On the Rocks

Meaning of Idiom ‘On the Rocks’ 1. Especially used to refer to relationships or organizations, on the rocks means not going well and likely to end soon; ruined or spoiled. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms]. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2McCarthy, Michael. Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. Cambridge University Press, 2002 2. When used in … Read more

With Flying Colors

A phrase used since the 17th century. Meaning With flying colors means with easy and outstanding success. To succeed at something extremely well.  Want to see more videos from Idioms.Online? Subscribe to our YouTube channel! Examples Of Use “I was worried about my medical exam but I passed with flying colors.” “I hardly studied … Read more

To (until, till) The Bitter End

Meaning of Idiom ‘To the Bitter End’ To the bitter end means to the very end, however unpleasant or ruinous; all the way to death or ruin. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Jarvie, Gordon. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms. London: Bloomsbury, 2009. Examples of Use “The movie was long and boring, but we stayed … 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

Taken Aback, to be

To take someone aback or to be taken aback is an old idiomatic expression that has existed in English since the mid-1900’s. Like many common expressions, it was taken from old nautical terminology dating from the 1800’s. Meaning of Taken Aback When someone is taken aback, they are very shocked, surprise, or, to use another expression taken off guard. … Read more

Spick and Span

Meaning of Idiom ‘Spick and Span’ To be spick and span means to be very neat, clean, and organized; to be perfectly maintained and looking as if new.  1Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995., 2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013., 3Bengelsdorf, Peter. Idioms in the News – 1,000 Phrases, Real Examples. N.p.: … Read more

Show Your True Colors, to

An expression in use since the 1800’s. Meaning To show your true colors means to reveal your true character, feelings, opinions, etc. Usage This idiom is always used in a negative sense, to describe someone who seemed to be a better person than they turned out to be once their ‘true colors’ came out. Examples … Read more

Ships That Pass In The Night

Meaning of Idiom ‘Ships That Pass in the Night’ Two ships that pass in the night can have one of two meanings. More generally, it refers to individuals who know each other, are related, or intimate, but are not usually in the same place at the same time. A more dramatic and literary usage refers to two … Read more

Flotsam and Jetsam

Meaning of Idiom ‘Flotsam and Jetsam’ Flotsam and Jetsam meaning something similar to odds and ends, especially in regards to forgotten or unwanted objects. The idiom may also refer generally to garbage or anything unwanted, including people, objects, concepts, ideas, etc. Sometimes, as well, people such as the homeless, refugees, waifs, etc. are pejoratively referred to as … Read more

At Loggerheads

Meaning of the Idiom ‘at Loggerheads’ To be ‘at loggerheads’ means to be engaged in a quarrelsome argument; strongly disagreeing. This somewhat formal idiom tends to carry the connotation of being unable to reach an agreement. Usage “The union has been at loggerheads with management on the benefits package for months now.” “Peace talks are … Read more