Idioms title

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

"trickery" idioms...

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

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

" A pig in a poke "
Meaning:
A commodity that is bought without first examining it.
Example:
Jim said that car was a good buy so I bid for it on eBay and it turned out to be a real rust bucket. That’s what you get for buying a pig in a poke.
Where did it originate?:
Britain. An old expression that exists in various forms in many languages.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   animals  
" A wolf in sheep’s clothing "
Meaning:
Someone who uses the pretence of kindliness to disguise their evil intent.
Example:
He was 38 but tried to pass himself off as a thirteen year old in order to get a date with a schoolgirl - a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Where did it originate?:
Aesop.
Where is it used?:
Widely used.
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   animals   clothes  
" Click bait "
Meaning:
An eye catching word or image on a website.
Example:
Those half-price ads that keep popping up are annoying. They are intended as click bait to draw you into their website but they just put me off.
Where did it originate?:
USA and UK, early 21st century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   technology  
" Cock and bull story "
Meaning:
An unbelievable tale.
Example:
She said that she went to school with George Clooney but she's only twenty two - I think it's a cock and bull story.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 17th century, although the precise source is unknown.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   animals   language  
" Cry wolf "
Meaning:
Intentionally raise a false alarm.
Example:
Now Billy, there's no point crying wolf just to stay up a bit later. We all know that there are no witches in your bedroom.
Where did it originate?:
From the 'Shepherd Boy who cried Wolf' story in Aesop's Fables, translated into English in the 17th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   animals  
" Fool's gold "
Meaning:
Something that appears valuable but really isn't, like iron pyrites - a worthless mineral that resembles gold.
Example:
The investment promised 80% returns but turned out to make a loss - just fools gold I guess.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 19th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   stupidity   america  
" Full of bull "
Meaning:
Talking hot air.
Example:
He claims that he was taught to to wire walk by his parents in the circus, but he's full of bull - I know his father was a greengrocer.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 20th century.
Where is it used?:
Mostly USA.
More idioms about:   animals   america  
" Hidden in plain sight "
Meaning:
Something that defies apprehension by being too obvious.
Example:
After robbing the jewellers the thief just stood in the crowd and watched the police search all the local alleys. I guess hiding in plain sight worked for him.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 19th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   surprise   america  
" Hocus pocus "
Meaning:
A term used to denote magic or trickery.
Example:
He claimed to have evidence of the Loch Ness Monster, but it turned out to be a lot of hocus pocus.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 17th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   theatre   reduplication  
" Mumbo jumbo "
Meaning:
Nonsense or meaningless speech.
Example:
His speech about magical phenomenology seemed to make sense at the time but now I realise it was just mumbo-jumbo.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 18th century. Deriving from an African source.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   nonsense   reduplication  
" Play Devil's advocate "
Meaning:
A person who takes a contrary position from the one being presented, either for the sake of argument or to test the validity of the opposing point of view.
Example:
I didn't really disagree with what he was saying but I decided to play devil's advocate just to get him to try to make a better case for it.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 18th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   religion  
" Pulling your leg "
Meaning:
Tricking someone as a joke.
Example:
You believed her when she said she was the Queen's cousin? I think she was pulling your leg mate.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 19th century.
Where is it used?:
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   the_human_body   america  
" Sixth sense "
Meaning:
An imaginary intuitive facility.
Example:
My sixth sense is telling me that I'm going to meet my perfect partner today.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 17th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   number  
" Smell a rat "
Meaning:
To begin to suspect that things aren't as they should be.
Example:
It was when he said I needed to email him my bank details that I began to smell a rat.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 16th century.
Where is it used?:
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More idioms about:   animals  
" Smell something fishy "
Meaning:
Detect that something isn't as it should be.
Example:
He's always hanging around outside the women's dorm with a camera. It looks a bit fishy to me.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 19th century. Deriving from an allusion to things that are 'as slippery as a fish'.
Where is it used?:
Mostly Britain.
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More idioms about:   animals  
" Stitch up "
Meaning:
1. Put someone in difficulty, often by making it appear that they are to blame for a misdemeanour. 2. Repair with needle and thread.
Example:
1. When she hid the money she'd stolen in my jacket she really stitched me up for the crime. 2. those jeans are ripped. Pass them over and I'll stitch them up for you.
Where did it originate?:
1. Britain, 20th century. 2. Britain, 16th century.
Where is it used?:
Mostly Britain.
Hear the idiom spoken:

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