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Idioms and Sayings About Buildings


Idiom/Saying Explanation
To bank on something/someone

For example:

"You can always bank on friends to help you."
Something or someone you can be sure of.
To lock the barn door after the horse has bolted

For example:

"Buying a burglar alarm after the break in was like locking the barn door after the horse had bolted."
To be careful or try to make something safe when it is too late.
To be banging/hitting your head against a brick wall.

For example:

"Trying to get them to do their homework is like banging my head against a brick wall."
To keep asking someone to do something which they never do.
Like a ton of bricks

For example:

" The news of the accident hit me like a ton of bricks."
To be affected strongly or forcefully by something.

You can't make bricks without straw.

For example:

"It's no good trying to build a website if you don't know any html, you can't make bricks without straw."

You cannot do something correctly without the necessary materials/knowledge.
To burn your bridges

For example:

"When he handed in his resignation he had burnt his bridges."
To do something that makes it impossible for you to change your plans and go back to the situation you were in before.
Rome wasn't built in a day.

For example:

"It's taken me years to build this site, and I'm still not finished! Still, Rome wasn't built in a day."

It takes a long time to do an important job.


Thanks to 2-dog-farm

Castles in the air

For example:

" She is always building castles in the air and is very unrealistic."
To have daydreams.
To be in the doghouse

For example:

"He was really in the doghouse after borrowing his father's car without permission."
To be in trouble.
To hold the fort

For example:

"He has been holding the fort at his company while his boss is on vacation."
To cope in an emergency, often by acting as a temporary substitute.
Close to home

For example:

"What the fortune teller said about my past life hit close to home, it was uncanny."
To be near to someone`s personal feelings, wishes or interests.
Make oneself at home

For example:

"I always make myself at home when I visit the in-laws."
To act as if you were at home.
House of cards

For example:

"The peace agreement between the two countries was like a house of cards and quickly fell apart."
Something badly put together and easily knocked down, a poorly thought out plan/action.
On the house

For example:

"The club was celebrating its anniversary so the drinks were on the house."
Something provided free by a business - especially in a bar or restaurant.
Put one`s own house in order

For example:

"The government should put its own house in order before it tells others what to do."
Organize one`s own private affairs.
To bring the house down

For example:

"The last act was so good they brought the house down."
To cause alot of applause or laughter.
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones

For example:

"He was always telling people to be honest and then he stole the money, he should know that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
Do not complain about other people if you are as bad as they are.
Run-of-the-mill

For example:

"Nothing extraordinary happened the whole day was very run-of-the-mill."
Something that is ordinary or usual.
To go through the mill

For example:

"Since his divorce he has really gone through the mill."
To experience a difficult situation.
To go through the roof

For example:

"When she saw how dirty his clothes were, his mother went through the roof."
To become very angry, go into a rage.
To hit the roof

For example:

"He hit the roof when he found out that his son had wrecked the family car. "
To become very angry, go into a rage.

The elephant in the room.

For example:-

"Her blindness was the elephant in the room."

A problem or situation that everyone knows about but no one mentions.

To close the stable door after the horse has bolted.

For example:-

"Giving the banks billions of dollars, is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted."

To try to fix something after the problem has occurred.

To stonewall.

For example:-

He stonewalled the new project and now it's been cancelled.

To refuse to cooperate, especially in supplying information, often by talking a lot.
To be a tower of strength

For example:

" He has been a real tower of strength all through the divorce."
Someone who gives strong and reliable support
A hole in the wall

1) "We went for a drink at a little hole in the wall near the university last night."

2) "I went to the hole in the wall to get some cash."
1) A small place to live, stay or work in.

2) A cash machine.

The writing's on the wall

For example:-

"The director has promised there won't be any compulsory redundancies this year, but I figure that for next year the writing's on the wall. Better get your CV up to date."

The future is predetermined usually in a negative way.
To climb the wall

For example:

" The journey was so boring she was soon climbing the wall."
To be so bored that you become anxious and frustrated
To knock one`s head against a brick wall

For example:

"I have been knocking my head against a brick wall trying to solve this week's Mind Bender."
To waste time trying to do something with little or no success.
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