Some figurative expressions

There are numerous figurative expressions in English. Here is a list of some of them.

To follow suit = to do something that somebody else has done

John bought a new car. His jealous neighbor immediately followed suit.

To swell with pride

To swell with pride is to feel extreme joy.

My son has won a prestigious scholarship and I am swelling with pride.

The sword of Damocles

To have the sword of Damocles hanging over your head is to live in constant fear of some impending danger.

Halcyon days

Used to refer to a period of time when there is peace and happiness on earth.

Give the devil his due

Used to say that a person should be rewarded for his good qualities however worthless he may be.

She is very clumsy and I don’t quite like it when she enters the kitchen, but I have got to give the devil her due. She makes excellent cakes.

To be in the doldrums

When you are in the doldrums, you are in low spirits.

Draconian legislation

Draconian legislation means very stringent laws.

Throw dust in someone’s eyes

To throw dust in someone’s eyes is to try to deceive him / her.

Dutch courage

The courage that one feels when one is under the influence of alcoholic drinks

It was Dutch courage that made him hit the policeman.

In the same boat

When people are in the same boat they are in the same circumstances.

‘I’m broke. Do you think you could lend me a few dollars?’ ‘Sorry, I’m in the same boat.’