Idioms title

The Idiom Attic - a collection of hundreds of English idioms, each one explained.

"excess" idioms...

See also, the Phrase Thesaurus list of phrases that contain the word excess

and, a list of phrases that relate in some way the word excess

" A big ask "
Meaning:
A favour which is a lot to ask of someone.
Example:
Tod had only just got home from his overnight flight when his boss told him to get back to the airport and fly to Sydney. That was a big ask.
Where did it originate?:
Australia.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   effort   australian_origin  
" Add insult to injury "
Meaning:
To further a loss. To make a bad situation worse.
Example:
She jilted him at the altar, but to add insult to injury, she later married his brother.
Where did it originate?:
Britain - 17th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   emotion  
" Bells and whistles "
Meaning:
Attractive additional features or trimmings.
Example:
It was expensive to get all the optional extras for my new car, but I decided that I wasn't going to get another for a few years so why not go for all the bells and whistles?
Where did it originate?:
USA, late 20th century. First used in the computing world to refer to machines with lots of new features. Probably ultimately deriving as an allusion to fairgound organs, which have numerous bells and whistles.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   america  
" Binge watch "
Meaning:
Watch multiple episodes of a television programme in succession.
Example:
We started off just planning to watch an episode of The Sopranos but ended up binge-watching the whole series.
Where did it originate?:
USA, late 20th century.
Where is it used?:
Initially the USA, but quickly spreading Worldwide.
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More idioms about:   america  
" Ear popping "
Meaning:
Sound that is loud or that catches the attention.
Example:
Led Zeppelin were good on stage and ear-poppingly loud.
Where did it originate?:
USA, early 20th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   the_human_body   america  
" Everything but the kitchen sink "
Meaning:
Everything imaginable.
Example:
I said she could stay for a few days but there's hardly room. She brought everything but the kitchen sink.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, late-19th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   household_items  
" Feeding frenzy "
Meaning:
A frantic competition or exploitation - like a group shark attack.
Example:
When Princess Diana was killed there was a feeding frenzy of journalists trying to get the story.
Where did it originate?:
USA, mid 20th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   food   nature   america  
" Fire the imagination "
Meaning:
Inspire with enthusiasm.
Example:
I didn't agree with Billy Graham's views but his fervent delivery really fired the imagination of those who did.
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More idioms about:   emotion  
" Go ape shit "
Meaning:
Become excessively agitated and excited.
Example:
John had been promised the job. He went ape shit when he found out it went to one of his subordinates.
Where did it originate?:
Originally USA (as 'go ape'). Britain, 1950s (as 'go ape shit'). Derived from the habit of apes of throwing faeces at adversaries when agitated.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, but not in polite company.
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More idioms about:   animals   slang  
" Go for broke "
Meaning:
Put every resource into getting a particular result.
Example:
We needed a goal so we went for broke to score and forgot about defence.
Where did it originate?:
USA, mid 20th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   business   america  
" Have a blast "
Meaning:
Have an especially good time.
Example:
We are loving our holiday here in the West Indies. Were having a blast.
Where did it originate?:
USA, mid 20th century.
Where is it used?:
Mostly USA.
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More idioms about:   america  
" Head over heels "
Meaning:
Very excited, especially when in love.
Example:
She said yes! We are to be married and I'm head over heels.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 18th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   emotion   the_human_body   happiness  
" Hell bent "
Meaning:
Determined to achieve something at all costs.
Example:
Susie broke her ankle a mile from the end of the marathon but she was hell bent to finish and stumbled over the line on crutches.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 18th century.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, although more common in the USA than elsewhere.
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More idioms about:   religion   america  
" Help yourself "
Meaning:
Invitation to take something freely.
Example:
There's plenty of food for everyone - just help yourself to whatever you want.
Where is it used?:
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" In the heat of the moment "
Meaning:
In an overwhelming situation, causing you to act rashly.
Example:
When the burglars broke in I just lashed out. I didn't think - it was just a heat of the moment reaction.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   time  
" Knee jerk reaction "
Meaning:
A quick and automatic response.
Example:
When Isis bombed Paris the knee-jerk reaction was to bomb them back.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 19th century. Driving from the medical test involving tapping the knee.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   the_human_body   medical  
" Let your hair down "
Meaning:
Behave in a free an uninhibited manner. Usually applied to women.
Example:
Its Sharon's hen party tonight - the girls are really going to let their hair down.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 17th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   hair  
" Like a chicken with its head cut off "
Meaning:
In a frenzied manner.
Example:
He was shouting and swearing because they had lost the contract - he was running around like a chicken with its head cut off.
Where did it originate?:
USA, late 19th century.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, but not particularly common.
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More idioms about:   emotion   animals   hyperbole   madness   america  
" Lose your head "
Meaning:
Overcome by emotion and out of control.
Example:
When the traffic warden had his car towed, Jack lost his head and hit him.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, late 18th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   emotion   body  
" Over the top "
Meaning:
Excessive.
Example:
A fine for my parking offence, that's okay, but crushing the car was over the top.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 1920s. The literal 'over the top' relating to trench warfare originated a few years earlier.
Where is it used?:
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" Paint the town red "
Meaning:
Go on a boisterous or exuberant spree
Example:
It's the last day of term and everyone wants to party. Why don't we paint the town red?
Where did it originate?:
USA, 19th century.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, although considered rather old fashioned language
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More idioms about:   location   colour   america  
" Pedal to the metal "
Meaning:
To go at full speed, when driving a vehicle.
Example:
Well never make it to the hospital in time at this speed. Put the pedal to the metal and hurry things up.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 1970s
Where is it used?:
Mostly USA.
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More idioms about:   travel   america  
" Pig out "
Meaning:
To overeat in a slovenly manner.
Example:
I told the babysitters not to pig out but when we got back there were nine pizza boxes on the floor.
Where did it originate?:
USA, late 20th century.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, but mostly by the younger generations.
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More idioms about:   animals   food   america  
" Raining cats and dogs "
Meaning:
Raining very heavily.
Example:
The monsoon will be here soon - then it will rain cats and dogs.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   weather   animals  
" Tour de force "
Meaning:
A feat of strength power or skill.
Example:
He managed to lift the back off that truck off the ground - a real tour de force.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 19th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   french  
" Variety is the spice of life "
Meaning:
Increased experience makes for a more exciting life.
Example:
Surfing today, bungie-jumping tomorrow. You know what they say - variety is the spice of life.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 18th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   adage  
" Wild and woolly "
Meaning:
Uncultured and lawless.
Example:
If you are looking for entertainment that's wild and woolly, have you considered cage fighting?
Where did it originate?:
USA, late 19th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   america  

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