English Idioms

Walter Mitty

A Walter Mitty character is an unexceptional person who is prone to daydreaming of personal triumphs.

Go to town

Someone who goes to town does something enthusiastically and as completely as possible, especially if this involves spending a lot of money.

Take up the reins

If you take up the reins, you assume control of something- an organisation, company, country, etc.('Take over the reins' is also used.)

Make a good fist

If you make a good fist of something, you do it well.

Charley horse

A charley horse is a stiff leg or a cramp, especially in the leg.

Meet your Waterloo

There was a battle in Waterloo, in present-day Belgium on June 18th, 1815, which Napoleon lost. If someone has "met their Waterloo", it means they have been defeated or met their death.

Raining cats and dogs

When it is raining cats and dogs, it is raining very heavily.

Red herring

If something is a distraction from the real issues, it is a red herring.

Rat race

The rat race is the ruthless, competitive struggle for success in work, etc.

Salty dog

A salty dog is an experienced sailor.