A TO Z IDIOMS

Idioms beginning with P

  • Pack Heat

    Meaning: Carry a gun

  • Paddle One’s Own Canoe

    Meaning: To be able to act independently.

  • Page-Turner

    Meaning: A page-turner is an exciting book that’s easy to read, a book that’s difficult to put down.

  • Pain in the Neck

    Meaning: Someone or something making your life difficult

  • Paint the Town Red

    Meaning: Go out drinking and partying

  • Par for the Course

    Meaning: What would normally be expected. This has a negative connotation.

  • Pass the Buck

    Meaning: Transfer a problem to someone else

  • Pass With Flying Colors

    Meaning: To succeed brilliantly, as on an exam or other test

  • Passing Fancy

    Meaning: A temporary interest or attraction

  • Pay Through the Nose (For Something)

    Meaning: Pay a large amount of money

  • Peaches and Cream

    Meaning: A situation, process, etc., that has no trouble or problems

  • Pecking Order

    Meaning: Hierarchy, rank of importance

  • Pencil Something In

    Meaning: Make tentative arrangements

  • Penny-Pinching

    Meaning: Frugal, avoiding expenses whenever possible

  • Pep Talk

    Meaning: An encouraging speech given to a person or group

  • Perfect Storm

    Meaning: A rare combination of disastrous occurrences

  • Pet Peeve

    Meaning: A small thing that you find particularly annoying

  • Pick a Fight

    Meaning: Intentionally provoke a conflict or fight with someone

  • Pick Up the Slack

    Meaning: Do something that someone else is not doing; assume someone else’s responsibilities

  • Pick Up the Tab

    Meaning: To pay a bill presented to a group, especially in a restaurant or bar

  • Pie in the Sky

    Meaning: Something that is unrealistic or that cannot be achieved

  • Piece of Cake

    Meaning: Very easily done

  • Pin Someone Down

    Meaning: Demand a decision or clear answer

  • Pinch Pennies

    Meaning: To be careful with money, to be thrify

  • Pink Slip

    Meaning: A layoff notice; loss of a job, typically because of layoffs

  • Pipe Dream

    Meaning: An unrealistic hope, a fantasy

  • Piping Hot

    Meaning: Very hot (generally said of food)

  • Pipped to the Post

    Meaning: Defeated by a narrow margin

  • Pissing Contest

    Meaning: A meaningless argument or competition, typically between males

  • Play Ball

    Meaning: Cooperate, agree to participate

  • Play Cat And Mouse

    Meaning: Trying to trick someone into making a mistake so you can defeat them.

  • Play Hardball

    Meaning: Adopt a tough negotiating position; act aggressively

  • Play it by Ear

    Meaning: To play a piece of music without referencing sheet music or a recording

  • Play It by Ear

    Meaning: To respond to circumstances instead of having a fixed plan

  • Play the Percentages

    Meaning: Bet on or rely on what is most likely to happen

  • Play the Ponies

    Meaning: Bet on horse racing.

  • Play With Fire

    Meaning: Do something very risky

  • Play Your Cards Right

    Meaning: Exploit a situation to your best advantage

  • Point of No Return

    Meaning: A place from which it is impossible to go back to the starting point

  • Point the Finger At

    Meaning: Blame (someone)

  • Point the Finger

    Meaning: At Blame (someone)

  • Poison Pill (n)

    Meaning: A provision or feature added to a measure or an entity to make it less attractive, an undesirable add-on

  • Poison Pill

    Meaning: A provision or feature added to a measure or an entity to make it less attractive, an undesirable add-on

  • Pop One’s Clogs

    Meaning: To die

  • Pop One’s Cork

    Meaning: To release one’s anger; to blow one’s top

  • Pop the Question

    Meaning: Propose marriage

  • Pot Calling the Kettle Black

    Meaning: Accusing someone of something of which you are also guilty; being hypocritical

  • Pour (Rub) Salt into (on) the Wound (an open wound)

    Meaning: Worsen an insult or injury; make a bad situation worse for someone

  • Powder Keg

    Meaning: An explosive situation, a situation in which people are angry and ready to be violent

  • Powder One’s Nose

    Meaning: To use the restroom (lavatory). This is used by women

  • Preach to the Choir, Preach to the Converted

    Meaning: To make an argument with which your listeners already agree

  • Preaching to the Choir

    Meaning: Making arguments to those who already agree with you

  • Pretty Penny

    Meaning: A lot of money; too much money (when referring to the cost of something)

  • Price Yourself Out of the Market

    Meaning: Try to sell goods or services at such a high price that nobody buys them.

  • Puddle Jumper

    Meaning: A small airplane, used on short trips

  • Pull Out All the Stops

    Meaning: Do everything possible to accomplish something

  • Pull Strings

    Meaning: Use influence that’s based on personal connections

  • Pull the Plug On

    Meaning: Terminate (something)

  • Pull Yourself Together

    Meaning: Control your emotions; recover from a strong emptional upset

  • Puppies And Rainbows

    Meaning: Perfect, ideal (usually used slightly sarcastically, in contrast with a less ideal situation)

  • Puppy Dog Eyes

    Meaning: A begging look

  • Puppy Love

    Meaning: Adolescent love or infatuation, especially one that is not expected to last

  • Pure as the Driven Snow

    Meaning: To be innocent and chaste (frequently used ironically)

  • Push the Envelope

    Meaning: Go beyond common ways of doing something, be innovative

  • Pushing Up Daisies

    Meaning: Dead

  • Pushing Up Daisies

    Meaning: Dead and buried

  • Put a Thumb on the Scale

    Meaning: Try to influence a discussion in an unfair way, cheat

  • Put Down Roots

    Meaning: Establish oneself in a place; settle

  • Put in One’s Two Cents

    Meaning: Say your opinion

  • Put Lipstick on a Pig

    Meaning: Make cosmetic changes to something bad

  • Put one’s Face On

    Meaning: Apply cosmetics

  • Put Out Feelers

    Meaning: Make discreet, informal suggestions, ask around

  • Put Someone on the Spot

    Meaning: Force someone to answer a question or make a decision immediately

  • Put That in Your Pipe and Smoke It

    Meaning: Accept and consider what I’m saying, even if you don’t like it!

  • Put the Best Face On (Something)

    Meaning: Emphasize the positive aspects of a bad situation

  • Put the Brakes On

    Meaning: Slow something down

  • Put the Cart Before The Horse

    Meaning: To do things in the wrong order

  • Put the Cart Before the Horse

    Meaning: To do things out of the proper order.

  • Put the Cat Among The Pigeons

    Meaning: Say or do something that causes trouble or controversy

  • Put the Genie Back in the Bottle

    Meaning: Try to suppress something that has already been revealed or done

  • Put the Pedal to the Metal

    Meaning: Drive as fast as possible

  • Put Up with (Something)

    Meaning: Tolerate, accept

  • Put Words Into Someone’s Mouth

    Meaning: Attributing an opinion to someone who has never stated that opinion

  • Put Your Foot Down

    Meaning: Use your authority to stop negative behavior

  • Put Your Foot In Your Mouth

    Meaning: Say something that you immediately regret

  • Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

    Meaning: Back up your opinions with a financial commitment