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List of Popular Idioms and Usages Part C

Here is the third part of the list of popular idioms series. Here are some from the letter C. Hope you read the first and the second part of this series.

  1. Call a spade a spade: To speak straight forward. Joe’s courage to call a spade a spade created him a lot many enemies.
  2. Canteen culture: Old fashioned attitudes of racism and misogyny.
  3. Carte blanche: Freedom to choose what you want to. This is similar to blank check.
  4. Catch 22: This is a famous satire classic from Joseph Heller. The slang meaning is total failure.
  5. Caught by the short and curlies: Held fast by an enemy into a position not easy to escape from.
  6. Caught with your pants down: Caught unawares.
  7. Cherry ripe: Means pipe. It’s a Cockney rhyming slang.
  8. Chew the cud: Spend time chatting.
  9. China plate: Mate or friend. Another Cockney rhyming slang.
  10. Chinless wonder: Refers to a member of British nobility.
  11. Chip on his shoulder: To nurture a grudge.
  12. Chop and change: To change continuously.
  13. Chow down: Sit down to eat.
  14. Clear blue water: The difference between the ideologies of two parties.
  15. Climb onto the bandwagon: To join the supportive movement of anybody, with an opportunistic intention.
  16. Close, but no cigar: Come very close to success before failing.
  17. Cock and bull story: A fanciful fabrication. Jim gave a cock and bull story for not attending the examination.
  18. Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey: Too cold.
  19. Cold shouldered: Treat someone in an unfriendly and offhand manner. On arriving at the place, the star dealt with locals cold shouldered.
  20. Cold turkey: The state of drug addicts after abstaining from drugs.
  21. Collywobbles, the: A state of nervousness accompanied by a rumbling stomach.
  22. Come a cropper: Fall or fail in a venture.
  23. Come hell or high water: To retain perseverance no matter what happens.
  24. Come what may: Whatever happens. Similar to “come hell or high water.”
  25. Comparisons are odious: No need to comparison, or all people are unique.
  26. Cop an attitude: Put up an aggressive attitude.
  27. Cor blimey: An exclamation of surprise.
  28. Cordon bleu: High quality, especially cooking.
  29. Counting sheep: an attempt to get to sleep.
  30. Crapper: The lavatory. Use with the definite article.
  31. Cream crackered: Knackered or exhausted.
  32. Crocodile tears: Fake sorrow.
  33. Curate’s egg: Something with good parts as well as bad.
  34. Currant bun: Sun. Cockney rhyming slang.
  35. Cut and run: To depart quickly.
  36. Cut off your nose to spite your face: Avenge yourself even if you are harmed by it.
  37. Cut the mustard: To be capable and efficient.
  38. Cut to the chase: To stop beating around the bush and come to the point.

Previous entries:

Idioms and Usages, Part A

Idioms and Usages, Part B

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008


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