By K. Cullen, P. Hands
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Additional resources for A Guide to Idioms
I broke the vase o com e full circle or turn full circle then lied about it to everyone. I f things come, or turn, full circle, a situation which existed in the past cleaners changes and develops, but then re 3 take som eone to the cleaners (infor turns, probably in a slightly different mal) form, in the present: Sadly, events have I f someone takes you to the cleaners, come fu ll circle and those who defended their actions result in your losing or the university then must do so again. spending all or a lot o f your money, or in your complete defeat: His ex-wife city hall really took him to the cleaners in the di o fight city hall (A m E ) vorce settlement.
See also not have a hope in hell > h o p e o play cat-and- mouse w ith som eone I f someone plays cat-and-m ouse with a person less powerful than them selves, they tease them by repeatedly making them afraid and then letting them relax: The Government is playing cat-and-mouse with political prisoners, releasing and re-imprisoning them. f ; \ A cat which has caught a mouse often releases it several times to watch it run, before finally killing it. v o set the cat among the pigeons or put the cat among the pigeons (B rE ) I f someone has set, or put, the cat am ong the pigeons, they have made a difficult situation even worse: He said what?
For the better turn over a new leaf change your ways take a turn for the better a world of difference a turn-up for the books for the worse down the drain go to the dogs go downhill change your mind chop and change change your tune move the goalposts ing a mistake or by doing the wrong things: She’d blown her chance to get close to Guy. o chance would be a fine thing! 1: How I would have liked to play that, I thought, but chance would be a fine thing! d ’fat chance (informal) You say there is a fat chance or a fat chance of something if you are sure that that thing w ill not happen: ‘Please stop loving medemands Smith at the al bum’s climax.
A Guide to Idioms by K. Cullen, P. Hands