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

  1. on the q t
  2. quake in your shoes
  3. quake in your boots
  4. get a quart into a pint pot
  5. fit a quart into a pint pot
  6. a bad quarter of an hour
  7. take the Queen's shilling
  8. take the King's shilling
  9. The Queensberry Rules
  10. In Queer Street
  11. queer his pitch
  12. be a question of time
  13. the sixty-four thousand dollar question
  14. be quick off the mark
  15. cut someone to the quick
  16. quick and dirty
  17. quick as a flash
  18. quick on the draw
  19. be quids in
  20. not the full quid
  21. anything for a quiet life
  22. do anything for a quiet life
  23. quiet as a mouse
  24. quiet as a lamb
  25. quiet as the grave
  26. get on his quince
  27. call it quits
  28. an arrow in the quiver
  29. on the qui vive
  30. quote and unquote

Quarrel with bread and butter: Bread and butter, here, indicate the means of one’s living. (That is why we say ‘he is the bread winner of the family’). If a sub-ordinate in an organization is quarrelsome or if he is not patient enough to bear the reprimand he deserves, gets angry and retorts or provokes the higher-up, the top man dismisses him from the job. So, he loses the job that gave him bread and butter. Hence we say, he quarreled with bread and butter (manager or the top man) and lost his job.

Quart into a pint pot: (UK) If you try to put or get a quart into a pint pot, you try to put too much in a small space. (1 quart = 2 pints)

Queen Bee: The queen bee is a woman who holds the most important position in a place.

Queen of Hearts: A woman who is pre-eminent in her area is a Queen of Hearts.

Queer fish: (UK) A strange person is a queer fish.

Queer Street: If someone is in a lot of trouble, especially financial, they are in Queer Street.

Queer your pitch: If someone queers your pitch, they interfere in your affairs and spoil things.

Question of time: If something's a question of time, it's certain to happen, though we don't know exactly when.

Queue jumping: Someone who goes to the front of a queue instead of waiting is jumping the queue.

Quick as a flash: If something happens quick as a flash, it happens very fast indeed.

Quick buck: If you make some money easily, you make a quick buck.

Quick fix: A quick fix is an easy solution, especially one that will not last.

Quick off the mark: If someone is quick off the mark, they are very quick to use, start or do something new.

Quick on the trigger: Someone who is quick on the trigger acts or responds quickly.

Quids in: (UK) If somebody is quids in, they stand to make a lot of money from something.

Quiet as a cat: If somebody is as quiet as a cat they make as little noise as possible and try to be unnoticeable.

Quiet as a mouse: If someone's as quiet as a mouse, they make absolutely no noise.

Quiet before the Storm: When you know that something is about to go horribly wrong, but hasn't just yet, then you are in the quiet before the storm.

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