The never-never: the hire-purchase system.
e.g. Renting a car puts you on the never-never.
The old boy: the boss.
e.g. What did the old boy say about your leaving early today?
Have it in for someone: bear someone a grudge; be determined to punish someone.
e.g. All these years he has it in for you: you married his sweetheart.
Not a patch on: nothing to compare with; very inferior to.
e.g. Your current proposal is not a patch on your previous one.
Hold one's horse: wait a minute; not immediately.
e.g. Dinner is ready, but hold your horse; wait for the host to come down!
In good nick: in good condition.
e.g. If I were you, I would buy this car; it's in good nick.
Hook on to: attach oneself to.
e.g. Don't hook on to your computer all day.
Guinea-pig: person used as a subject for tests or investigations.
e.g. I wouldn't like to be a guinea-pig in this scientific research, if I were you.
Kick the bucket: die.
e.g. He finally kicked the bucket at the age of 95.
Kiss of death: support that will prove damaging.
e.g. If I were you, I would not ask for her help: it would be your kiss of death.
Till the cow comes home: never; indefinitely.
e.g. "When do you think he will find a job?" "Till the cow comes home."
Gumption: common sense.
e.g. If you've some gumption, you 'll understand the difference between this and that.
Hell for leather: at a reckless speed.
e.g. Some teenagers drive their cars hell for leather; they endanger not only their lives but also those of others.
Hit the roof: explode with anger.
e.g. When he heard the bad news, he hit the roof.
Keep early hours: go to bed early.
e.g. If you want good health, keep early hours.
Keep one's head above water: stay out of debt or a difficult situation.
e.g. In this economic environment, it is not easy to keep your head above water.
Stephen LauCopyright© by Stephen Lau