Idioms title

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

"time" idioms...

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

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

" A stitch in time saves nine "
Meaning:
A small effort made at the right time might save a calamity later on.
Example:
Fixing that frayed rope was a real stitch in time. It would probably have snapped when the wind got up later if we hadn’t.
Where did it originate?:
Britain. A very old proverb.
Where is it used?:
In use worldwide, but less commonly than before and mainly by the older generation.
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   effort   number   adage  
" About time "
Meaning:
1. Almost time. 2. High time.
Example:
1. Hurry up, it’s about time for the game to start. 2. These running shoes are worn through. It’s about time I got a new pair.
Where did it originate?:
1. and 2., both British.
Where is it used?:
Both meanings widely used.
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   clock   patience  
" Against the clock "
Meaning:
In a great hurry to complete something before a set deadline.
Example:
Sorry, no pub lunch for me today, I’m up against the clock. This report’s got to be done by 6pm or I’m dead.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 20th century. The allusion being that someone is in a race against the clock.
Where is it used?:
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   work  
" Crunch time "
Meaning:
The period of time just before a project has to be completed.
Example:
The exam is tomorrow and I need to pass - it's crunch time for me.
Where did it originate?:
Sir Winston Churchill coined and often used the expression 'it comes to the crunch' and this is the source of the 'crunch time' variant.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   effort  
" Daylight saving time "
Meaning:
The adjustment of clocks to provide longer evening daylight.
Example:
I can never work out if Daylight Saving Time gives me an hour more in bed or an hour less.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, early 20th century.
Where is it used?:
Mostly Britain but has also been taken up by other countries that adjust the clocks seasonally.
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   date  
" Graveyard shift "
Meaning:
Working hours that extend overnight.
Example:
I'm on shift-work. One week of days and then one on the graveyard shift.
Where did it originate?:
USA, late 19th century.
Where is it used?:
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   work   america  
" 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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" Let bygones be bygones "
Meaning:
Allow a disagreement or argument to be put in the past.
Example:
I never thought I'd be saying this after you slept with my wife, but that was thirty years ago, let's let bygones be bygones.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 16th century proverb
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   proverbial  
" New York minute "
Meaning:
A short space of time.
Example:
I know we need to leave soon, but I can get ready really quickly. I'll be with you in a New York minute.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 20th century.
Where is it used?:
Mostly USA.
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   location   hyperbole   america  
" Quality time "
Meaning:
Time spent with a child, spouse or friend in an uninterrupted and attentive way.
Example:
I've been working 12 hours a day this week and haven't been home once for the toddler's bedtime. This weekend I'm going to give them some quality time and take them to the zoo
Where did it originate?:
USA, 20th century.
Where is it used?:
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   family   happiness   america  
" Sparrow fart "
Meaning:
Jokey term for the early morning.
Example:
I know we have to get the early flight but isn't 2am too soon to be getting up? It isn't even sparrow fart yet.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 19th century. Originally an example of rural slang.
Where is it used?:
Mostly Britain.
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   animals   slang  
" Stupid-o'clock "
Meaning:
Very early in the morning.
Example:
We were out clubbing until three and then went on to Jack's for a drink. We didn't get home until stupid-o'clock.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, late 20th century.
Where is it used?:
Mainly Britain, and mainly amongst young adults.
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   stupidity  
" Third time lucky "
Meaning:
Said when trying something for the third time.
Example:
Two divorces and now I'm engaged again. Let's hope it's third time lucky.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 19th century.
Where is it used?:
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   number   luck  
" Third times a charm "
Meaning:
The third try is often successful.
Example:
Have you noticed that, in TV dramas, when the police try a lock with a set of keys it's always the third that works. They must think third times a charm.
Where did it originate?:
Originated in Ireland in the 1830s and was later adopted in American speech.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, but more common in the USA than elsewhere.
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   number   luck  
" Til the cows come home "
Meaning:
A long time to wait.
Example:
He borrows but he never pays back. You'll not see your money before the cows come home.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 18th century.
Where is it used?:
Hear the idiom spoken:

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