Sixty Clothing Idioms: Part 2

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Click here for part one of our list of clothing idioms.

  • to get along on a shoestring – to manage on a small budget.
  • to get the boot/to give someone the boot – to get fired from a job/to fire someone from a job.
  • to hang one’s hat somewhere – to settle down and live somewhere.
  • to hang up one’s hat – to retire.
  • to have a bee in one’s bonnet – to be preoccupied with or obsessed by a single thought.
  • to have a card up one’s sleeve – to have a secret strategy to gain advantage.
  • to have ants in one’s pants – to feel agitated or restless due to nervousness or excitement.
  • to have money burning a hole in your pocket – to have money which you are eager to spend.
  • to have someone in one’s pocket – to have someone in one’s control.
  • to have something up one’s sleeve – to have a secret plan or solution.
  • to keep one’s hat/shirt on – to keep calm/to keep from losing one’s temper.
  • to keep something under one’s hat – to keep something secret/to keep something to oneself.
  • to laugh up one’s sleeve – to be quietly/inwardly amused.
  • to lick someone’s boots – to be attentive to someone to an excessive, servile degree.
  • to line one’s own pockets – to make money (usually in a dishonest way, such as through embezzlement or accepting bribery).
  • to pull a rabbit out of the hat – to unexpectedly but effectively solve a problem.
  • to put a sock in it – to stop talking.
  • to put on one’s thinking cap – to think over a problem.
  • to quake/shake in one’s boots – to tremble due to fear.
  • to ride on someone’s coattails – to benefit (often undeservedly) from the perks of someone else’s success.
  • to roll up one’s sleeves – to prepare oneself for hard work.
  • to take one’s hat off to someone/something – to declare one’s admiration for someone/something.
  • to talk through one’s hat – to speak without understanding what you are talking about.
  • to wait for the other shoe to drop – to be prepared for further complications to occur.
  • to wear more than one hat – to have multiples roles/responsibilities.
  • too big for one’s boots/britches – to think that you are more important than you really are.
  • under one’s belt – in one`s experience.
  • willing to give someone the shirt off one’s back – willing to do almost anything to help someon.
  • with cap/hat in hand – with humility (usually said before asking for a favour).
  • wolf in sheep’s clothing – someone or something that is hostile or threatening but appears to be harmless

If you’ve found this post useful, why not check out our other articles on idioms?


16 Dec 2014
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