Up The Creek (Without a Paddle)

Also: Up a Creek Up Shit Creek Meaning of Idiom Up the Creek (Without a Paddle) To be up the creek means to be in trouble, in a serious predicament, or an awkward position. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013., 2Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.,3Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of … Read more

Tell That To The Marines!

Also: Tell it to the marines Meaning of Idiom ‘Tell That to the Marines’ Tell that (or it) to the Marines is an interjection used to express disbelief or incredulity. 1Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2McIntosh, Colin. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge University Press, 2013. Examples Of Use “I once saw an alligator climbing … Read more

Take French Leave

Meaning of Idiom ‘Take French Leave’ To take French leave is to leave without getting permission or without informing anyone; to leave a gathering without saying goodbye to the host; to quit a job without giving notice. Usage This expression is better left unused, as it may be seen as a slur toward the French. … Read more

Marching Orders (To Get One’s)

Meaning of “Get Your (or one’s) Marching Orders To ‘get your marching orders,’ can have two basic meanings in general usage. Often, to get one’s marching orders means to be fired from a job or removed from a position. It can also refer to an order to move or proceed with something. This second meaning … Read more

Last-Ditch (effort, attempt)

Meaning of the Idiom ‘Last-Ditch’ A last-ditch effort or attempt is a final desperate attempt to achieve something before giving up for good or ultimately failing. See also the last resort. Examples Of Use “In the final seconds of the game, Jordan made a last ditch effort to score from half-court.” “In a last-ditch attempt to … Read more

Hang Fire

This rarely heard idiom has existed since the early 1800’s. Meaning As an idiom, to hangfire (or hang fire) means to delay an action or to be delayed in an accomplishment or action; to come to no distinct result; to fail to achieve an expected result. Origin The literal meaning of hangfire or hang-fire comes … Read more

Get A Fix On (something)

Also: Have a fix on (something) Meaning of Idiom ‘Get a Fix On’ 1. To accurately determine the position of an aircraft, ship, or another moving object, usually of a military nature. 2. To accurately determine the basic facts of something and to clearly understand it. Compare get a fix. Examples Of Use “The coast guard has … Read more

Gain Ground

Gain ground on Lose ground Meaning of Idiom ‘Gain Ground’ To gain ground is to make progress, begin to be successful, or become increasingly accepted or influential. Meaning of Idiom ‘Lose Ground’ To lose ground can be the opposite of the idiom “to lose ground,” meaning to suffer a setback and to fail to continue previous progress. However, the … Read more

By the Numbers

Also: By Numbers (UK) Paint by numbers Meaning of Idiom ‘By the Numbers’ When something is done by the numbers it is done in a precise and orderly sequence that is already determined. The idiom alludes to doing things by rote, or mechanically, according to a laid-out plan, without any thought or creativity; following exact rules. 1Ammer, Christine. American … Read more

Burn One’s Bridges

Meaning of Idiom ‘Burn One’s Bridges To burn your bridges means to take an irrevocable step that makes it impossible to go back to a previous position, situation, etc. Specifically, it means to behave in such a way as to ruin your relationship with someone, making it very difficult to have a productive relationship with … Read more