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Relationship idioms

Relationship idioms

Date: May 01 2010

Topic: Idioms and Slang

Author: majid_jjs


English idioms that describe relationships



get on like a house on fire = to get on really well with someone:

"They get on like a house on fire."

have a soft spot for someone = to be very fond of someone:

"She has a soft spot for her youngest child."

go back a long way = to know someone well for a long time:

"Those two go back a long way. They were at primary school together."

be in with = to have favoured status with someone:

"She's in with the management."



get off on the wrong foot with someone = to start off badly with someone:

"She really got off on the wrong foot with her new boss."

keep someone at arm's length = to keep someone at a distance:

"I'm keeping her at arm's length for the time being."

they're like cat and dog = to often argue with someone:

"Those two are like cat and dog."

rub someone up the wrong way = to irritate someone:

"She really rubs her sister up the wrong way."

be at loggerheads = to disagree strongly:

"Charles and Henry are at loggerheads over the new policy."

sworn enemies = to hate someone:

"Those two are sworn enemies."

Equality and inequality:


bend over backwards for someone = do everything possible to help someone:

"She bent over backwards for them when they first arrived in the town."

be at someone's beck and call = to always be ready to do what someone wants:

"As the office junior, she was at his beck and call all day."

pull your weight = to do the right amount of work:

"The kids always pull their weight around the house."

do your fair share = to do your share of the work:

"He never does his fair share!"

take someone under your wing = to look after someone until they settle in:

"He took her under his wing for her first month at work."

keep tabs on someone = to watch someone carefully to check what they are doing:

"He's keeping tabs on the sales team at the moment."

wear the trousers = to be in control:

"She wears the trousers in their relationship."

be under the thumb = to be controlled by someone else:

"He really keeps her under the thumb."

How you communicate


get your wires crossed =to misunderstand someone because you think they are talking about something else:

"I think I've got my wires crossed. Were you talking about car or personal insurance?"

get the wrong end of the stick = to misunderstand someone and understand the opposite of what they are saying:

"You've got the wrong end of the stick. The fault was with the other driver, not with me."

be left in the dark = to be left without enough information:

"We've been left in the dark over this project. We haven't been told how to do it."

talk at cross purposes = when two people don't understand each other because they are talking about two different things (but don't realise it):

"We're talking at cross purposes here."

go round in circles = to say the same things over and again, so never resolving a problem:

"We always end up going round in circles in these meetings."

leave things up in the air = to leave something undecided:

"I hate leaving things up in the air."


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They are very good awareness. Thanks.

10:23 AM May 29 2010 |

Orco Rahman


I love to learn this…

03:38 PM May 10 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

it's nice of you

07:13 AM May 03 2010 |



United Kingdom

Hi..thanks Hon…


12:02 PM May 02 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

you're welcome

04:51 AM May 02 2010 |



thanks for sharing!

07:15 PM May 01 2010 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

you'll find them helpful

08:56 AM May 01 2010 |

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