More Colloquial Expressions
Pipe dream: something impossible or unrealistic.
e.g. The Mayor said that building another highway would be a pipe dream in the current economic environment.
Snap it up: be quick.
e.g. "Snap it up! We need to finish it before noon."
No can do: I cannot do it.
e.g. "Can you do this now?" "No can do.”
Says who?: who do you think you are to say that?
e.g. "I heard you were reprimanded by your boss for being late again." "Says who?"
Try as I may: I regret or fail to do something.
e.g. "Can you do something with this machine?" "Try as I may, I can't make it work."
Search me: I don't know; I don't have the answer.
e.g. "Do you know the author of this quotation?" "Search me."
Keep one's shirt on: calm down; don't get too excited.
e.g. "Cool off! Keep your shirt on. This is not the end of the world."
I am like you: we share the same opinion.
e.g. "I don't like cheese in my food." "I am like you: cheese makes me feel sick."
See to it right away: take care of a complaint or problem.
e.g. "The tap is leaking." "Yes, I'll see to it right away."
See where you're coming from: confirm understanding.
e.g. "So, what you're saying is that it was a misunderstanding. Now, I see where you're coming from."
I spoke too soon: spoke without getting all the facts.
e.g. "You were wrong about that." "I'm sorry. Maybe I spoke too soon."
So much for that: that's the end of that.
e.g. "Well, so much for that. I'm not going to get involved any more. That's it!"
Sorry I asked: I wish I had not asked.
e.g. "I didn't pass my test." "Sorry I asked."
Spare me the details: don't want to hear; avoid an unpleasant subject.
e.g. "Today I got fired." "Spare me the details!"
Speak out of turn: speak at the wrong time.
e.g. "Beware of what you're going to say at the meeting. Don't speak out of turn by talking about your divorce."
What about it?: so what?
e.g. "You were late for the meeting." "What about it? I didn't want to come in the first place."
e.g. "I'll have a beer. What about you?'
What else is new?: it is not new.
e.g. "Last night my husband came home dead drunk." "What else is new?" (i.e. he is always drunk)
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau