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THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE: IDIOMS

to keep a low profile - Zurückhaltung üben
shake a leg - beeile Dich
aggro (aggression/aggravation) - Streit, Konflikt
if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen - wenn Du den Stress nicht aushalten kannst, gib auf
to foot the bill - für etwas bezahlen
to go postal - plötzlich gewalttätig werden
to miss the boat - eine Gelegenheit verpassen
the sexy part is - das Beste an der Sache ist
to worship the ground sb walks on - jdn verehren
you've seen one, you've seen them all - Dinge sind alle gleich
don't look a gift-horse in the mouth - einem geschenkten Gaul guckt man nicht ins Maul
I didn't sleep a wink - ich habe nicht eine Sekunde geschlafen
to be struck dumb - völlig sprachlos sein
to buy off the peg - von der Stange kaufen
lame duck - völlig wirkungslos
to watch every penny - jeden Pfennig umdrehen
to stew in one's own juice - im eigenen Saft schmoren
stick-in-the -mud - ein Langeweiler
to rub salt in the wound - Salz in die Wunde reiben
to go through the roof - die Wände hochgehen
a sore point - ein wunder Punkt
higgledy-piggledy - wie Kraut und Rüben
don't count your chickens before they're hatched - das Fell d. Bären nicht verteilen, bevor man ihn erlegt hat
when in Rome, do as the Romans do - andere Länder, andere Sitten
to hit the nail on the head - den Nagel auf den Kopf treffen
to make a mountain out of a molehill - aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten machen
I couldn't care less - ich kann darauf pfeifen
a textbook example - wie es im Buche steht
he's a dead loss / he's hopeless - bei ihm ist Hopfen und Malz verloren
to have no staying power - kein Sitzfleisch haben
to bore s.o. to death - jdn zu Tode langweilen
it's like Piccadilly Circus - es geht zu wie in einem Taubenschlag
to give s.o. short shrift - mit jdm kurzen Prozeß machen
to tell s.o. where to get off - jdm die Leviten lesen
Come off it ! - Jetzt mach mal Punkt
to take sth at face value - etwas für bare Münze nehmen
that's the crux of the matter - da liegt der Hund begraben
a hot potato / a tricky subject - ein heißes Eisen
to call a spade a spade - das Kind beim Namen nennen
to pull so.'s leg - jdn auf den Arm nehmen
get off my back - laß mich in Ruhe
to be for the birds - nichts taugen, langweilig sein
keep it under your hat - behalt es für Dich
so. is dressed to kill - jdn hat seine besten Klamotten an
to knock so.'s socks off - jdn umhauen
to get the axe - entlassen werden
to get up on the wrong side of the bed - mit dem falschen Bein aufstehen
to make ends meet - gerade so auskommen (mit dem Geld)
to pay through the nose - zuviel bezahlen
he has a chip on his shoulder - er hat schlechte Laune haben, ärgerlich sein
to be slow on the uptake - schwer von Begriff sein
grunge - comes from US slang grungy (=dirty, shabby)
to be all thumbs - zwei linke Hände haben
to make a killing - viel Knete machen
without fuss or quibble - ohne wenn und aber
to have a chip on one's shoulder - einen Komplex haben
to sort the wheat from the chaff - die Spreu vom Weizen trennen
to give a short shrift to sb. - jdn. eine Absage erteilen
at his wits end - am Ende seiner Künste sein
to keep under lock and key - unter Verschluss halten
not to see the wood for the trees - den Wald vor lauter Bäumen nicht sehen
to make a scathing attack on sb - jdn scharf angreifen

From Michael Jäger of the Gymnasium at Burgdorf comes the following definition of the word 'idiom' , including a lot of colourful examples:

Idioms - The Spice of Speech
What is an idiom?
The word idiom comes from Greek and means own or peculiar. So an idiom is a mode of expression peculiar to a language which cannot be explained grammatically. It is special to that particular language alone, and it cannot be translated word for word into another language. One could also say that an idiom is a peculiarity of phrase approved by usage; it is an unusual way of saying something which is accepted because people use it very often. Some people refer to idioms as poems in miniature, because they create vivid word-pictures.

A. Here you have a list of idiomatic expressions which are related to colour:
1. to be the black sheep
2. to be yellow
3. to paint the town red
4. to be in one's black book(s)
5. to be a red rag to a bull
6. to see pink elephants
7. to be purple with rage
8. to cry blue murder
9. to be green with envy
10. to be black and blue
11. to be in the pink
12. to be in the dark
13. to be/feel/look off colour
14. to sail under false colours
15. to come through/off with flying colours
B. Here you have got a list of idioms referring to animals:
1. to keep the wolf from the door
2. to throw pearls before swine
3. to nurture a viper in one's bosom
4. to be the black sheep
5. a wolf in a sheep's clothing
6. to let the cat out of the bag
7. to set a cat among pigeons
8. to be catty
9. there's no room to swing a cat in
10. to take a catnap
11. it's a dog's life
12. you haven't got a dog's chance
13. to be an underdog
14. to throw s.th. to the dogs
15. a pig in a poke
16. to take the bull by the horns
17. she's no chicken
18. to hold your horses
C. Here you have got a list of idioms referring to the body:
1. to be all ears
2. I laughed my head off
2. shoulder to the wheel
3. nose to the grindstone
4. in one ear and out the other
5. up to one's eyes in work
6. to see eye to eye with s.o.
7. to make faces
8. to keep a straight face
9. to lend s.o. a hand
10. to hand s.th. over to s.b.
Find the German equivalent of the English figurative idioms (crime):
1. to hold a knife at s.o's throat
2. to escape by the skin of one's teeth
3. It was a flop
4. to take to one's heels
5. to catch s.o. red-handed
6. to be in a fix
7. to know all the tricks
8. to have a clean slate
9. to be hand in glove with s.o.
10. to put pressure on s.o.
11. to be in the dark
12. to bump s.o. off
13. to force s.o. into a corner
14. to be at liberty
15. It's dead and buried
16. to have a finger in the pie
17. to put a stop to it
18. to smell a rat
19. to take a good look at s.th.

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