Small Talk

Meaning of Idiom ‘Small Talk’ Small talk means polite and casual conversation about very unimportant, trivial, or uninteresting topics; chitchat. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995. Usage This expression is often used as part of the phrase “make small talk.” … Read more

Secondhand (Second-hand, second hand)

Also: At secondhand Secondhand information Secondhand account Secondhand knowledge Secondhand belonging (car, clothing, etc.) Secondhand merchandise Meaning of Idiom ‘Secondhand’ or ‘Secondhand Information’ 1. Secondhand information is information that comes from someone who heard it from the firsthand source. This means that the information has come through two people, making it less reliable than firsthand … Read more

Snake in the Grass

Meaning of Idiom ‘Snake in the Grass’ A snake in the grass is a deceitful, treacherous and sneaky person; one who pretends to be your friend while actually being your enemy in secret. 1Ammer, Christine.  American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Spears, Richard A. McGraw-Hill’s American Idioms Dictionary]. Boston: McGraw Hill, 2008.  … Read more

Sick Joke

Meaning of Idiom ‘Sick Joke’ A sick joke is a joke or anecdote that is in very bad taste or socially inappropriate; a joke that is morbid or perverted; potty humor (jokes about defecation, flatulence, vomiting, etc.) 1Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook. Wiley, 2003.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms]. Boston: Houghton Mifflin … Read more

Shut Up

Meaning of Idiom ‘Shut Up’ 1. Stop speaking. Often spoken as a command (imperative). (Early 1800s) Usage note: When shup up is used as a command, it is rude and abrupt. 2. To shut someone up means to cause them to stop speaking. 3. Close completely, especially windows or shutters. (Early 1500s) 4. Imprison or … Read more

Slip Someone a Mickey (Finn)

Also: Mickey Finn Mickey Slip someone a Mickey Meaning of Idiom ‘Mickey Finn’ A Mickey (Finn) is a drug placed in an alcoholic drink or a drugged alcoholic drink. Meaning of Idiom ‘Slip Someone a Mickey (Finn)’ To slip someone a Mickey (Finn) is to surreptitiously drug someone’s alcoholic drink or to give someone a … Read more

Sell Like Hot Cakes

Also: Go like hot cakes Move like hot cakes Meaning of Idiom ‘Sell Like Hot Cakes’ To sell like hot cakes means to sell quickly and in large quantities; to be quite commercially successful. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. ,2Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,3Ayto, … Read more

Smart Alec

Also: Smart aleck Meaning of Idiom ‘Smart Alec’ A smart alec is a conceited person who irritates others by always trying to be clever, sarcastic, etc.; a person who insists on showing off their knowledge in a way that is annoying. 1Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of … Read more

Smoking Gun

Meaning of Idiom ‘Smoking Gun’ A smoking gun is something that is indisputable evidence of a crime or other wrongdoing. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010. Examples Of Use “Although most people expect a smoking gun, most criminal cases are decided on … Read more

Sweep Something Under the Rug

Meaning To sweep something under the rug means to hide a problem or something unpleasant from other people, with intentions to deal with the issue later, or to simply ignore an issue. This idiom is always used in a negative sense. It is never good to sweep something under the rug! Usage Used as a phrasal verb. … Read more