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Idioms starting with O

Here is our list of American idioms that start with "O":

Odd man out:
An unusual or atypical person (or thing). Example: "In a high school where everyone was tough, I was the odd man out."

Off-and-on : Not continuous(ly); Periodically. Example: "To sleep off and on", "To see someone off and on".

Rude; vulgar. Example: "I'm not a big fan of the off-color jokes he loves to tell."

Not working at one's job. Example: "The policeman couldn't help me because he was off-duty."

Off the air:
No longer on TV (or the radio). Example: "They took that show off the air in November because nobody watched it."

Off the hook:
No longer having to do something, no longer blamed or under suspicion. Example: "Ok, you're off the hook. Your brother says he'll clean the bathroom."

Off the record:
Unofficially. Example: "Off the record, they were very displeased with the way the CEO was conducting himself."

Off the wagon: To be "off the wagon" means to start drinking (alcoholic beverages) again after having stopped for a while.

Off the top of one's head:
Spontaneously; without thinking too much. Example: "P1: How many cafes are there in this town? P2: Off the top of my head, I can think of about 6."

On-again, off-again (adj.): Used to describe something that is not stable, permanent. Example: "They had an on-again, off-again relationship for years."

On cloud nine: Extremely and visibly happy Example: "She was on cloud nine when she heard the news."

On edge: Nervous; Anxious. Example: "To be on edge."

On one's mind:
Occupying someone's thoughts; being thought about. Example: "You were always on my mind."

(To do something) on one's own accord:
Willingly, without anyone forcing one to do something. Example: "P1: Did you make him apologize? P2: No, he did it on his own accord."

On second thought:
Having given something more thought. Example: "On second thought, maybe you should sell your house and move into an apartment."

On the go:
Busy. Moving around busily. Example: "Jim is always on the go. He can never find time to talk to me."

On the house:
Something that is given away free by a merchant. Example: "P1: How much for the apple? P2: Nothing, it's on the house!"

On the level: Honest. Example: "I'm pretty sure he's on the level."

On the loose:
(Most often used speaking about criminals) Free; not captured; Example: "The bank robbers are still on the loose."

(To be) on the same wavelength: To understand each other; to see eye to eye.

On the tip of one's tongue:
Something that is almost said/remembered. Example: "I've got his name on the tip of my tongue."

On the wagon:
Not drinking alcohol. Example: "P2: Hey let's go out for a couple of beers tonight. P2: I can't, I'm on the wagon."

(To be/get) onboard: To agree to, or be part of something (usually a plan, strategy, etc.); Example: "I'm glad that all the partners are onboard."

Once in a while:
Occasionally. Example: "Once in a while I'll pick up my old guitar and play a couple of tunes."

One: Similar to "very". Example: That's one large pizza! = That's a really large pizza; He's one smart man. = He's a very smart man.

Other side of the tracks
*somewhat archaic* The poorer part of a town.

Out cold:
Unconscious. Example: "The boxer was out cold."

Out of one's mind = Not normal, not "all-there" Example: "You want to go for a walk at 2:00 AM? Are you out of your mind?"

Out of sorts:
Not quite oneself; In a bad/strange mood. Example: "Tom has been out of sorts recently."

(To) outdo (v.): To do or perform better than someone else. Example: "He bought his mom a car, but his brother outdid him by buying her a house."

Over: "Over" is often used to emphasize location. Example: "I live over on Orange Street." (I live on Orange Street).

(To) overstep (v.): To be out of line. To say/do something that's inappropriate to a situation. Example: "I'm sorry; I overstepped. I shouldn't have said those things to your parents."

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