a hanging offence

a hanging offence

a fault or crime so serious that the perpetrator should be executed

1998 – Spectator - It is hardly a hanging offence to overlook telegrams about a small African country, but surely the Prime Minister must read JIC reports?

Related Idioms and Phrases :

over the odds

above what is generally considered acceptable especially for a price – British

shout the odds

talk loudly and in an opinionated way

what is the odds?

what does it matter? - Informal

be in good odour with someone = be in bad odour with someone

be in (or out of) favour with someone

odour of sanctity

a state of holiness

sanctimoniousness - derogatory

This expression is a translation of the French idiom odeur de sainteté. It refers to a sweet or balsamic odour which was reputedly emitted by the bodies of saints at or after death and which was regarded as evidence of their sanctity.

off and on


now and then

off and running

making good progress

good offices

help and support often given by exercising your influence

2002 - Daily Telegraph – Mr. Blair will demonstratively use his good offices to bring round the German and French leaders, thereby gaining prestige in Washington.

just another day at the office

boring routine

1997 - Times - Professional cricket has been reduced to just another day at the office.

in the offing


likely to happen or appear soon

This expression originated as a nautical term for a distance offshore, beyond a harbour or anchoring ground. It has been used figuratively since the late 18th century.

burn the midnight oil

read or work late into the night

oil his palm

bribe someone – informal

This phrase comes from the practice of applying grease to a machine to make it run smoothly. The same expression exists in French as graisser la patte. The form with palm is now predominant but hand appears in the earliest recorded versions of the idiom, dating from the 16th century.

1998 - Economist - Licences to run a shop [in Italy]... have caused many an official's palm to be greased.

no oil painting

not very attractive – British informal

oil and water

two elements or factors or people that do not agree or blend together

Water and oil are two liquid substances that repel each other and cannot be mixed together.

oil the wheels

help something go smoothly

pour oil on troubled waters

settle a disagreement or dispute with words intended to placate or pacify those involved.

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