For a song: very cheaply.
e.g. I got that piece of antique for a song.
Tall story: exaggerated story
e.g. No one would believe your tall story.
French leave: leave without permission.
e.g. My boss found out I took my French leave yesterday to pick you up from the airport.
There are no flies on: very alert and sharp.
e.g. Don't try to trick him; there are no flies on him.
Go under: fail.
e.g. I am sorry to say that all your proposals have gone under.
No oil painting: ugly.
e.g. To tell the truth, the dress you bought me is no oil painting.
Till the cow comes home: never; indefinitely.
e.g. "When do you think he will find a job?" "Till the cow comes home."
Up and coming: making a reputation.
e.g. This candidate is up and coming in the presidential election.
The ticket: the right thing to do.
e.g. Perseverance is the ticket to success in any endeavor.
e.g. Do I have your say-so to launch the project?
See with half an eye: see easily.
e.g. The mistake is so obvious: you can see it with half an eye.
For keeps: permanently.
e.g. I think the temporary assistant may be here for keeps.
e.g. You gave him the money right away without asking any question; he saw you coming!
Fork out: pay
e.g. Well, everybody has to fork out $30 for the farewell present to the boss.
That's a big one: a lie.
e.g. That was a big one. Do you expect me to believe it?
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau