at the top of one`s lungs
- as loud as one can, very loudlyI yelled at the top of my lungs to get the attention of the man.
- anger or a bad relationship due to past problems with someoneThere has always ben a lot of bad blood between the two supervisors.
behind one`s back
- when one is absent or without one's knowledge, secretlyHe doesn't like people who talk behind his back.
blood is thicker than water
- family members are closer to one another than to othersBlood is thicker than water and people usually support their family rather than their friends in times of trouble.
blood runs cold
- one is terrified or horrifiedMy blood ran cold when I saw the man fall off the ladder.
break one`s neck
- do all one possibly can, try one's hardestI broke my neck to try and get the report finished on time.
breathe down one`s neck
- follow closely, threaten from behindMy boss has been breathing down my neck all day to try and get me to work harder.
butterflies in one`s stomach
- a feeling of fear or anxiety in the stomachThe little boy had butterflies in his stomach when he had to give the speech in front of the class.
- unfriendly treatment of a personThe office staff gave me the cold shoulder when I did not go to the going away party.
cut one`s throat
- spoil one's chances, ruin a personHe is cutting his own throat if he doesn't make an effort to find a new job quickly.
flesh and blood
- a close relative (father,daughter,brother)It was his own flesh and blood who he refused to help when they needed money.
get off one`s back
- stop criticizing or nagging someoneI wish that my mother would get off my back about trying to find a better job.
get under one`s skin
- bother, upsetShe is beginning to get under my skin with her constant complaining about the noise.
hold one`s breath
- stop breathing for a moment when one is excited or nervousI held my breath and waited to see if my name had been called for an interview with the movie company.
jump down one`s throat
- suddenly become very angry at someoneHis wife jumped down his throat when he came home late for the third day in a row.
jump out of one`s skin
- be badly frightened, be very surprisedI almost jumped out of my skin when I saw my girlfriend at the movie theater with someone else.
keep body and soul together
- keep alive, surviveHe has been working very hard to try and keep body and soul together after his illness.
(not) move a muscle
- move very little (usually used in the negative)I didn't move a muscle when the large dog approached me on the street.
neck and neck
- equal or nearly equal in a race or contest, tiedThe two horses were running neck and neck until the end of the race.
off one`s back
- stop from bothering one, remove as an annoyance or pestI wish my boss would get off my back and stop bothering me.
off one`s chest
- tell something to someone so it doesn't bother one anymoreI talked to my friend for a long time and was able to get my problems off my chest.
on one`s back
- making insistent demands of one, being an annoyance or botherMy sister is always on her daughter's back to clean up her room.
on one's shoulders
- one's responsibilityI don't want to have the failure of the project on my shoulders.
pain in the neck
- an obnoxious or bothersome person or eventThe customer is a pain in the neck and is always complaining about something.
pat on the back
- praiseThe man was given a pat on the back for his efforts to stop pollution in the river.
rub elbows or shoulders with someone
- be in the same place (with others), meet and mix with othersWe went to the party in order to rub shoulders with some interesting artists.
save one`s breath
- keep silent because talking will not do any goodYou can save your breath and not bother talking to him. He never listens to anyone.
save one`s neck
- save from danger or troubleThe worker tried to save his own neck without thinking of any of the other people.
scratch one`s back
- do something kind and helpful for someone in the hope that they will do something for youIf you scratch the supervisor's back he will help you when you need help.
shove something down one`s throat
- force one to do or agree to something not wanted or likedThe workers were angry because the boss tried to shove the new regulations about uniforms down their throats.
skin and bones
- a person or animal that is very thin, someone very skinnyThe dog became skin and bones after his owner stopped giving him food.
- only on the surface, not having any deep or honest meaningI believe that the speaker's interest in the environment is only skin-deep.
stab in the back
- say or do something unfair that harms a friend or someone who trusts youMy friend stabbed me in the back even after I made an effort to help him get a job.
stick one`s neck out
- do something dangerous or risky for someoneHis friend will never stick his neck out to try and help other people.
straight from the shoulder
- open and honest way of speakingHe was speaking straight from the shoulder when he told the workers about the possible factory closing.
to the bone
- entirely, to the core, through all layersHe was wet to the bone after staying out in the rain for two hours.
turn one`s back on
- refuse to help someone in trouble or needThe woman turned her back on her friend when she was asked for some money to borrow.
turn one`s stomach
- make one feel sickThe sight of the dead dog on the road turned the stomachs of the children at the school.
- extremely timid, cowardlyEveryone thinks that the new boss handled the matter in a yellow-bellied manner.