March 20

Have a sneaking suspicion

A vague premonition that something is going to happen.

“They had the sneaking suspicion that the landlord was going to end the contract before it was due.”


Eat humble pie

Admit you were wrong about something and apologise.

“Kate had to eat humble pie and apologise to her family.”


Lie through your teeth

To tell lies remorlessly.

“There he was, standing on the podium and lying through his teeth; as if citizens didn’t know better than to believe him.”


Lose sight of

To be no longer able to see something, literally or figuratively.

“In these troubled times, we shouldn’t lose sight of people with other serious conditions.”


Grin and bear it

Suffer without complaining.

“I guess we’ll just have to grin and bear it.”


A wake-up call

Other than the call you arrange to be woken up in the morning at hotels, this phrase can also be used to talk about something that makes you realise about a situation that someone hadn’t been (or wanted to be) fully aware of before, and that needs to be addressed.

“Hearing about a confirmed case withing the community served as a wake-up call and new measures were put in place immediately after.”


Out of sight, out of mind

This means that we forget things or people that we do not see.

“Distance will help you get over it. Out of sight, out of mind.”


Strike a chord 

If something strikes a chord with you, it creates an emotional response.

“The poem struck a chord with me.”


Push in the same direction

Join efforts to make something happen.

“It is crucial that we all push in the same direction if we want to stop the spread of covid-19.


Plain sailing

If something is plain sailing, it happens easily and without problems.

“The transition from being a student to working abroad was plain sailing for her.


From bad to worse 

Deteriorating, worsening.

“The coronavirus global crisis is going from bad to worse.”


Ins and outs

The small details and facts about something. Knowing the ins and outs of something gives you an insight into how it works.

“In my blogpost “The ins and out of collocations” published in May last year, I went through the various collocation word combinations.”


The ins and outs of collocations

Have too much on your plate

A lot of things to do.

“Running a business and being an only mum does not leave much time for leisure. She’s got too much on her plate. 


On the receiving end

Affected by something unpleasant.

“When there are delays, bus drivers are on the receiving end of people’s anger. 


Take your mind off something 

If you take your mind off things, you stop thinking or worrying about them. You disconnect.

“Going for a walk in nature will help you take your mind off things. 


That’s the spirit!

To show that you appreciate another person’s positive attitude.

“As my Japanese friend says, in these days of uncertainty, wash your hands and take precautions, yes, but also stay calm, sleep well and laugh. That’s the spirit!. 


Last but not least

It indicates that the last thing you mention is not less important than what precedes it.

“And last but not least, spend some time in Cornwall if you are travelling around Britain. 


Variety is the spice of life

New experiences make life more fun and enjoyable

“Let’s try a new recipe every week this year. Variety is the spice of life. 


At the epicentre of

A place that has the highest level of an activity.

“They have had to cancel their plans to travel to Lombardy, which is at the epicentre of Europe’s coronavirus outbreak. 


As good as new

If something is good as new, it is in very good condition.

“You did a great job of painting that door! It looks as good as new. 


Tie in with

Be related or connected to something else.

“What I am about to say ties in with the previous speaker’s conclusion. 


Rub shoulders with (US – rub elbows with)

Mingle with certain people, usually important.

“Whether you like it or not, accepting that position will entail having to rub shoulders with leading politicians.