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Stephen Lau


ENGLISH SLANG
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Darned sight more: a lot more.

e.g. "Do you think he should put more effort on this?" "A darned sight more!"


Get cold feet: become anxious and fearful.

e.g. He got cold feet, and left without taking the challenge.

Hard put to it
: in difficulty.

e.g. During the Great Depression people were hard put to it to make both ends meet.

Up to the neck: deeply and completely.

e.g. He was up to the neck in credit card debt.

Get cracking
: start.

e.g. We don't have all the time in the world; come on, get cracking.

French leave
: leave without permission.

e.g. His boss found out that he took French leave yesterday afternoon to see his mother in the hospital.

Have it in for someone
: bear someone a grudge; be determined to punish someone.

e.g. All these years he has it in for you: you married his sweetheart.

Geese are swans: less worthy than one insists.

e.g. He brags about his achievements. I tell you what: all his geese are swans.

Gen up on
: study; be informed.

e.g. You're going to give a speech; gen up on this subject.

Say one's piece
: say what one ought to say.

e.g. I must say my piece: that was not a nice thing to say to your parents.

Throw one's weight about: behave overbearingly; show authority.

e.g. Now that he has been elected major, he's throwing his weight about everything and everyone.

Till the cow comes home
: never; indefinitely.

e.g. "When do you think he will find a job?" "Till the cow comes home."

Give someone a break
: leave me alone.


e.g. Come on, give me a break; I don't want to hear this from you.


Stephen Lau
Copyrightę by Stephen Lau


Have not the faintest: have no idea at all.

e.g. I had not the faintest what he was talking about.

Put one's shirt on: wager everything.

e.g. We have to put our shirt on this project; we've no other option.

Full bang: full speed.

e.g. You have to go on full bang if you don't want to miss your flight.


Pooped: exhausted.

e.g. I was pooped after working for nine hours in the yard.


Hard put to it: in a very difficult situation.

e.g. I understand that when you are out of employment for so long, you are really very hard put to it.

Have a load on: be very drunk.

e.g. Your husband seemed to have a load on when he came home from work yesterday.

Alive and kicking: in good health.

e.g. "How is she doing?" "Very much alive and kicking."

Say-so
: permission.

e.g. Do I have your say-so to launch the project?

Geese are swans: less worthy than one insists.

e.g. He brags about his achievements. I tell you what: all his geese are swans.

See with half an eye
: see easily.

e.g. The mistake is so obvious: you can see it with half an eye.

All at sea
: confused.

e.g. "What do you think of the proposal?" "I'm all at sea; I'm completely clueless."

Jump on
: blame or criticize strongly.

e.g. You jumped on him every time he opened his mouth.

Gift of the gab: ability to give effective speeches.

e.g. The new Mayor has the gift of the gab: people like listening to him.


Keep one's head above water: stay out of debt or a difficult situation.

e.g. In this economic environment, it is not easy to keep your head above water.

Stephen Lau
Copyrightę by Stephen Lau