Monthly Archives: October 2015

Sayings: Ears – Eyes (from the book Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say)


  • He has long ears. (eavesdrops)
  • How close to the floor do I have to put my ear to hear the devil?
  • She has rabbit ears. (large ears)
  • He has ears like a fox. (hears well)
  • Lend me your ear. (listen to my idea)
  • The money has already been earmarked for a project. (designated)
  • He looks like Dumbo! (big ears)
  • His ears stood up when he heard what they were saying. (eavesdropping)
  • Her ears perked up. (listened to something she wanted to hear)
  • When he talks, I let it go in one ear and out the other. (don’t take it to heart)
  • Will you be my ears? (listen for clues; eavesdrop with a purpose; tell me what goes on)


  • The early bird catches the worm.
  • Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise.
  • I’m up with the crows in the mornings.
  • He gets up before the chickens.
  • He gets up before the crack of dawn.
  • Better early than late!


  • Easy come, easy go!
  • That’s as easy as pie!
  • That’s a piece of cake!
  • It’s like taking candy from a baby!
  • It’s like shooting fish in a barrel.
  • He’s living the life of Riley.
  • It’s as easy as falling off a bike!
  • It’s easier said than done.


  • He eats like a pig. (no manners)
  • The smell of that ham roasting really whetted his appetite. (made him hungry)
  • You better eat before you cave in! (die)
  • He ate a big bait of fresh salad greens. (large amount)
  • If you don’t eat, you’ll dry up and blow away! (get too thin)
  • He’ll eat anything that doesn’t crawl off his plate! (indiscriminate eater)
  • If that boy got paid to eat, he’d be a rich man!
  • We always make enough for a second helping.
  • I’ll take seconds on those potatoes!
  • That smells so good, I can hardly wait to chow down!
  • I could make a meal out of poke sallet! (can apply to any favorite food that a person likes well enough to eat it and nothing else with it)
  • I guess I’ll have to eat crow. (apologize)
  • He’ll have to eat those words. (admit he was wrong)
  • If he wins that race, I’ll eat my hat! (don’t expect it to happen)
  • She acted like she could eat him up alive.       (adore)
  • I’ll eat you alive. (beat, defeat)
  • Eat your heart out! (be envious)
  • Any time you can get something to eat is a good time to eat.
  • If somebody offers you something to eat, you take it!       You don’t have to be hungry to eat.       You eat to keep from getting hungry.
  • If you don’t work and make you something to eat, old Pete will be sitting on the table! (hunger)
  • She doesn’t need a plate, just give her a trough!
  • She eats like a bird. (eats very little; picky)
  • I ate until I’m foundered. (overate)
  • He didn’t do more than smell his food. (ate little)
  • She picked at her plate. (finicky)
  • You’ll eat those words! (retract; regret)
  • He licked the platter clean!
  • This is a Duke’s mixture. (combination of foods; leftovers)
  • He ate like a ravenous wolf. (starved)
  • I’ve got an appetite like a bear waking up in the spring.
  • I’m so hungry I could eat an elephant.


  • She has a lot of book learning. (self taught)
  • He has book smarts. (reads a lot)
  • He didn’t have an education, but he had plenty of common sense.
  • I had no formal learning. (self taught)
  • Boys, get an edumacation!
  • You need to be edumacated.
  • I wish I had more schooling.
  • He got his letters from the university.       (degree)
  • Education is a great equalizer between social classes.
  • The best way up the ladder is through education.
  • Education brings change.
  • True change starts with education the public.
  • If you get an education, you can hold your head up in any crowd.
  • Get an education so you will never have to be ashamed


  • I will do my level best. (maximum effort)
  • I will do my dead level best.
  • I know you can do better.
  • I gave 100%. (all I had to give)
  • My get up and go got up and went.       (tried but failed)
  • I’m tired of trying. (discouraged)
  • Try, try again. (don’t give up)
  • Third time’s the charm.
  • Give it your best shot.
  • Give it all you’ve got.
  • You get an “A” for effort. (tried but didn’t succeed)
  • He didn’t give half an effort. (didn’t try)
  • Can’t you try a little harder?
  • It took me some doing, but I managed to get my doctor’s appointment changed.


  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.       (diversify)
  • Why don’t you go fry an egg? (leave me alone)
  • He’s a bad egg. (bad reputation)
  • She’s an egg head. (very smart, studious)
  • I have a little nest egg tucked away.       (secret savings)
  • You have egg on your face! (mistaken and embarrassed about it)
  • She’s a good egg. (a good person)
  • I’ll break him from sucking eggs! (break a bad habit)
  • Honey, that egg is already scrambled. (a mistake/decision that can not be undone)
  • You’ll not find a goose egg in a hummingbird’s nest. (some things are illogical; won’t happen; doesn’t fit)


  • Contrary to what your parents may have told you, your name is not Sunshine, and the universe does not revolve around you!
  • She always has to be the center of attention.
  • He’s a cocky simp of a man. (not as good as he thinks he is)
  • Little Smarty went to a party.  No one came but little Smarty!
  • That boy is getting too big for his britches!       (thinks more highly of himself than he has a right to)
  • She thinks she’s something the cat covered up.       (important enough for a cat to bury)
  • He thinks he’s high and mighty.
  • She thinks she can walk on water, but I know better.
  • He’s a real glory hound!
  • If you could buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth, you’d be rich for the rest of your life.
  • I’m being totally selfish. I’ve talked about “me” for the last hour. Why don’t I stop and let you talk about me?
  • He’s a regular pack of smarties!
  • He thinks his poop don’t stink! (superior to others)
  • He’s a legend in his own mind.
  • He thinks he’s the Grand Poo Bah.
  • He’s about as slick as snot on a doorknob.
  • He thinks he’s something on a stick.
  • She needs to eat a slice of humble pie.
  • He’ll be eating crow for a long time over that!       (humbled)
  • He’s got a chip on his shoulder. (defensive)
  • He thinks he’s a Big Ike. (one with great authority)
  • He thinks he deserves a standing ovation every time he passes gas.
  • Someone needs to take him down a peg.
  • Someone needs to put her in her place.
  • Your mom might think you’re going to be President, but trust me – you never will.
  • She acts like she’s the family princess.
  • You’re not worth as much as you think.
  • She thinks she’s all that and a bag of chips.
  • He thinks he’s better looking than a store front window.
  • He thinks he’s worth more than a store front window, but I didn’t ask how much one costs.
  • You don’t ever fly so high that you don’t have to come down.
  • Get off your high horse! (opinion of one’s self that is superior to others)


  • Have you paid the juice bill? (electric bill)
  • He got juiced. (electrical shock)
  • Turn the power on. (plug in; flip a switch)
  • Hit the switch. (flip the switch on or off)
  • It felt like electricity coursing through my body.       (pain)


  • No one wanted to discuss the elephant in the room.

(big problem that everyone knows and no one wants to deal with)

  • She has a memory like an elephant.
  • Oh, if only elephants could dance! (a comment about an impossible situation)
  • I thunk I’ll ride an elephunk, but, no it is an elepho.       He thought it was an elephought. She says we can’t ride that elephant. (who is right and who is wrong; does anyone know what they’re talking about?)


  • Throw it in the yard. (get rid of something)
  • Three strikes and you’re out. (rules of baseball)
  • Better pull the plug on that idea. (forget about it; kill it)
  • He’s going down for the third time. (a drowning man)
  • I’ll get you, my little pretty! (get rid of)


  • I was mortified!
  • She turned red down to her toes.
  • He turned red plumb down into his shirt collar.
  • He turned as red as a gobbler’s snout.
  • She really rubbed your nose in it!
  • I wanted to dig a hole and crawl in!
  • I could have gone through the floor.
  • I wanted to disappear right there and then.
  • I could have died down dead right on the spot!                                  

emotions (or lack of)

  • She’s as cold as ice.
  • He’s as cold as stone.
  • It hurts my heart.
  • She’s tightly wound. (very emotional; nervous)
  • She’s high strung. (emotional)
  • He’s wired. (highly emotional)


  • There’s nary a drop left!
  • That has a hollow ring to it. (empty, insincere words)
  • My head is empty. (out of ideas)
  • There’s nary a one in that box.


  • All will be well.
  • This too shall pass.
  • Keep your chin up.
  • If the good Lord put an idea in your head, He will help you get it done.
  • Tomorrow is another day.
  • You can do it!
  • Remember the little engine. I think I can. I think I can!
  • You can do anything if you put your mind to it.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t give up!
  • Keep trying. You’re bound to get it right eventually.


  • Elvis has left the building.
  • You haven’t heard the end of this.
  • We don’t get fairy tale endings in this life.
  • All good things must come to an end.
  • That’s all she wrote!


  • They won’t last any longer than Pat stayed in the Army.
  • He’ll give out before he gets started.
  • He’ll hold his own.


  • Do not strive to make enemies, to keep them, or befriend them.
  • Smile a lot. It aggravates your enemies and drive them crazy trying to figure out what you’ve been up to.
  • Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
  • Deliberately make an enemy of no man.
  • Always give your enemies an opportunity to save face.


  • I’ve had about enough of you!
  • Enough is enough!
  • I can never get enough of you!
  • Enough is enough and too much is nasty


  • I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!
  • What in ‘tar nation are you talkin’ about?
  • He was in the middle of the whole shebang.
  • He’s got the whole world in His hands.


  • She is green with envy. (jealous)
  • The green-eyed monster is on the loose.


  • What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
  • All men are created equal except for the ones who come out with a silver spoon in their mouth. (wealthy)


  • I gave him the slip. (snuck away from)
  • He’s off the hook! (has been released)
  • I’m saved by the bell! (rescued just in time)
  • He’s flown the coop. (ran away)
  • Beam me up, Scotty. (transport me to safety)
  • He got off Scot free! (didn’t have to pay)
  • I turned in my walking papers. (get away from – as in a bad relationship or job)


  • I sat thinking in the gloaming.
  • Lightning bugs come out long about dusky dark.
  • I watch for the first stars to shine at twilight.
  • I love to sit on the porch at evening time.
  • My favorite time is the eve of the day.
  • It’s sitting on the edge of dark.
  • It is evensong. (the time just before dark when the night creatures begin to be heard, i.e. – whip-oor-wills, frogs, crickets, etc.)
  • I’m waiting for the moon ball to rise.


  • It went plime blank like he said it would.
  • It turned out pine blank like you predicted.
  • Nobody can be exact all the time.
  • ‘Xactly what do you mean by that? (explain yourself)
  • Now that’s just plain speakin’. (be exact and say what you mean)
  • I don’t have the zact change to pay for the pop machine. (precise)


  • He dressed that story up a little.
  • The more it’s told, the bigger it gets!
  • That’s a fish tale if I ever heard one.
  • That’s making a mountain out of a mole hill.
  • What a whopper!
  • You don’t have to use a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
  • Don’t make such a big deal out of it!
  • He ain’t just whistling Dixie.
  • Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill!


  • Too much of anything is nasty.
  • Too much of a good thing is just too much.
  • You could take what she wastes and bake a cake!


  • You’ve got ants in your pants!
  • Hot ziggety!
  • Golly bum!
  • I’m beside myself.
  • I’m shaking like a leaf!
  • I can’t hardly live and stand it!
  • You’d be gaga over a grandbaby!
  • She went nuts when she heard the news!
  • He is gung ho and ready to go


  • But me no buts.
  • I couldn’t help myself.
  • The devil made me do it.                
  • A poor excuse is better than none at ll!


  • Policy comes from higher ups.
  • The uppity ups run the place.
  • He’s just a stuffed shirt.
  • He’s a fat cat.
  • The suits are coming.
  • high falutin’ bunch
  • The gray suits will be here.
  • He’s upper crust.
  • The muckity mucks are making an inspection of the factory today.
  • He’s a big cheese.
  • The hoity toities are visiting today.
  • He’s a big fish in a little pond.                                
  • He thinks he’s a big shot, but he’s not.
  • He is bringing in the big buck


  • I am worn out.
  • I’m worn to a frazzle.
  • You wear me out.
  • That tired me out.
  • I’m all done in.
  • I’m pooped.


  • That price is out of this world.
  • That cost a fortune.
  • He had to shell out a lot of money to pay for that!
  • It costs a king’s ransom.
  • That will cost an arm and a leg.
  • That will cost you a pretty penny.
  • That’s highway robbery!
  • That place is very posh.
  • You’ll pay through the nose for that.


  • He was a man of the world.
  • He has been a Jack of all trades.
  • She wrote the book on that subject.
  • He’s street smart.
  • He’s world wise


  • She was caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
  • He was caught with his pants down.
  • It will all come out in the wash.
  • She blew the lid off of that story.
  • He gave the low down on the whole event.
  • She kept digging until she got to the bottom of things.
  • She was caught red handed.
  • His cover was blown.
  • Can you shed a little light on this situation?


  • Her eyes sparkled like diamonds. (in love)
  • His eyes sparkled like stars in a midnight sky. (happy)
  • I was a goner from the first time I laid eyes on him. (love at first sight)
  • Keep your eyes open. (be observant)
  • Her eyes flashed like lightning. (anger)
  • A storm was brewing in his eyes. (anger)
  • Her eyes twinkled with mischief. (sneaky)
  • His eyes spoke volumes. (emotions showed in his eyes)
  • Keep your eyes peeled. (be watchful)
  • You’re a sight for sore eyes! (someone that hasn’t been seen in a while)
  • He has snake eyes. (not trustworthy)
  • You stop that eye rolling right now! (said to a child who is giving an insolent look)
  • He rolled snake eyes. (rolled two on the dice)
  • His eyes were bottomless pools. (thoughtful)
  • Her eyes were placid pools. (peaceful)
  • He’s as blind as a bat. (can’t see either physically and/or emotionally)
  • Don’t roll your eyes at me! (sign of contempt; disgust)
  • Don’t roll your eyeballs at me like that! (same as above)
  • His eyes rolled back in his head. (shock; near death)
  • She couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn. (can’t see well)
  • He wears Coke bottles for glasses. (thick glasses)
  • Look at four-eyes. (insult to someone who wears glasses)
  • She has eyes in the back of her head. (watchful and catches misbehavior)
  • He’s cross-eyed. (physical condition – lazy eye)
  • His eyes are sigoggledy. (crossed)
  • Her eyes were like two puddles of mud. (dull)
  • Her eyes are like tires. (surprised)
  • My eyes were bigger than my stomach. (not as hungry as I thought)
  • His eyes were as big as saucers. (surprised)
  • She’s got the pink eye. (infection in the eyes)
  • We see eye to eye. (have similar beliefs/values; agree)
  • I’ve got the big eye. (can’t sleep)
  • He has a single eye until he gets it finished. (focused on the task)
  • His eyeballs rolled back in his head when he saw her standing there. (shock; surprise)
  • He has eagle eyes. (good vision; aware of everything)
  • I saw her cutting her eyes at me. (giving me angry or dirty looks)
  • Don’t be rolling your eyeballs all over him! (looking lustfully at his physique)
  • He’ll look at you with the snake eye. (mean)
  • He’s looking at me with the stink eye. (mean)
  • You’d better keep an eye on him. (watch carefully)
  • Keep an eye out for one of those for me. (watch for)
  • That’s a poke in the eye! (something unpleasant)