A Guide to Idioms - download pdf or read online

By K. Cullen, P. Hands

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S N On old guns, if the firing mechanism was at h a lf-c o ck when the gun fired, the shot would be wasted. cockles o w arm the cockles o f som eon e's1heart (old or humorous) You say that something w a rm s the cockles o f you r h e a rt if it makes you feel happy and sure that the world is full o f good things: Talk of meanstesting pensions hardly warms the cockles. s------------------------------------------------------------------- - Notice that just saying 'such-and-such w arm s the co ck les’ is often enough.

C o r n e r (see also corn ers) corners course 38 ) box som eone into a corner You box someone into a corner when you force them into a place or a situa­ tion where they are no longer in control o f things; someone who feels boxed into a corner is unable to think of a way out o f the difficult situation in which they find themselves: He had me boxed into a corner; and I knew that if I refused, he would not return my money. ) just round the corner or just around the corner A n event which is just round, or around, the corner is going to hap­ pen very soon: Spring is just round the corner.

Every cloud has a silver lining. — v o against the clock When you do something against the clock, you are doing it as fast as you can and recording how long it takes you: It involves an arduous ten kilometre run preceded by a long assault course, against the clock. Notice how this idiom can be adapted to suit the speaker s needs. People also sometimes just say ‘Every cloud ... \ v J 3 on cloud nine I f you are on cloud nine, you are extre­ mely happy: When I was chosen to fight my first election in Birmingham, I was on cloud nine.

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A Guide to Idioms by K. Cullen, P. Hands

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