Pour money down the drain: waste money
e.g. It’s better to declare bankruptcy, rather than pouring money down the drain; nothing can revive the business.
Trump up: make up something untrue
e.g. The witness trumped up an excuse why he lied previously.
After all: in spite of everything
e.g. She didn’t get a good score; after all, it was her first attempt
Take one’s medicine: accept misfortune or punishment that one deserves
e.g. I messed it up; it was all my fault. I’ll take my medicine.
Late in life: in old age
e.g. It was only late in life that he became a famous writer.
Poke one’s nose into something: interfere with
e.g. I don’t like the way you poke your nose into my affairs.
Run in the family: a characteristic in all members of a family
e.g. Longevity runs in the family: they all live to a ripe old age.
Above all: most importantly
e.g. Above all, you must have a valid visa if you wish to continue to stay in the
. United States
Have it coming: deserve what one gets
e.g. Failure was unavoidable. What you did had it coming.
A little bird told me: somehow I knew
e.g. “How did you know what I did?” “Well, a little bird told me.”
Tie up: engage or occupy in doing something
e.g. He was tied up at the meeting, and could not come to the phone.
Push someone to the wall: force someone into a difficult or defensive position
e.g. Don’t push him to the wall! He might even kill you!
All at sea: confused
e.g. The lawyer was all at sea when he read the two conflicting reports of the incident.
e.g. Show me what you have done! Actions speak louder than words.
Add insult to injury: make things worse
e.g. Enough is enough! Don’t add insult to injury.
Presence of mind: clarity of thinking
e.g. Without presence of mind, it is impossible to handle one crisis after another.
As flat as a pancake: very flat
e.g. You left front wheel tires is as flat as a pancake.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau