3:08 pm - Saturday October 20, 0435

Idioms and their meanings

Idioms

Alphabetically

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Y

yakety-yak

– a lot of talk about little things

We spent the whole evening in a yakety-yak session at my friends.

year after year

– for many years, one year after another

We went to the lake year after year when I was a child.

year in and year out

– every year

Year in and year out the city had to spend money to fix the old stadium.

year round

– during the entire year

We usually spend the summer at a year-round vacation resort.

yellow-bellied

– extremely timid, cowardly

The man is a yellow-bellied person who is not good to have as a friend.

yellow journalism

– overly sensational newspaper writing

The newspaper story about the scandal was a good example of yellow journalism.

yellow streak

– cowardice in a person`s character

The boy has a yellow streak and will not help defend his friends.

a yes-man

– a person who tries to be liked by agreeing with everything someone says (especially his or her boss)

He is a yes-man who will do anything that his boss asks him to do.

yield the right-of-way

– to give the right to turn or move to another vehicle

We were forced to yield the right-of-way to the other car at the intersection.

yoke around someone’s neck

– a burden for someone

The complaints from the apartment manager were a yoke around our neck.

You bet!

– most certainly, without any doubt

“You bet I will be attending the conference next year.”

You bet your boots!

– most certainly, without any doubt

“You bet your boots I am going to go.”

You bet your life!

– most certainly, without any doubt

“You bet your life I will be attending the conference next year.”

You can say that again!

– that’s true, you’re right (used to show strong agreement with what another person has said)

“You can say that again,” I answered when the woman mentioned how hot it was outside.

You can’t please everyone.

– it is not possible to make everyone happy

You can’t please everyone and somebody in the class was always unhappy with what the teacher chose to do.

You can’t take it with you.

– you should use your money and enjoy life now because when you die it is no good

You can’t take it with you and you should enjoy your money and life while you have the chance.

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

– people become used to their way of doing things and you can’t get them to change

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks and my grandfather will never miss drinking a glass of milk before he goes to bed.

You don`t say!

– used to show surprise at what is said

“You don`t say,” the man said when he heard about the accident on the highway.

You got me there.

– I don’t know the answer to your question.

“You got me there. What do you think the answer is?”

You said it!

– that’s true, you’re right (used to show strong agreement with what another person has said)

a) “This meeting is wasting everybody’s time.”
b) “You said it!”

You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.

– if you will do me a favor then I will do you a favor

“You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” is a common expression in the construction industry.

You`re telling me!

– something is so clear that it does not need to be said

a) “This restaurant is very expensive and the food is not good.”
b) “You`re telling me.”

Your guess is as good as mine.

– your guess or answer is as likely to be correct as mine

“Your guess is as good as mine,” I answered when my friend asked me how to use the video player.

Your secret is safe with me.

– I won’t tell anyone your secret

“Your secret is safe with me,” I told my friend when he told me his problem.

yours truly

– oneself, I, me

I told my friend that if he wanted to borrow some money he could talk to yours truly.

yours truly

– a polite phrase to end a letter

I usually end my letters with “Yours sincerely” but sometimes I use “Yours truly.”

You tell`em!

– used to agree with or encourage someone in what they are saying

“You tell`em,” I yelled to the politician who was making the speech.

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