AMERICAN IDIOMS (N)
Idioms starting with N
Nail (someone) (v.):
Here is our list of popular "N" idioms that are used in American English:
To catch (someone) *usually doing something illegal/wrong*, etc.); To bust (someone). Example: "They nailed him for shoplifting."
Nail-biter (n.) :
An exciting game where the outcome is uncertain until the very end. Example: That game was a real nail biter."
Neck and neck:
Very close (almost even), as in a race. Example: "The two candidates were running neck and neck a month before the election."
Neck of the woods:
Area. Part of a country. Example: "What's happening in your neck of the woods?"
(To) need a hand:
To need help. Example: "Do you need a hand? (Would you like some help?)"
Neither here nor there:
Not relevant. Example: "All of a sudden he started talking about his car, a topic which was neither here nor there."
Similar to "geek", but it has a little more of a derogatory ( = negative) quality to it. Someone who is socially inept, preferring academic pursuits to social ones.
Saved money. Example: "He has saved up quite a nest egg. Pretty soon he'll be able to retire."
Don't worry about it. Example: "Did you pick up my photos? Never mind, I'll do it myself tomorrow."
(To) nip something in the bud:
To end something at an early stage.
Very easy question; a question/situation/dilemma which has an obvious/easy solution. Example: "Well, if you ask me, it's a no-brainer. You should call her and apologize."
No laughing matter:
A very serious matter. Example: "Hey, why are you smiling? This is no laughing matter!"
Not easy. Very difficult and problematic. Example: "Let me tell you, driving in that snowstorm was no picnic."
You don't have to hurry. Example: "P1: Do you want this done by this evening? P2: No, there's no rush. You can finish it tomorrow."
No skin off my nose:
I don't care because it doesn't affect me.
1) Phrase used to say that something is definitely not going to happen. Example: "P1: Are you going to see her again? P2: No way!"
; 2) Phrase of awe/disbelief. Example: "She gave you her phone number? No way!"
It's not surprising. Example: "He only slept for two hours last night? No wonder he's so tired."
(To) not be born yesterday:
To be experienced, knowledgeable. Example: "Of course I know that trick! I wasn't born yesterday."
(To) not have a prayer:
To not have/stand a chance. Example: "Your team? They don't have a prayer or winning."
Not in the least:
Not at all. Example: "P1: Were you surprised that he failed the FCE? P2: Not in the least."
Probably will not happen. Example: "P1: You think George will learn a lesson from this? P2: Not likely."
(To) not like the looks of (someone/something):
To not like the way something looks because you think it might lead to something negative. Examples: "I don't like the looks of those clouds." (because they might bring rain), "I don't like the looks of those kids." (because they look like they might cause trouble).
Not much of:
Pretty bad. Example: "I'm not much of a dancer."
(To) not put (something) past (someone):
To believe that someone is capable of doing something. Example: "Would he tell the police? I wouldn't put it past him!" (Yes, I believe that he is capable of doing this.)
Now and then:
Occasionally. Now and again.