|nip in the bud||If you nip a problem or an unacceptable situation in the bud, you stop it at an early stage, before it develops or becomes worse.|
He wanted to be a clown, but his parents soon nipped that idea in the bud.
|beat around thebush||This expression is used to tell someone to say what they have to say, clearly and directly, even if it is unpleasant.|
Stop beating around the bush. Just tell me what has been decided!
|old chestnut||A story, joke or an idea that has been repeated so often that it has lost its novelty is referred to as an ‘old chestnut’.|
The story about his boat capsizing has become an old chestnut!
|fresh as a daisy||Someone who is (as) fresh as a daisy is lively and attractive, in a clean and fresh way.|
I met Molly the other day. She looked as fresh as a daisy.
|pushing up thedaisies||To say that someone is pushing up the daisies means that they are dead.|
Old Johnny Barnes? He’s been pushing up the daisies for over 10 years!
|lead up the gardenpath||If someone leads you up the garden path, they deceive you by making you believe something which is not true.|
I still haven’t got the promotion I was promised. I think my boss is leading me up the garden path!
|hit the hay||When you hit the hay (or hit the sack), you go to bed.|
The boys were so exhausted that they hit the hay as soon as they reached the campsite.
|make hay while the sun shines||This expression is used as an encouragement to take advantage of a good situation which may not last.|
Successful athletes are advised to make hay while the sun shines.
|grass roots||The term grass roots refers to the ordinary people who form the main body of an organization.|
|(not) let the grassgrow under feet||If someone does not let the grass grow under their feet, they do not delay in getting something done.|
As soon as he received the permit, he started to build. He never lets the grass grow under his feet!
|green fingers||To have green fingers means to be good at gardening.|
My dad was born with green fingers. He’s great with plants.
|shake like a leaf||If you shake like a leaf, you tremble with fear or nervousness.|
At the beginning of the interview the candidate was shaking like a leaf.
|turn over a new leaf||If a person turns over a new leaf, they decide to change their behaviour and lead a better life.|
When Ted left prison, he was determined to turn over a new leaf.
|root and branch||If an action is performed thoroughly or completely, it is done ‘root and branch’.|
The causes of the disease must be eliminated root and branch.
|come up roses||If things come up roses, the end result is successful or positive, even if there were difficult times.|
After several disappointments, everything seems to be coming up roses for the tennis player this year.
|sow seeds of suspicion||If someone’s behaviour, or something they say, sows the seeds of suspicion, it leads people to suspect that they are guilty.|
The fact that the boy spent a lot of money after the burglary sowed the seeds of suspicion in the neigbours’ minds.
|sow wild oats||A person, usually a man, who sows their wild oats goes through a period of carefree pleasure-seeking while they are young.|
He was advised to sow his wild oats before he got married.
|grasp at straws||If you are in a desperate situation and you grasp at straws, you try any method, even if it has little chance of success, in an attempt to find a solution.|
In his search for a cure, he turned to a faith healer, knowing that he was grasping at straws.
|thorn in your side||If you say that someone is a thorn in your side, you mean that they continually irritate or annoy you.|
Jane finds her mother-in-law very irritating, a real thorn in her side!
|barking up the wrong tree||A person who is barking up the wrong tree is doing the wrong thing, because their beliefs or ideas are incorrect or mistaken.|
The police are barking up the wrong tree if they think Joey stole the car – he can’t drive!
|can’t see the woodfor the trees||If someone can’t see the wood for the trees, they are so concentrated on the details that they can’t see the situation as a whole.|
The new manager found the situation so complicated that he couldn’t see the wood for the trees.
|shrinking violet||A person referred to as a shrinking violet is a timid or shy person.|
The witness was a shrinking violet who had difficulty expressing herself.
|small dog, tallweeds||This expression is used to refer to someone who does not have the ability or the resources necessary to perform a task.|
It may be too difficult for the trainee – small dog, tall weeds!