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Phrase Lists: A-Z

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Recently added idioms.
A Chip on Your Shoulder
Being angry about something that happened in the past; a grudge.


A Dime a Dozen
When something is extremely common and simple to acquire.


A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted
Someone acting foolish can easily lose his or her money through carelessness or trickery.


A Piece of Cake
A task that is simple to complete; similar to the common phrase "as easy as pie."


All Greek To Me
When something is incomprehensible due to complexity.


An Arm and a Leg
Something that is extremely expensive; an idiom meaning the price paid was costly, excessively so.
Back to Square One
To go back to the beginning; a popular saying that suggests a person has to start over.


Back To the Drawing Board
Similar to the phrase above, it means starting over again from a previously failed attempt.


Barking Up The Wrong Tree
To make a wrong assumption about something.


Beating Around the Bush
Avoiding the main point; a common phrase meaning a person is failing to get to the bottom line.


Beating a Dead Horse
Something that is seen as futile.


Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Being faced with two difficult choices; a popular saying used to describe a dilemma.


Break The Ice
Breaking down a social stiffness or awkardness.


Burst Your Bubble
To ruin someone's happy moment or mood, usually by telling them disappointing news or information.

Close But No Cigar
Coming close to a successful outcome only to fall short at the end.


Cry Over Spilt Milk
One shouldn't worry over things that have already happenend and that cannot be changed.


Cry Wolf
Lying; a common phrase meaning someone is calling for help when it's not really needed.


Cup Of Joe
A cup of joe is an American nickname for a cup of coffee.


Curiosity Killed The Cat
An idiom meaning mind your own business, as too much poking and prodding could lead to harm.


Cut The Mustard
Meeting expectations; used as a way to describe how someoneone has met the required standards that were set.


Cut To The Chase
To get to the point, leaving out all of the unnecessary details. Similar to popular sayings such as "beating around the bush."
How many phrases and sayings can you think of? The total number of phrases used around the world is quite staggering, yet you might only be able to name a few. There are even times where a person will utter them during conversations without fully realizing it, or at least, that seems to be the case for me.

Phrases are rather interesting and they add flavor to our language, but with so many of them existing today, there's a chance you will run into some that you're not familiar with. Then you might think to yourself: "What does that even mean?" Or you might wonder about its origins. Well, that's what Know Your Phrase is for! This is a simple website that has the meanings for many common idioms and phrases, as well as some information about where these expression originated from.

To give a quick tour, the white letters above contain a list of idioms depending on which letter you choose. On the left, there are glossaries for animal and sports phrases, with a food one coming soon. With that said, more idioms are being added, so if you can't find one in particular, then maybe check back another time. And hey, thanks for dropping by.
Knowyourphrase.com - Common Idioms and Phrases, With Their Meanings and Origins
Put simply, this website is about phrases, their meanings and possible origins. There are tons of terms being used around the world today, so it's possible that you will bump into some that you have never heard before. If that happens, well, Know Your Phrase has a growing alphabetical list of common sayings with their meanings included, also known as a uh, glossary. So if you have an idiom in mind, then feel free to check that idioms list out as it can help you find it. And if you go a little deeper, you just might learn a bit about a phrase's origins too.

Of course, we don't have every single expression that exists on this site, so you might not be able to find one that you were thinking about. However, since more popular sayings are being added at a steady pace, then be sure to check back another time.
The origins for certain phrases are unknown. In such cases, what I'll usually list on an idiom's page are the popular or plausible theories I've heard or read about that try to figure out the phrase's origin. Keep in mind, though, that these are simply theories/guesses, so obviously they may not be accurate.

Also, the quotes that you typically see on every expression's page are the earliest known citations of it being used in writing. These quotes usually come from old books, newspapers, poems, or plays. It's entirely possible that older citations exist and I missed them, so if that happens, then whoops! 

One last thing. While this is likely obvious to most people, I just want to be clear here: Let's say I quote a newspaper from the year 1900 because it uses a certain term. This does not mean that the term originates from that specific newspaper, nor does it mean that it originated in exactly that year. Really, if a newspaper is using an idiom, then it's probably already known to some degree by the people of that time, which would suggest the idiom is older. These quotes are to show you that an expression is at least that old.

Anyways, that's all. Just a reminder: More sayings and their meanings are being added, so check back another time to see new ones!
Some information about this website.
Info about the origins for phrases.
Out of Left Field

Wow, that really came out of left field. What is the meaning of this phrase, and where did it come from?
Food Phrases

Animal Phrases

Even A Broken Clock Is Right Twice a Day

Find out more about the meaning of this phrase!
An Elephant Never Forgets

As the saying goes, an elephant never forgets. How good is this animal's memory anyways, and just what does this phrase mean?
Find common phrases and sayings, learn their meanings, and discover their origins! 
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He's throwing a baseball!
An elephant never forgets!
A stopped clock.