|batten down the hatches
||When you batten down the hatches, you prepare yourself for danger or a forthcoming difficult period, like a ship preparing for a storm.
Here comes that trouble-making guy. Batten down the hatches!
||A calculated risk is a risk taken with full knowledge of the dangers involved.
The company took a calculated risk when they hired Sean straight out of college.
|throw caution to the wind
||If you throw caution to the wind, you start taking risks and stop worrying about the danger involved.
I decided to throw caution to the wind and invest in my best friend’s new company.
||This term describes a situation where an accident or a disaster nearly happened.
I almost hit the child who ran out in front of my car. It was a close shave.
|coast is clear
||To say that the coast is clear means that there is no danger in sight or that nobody can see you.
OK. The dog has gone inside. The coast is clear.
||To cry wolf is to call for help when you are not really in danger.
As a result, nobody believes you when you really need help.
There’s Mary screaming again! Does she really have a problem or is she just crying wolf again?
|dice with death
||If you put your life at risk by doing something very dangerous, youdice with death.
Going mountain-climbing alone is dicing with death.
||Any situation that is potentially risky or dangerous is called a dicey situation.
The politician put himself in a dicey situation by getting involved with an intern.
||In a dangerous or risky situation, if you make a false move, you
do something which may have unpleasant consequences.
He is under close surveillance. If he makes one false move he’ll be arrested.
|fraught with danger
||An activity or situation that is fraught with danger is full of risks or serious difficulties.
His journey across the mountains was fraught with danger.
|by a hair’s breadth
||If you avoid or miss something by a hair’s breadth, you only just manage to escape from a danger.
A slate fell off the roof and missed the child by a hair’s breadth.
|hang on for dear life
||If you hang (or hold) on for dear life, you are in a dangerous situation and grip something firmly so as not to fall.
Andy took his mother on the back of his motorbike where she hung on for dear life!
|live to tell the tale
||Someone who lives to tell the tale survives a terrible experience.
Only two members of the expedition lived to tell the tale.
|look before you leap
||This is something you say when advising someone to think carefully about the possible dangers before doing something.
Don’t decide too quickly. Look before you leap!
|| A no-go area is an area, particularly in a city, where it is dangerous to go.
Tourists have been advised to avoid parts of the city which have become no-go areas.
|out of harm’s way
||If you put something out of harm’s way, you put it in a safe place where it won’t be damaged.
I’m going to put this glass bowl out of harm’s way so that it doesn’t get broken.
|play with fire
||People who take unnecessary risks or behave in a dangerous way are playing with fire.
Driving alone on isolated roads in this weather is playing with fire.
|put your head on the block
||If you put yourself in a dangerous situation where you risk losing your job or your reputation if things go wrong, you put your head on the block.
Jenny asked me to recommend her son for the job, but I’m not putting my head on the block for someone I hardly know.
|ride it out
ride out the storm
|If you manage to survive a dangerous or very unpleasant situation, like a ship sailing through a storm, you ride it out.
His business was hit by the recession but he managed to ride it out.
|risk life and limb
||If you risk life and limb, you are in danger of death or serious injury.
The roads are icy today; you’ll risk life and limb if you go by car.
|in safe hands
||If something is in safe hands, it is being looked after by a reliable person or organization, and is therefore at no risk.
I’ll look after Jamie while you go shopping. Don’ worry – he’ll be in safe hands.
|on the safe side
||If you do something to be on the safe side, you do it as a precaution, to avoid any risks.
I think I locked the door but I’ll check again to be on the safe side.
|safety in numbers
||This expression means that being part of a group makes people feel more secure and more confident when taking action.
None of the group went sightseeing alone, knowing there was safety in numbers.
|sail close to the wind
||If you sail close to the wind, you do something dangerous or act just within the limits of what is legal or acceptable.
He seems to invest his money well although he often sails close to the wind.
|save one’s neck/skin
||If you manage to escape from serious danger or trouble, you save your skin (or neck).
He saved his skin by reversing off the bridge just before it collapsed.
||Someone who has a lot at stake is in a risky situation, with a lot to be won or lost.
He was nervous about signing the agreement because there was a lot at stake.
||When someone takes cover, they hide from a danger, or bad weather, in a place where they find protection.
As soon as the explosion was heard, people ran to take cover.
|take life in one’s own hands
||To say that someone is taking their life in their hands means that they are taking the risk of being killed.
If you drive home on this icy road, you’ll be taking your life in your hands.
|watch one’s step
||If you tell someone to watch their step, you are advising them to be careful how they behave in order to avoid danger.
There is zero tolerance in this school for bad behaviour, so watch your step!
|wrapped up in cotton wool
||Someone who is wrapped up in cotton wool is over-protected from dangers and risks.
Their children are kept wrapped up in cotton wool.