jump on the bandwagon
If a person or organisation jumps on the bandwagon, they decide to do something when it is already successful or fashionable.
“When organic food became popular, certain stores were quick to jump on the bandwagon and promote it.”
in the same boat
If two or more parties are in the same boat, they are in the same unpleasant or difficult situation.
“When the factory closed down, employees of all levels found themselves in the same boat.”
miss the boat
If you miss the boat, you fail to take advantage of an opportunity because you don’t act quickly enough.
“I managed to get my order through before the end of the special offer – but I nearly missed the boat!”
(not) rock the boat
If you tell someonenot to rock the boat, you are asking them to do nothing that might cause trouble or upset a stable situation.
“After the recent riots, it was decided not to rock the boat by introducing strict measures.”
paddle one’s own canoe
If you paddle your own canoe, you do what you want to do without help or interference from anyone.
“He decided to paddle his own canoe and set up his own business.”
(put the) cart before the horse
A person who puts the cart before the horse is doing things in the wrong order.
“Building a school before knowing the age of the population is putting the cart before the horse.”
drive a hard bargain
A person who drives a hard bargain always makes sure they gain advantage in a business deal.
“Be prepared for tough negotiations with Dan. He drives a hard bargain.”
drive (someone) up the wall
If somebody or something drives you up the wall, they do something that greatly annoys or irritates you.
“I can’t concentrate with all the noise – it’s driving me up the wall.“
A passenger in a car who gives unwanted advice to the driver is called a backseat driver.
“I can’t stand backseat drivers like my mother-in-law!”
highways and byways
If you travel the highways and byways, you take large and small roads to visit every part of the country.
“He travelled the highways and byways looking for traces of his ancestors.”
hit the road
When you hit the road, you begin a journey.
“It’s getting late and we’ve got a long way to go. Let’s hit the road.”
get the show on the road
If you manage to put a plan into action, you get the show on the road.
“OK, we’ve got all we need, so let’s get the show on the road.”
sail close to the wind
If you sail close to the wind, you do something dangerous or act just within the limits of what is legal or acceptable.
“He seems to invest his money well although he often sails close to the wind.”
If you sail through something, for example a test or an exam, you succeed in doing it without difficulty.
“The English test was no problem for Pedro. He sailed through it.”
If you go somewhere on Shank’s pony, you have to walk rather than travel by bus, car, etc.
“It was impossible to find a taxi after the party, so it was Shank’s pony for us!”
(like) ships that pass in the night
This expression refers to people who meet briefly and are not likely to meet again.
“The two men met once, like ships that pass in the night, and never met again.”
live out of a suitcase
Someone who lives of a suitcase travels a lot, moving from place to place, and is therefore restricted to the contents of their suitcase.
“Sarah’s job involves so much travelling that she lives out of a suitcase.”
train of thought
A sequence of connected ideas is called a train of thought.
“I was considering the different options when the noise outside broke my train of thought.”
hitch your wagon to a star
Someone who hitches their wagon to a star has great ambitions and is very determined to reach their goal.
“At an early age she decided to hitch her wagon to a star and become famous.”
(be) on the wagon
Someone who is on the wagon is no longer drinking alcohol.
“No wine for me please – I’m on the wagon.”
asleep at the wheel
If you say that someone is asleep at the wheel, you mean that they are not sufficiently attentive, especially at a critical moment when vigilance is required.
“When the firemen arrived too late at the scene, the night watchman was accused of being asleep at the wheel.
The expression fifth wheelrefers to a person who find themselves in a situation where their presence is unnecessary and as a result they feel useless.
“Everyone seemed to have a specific role except me. I felt like a fifth wheel.”
wheels fall off
When a situation gets out of control and everything starts to go wrong, the wheels fall off.
“The wheels fell off her career when she started taking drugs and cancelling concerts.”