people are typically buried about six feet underground, therefore this phrase is referring to someone who has been buried underground because they have died. It is somewhat of a color phrase about describing someone who has died, rather than just saying they are buried.
six of one and half a dozen of anotherSix of one and half a dozen of another is a phrase which explains two alternatives which are equivalent or indifferent to each other, and it doesnt matter which you choose. This refers to the fact that while two different choices may seem to be different from each other, they are actually quite similar though their appearance seems to say otherwise. In this phrases example, six is the same as being half a dozen.
skating on thin iceSkating on thin ice is another way of saying that you are currently in a very risky situation. To be skating on thin ice, you are taking a risky choice because thin ice could break at any moment, particularly when you are skating on it with sharp ice skate blades rather than simply walking on it in a very gentle manner. Used figuratively, the phrase means what you are doing is very risky and you should try to avoid it.
skull duggerySkull duggery is another way of saying that you are in the middle of a crafty deception or some sort of trickery or an instance of it. The term skull duggery is often used in order to abbreviate and explain this deceptive and tricky situation you might be involved in. This is often used in various news programs, television shows, movies or stories told as a way to use more creative language for this type of thing which has happened.
slap on the backA slap on the back is the outward expression used when you want to show someone praise or approval or to congratulate them on a job well done. The slap on the back is more of a pat on the back rather than a slap which you would think would cause some sort of pain or discomfort. It is known as a universal sign for praising someone, and can also be used figuratively in which you use the phrase a slap on the back.
sleep like a babyTo sleep like a baby means to be sleeping very soundly and silently, usually without waking up due to noise or from some other sort of sleep distractions. When a baby is sleeping, he or she usually sleeps very well as they have yet to develop various stresses or concerns to cause insomnia. Therefore, someone who sleeps like a baby does so without worries that might keep them awake.
sleep like a logIf you are sleeping like a log it means that you are sleeping very soundly and is similar to sleeping like a baby. If you are sleeping like a log it means to be sleeping practically motionless as if you were a log. People who sleep like logs are usually always sleeping like that, rather than just on one particular occasion though this can also be used in reference to sleeping like a log because of another reason such as being ill or simply very tired on one particular occasion.
sleep with the fishesSleep with the fishes is the phrase used for someone who is killed and then their body in thrown into the water such as the ocean, river or lake. To be sleeping with the fishes, you are typically dead rather than sleeping, but you are underneath a body of water which has fish; typically an ocean but it can also be used for smaller bodies of water too. This phrase is commonly used in movies or television shows where someone threatens to kill them by saying they will soon be sleeping with the fishes.
sleeping her way to the topSomeone who is sleeping her way to the top is usually being intimate with people at her job which are managers or other leaders which can then give her a promotion. This typically involves being intimate with various senior members of the company, and is often used for different people of authority at her company rather than just one. This kind of phrase is also for men that sleep their way for the top rather than just for women.
slippery as an eelTo be slippery as an eel means that you are very devious and untrustworthy and often impossible to catch. Eels are extremely slippery and silk creatures making it quite easy for them to escape people trying to catch them in nets or by hand by reaching into a tank. To be slippery as an eel means this person is not only difficult to catch but also a devious and rather untrustworthy type of person.
slow and steady wins the raceSlow and steady wins the race is the expression used for referencing consistency as being important even when speed is not a factor. This is another way to say that even if your progress is very slow, you will eventually be able to get there and going slow and steady can actually benefit you in the long run rather than being hasty or careless to get something done as this can do the opposite for you.
slow as molassesSlow as molasses means to be very slow moving, and is often used in reference to something that you wish would move at a quicker pace but it is simply not possible because this thing takes a long time. Molasses when poured out into a container or use din a recipe pours extremely slowly which cannot be sped up because of its thick consistency. If a person or thing is as slow as molasses, it is another way of saying how slow it is.
slower than a seven year itchSlower than a seven year itch is typically referring to the fact that you ma have the inclination to cheat on your husband or wife even before the seven year itch and are unable to wait this long. A seven year itch is the inclination to become unfaithful after seven years as this is typically the moment in time in your marriage when you may consider it, not necessarily do it. If something is slower than the seven year itch, it is going quite slow in the way that time is passing.
sly as a foxTo be sly as a fox means to be very smart and clever; foxes tend to be extremely sly while in the wild and often use this cunning behavior to escape their prey. For this reason, the cliche is often used for people who are equally as sly and clever. Foxes have a way of sneaking around their prey and even stealing some of their food from time to time. If a person is sly as a fox, they are extremely clever and cunning in their deception.
smack dab in the middleSmack dab in the middle is a phrase used for being in the middle of something, but in a very obvious way. If you or something is smack dab in the middle, it means it is a very obvious object or place in the middle of two things or places. A person can also be smack dab in the middle where you may be in the middle of two people literally or figuratively. Figuratively might mean you are between two people who are arguing as you are friends with both of them.
small world, isnt it?Small world, isnt it? Is often something you will say when you discover that someone you know actually knows another person you know. The observation that it is a small world often comes from the fact that acquaintances know other acquaintances or friends of yours, when they are in two completely unrelated groups of people such as your neighbor being related to one of your co-workers.
smart assSmart ass is the slang term used for someone who uses sarcasm at the humor of someone else, or says something rude but in a more sarcastic way than realistic. This person might be using these behaviors or sarcastic comments to intentionally be a smart ass or something that does not do it intentionally to cause the other person to call them this name, but is still humored by the entire situation.
smart cookies dont crumbleSmart cookies dont crumble is an idiom which is referring to intelligence and the very importance of it. By saying smart cookies dont crumble, this saying is trying to point out that if someone is intelligent and use their intelligent wisely, then they wont crumble or in other words, wont fall apart, get nervous or anxiety when things get tough or have a hard time with things but instead can use their smarts to figure things out in a more practical manner.
smarter than the average bearTo be smarter than the average bear means you have the ability to trick and fool some of the other bears in the park but you will still have to be on your toes to get ahead of this one, which refers to the leader. This phrase is referring both to the average bear and the not so average bear. What it means figuratively, is that you may be smarter or more cunning than the average person, but when you get to a person who can look past this, you will have to be more careful.
smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry aloneSmile and the world smiles with you, cry and you cry alone refers to the fact that those who smile and keep a positive dispotiion wil naturally allow other people to feel positive in the same setting or about the same things. However if you are negative (such as crying or whining) nobody will want to be around you for that. The statement shows that people want to be around other positive and optimistic people.
smooth as a babys bottomSmooth as a babys bottom refers to something which has a very regular, smooth and flat surface. This phrase is used when someone wants to describe an object or item that is very smooth and are looking for a way to describe just how smooth this something is. This idiom can also be used for a persons skin that is very soft and smooth and it is similar to a babys bottom in that way.
snow jobSnow job is a phrase which refers to the effort to deceive, overwhelm or persuade someone with talk that is insincere and often flattery which is also fake or insincere. To call this kind of talk or persuasion a snow job has something to do with the fact that anything snow covers, gives it that wintery, soft look about it where everything will look picturesque, even things which are ugly underneath.
snug as a bug in a rugSnug as a bug in a rug means to be feeling very comfortable and warm because you are currently in bed or under the covers. This is the phrase commonly used for children when you are tucking them in at night, where you put the blankets tightly around then similar to a burrito or a bug in a rug. Children often associate this phrase with tucking them in, but it is also used for adults in certain situations.
so many men so little timeSo many men so little time is an idiom used when someone wants to make a point that they want to date many different people (men in this case, but women too) but they are lacking the time in order to date as many as they want to. This is often spoken sarcastically, or in a way to make a mockery of their dating habits rather than being an actual summary of how many people they want to date in regards to time available.
so matter-of-factSo matter-of-fact, or matter of fact, is referring to something that sticks to the facts without any emotion. Something or someone that behaves in a very matter of fact matter is usually blunt, without emotion and straight to the point and facts without dawdling, sugar coating, flattering or making any sort of excuses. This thing or person gets right to the fact of the matter, and skips over anything frivolous.
so much for thatSo much for that is another way to say that its the end of that, or you will not be dealing with that anymore. This is often said when describing the end result of a certain situation, commonly after going through some sort of trouble or dilemma which has worked itself out. The end result might be positive or negative under the circumstances, but when someone says so much for that, they mean you wont have to deal with this problem any longer.
so quiet you could hear a pin dropIf it is so quiet you could hear a pin drop it means in the room you are in it is completely silent without a sound. In order to hear a pin drop, it would need to be as silent as possible because a pin dropping on the ground, even tile, is so faint that most people would not be able to hear it even in a very quiet room. This is usually said in an exaggerated way to explain just how quiet something is or possibly a situation.
Some pots you dont stirSome pots you dont stir is another way to tell you not to stir the pot. Stirring the pot is an idiom which refers to bringing issues on the surface for other people to be forced to face. This usually pertains to there being serious and unpleasant issues which people tend to forget about or avoid altogether, but when you stir the pot you actually bring them up often which makes people deal with them.
some things are better left unsaidSome things are better left unsaid is another way to say that some things should not be discussed, often referring to a thought that everyone is also thinking, but bringing it up would cause some sort of difficult if it was talked about in public. This could be something everyone is thinking but it would be in appropriate to speak about in front of others or to say out loud, or perhaps a response to someone who has brought something up which shouldnt have been said in the first place.
something smells fishySomething smells fishy is an expression said during a situation or explanation that causes you to think someone is being dishonest. The person who seems to be acting dishonestly whether they are straight out lying to you or they seem to be hiding something important, is the person who smells fishy. It is another way of saying something doesnt smell right, or in this case; something does not look or seem right.
something the cat dragged inSomething the cat dragged in is a phrase used when someone looks like something the cat just brought in because they are very untidy or dirty. When a cat drags something in, it was usually outdoors before that and therefore very dirty and stinky. However when used figuratively, the phrase refers to a person who is a surprise that you werent expecting, is quite untidy, and probably havent seen in a long time.
something you can really sink your teeth intoSomething you can really sink your teeth into is generally something you begin to do with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. This isnt used in a literal sense, though it can be. It is most likely said in the figurative way where as the person wants to make a point that this is something you can really get into because it would interest you, and you can do with a lot of enthusiasm, excitement and energy.
sometimes you just gotta let your hair downSometimes you just gotta let your hair down is a common idiom used to refer to behaving in a free and uninhibited manner. Someone who is letting their hair down is generally getting to a point where they are behaving without any inhibitions or worrying about other things in their life or what other people think about them. They are relaxing and enjoying things as they come, or being this way in regards to a specific situation.
sorry CharlieSorry Charlie is an expression which is commonly used to apologize to someone as another way to say youre sorry but in a more creative and colorful way. The Sorry Charlie expression originally came from the Starkist Tuna commercials that aired on television and featured Charlie the Tuna, while other people think it originated from the movie Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in which the mother sang a sang with the words Sorry Charlie in the lyrics.
sound like a broken recordIf you sound like a broken record it means that you keep saying the same thing over and over again making the sound be repeated just like when a record is broken. As a broken record is broken, such as when there is a scratch on it, the phonograph will cause the needle or stylus to stay in the same groove and play the record over and over again. This is why sounding like a broken record refers to repeating the same things.
sounding offSounding off is what some people do when they vigorously express their own views. It is said that this phrase originated in politics where each candidate would energetically stake their claim and speak about the issues that matter to them. When they get very energetic and vigorous with the way they speak about these issues and their own opinions about them, they would be considered to be sounding off.
sowing his oatsSowing his oats, which also might be said as sowing his wild oats, is when a person engages in certain behaviors which are not typical for him or her, frequently as if to try new things to gain experience. This phrase is most commonly used for someone who wants to get married but decides to be intimate with other people first as a way to sow his wild oats, because he wants the experience before no longer having the chance to do it.
spare the rod, spoil the childSpare the rod, spoil the child is a catch phrase used to show that children will flourish much more if they are not punished in a physical way. This phrase references the rod which is used to symbolize punishing a child physically such as spanking them in the more modern way. This phrase suggests that when you spoil a child, or reward their good behaviors rather than punish their bad behavior, they will get farther in life.
speak of the devilSpeak of the devil is a reference to someone who appears very unexpectedly while they are being talked about; this person is usually not at all expected when the other people are talking about them, but then they show up. By saying speak of the devil; it refers to the devil who might always be overhearing you when you speak badly, whether in general or of other people. This phrase may be about speaking good or bad things about this person.
speaking in riddlesSpeaking in riddles is a phrase referring to the fact that when you respond to a question, it might mean to confound and maybe confuse the listener with a long speech or words that dont make much sense. To speak in riddles is used in response to anyone who is speaking in tongue, using a different language literally, or simply talking with words and a length of speech with mumblings and rambles that dont make sense to them.
speaks with a forked tongueIf someone speaks with a forked tongue it means they are making false promises or speaking in such a away that is not very honest. This person is not using kind, sincere or true words and facts when they are talking and it usually refers to someone who speaks this way all of the time, rather than just on one particular occasion. Many people who constantly lie or make false promises to people are speaking with forked tongues.
spilled the beansIf someone spilled the beans it means this person has given away a secret or a surprise without the prior consent of the person directly or indirectly involved with this surprise. Most often, someone is said to have spilled the beans when there is a surprise party or something similar being thrown for a person and the one who spills the beans has told this person about the surprise before the surprise even happens.
spineless wimpA spineless wimp is someone who is lacking courage or willpower and this idiom has been used for this type of person for a very long time. Someone who is spineless, also called someone with no backbone, tends to not have any type of brevity or courage whatsoever. They go around like behaving very timidly and possibly shy and quiet, without any will power or tendencies to do great things at all.
spinning your wheelsSpinning your wheels means to waste time doing things that wont achieve anything or bring you any sort of luck. If someone tells you that you are spinning your wheels, they are trying to say that you are wasting your time doing things which are pointless, meaningless, or that do not relate to something you are trying to achieve. This may be said in relation to one specific situation or that you always seem to act this way.
spitting imageA spitting image is someone who is a perfect likeness to someone or something which seems to be an exact counterpart to something else. This phrase can be used for a thing or a person but is more often used in relation to people. Someone that is a spitting image of someone else is generally very like them usually in a physical way. This is often referring to a child of a parent who they look exactly like.
spoil the funTo spoil the fun is another way of saying you are ruining the fun. Someone who spoils the fun is doing or saying something that is taking all of the fun and enjoyment out of doing something, whether it is intentional or not. Many times this is used for someone who tends to spoil the fun of things or situations but isnt trying to ruin the fun for other people, but rather it is just how they tend to act.
spring to lifeSpring to life is another way of saying someone has become suddenly alive or more alive than they were before. A person may spring to life after recovering from an illness where they suddenly become much more lively and energetic than they have been in a long time. This can also refer to someone who never seemed to be very cheerful or enthusiastic about their daily life, but suddenly seem very lively every day.
staring off into spaceStaring off into space in the phrase commonly used for someone who seems to be daydreaming or they seem to not be focused on the current thing going on whether they should be having a conversation with someone or another type of situation. Someone staring off into pace literally seems to be staring off into the distance at something because they are so deep in thought or seem lost in their own thoughts.
start from scratchTo start from scratch means to begin again from the beginning or to embark on something where you dont have any sort of preparations or advantage for the thing which you are starting. Typically speaking, starting from scratch can be referring to any type of situation in which you start from the beginning after previously attempting something and failing at it. You may be using different tactics when you start again from scratch.
stay on top of itStay on top of it is a common phrase used to tell you to keep well informed about someone or something or to keep a close eye on and keep watch over someone or something. This idiom is typically told to someone who you want to concentrate on their job, keep an eye out for someone, or be very well informed about something. Staying on top of it has to do with keeping up with something and includes all the important details of it.
stayed too long at the fairIf you stayed too long at the fair this is a figure of speech which means you stayed so long at a certain place that it soon became less exciting and dazzling and instead made you feel bored and unsatisfied. The phrase refers to a fair as in a street fair, county fair or carnival in which is starts off very exciting and keeps you on your toes. However, if you stay too long at the far, everything becomes overly normal and simple and you arent as excited about it any more.
staying powerStaying power is the idiom which is referring to the ability to endure or last with someone or something. A person has staying power because they have this innate ability to endure things or last with people such as in a relationship. Staying power can also relate to other things such as an item which is able to remain on the market even when other items try to compete with it, or certain situations that seem to last longer than others.
stealing the showStealing the show is a phrase used for someone who gets all of the attention and praise at a certain event or performance. This might be a show where animals are involved such as at the circus where the human performers are supposed to be the lead of the show, but the elephants end up stealing the show because the audience gets more interested in them than anyone else they see.
steer clear of itTo steer clear of it means to avoid someone or something intentionally for whatever reason you might have. If you are trying to steer clear of someone or something, you are purposely moving yourself around in order to avoid them entirely such as a wheel steering around something it wants to avoid such as something in the middle of the road. Figuratively, it means to do whatever you have to in order to avoid them.
step on a crack, break your mothers backStep on a crack, break your mothers back is an old phrase which comes from a childrens rhyming game in which when walking down the road would try to avoid the cracks beterrn the paving stones until one player was left and they would be the winner. It is also said in a newer version with children walking on sidewalks. When someone would step on a crack, they would say Step on a crack, break your mothers back.
step on itStep on it is an expression used to tell someone t hurry up and go faster. This idiom can be told to someone in more of a literal sense where they want them to step on the gas pedal in order to make their vehicle go faster which is where step on it originates from. A person can also use it figuratively in a way to hurry up with whatever they are doing, not necessarily driving a car faster.
stepping on peoples toesIf someone is stepping on peoples toes this means that they are offending or insulting someone as if to be causing physical pain. While literally they probably arent actually stepping on their toes and causing physical harm, it does mean to cause some kind of pain to someone, but usually emotionally or psychologically. The term stepping o peoples toes is most commonly used in this latter, figurative way.
stick in the mudA stick in the mud is someone who lacks initiative, imagination or enthusiasm about a particular situation or all together. Some people generally go through life in a boring and unimaginative manner which is commonly labeled as being sticks in the mud. However, a stick in the mud can also be someone who behaves in this manner just on one certain situation or circumstance.
stick in your crawTo have a stick in your craw means to be in a situation or when someones behavior is annoying or irritating you a lot. This is most commonly because the way someone is acting in regards to a certain situation is wrong or immoral. The phrase originates from the fact that it would be very irritating to have a stick in your craw if you had one. This person doing the annoying thing is the stick in your craw.
stick it where the sun dont shineStick it where the sun dont shine is a colorful expression told to someone who seems to be bothering you in one way or another, most commonly as a way to insult them in a way that will cause them to leave you alone or no longer continue doing what they are doing. This is used as a euphemism for telling someone to stick it up their butt which a childish mocking phrase is told to people who have said something you dont like.
stick to your gunsStick to your guns means you refuse to change your ideas and opinions even though other people around you seem to want to try to change them. This is often said about someone who absolutely refuses to change the way they think about something, usually something they feel strongly about, even when everyone else is trying to convince him or her the reasons why their own opinion is invalid.
stick up for the little guyTo stick up for the little guy means to defend against some type of attack or criticism. If you are sticking up for the little guy, you are defending someone who isnt necessarily small or inferior, but isnt able to stick up for himself for one way or another. You are defending this person (or situation) against any type of attack, insults, judgments, or criticism because you know if you dont, nobody else will.
stick with itTo stick with it means to stay with your task no matter how difficult or frustrating it becomes and to never give up. Someone who sticks with it is generally under a lot of pressure and goes through a wide range of emotions where they because stressed and frustrated with the situation. But no matter how bad it might get at times, they dont give up and they have hope that if they stick with the task at hand, it will benefit them in the long run.
sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt meSticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me is a very common and familiar childrens rhyme which says that if someone is trying to say things to you which they deem insulting or judgmental, it doesnt bother you because their words cant actually cause pain to you. They may be able to hurt you in a physical way, but no matter what they say to you, you will not be harmed by those words.
sticks out like a sore thumbIf someone or something sticks out like a sore thumb, they are very obvious and easily noticed as being different. A sore thumb is usually swollen and bruised and therefore is obviously different from the rest of the fingers on your hands as well as the other thumb. Someone or something that sticks out like a sore thumb is just as obvious and just as easily noticed as being different than other things or people.
stiff as a boardStiff as a board is the phrase used for someone whose body feels very stiff and hurts when they try to move it. This is commonly said by someone whose muscles feel stiff after a strenuous exercise whether immediately after it or more often, the next day. As a board is stiff and would hurt when bending it, a person feels much the same way; that if they moved too much, they would break or snap like a board would.
still as a church mouseTo be still as a church mouse means to be very still and quiet. Church mice are often used as the symbolism for someone or something that is extremely timid, shy, quiet and very still. In this idiom, the person using the phrase is saying someone or something is as still as a church mouse. This may be spoken to someone who they want to remain very still, so they tell them to be still as a church mouse.
still waters run deepStill waters run deep is the phrase used for very quiet people who are often being very thoughtful. By saying still waters run deep, the phrase is referring to a person who is very still, or in other words, very quiet, calming, relaxing and soothing to other people. This type of person is very thoughtful and generous with others, and therefore their meaning, intention and helpfulness runs deep for other people in the figurative way.
stinking to high heavenIf someone is stinking to high heaven or something is stinking to high heaven, it means that something is deemed very wrong with poor morals and usually enormously corrupt practices. It might also be a way to exaggerate the persons indignation and also applies to less severe offenses. High heaven the phrase does not refer to heaven but means the sky, which is another way to show the severity of how something stinks in the figurative sense.
stirring up an ants nestStirring up an ants nest is an idiom most commonly used for someone who seems to be intentionally causing trouble, even while knowing the consequences. Anyone who stirs up an ants nest knows that when they interrupt this nest all of the ants will come and it causes a lot of trouble. Therefore, the phrase refers to someone entirely aware of what will happen but they choose to do it anyway.
stirring up troubleIf someone is stirring up trouble, they are intentionally trying to cause trouble for one person, several people or a large group of individuals. This person must have their own motives, though the motives may not be made entirely obvious to you or anyone else. For whatever reason, they are doing or saying things to purposely cause trouble for other people or possibly to cause trouble for a situation in whicih it will now be moot.
stop on a dimeStop on a dime is another way to say you have to come to a stop in a very short distance. Often times, people will say they need to stop on a dime in the literal sense as another way of saying they did not have very much time in order to stop their vehicle or other mode of transportation except a short distance away. Mostly, this phrase is used figuratively when describing having to stop doing something very quickly and suddenly.
stop the pressesStop the presses is another way to tell people to stop or hold it. This dates back to when the printing presses would print newspapers and by saying stop the presses, you are saying that there is recent news which is so amazing or atrocious that it would stop the presses in order to print new papers in a new edition. Nowadays, it is another way to stop someone who has said something similar, to say it is hard to believe.
store boughtSomething that is store bought is literally manufactured and purchased at retail stores rather than homemade or handmade. This term is commonly used in relation to items that are homemade by saying it is not store bought. When there is the ability of buying certain items which are handmade or homemade, it is a way to look negatively or look down upon the same items that are store bought.
stow itIf someone tells you to stow it, they mean to say that you should be quiet or shut up. It is a slightly impolite way to tell someone to be quiet and stop talking. By saying stow it, they are saying to stop what they are currently doing and stow it away for later which is another way to say to save it for later. By referring to someone speaking, it means to stop talking and save this conversation for a later time.
straight from the horses mouthStraight from the horses mouth is something that has come from the highest authority. The exact origin of this phrase is unknown, but it has been long since related to some kind of information which is true and factual and comes from someone with the most authority on the subject. Many times it is used in casual conversation as a way to say the information you have is from the source of the person you are speaking about.
straight shooterA straight shooter is someone who is very honest and forthright. This type of person does on dawdle or try to avoid eye contact when speaking. They are blunt and get right to the point because they see no reason to procrastinate or tell little white lies in order to sugar coat the truth. A straight shooter will be honest and get right to the point in a straight shot even when what they have to say is negative.
straighten up and fly rightIf someone tells you to straighten up and fly right, they mean to say you should improve your behavior or attitude and begin performing better. This phrase is originally referring to an airplane that needs to fly right, as in straight rather than all over the place. Figuratively, this means you should stop messing around with frivolous, unimportant things and begin behaving and acting appropriately. You might be behaving badly or simply inappropriate for the given situation.
stranger in a strange landA stranger in a strange land is a phrase comes from many ancient proverbs and theatrical plays but its exact definition is relative to the person speaking it. In spite of the movements and religions it is referring to, the stranger is not a bible; rather it is an extensive type of satire of the way humans behave in their conceits including love, marriage, sex, politics and religion. It is often used ironically during comedic routines on television.
stranger than fictionStranger than fiction means to say that things that really happen are much harder to believe or more amazing than the stories people invent and come up with. By saying stranger than fiction, a person is saying that no matter how imaginative someone is when coming up with a fictional story (one that is not true), the truth and things that actually have happened to people in real life, are much stranger and more awe inspiring.
strong as an oxTo be strong as an ox means to be very strong physically or emotionally. Strong as an ox is another way to say strong as a bull, or someone who has a lot of physical strength. More literally, it refers to a persons physical strength and muscle mass but the phrase can also be used more figuratively, as to say someone is strong intellectually, emotionally or psychologically. If someone is able to handle hardships with grace, they might be considered to be strong as an ox as well.
stubborn as a muleStubborn as a mule is another way to say you are very stubborn. Mules tend to be extremely stubborn animals and are the hardest to train as well as one of the most difficult animals to move when they dont want to. This phrase is commonly used about a person who is very stubborn in that they wont bend their own rules or change their own opinions about things; it may be used in a sarcastic tone or a negative way.
stuck in a rutIf you are stuck in a rut it means you are in a situation that makes it very difficult to make progress or that you continue to do the same things over and over again, so often that it becomes boring. Being stuck in a rut can be any type of situation where you feel stuck doing the same things, whether good or bad, that has become frivolous, boring and without any interest to you at all. It can also be for more serious situations such as being down on your luck with bad things continuing to happen to you.
stuffed shirtSomeone who is called a stuffed shirt is usually someone who is regarded as being a very stiff or pompous type of person. This person is arrogant and snobby with a superiority complex and thinks they are better than everyone else. They feel that their own talents and skills are worth much more than other people who have the same type of skills, and are often looked down upon due to these unattractive traits.
stupid is as stupid doesStupid is as stupid does is a phrase that was first made popular in the movie Forrest Gump and continues to be a cliche today. The meaning of this phrase is that the things your do and your actions are what make you look or seem stupid, not your intelligence or lack thereof. Even someone who scores low on intellectual tests isnt necessarily stupid; but someone with a high IQ can be stupid through their unintelligible actions.
success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphanSuccess has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan is an older phrase which gives credence to the importance of not bragging about your successes. It is an expression that describes the ownership and difference of success and failure. What this means is that people are more willing to take the credit for a successful action while most people wont take any credit when the action turns out to be a failure.
sweating bloodTo be sweating blood means to work very strenuously and diligently or to worry intensely. When used in the literal sense, it is more common to be referring to working so hard you mine as well be sweating blood. The other way is even more of a figurative phrase in which you are worrying about something very intensely; so much that worry could cause sweating that might excrete blood if it had that option to do so.
sweating bulletsSweating bullets is a phrase used for someone who is very worried or frightened about something. This person is so worried or scared that they are beginning to sweat which is very common under these types of overwhelming and stressful emotions. Some individuals sweat so profusely that it almost looks like they are sweating bullets due to how quickly and how much they seem to be sweating from their forehead.
sweating like a pigSweating like a pig means to be sweating a lot, very profusely. This is often used in the negative sense where someone seems to be looking very smelly or gross because they are sweating so much which is why the word pig is used in this phrase. Often times, a person is judged for sweating so much even if they are in a situation where it seems warranted such a day where it is very hot outside.
sweet 16 and never been kissedSweet 16 and never been kissed is a common phrase used for anyone who seems very young and na
sweet as sugarSomeone who is sweet as sugar is usually very sweet as far as their personality goes and charming as well. A person who is known as being sweet as sugar, is very kind, heartwarming and considerate of other peoples feelings. They are usually positive and optimistic and hardly ever insulting or judgmental to others around her. This usually pertains to young girls, typically teenagers or young adults who are very charming.