A poor man's something
Something or someone that can be compared to something or someone else, but is not as good is a poor man's version; a writer who uses lots of puns but isn't very funny would be a poor man's Oscar Wilde.
about to do somethingon the point of doing something She was about to leave when the phone rang.
bail someone or something outhelp or rescue The government has decided to bail out the troubled bank.
balls something upto make a mess of a situation
be fed up with (with someone or something)be out of patience (with someone
be in two minds about something
unable to decide: "I'm in two minds about buying a new car."
be into something|be into|intov. phr.
To have taken something up partly as a nobby, partly as a serious interest of sorts (basically resulting from the new consciousness and self-realization movement that originated in the late Sixties). Roger's wife is into women's liberation and women's consciousness. Did you know that Syd is seriously into transcendental meditation? Jack found out that his teenage son is into pot smoking and gave him a serious scolding.
be up to something|up|up to somethingv. phr.
1. To feel strong enough or knowledgeable enough to accomplish a certain task. Are you up to climbing all the way to the 37th floor? Are we up to meeting the delegation from Moscow and speaking Russian to them?
2. Tendency to do something mischievous. I'm afraid Jack is up to one of his old tricks again.
beef about something
complain about something: "He's always beefing about the pay."
beef something up
give something extra appeal: "If we beef up the window display, more people might come into the shop."
bend over backwards to do somethingtry very hard If I can, I will bend over backwards to help you get a promotion in the company.
best part of somethingbest part of something
Nearly all of something, the majority, as in The dentist was late; I waited for the best part of an hour.
The adjective best
here does not concern quality but quantity. [First half of 1500s] Also see better half
, def. 1.
blow it (something)fail at something I tried hard but I am sure that I blew the final math exam last week.
break someone of somethingbreak someone of something
Cause to discontinue a habit or practice, as in Mom tried for years to break Betty of biting her nails.
The Oxford English Dictionary
cites a quotation from W. Wotton's History of Rome
(1701): “He ... broke them of their warm Baths,” which presumably refers to breaking Romans of their custom of bathing regularly. Today we are more apt to break someone of a bad habit. [Early 1600s]
bring home the importance of something to someonemake someone fully realize something He was unable to bring home the importance of arriving early for the meeting.
bring something oncause to develop rapidly I don
brush up on somethingreview something one has already learned I
buy somethingbuy something
Believe something; accept as true or satisfactory. For example, You think he's a millionaire? I just won't buy that.
can't make heads or tails of something" can't understand something at all;"
charge something to something|chargev.
1. To place the blame on; make responsible for. John failed to win a prize, but he charged it to his lack of experience. The coach charged the loss of the game to the team's disobeying his orders.
2. To buy something on the credit of. Mrs. Smith bought a new pocketbook and charged it to her husband. Mr. White ordered a box of cigars and had it charged to his account.
check on someone|check|check on|check on somethingv
. To try to find out the truth or rightness of; make sure of; examine; inspect; investigate. We checked on Dan's age by getting his birth record. Mrs. Brown said she heard someone downstairs and Mr. Brown went down to check up on it. You can check on your answers at the back of the book. The police are checking up on the man to see if he has a police record. Grandfather went to have the doctor check on his health. Compare:
LOOK INTO, LOOK OVER.
cut your teeth on something
where you learn to do something: "He's the best man to run the company - he cut his teeth in the Production Department and ran it successfully for years."
dare one to do something|darev. phr.
To challenge someone to do something. "I dare you to jump off that rock into the sea," Fred said to Jack.
dead set against somethingdetermined not to do something They are dead set against their son going to Europe for a year.
do by someone or something|do byv.
To deal with; treat.
Used with a qualifying adverb between "do" and "by". Andy's employer always does very well by him.
do someone out of something|dov.
To cause to lose by trickery or cheating. The clerk in the store did me out of $2.00 by overcharging me.
do something overdo something over
see do over
do something rashtake drastic action (usually without thinking) She is extremely angry so I hope that she doesn
fall back on something/someoneturn to for help when something else has failed She had to fall back on her father
fancy doing something|fancy
- An expression of surprise. Fancy meeting you here in such an unexpected place!
feel up to (do something)feel able (healthy enough or rested enough) to do something I don
feel up to something|feel|feel upv. phr.
To feel adequately knowledgeable, strong, or equipped to handle a given task. Do you feel up to jogging a mile a day with me? Antonym:
BE UP TO SOMETHING.
fill (something) inwrite words needed in blanks Please fill in this form and give it to the receptionist.
get (something) over withfinish, end He wants to get his exams over with so that he can begin to relax again.
get a fix on somethingreceive a reading of a distant object by electronic means We were able to get a fix on the island and got the boat safely to the harbor.
get a kick out of somethingfind something amusing.
get away with somethingdo something one shouldn
get hold of (something)get possession of When you get hold of a dictionary could you please let me see it for a few minutes.
get on with (something)
continue to do; make progress
" Be quiet and get on with your homework."
get over somethingovercome a difficulty, recover from an illness or shock She has been having a lot of trouble getting over her father
get rid of somethinggive or throw something away, sell or destroy something, make a cold or fever disappear I bought a new television set so I had to get rid of the old one.
get something into one's headget something into one's head
see get into one's head
get something on someoneget something on someone
Also, have something on someone
. Obtain or possess damaging knowledge about someone. For example, They hoped to get something on the candidate,
or Once Tom had something on his boss, he knew he would not be pressured again.
[c. 1920] Also see be on to
get something out oflearn from, benefit from We always get something out of her class. We learn something.
get something out of one's system|get|get out|systv. phr.
1. To eliminate some food item or drug from one's body. John will feel much better once he gets the addictive sleeping pills out of his system.
2. To free oneself of yearning for something in order to liberate oneself from an unwanted preoccupation. Ted bought a new cabin cruiser that he'd been wanting for a long time, and he says he is glad that he's finally got it out of his system.
get something under your belt
achieve something: "I'm really glad I passed the driving test. Now I've got that under my belt, I can relax for a little while."
get wise to something/somebodylearn about something kept secret He finally got wise to the fact that they were stealing his money.
Get your head around something
If you get your head around something, you come to understand it even though it is difficult to comprehend.
give something a new lease of life
to renew something so that it lasts longer: "Those tablets have given our pet dog a new lease of life."
give something a whirlgive something a whirl
Make a brief or experimental try, as in I've never made a pie but I'll give it a whirl.
[Colloquial; late 1800s]