Category Archives: idiom

#IOTW: Idioms to express tiredness

Here are some idioms to express tiredness. Shall I start now or just get some sleep a little more? LOL, just kidding. Check these out, fellas!

1. Dead tired. Meaning: Totally exhausted or fatigued.


  • I was dead tired after running my first 5000 marathon.

2. Dead on one’s feet. Meaning: to be extremely tired.


  • My sister was doing her room all day and was dead on her feet.

3. Dog-tired. Meaning: to be extremely tired.


  • He usually got home around midnight, dog-tired after a long day at work.

4. Ready to drop. Meaning: to be so tired and nearly too exhausted to stay standing.


  • I’ve been shopping all day with Mom. I’m ready to drop!

5. Out like a light. Meaning: to be so tired that you fall asleep very quickly.


  • As soon as his head touched the pillow, he was out like a light.

@fikaa328: In Korean language, you can say gae phigon, which means dog-tired too.


Compiled and written by @AnienditaR for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, November 12, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms on human body

Here are 10 idioms from head to toe.

  1. Head start. Meaning: to start something earlier than others.

    • “I got a head start on the race because I was the youngest.”
  2. Head over heels. Meaning: to be deeply in love with someone.

    • “Everybody knows that Ted is head over heels for Robin.”
  3. See eye to eye. Meaning: to completely agree or view something the same way with someone.

    • “My best friend and I see eye to eye on a lot of things.”
  4. Let one’s hair down. Meaning: to relax and enjoy yourself.

    • “I need to go to a silent place and let my hair down this weekend.”
  5. Neck of the woods. Meaning: a nearby location; a neighborhood.

    • “Tom is the wealthiest man in my neck of the woods.”
  6. Learn by heart. Meaning: to learn something so well that it can be written or recited without thinking; to memorize.

    • “I have to learn The Civil Code by heart for my closed-book examination.”
  7. Old hand. Meaning: someone who is very experienced at something.

    • “The maid is an old hand at cleaning the house.”
  8. Pat on the back. Meaning: to praise someone for something.

    • “The teacher patted all the students on the back for their good work.”
  9. Pull one’s leg. Meaning: to tease someone.

    • “Calm down, buddy. I was just pulling your leg.”
  10. Rule of thumb. Meaning: basic rule.

    • “The rule of thumb is that the students wear black pants and white shirts.”

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR for @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, December 10, 2016



#IOTW: Christmas idioms

1. Be no angel. Meaning: to behave badly occasionally.


  • She‘s no angel but it’s expected of her if you treat her that way.

2. Christmas comes but once a year. Meaning: Since Christmas only happens once a year, we should treat it as a special time by being good to others or by indulging our children or ourselves.


  • Christmas comes but once a year, let’s get something for every one.

3. Cold turkey. Meaning: to withdraw from (an addictive substance or a habit)abruptly and completely.


  • People usually try to quit smoking by going cold turkey.

4. Deck the halls. Meaning: to indulge in copious amount of alcoholic drinks as a way of dealing with stress.


  • I’m so tired, I just want to deck the halls for the rest of the day.

5. Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle. Meaning: Get over it! Don’t get stressed out.


  • Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle. He’s only here for the party.

6. Trim the tree. Meaning: to decorate a (Christmas) tree.


  • Now that I’ve made my choice, let’s trim the tree and get ready for Christmas.

7. To cancel someone’s Christmas. Meaning: To kill someone; to destroy someone.


  • If he keeps bugging me, I’m gonna cancel his Christmas.

8. Christmas came early (this year). Meaning: When you receive some unexpected good news or good fortune.


  • Congratulations! I heard you’re promoted. Sounds like Christmas came early this year.

9. Like turkeys voting for Christmas. Meaning: to accept a situation which will have very bad results for them.


  • When she signed up to organize the reunion, she was like a turkey voting for Christmas.

10. Christmas tree. Meaning: A drunkard, a person who is frequently or habitually drunk.


  • A well-dressed Christmas tree sat in the corner – lit up, of course.


Compiled and written by @miss_qiak for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, December 28, 2016


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#IOTW: Christmas idioms

1) ‘Tis the season to be jolly.
The phrase is taken from a Christmas carol.It serves as a reminder to put on a happy face over the festive period.

2) Christmas comes but once a year.
The phrase is usually used as an excuse for overindulgence, whether on food or on gifts.

3) Deck the halls.
an old tradition of decorating the hall with branches from a holly tree. (also a name of a Christmas Carol).

4) Trim the tree.
an old expression means to decorate a pine tree with ornaments, lights, and other glittery bits.

5) Don’t get your tinsel in a tangle.
an expression means not to get stressed out trying to make Christmas perfect.

6) Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
an expression means to be grateful of a present even if it isn’t exactly what you wanted.



Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, December 25, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms about hard work

Hi, fellas! How are you? I’ve been working my fingers to the bone to finish my tasks today, to exaggerate a bit.

If any of you are students, these days might be your busiest too, I guess, because the end of the school term is pretty close. Before you get the holiday you deserve at the end of this month, you have to work hard for exams first.

So maybe you want to know some idioms you can use to express the hard work you’re going through. Well, here are some idioms related to hard work that we have curated for you:

  1. Blood, sweat and tears. Meaning: a lot of effort and suffering.
    • Example:
      • It must have taken the author’s blood, sweat, and tears to write this really good novel.
  2. Fight tooth and nail. Meaning: to use a lot of effort to oppose someone or achieve something.
    • Example:
      • He’s fighting tooth and nail to get his manuscript accepted by the end of this year.
  3. Go the extra mile. Meaning: to do more and make a greater effort than is expected of you.
    • Example:
      • I have achieved the monthly sale goal, but there is nothing wrong with going the extra mile to get more items sold.
  4. Go into overdrive. Meaning: to start working very hard.
    • Example:
      • As this term reach its end, the students go into overdrive and review their notes every day.
  5. Keep nose to grindstone. Meaning: to continue to work very hard without stopping.
    • Example:
      • She has been keeping her nose to grindstone for the SNMPTN test next week.
  6. Make headway. Meaning: to make progress.
    • Example:
      • Kevin continues to make headway to become a good animator.
  7. Pull out all the stops. Meaning: to do everything you can to make something successful.
    • Example:
      • Jan has been pulling out all the stops to get accepted to a medical school and now her efforts have paid off.
  8. Sink your teeth into. Meaning: to start to do something with a lot of enthusiasm.
    • Example:
      • Software development is something she has always wanted to sink her teeth into.
  9. Burn the candle at both ends. Meaning: to get little sleep because you are busy.
    • Example:
      • With the deadline only one week away, he has to burn the candles at both ends to finish his draft.
  10. Pull your socks up. Meaning: to make an effort to improve your work.
    • Example:
      • You have to pull your socks up if you want to get an A on this subject.

Source: Cambridge Idioms Dictionary


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, December 1, 2016


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#IOTW: Outer Space Idioms

  1. Out of this world. Meaning: extraordinary.
    • Example:
    • I climbed Mount Sindoro last week. Man, the view from up there were out of this world!

  2. Living on another planet. Meaning: not realizing what is going on; having unreasonable ideas.
    • Example:
    • They think they can run that kind of business with just 50 million rupiahs in their hands. It’s like they’re living on another planet.

  3. Living in cloud cuckoo land. Meaning: believing naively that impossible things might happen.
    • Example:
    • If you think the designer can finish that amount of work in three days you’re living in cloud cuckoo land.

  4. (Having) stars in one’s eyes. Meaning: hopeful and enthusiastic about what is going to happen to you in the future.
    • Example:
    • I see some of the new students enter their first ever classroom with stars in their eyes.

  5. Written in the stars. Meaning: certain to happen, intended to be.
    • Example:
    • It’s written in the stars that he would become the king of our kingdom.

  6. Not rocket science. Meaning: requires no extraordinary skill or intelligence.
    • Example:
    • Simply plug in the power cord and push the power button. It’s not rocket science.

    • “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to plug in the power cord and push the power button.”


Compiled and written by @Fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, October 13, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms related to shape

1. To go back to square one. Meaning: to start over because of setbacks.


  • “June’s business is failing. I think she needs to go back to square one.”

2. To be fair and square. Meaning: to treat everyone impartially.


  • “As an elected mayor, I want you to be fair and square to everyone.”

3. To attempt to square the circle. Meaning: to try to do the impossible.


  • “I will attempt to square the circle; I want to find the Fountain of Youth!”

4. To round on someone. Meaning: to react angrily on someone.


  • “She rounded on the bullies and slapped them.”

5. A vicious circle/cycle. Meaning: the solution of the problem starts another problem.


  • “Avenging people is a vicious circle, Master Bruce. It is not justice.”

6. Circling the drain. Meaning: dying but continues to cling to life.


  • “My grandma has been circling the drain for a couple of weeks. I think she’s waiting for my brother to come home.”

7. Spiral out of control. Meaning: A situation that gets worse all the time.


  • “The number of crime is spiraling out of control lately. We need to do something about it.”

Compiled and written by @bintilvice for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, 7 October 2016



#IOTW: Moon idioms

Tonight I’m going to share some idioms about moon. Stay tuned, fellas!

1) Cry for the moon: to make an unreasonable request that is unlikely to happen.

 Thinking of getting an A on this subject is to cry for the moon

2) Promise the moon: to make extravagant promises to someone.

He will promise you the moon, but he won’t live up to his promises.

3) Once in a blue moon: to do something very rarely

Because I study abroad, I get to see my parents once in a blue moon.

4) over the moon: to be extremely pleased and happy about something

When she told me that he loves me, I was over the moon.

5) bark at the moon: to do something pointless.

Waiting for him to change his mind is actually barking at the moon. He’ll never change his mind.

6) Reach for the moon: to  try to achieve something that is very difficult

You have to reach for the moon if you want to be a successful singer.

7) Shoot for the moon: to set your goal very high.

You might as well shoot for the moon and ask for a promotion as well as a raise.

8) Many moons ago:  a long time ago

Sam has been waiting for Jill since many moons ago.

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on September 24, 2016

#IOTW: Idioms that Involve Roads and Paths

Hey fellas! In this #IOTW session, I’m going to share ten idioms that involve roads and paths. So, without further ado, let me present them to you…

Cross your path: to happen to you, e.g., I hope you’ll gain the strength you need to face whatever crosses your path.

Bump in the road: A problem that arises and interferes with forward progress (usually only temporarily), e.g., We hit some bumps in the road during the research, but our paper finally made it to the publication.

Off the beaten path/track: away from the frequently traveled routes; not known or popular with many people, e.g., She explored that hill and found a nice little antique shop off the beaten path.

Lead someone down the garden path: to deceive someone, e.g., When traveling alone, always be careful in order to not let a stranger take advantage of you and lead you down the garden path.

Go down that road: to decide to take a particular action that you can not easily undo, e.g., Well, you can lie your way into dating her, but you know the consequences. Are you sure you want to go down that road?

Hot on the trail: very close to finding something or catch up with someone, e.g., Can you call me again later? I’m hot on the trail of my lost cat right now.

On the right track: in progress toward the desired result, e.g., Fred starts to feel that his team is finally on the right track to finding the culprit.

Where the rubber meets the road: at the point in a process where there are challenges, issues, or problems, e.g., Writing down every sentence that comes to your mind is the easy part. Rearranging them to make a good essay is where the rubber meets the road.

Lose track: to no longer be informed or know about something or someone, e.g., I lost track of all my elementary school friends since I left Sumatra.

Royal road: a way or method that presents no difficulties, e.g., There is no royal road to a real success.

And that’s that, fellas. You can try to use those idioms once in a while in your writing or daily conversation. Just remember not to overuse them.


Source: Farlex Dictionary of Idioms, McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs, American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language

Compiled and written by @fafafin for @EnglishTips4U on September 15, 2016.

#IOTW: Idioms Expressing Anger

Anger is an emotion that involves a strong uncomfortable and emotional response to a perceived provocation, hurt or threat. Here are some idioms you can use to express anger.

  1. Get on my nerves. Meaning: If someone getting on your nerves, they are doing something that is annoying or irritating.
    • Example:
      • “The boys living upstairs are so noisy, they’re getting on my nerves.
  2. To see red. Meaning: If someone sees red, it means they suddenly become very angry.
    • Example:
      • “When she hung up the phone, I saw red. I’ve never been so angry in my life.”
  3. To go ballistic. Meaning: If someone goes ballistic, they become violently and uncontrollably angry.
    • Example:
      • “My mom went ballistic when she saw the broken vases.”
  4. Black mood. Meaning: If someone is having a black mood, they are irritable, angry or even depressed.
    • Example:
      • “You’d better keep away from Sara today. She’s in a total black mood.
  5. Kick yourself. Meaning: If you feel like kicking yourself, you are angry with yourself for something you have or haven’t done.
    • Example:
      • “I could have kicked myself for messing up your birthday.”
  6. To be hopping mad. Meaning: If someone is hopping mad, they are so angry that they’re almost jumping/hopping around with rage.
    • Example:
      • “His parents were hopping mad when he broke the window.”
  7. To throw a wobbly. Meaning: If someone throws a wobbly, they are suddenly lose one’s self-control and become angry.
    • Example:
      • “She threw a wobbly when she saw his boyfriend looking at another girl.”

Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, August 27, 2016

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#IOTW: Money related idioms

  1. Cost an arm and a leg (verb). Meaning: to cost a lot of money.
    • Example:
      • Our new house cost an arm and a leg, but we love it!
  2. Chicken feed (noun). Meaning: a small amount of money.
    • Example:
      • His salary is chicken feed. It can’t even pay the rent.
  3. Down-and-out (adj). Meaning: having no money.
    • Example:
    • Don’t ask me out this weekend, I’m down-and-out!
  4. Lay out money (verb). Meaning: to spend or pay money.
    • Example:
      • The couple has laid out money for their wedding. They can’t cancel it now!
  5. As sound as a dollar (adj). Meaning: very secure and dependable.
    • Example:
      • The investment is as sound as a dollar, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.


Compiled for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 1 June, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms from the middle ages

1. Apple of someone’s eye. Meaning: a figure for a much loved person or thing.

This phrase reminds me of a 2011 Taiwanese film. It’s a very relate-able movie. Please bear with me, because the explanation on how this idiom was coined is a little bit intricate.

So in the Middle Ages, our pupils (the thing in our eyes, not students) are thought to be apple-shaped. Since it’s essential for our sight, it has to be cherished, loved, and protected.

And then, et voila! You are the apple of my eye means you are my much loved person. Congratulations!

2. To play devil’s advocate. Meaning: to pretend to be against an idea or plan which a lot of people support in order to make people discuss it in more detail.

Devil’s advocate is someone or a group of people who takes a position against the current conformed argument. Devil’s advocate’s job is to propose or bring up all evidences or opinions against current ideas to see the weak points of said ideas.

It was translated directly from Latin ‘advocatus diaboli’.

3. To sink or swim. Meaning: to succeed or fail by own efforts.

This phrase refers to a water ordeal, a medieval practice of judging whether a person is guilty or innocent.

The belief was based on the water wouldn’t accept a guilty person. So if the person is sinking, then he is innocent. Of course the meaning of this phrase has been adjusted since the water ordeal isn’t practiced anymore.

4. To throw down the gauntlet. Meaning: to challenge someone to an argument or figurative combat.

A gauntlet is a knight’s piece of armor that protects his forearm and hand. It was common in the medieval times to challenge someone by throwing down a gauntlet, hence the idiom.


Compiled and written by @bintilvice for @EnglishTips4U on Friday, April 22, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms with body parts “Hand”

Hi guys, how are you today? Did you have a great day?

Today, I’d like to share some idioms with body parts (hand) to you. I have collected 10 idioms with ‘hand’ and their examples just for you. Here they are..

  1. Get out of hand. Meaning: to get out of control.
    • Example:
      • “The long-march by the labors got out of hand, and it eventually became a massive riot.”
  2. Change hands. Meaning: for an object to be passed or sold to somebody.
    • Example:
      • “Rather than bequeathing all his properties to his only son, he decided to have them changed hands to his business opponents.”
  3. Have your hands full. Meaning: be completely busy.
    • Example:
      • “I have to apologize that I can’t help you with your homework. I’ve got my hands full already.
  4. Try my hands at. Meaning: to experience for the first time.
    • Example:
      • “She has never dived before, but she is willing to try her hands at it.”
  5. Wash your hands of. Meaning: to stop being responsible.
    • Example:
      • “She washed his hands of the business after the company was sued by the singers for a breach of copyrights.”
  6. Know like the back of your hand. Meaning: to know a place very well.
    • Example:
      • “He has been in Perth for once, but he knows the city like the back of his hand.
  7. Hands down. Meaning: obvious(ly).
    • Example:
      • “Christiano Ronaldo was hands-on the best soccer player in the world.”
  8. Tip your hand. Meaning: to reveal your secret.
    • Example:
      • “The police tipped his hand on the name of the murderer.”
  9. Hand on a platter. Meaning: to get something easily.
    • Example:
      • “He is now the chief director of the institute. The job was handed to him on a platter from his mother.”
  10. Live from hand to mouth. Meaning: to have nothing to save.
    • Example:
      • “He comes from a poor family that live from hand to mouth.”

Those are 10 idioms with hand that we have collected for you. Hope you enjoy that. See you!

Compiled and written by @Wisznu for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, June 23, 2016.



#IOTW: Idioms with ‘smile’

Hey, Fellas! How are you? I hope your day went well. This time, I will share some idioms using the word ‘smile.’

  1. Plastic smile. Meaning: a forced, artificial smile.
    • Example:
      • “Look at Leo’s plastic smile! He’s good at that!”
  2. Fortune is smiling (up)on (someone). Meaning: someone is especially lucky, fortunate, or successful.
    • Example:
      • “Fortune is smiling on Jenny! After getting a promotion, she has just won a lottery!”
  3. Crack a smile. Meaning: to grin; to smile.
    • Example:
      • “I always love when she cracks a smile.”
  4. Wipe the smile off your face. Meaning: to stop looking happy or pleased.
    • Example:
      • “Berry can’t wipe the smile off his face after his kiss with Becky!”
  5. Smile on. | meaning: to regard someone or something with favor or approval.
    • Example:
      • “Good fortune smiled on our efforts, and our plan succeeded.”

That’s the end of our article for now. Don’t forget to crack a smile before the day ends!


Compiled and written by @EnglishTips4U for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, February 24, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms related to weather (3)

1. Chase rainbows. Meaning: Someone who tries to do something that they will never achieve.


  • My friends told me to quit chasing rainbows when I started my new business.

2. In a fog. Meaning: confused, dazed or not aware.


  • She was in a fog for several days after the accident.

3. Shoot the breeze. Meaning: to have a relaxed conversation without any purpose.


  • It’s always a pleasure to shoot the breeze with Amy. We’re connected in many ways.

4. Face like thunder. Meaning: very angry or upset about something.


  • I don’t know what was happening, I just saw Mr. Will was leaving the room with his face like thunder.

5. Fair-weather friend. Meaning: someone who is only your friend during good times but disappears when things become difficult.


  • I wish I knew that she was a fair-weather friend. She left me as soon as I lost my job.

6. Storm in a teacup. Meaning: someone who makes a small problem larger than it really is.


  • My sisters are always arguing about something, it’s just a storm in a teacup.

7. Snowed under. Meaning: having to much to do that you are having trouble doing it all.


  • I’d love to help you, but I’m completely snowed under at the moment.

8. Take a rain check. Meaning: to politely refuse an offer, with the implication that one may accept it at a later date.

Example:Thank you for your dinner invitation. Mind if I take a rain check to that?


Compiled and written by @AnienditaR at @EnglishTips4u on Saturday, June 18, 2016





#IOTW: Prepositional idioms

Heyho, fellas! How’s your day? My schedule today was so chaotic in account of my poor time management. Thank God it’s over now.

Let’s talk about Prepositional Idioms this time. I used one in my opening paragraph. Did anyone notice which idiom I used? The prepositional idiom I used was “in the account of” which meant “because of.”

There are hundreds of idioms which begin with prepositions in English. I will share just a few of them.

  1. At any rate. Meaning: whatever happens or is happening.
    • Example:
      • “At any rate, you shouldn’t quit your job.”
  2. At a loss. Meaning: speechless; unsure of what to do or say.
    • Example:
      • “Jack was terribly confused–really at a loss.”
  3. Beside the point. Meaning: irrelevant.
    • Example:
      • “Your opinion is interesting, but beside the point.”
  4. In the long run. Meaning: in the end; eventually.
    • Example:
      • “In the long run,moving to the new apartment may be a good thing.”
  5. Out of character. Meaning: unlike one’s usual behavior.
    • Example:
      • “It was out of character for Joshua to act so immature.”
  6. Under fire. Meaning: being shot at; being criticized.
    • Example:
      • “The parliament is under fire for being too noisy.”
  7. Up in the air.  Meaning: (about someone or something) undecided / uncertain about someone or something.
    • Example:
      • “Will the company fire all of its employees? That’s up in the air.”
  8. With a vengeance. Meaning: with great force or energy.
    • Example:
      • “Hilda works out with a vengeance when she goes to the gym.”


Compiled and written by @EnglishTips4U for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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#IOTW: Work related idioms

  1. Start/get the ball rolling. Meaning: to take the first step to begin a process.
    • Example:
      • This February, we’ll start the ball rolling on the new project.
  2. Line of work. Meaning: job field; type of work.
    • Example:
      • The construction worker said that injuries were common in his line of work.
  3. Talk shop. Meaning: to talk about work-related things.
    • Example: 
      • Next outing day, let’s not talk shop and have a lot of fun instead!
  4. Call the shots. Meaning: to make the decisions.
    • Example: 
      • Tina needs to call the shots because her boss is away.
  5. Be in the red. Meaning: at a deficit; running at a loss; losing money.
    • Example:
      • The store has been in the red since the end of last year.
  6. Red tape. Meaning: bureaucracy; formal rules that usually make something hard to do.
    • Example:
      • Jessica’s working permit was held up for 2 months because of red tape.
  7. Slack off. Meaning: to work unproductively and lazily.
    • Example:
      • Because the boss is on holiday, everyone at the office slacks off.


Compiled and written for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 20 January, 2016


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#IOTW: Idioms for new beginnings (2)

In this session, we’ll give you some idioms for new beginnings!

  1. at a crossroads | meaning: at the point where a decision must be made.
    • Example: We are at a crossroads where we must choose to stay or leave this job.
  2. a breath of fresh air | meaning: a refreshing or invigorating change.
    • Example: The new manager is like a breath of fresh air for this company. She keeps making progressive changes.
  3. new blood | meaning: new personnel; new members brought into a group to revive it.
    • Example: The board needs some new blood this year..
  4. to break new ground | meaning: to begin to do something that no one else has done.
    • Example: The Australian doctors are breaking new ground in prostate cancer treatment.
  5. to shake something up | meaning: to cause big changes in a situation or organization.
    • Example: Every new boss likes to shake things up a bit when they take over.

Compiled for @EnglishTips4U on Wednesday, 6 January, 2016.