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HOME > AMERICAN IDIOMS > Idioms starting with D

Common American Idioms for ESL students


(Someoene's/something's) days are numbered:
Someone/something will not exist for much longer. ex. "His days as the company's CEO are numbered." ( = He will most likely lose his job soon.)

(A) diamond in the rough:
A person (or thing) with good qualities and/or good potential, which cannot be seen right away. ex. "They picked him because they think he's a diamond in the rough, and that he'll be a great player in a couple of years."

(To) die of boredom:
To be very bored. ex. "I often think I'm going to die of boredom in his class."

(A) dead ringer (noun):
A look-alike. ex. "He's a dead ringer for Jude Law." ( = He looks exactly like Jude Law.)

Dirt cheap:
Very cheap (inexpensive). ex. "The hotel we stayed in was dirt cheap, but our room was very nice."

Diss (v.):
A very informal way of saying "to disrespect", originally stemming from hip-hop culture. ex. "It is common for rival rappers to diss each other in songs."

(A) dog's age:
A very long time. ex. "I haven't seen him in a dog's age."; *Not used too often. Stick to "in ages" instead.*

Don't hold your breath:
Don't wait for it to happen because it probably won't. ex. "You think David will break up with Tina? Don't hold your breath!"

Don't let it get you down:
Don't let it upset you; don't allow it to make you feel bad.

(To) do the dishes:
To wash the dishes.ex. "Could you do the dishes tonight?"

(A) downer:
An event that causes one to be sad. ex. "Your girlfriend broke up with you? What a downer!"

Down in the dumps:
Sad. Depressed.

Down the drain:
Wasted. Lost forever. ex. "I tried for five years to run this business and now I'm bankrupt. Five years down the drain."

Down-to-earth (adj.):
Not arrogant, approachable. ex. "He was a kind, down-to-earth individual, without a hint of pretense."

(To go) down to the wire:
To not be decided until the last moment. ex. "The game went down to the wire."

(A) drag:
Boring; a disappointment. ex. "The party was a real drag" or "My car broke down... What a drag!"

(To) draw a blank:
To not remember. ex. "I'm sorry, I'm drawing a blank. Where do we know each other from?"

(To) drive a hard bargain:
To be firm when bargaining about something. ex. "You drive a hard bargain, but alright, I'll pay you $10 for the lamp."

(To) drive someone crazy:
To make someone very agitated, upset, or emotional (either in a good or bad way).ex. "That teacher is so awful! He drives me crazy with his attitude."

(A) drop in the bucket/ocean:
An insignificant event. ex. "His donation was appreciated, but it was just a drop in the bucket of what was needed."

(To) drop it:
To stop talking about something. ex. "I told you to drop it! I don't want to talk about it."

(To) drown one's sorrows:
To get/ become drunk. ex. "Drowning your sorrows won't solve anything."

(To) drop the ball:
To make a mistake. (WARNING: This idiom is overused in the business world). ex. "So it was John's fault? Yes, John really dropped the ball on this one."

(A) dream come true:
A great thing; a dream or wish that has become reality. ex. "Living in California is like a dream come true."

(To) dump someone: (very informal)
To end a relationship with someone; to break up with someone. To stop seeing someone (romantically). ex. "She dumped me."

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