not for all the tea in China
To say that you would not do something for all the tea in China means that you would not do it under any circumstances.
“I wouldn’t take that job for all the tea in China.”
If something is very complicated or difficult to understand, it is said to be like Chinese arithmetic.
“When he tried to explain the rules of the game to me, it was like Chinese arithmetic!”
This expression refers to a process by which a message or piece of information (especially gossip, rumours or scandalous news) is passed on from one person to another, and changes along the way, so that the final version is often very different from the original.
send someone to Coventry
If you send someone to Coventry, you deliberately ostracise them by no longer speaking to them and generally acting as if they no longer exist. This is usually a form of punishment.
“I don’t know for what reason Sam was sent to Coventry by his family but they’re no longer speaking to him.”
Dutch courage means a false sense of confidence gained through drinking some alcohol before doing something.
“Jack had a quick drink to give him Dutch courage before making his speech.”
When people go Dutch they decide to split the bill in a restaurant.
“Let’s go Dutch on this meal.”
take French leave
If you leave an official or social event without telling anyone, you take French leave.
“Is Bill coming back has he taken French leave?”
excuse my French
This is an apology for using swear words or in appropriate language.
“If you’ll excuse my French I think they’re a bunch of *****!”
it’s all Greek to me
This expression is used to say that you do not understand something at all (like a foreign language).
“I don’t understand this legal jargon. It’s all Greek to me.”
talk for England
Someone who talks for England talks for a very long time.
“I tried to discuss the problem with Liza but I couldn’t get a word in. That girl can talk for England!”
An Indian summer is a period in autumn when the weather is unually warm.
“The weather is very warm for October – it’s an Indian summer!”
(a) Mexican standoff
A confrontation during which no agreement can be reached between the parties involved is called a Mexican standoff.
“Apparently there’s a Mexican standoff in the talks.”
bring coals to Newcastle
The expression ‘bring coals to Newcastle‘ means to supply something to a place where there is no need for it because it already exists there in great quantities.
“Exporting salmon to Scandinavia is like bringing coals to Newcastle!”
all roads lead to Rome
This expression means that multiple methods can be used to reach the same result. There is more than one way to achieve a goal.
“You can used whatever method you want as long as you meet the deadline. Remember: all roads lead to Rome!”
Rome was not built in a day
To say that Rome was not built in a day means that you cannot expect to achieve important things in a short period of time.
“He expects the product to be successful immmediately, but Rome was not built in a day“
fiddling while Rome burns
To say that someone is fiddling while Rome burns means that they are doing unimportant things while there are serious problems to be dealt with.
“His visit to the trade fair was ‘fiddling while Rome burns‘ according to the strikers.”
when in Rome, do as the Romans do
This expression means that you should adopt the customs of the people or country you are visiting and behave in the same way.
“It’s important to respect their customs. When in Rome do as the Romans do.”
more holes than Swiss cheese
If an argument or theory has more holes than Swiss chesse, it has many flaws, is incomplete or lacks important details.
“His accomplice’s version had more holes than Swiss cheese.”
a young Turk
A young Turk is a young rebel or a person who is impatient to introduce changes or reform the system.
(This expression is frequently heard in politics.).
“Apparently he was a bit of a young Turk when he was young.”