THE IDIOM CONNECTION
each and every
"I want each and every student to bring his or her textbook tomorrow."
- a person who is always eager to work hard or do extra work
My colleague is an eager beaver and is always ready to work hard when we need him.
- an eye with sharp visual powers
The woman watched her young child with an eagle eye.
an ear to the ground
- attention that is paid to the way things are going or the way people feel and think about something
The president has an ear to the ground and knows everything that is going on in our company.
- a scolding, much talking in the form of complaints
The man gave his daughter an earful when she came home late.
- a person who gets up early or arrives early for something
My sister is an early bird and gets up very early every morning.
early bird catches/gets the worm
- a person who gets up early in the morning has the best chance of success
Our supervisor always goes to work before his colleagues because he knows that the early bird catches the worm.
- at an early stage
We had a meeting early on to try and solve the problem.
earn one's keep
- to earn one's pay or a place to live by doing some work
I work hard in my uncle's garden in order to earn my keep when I stay with him.
ease off on (someone or something)
- to put less pressure on someone or something, to relax
The president was asked to ease off on his efforts to cut staff in the company.
ease up on (someone or something)
- to put less pressure on someone or something, to relax
The boy was having problems at school so the teacher eased up on him.
easier said than done
- to be easier to talk about than to do
I would like to change jobs but it is easier said than done.
easy come, easy go
- something that you get easily can be lost easily
My cousin does not care if he loses his job or not. For him, everything is easy come, easy go.
easy does it
- doing something slowly or without sudden movements
"Easy does it," I said as we moved the large piano.
- to be tolerant and relaxed
Our boss has a very easy-going management style.
easy to come by
- easy to find
Money is not easy to come by for many people with no education.
eat and run
- to eat a meal quickly and then leaveWe had to eat and run in order to arrive at the soccer field early.
eat away at (someone)
- to bother someone, to worry someoneMoney problems have been eating away at the man recently.
eat away at (something)
- to rot or destroy somethingThe mildew has been eating away at the window frame all year.
- to admit that one is mistaken or defeated or wrongOur boss was forced to eat crow when the figures that he presented at the meeting were wrong.
- to accept another`s insults or bad treatmentThe accountant had to eat dirt because of the problems that he had caused.
eat humble pie
- to admit one`s error and apologizeThe boy had to eat humble pie when his friends discovered his mistake.
- to eat at home, to eat in a restaurant where you have a choice to either eat in the restaurant or take the food outWe usually like to eat in on the weekends.
We went to the fast food restaurant and we decided to eat in rather than take the food out.
eat like a bird
- to eat very littleThe boy eats like a bird. That is why he cannot gain enough weight to join the football team.
eat like a horse
- to eat a lotMy friend eats like a horse but he never gains any weight.
eat on the run
- to eat while going somewhere in a hurryWe often have to eat on the run during the day.
eat one`s cake and have it too
- to use or spend something but still keep itThe man wants to eat his cake and have it too and he will never give up anything.
eat one's hat
- to do something extraordinary or special if something that you do not think will happen actually happens (this is always used with if and is used when you are quite certain that something will happen and if it does not happen then you will do something extraordinary or special - like eating your hat)I do not think that my friend will arrive here on time. If my friend does arrive here on time I will eat my hat.
I do not think that our team will win the game today. If our team does win the game today I will eat my hat.
eat one`s heart out
- to be envious, to be very sad"You can eat your heart out - I am going to Hawaii for three weeks!"
eat one`s words
- to admit being wrong in something that one has saidThe worker was forced to eat his words after his boss proved that he was wrong.
- to eat in a restaurantI eat out three or four times a week.
eat out of (someone's) hand
- to do what someone else wantsThe secretary had her boss eating out of her hand and she could do whatever she wanted.
eat (someone) out of house and home
- to eat much food in someone's homeThe two teenage boys were eating their parents out of house and home.
eat up (something) or eat (something) up
- to appreciate something, to believe somethingThe students were eating up the comments by their professor.
The teacher ate up the boy's excuse.
eat up (something) or eat (something) up
- to eat everything on your plateI ate up all my dinner and began my homework.
- to be bothering or worrying someoneI do not know what is eating my friend but she is not in a good mood today.
ebb and flow
- the decrease and increase of something like the tideThe ebb and flow of the singer's popularity was always a topic of conversation.
edge out (someone) or edge (someone) out
- to win a competition against someone and get a job or positionI was able to edge out the other applicants to get the job.
egg (someone) on or egg on (someone)
- to urge or push someone to do somethingThe boy is always egging his friend on to do stupid things.
either feast or famine
- to be or have either too much or not enough of somethingIt is either feast or famine for the woman. Sometimes she has lots of money and sometimes she has none.
eke out (a living)
- to earn one's living with difficultyMy uncle was unable to eke out a living on his farm so he sold it.
- the effort and strength to clean somethingWe will have to use much elbow grease to clean the kitchen.
- enough space to be comfortableThe couple moved to the country in order to have more elbow room.
elbow (someone) out of (somewhere)
- to pressure someone out of somewhereThe woman elbowed the other shoppers out of the way so that she could buy some shoes.
the elephant in the room
- an obvious problem or difficult situation that people do not want to talk about, an important topic that people are aware of but which they do not want to talk aboutNobody at the meeting wanted to talk about the problem but it was the elephant in the room and everybody knew about it.
The bullying problem at the school was the elephant in the room that nobody wanted to talk about.
- a decision that is made at the last possible minuteThe government made an eleventh-hour decision to save the hospital.
emperor's new clothes
- used when many people believe something that is not true, a situation in which people are afraid to criticize something because everyone else seems to think that it is good or importantIt was like the emperor's new clothes when nobody would criticize the popular politician although he was doing many bad things.
an end in itself
- something that one wants specifically for itself and not as a way to do or get something elseFor many people travelling is an end in itself and the destination is not important.
end of one`s rope
- the last of one`s ability or ideas about how to do somethingI am at the end of my rope regarding what to do about my job.
- the final resultThe end product of the survey was a better understanding of how things are working in our company.
end up (doing something)
- to do something that one had not planned to do, to finally be or do somethingI ended up studying rather than going to a movie last night.
The man ended up getting married to his neighbor.
end up (going somewhere)
- to go somewhere where you had not planned to goWe ended up going to a restaurant after the movie last night.
end up (somewhere)
- to finish at a certain placeWe ended up at a small coffee shop near the restaurant.
end up with (something)
- to get something as a result of somethingI ended up with a cold last weekend after being outside in the rain.
engage in (something)
- to be busy with something, to be occupied with somethingThe man is engaged in a new project.
The woman was engaged in a long conversation.
engage in small talk
- to talk about minor things rather than more important thingsThe sales staff engaged in some small talk before the meeting.
enough to go around
- to be enough of something to serve everybodyThere was enough cake to go around so everybody had a piece.
enter one's mind
- to come into one's consciousness (an idea)It never entered my mind to make a reservation at the restaurant.
equal to (something)
- to be able to deal with somethingThe apartment manager was equal to the task of managing the building.
escape (someone's) notice
- to go unnoticedThe fact that my library books were overdue escaped my notice.
- nevertheless, howeverMy friend has always worked but even so he has no money saved.
- even with (someone or something)Both teams were even steven by the middle of the game.
every cloud has a silver lining
- there is something good in every bad thingEvery cloud has a silver lining and although I lost my job other good things have happened.
every dog has his day
- everybody will have a chance for success somedayYou should be patient and wait until you get a chance. Remember every dog has his day.
every inch a (something)
- completely, in every wayJack was every inch a sailor and loved to go out on the ocean with his boat.
every last one
- every single oneEvery last one of the children received a certificate from the swimming club.
every living soul
- everybodyWe gave a free newspaper to every living soul in the apartment building.
every minute counts
- time is very importantEvery minute counts when the fire department goes to fight a fire.
every nook and cranny
- every small hiding place where you can put somethingI looked in every nook and cranny of my apartment but I could not find my house keys.
- every second oneI have to work every other Saturday evening.
every so often
- occasionallyYou should stand up every so often when you are on a long plane trip.
every time one turns around
- frequentlyEvery time I turn around my little boy asks me a question.
every Tom, Dick and Harry
- the average personThe man said that he is not the same as every Tom, Dick and Harry.
every which way
- in all directionsThe small children at the birthday party were running every which way.
everything but the kitchen sink
- almost everythingWe took everything but the kitchen sink on our camping trip.
everything humanly possible
- everything in the range of human powersThe doctors did everything humanly possible to save the man after the accident.
the exception that proves the rule
- an exception to a rule proves that the rule existsThe salesman is very quiet and shy and he is the exception that proves the rule in his company. Everybody else is very talkative.
exception to the rule
- someone or something which differs from the usual/normal/theory/ruleDogs for blind people are the exception to the rule related to taking an animals on a bus.
- to forgive someoneWe excused the man for his rude comments because he did not know any better.
- to give an explanation for something wrong that you have doneThe director was forced to explain himself after the accounting problems were discovered.
explain (something) away or explain away (something)
- to explain something so that it seems less importantThe sales clerk tried to explain away the problem with the sales receipt.
express (one's) anger
- to release one's angerThe man often loses his temper which is not a good way to express his anger.
extend credit to (someone)
- to permit someone to buy something on creditThe bank extended credit to the small company so that they could continue to operate.
extend one's sympathy to (someone)
- to express sympathy to someoneWe extended our sympathy to the family of the dead woman.
- the special circumstances that cause something to happenWe were able to avoid paying the parking ticket because of extenuating circumstances.
eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
- a system of punishment where you punish someone in the same way that they hurt youThe citizens wanted an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth when they learned about the child's murder.
eye of the storm
- the center of a problemThe politician was in the eye of the storm because of the accounting scandal.
- face to faceI sat eyeball-to-eyeball with our boss during the meeting.
eyes are bigger than one`s stomach
- one takes or wants more food than he or she can eatThe man's eyes are bigger than his stomach. He will never finish the food that he took.
eyes in the back of one`s head
- the ability to know what is happening behind one`s backThe man has eyes in the back of his head and you can never borrow anything without him knowing about it.
eyes pop out
- much surprisedThe woman's eyes popped out when she saw her name in the newspaper.