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

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pitch a curve

To catch someone unawares; confront someone with an unexpected event or act.
My professor pitched me a curve ball when he unexpectedly confronted me with a complicated mathematical equation that was way over my head.

put oneself in another's place

To understand another person's feeling imaginatively; try to know his feelings and reasons with understanding; enter into his trouble.
It seemed like a dreadful thing for Bob to do, but I tried to put myself in his place.
If you will put yourself in the customer's shoes you may realize why the thing isn't selling.
Categories:feelings verb

musical chairs

musical chairs  {n. phr.}
(Originally the name of a children's game.)
The transfer of a number of officers in an organization into different jobs, especially each other's jobs.
The boss regularly played musical chairs with department heads to keep them fresh on the job.


hairdo  {n.}
Style or manner of arranging, combing, or wearing one's hair.
"How do you like my new hairdo?" Jane asked, as she left the beauty parlor.

cut into

cut into  {v.}
1. To make less; reduce.
The union made the company pay higher wages, which cut into the profits.
The other houses got old and shabby, and that cut into the value of his house.
At first Smith led in votes, but more votes came in and cut into his lead.
2. To get into by cutting in.
She heard the other women gossiping and cut into the talk.
While Bill was passing another car, a truck came around a curve heading for him, and Bill cut back into line quickly.

push the panic button

illustration for section: push the panic button
push the panic button  {v. phr.},  {slang}
To become very much frightened; nervous or excited, especially at a time of danger or worry.
John thought he saw a ghost and pushed the panic button.
Keep cool; don't hit the panic button!
Categories:slang verb


button-down  {attrib. adj.},  {slang} (stress on "button")
Well-groomed, conservatively dressed.
Joe is a regular button-down type.
Categories:adjective slang

button down

button down  {v.},  {slang} (stress on "down")
To state precisely, to ascertain, to pin down, to peg down.
First let's get the facts buttoned down, then we can plan ahead.
Categories:slang verb

on the button

on the button  {adv., adj.},  {slang}
At the right place; at the heart of the matter.
John's remark was right on the button.
Compare: ON THE DOT.

button one's lip

button one's lip also zip one's lip  {v. phr.},  {slang}
To stop talking; keep a secret; shut your mouth; be quiet.
The man was getting loud and insulting and the cop told him to button his lip.
John wanted to talk, but Dan told him to keep his lip buttoned.
Categories:slang verb