Caesar’s Hors d’oeuvres--The Powerful and Maybe forgotten American Idioms--Letter A

Hors d'oeuvres # 012

The Powerful and Maybe Forgotten American Idioms

Letter A

  1. ABOUT FACE: A sudden change of course, or to an opposite decision:--"His choice of that house was about face from his original intention."
  2. ABOVE BOARD: Straightforward, honest, open, sometime expressed "Open and Above Board':-- "All his business dealings were above board."
  3. ACE, WITHIN AN ACE: Within a very short distance of:--"The car came within an ace of hitting the child."
  4. AD LIB: Improvise,interpolate while speaking:--"When the actor forgot his lines, he add libbed convincingly."
  5. AFTER ONE'S OWN HEART: To like someone because of kindred interests:--"With his love for the great outdoor he is a man after my own heart."
  6. AGAIN,AS MUCH AGAIN: Twiced as much,double:--"These shoes cost me as much as again as the last pair I bought."
  7. AGAINST THE GRAIN: Irritating, contrary to one's natural inclinations:--It goes against the grain to has to pay him such poor job.
  8. AIR-MINDED: Advocating travel by air:-- "America has became air-minded during the past decade."
  9. AIR-HOT AIR: Exagerated talk,without substance or foundation:--"Don't pay any attention to him; what he told was a lot of air."
  10. AIR, GIVE ONESELF AIR: Art in a superior conceited manner--" Ever since her husband was elected Mayor Mrs. Allenn's neighbors resent the way she gives herself airs.
  11. ALIVE WITH: Full of, infested with:--"When we opened our picnic basket, our lunch was alive with ants."
  12. ALL AT SEA: Completely confused:--"When I try to compute my income tax,I am all at the sea."
  13.  ALL TOLD: Counting everything:--"He owns fifteen horses all told."
  14. ANTE UP: To pay--Usually unwillingly:--When his wife was awarded alimony by the court, Kerr have to ante up."
  15. APPLE, BE THE APPLE OF ANOTHER'S EYE:To be greatly treasured, valued highly:--She is the apple oh her mother's eye."​
  16. APPLECART, UPSET THE APPLECART: Spoil through clumsiness, cause to fail:--"The moment he referred to that incident last summer, he upset the applecard and the whole deal fell through."
  17. APPLE-PIE ORDER: In neat and perfect condition:--"Before her guests arrived, the hostess had put her house in apple-pie order."
  18. APPLESAUCE: Pretense, not to be , hot air:-- "A lot of those campaign promises to lower taxes were so much applesauce."
  19. ARM, GIVE ONE'S RIGHT ARM: To sacrifice, give something of great value:--"During the long sermon I would have given my right arm for a smoke.". 
  20. ARM'S LENGHT: Keep at a distance, away from one:--"She kept him at arm's length, thinking that he might try to kiss her."
  21. ARMS,UP IN ARMS: Angry, annoyed, ready to fight:--"Everyone was up in arms about the new parking restrictions."
  22. AS IT WERE:In other words, so to speak:--"He became, as it were, a kind of hero from a strange land."
  23. AXE, GET THE AXE: Be discharged from one job:--"Henry got the axe when he arrived late from work three days in succession."
  24. AXE, HAVE AN AXE TO GRIND: Have an interested or selfish motive:--"In suggesting the sale the building he had an axe to grind, because it meant a big commission for him."

The End for letter A.


Whitford, H. C. & Dixson, R. J. ( 1953). Handbook of american idioms and idiomatic usage. New York, N.Y:Regents Publishing Co., Inc.