Reading set "Random idiom flashcards set to learn" (Number of items 10)

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put up a (brave or good) front

To act courageously, even though one is actually afraid.
When Joe was taken in for his open heart surgery, he put up a brave front, although his hands were shaking.

Jesus boots

Jesus boots or Jesus shoes  {n.},  {slang}
Men's sandals, particularly as worn by hippies and very casually dressed people.
I dig your Jesus boots, man, they look cool.
Categories:noun slang

keep one's nose to the grindstone

To work hard all the time; keep busy with boring or tiresome work.
Sarah keeps her nose to the grindstone and saves as much as possible to start her own business.
Categories:informal nose time verb

take up

take up  {v.}
1. To remove by taking in.
Use a blotter to take up the spilled ink.
When the vacuum cleaner bag is full, it will not take up dirt from the rug.
2. To fill or to occupy.
All his evenings were taken up with study.
The oceans take up the greater part of the earth's surface.
The mayor has taken up residence on State Street.
3. To gather together; collect.
We are taking up a collection to buy flowers for John because he is in the hospital.
4. To take away.
John had his driver's license taken up for speeding.
5a. To begin; start.
The teacher took up the lesson where she left off yesterday.
5b. To begin to do or learn; go into as a job or hobby.
He recently took up gardening.
He took up the carpenter's trade as a boy.
Compare: GO INTO (3), GO IN FOR, TAKE TO.
6. To pull and make tight or shorter; shorten.
The tailor took up the legs of the trousers.
Take up the slack on the rope!
Compare: TAKE IN (3).
7. To take or accept something that is offered.
The boss offered me a $5 raise and I took him up.
I took John up on his bet.
Compare: JUMP AT.

rev up

rev up  {v. phr.},  {informal},  {slang}
1. To press down sharply several times on the accelerator of an idling car in order to get maximum acceleration.
The race driver revved up his car by pumping his accelerator.
2. To get oneself ready in order to accomplish a demanding or difficult task.
The boys were getting all revved up for the football game.
Categories:informal slang verb

press the flesh

press the flesh  {v.},  {slang}
To shake hands with total strangers by the hundreds, keeping an artificial smile all the way, in order to raise one's popularity during political elections.
Incumbent Governor Maxwell was pressing the flesh all day long at six different hotels.
Categories:slang verb


fence-sitting  {n.} or  {adj.}
Choosing neither side.
You have been fence-sitting for too long. It is time you made up your mind.
Categories:adjective noun time

sucker list

sucker list  {n.},  {slang}
A list of easily-fooled people, especially people who are easily persuaded to buy things or give money.
The crook got hold of a sucker list and started out to sell his worthless stock.
Mr. Smith gets so many advertisements in his mail that he says he is on every sucker list in the country.
Categories:noun slang

on the safe side

on the safe side  {adv. phr.}
Provided for against a possible emergency; well prepared.
"Please double-check these proofs, Mr. Brown," the printer said, "just to be on the safe side."

tongue twister

A word or group of words difficult to pronounce whose meaning is irrelevant compared to the difficulty of enunciation.
"She sells sea shells by the seashore" is a popular American tongue twister.
Categories:noun tongue