Idioms beginning with S

  • Sacred Cow

    Meaning: An indvidual or organization that one cannot criticize

  • Saving Grace

    Meaning: Something that redeems a bad situation

  • Scare the Living Daylights Out of Someone

    Meaning: Frighten someone severely

  • Scorched Earth (Tactics, Policy, etc.)

    Meaning: Ruthless, extremely destructive

  • Screw The Pooch

    Meaning: To make a serious error

  • School Of Hard Knocks

    Meaning: Difficult real-life experiences from which one has learned

  • Second Banana

    Meaning: A person in a subservient position

  • Second Stringer

    Meaning: A substitute player in a sport; a substitute for a job who is not the most talented person

  • Second Wind

    Meaning: Renewed energy

  • See Eye to Eye

    Meaning: To concur, agree

  • See Something Out of the Corner of Your Eye

    Meaning: Use peripheral vision

  • Seize (Take) the Bull By the Horns

    Meaning: Attack a problem directly

  • Seize the Day

    Meaning: Take an opportunity

  • Sell (Someone) a Bill of Goods

    Meaning: Trick someone; be deceptive

  • Sell Like Hotcakes

    Meaning: Be sold very quickly

  • Selling Point

    Meaning: An attractive feature of something for sale

  • Set in Stone

    Meaning: Fixed; unchangeable

  • Set something to Music

    Meaning: To write a piece of music to accompany a set of words

  • Set the Bar (Too) High

    Meaning: To set a high standard for something

  • Set the Thames on Fire

    Meaning: Do something amazing. Usually used in the negative.

  • Set the World on Fire

    Meaning: Do something amazing; have a brilliant stretch in one’s career

  • Shake the Dust off Your Shoes (Feet)

    Meaning: Make a clean break with a relationship or situation

  • Shape Up or Ship Out

    Meaning: Behave properly or leave the organization

  • Sharp as A Tack

    Meaning: Mentally agile

  • Shell Game

    Meaning: A method of deception in which you conceal your actions by moving something frequently

  • Shift Gears

    Meaning: Change the subject, or change what one is doing

  • Shipshape And Bristol Fashion

    Meaning: Tidy, clean

  • Shit a Brick

    Meaning: Be extremely fearful.

  • Shoot from the Hip

    Meaning: Talk or act without consideration

  • Shoot Off One’s Mouth

    Meaning: Talk without considering one’s words

  • Shoot Oneself In The Foot

    Meaning: Do something that damages oneself or one’s own cause

  • Short Fuse

    Meaning: A quick temper; a tendency to anger quickly

  • Shot Across the Bow

    Meaning: A warning of more serious actions to come

  • Shoulder A Weight Off Your Shoulders

    Meaning: You no longer worry about something or deal with something difficult

  • Show Me an X And I’ll Show You a Y

    Meaning: There is a consequence to X that you may not have thought of.

  • Show One’s True Colors

    Meaning: Reveal one’s true nature

  • Show Your Cards

    Meaning: Reveal your resources or plans

  • Sick and Tired of

    Meaning: Extremely annoyed by something that occurs repeatedly

  • Sick as a Dog

    Meaning: Extremely ill.

  • Sick as a Parrot

    Meaning: Very disappointed

  • Sight for Sore Eyes

    Meaning: A sight that makes you happy

  • Silver Bullet

    Meaning: Something simple that resolves a difficult problem

  • Simmer Down

    Meaning: Become less angry; regain one’s composure

  • Sink or Swim

    Meaning: Fail or succeed

  • Sing a Different Tune

    Meaning: Change your opinion

  • Sit On (Something)

    Meaning: Delay revealing or acting on something

  • Sit Tight

    Meaning: Wait and do not go anywhere

  • Sitting Duck

    Meaning: Something or someone easily attacked or criticized

  • Sitting Pretty

    Meaning: In a favorable situation

  • Six Feet Under

    Meaning: Dead and buried

  • Six Feet Under

    Meaning: Dead and buried

  • Six of One, a Half Dozen of the Other

    Meaning: The two choices have no significant differences.

  • Six Ways to (from) Sunday

    Meaning: In every possible way

  • Slam Dunk

    Meaning: An effort that is certain to succeed

  • Sleep Like a Baby

    Meaning: To experience a very deep and restful sleep; to sleep soundly

  • Sleep with the Fishes

    Meaning: Dead, often by murder

  • Slip Someone a Mickey

    Meaning: Add a drug to an alcoholic drink in order to knock someone out

  • Slippery Slope

    Meaning: A series of undesirable effects that, one warns, could result from a certain action

  • Slower than Molasses

    Meaning: Exceptionally slow or sluggish; not fast at all.

  • Small Beer

    Meaning: Unimportant, insignificant

  • Small Fry

    Meaning: People or organizations with little influence; children

  • Small Potatoes

    Meaning: Unimportant, insignificant

  • Smell a Rat

    Meaning: Suspect deception

  • Smoking Gun

    Meaning: indisputable evidence of a crime

  • Snafu

    Meaning: A malfunction; a chaotic situation

  • Snake Oil

    Meaning: A useless medicine; a quack remedy; a product or measure promoted as a solution that really does nothing to help

  • Snake Oil

    Meaning: Medicine of unproven value; fraudulent medicine

  • Sneak Peek

    Meaning: A sneak peek is an opportunity to view something in advance of its official opening or debut

  • Soak Up the Sun

    Meaning: To enjoy the sun

  • Sold On (Something)

    Meaning: Convinced of something

  • Some Eggs

    Meaning: Achieving a major goal requires the ability to tolerate some problems

  • Someone’s Fingerprints Are All Over (Something)

    Meaning: Someone’s influence is evident

  • Something to Crow

    Meaning: About Something to be proud of, an accomplishment about which one is justified in bragging

  • Son of a Gun

    Meaning: 1) A rogue. 2) An exclamation of surprise.

  • Sore Point

    Meaning: A sensitive topic for a particular person

  • Sour Grapes

    Meaning: Disparagement of something that has proven unattainable

  • Sour Grapes

    Meaning: Spiteful disparagment of a goal one has failed to achieve

  • Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child

    Meaning: It is necessary to physically punish children in order to raise them right.

  • Speak of the Devil (and He Shall Appear)

    Meaning: The person we have just been talking about has entered.

  • Speak with A Plum in (one’s) Mouth

    Meaning: To speak in a manner that is indicative of a high social class.

  • Spick and Span

    Meaning: Clean and neat

  • Spill the Beans

    Meaning: Reveal a secret

  • Spin A Yarn

    Meaning: Tell a story

  • Spin One’s Wheels

    Meaning: Engaging in activity that yields no progress; getting nowhere

  • Spit into The Wind

    Meaning: Wasting time on something futile

  • Spoiling for a Fight

    Meaning: Combative, wanting conflict, eager to argue or fight

  • Spoiling for a Fight

    Meaning: Combative, wanting conflict, eager to argue or fight

  • Square the Circle

    Meaning: Attempt an impossible task

  • Stab Someone in the Back

    Meaning: To betray (somebody)

  • Stalking Horse

    Meaning: Someone who tests a concept in advance of its application; a candidate who enters a political race in order to test the strength of the incumbent

  • Stand (Someone) In Good Stead

    Meaning: Be useful in the future

  • Stand On One’s Own Two Feet

    Meaning: To be independent and self-sufficient

  • Stand One’s Ground

    Meaning: Refuse to back down; insist on one’s position

  • Start with a Clean Slate

    Meaning: To start (something) again with a fresh beginning; to work on a problem without thinking about what has been done before

  • Steal Someone’s Thunder

    Meaning: Upstage someone

  • Stem the Tide

    Meaning: To stop or control the growth of something, usually something unpleasant.

  • Step Up One’s Game

    Meaning: Work to advance to a higher level of a competition

  • Step Up to the Plate

    Meaning: Prepare to take action, be the person in a group who takes action

  • Stick It to the Man

    Meaning: Do something that frustrates those in authority

  • Stick Your Nose into Something

    Meaning: Intrude into something that is not your affair

  • Sticker Shock

    Meaning: Surprise at the high price of something

  • Stick-in-the-Mud

    Meaning: A person who dislikes or adapts slowly to new ideas

  • Sticky Wicket

    Meaning: A difficult, tricky situation

  • Stiff-Necked

    Meaning: Stubborn; excessively formal

  • Storm in a Teacup

    Meaning: A commotion that dies down quickly, about something unimportant

  • Stormy Relationship

    Meaning: Relationship that has a lot arguments and disagreement

  • Stumbling Block

    Meaning: An obstacle, physical or abstract

  • Straight Arrow

    Meaning: An honest, trustworthy person

  • Strain at a Gnat and Swallow a Camel

    Meaning: To make a fuss over something unimportant while ignoring larger issues

  • Strike A Chord

    Meaning: Used to describe something that is familiar to you, reminds you of something or is connected to you somehow.

  • Sugar Daddy

    Meaning: A rich man who is generous with younger women in return for sexual favors

  • Sure-Fire

    Meaning: Certain to occur

  • Swan Song

    Meaning: A final appearance

  • Swan Song

    Meaning: This expression is used to describe a final act before dying or ending something.

  • Sweep Under the Carpet

    Meaning: Attempt to temporarily conceal a problem or error

  • Sweep Under the Rug

    Meaning: Attempt to temporarily conceal a problem or error

  • Sweet Dreams!

    Meaning: Sleep well!

  • Sweeten the Deal

    Meaning: Add something to an offer during a negotiation

  • Sweeten the Pot

    Meaning: Increase the amount of winnings potentially available in a game of chance, especially poker

  • Swim Against the Tide

    Meaning: Do something contrary to a trend or usual opinion

  • Swim with Sharks

    Meaning: To take a major risk

  • Swim with the Fishes

    Meaning: Have been killed, especially with involvement of organized crime

  • Swing for the Fences

    Meaning: Attempt to achieve the largest accomplishment possible

  • Swing for the Fences

    Meaning: Attempt to achieve the largest accomplishment possible

  • Sword of Damocles

    Meaning: Something that causes a feeling of constant threat.