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Brush off/aside/up/with

Average: 2 (1146 votes)

You may know about brushing your hair with a brush or that you brush the dirt off a seat before you sit down, but do you know these other brush words?

Brush with

A brief encounter with something notable or unpleasant is a brush with. It's used for situations in which you experience or nearly experience something.

Being interviewed by a local TV station was my only brush with fame.

If for example you nearly die, you have a brush with death.

Idiom: In a state

Average: 3.5 (191 votes)

In a state, particularly in British English, is used informally for a couple of situations.

When someone becomes nervous or upset, they are in a state:

Nervous: She gets herself into a real state worrying about her exams.

Upset: James has been in a terrible state since his girlfriend broke up with him.

State is also used casually to describe something that is messy, untidy or chaotic.

What does No-brainer mean?

Average: 3.1 (77 votes)

Two news articles caught my eye (attracted my attention) today:

Washington Post Headline
Why accepting the Iran nuclear deal is a no-brainer

The Guardian Headline
Harry Kewell says joining Watford to coach their Under-21s 'was a no-brainer'

What does no-brainer mean?

When something requires little or no thought, it is a no-brainer. It's an easy decision or choice to make.

No-brainer is a noun, the plural form is no-brainers.

3 Beach Idioms

Average: 3.5 (148 votes)

Do you recognise these three beach idioms?

Beach bum

A young man who is always on the beach is a beach bum. A beach bunny is often used for females.

He's turned into a real beach bum since he moved to California.

Life's a beach

When you are very happy because your life is going well, life's a beach. It has the opposite meaning of the more well-known idiom, life's a bitch.

He got engaged and got promoted - life's a beach for him at the moment.

Month Idioms

Average: 2.8 (82 votes)


It'll be a long day in January
Use it to describe something that will never happen. When hell freezes over has the same meaning.
It'll be a long day in January when you beat me at tennis.


Mad as a March hare
Acting crazy. Hares, which look like rabbits, just around and act crazy during their March breeding seson.
I like Jimmy but he acts as mad as March hare sometimes.

5 Heat Idioms

Average: 3 (129 votes)

It's heating up (the weather is getting warmer) here in Malta.

Do you know that heat up is also used to describe a situation that is becoming intense, or angry: "The conversation started to heat up so I decided to leave."

Here are five other heat related expressions.

Take the heat

If you can take the heat you can take criticism and handle stressful situations.

"Don't worry, if the project fails and the boss gets angry, I'll take the heat for us."

4 Face Idioms

Average: 2.9 (133 votes)

Straight Face

When your face shows no emotion, especially when you are trying not to laugh, you keep a straight face.

Don't laugh, try and keep a straight face or she will know you are joking.

His new hairstyle is so funny I found it hard to keep a straight face.

Lose Face

When you lose face you feel you have lost the respect of others because of something you have done. When feel embarrassed when you lose face.

7 Happy Idioms

Average: 4 (1367 votes)

How are you feeling today? I hope you are in a good mood. Here are seven idioms we use to show we are happy.

On cloud nine
Extremely happy when something wonderful happens.
She's been on cloud nine since she found out she is pregnant.

Like a dog with two tails
To look and be very happy.
Was he pleased? He was like a dog with two tails.

6 Cat Idioms

Average: 2.3 (345 votes)

Fat cat

A negative description of a rich and powerful person.

Those fat cats in government don't care about the poor.

Cat got your tongue?

Has the cat got your tongue? is an expression we say to people when we want them to speak but they aren't.

Tell me why you are late again. What's the matter, has the cat got your tongue?

6 Dog Idioms

Average: 3.4 (177 votes)

How many of you know the English expression raining cats and dogs, as in, 'I'm not going outside, it's raining cats and dogs'?

It means, and no one seems to know why, raining very heavily. The other strange thing I've noticed about this expression is the amount of English learners know it. Why is this expression so well know to students, I have no idea? Perhaps it's a fun, simple and easy phrase to remember?

Let's introduce you to some other expressions featuring the animal that makes up half that idiom - the dog.