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Cliches can be useful as a culturally based shorthand to allude to complex attitudes, circumstances, and events, but they belong more in the domain of everyday conversation than in expository writing--or creative writing, for that matter. In creative writing, they are the opposite of creativity.  In the midst of academic prose, they incur several other major problems:

they invite the reader to take a pedestrian attitude toward ideas, observations and situations which the writer is attempting to render as unique or special; in so doing, they dull the reader's sense of wonder and involvement.

they are perceived as lazy substitutes for more creative and sophisticated use of language that takes its time to engender complex situations and ideas; consequently, they're "cheats" for creativity in that they plagiarize imagery and turns of phrases that other people have invented first.

cliches are not only the opposite of special, but worse, because they masquerade as special and therefore use precious creative energy to express ideas in non-creative ways; as a result, they enervate the power (particularly subtle power) of the rhetoric and logic of academic discourse.

they tend to rely on the reader's intimate familiarity with the culture in which they are commonly used, so they can create as many impasses to understanding as they do Shortcuts; in so doing, they isolate and exclude readers who depend on your Academic Tone to be more culturally neutral.


The following A-Z list has a heck of a lot of cliches in it, but it's by no means comprehensive.  Use it as  a proofreading aid, but remain equally vigilant to other turns of phrases and familiar expressions that may not appear among these.

Abandon ship
About face
Above board
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
Absolute power corrupts absolutely
Ace in the hole
Ace up his sleeve
Achilles heel
Acid test
Acorn doesn't fall far from the tree
Actions speak louder than words
After my own heart
Ah, to be young and foolish...
Ain't seen nothin' yet
Airing dirty laundry
All bent out of shape
All bets are off
All dressed up and nowhere to go
All ears
All for one, and one for all
All hands on deck
All hands to the pump
All heck (hell) breaks loose
All in a day's work
All in due time
All over the map
All paled in comparison
All talk and no action
All that glitters is not gold
All that jazz
All the bits and pieces
All thumbs
All wet
All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy
All's fair in love and war
All's well that ends well
Always a bridesmaid, never the bride
Always gives 110 percent
Always look on the bright side
Am I my brother's keeper?
An apple a day keeps the doctor away
An arm and a leg
An idle mind is the devil's playground
An oldie, but a goodie
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure
Another day another dollar
Another nail in the coffin
Ants in his pants
Any friend of yours is a friend of mine.
Any port in a storm
Anything goes
Apple of my eye
Are you a man or a mouse?
Armed to the teeth
Around the horn
As all get out
As beautiful as the day is long
As dense as a London fog
As far as the eye can see
As good as gold
As honest as the day is long
As if!!
As luck would have it
As plain as the nose on your face
As snug as a bug in a rug
As tender as a mother's heart
As the crow flies
As useful as a lead balloon
As welcome as a skunk at a lawn party
As ye sow, so shall ye reap
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
Ask me no questions and I'll tell you no lies
Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country
Asleep at the wheel
Ass backwards
Ass over tea kettle
At the crack of dawn
At the drop of a hat
At the eleventh (11th) hour
At the end of my rope
At the end of the day
At the end of the pecking order
At the last minute
At wits' end
Ax to grind
Babe in the woods
Baby blues
Baby boomer
Back against the wall
Back breaker
Back from the dead
Back in a sec
Back in the saddle
Back it up
Back seat driver
Back stabber
Back to square one (1)
Back to the drawing board
Back to the salt mines
Backhanded comment
Backhanded compliment
Bad (Bum) wrap
Bad blood
Bad call
Bad hair day
Bad seed
Bad to the bone
bag and baggage
Bags all packed and ready to go
Bait and switch
Baker's dozen
Bald faced liar
Ball is in your court
Balls out
Balls to the wall
Banging your head against a brick wall
Bank on it
Baptism by fire
Bare bones
Barge right in
Bark is bigger (worse) than his bite
Barking up the wrong tree
Barn burner
Basket case
Bass Ackwards
Bat the idea around
Bats in the belfry
Batten down the hatches, lower the boom, raise the mizenmast: full speed ahead!
Be hot (i.e., sexually)
Be in the same boat
Be it ever so humble there's no place like home
Be there or be square
Be toast
Bear down
Beat a dead horse
Beat around the bush
Beat it!
Beat swords into ploughshares
Beats me
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Beauty is only skin deep
Bee in her bonnet
Bee's knees
Been there, done that
Before you were the gleam in your father's eye
Beggars can't be choosers
Behind the eight (8) ball
Behind the times
Belle of the ball
Bells and whistles
Bend over
Bend over backwards
Best laid plans of mice and men
Best thing since sliced bread
Bet it all
Bet the farm
Bet your bottom dollar
Better half
Better late than never
Better safe than sorry
Better than a kick in the teeth
Better than ever
Better the Devil you know
Between a rock and a hard place
Beware the ides of March
Big as a house
Big as life
Big brother is watching
Big cheese
Big head
Big heart
Big mouth
Big picture
Big wig
Bigger they are, the harder they fall
Biological clock is ticking
Bird in a gilded cage
Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
Birds of a feather flock together
Bite me
Bite off more than you can chew
Bite the bullet
Bite the dust
Bite your lip
Bite your tongue
Black as pitch
Black eye
Blast from the past
Blaze a new trail
Blew him away
Blew his wad
Blind as a bat
Blind leading the blind
Blood is thicker than water
Blood money
Bloom is off the rose
Blow a gasket
Blow chow
Blow chunks
Blow it
Blow me down
Blow the whistle on
Blow this joint
Blow your brains out
Blowing smoke (up my ass)
Body slam
Boils down to
Bone chilling cold
Bone of contention
Bone to pick
Bone up on
Bored to tears
Born with a silver spoon in his mouth
Both barrels
Both feet (firmly planted) on the ground
Bottom fell out
Bottom line
Bottom out
Bought (buy) the farm
Bounce back
Bowl someone over
Box yourself in
Boxed in
Boys will be boys
Bragging rights
Brain drain
Bread winner
Break a leg
Break ranks
Break the ice
Bright future
Bring home the bacon
Bring it
Broke the bank
Brother, can you spare a dime?
Brown nose
Brush off, To (The)
Buck naked
Buck stops here
Buckle down
Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat
Built like a brick shithouse
Bum deal
Bump in the road
Bump on a log
Bun in the oven
Burn the candle at both ends
Burn the midnight oil
Burn your bridges
Bury the hatchet
Business as usual
Business at hand
Bust your balls
Bust your chops
Busting a gut
Busy as a bee
Butterflies in his stomach
Buy (something) for a song
Buy in to
By the book
By the same token

Caca me me scheme
Call a spade a spade
Call it a day
Call off the dogs
Call someone on the carpet
Call the shots
Can it!
Can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink
Can never go home again
Can of corn
Can of whoop ass
Can of worms
Can say that again
Can take that to the bank
Can't fit a square peg in a round hole
Can't have your cake and eat it too
Can't hold a candle to
Can't judge a book by its cover
Can't learn to swim without getting in the water
Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
Can't put the toothpaste back in the tube
Can't say enough about him
Can't squeeze blood out of a turnip
Can't teach an old dog new tricks
Cannot judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins
Carry the team
Cash cow
Cash in your chips
Cash it in
Cast a very long shadow
Cat got your tongue?
Cat nap
Cat's meow
Cat's whiskers
Catch (Get) my drift?
Catch forty (40) winks
Catch on
Catching some ZZZ's
Caught me off guard
Caught with his pants down
Caught with your hand in the cookie jar
Chain is only as strong as it's weakest link
Champagne tastes and a beer budget
Change your tune
Changes hands
Chatty Cathy
Cheap date
Cheap shot
Cheap trick
Chew on
Chew out
Chew the fat
Chewing nails and spitting tacks
Chief cook and bottle washer
Child's play
Chill out
Chip in
Chip off the old block
Chip on your shoulder
Chomping at the bit
Clean bill of health
Clean sweep
Clean your clock
Clear as a bell
Clear as mud
Clear the air
Climbing the walls
Clock is ticking
Close call
Close early and often
Close ranks
Clue me in
Coast to coast
Cock and bull story
Coin a phrase
Cold as a witch's tit
Cold as cucumber
Cold as ice
Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey
Cold feet
Cold shoulder
Colder than a well digger's ass
Come across
Come again?
Come hell or high water
Come in under the wire
Come out of the closet
Coming down in buckets
Coming down the pike
Compare apple and oranges
Compare apples to apples
Complete picture
Cookie cutter
Cooking with gas (now)
Cool as a cucumber
Cool your heels
Cool your jets
Cop it sweet
Could have knocked me over with a feather
Couldn't care less
Couldn't fight his way out of a wet paper bag
Couldn't find his way out of a paper bag
Couldn't hit the broad side of a barn
Cover my ass
Cowboy up
Crack down
Crack the code
Crack the nut
Crack the whip
Cracking up
Crap shoot
Crazy as a loon
Crazy like a fox
Cream of the crop
Crime doesn't pay
Crocodile tears
Cross the line
Cry all the way to the bank
Cry me a river
Cry over spilled milk
Cry uncle
Cry wolf
Curb your enthusiasm
Curiosity killed the cat
Cut a (the) rug
Cut and dry
Cut corners
Cut it
Cut it out
Cut off your nose to spite your face
Cut the cheese
Cut the mustard
Cut to the chase
Cut your losses
Cut your teeth
Cute as a button
Cuts like a knife
Cuts to the core
Cuts to the quick

Dagger (knife) in the heart
Damned if you do and damned if you don't
Dances (Moves) to the beat of a different
Dangle a carrot in front of him
Dark horse
David versus Goliath
Day late and a dollar short
Dead as a doornail
Dead cat bounce
Dead presidents
Dead ringer
Deal with it
Dealt a fatal blow
Deep do do (shit)
Deep six (6) something
Deer caught in headlights, Like a
Diamond in the rough
Dig for gold
Dig yourself into a hole
Dip your toe in the water
Dirt cheap
Do a one-eighty (180)
Do as I say and not as I do
Do birds fly?
Do or die
Do unto others as you would have other do unto you
Do what it takes
Does a bear shit in the woods?
Doesn't have both oars in the water
Doesn't stand (have) a prayer
Doesn't stand a chance
Dog eat dog
Dog's life
Dogged him/her
Dogs bark, but the caravan moves on
Doing time
Don't bite the hand that feeds you
Don't count your chickens before they're hatched
Don't do anything I wouldn't do
Don't get your panties in a wad
Don't go there
Don't have a leg to stand on
Don't have two nickels to rub together
Don't hold your breath
Don't know him from Adam
Don't know shit from shinola
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth
Don't look back
Don't make a fuss
Don't miss the water till the well runs dry
Don't rock the boat
Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger
Don't sweat it
Don't take any wooden nickels
Don't tempt fate
Dot the I's and cross the T's
Double whammy
Down and out
Down in the mouth
Down on your/his luck
Down the hatch
Drain the lizard
Draw a blank
Dream on
Dressed to kill
Dressed to the nines
Drive me to drink
Drive me/you up a nuts
Drive me/you up a wall
Drive the porcelain bus
Driving me crazy
Drop a dime
Drop in the bucket
Drop me a line
Dropping like flies
Drown your sorrows
Drunk as a skunk
Dry as a bone
Dumb as a fox
Dumb as a post
Dumb as a stump
Dutch, Go (Dutch treat)

E ticket ride
Early bird catches the worm
Early to bed, early to rise (makes a man health, wealthy and wise)
Easy as 123
Easy as ABC
Easy as pie
Eat crow
Eat lead!
Eat like a horse
Eat my hat
Elephant in the room
Emotional roller coaster
Empty flattery
Enchilada, The whole
End over end
Ends justify the means
Even keel
Even money
Even Stevens
Every dark cloud has a silver lining
Every dog has his day
Everyone has their cross to bear
Everything (It all) comes out in the wash
Everything but the kitchen sink
Everything's coming up roses
Everything's copacetic
Everything's hunky dory
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth
Eyeball someone or something
Eyes are bigger than his stomach

Face only a mother could love
Fair haired one
Fair weather friend
Fall guy
Fall head over heels
Fall through the cracks
Falling off a log, As easy
Family affair
Fan the flames
Fancy meeting you here
Far cry
Fast buck
Fat chance
Feather in his cap
Federal case
Few bricks shy
Fickle finger of fate
Fifty (50), Fifty (50)
Fight like cats and dogs
Figure it out
Filthy rich
Fine and dandy
Fine line
Firing on all cylinders
First things first
Fish out of water
Fit as a fiddle
Fit to be tied
Fits like a glove
Fits like a hand in (a) glove
Flash in the pan
Flat as a board
Flat as a pancake
Fleet footed
Flip flop
Flip your lid
Flog a dead horse
Flown the coop
Fly by night
Fly by the seat of your pants
Fly in the ointment
Fly on the wall
Follow the leader
Following in his footsteps
Fool and his money are soon parted
Fools gold
For crying out loud
For Pete's sake
Forever and a day
Fork it over
Fork out
Four one one (411)
Free as a bird
Free reign
Frog in my throat
From day one
From here to Timbuktu
Full Monty
Full of himself
Full of hot air
Full of mischief
Funny business
Fur fly

Gang bang
Gang bangers
Get (Start) the ball rolling
Get a life
Get a room
Get a word in edgewise
Get all worked up
Get an earful
Get back up on the horse
Get cleaned out
Get crushed
Get down
Get it
Get lost
Get my message?
Get off
Get out of Dodge
Get out of here
Get out of my hair
Get over the hump
Get to the bottom of it
Get with the program
Get your arms around it
Get your clock cleaned
Get your ducks in a row
Get your feet wet
Get your foot in the door
Get your head in the game
Getting hitched
Give a hoot
Give and take
Give it a rest
Give it a whirl
Give it away
Give me a hand
Give the shirt off your back
Give them a hand
Give them an inch, and they'll take a mile
Give your right arm
Glimmer of hope
Gloss over
Glutton for punishment
Go against the grain
Go belly up
Go down hill
Go figure
Go fly a kite
Go for broke
Go head to head
Go jump in the lake
Go out in a blaze of glory
Go out on a limb
Go over his head
Go overboard
Go postal
Go the extra mile
Go through the motions
Go through the roof
Go together hand in hand
Go too far
Go with your gut
God speed
God willing (and the creek don't rise)
Going bananas
Going gang-busters
Gold digger
Golden child
Good call
Good crack
Good fences make good neighbors
Good man is hard to find
Good rule of thumb
Good soldier
Good things come to he who waits
Good to go
Good to the last drop
Goofing off
Got a bug up his ass
Got a leg up
Got burned
Got game
Got him by the short hairs
Got it coming to you
Got lost in the shuffle
Got more money than he knows what to do with
Got mugged
Got off on the wrong foot
Got the stuffing beat out of him
Got under my skin
Got whooped
Got your just desserts
Got your nose all pushed out of shape (joint)
Grasping at straws
Grass is always greener on the other side
Grease a palm
Green eyed monster
Green horn
Green with envy
Greener pastures
Grin and bear it
Grinning from ear to ear
Ground rules
Growing like a weed
Gunning for
Guns blazing

Half-baked idea
Hand off
Handle it with kid gloves
Hands on
Handwriting is on the wall
Hang in there
Hang me out to dry
Hang on every word
Hang yourself
Happy as a clam
Happy as a lark
Happy as a pig in mud
Happy as a pig in shit
Happy camper
Hard day's night
Hard headed
Hard stop
Hard to swallow
Hare brained idea
Has a leg up
Has egg on his face
Haste makes waste
Hat in hand
Hate his guts
Have a cow
Have a heart
Have a nice day
Have a shot
Have a stick up your ass
Have the last laugh
Have to break a few eggs to make an omelette
Haven't got a penny to my name
He who laughs last, laughs best
He who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword
Head over heals
Heading for the poor house
Heads up
Heard it through the grapevine
Heart breaker
Heart of gold
Heart of stone
Heaven help us
Heaven's to Betsy
Hell in a hand basket
Hell raiser
Hen pecked
Here today, gone tomorrow
Here's mud in your eye
Hide the salami
High as a kite
High hopes
High maintenance
Highway robbery
Hindsight is twenty/twenty (20/20)
History repeats itself
Hit below the belt
Hit on
Hit pay dirt
Hit the books
Hit the deck!
Hit the hay
Hit the nail on the head
Hit the road
Hit the sack
Hog heaven, To be in
Hold the phone
Hold your horses
Holding all the cards
Holy cow
Home is where you hang your hat
Hook me up
Hook, line and sinker
Hop, skip and a jump
Hope against hope
Hope springs eternal
Horse around
Horse of a different color
Horsing around
Hot as hell
Hot enough for you?
Hot enough to fry an egg
Hot water, In
House divided against itself cannot stand
How's it hanging
Hump day
Hunker down
Hurl insults

I beg to differ
I can't stomach that
I could whip you with one arm tied behind my back
I hate to say this, but...
I have no bones about that
I heard (hear) that!
I need that like I need a hole in my head
I never met a man I didn't like
I second that
I want my place in the sun
I wasn't born yesterday
I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him
I'd lose my head if it wasn't attached
I'll be a monkey's uncle
I'll be damned
I'll be the judge of that, thank you
I'll bet dollars to doughnuts
I'll leave you with something to chew on
I'm not getting any younger
I've got it covered
I've had it up to here
Ice water in his/her veins
Icing on the cake
Idle hands are the devil's workshop
If a frog had wings, he wouldn't bump his ass hoppin'
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times
If the shoe fits, wear it
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen
If you can't take Mohammed to the mountain, take the mountain to Mohammed
If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all
If you're going to talk the talk, you better walk the walk
Ill-fated idea
In a wink
In cold blood
In for a penny, in for a pound
In harm's way
In on the ground floor
In one fell swoop
In the black
In the cards
In the clear
In the hot seat
In the nick of time
In the pink
In the red
In two shakes of a lamb's tail
In your dreams
In your face
Inched out
Indian giver
Is a frog's ass watertight?
Is a pig pork?
Is it soup yet?
Is the Pope Catholic?
Isn't all it's cracked up to be
It ain't over till the fat lady sings
It ain't rocket science
It is good to be king
It takes two to tango
It will do
It won't fly
It's a lemon
It's a wash
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
It's better than a sharp stick in the eye
It's business
It's in the bag
It's never too late to learn
It's not a sprint, it's a marathon
It's not over till it's over
It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game
It's what's on the inside that counts

Jack of all trades and a master of none
Jockeying for position
Joined at the hip
Journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step
Jump down your throat
Jump in with both feet
Jump on the bandwagon
Jump the gun
Jumped his/her bones
Jury is still out
Just a cotton pickin' minute here
Just a minute
Just a second
Just around the bend
Just fell off the turnip truck
Just the tip of the iceberg
Justice is blind

Keep an eye on you
Keep it down
Keep it simple stupid (KISS)
Keep something at bay
Keep your chin up
Keep your eyes open
Keep your fingers crossed
Keep your nose to the grindstone
Keeping up with the Joneses
Keeps his cards close to his vest
Keeps on ticking
Kick back
Kick him/her to the curb
Kick it
Kick some butt (ass)
Kick the bucket
Kick your feet up
Kick your heels
kicking contest
Kid in a candy store
King's ransom
Kiss and tell
Kiss ass
Kiss my ass
Knock it out of the park
Knock off
Knock on wood
Knock your socks off
Knocked up
Knockout blow
Know it like the back of my hand
Know the ropes
Know the score
Know what's up
Know where you stand
Know which side your bread is buttered on
Knows it chapter and verse
Knuckle down
Knuckle sandwich
Knuckle under
Kodak moment

Land of milk and honey
Last ditch effort
Last hurrah
Last, but not least
Laugh a minute
Laugh all the way to the bank
Lay down the law
Lay my cards (out) on the table
Learned his lesson
Leave (Make) your mark
Leave no stone unturned
Left at the altar
Left hand doesn't know what his right hand is doing
Legend in his own mind
Leopard doesn't change its spots
Lesser of two evils
Let bygones be bygones
Let sleeping dogs lie
Let the cat out of the bag
Let's roll
Let's split
Licking one's wounds
Lie down with lions
Life is a bowl of cherries
Life's a bitch
Light as a feather
Light at the end of the tunnel
Light in the loafers
Lightning never strikes the same place twice
Lights are on but there's nobody home
Lights out
Like a bull in a china shop
Like a chicken with his head cut off
Like butter
Like father, like son
Like flies on shit
Like it's going out of style
Like oil and water
Like shit off a shovel
Like shooting fish in a barrel
Like there is no tomorrow
Line in the sand
Lion's den
Lion's share
Litmus test
Little bird told me
Little of this, a little of that
Live and learn
Living high off the hog
Lock, stock, and barrel
Long and short of it
Long arm of the law
Long in the tooth
Long row to hoe
Long shot
Long time no see
Long ways away
Look before you leap
Look into your heart
Look out!
Look over your shoulder
Looking at the world through rosy colored glasses
Looking for a needle in a haystack
Loose cannon
Lose your lunch
Lose your shirt
Lost a step
Lost his/her marbles
Lost me
Love is blind
Luck of the draw

Made it by the skin of my teeth
Made of money
Made your bed; now lie in it
Make a break for it
Make a long story short
Make a mountain out of a molehill
Make an ass out of yourself
Make ends meet
Make heads or tails of
Make no bones about it
Make or break
Make out like a bandit
Make the grade
Make tracks
Make up (reconcile)
Make waves
Make your move
Makes my blood boil
Makin' bacon
Making money hand over fist
Making whoopee
Man for all season's
Man's home is his castle
Many hands make light work
Marked man
Marking time
Marriage of two minds
Meet and greet
Memory like an elephant
Mercy me
Mexican standoff
Mile high club
Milk it (for all it's worth)
Missed the boat
Money can't buy you happiness
Money doesn't grow on trees
Money grubbing
Money hungry
Money is the root of all evil
Money makes the world go round
Money out (up) the wazoo
Monkey business
Monkey with
Monkey wrench
Monkeying around
More than meets the eye
More the merrier
More things change, the more they stay the same
More we learn, the less we know
Mouth off
Mud slinging
Mug for the camera
Murphy's law
Must be seeing things
My bad
My brain is fried
My hands are tied
My stomach is tied up in knots
My way or the highway

Nail biter
Naked as a jaybird
Naked as the day you were born
Near and dear to my heart
Necessary evil
Necessity is the mother of invention
Nerves of steel
Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today
New lease on life
Nice guys finish last
Night and day
Nip and tuck
Nip it in the bud
No accounting for taste
No brainer
No go
No holds barred
No if's, and's, or but's about it
No man is an island
No pain, no gain
No shit Sherlock
No skin off my nose
No strings attached
No way, Jose
Nod off
None of your business
Noodle on
Nose in the air
Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin
Not for all the tea in China
Not just whistling Dixie
Not playing with a full deck
Not the brightest crayon in the box
Not the ghost of a chance
Not the sharpest tool in the shed
Nothing personal
Nothing to sneeze at
Nothing to write home about
Nothing up my sleeve
Nothing ventured, nothing gained
Now or never

Object of desire
Off and running
Off like a prom dress!
Off the cuff
Off the dime
Off the hook
Off the shelf
Off the top of my head
Off your rocker
Oh brother
Oh my God!
Oh my goodness
Old ball and chain
Old school
On a lark
On a roll
On a short leash
On a soap box
On a wing and a prayer
On fire
On par
On pins and needles
On skid row
On tenterhooks
On the back burner
On the ball
On the cutting edge
On the fly
On the level
On the make
On the road again
On the same page
On the take
On the tip of my tongue
On the up and up
On track
On your toes
Once burned, twice shy
Once in a blue moon
One bad apple spoils the (whole) barrel / bushel / lot / bunch
One good turn deserves another
One in million
One man's garbage is another man's treasure
One-night stand
Only thing we have to fear is fear itself Open book
Opened Pandora's box
Out of gas
Out of it
Out of pocket
Out of sight, out of mind
Out of the clear blue
Out of the frying pan and into the fire
Out of the woods
Out of whack
Out sowing your wild oats
Out to lunch
Over a barrel
Over and over again
Over my head
Over the hill
Over the top

Pack it in
Pain in the ass
Pain in the neck
Paint yourself into a corner
Pandora's box
Paper tiger
Par for the course
Pass away
Pass on
Pass the buck
Pass the hat
Passed with flying colors
Path of least resistance
Path to your door
Pay as you go
Pay lip service
Pay the piper
Pay through the nose
Payback is a bitch
Pearls before swine
Pencil it in
Penny for your thoughts
Penny pincher
Penny saved is a penny earned
Penny wise and pound foolish
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones
Phone it in
Pick of the litter
Pick the low hanging fruit
Picture's worth a thousand words
Piece of cake
Pig headed
Pig out
Pin our hopes on
Pissing in the wind
Plain and simple
Plain as day
Play ball
Play it by ear
Play second fiddle to
Play the field
Play the hand you're dealt
Play with the big boys
Plenty of other fish in the sea
Plunk down
Poison the well
Poor as a church mouse
Pop a vein
Pot calling the kettle black
Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
Pound for pound
Pound of flesh
Pound the pavement
Pound the table
Pour oil on trouble waters
Powers of darkness
Preach the choir
Pretty penny
Pull a rabbit out of a hat
Pull any stunts
Pull the wool over your eyes
Pull your leg
Pulling your hair
Punch his lights out
Punched in the gut
Pure as the driven snow
Push the envelope
Push your buttons
Pushing up daisies
Put a cork in it
Put a lid on it
Put a sock in it
Put it through its paces
Put out some feelers
Put that in your pipe and smoke it
Put the pedal to the metal
Put two and two together
Put your best foot forward
Put your foot in your mouth
Put your heart into it
Put your money where your mouth is
Putting the cart before the horse

Quick buck
Quicker than a New York minute
Quiet as a (church) mouse
Quit horsing around!
Quitters never win

Rain on my parade
Raining cats and dogs
Raining pitchforks
Raise the bar
Raking (it) in
Rat hole
Rat out
Rattle your cage
Raw end of the deal
Read between the lines
Read someone the riot act
Read the fine print
Real McCoy
Red carpet treatment
Reinvent the wheel
Reopen an old wound
Rest on your laurels
Rhyme nor reason
Rifle for an arm
Right on the money
Right on the nose
Right up your alley
Ring a bell
Ring your bell, To (Have your bell rung)
Road less traveled
Road to hell is paved good intentions
Roll of the dice
Roll out the red carpet
Rolling in the dough
Rolling stone gathers no moss
Rome wasn't built in a day
Rose by any other name would smell as sweet
Rotten to the core
Rough around the edges
Rough road
Rub salt in the wound
Rub your nose (face) in it
Rubs me the wrong way
Run circles around
Run for your money
Run it up the flagpole

Same bat time, same bat channel
Same song and dance
Save your breath
Save yourself the headache
Say what you will
Say your prayers
Scarce as hen's teeth
Scared of his own shadow
Scraping the bottom of the barrel
Second wind
See eye to eye
See the glass as half empty (full)
See the light
See which way the winds blow
See you later alligator
Sell out, To (forfeit one's principles)
Sensory overload
Separate the men from the boys
Separate the wheat from the chaff
Shape up or ship out
Sharp as a tack
Shed (some) light on
Shit eating grin
Shit or get off the pot
Shit out of luck
Shoe in
Shoe is on the other foot
Shoestring budget
Shoot from the hip
Shoot straight
Shoot the breeze
Shoot yourself in the foot
Shooting fish in a barrel
Shooting for the moon
Short changed
Short end of the stick
Short fuse
Shot across the bow
Shot in the dark
Shotgun wedding
Shove off
Show him the door
Show me the money!
Show some backbone
Show some spunk
Shuffle off this mortal coil
Shut up
Shut your hole
Shut your mouth
Sick as a dog
Sick to death of it
Signed, sealed and delivered
Silence is golden
Sing like a bird
Sink or swim
Sink your teeth into
Sit tight
Six (6) of one (1), half a dozen of another
Skate on thin ice
Skeletons in the closet
Slam dunk
Slap on the wrist
Slipped through your fingers
Slow (Thick) as molasses
Slow and steady wins the race
Sly as a fox
Small potatoes
Smoke and mirrors
Smoking gun
Smooth operator
Smooth over
Snail's pace
Snowball's chance in hell
So close, you can taste it
Solid as the rock of Gibraltar
Son of a bitch
Son of a gun
Sound like a broken record
Sounds like a plan
Soup to nuts
Spare the rod and spoil the child
Speak with a forked tongue
Spinning your wheels
Spitting image
Split second
Splitting hairs
Spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down
Spread the news
Spruce up
Squeaky wheel gets the grease
Squeal on
Stack the deck
State of the art
Stay tuned
Stem the tide
Step on it
Stepping on people's toes
Stick a fork in it (him, me)
Stick in the mud
Stick it in your ear
Stick it out
Stick it to you
Stick it where the sun don't shine
Stick to your guns
Stick with it
Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me
Sticky subject
Stiff as a board
Stitch in time saves nine
Stone faced
Stone's throw away
Stop and smell the roses
Stop him, Newt, he's headed for the barn!
Stop on a dime
Stop the presses!
Straight arrow
Straighten up and fly right
Stress out
Stretch a dollar
String him along
Strong as an ox
Stubborn as a mule
Stuck out like a sore thumb
Stuffed shirt
Suck up
Sugarcoat something
Survival of the fittest
Swallow one's pride
Sweat the small stuff
Sweep it under the rug
Sweet 16 and never been kissed
Sweet deal
Sweeten the pot
Sweetheart deal
Swim against the tide
Swim up stream

Tail between his legs
Take a back seat to
Take a bath
Take a breather
Take a dump
Take a leak
Take a long walk off a short plank (pier)
Take a picture, it will last longer
Take a step back
Take five (i.e., take a break)
Take it easy
Take it from me
Take it to the limit
Take it with a grain of salt
Take one for the team
Take stock of
Take the bull by the horns
Take the easy way out
Take the gloves off
Take the plunge
Take the wind out of your sail
Take the world by storm
Take your life in your own hands
Taken for a ride
Takes its toll on you
Taking the scenic route
Talk shop
Talk to the hand
Talk until you are blue in the face
Talking behind his back
Tall tale
Taste of your own medicine
Teacher's pet
Team player
Tear you a new asshole
Technicolor Yawn
Tell it to me straight
Tempest in a teapot
Ten to one (odds)
Test the waters
Testing one's mettle
Thank goodness
Thank your lucky stars
That burns me up
That chaps my hide
That gets my goad
That hits the spot
That takes the cake
That which does not kill you makes you stronger
That's a doozy
That's a joke
That's a load off my mind
That's a wrap
That's for the birds
That's just peachy
That's no joke
That's the $64,000 question
That's the ticket
That's the way the ball bounces
That's the way the cookie crumbles
That's water under the bridge
The best things in life are free
There is a god
There is more than one way to skin a cat
There is no I in team
There is no time like the present
There now, that wasn't so bad, was it?
There ought to be a law against that
There, but for the grace of God, go I
There'll be hell to pay
There's a sucker born every minute
There's no place like home
There's no such thing as a free lunch
There's no time like the present
There's something fishy about that
Thick as a brick
Thick as pea soup
Thick headed
Things aren't what they used to be
Think outside the box
Thinking with the wrong head
Third (3rd) time's a charm
Third wheel
Thorn in my side
Three sheets to the wind
Threw a curve ball
Threw it with a little something on it
Through thick and thin
Throw (toss) me a bone
Throw (Toss) your hat in the ring To
Throw gasoline on the fire
Throw in the towel
Throw the baby out with the bathwater
Throw the book at him
Throw to the wolves
Thumb your nose at
Thumbs up
Tickled pink
Tie the knot
Tight as a drum, Wound
Tight as the bark on a tree
Tight wad
Tighten your belt (Belt tightening)
Tighter than a gnat's ass
Tilting at windmills
Time after time
Time and again
Time flies when you're having fun
Time heals all wounds
Time is money
Time is running out
Time of your life
Time on your hands
Time out
Time's up
Times, they are a changing
To be honest with you
To each his own
To the victor go the spoils
To toy with
Today is the first day of the rest of your life
Toe the line
Tongue in cheek
Tongue lashing
Tongue tied
Too many cooks spoil the broth
Too much information (TMI)
Too rich for my blood
Took off like a bat out of hell
Took off like a shot
Toot his own horn
Tooth and nail
Top banana
Top dog
Toss your cookies
Touch and go
Tow the line
Tread lightly
Trial by fire
Tried and true
Trip over your tongue
Trojan horse
Truth is stranger than fiction
Tugging at heartstrings
Tune out
Turn on a dime
Turn over a new leaf
Twiddling your thumbs
Twist my arm
Twist of fate
Two heads are better than one
Two left feet
Two peas in a pod
Two ships passing in the night
Two wrongs don't make a right

Ugly as sin
Under a microscope
Under her thumb
Under the gun
Under the knife
Under the table
Until the cows come home
Up a creek without a paddle
Up for grabs
Up in arms
Up shit's creek
Up the ante
Up the wazoo
Uphill battle

Vanity.  All Is Vanity!
Variety is the spice of life

Wait for the ink to dry
Waiting for the dust to settle
Waiting for the other shoe to drop
Waiting for your ship to come in
Waiting with bated breath
Wake-up and smell the coffee
Wake-up call
Wake-up on the wrong side of the bed
Walk on the wild side
Walk softly and carry a big stick
Walking on eggshells
Walls start closing in
Wash your hands of something
Washed up
Watch your mouth
Watched pot never boils
Watching the clock
Wave the white flag
Way to a man's heart is through his stomach
Way to go Einstein!
We'll cross that bridge when we come to it
We'll jump that fence when we get to it
We're gonna tie one on tonight
Wear many hats
Wear your heart out on your sleeve
Welcome to the club
Well off
Were you born in a barn?
Were you raised by wolves?
Wet behind the ears
Wet blanket
Wet dream
Wham, bam, thank you m'am
What a blast
What a tangled web we weave
What a way to go
What a zoo
What am I, chopped liver?
What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?
What goes around comes around
What goes up, must come down
What in tar nation?
What on Earth
What rock did you crawl out from under?
What you see is what you get
What's going on?
What's good for the goose is good for the gander
What's he been smoking?
What's up with that?
What's up?!
What's wrong with this picture?
Whatever floats your boat
Whatever tickles your fancy
Whatever turns you on
When all is said and done
When hell freezes over
When in Rome, do as Romans do
When it rains, it pours
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade
When pigs fly
When push comes to shove
When the going gets tough, the tough get going
Where there's smoke there's fire
Where's the beef?
Who died and left you in charge?
Whole Ball of wax
Whole kit and kaboodle
Whole nine yards
Whole shootin' match
Whoop it up
Why close the barn door after the horse is gone?
Why on God's green Earth?
Wig out
Win, hands down
Wing it
Winning combination
Wipe the slate clean
Wish upon a star
Wishy, washy
Witch hunt
With one hand tied behind my back
With tongue firmly planted in cheek
Wolf in sheep's clothing
Work like a dog
Work the crowd
Work the room
Work your fingers to the bone
World of hurt
World of trouble
World on a string
Worry wart
Worth its weight in gold
Wrong side of the tracks

“X” marks the spot
X-ray vision
XOXOXO (hugs and kisses)

Yank your chain
You must crawl before you can walk
You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours
You snooze, you loose
You're a good egg
You're going to get it
You've got (the) nerve
Young, dumb and full of cum
Your goose is cooked
Your place or mine

Zigged when he should have zagged
Zip it!
Zip your lip
Zippety doo-da
Last Updated: 02/10/2015
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District