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Learn Some Slang and Colloquial Expressions

Better than a slap in the eye: okay, acceptable.
e.g. Not all the goals were accomplished. Well, at least the project was completed on time; it's better than a slap in the eye.

Poison
: drink.
e.g. "What's your poison?" "I'll have a gin tonic."

Butter up
: flatter.
e.g. Now that you have been promoted, everybody seems to butter up you.

French leave: leave without permission.
e.g. His boss found out that he took French leave yesterday afternoon to see his mother in the hospital.

Full bang
: full speed.
e.g. You have to go on full bang if you don't want to miss your flight.


By a long chalk
: by a great amount.
e.g. He lost his reelection by a long chalk.

Choosy: difficult to please.
e.g. Nobody likes to deal with you: you're a choosy customer.

Do one's bit: do one's share of responsibility.
e.g. I've done my bit; I hope it's going to work.

Come clean: confess everything.
e.g. Under the police interrogation, the man finally came clean.

Darned sight more
: a lot more.
e.g. "Do you think he should put more effort on this?" "A darned sight more!"

Dead head
: a stupid person.
e.g. Your friend seems like a dead head to me from the way he behaves.

Deliver the goods
: do what is expected or required.
e.g. The new employee seems to deliver the goods -- very hard working and conscientious.

Creature comforts
: physical comforts.
e.g. We all need a TV; it's just one of those creature comforts.

Do the trick
: achieve the objective.
e.g. If you turn the handle in the opposite it may do the trick and open the lid.

Drive up the wall
: irritate intensely.
e.g. Don't drive me up the wall every time I see you.

Drop in on: visit casually.
e.g. Do drop in on us; you are always welcome.


Bowl over: overwhelm.
e.g. I was bowled over by all the information received at the seminar.

Pooped: exhausted.
e.g. What's the matter?  Everybody looks pooped today. We haven't even started the work!

Beat about the bush; prevaricate; not being direct.
e.g. Don't beat about the bush; tell me what's on your mind.

Pull a fast one
: trick or deceive.
e.g. Don't try to pull a fast one on me: I wasn't born yesterday.


On the go: busy.
e.g. Can I talk to you? I know you're always on the go.

Butter up
: flatter.
e.g. Now that you have been promoted, everybody seems to butter up you.

French leave: leave without permission.
e.g. His boss found out that he took French leave yesterday afternoon to see his mother in the hospital.

Full bang
: full speed.
e.g. You have to go on full bang if you don't want to miss your flight.


By a long chalk
: by a great amount.
e.g. He lost his reelection by a long chalk.

Come clean: confess everything.
e.g. Under the police interrogation, the man finally came clean.

Darned sight more
: a lot more.
e.g. "Do you think he should put more effort on this?" "A darned sight more!"

Creature comforts
: physical comforts.
e.g. We all need a TV; it's just one of those creature comforts.

Dead head
: a stupid person.
e.g. Your friend seems like a dead head to me from the way he behaves.

Poorly: sick or unwell.
e.g. What's the matter with you today? I say, you look poorly!

Choosy: difficult to please.
e.g. Nobody likes to deal with you: you're a choosy customer.

Power of: a great deal of.
e.g. Surely he can do anything: he has power of money.

Do one's bit: do one's share of responsibility.
e.g. I've done my bit; I hope it's going to work.

Do the trick
: achieve the objective.
e.g. If you turn the handle in the opposite it may do the trick and open the lid.

Drive up the wall
: irritate intensely.
e.g. Don't drive me up the wall every time I see you.

Drop in on: visit casually.
e.g. Do drop in on us; you are always welcome.


Bowl over: overwhelm.
e.g. I was bowled over by all the information received at the seminar.

Pooped: exhausted.
e.g. What's the matter?  Everybody looks pooped today. We haven't even started the work!

Beat about the bush; prevaricate; not being direct.
e.g. Don't beat about the bush; tell me what's on your mind.

By a long chalk
: by a great amount.
e.g. He lost his reelection by a long chalk.

Stephen Lau
Copyrightę 2018 by Stephen Lau

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