English Idioms

Sitting duck

A sitting duck is something or someone that is easy to criticise or target.

Sleep well

This is a way of wishing someone a good night's sleep.

Sly as a fox

Someone who is as sly as a fox is cunning and experienced and can get what they want, often in an underhand way.

Small dog, tall weeds

This idiom is used to describe someone the speaker does not believe has the ability or resources to handle a task or job.

Small fry

If someone is small fry, they are unimportant. The term is often used when the police arrest the less important criminals, but are unable to catch the leaders and masterminds.

Smell a rat

If you smell a rat, you know instinctively that something is wrong or that someone is lying to you.

Snake in the grass

Someone who is a snake in the grass betrays you even though you have trusted them.

Snake oil

Advice or medicine which is of no use.

Snake oil salesperson

A person who promotes something that doesn't work, is selling snake oil.

Snipe hunt

A snipe hunt is a situation in which someone is tricked into chasing after something that does not exist. The origin comes from a hazing ritual in which someone would be led into the field to catch snipe (an imaginary animal) in a sack while the other hunters pushed the snipe in that direction. The other hunters would in reality leave the hunter there and go on their way.