Hello, please select your language

Hello, please log in here

Not a member yet?
to discover our award-winning online English school.



Welcome to "Phrase of the Day - English"
Spice up your English with fun phrases and idioms!
Language: English
Members: 3994
Officers: Larissa (Administrator)

Are you sure that you want to leave this group?

 If you want to ask someone a question and they tell you to fire away, they mean that you are free to ask what you want.


“Nicole, can I ask you a question?” “Sure, fire away.”

“I have some questions about the Maxwell account.  Is now a good time to ask?” “Fire away.”

 When someone is dressed to kill, they are dressed very smartly.


“Margaret was dressed to kill on Saturday, everyone was staring at her.”

“The interview was great – I was quick, I was qualified, and I was dressed to kill!”

 When you draw the line, you set out limits of what you find acceptable, beyond which you will not go.


“My son wants to stay out until 3am, but I’m drawing the line at 1am.”

“My girlfriend wants me to stay home and watch movies on Saturday night.  It’s time I drew the line!”

 (USA) If something is a dime a dozen, it is extremely common, possibly too common.


“Oh she’s pretty enough, but dark-haired dark-eyed girls are a dime a dozen here.  I like blondes.”

“Let her quit if she wants to… typists are a dime a dozen.”

 If you dig your heels in, you resist something.


“The rest of the team are ready to go, but Jane is digging her heels in.”

“I’m going to dig my heels in until they give me the conditions I want.”

 This is used as a prediction there is no chance it will ever happen.


“It will be a cold day in hell before he gets that job.”

“I’ll go out with him when hell freezes over.”

 To make money.


“We need to get a good job to make a decent living.”

“She makes a living selling homemade quilts.”

 If you are on cloud nine, you are extremely happy.


“She’s been on cloud nine since she met  her new boyfriend.”

“We found out we got the house we wanted – we’re on cloud nine!”

If you bite someone's head off, you criticise them angrily.


“OK, OK, I’m sorry I said that… no need to bite my head off!”

“All I said was that I wasn’t interested in rock music, and she bit my head off!”


 A big fish in a small pond is an important person in a small place or organisation.


“He won’t leave the small company for the big ones – he prefers to be a big fish in a small pond.”

“She was a big fish in a small pond in her last job, now she’s having trouble adjusting to the huge multinational corporation.”

 If you are caught between a rock and a hard place, you are in a position where you have to choose between unpleasant alternatives, and your choice might cause you problems.


“Do I fire the new girl, or cut everyone’s salaries?  I’m between a rock and a hard place!”

“She found herself between a rock and a hard place when she had to choose between

 This is the shortened form of the full idiom, 'better the devil you know than the devil you don't', and means that it is often better to deal with someone or something you are familiar with and know, even if they are not ideal, than take a risk with an unknown person or thing.


“I know my boyfriend doesn’t treat me very well, but I figure, better the devil you know…”


“This isn’t the perfect neighbourhood, but then, neither is the other.  I guess we’ll stay here… better the devil you know!”

 If something is part and parcel of your job, say, it is an essential and unavoidable part that has to be accepted.


“I’m tired, stressed, and overworked, but it’s all part and parcel of studying medicine.”

“I worked late every night last week, but I guess that’s part and parcel of being a manager.”


 If someone is very annoying and always disturbing you, they are a pain in the neck.


“Maria talks all day long about her private life, she’s such a pain in the neck.”

“My 6 year old is a real pain in the neck lately – won’t sleep at nights, and getting in trouble at school.”

 If someone is up on their soapbox about something, they are very overtly and verbally passionate about the topic.


“Eugene was really on his soapbox this morning when the topic of affirmative action came up.  He wouldn’t shut up for half an hour!”

“OK, get off your soapbox – we agree with you!”

 If someone or something is on their last legs, they're close to dying.