Category Archives: Idioms

Idioms are expressions with greater meaning. Phrases like "nick of time" or "in other words" or "for heaven's sake". Definition: a group of words in a fixed order that have a particular meaning that is different from the meanings of each word understood on its own:

Under the radar

under the radar
under the radar

The definition of “under the radar” is: doing something without other people noticing. For example, “The employee didn’t want his boss to find out that he was looking for another job, so he did all his searching under the radar.”

Putting on airs

If someone is “putting on airs” it means that he or she is acting superior or snobbish.
Since the 1500s, “airs” has referred to having an affected manner. It’s from the French word air, “look, appearance, or bearing.” Behaving as if you’re better than other people — wealthier, better dressed, or better educated — is to put on airs. Acting like you know more than your teacher is a way to put on airs.

Having said that

Question
What does it mean when people start a sentence with “Having said that….” ?
Answer

“Having said that” is a transitional phrase that has become more and more common in spoken language. When people say, “Having said that” it is a signal that they are going to say something which will contrast or disagree with what they said a moment ago. Take, for example, this quote from a man talking about his father’s death:

  • “He was 93 years old, so it was the natural way of things. Having said that, it’s still a shock when it actually happens, when your parent dies.”

Continue reading Having said that

One Night Stand

one night stand1. Lit. a performance lasting only one night.

Ex: The band did a series of one-night stands down the East Coast.You can’t make a living doing one-night stands. 
2. Fig. a romance or sexual relationship that lasts only one night.
Ex: It was not a romance, just a one-night stand or, 
It looked like something that would last longer than a one-night stand.

cool, calm, and collected

Cliché [of a person] very calm and poised. For example, James did very well in his TV appearances. He stayed cool, calm, and collected. The bad news didn’t seem to distress Jane at all. She remained cool, calm, and collected.
Source: McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.