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Idioms starting with letter G


What are idioms?

Idioms are phrases or expressions which are commonly used in everyday conversation, mostly by native speakers of English. The meaning of the idioms might not be that straight forward for new English speaker, however having good command of it will certainly helps to make your English sound more fluent.

The metaphorical nature of idioms makes conversation more interesting and flows in certain situation. You've probably heard some of them even though you don't fully understand the words. Let us help you increase your idioms knowledge by browsing through our extensive collection of idioms alphabetically.

  • game at which two can play
    a manner of competing which two competitors can use; a strategy that competing sides can both use.
    The mayor shouted at the town council, “Politics is a game at which two can play.”
    “Flattery is a game at which two can play,” said John as he returned Mary’s compliment. also: two can play at that game two people can compete, using the same strategy.
    I’m sorry you’re being so hard to deal with. Two can play at that game.
  • generous to a fault
    too generous.
    My favourite uncle is generous to a fault.
    Sally—always generous to a fault—gave away her sandwiches.
  • get a black eye
    to get a bruise near the eye from being struck. (Note: Get can be replaced with have. See the variations in the examples. Get usually means to become, to acquire, or to cause. Have usually means to possess, to be, or to have resulted in.)
    I got a black eye from walking into a door.
    I have a black eye where John hit me. also: give someone a black eye to hit someone near the eye so that a dark bruise appears.
    John became angry and gave me a black eye.
  • get above oneself
    to think or behave as though one is better or more important than one is.
    John has been getting a bit above himself since he was promoted. He never goes for a drink with his old colleagues.
    There was no need for her to get above herself just because she married a wealthy man.
  • get a clean bill of health
    [for someone] to be pronounced healthy by a doctor. (Also with have. See the note at get a black eye. From the fact that ships were given a clean bill of health before sailing only after the absence of infectious disease was certified.)
    Sally got a clean bill of health from the doctor.
    Now that Sally has a clean bill of health, she can go back to work. also: give someone a clean bill of health [for a doctor] to pronounce someone well and healthy.
    The doctor gave Sally a clean bill of health.
  • get a good run for one’s money
    to receive what one deserves, expects, or wants; to be well compensated for effort, money, etc., spent. (Informal. Also with have.)
    If Bill gets a good run for his money, he will be satisfied.
    Even if she does get the sack now, she’s had a good run for her money. She’s been there for years.
  • get a lucky break
    to have good fortune; to receive a bit of luck. (Informal. Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    Mary really got a lucky break when she got that job.
    After losing three times, John finally had a lucky break.
  • get a lump in one’s throat
    to have the feeling of something in one’s throat—as if one were going to cry; to become emotional or sentimental. (Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    Whenever they play the national anthem, I get a lump in my throat.
    I have a lump in my throat because my friends are going away.
  • get a slap on the wrist
    to get a light punishment (for doing something wrong). (Informal.)
    He created quite a disturbance, but he only got a slap on the wrist.
    I thought I’d just get a slap on the wrist for speeding, but I got fined £200.
  • get a start
    to receive training or a big opportunity in beginning one’s career.
    She got a start in show business in Manchester.
    She got a start in modelling when she was only four. also: give someone a start to give one training or a big opportunity in beginning one’s career.
    My career began when my father gave me a start in his act.
  • get a tongue-lashing
    to receive a severe scolding.
    I really got a tongue-lashing when I got home.
    She got a terrible tongue-lashing from her mother. also: give someone a tongue-lashing to give someone a severe scolding.
    I gave Bill a real tongue-lashing when he got home late.
  • get away (from it all)
    to get away from one’s work or daily routine; to go on a holiday.
    I just love the summer when I can take time off and get away from it all.
    Yes, that’s the best time to get away.
  • get a word in (edgeways)
    to succeed in saying something when other people are talking and one is being ignored. (Often in the negative.)
    It was such an exciting conversation that I could hardly get
  • get back on one’s feet
    to become independent again; to become able to move around again. (Note the variations with own and two in the examples.)
    He was sick for a while, but now he’s getting back on his feet.
    My parents helped a lot when I lost my job. I’m glad I’m back on my own feet now.
    It feels great to be back on my own two feet again.
  • get butterflies in one’s stomach
    to get a nervous feeling in one’s stomach. (Informal. Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    Whenever I have to go on stage, I get butterflies in my stomach.
    She always has butterflies in her stomach before a test. also: give one butterflies in one’s stomach to cause someone to have a nervous stomach.
    Exams give me butterflies in my stomach.
  • get by (on a shoe-string)
    to manage to live (on very little money).
    For the last two years, we have had to get by on a shoe-string.
    With so little money, it’s hard to get by.
  • get carried away
    to be overcome by emotion or enthusiasm (in one’s thinking or actions).
    Calm down, Jane. Don’t get carried away.
    Here, Bill. Take this money and go to the sweet-shop, but don’t get carried away.
  • get cold feet
    to become timid or frightened. (Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    I usually get cold feet when I have to speak in public.
    John got cold feet and wouldn’t run in the race.
    I can’t give my speech now. I have cold feet.
  • get credit (for something)
    to receive praise or recognition for one’s role in something. (Especially with a lot of, much, etc., as in the examples.)
    Mary should get a lot of credit for the team’s success.
    Each of the team captains should get credit. also: give someone credit (for something) to praise or recognize someone for doing something.
    The coach gave Mary a lot of credit.
    The director gave John much credit for his fine performance.
  • get down to brass tacks
    to begin to talk about important things. (Informal.)
    Let’s get down to brass tacks. We’ve wasted too much time chatting.
    Don’t you think that it’s about time to get down to brass tacks?
  • get down to brass tacks

    All right, everyone. Let’s get down to business. There has been enough playing around.
    When the president and vice-president arrive, we can get down to business.
  • get in someone’s hair
    to bother or irritate someone. (Informal.)
    Billy is always getting in his mother’s hair.
    I wish you’d stop getting in my hair.
  • get into full swing
    to move into the peak of activity; to start moving fast or efficiently. (Informal.)
    In the summer months, things really get into full swing around here.
    We go skiing in the mountains each winter. Things get into full swing there in November.
  • get into the swing of things
    to join in the routine or the activities. (Informal.)
    Come on, Bill. Try to get into the swing of things.
    John just couldn’t seem to get into the swing of things.
  • get nowhere fast
    not to make progress; to get nowhere. (Informal.)
    I can’t seem to make any progress. No matter what I do, I’m just getting nowhere fast.
    Come on. Go faster! We’re getting nowhere fast.
  • get off lightly
    to receive very little punishment (for doing something wrong).
    It was a serious crime, but Mary got off lightly.
    Billy’s punishment was very light. Considering what he did, he got off lightly.
  • get off to a flying start
    to have a very successful beginning to something.
    The new business got off to a flying start with those export orders.
    We shall need a large donation from the local council if the charity is to get off to a flying start.
  • get one’s come-uppance
    to get a reprimand; to get the punishment one deserves.
    Tom is always insulting people, but he finally got his come-uppance. Bill hit him.
    I hope I don’t get my comeuppance like that.
  • get one’s fill of someone or something
    to receive enough of someone or something. (Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    You’ll soon get your fill of Tom. He can be quite a pest.
    I can never get my fill of shrimps. I love them.
    Three weeks of visiting grandchildren is enough. I’ve had my fill of them.
  • get one’s fingers burned
    to have a bad experience. (Also used literally.)
    I tried that once before and got my fingers burned. I won’t try it again.
    If you buy shares and get your fingers burned, you then tend to leave your money in the bank.
  • get one’s foot in the door
    to achieve a favourable position (for further action); to take the first step in a process. (People selling things from door to door used to block the door with a foot, so it could not be closed on them. Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    I think I could get the position if I could only get my foot in the door.
    It pays to get your foot in the door. Try to get an appointment with the managing director.
    I have a better chance now that I have my foot in the door.
  • get one’s just deserts
    to get what one deserves.
    I feel better now that Jane got her just deserts. She really insulted me.
    Bill got back exactly the treatment which he gave out. He got his just deserts.
  • get one’s money’s worth
    to get everything that has been paid for; to get the best quality for the money paid.
    Weigh that pack of meat before you buy it. Be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.
    The show was so bad we felt we hadn’t got our money’s worth.
  • get one’s nose out of someone’s business
    to stop interfering in someone else’s business; to mind one’s own business. (Informal.)
    Go away! Get your nose out of my business!
    Bob just can’t seem to get his nose out of other people’s business. also: keep one’s nose out of someone’s business to refrain from interfering in someone else’s business.
    Let John have his privacy, and keep your nose out of my business, too!
  • get one’s second wind
    (Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.) 1. for one’s breathing to become stabilized after exerting oneself for a short time.
    John was having a hard time running until he got his second wind.
    “At last,” thought Ann, “I have my second wind. Now I can really swim fast.” 2. to become more active or productive (after becoming tired for a time.)
    I usually get my second wind early in the afternoon.
    Mary is a better worker now that she has her second wind.
  • get one’s teeth into something
    to start on something seriously, especially a difficult task. (Informal.)
    Come on, Bill. You have to get your teeth into your biology.
    I can’t wait to get my teeth into this problem.
  • get on the good side of someone
    to get into someone’s favour.
    You had better behave properly if you want to get on the good side of Mary.
    If you want to get on the good side of your teacher, you must do your homework. also: keep on the good side of someone to stay in someone’s favour.
    You have to work hard to keep on the good side of the manager.
  • get out of the wrong side of the bed
    to get up in the morning in a bad mood.
    What’s wrong with you? Did you get out of the wrong side of the bed today?
    Excuse me for being cross. I got out of the wrong side of the bed.
  • get someone off the hook
    to free someone from an obligation. (Informal.)
    Thanks for getting me off the hook. I didn’t want to attend that meeting.
    I couldn’t get Tom off the hook by myself. also: get off the hook to get free from an obligation.
    She did everything she could to get off the hook.
    I couldn’t get off the hook by myself.
  • get someone’s number
    to find out about a person; to learn the key to understanding a person. (Informal. Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    I’m going to get your number if I can. You’re a real puzzle.
    I’ve got Tom’s number. He’s ambitious.
  • get something off one’s chest
    to tell something that has been bothering you. (Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    I have to get this off my chest. I broke your window with a stone.
    I knew I’d feel better when I had that off my chest.
  • get something out of one’s system
    to be rid of the desire to do something; to do something that you have been wanting to do so that you are not bothered by wanting to do it any more.
    I bought a new car. I’ve been wanting to for a long time. I’m glad I finally got that out of my system.
    I can’t get it out of my system! I want to go back to university and get a degree.
  • get something under one’s belt
    (Informal. Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.) 1. to eat or drink something.
    I’d feel a lot better if I had a cool drink under my belt.
    Come in out of the cold and get a nice warm meal under your belt. 2. to learn something well; to assimilate some information; to get work done.
    I have to study tonight. I have to get a lot of algebra under my belt.
    I have to get all these reports under my belt before I go home.
  • get the brush-off
    to be ignored or sent away; to be rejected. (Informal.)
    Don’t talk to Tom. You’ll just get the brush-off.
    I went up to her and asked for a date, but I got the brush-off.
  • get the hang of something
    to learn how to do something; to learn how something works. (Informal. Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    As soon as I get the hang of this computer, I’ll be able to work faster.
    Now that I have the hang of starting the car in cold weather, I won’t have to get up so early.
  • get the last laugh
    to laugh at or ridicule someone who has laughed at or ridiculed you; to put someone in the same bad position that you were once in. (Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    John laughed when I got a D on the final exam. I got the last laugh, though. He failed the course.
    Mr. Smith said I was foolish when I bought an old building. I had the last laugh when I sold it a month later for twice what I paid for it.
  • get the runaround
    to receive a series of excuses, delays, and referrals. (Informal.)
    You’ll get the runaround if you ask to see the manager.
    I hate it when I get the runaround. also: give someone the runaround to give someone a series of excuses, delays, and referrals.
    If you ask to see the manager, they’ll give you the runaround.
  • get the shock of one’s life
    to receive a serious (emotional) shock. (Also with have. See the note at get a black eye.)
    I opened the telegram and got the shock of my life.
    I had the shock of my life when I won £5,000.
  • get the show on the road
    to get (something) started. (Informal.)
    Hurry up! Let’s get the show on the road.
    If you don’t get the show on the road now, we’ll never finish today.
  • get time to catch one’s breath and find time to catch one’s breath
    to find enough time to relax or behave normally. (See also catch one’s breath.)
    When things slow down around here, I’ll get time to catch my breath.
    Sally was so busy she couldn’t find time to catch her breath.
  • getting on (in years)
    growing older.
    Grandfather is getting on in years.
    Yes, he’s really getting on.
  • get to one’s feet
    to stand up, sometimes in order to address the audience.
    On a signal from the director, the singers got to their feet.
    I was so weak, I could hardly get to my feet.
  • get to the bottom of something
    to get an understanding of the causes of something.
    We must get to the bottom of this problem immediately.
    There is clearly something wrong here, and I want to get to the bottom of it.
  • get under someone’s skin
    to bother or irritate someone. (Informal.)
    John is so annoying. He really gets under my skin.
    I know he’s a nuisance, but don’t let him get under your skin.
  • get what is coming to one
    to get what one deserves, usually something bad.
    If you cheat, you’ll get into trouble. You’ll get what’s coming to you.
    Bill got what was coming to him when Ann left him. also: give one what is coming to one to give one what one deserves.
    Jim gave Bill what was coming to him.
  • get wind of something
    to hear about something; to receive information about something. (Informal.)
    I just got wind of the job vacancy and have applied.
    Wait until the treasurer gets wind of this. Somebody is going to get in trouble.
  • gild the lily
    to add ornament or decoration to something which is pleasing in its original state; to attempt to improve something which is already fine the way it is. (Often refers to flattery or exaggeration.)
    Your house has lovely brickwork. Don’t paint it. That would be gilding the lily.
    Oh, Sally. You’re beautiful the way you are. You don’t need make-up. You would be gilding the lily.
  • give a good account of oneself
    to do (something) well or thoroughly.
    John gave a good account of himself when he gave his speech last night.
    Mary was not hungry, and she didn’t give a good account of herself at dinner.
  • give as good as one gets
    to give as much as one receives.
    John can hold his own in a fight. He can give as good as he gets.
    Sally usually wins a formal debate. She gives as good as she gets.
  • give credit where credit is due
    to give credit to someone who deserves it; to acknowledge or thank someone who deserves it.
    We must give credit where credit is due. Thank you very much, Sally.
    Let’s give credit where credit is due. Mary is the one who wrote the report, not Jane.
  • give ground
    to retreat (literally or figuratively).
    When I argue with Mary, she never gives ground.
    I approached the barking dog, but it wouldn’t give ground.
  • give it to someone straight
    to tell something to someone clearly and directly. (Informal.)
    Come on, give it to me straight. I want to know exactly what happened.
    Quit wasting time, and tell me. Give it to me straight!
  • give of oneself
    to be generous with one’s time and concern.
    Tom is very good with children because he gives of himself.
    If you want to have more friends, you have to learn to give of yourself.
  • give one one’s marching orders
    to sack someone; to dismiss someone from employment. (Informal.)
    Tom has proved unsatisfactory. I decided to give him his marching orders.
    We might even give Sally her marching orders, too.
  • give oneself airs
    to act in a conceited or superior way.
    Sally is always giving herself airs. You’d think she had royal blood.
    Come on, John. Don’t behave so haughtily. Stop giving yourself airs.
  • give one’s right arm (for someone or something)
    to be willing to give something of great value for someone or something.
    I’d give my right arm for a nice cool drink.
    I’d give my right arm to be there.
    Tom really admires John. Tom would give his right arm for John.
  • give someone a piece of one’s mind
    to reprimand or scold someone; to tell someone off.
    I’ve had enough from John. I’m going to give him a piece of my mind.
    Sally, stop it, or I’ll give you a piece of my mind.
  • give someone or something a wide berth
    to keep a reasonable distance from someone or something. (Originally referred to sailing ships.)
    The dog we are approaching is very bad-tempered. Better give it a wide berth.
    Give Mary a wide berth. She’s in a very bad mood.
  • give someone pause for thought
    to cause someone to stop and think.
    When I see a golden sunrise, it gives me pause for thought.
    Witnessing an accident is likely to give all of us pause for thought.
  • give someone the shirt off one’s back
    to be very generous or solicitous towards someone.
    Tom really likes Bill. He’d give Bill the shirt off his back.
    John is so friendly that he’d give anyone the shirt off his back.
  • give someone tit for tat
    to give someone something equal to what one has received; to exchange a series of things, one by one, with someone. (Informal.)
    They took my car after I took theirs. It was tit for tat.
    He punched me, so I punched him. Every time he hit me, I hit him. I just gave him tit for tat.
  • give something a lick and a promise
    to do something poorly— quickly and carelessly. (Informal.)
    John! You didn’t clean your room! You just gave it a lick and a promise.
    This time, Tom, comb your hair. It looks as if you just gave it a lick and a promise.
  • give something a miss
    not to go to something; not to bother with something; to leave something alone. (Informal.)
    Betty decided to give the fair a miss this year.
    I regretted having to give Monday’s lecture a miss, but I was just too busy to attend.
  • give something one’s best shot
    to give a task one’s best effort. (Informal. Often with it.)
    I gave the project my best shot.
    Sure, try it. Give it your best shot!
  • give the devil his due and give the devil her due
    to give your foe proper credit (for something). (This usually refers to a person who has acted in an evil way—like the devil.)
    She’s generally impossible, but I have to give the devil her due. She’s always honest.
    John may squander money, but give the devil his due. He makes sure his family are well taken care of.
  • give the game away
    to reveal a plan or strategy. (Informal.)
    Now, all of you have to keep quiet. Please don’t give the game away.
    If you keep giving out hints, you’ll give the game away.
  • give up the ghost 1.
    to die; to release one’s spirit. (Considered formal or humorous.)
    The old man sighed, rolled over, and gave up the ghost.
    I’m too young to give up the ghost. 2. to quit; to cease trying.
    Don’t give up the ghost. Keep trying!
    The runner gave up the ghost and failed to complete the race.
  • give voice to something
    to express a feeling or an opinion in words; to speak out about something.
    The bird gave voice to its joy in the golden sunshine.
    All the people gave voice to their anger with the government.
  • glut on the market
    something on the market in great abundance.
    Right now, small computers are a glut on the market.
    Some years ago, small transistor radios were a glut on the market.
  • glutton for punishment
    someone who seems to like doing or seeking out difficult, unpleasant, or badly paid tasks.
    If you work for this charity, you’ll have to be a glutton for punishment and work long hours for nothing.
    Jane must be a real glutton for punishment. She’s typing Bill’s manuscript free of charge and he doesn’t even thank her.
  • go against the grain
    to go against the natural direction or inclination.
    You can’t expect me to help you cheat. That goes against the grain.
    Would it go against the grain for you to lend her money?
  • go back on one’s word
    to break a promise which one has made.
    I hate to go back on my word, but I won’t pay you £100 after all.
    Going back on your word makes you a liar.
  • go begging
    to be unwanted or unused. (As if a thing were begging for an owner or a user.)
    There is still food left. A whole lobster is going begging. Please eat some more.
    There are many excellent books in the library just going begging because people don’t know they are there.
  • go broke
    to run out of money and other assets.
    This company is going to go broke if you don’t stop spending money foolishly.
    I made some bad investments last year, and it looks as though I may go broke this year.
  • go by the board
    to get ruined or lost. (This is a nautical expression meaning to fall or be washed overboard.)
    I hate to see good food go by the board. Please eat up so we won’t have to throw it out.
    Your plan has gone by the board. The entire project has been cancelled.
  • go down fighting
    to continue the struggle until one is completely defeated.
    I won’t give up easily. I’ll go down fighting.
    Sally, who is very determined, went down fighting.
  • go downhill
    [for something] to decline and grow worse and worse. (Also used literally.)
    This industry is going downhill. We lose money every year.
    As one gets older, one tends to go downhill.
  • go down in history
    to be remembered as historically important.
    Wellington went down in history as a famous general.
    This is the greatest affair of the century. I bet it’ll go down in history.
  • go down like a lead balloon
    to fail, especially to fail to be funny.
    Your joke went down like a lead balloon.
    If that play was supposed to be a comedy, it went down like a lead balloon.
  • go Dutch
    to share the cost of a meal or some other event with someone.
    I’ll go out and eat with you if we can go Dutch.
    It’s getting expensive to have Sally for a friend. She never wants to go Dutch.
  • goes without saying
    [something] is so obvious that it need not be said.
    It goes without saying that you must keep the place clean.
    Of course. That goes without saying.
  • go for someone or something
    to attack someone or something; to move or lunge towards someone or something.
    The dog went for the visitor and almost bit him.
    He went for the door and tried to break it down.
  • go from bad to worse
    to progress from a bad state to a worse state.
    This is a terrible day. Things are going from bad to worse.
    My cold is awful. It went from bad to worse in just an hour.
  • go haywire
    to go wrong; to malfunction; to break down. (Informal.)
    We were all organized, but our plans suddenly went haywire.
    There we were, driving along, when the engine went haywire. It was two hours before the breakdown lorry came.
  • go in for something
    to take part in something; to enjoy (doing) something.
    John doesn’t go in for sports.
    None of them seems to go in for swimming.
  • going great guns
    going energetically or fast. (Informal.)
    I’m over my cold and going great guns.
    Business is great. We are going great guns selling icecream.
  • go in one ear and out the other
    [for something] to be heard and then forgotten. (Informal.)
    Everything I say to you seems to go in one ear and out the other. Why don’t you pay attention?
    I can’t concentrate. Things people say to me just go in one ear and out the other.
  • go it alone
    to do something by oneself. (Informal.)
    Do you need help, or will you go it alone?
    I think I need a little more experience before I go it alone.
  • go like clockwork
    to progress with regularity and dependability.
    The building project is progressing nicely. Everything is going like clockwork.
    The elaborate pageant was a great success. It went like clockwork from start to finish.
  • good enough for someone or something
    adequate or fine for someone or something.
    This seat is good enough for me. I don’t want to move.
    That table isn’t good enough for my office.
  • good-for-nothing
    a worthless person.
    Tell that good-for-nothing to go home at once.
    Bob can’t get a job. He’s such a good-for-nothing.
  • good riddance (to bad rubbish)
    [it is] good to be rid (of worthless persons or things).
    She slammed the door behind me and said, “Good riddance to bad rubbish!”
    “Good riddance to you, madam,” thought I.
  • go off at a tangent
    to go off suddenly in another direction; suddenly to change one’s line of thought, course of action, etc. (A reference to geometry. Plural: go off at tangents.)
    Please stick to one subject and don’t go off at a tangent.
    If Mary would settle down and deal with one subject she would be all right, but she keeps going off at tangents.
  • go off at half cock
    to proceed without proper preparation; to speak (about something) without adequate knowledge. (Informal.)
    Their plans are always going off at half cock.
    Get your facts straight before you make your presentation. There is nothing worse than going off at half cock.
  • go off the deep end
    to become angry or hysterical; to lose one’s temper. (Informal. Refers to going into a swimming-pool at the deep end—rather than the shallow end.)
    Her father went off the deep end when she came in late.
    The teacher went off the deep end when she saw his work.
  • go over someone’s head
    [for the intellectual content of something] to be too difficult for someone to understand.
    All that talk about computers went over my head.
    I hope my lecture didn’t go over the pupils’ heads.
  • go over something with a fine-tooth comb and go through something with a fine-tooth comb; search something with a fine-tooth comb
    to search through something very carefully. (As if one were searching for something very tiny which is lost in some kind of fibre.)
    I can’t find my calculus book. I went over the whole place with a fine-tooth comb.
    I searched this place with a fine-tooth comb and didn’t find my ring.
  • go round in circles
    to keep going over the same ideas or repeating the same actions, often resulting in confusion, without reaching a satisfactory decision or conclusion.
    We’re just going round in circles discussing the problems of the fe?te. We need to consult someone else to get a new point of view.
    Fred’s trying to find out what’s happened, but he’s going round in circles. No one will tell him anything useful.
  • go sky-high
    to go very high. (Informal.)
    Prices go sky-high whenever there is inflation.
    Oh, it’s so hot. The temperature went sky-high about midday.
  • go so far as to say something
    to put something into words; to risk saying something.
    I think that Bob is dishonest, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s a thief.
    Red meat may be harmful in some cases, but I can’t go so far as to say it causes cancer.
  • go the distance and stay the distance
    to do the whole amount; to play the entire game; to run the whole race. (Informal. Originally sports use.)
    That horse runs fast. I hope it can go the distance.
    This is going to be a long, hard project. I hope I can go the distance.
    Jim changes jobs a lot. He never stays the distance.
  • go the whole hog
    to do everything possible; to be extravagant. (Informal.)
    Let’s go the whole hog. Order steak and lobster.
    Show some restraint. Don’t go the whole hog and leave yourself penniless.
  • go through the motions
    to make a feeble effort to do something; to pretend to do something.
    Jane isn’t doing her best. She’s just going through the motions.
    Bill was supposed to be raking the garden, but he was just going through the motions.
  • go through the proper channels
    to proceed by consulting the proper persons or offices.
    If you want an answer to your question, you’ll have to go through the proper channels.
    Your application will have to go through the proper channels.
  • go to Davy Jones’s locker
    to go to the bottom of the sea; to drown. (Thought of as a nautical expression.)
    My uncle was a sailor. He went to Davy Jones’s locker during a terrible storm.
    My camera fell overboard and went to Davy Jones’s locker.
  • go to hell and go to the devil
    to go away and stop bothering (someone). (Informal. Use caution with both phrases, and especially with hell.)
    He told her to go to hell, that he didn’t want her.
    Leave me alone! Go to the devil!
  • go to rack and ruin
    to become ruined or destroyed, especially due to neglect.
    That lovely old house on the corner is going to go to rack and ruin.
    My lawn is going to rack and ruin.
  • go to someone’s head
    to make someone conceited; to make someone overly proud.
    You did a fine job, but don’t let it go to your head.
    He let his success go to his head, and soon he became a complete failure.
  • go to the limit to do as much as is possible to do.
    --- Okay, we can’t afford it, but we’ll go to the limit.
    How far shall I go? Shall I go to the limit?
  • go to the toilet and go to the loo
    to eliminate bodily wastes through defecation or urination. (Loo is an informal word meaning “toilet.”)
    The child needed to go to the toilet.
    After drinking so much, he had to go to the loo.
  • go to the wall
    to be defeated; to fail in business. (Informal.)
    During the recession, many small companies went to the wall.
    The company went to the wall because of that contract. Now it’s broke and the employees are redundant.
  • go to town
    to make a great effort; to work with energy or enthusiasm. (Informal.)
    They really went to town on cleaning the house. It’s spotless.
    You’ve really gone to town with the food for the party.
  • go to waste
    to be wasted; to be unused (and therefore thrown away).
    Eat your potatoes! Don’t let them go to waste.
    He never practises on the piano. It’s sad to see talent going to waste.
  • grasp the nettle
    to tackle a difficult or unpleasant task with firmness and determination.
    We must grasp the nettle and do something about our overspending.
    The education committee is reluctant to grasp the nettle of lack of textbooks.
  • green with envy
    envious; jealous.
    When Sally saw me with Tom, she turned green with envy. She likes him a lot.
    I feel green with envy whenever I see you in your new car.
  • grin and bear it
    to endure something unpleasant with good humour.
    There is nothing you can do but grin and bear it.
    I hate having to work for rude people. I suppose I have to grin and bear it.
  • grind to a halt
    to slow to a stop.
    By the end of the day, the factory had ground to a halt.
    The train ground to a halt, and we got out to stretch our legs.
  • grist to the mill
    something which can be put to good use or which can bring advantage or profit. (Grist was corn brought to a mill to be ground and so kept the mill operating.)
    Some of the jobs that we are offered are more interesting than others, but all is grist to the mill.
    The firm is having to sell rather ugly souvenirs, but they are grist to the mill and keep the firm in business.
  • grit one’s teeth
    to grind one’s teeth together in anger or determination; to show determination.
    I was so angry that all I could do was stand there and grit my teeth.
    All through the race, Sally was gritting her teeth. She was really determined.
  • grow on someone
    [for something] to become commonplace to a person. (The someone is usually one, someone, a person, etc., not a specific person.)
    That music is strange, but it grows on you.
    I didn’t think I could ever get used to this town, but after a while it grows on one.
WORD OF THE DAY
20 October, 2020