Informal English Vocabulary, Idioms – N – Z

Here you will find idioms and other useful phrases.

Idioms/Informal Phrases Sample Sentences
from now on From now on I'm going to drive more carefully.
old fart Bob isn't an entertainer, he is an old fart.
pint ›A pint for me, please.‹
to be pissed off Leave me alone, I'm pissed off!
plonk Plonk often causes a bad headache.
to come to the point Don't talk for hours. Come to the point.
to pop in I won't be back early. I'll pop in at Max's.
to put in a word for sb. My mother doesn't let me go out. Can you put in a word for me, please?
pretty much They earn pretty much money together.
out of the question We can't come to the party. This is out of the question.
quid A quid is a pound in British currency.
red tape Too much red tape takes everything longer.
right as rain Your baby is right as rain.
to sack sb. Fred was sacked because he had lost his driving licence.
scruffy Her apartment is very scruffy.
to see about Let's have a party on Saturday. I'll see about the drinks.
sharpish After a quarrel Mike left sharpish.
to sing like an angel  
to be in someone's shoes I don't want to be in Peter's shoes.
to shut up Shut up or disappear before I get furious.
can't stand I can't stand the rain.
in the sticks During their holiday the Bakers lived in the sticks. Far away from towns.
to stick sth./sb. I can't stick more of this.
stroppy Jimmy is a stroppy child.
stuff Where is all that stuff I bought at Oxfam's yesterday?
Take it easy.  
telly You're a couch potato. All you can do is sit in front of the telly.
thick Are you thick? This is the right number.
Think nothing of it.  
to be on time Please be on time.
to take one's time Take your time.
tipple After walking through the cold rain everyone enjoyed a tipple.
tomato-red hair He's got tomato-red hair.
to loose track Do you know where Fred lives? - I've lost track of him.
to take turns My sister and Anne take turns babysitting.
Watch your step. You'd better watch your step if you don't want trouble with your boss.
like water on a hot stone  
to wear many hats You've got to wear many hats if you want to run your own hotel.
to feel under the weather I think I'll stay at home tonight. I'm feeling a little under the weather.
when push comes to shove When push comes to shove you'd rather accept the job.
as white as snow  
no wonder No wonder he is ill. He went out in shorts in winter.
a word in your ear Could I have a word in your ear?
Words fail me. Did you hear about Sue and Pat? – Words fail me.
to eat one's words I'm sorry. I'll eat my words.
in other words In other words, you can't answer the question.
to have words with sb. I had words with the headteacher of my son's school
to work like a dog  
would rather Would you like to spend your holidays in the North? No - I'd rather fly to Mexico.
to wow sb. His appearance at the party wowed me.
to zing through sth. The arrow zinged through the trees as fast as lightning.

Thanks to Alina, Elisabeth and Friedrich.