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Stephen Lau

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Hell-bent on: very determined.
e.g. The team is hell-bent on winning the game tonight.

Not born yesterday: not as naive or foolish as you think.
e.g. Don't give me all that nonsense. I was not born yesterday.

Right you are: I agree.
e.g. "I think I'm going to accept this job." "Right you are."

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

Get cold feet: become anxious and fearful.
e.g. He got cold feet, and left without taking the challenge.

All hot and bothered: agitated, confused, or excited.
e.g. She was all hot and bothered when she heard the news of their divorce.

Poorly: sick or unwell.
e.g. What's the matter with you today? I say, you look poorly!

Saw you coming: realized your ignorance.
e.g. You gave him the money right away without asking any question; he saw you coming!

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

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.

No can do: I cannot do it.

e.g. "Can you do this now?" "No can do.”

Try as I may: I regret or fail to do something.

e.g. "Can you do something with this machine?" "Try as I may, I can't make it work."

Worst-case scenario: the worst consequence.

e.g.  A blizzard is coming. The worst-case scenario is that all public transport will be suspended.

Pipe dream: Something impossible or unrealistic

e.g. The Mayor said that building another highway would be a pipe dream in the current economic environment.

Not budging / Not giving an inch / Sticking to my guns: Being firm.

e.g. "We're not going to cancel the charges. We're not budging."
e.g. Despite the protests, the government would not give an inch.
e.g.  "I'm not moving out. That's out of the question. I'm sticking to my guns."

See to it right away: Take care of a complaint or problem.

e.g. "The tap is leaking." "Yes, I'll see to it right away."

Call for an apology: Demand an apology.

e.g. Your reckless behavior calls for an apology.

In a nutshell: In summary

e.g. "We're having serious financial and relationship problems." "In a nutshell, you want to divorce your wife?"

No can do: I cannot do it..

e.g. "Can you do this now?" "No can do.”

Beats me: I don't know; I've no idea.

e.g. "Do you know how this works?" "Bets me."

Stephen Lau

Copyright© by Stephen Lau
Can’t complain: It’s okay.
e.g. “How are things going with you?” “Can’t complain.”

Remember me to someone
: Say hello to someone for me.
e.g. “Please remember me to your brother.
He’s such a nice fellow.” “Yes, I will.”

Can it!
: Be quiet!
e.g. “That’s enough out of you. Can it!

You can say that again
: That is so true.
e.g. “This is probably one of the coldest winters.” “You can say that again.”

Come off it!
: Stop acting that way.
e.g. “I don’t find that funny. Come off it!

You bet
: You can be quite certain.
e.g. “Can I have another cup of coffee?” “You bet.”

Not in my books: not according to my views.

e.g. "Is this good enough?" "Not in my books."

It blows my mind: it's amazing, almost unbelievable.

e.g. "Did you hear that he passed the exam with flying colors?" "It blows my mind."

I can live with that: I'm okay with that; I'll get used to it.

e.g. "That one may cost more." "I can live with that."

Keep one's shirt on: Calm down; don't get too excited.

e.g. "Cool off! Keep your shirt on. This is not the end of the world can't make heads or tails of what you're saying.  You're totally beyond me."

Snap it up: be quick.

e.g. "Snap it up! We need to finish it before noon."

No sweat: it's ok; no problem.

e.g. "I'm sorry I'm late." "No sweat! We've all the time in the world."

Over my dead body: absolutely not!

e.g. "Can I come with you? " "Over my dead body!"

Yesterday wouldn't be too soon: as soon as possible.

e.g. "When do you want me to give this to you?" "Yesterday wouldn't be too soon!"

Speak out of turn: speak at the wrong time.

e.g. "Beware of what you're going to say at the meeting. Don't speak out of turn by talking about your divorce."

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau