Skip to main content

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


Popular posts from this blog

En Dash, Em Dash, and Hyphen

We have three types of dashes in use: The hyphen, En Dash, and the Em Dash. In this post, we will see how to use them all correctly. Hyphen (-) The hyphen is the minus key in Windows-based keyboards. This is a widely used punctuation mark. Hyphen should not be mistaken for a dash . Dash is different and has different function than a hyphen. A hyphen is used to separate the words in a compound adjective, verb, or adverb. For instance: The T-rex has a movement-based vision. My blog is blogger-powered. John’s idea was pooh-poohed. The hyphen can be used generally for all kinds of wordbreaks . En Dash (–) En Dash gets its name from its length. It is one ‘N’ long (En is a typographical unit that is almost as wide as 'N'). En Dash is used to express a range of values or a distance: People of age 55–80 are more prone to hypertension. Delhi–Sidney flight was late by three hours. In MS Word, you can put an En Dash either from the menu, clicking Insert->Symbol or by the k

4 Effective Ways to Write About a Boring Topic

  With the plethora of interesting topics to write about, you’re fortunate enough to get the “boring” one. While it can be a pain for many writers to wind up with such a task, I’m telling you now there are ways to make yours more interesting than it is. So if you find yourself stuck with the dreariest topic to fill in a blog about, don’t fret. Here are the four best ways to unburden yourself. 1. Never a boring topic, only a boring writer. Here’s the hard fact: It’s never about the topic being boring. It’s about the writer making it boring. For instance, you’re supposed to write about aquariums. I know, how can you continuously make this topic interesting, right? Well, you’d be surprised just in how many ways you can make it an enticing read. Start by listing down the basic “what”, “where”, “when” and “how” surrounding the topic. You can ask (and research) about “What material was first used to make aquariums?” or even “How the first aquarium was built?” or “What are

5 Simple Ways To Improve Your Writing

As writers, we’re always pushing the envelope to express ourselves better than we did before. However there are times when we plateau, when our writing just doesn’t feel natural. Worse yet, there are times when we can’t get a good paragraph out. Those are times when we start thinking about pushing ourselves and our writing. When you need to tweak and boost your writing up a notch, it’s always good to try something constructive.  For those who could use a couple of tips, here are a few that are sure to help improve your writing and keep it from going stale. 1.Imitate Different Authors If you read other writers for inspiration, why not actively imitate their writing? Once you walk in another writer’s shoes for a bit, writing as they write, you get an idea on how to approach writing about things in ways you normally wouldn’t.  Moreover, it will force you to pay attention to what makes someone else’s writing style unique which, in turn, will help you find ways to make your