Update: 2012-11-28 03:04 AM +0630


TIL English Idiom Collection


Collected from various sources by U Kyaw Tun (UKT), M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), and staff of TIL (Tun Institute of Learning, http://www.tuninst.net ) for staff and students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale.

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U-turn uh-huh uh-uh under a spell under arrest under control under fire under his own steam under my belt under my breath under my care under my nose under my skin under my wing under oath under pressure under the influence of alcohol under the table under the weather under the wire



From Magnuson
-- under my breath Internet link U-turn

U-turn -- turn and go the opposite direction, do a 180
The driver of the truck made a U-turn and drove back into town.

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From Magnuson
uh-huh --
yes, yep
"Do you want a piece of cake?" "Uh-huh."

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From Magnuson
uh-uh --
no, nope
"Have you done your homework?" "Uh-uh."

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under a spell

From Magnuson
under a spell --
controlled by a spirit or magic, cast a spell
She danced when she saw the cat. She seemed to be under a spell.

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under arrest

From Magnuson
under arrest --
stopped and taken away by the police, busted
"Jean, you are under arrest." "What for, sir?" "For stealing a loaf of bread."

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under control

From Magnuson
under control --
order restored, control returned
The prisoners caused a riot, but things are now under control.

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under fire

From Magnuson
under fire --
being asked many difficult questions
After your speech, you will be under fire from reporters.

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under his own steam

From Magnuson
under his own steam --
by himself, without help
Although Don was injured, he left the field under his own steam.

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under my belt

From Magnuson
under my belt --
completed, finished
With an accounting course under my belt, I can do the bookkeeping.

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under my breath

From Magnuson
under my breath --
whispered, not spoken loud enough to hear
When the teacher asks questions, I often answer under my breath.

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under my care

From Magnuson
under my care
-- under the wire Internet link under my care

under my care -- cared for by me, look after
The house is under my care until the owner returns from Europe.

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under my nose

From Magnuson
under my nose --
easy to see, close and visible, in plain view
Isn't that the way! I've been looking for a partner all my life, and then I found Lila - she was right under my nose all the time!

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under my skin

From Magnuson
under my skin --
in my thoughts, in my feelings
I can't stop thinking about Paul. I've got him under my skin.

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under my wing

From Magnuson
under my wing --
having my protection and help and guidance
I am Anna's guardian. She'll be under my wing until she's 18.

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under oath

From Magnuson
under oath --
after promising to tell the truth in court, cross my heart and...
At the trial you will be asked to tell your story under oath.

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under pressure

From Magnuson
under pressure --
feeling of too much to do, feeling a lot of stress
Gabor is under a lot of pressure now. He's working at two jobs.

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under the influence of alcohol

From Magnuson
under the influence of alcohol --
partly drunk, buzzed
Is he under the influence now? Is he drunk?

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under the table

From Magnuson
under the table --
hidden, not recorded, not above board, on the side
"Do you get paid for bringing customers to the store?" "I don't get a check - just a little money under the table."

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under the weather

From Magnuson
under the weather --
not feeling well, ill, sick, not feeling myself
Dan's been under the weather lately - sick with the flu.

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under the wire

From Magnuson
under the wire --
just before the end, before closing, just in time
"Did you receive my application?" "It arrived on the last day of the competition, just under the wire."

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U03. under way -- up against it Internet link under way

under way -- started, commenced
The concert is under way. The band is playing O Canada.

under wraps -- secret, not advertised, on the QT
I know the name of the winner, but I have to keep it under wraps until tonight.

under your thumb -- under your control, doing your wishes
Willie is under your thumb now. He does what you tell him to do.

underdog -- the player or team that is not likely to win
The Sharks are underdogs this year. People say they won't win.

underhanded -- not legal, not according to rules, not above board
Some people say the government was underhanded in dealing with the Indians.

unsung hero -- great person who has not been honored or praised, behind the scenes
The mothers of the graduates are the unsung heroes. The mothers are Homework Supervisors!

until you're blue... -- (See till you're blue in the face)

up a storm -- (See sing up a storm)

up against -- competing against, trying to defeat
"Who were you up against?" "Gaetan Boucher, the Champion."

up against it -- poor, not able to pay the bills, hard up
We were up against it that year. The crop had failed, we had lots of bills, and none of us had a job.

U04. up and coming -- up on Internet link up and coming

up and coming -- starting to develop ability, showing potential
Lisel has won six junior trophies. She's an up-and-coming athlete.

up and running -- operating, working
Andre is repairing the copier. It will soon be up and running.

up for grabs -- available, can be bought
The estate will be sold by auction. Even the antiques are up for grabs.

up for it -- ready, prepared to play, pumped
Tonight's game is important. Every player has to be up for it.

up for sale -- advertised for sale, on the market
The Wongs must be moving. Their house is up for sale.

up front -- at the beginning, level with beforehand
He was up front with me. He told me about the interest charges first.

up in arms -- angry, ready to fight, hot
The smokers are up in arms about the no-smoking bylaw.

up in smoke -- burned, destroyed by fire
The barn went up in smoke before the fire truck arrived.

up in the air -- not decided, not settled
They aren't sure who killed the President. It's still up in the air.

up on -- aware of, informed about, on top of
Are you up on the latest computer games? Have you played UFOX?

U05. up shit creek [B] -- up to no good Internet link up shit creek [B]

up shit creek [B] -- in a bad situation, in a fix
If we lose our matches, we're up shit creek. We need a campfire.

up the ante -- increase the payment, increase the deposit
If they up the ante to $50, I won't enter the hockey pool this year.

up the creek -- in a predicament, in difficulty, in a jam
Without insurance, you could be up the creek if there's a fire.

up the stump [B] -- pregnant, a bun in the oven
She didn't use a contraceptive, so she's up the stump again.

up the wahoozey -- a lot, more than needed, coming out of our ears
The Burnsides are so rich they have money up the wahoozey!

up to -- planning, doing
What are you up to? Are you planning another fishing trip?

up to date -- recent, current
The radio reports events as they happen. The news is up to date.

up to it -- have enough energy to do it, up for it
"Would you like to play another game of badminton?" "No, I don't think I'm up to it."

up to my ears -- have too many, coming out of our ears
You're selling books? I'm up to my ears in books!

up to no good -- doing bad things, causing problems
Tom's up to no good these days - stealing drugs and selling them.

U06. up to par -- up yours [B] Internet link up to par

up to par -- good enough to pass, up to a standard
This woodwork is not up to par. It's below our standard.

up to scratch -- good enough, up to par
The cloth in these jeans is poor quality. It's not up to scratch.

up to snuff -- good quality, measure up
We expect quality photographs - every picture must be up to snuff.

up to something -- trying to make a deal, planning a joke
David is up to something. He has a look of mischief in his eye.

up to speed -- at normal speed, feeling healthy again
Tim's recovered from his surgery but he's not up to speed yet.

up to you -- your choice, your decision
Whether you go or stay is up to you. It's your decision.

up with -- support it, this is good
Millie was waving a flag and shouting, "Up with fluoride!"

up your alley -- what you like to do, what interests you
Sewing - that's right up your alley. It's one of your hobbies.

up your sleeve -- hidden, ready to use if asked
When I write an exam, I like to have a topic up my sleeve.

up yours [B] -- I hope you have an accident, screw you
When she told him to get out of the house, he said, "Up yours!"

U07. upchuck -- uptight Internet link upchuck

upchuck -- vomit, puke, barf, hork
Please hand me the paper towel. Baby upchucked on my sweater.

uphill battle -- difficult work, rough going, tough sledding
We've asked the government to protect children's rights, but it's an uphill battle all the way.

upon my word -- believe me, this is the truth, honestly
Upon my word, I don't know why they hate me so.

upon the words offhandedly spoken -- upon words spoken casually or carelessly, offhand
Upon the words offhandedly spoken by a lover we often rely, only to feel the sweetness of their promise disappear.

upper crust -- upper class, high class, aristocracy
Kurt acts like upper crust because his ancestor was a German baron.

upper hand -- (See the upper hand)

upset the apple cart -- cause a major problem, stop progress
You will upset the apple cart if you tell your folks we're moving.

upside -- positive side, good news
If war has an upside, it would be that it's good for the economy.

uptalk -- ending statements with your voice rising slightly, inflecting the tone of your voice upwards
Uptalking sounds weak - like the speaker lacks confidence.

uptight -- tense, nervous, not relaxed, worried sick
"What are you uptight about?" "I'm not sure. It could be fear of losing my job."

U08. use up -- uzi Internet link use up

use up -- use all of it, use all you have
We've used up all the shampoo. Please buy some more.

used to -- accustomed to, having felt it often
Lynn is used to being alone. Henry is away from home a lot.

useless as a fifth wheel -- (See as useless as a fifth wheel)

useless as the tits... -- (See as useless as tits on a boar)

user friendly -- easy to learn or use, easy to operate
Cars with automatic transmission are user friendly - easy to drive.

uzi -- (See pack uzis)

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