A Word To The Wise

Meaning of Idiom ‘A Word to the Wise’ A word to the wise expresses the intention to give a brief bit of advice or a quick explanation that an intelligent person should find sufficient without more details. It can be thought of as a ‘hint.’ 1Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage … Read more

Pros and Cons

Also: Weigh the Pros and Cons Meaning of Idiom ‘Pros and Cons’ The pros and cons are the arguments for and against something; the advantages and disadvantages. 1Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013. When we weigh the pros and cons we consider the arguments for and against … Read more

Get Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed, to

To get up on the wrong side of the bed is a very old saying, but it wasn’t always used figuratively. It’s been around since at least Roman times. 1Jarvie, Gordon. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms. London: & C Black, 2009. Meaning of Idiom ‘Get Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed’ To get up on … Read more

Die Is Cast, the

Meaning of Idiom ‘The Die is Cast’ The die is cast means the future is set and things will unfold inevitably because a decision has been made or a course of action has been taken which cannot be changed. 1McIntosh, Colin. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge University Press, 2013.,2Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, … Read more

Cross the Rubicon

Meaning of Idiom ‘Cross the Rubicon’ To cross the Rubicon means to do something which inevitably forces you to follow a certain course of action; a final important decision or event which causes things to change permanently. 1Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,3Bengelsdorf, … Read more

Call a Spade a Spade, to

To call a spade a spade is a very old expression that has roots in ancient Greek. This idiom is often thought to have racist origins, but, as you will read below, this is not true. Meaning of Idiom ‘Call a Spade a Spade’ To call a spade a spade is to speak plainly and truthfully, even … Read more

Beware Of Greeks Bearing Gifts

Meaning of Idiom ‘Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts’ When someone says “beware of Greeks bearing gifts” they mean that you should not trust enemies or opponents who are being friendly, showing kindness or being generous, as they may have an ulterior motive. 1Ayto, John.  Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary … Read more

Better The Devil You Know

Meaning of Idiom ‘Better the Devil You Know’ The expression ‘better the devil you know’ is used to indicate that it may be better to deal with a person or a thing that you are familiar with than to have to deal with a completely new and unknown one. Even though you may not want … Read more

Backhanded Compliment

Also: Left-handed Compliment Meaning of Idiom ‘Backhanded Compliment’ A backhanded (or left-handed) compliment is an ambiguous statement that seems to be or is intended to be a compliment but is actually critical and could be seen as an insult; an insult disguised as praise. When someone pays you a backhanded compliment, they are actually being condescending. … Read more