Idioms and Phrases



These idioms are compiled from the Cambridge International Dictionary.The Cambridge International Dictionary explains over 7,000 idioms current in British, American and other English speaking countries, helping learners to understand them and use them with confidence. The Cambridge Dictionary, based on the 200 million words of English text in the Cambridge International Corpus, unlocks the meaning of more than 5,000 idiomatic phrases used in contemporary English. Full-sentence examples show how idioms are really used.

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Here is the list of idioms beginning with
J.

Jack Frost: If everything has frozen in winter, then Jack Frost has visited.


Jack-of-all-trades: A jack-of-all-trades is someone that can do many different jobs.


Jam on your face: If you say that someone has jam on their face, they appear to be caught, embarrassed or found guilty.


Jam tomorrow: (UK) This idiom is used when people promise good things for the future that will never come.


Jane Doe: Jane Doe is a name given to an unidentified female who may be party to legal proceedings, or to an unidentified person in hospital, or dead. John Doe is the male equivalent.


Jekyll and Hyde: Someone who has a Jekyll and Hyde personality has a pleasant and a very unpleasant side to the character.


Jersey justice: (UK) Jersey justice is very severe justice.


Jet-black: To emphasise just how black something is, such as someone's hair, we can call it jet-black.


Job's comforter: Someone who says they want to comfort, but actually discomforts people is a Job's comforter. (Job's is pronounced 'jobes', not 'jobs')


Jobs for the boys: Where people give jobs, contracts, etc, to their friends and associates, these are jobs for the boys.


Jockey for position: If a number of people want the same opportunity and are struggling to emerge as the most likely candidate, they are jockeying for position.


Jog my memory: If you jog someone's memory, you say words that will help someone trying to remember a thought, event, word, phrase, experience, etc.


John Doe: John Doe is a name given to an unidentified male who may be party to legal proceedings, or to an unidentified person in hospital, or dead. Jane Doe is the female equivalent.


John Q Public: (USA) John Q Public is the typical, average person.


Johnny on the spot: A person who is always available; ready, willing, and able to do what needs to be done.('Johnny-on-the-spot' is also used.)


Johnny-come-lately: A Johnny-come-lately is someone who has recently joined something or arrived somewhere, especially when they want to make changes that are not welcome.


Joined at the hip: If people are joined at the hip, they are very closely connected and think the same way.


Judge, jury and executioner: If someone is said to be the judge, jury, and executioner, it means they are in charge of every decision made, and they have the power to be rid of whomever they choose.


Juggle frogs: If you are juggling frogs, you are trying to do something very difficult.


Jump down someone's throat: If you jump down someone's throat, you criticize or chastise them severely.


Jump on the bandwagon: If people jump on the bandwagon, they get involved in something that has recently become very popular.


Jump the gun: If you jump the gun, you start doing something before the appropriate time.


Jump the shark: Said of a salient point in a television show or other activity at which the popularity thereof begins to wane: The Flintstones jumped the shark when a man from outer space came to visit them. The expression derives from an episode of the television sitcom 'Happy Days' in which Fonzie, clad in leather jacket and on water skis, jumps over a shark. That episode was widely seen as the beginning of the end for the formerly popular series.


Jump through hoops: If you are prepared to jump through hoops for someone, you are prepared to make great efforts and sacrifices for them.


Jungle out there: If someone says that it is a jungle out there, they mean that the situation is dangerous and there are no rules.


Jury's out: If the jury's out on an issue, then there is no general agreement or consensus on it.


Just around the corner: If something is just around the corner, then it is expected to happen very soon.


Just coming up to: If the time is just coming up to nine o'clock, it means that it will be nine o'clock in a very few seconds. You'll hear them say it on the radio in the morning.


Just deserts: If a bad or evil person gets their just deserts, they get the punishment or suffer the misfortune that it is felt they deserve.


Just for the heck of it: When someone does something just for the heck of it, they do it without a good reason.


Just for the record: If something is said to be just for the record, the person is saying it so that people know but does not necessarily agree with or support it.


Just in the nick of time: If you do something in the nick of time, you just manage to do it just in time, with seconds to spare.


Just off the boat: If someone is just off the boat, they are naive and inexperienced.


Just what the doctor ordered: If something's just what the doctor ordered, it is precisely what is needed.


Idioms and Phrases Index



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