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Idiomatic Expressions

Date: May 13 2008

Topic: Idioms and Slang

Author: rusminah


Idiomatic expressions


A labour of love

-Something done for personal pleasure and not for money

The man ‘s book is a labour of love and he doesn’t expect to make any money from it


Lace into (someone)

-Attack or scold someone

The mother laced into her child when he came home late from the movie.


Lace into (something)

-Devour / eat food

We laced into our dinner as soon as we entered the house.



-A man who some women find very charming and attractive

The man in the movie was a lady-killer who broke the hearts of many women.


Lady’s man

-A man who is popular with women

He is a lady’s man and always seems to have a woman interested in him.



-Relaxed, not worried by things

Our teacher has a very laid-back attitude about how long we should spend preparing for our class.


Be laid up

-Be confined to bed or unfit to work

He has been laid up for a few days because of a cold.


A lame duck

-A public official who has a short time left to serve in office and therefore has less power than before

He was a lame-duck leader so it was difficult for him to accomplish some things.


Land of Nod


I entered the land of Nod as soon as my head hit the pillow


Land on one’s feet/both feet

-Come out of a bad situation successfully

My friend always manages to land on his feet no matter how difficult the situation is.



Land up (somewhere or in some situation)

-Some to be in a certain place or situation

We landed up in the suburbs although we were trying to go downtown.


Landside victory

-A very substantial victory (usually in an election)

My favorite candidate won a landside victory in the election.


Lap up (something)

-To eat or drink something with the tongue (as a dog or cat would).

-Eagerly take in or accept some information / praise.

The dog lapped up the milk that his owner had given him.

He lapped up the praise that his boss gave him for the recently completed project.


Lapse into a come

-Go into a come

The woman lapsed into a coma soon after the accident.


Lash out (at someone)

-Attack someone with words

They were walking along the beach when the girl suddenly lashed out in anger at her boyfriend.


Last but not least

-In the last place but not the least important

Last but not least the boy came up to the front of the class to receive his report card.


A last –ditch effort

-A final effort

The government made a last-ditch effort to prevent a strike by the teachers.


The last person

-The most unlikely person to do something or to be seen somewhere

My friend is the last person that you would expect to see in a clothing store buying clothes.


The last straw

-The last insult or mistake that one can endure and which then causes some reaction

The fourth time that the girl came to work late was the last straw and we finally fired her.


Last will and testament

-One’s will (especially its latest version)

After my grandfather’s funeral my uncle read out his last will and testament.



The last word

-The last remark in an argument, the final say in deciding something

She always expects to have the last word when she and her husband go shopping together.


Late in life

-When one is older

Some very great painters never started painting until rather late in life.


Late in the day

-Far along in a project or activity

We received some new instruction for our marketing effort but it was a little late in the day to change our plans.


Laugh all the way to the bank

-Make money in a way that other people think is impossible

I was laughing all the way to the bank with the money that I made from selling drinks at the sports stadium.


Laugh off (something)

-To not take something seriously

The man laughed off the attempt by his boss to make him come to work on time.


Laugh out of the other side of one’s mouth

-Change from being happy to being sad

My friend was laughing out of the other side of his mouth when he learned that he would get a ticket for parking his car in a wrong place.


Laugh (something) out of court

-Dismiss (a legal case) as being ridiculous

They laughed the case out of court when the woman tried to sue the dog’s owner after the dog ate her flowers.


Laugh up one’s sleeve

-Laugh quietly to oneself

I was laughing up my sleeve when I learned that my friend would have to clean the bathroom at work and not me.



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