IDIOMS beginning with C

IDIOMS beginning with C


Call a Spade a Spade
Meaning: To speak frankly and directly about a problem

Call It a Day
Meaning: Decide that one has worked enough on something for the day

Call It a Night
Meaning: End an evening’s activities and go home

Call the Shots
Meaning: Make the important decisions in an organization

Call the Tune
Meaning: Making important decisions and controlling a situation.

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
Meaning: Is unable to maintain a wider perspective

Can’t Swing A Dead Cat In (Place)
Meaning: Without Hitting A (Thing) There are many examples of [thing] in this [place].

Carrot-and-Stick (Approach)
Meaning: A tactic in which rewards are offered, but there is also the threat of punishment

Carry a Torch (for)
Meaning: To continue to be in love with someone even after a relationship has ended

Carry Coals To Newcastle
Meaning: Supply something that is unneeded; engage in useless labor

Carry the Can
Meaning: To take the blame for something one did not do

Cash In One’s Chips
Meaning: A. To take advantage of a quick profit B. To die

Cash-Strapped
Meaning: In need of money

Cast the First Stone
Meaning: To be the first to criticize or attack someone

Castle in the Air
Meaning: An impractical plan

Cat Fight
Meaning: A fight between two women

Cat Got Your Tongue?
Meaning: Don’t you have anything to say?

Cat on a hot tin roof
Meaning: Be extremely nervous

Cat-and-Mouse (adj.)
Meaning: In a toying way; playful in an unpleasant way

Catch One’s Death of Cold
Meaning: To become very ill (with a cold/flu etc.)

Catch Some Rays
Meaning: To sit or lie outside in the sun

Catch Someone’s Eye
Meaning: Attract someone’s attention

Catch-22
Meaning: A difficult situation from which there is no escape because options for avoiding it involve contradictions

Cat’s Paw
Meaning: A person being used by someone else, a tool

Caught Red-Handed
Meaning: Apprehended while committing a crime

Circle the Wagons
Meaning: To prepare as a group to defend against attack, adopt a defensive posture

Claim to Fame
Meaning: Unusual feature or offering

Clean Up Nicely
Meaning: Look good when one is dressed up. Usually said of women

Clear the Air
Meaning: Defuse tension, be honest about conflict so as to reduce it

Clip Someone’s Wings
Meaning: Reduce someone’s privileges or freedom

Close, But No Cigar
Meaning: You are very close but not quite correct.

Cock and Bull Story
Meaning: A far-fetched story, probably untrue

Cock-A-Hoop
Meaning: Elated, excited

Cold Day in Hell
Meaning: A condition for something that would be extremely unlikely to occur

Come By Something Honestly
Meaning: Acquire something honestly, or inherit it

Come Clean
Meaning: To confess; to admit to wrongdoing

Come Hell or High Water
Meaning: No matter what happens

Come Out in the Wash
Meaning: To be resolved with no lasting negative effect

Come Out of the Closet
Meaning: Reveal a secret about oneself, usually that one is gay (homosexual)

Come Out Swinging
Meaning: Respond to something very aggressively

Come Rain and Shine
Meaning: Do regularly, whatever the circumstances

Come to Grips With
Meaning: To acknowledge a problem as a prelude to dealing with it

Come to Terms With (Something)
Meaning: Feel acceptance toward something bad that has happened

Coming Down the Pike
Meaning: Likely to occur in the near future

Cook Someone’s Goose
Meaning: To insure someone’s defeat, to frustrate someone’s plans

Cook Up a Storm
Meaning: Cook a great deal of food

Cooking Up a Storm
Meaning: Cooking a great deal of food

Cool as A Cucumber
Meaning: Calm and composed even in difficult or frustrating situations; self-possessed

Cool Cat
Meaning: Someone who has the respect of their peers in a young, casual way.

Cool Your Heels
Meaning: Wait

Couch Potato
Meaning: A lazy person who watches a great deal of television

Crash a Party
Meaning: To attend a party without being invited

Crickets
Meaning: Silence

Cross to Bear
Meaning: A problem one must deal with over a long time, a heavy burden

Crunch Time
Meaning: A period of high pressure when one has to work hard to finish something

Crunch the Numbers
Meaning: Do calculations before making a decision or prediction

Cry Over Spilt
Meaning: Milk To waste energy moaning about something that has already happened

Cry Wolf
Meaning: To issue a false alarm, to ask for help when none is needed

Cry Your Eyes Out
Meaning: Cry hard for a very long time

Curiosity Killed The Cat
Meaning: Stop asking questions, don’t be too curious

Cut (Someone) To the Quick
Meaning: To deeply hurt someone emotionally

Cut Corners
Meaning: Economize by reducing quality; take shortcuts

Cut It Fine
Meaning: To do something at the last moment

Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face
Meaning: To act in a proud way that ultimately damages your own cause

Cut Someone Some Slack
Meaning: Avoid treating someone strictly or severely

Cut to the Chase
Meaning: Get to the point; explain the most important part of something quickly; skip the preliminaries

Cut the Gordian Knot
Meaning: To solve a complex problem in a simple way

Cut the Mustard
Meaning: Do something adequately

Cut Your Teeth on Something
Meaning: To learn basic skills in a field

Cutting-Edge
Meaning: Very novel, innovative

Champagne taste on a beer budget
Meaning: Expensive or extravagant tastes or preferences that are beyond one’s economic means.

Change Horses in Midstream
Meaning: Change plans or leaders in the middle of a process

Change of Heart
Meaning: A change in one’s opinion or outlook

Change One’s Tune
Meaning: To alter one’s opinion about something.

Changing of the Guard
Meaning: A change in leadership at an organization

Chase Rainbows
Meaning: To pursue unrealistic goals

Cheap Shot
Meaning: An unfair attack; a statement that unfairly attacks someone’s weakness

Cherry-Pick
Meaning: To present evidence selectively to one’s own advantage

Cherry Pick
Meaning: To select the best or most desirable

Chew the Fat
Meaning: Chat for a considerable length of time

Chickens Come Home To Roost
Meaning: The negative consequences of previous actions reveal themselves

Child’s Play
Meaning: A very easy task

Chill Out
Meaning: Do something that helps them to calm down and relax for a while.

Chin Music
Meaning: Meaningless talk

Chin Up/ Keep Your Chin Up
Meaning: Cheer up; try to be cheerful and strong

Chip off the Old Block
Meaning: Someone who resembles a direct ancestor, usually the father

Chomp (Champ) at the Bit
Meaning: Be eager to do something

Chomp at the Bit
Meaning: To be eager to do something

Chop Chop
Meaning: Quickly, without delay

Chop Shop
Meaning: A shop where stolen cars are disassembled for parts

Chuck a Wobbly
Meaning: To act in an emotional way



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