Gang up on: join to attack
e.g. They all gang up on the new student with verbal attacks.
Handwriting on the wall: a warning
e.g. If the Governor had seen the handwriting on the wall, he would not have adopted those unpopular proposals.
Go through the roof: very angry
e.g. When he found out that you took his money, he went through the roof.
Fork out: pay
e.g. I like this computer, but I don’t want to fork out a lot of money.
That’s the ticket: what is needed
e.g. That’s the ticket! If you do as I tell you, you will succeed.
Rule the roost: be the boss
e.g. Who rules the roost at your house?
e.g. Get a grip on yourself; everybody is staring at you.
Get a handle on something: get control or understanding of a situation
e.g. As soon as he heard the crisis, the President tried to put all the facts together to get a handle on the underlying cause of the crisis.
Had better: ought to, should
e.g. You had better finish your homework before going to bed.
Then and there: on the spot
e.g. As soon as the candidate finished his speech, he was shot then and there.
Make or break: succeed or fail
e.g. This book will make or break my career as a writer.
Half a mind: a thought about something but without specific details
e.g. I have half a mind to close the store since the business has not been good.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau