English Idioms

What's good for the goose is good for the gander

This idiom means that the sexes should be treated the same way and not be subjected to different standards.

When pigs fly

Meaning you will not get something when you want it or someone doesn't want something for you. say you are selling an item and some one doesn't want it. they might say 'I'll buy it when pigs fly'. it just means you will never get someone to say yes to you when you ask for something.

Which came first the chicken or the egg?

This idiomatic expression is used when it is not clear who or what caused something.

When the chickens come home to roost

When a person pays dearly for something bad he or she did in the past, the chickens come home to roost.

While the cat's away, the mouse will play

People whose behaviour is strictly controlled go over the top when the authority is not around, which is why most teenagers have parties when their parents have gone on holiday. The parents are the scary authority figures, but the cat's away and the kids are the mice partying and enjoying their freedom.

White elephant

A white elephant is an expensive burden; something that costs far too much money to run, like the Millennium Dome in the UK.

Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free

This idiom is usually used to refer to men who don't want to get married, when they can get all the benefits of marriage without getting married.

Why keep a dog and bark yourself?

There's no need to do something yourself when you have somebody to do it for you, usually trivial matters.

Within a whisker

If you come within a whisker of doing something, you very nearly manage to do it but  don't succeed.

Wild goose chase

A wild goose chase is a waste of time- time spent trying to do something unsuccessfully.