Back in the day

In those days, in the past. Sometimes refers to a period we look back on with fondness.

“Back in the day, we used to go hiking every weekend.”


Digital footprint

The trail of data we leave when surfing the net

“We can’t predict what the effects of our digital footprint might be.”


Entitled to (your opinion)

Having the right or permission to do something, in this case, the right to having your opinion

“Regardless of the fierce opposition you are meeting, you are entitled to your opinion.”


Back to square one

Start again without any progress made

“The latest discoveries made their work irrelevant and they are back to square one.”


In its infancy

At an early stage, still developing

“Research on Augmented Reality in nursing still in its infancy, according to the BMC website.”



Favouring development and innovation.

“The company’s philosophy is based on forward-thinking and breaking new ground.”


Follow suit

To do the same that somebody else has done; copy, imitate.

“In the final scene of the movie Dead Poets Society one student stands on the desk in rebellion and others follow suit.”


Pave the way for

To do something that will lead to a situation in which something is made possible

“Yesterday’s meetings with politicians will pave the way for changes in the animal welfare laws in the UK.”


For the sake of

Bearing in mind someone’s benefit

“They stay together for the sake of the children.”

Note: (Also) To achieve a purpose

“Let’s all respect each other for the sake of peace.”



A situation that creates anxiety and makes you feel tense.

“The candidate couldn’t explain his strenghts in a nerve-racking interview thad made him feel uncomfortable and insecure.”


A glimmer of hope

A small optimistic sign that indicates that something will get better

Also: a ray of hope

“The testimony of the new witness gave the defendant a glimmer of hope.”


Lower the bar

Reduce the standards of quality.

“Lowering the bar will allow more candidates to have access but no doubt have a negative impact on the overall service.”


A rule of thumb

A rough or practical principle which is based on experience rather than exact calculations or theory

“As a general rule of thumb, the more a person lives in the present, the happier they are.”


Take it the wrong way

Misunderstand or misinterpret a message or situation and be offended by it.

“We had to be extremely careful to use the right wording with her so that she wouldn’t take it the wrong way and be upset without any grounds.”


In the wrong

Responsible for something bad

“The driver admitted to be in the wrong and accepted to compensate the cyclist for the damage.”


Leave a lasting impression

To create a feeling or effect that continues for a long time.

Also Make a lasting impression

“Mandela’s message left a lasting impression on his fellow citizens and across the world.”


Rise to the challenge

To manage to succeed when confronted with a difficult situation

Also Rise to the occasion

“The firm suffered a terrible blow when the crisis hit hard, but eventually managed to rise to the challenge and stay afloat.”


It takes all sorts 

Short for It takes all sorts to make a world, this phrase is said to indicate that there are all kinds of people in the world hinting at the idea that we should tolerate their own differences.

Frequently used in the the abbreviated version:

UK – It takes all sorts

US – It takes all kinds

 “Sunbathing for hours is not my thing, but I guess it takes all sorts.”


In the back of my mind

If you have something in/at the back of your mind, you intend to do it but you don’t actively think about it or take any action.

 “It’s been in the back of my mind to reply to your wedding invitation for  two weeks but I haven’t got round to doing it until now.”


By all means

Certainly, indeed

 “Can I give you my answer in a few days? – Yes, by all means.”


Set in stone

If something is set in stone, it has been decided and it is very difficult to change.

 “We have drawn up a plan for the holiday but nothing is set in stone yet.”


It’s (all) downhill (from here)

Much easier after a period of dealing with difficult work/things.

 “You’ve finished the research for your thesis and given it a structure. It’s all downhill from here.”

Note: It’s downhill can also mean to “get worse” in another context:

“The first chapters are gripping but  it’s all downhill after that and I lost interest in the book.”


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