birds of a feather flock together
If two people are birds of a feather, they are very similar in many ways, so they naturally spend time together.
“No wonder they get on well. They’re birds of a feather!”
If a person builds bridges between opposing groups, they help them to cooperate and understand each other better.
“A mediator is trying to build bridges between the local community and the owners of the new plant.”
If someone cuts loose or is cut loose, they stop being influenced or controlled by another person or group.
“He’s thirty years old and still hasn’t cut loose from his family.”
see eye to eye with someone
If you see eye to eye with somebody, you agree with them.
“I’m glad we see eye to eye on the choice of colour scheme.”
Someone who acts as a friend when times are good, and is not there when you are in trouble, is called a fair-weather friend.
“I thought I could count on Bill, but I’ve discovered he’s just a fair-weather friend.”
get on like a house on fire
Two people who get on like a house on fire have similar interests and quickly become good friends.
“As soon as Sarah met her brother’s girlfriend, they got on like a house on fire.“
get a raw deal
If you say that some has got a raw deal, you think they have been treated unfairly or badly.
“Lisa got a raw deal in that company. After working so hard, she got neither a pay increase nor a promotion.”
go with the flow
If you go with the flow, you follow the general tendency and go along with whatever happens.
“When my colleagues organise an office party, I just go with the flow.”
good walls make good neighbours
This expression means that respecting one another’s privacy helps create a good relationship between neighbours.
“We try not to disturb the people next door. Good walls make good neighbours!”
If you play gooseberry, you join or accompany two people who have a romantic relationship and want to be alone.
“They invited me to join them but I didn’t want to play gooseberry.”
(like) herding cats
This expression refers to the difficulty of coordinating a situation which involves people who all want to act independently.
“Trying to manage a group of people from different countries is like herding cats!”
be an item
To say that two people are an item means that they are involved in a romantic relationship.
“So Sally and Harry are an item, are they?”
know someone inside out
If you know someone inside out, you know them very well.
“Sue and Anne have been friends since childhood. They know each other inside out.”
keep at arm’s length
If you keep someone at arm’s length, you do not allow yourself to become too friendly with them.
“It’s not easy to become friends with Sophie; she tends to keep everyone at arm’s length.”
kowtow to others
If you are very respectful and submissive, giving way to the wishes of a person or organisation in authority in order to please them, you kowtow to them.
“Mark refused to kowtow to the committee and decided to work as a consultant.”
If you are at loggerheads with a person or organisation, you disagree very strongly with them.
“The management and the trade unions are at loggerheads over the decision to close down the plant.”
move in the same circles
When people move in the same circles, they socialize with others who have a similar background, interests or lifestyle.
“I’ve never met the Duchess personally. We don’t move in the same circles!”
on nodding terms
If you are on nodding terms with someone, you don’t know them very well, just well enough to say ‘hello’ when you meet them.
“We haven’t made any friends yet but we’re on nodding terms with our neighbours.”
rob the cradle
If you rob the cradle, you have a romantic relationship with someone who is much younger than yourself.
“My uncle Ted is dating a twenty-year-old girl. That’s really robbing the cradle!”
If you rub shoulders with someone, you have an opportunity to meet and talk to that person, especially someone wealthy, famous or distinguished.
“In her job in public relations, Carla sometimes rubs shoulders with famous people.”
run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
If you run with the hare and hunt with the hounds, you want to stay on friendly terms with both sides in a quarrel.
“Bob always wants to keep everyone happy, but he can’t run with the hare and hunt with the hounds this time – the issue is too important.”
on the same page / on the same wavelength
If you are on the same page or the same wavelength as someone else, you have the same understanding or think in a similar way.
“We rarely argue. We’re generally on the same wavelength.”
The term ‘significant other‘ refers to a person, such as a spouse, partner or lover, with whom you have a long-term relationship.
“Harry says he makes no decisions without consulting his significant other.”
This term refers to a relatively recent urban trend which consists in making a potential business contact by briefly talking to a series of people at an organised event and exchanging contact details.
A starter marriage is a short-lived first marriage that ends in divorce with no kids, no property and no regrets.
If you have a stormy relationship with someone, you have a lot of arguments and disagreements.
“After a very stormy relationship, they decided to separate.”
speak the same language
If two or more people speak the same language, they have similar opinions or ideas, so they understand each other very well.
“We work well together because we speak the same language.”
This expression refers to the unusual or unlikely association of two or more people, companies or states.
“A car manufacturer and a bakery – strange bedfellows don’t you think?”
An appointment, event or relationship that is entirely devoted to business, and does not involve any personal issues, is called strictly business.
“Yes we had lunch together but it was strictly business.”
as thick as thieves
To say that two people are as thick as thieves means that they are very close friends who are very loyal to each other.
“Chris always takes Danny’s side. They’re as thick as thieves“.
think the sun rises and sets on someone
If you consider someone to be the most wonderful person in the world, you think the sun rises and sets on them.
“She adores her husband – she thinks the sun rises and sets on him!”
think the world of someone
If you think the world of someone, you like or admire them very much.
“She’s a wonderful grandmother – the children think the world of her.”
tied to someone’s apron strings
If one person is tied to another’s apron strings, they remain dependent at an age when they should be independent.
“All his decisions are influenced by his mother. He’s still tied to her apron strings.”
two’s company … three’s a crowd
This is said of two people, particularly lovers, who would prefer to be alone together rather than to have a third person with them.
“I’d rather not come to the cinema with you, thanks. Two’s company …!“
If one person two-times another, they cheat on their partner by having a romantic relationship with another person at the same time.
“Sally left Harry when she discovered he was two-timing her.”
If you are given your walking papers, your contract or a relationship has ended.
“After causing a diplomatic incident, Carter got his walking papers.”