Mar 31 2016

“Saved by the Bell!”

Billy: Wow, that was close. Just when I thought the cops would see us, they got distracted by the sound of the bell on Margo’s cat’s collar.

Tom: Yeah, we were saved by the bell. Literally.

The idiom saved by the bell expresses the idea that someone or something is rescued from a dire outcome by a timely occurrence, generally speaking, at the last possible moment, i.e., in the nick of time. A close shave. Continue reading


Apr 7 2015

“Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”

To choose between two, in some way equally problematic, situations.

Hmmm. To be face down Old Nick himself, evil incarnate, on one hand, or, on the other hand, the endless danger of the fathomless, roiling sea… sounds harrowing. But actually the choices represented by this idiom are pretty mild, and the phrase is usually used in the spirit of fun or for dramatic effect.

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Mar 30 2015

“All the Tea in China”

An extravagant exaggeration, signifying that which is of uncountable and inestimable value. The phrase is used in a comparison to indicate someone or something that is of even greater worth.

“That’s Bess, over there. She’s the best and I wouldn’t trade her for all the tea in China.”

“You could give me all the tea in China and I still wouldn’t leave Brooklyn.”

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