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).
RELATED IDIOMS :
dig in your feet
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.
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.
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 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
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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