drag your feet

drag your feet

(of a person or organization)

be deliberately slow or reluctant to act

1994 - Nature Conservancy - We can't afford to drag our feet until a species is at the brink of extinction.


dig in your feet

resist stubbornly

refuse to give in

The image here is of a horse or other animal obstinately refusing to be led or ridden forwards. Dig in your heels is the commonest form. But dig in your toes and dig in your feet are also found.

fall on your feet

achieve a fortunate outcome to a difficult situation

This expression comes from cats’ supposed ability always to land on their feet, even if they fall or jump from a very high point.

1996 - Sunday Post - Unlike most people in Hollywood who starved to get there, I just fell on my feet.

foot the bill

be suitable for a particular purpose.

Bill in this context is a printed list of items on a theatrical programme or advertisement.

get off on the right foot = start off on the right foot = get off on the wrong foot = start off on the wrong foot

make a good (or bad) start at something especially a task or relationship.

1998 - Spectator - This relationship got off on the wrong foot when Mr. Cook's scathing attack on the government over the arms-to Iraq affair was felt to include some officials as well.

get your feet under the table

establish yourself securely in a new situation – chiefly British

get your feet wet

begin to participate in an activity

have feet of clay

have a fatal flaw in a character that is otherwise powerful or admirable

This expression alludes to the biblical account of a magnificent statue seen in a dream by Nebuchadnezzar - king of Babylon. It was constructed from fine metals - all except for its feet which were made of clay when these were smashed, the whole statue was brought down and destroyed.

Daniel interprets this to signify a future kingdom that will be partly strong and partly broken and will eventually fall (Daniel 2 : 31 - 5).

have a foot in both camps

have an interest or stake in two parties or sides without commitment to either.

1992 - Community Care - As EWOs [Education Welfare Officers] we have a foot in both camps. We work with the children and their families and the school and bring the two together.

have a foot in the door = get a foot in the door

have (or gain) a first introduction to a profession or organization.

have one foot in the grave

be near death through old age or illness – informal – often humorous

have your feet on the ground = keep your feet on the ground

be (or remain) practical and sensible

have something at your feet

have something in your power or command.

keep your feet

manage not to fall

put your best foot forward

embark on an undertaking with as much speed, effort and determination as possible

put foot

hurry up

get a move on - South African informal

put your foot down

adopt a firm policy when faced with opposition or disobedience

make a motor vehicle go faster by pressing the accelerator pedal with your foot - British informal

put your foot in it = put your foot in your mouth

say or do something tactless or embarrassing; commit a blunder or indiscretion – informal

1992 - Deirdre Madden - Remembering Light &Stone - As the evening went on and people made a point of not talking to me, I realized that I'd put my foot in it.

put a foot wrong

make any mistake in performing an action

1999 - Times - For 71 holes of the Open he didn't put a foot wrong.

be run off your feet

be kept extremely busy – Informal

six feet under

dead and buried – informal

Six feet is the traditional depth of a grave.

sweep someone off their feet

quickly and overpoweringly charm someone

think on your feet

react to events quickly and effectively

vote with your feet

indicate an opinion by being present or absent

1982 - Christian Order - Uncounted thousands have voted with their feet - have left the Church.

footloose and fancy-free

without any commitments or responsibilities

free to act or travel as you please

Footloose was used literally in the late 17th century to mean free to move the feet.

The sense without commitments originated in late 19th-century US usage. Fancy in fancy-free is used in the sense of love or the object of someone's affections.

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