AMERICAN IDIOMS (S)
Idioms starting with S
Safe and sound:
Here is our list of popular "S" idioms that are used in American English:
Safe. Unharmed. Example: "It was a rough trip but we got there safe and sound."
(To) save money for a rainy day:
To reserve something for some future need. Example: "I've saved a little money for a rainy day."
(To) save the day:
To produce good results when bad results are expected. Example: "Colin saved the day by remembering to bring water."
School (someone) (v.):
To teach someone a lesson. To show someone how something is (really) done. Example: "We thought we were the best, but the other team really schooled us."
(A) score to settle:
To get even. To pay someone back for something negative that they did. Example: "Don't stop me. I have a score to
settle with him."
(To) scratch the surface:
To begin finding out about something. Example: "We've only begun to scratch the surface in this field."
Screw up (v.):
To make a mistake; to do something badly or wrong. Example: "I really screwed up my audition."
Second nature (to someone):
Easy and natural. Example: "Scoring goals is second nature to him."
(To) see eye to eye on something:
To have a similar opinion on something. Example: "Despite their public differences, the two candidates actually see eye to eye on most issues."
(To) see fit:
To deem/believe to be appropriate. Example: "You can do that any way you see fit."
(To) see the writing on the wall:
To see that something is going to happen.
(To) serve someone right:
To serve as appropriate punishment for someone. Example: "They put him in jail for 5 years? Serves him right!"
(To) set foot somewhere:
To go or enter somewhere. Example: "If I were you, I wouldn't set foot in that town."
(To) set one's sights on something:
To select something as one's goal. Example: "We would like to buy out one of our competitors. We've got our sights set on Sony."
When talking about people = smart, intelligent; when talking about clothes = stylish, high-quality.
Shoot hoops (v.):
To play basketball in a casual, informal way. Example: "Let's shoot some hoops on Friday."
(To be) short on cash:
To not have too much money. Example: "I'm a little short on cash. Could you lend me some money until Tuesday?"
(A) shot in the arm:
A boost. Example: "The good financial news was a real shot in the arm for Steve's company."
Show, Show up (v.):
To arrive. Example: "We waited for two hours, but they didn't show (up)."
(To) sit on one's hands
To do nothing. Example: "Everyone expected the board to take action, but they just sat on their hands."
(To) sit tight:
To wait (patiently). Example: "Sit tight, your mother will be here soon."
Skeleton(s) in the closet:
A shocking/ disturbing secret.
(The) slammer (n.):
Jail. Example: "He was in the slammer."
(To) sleep on something:
To think about something overnight. Example: "I'm not sure if I want to buy this car. I think I should sleep on it."
Snail mail (n.):
Regular physical mail (as opposed to email).
In phrases such as "Wasn't that something!", "something" actually means "something interesting" or "something special" or "something surprising", depending on the context.
Very strange person who always seems to be in his/her own world. Example: "Peter is a bit of a space cadet. He's always zoning out when I talk to him."
Space out (v.):
To lose oneself in thought, esp. when you should be paying attention to something else. To zone out. Example: "Sorry, I spaced out for a second. What were you saying?"
To leave. Example: "I have to split. See you tomorrow!"
To break up; to stop seeing each other (as boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, etc.) Example: "Tom and Maria split up last month."
Collection. Example: "They had quite a spread of food at the party."
(To) stand up for something:
To fight for, support. Example: "The elected official promised to stand up for the poor."
A hidden collection of something, often (but not always) used to refer to hidden drugs. Example: "Mark's parents found his stash (of pot) under his bed."
Stick to (something):
To keep (doing something). To not stop (doing something) Example: "Cynthia wants to be an actress, but I think she should stick to singing."
(To) stir up trouble:
To cause trouble. Example: "Sometimes I think she gets great pleasure from stirring up trouble."
1) Direct, clear, honest. Example: "He wouldn't give me a straight answer.";
2) Heterosexual. Example: "I'm pretty sure he's straight."
Strike up a conversation:
To start a conversation. Example: "He walked up to the first woman he saw and struck up a conversation with her."
Stuck up (adj.):
Snobbish, conceited. Example: "I don't like her. She's so stuck up."
Attractive woman. Example: "Wow! What a stunner!"
A gullible person or someone who is easily impressed by something (eg. "a sucker for gadgets" = someone who is easily impressed by gadgets)
Sugar daddy/sugar mama(n.):
A wealthy man or woman who either supports you financially (pays for you) or gives you gifts, in return for sex or companionship.
Have it your way; As you wish; Example: "I wouldn't walk around that neighborhood at night, but if you really want to, suit yourself."
(To) swallow something hook, line, and sinker:
To believe something (usually a lie) completely. Example: "Margaret told him a flat-out ( = complete and utter) lie and he swallowed it hook line and sinker."
Very nice. Example: "That is a sweet car."
(To have a) sweet tooth:
To love to eat candy, sweets, etc.
A drink (out of a bottle). Example: "Gimme a swig!"
Swing (something) (v.):
To arrange (something)/to get (something) done. Example: "It'll be hard, but we'll probably be able to swing a deal."