Stephen Wade Thomson
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a curated selection of
What personal anecdotes you think of when you read these phrases? Is there a spanish equivalent for the phrase? Make notes of any questions you have regarding these phrases.
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P


old habits die hard = it's hard to change
by a hair = por poco
let your hair down = relax
pull one's hair out = become very angry or agitated
splitting hairs = getting too detailed, unnecessarily
half the battle = a significant portion of a necessary process
half a mind = considering doing something, but not decided
you don't know the half of it = you know some facts but not all of them- it gets worse!
hammer home = repeat often to make sure it is understood
on hand = readily available
at hand = currently in question
hand it to someone = acknowledge someone's success
to have the upper hand = to have the advantage
hands full = very busy, lots to do
all hands on deck = everyone must help
in safe hands = watched and cared for by a responsible person
hands tied = in an agreement preventing someone from doing something that they would like to do
wash your hands of something = refuse to accept responsibility any longer for something
hang in there = stay strong, persistent
hanging on for dear life = gripping desperately in order not to fall
hangover = cruda
happy camper = someone who is happy about a certain situation
happy-go-lucky = cheerful, carefree personality
hard and fast rule = inflexible rule, cannot be altered
hard of hearing = cant hear very well
no hard feelings = forgiveness, no more resentment
hard up = having little money
hard to come by = hard to find
hard to swallow = difficult to accept
harebrained idea = a silly or impractical idea
harp on something = insistir
throw your hat in the ring = give something a try, enter a competition
bury the hatchet = forgive and forget
have something down pat = memorize something until you know it perfectly
to have the makings of something = to be well equipped for something
head in the clouds = cabeza en las nubes
head start = advantage that allows you go begin or progress faster than others
head over heels = in love
like a headless chicken = like a chicken with its head cut off
to be able to hear a pin drop = when the room is completely silent
hear something through the grapevine = enterarse de algo por el cotilleo
to your heart's content = as much as you want
heart of the matter = the most important part of situation
to wear your heart on your sleeve = to be openly expressive
if your heart skips a beat = you are nervous and excited about something
to have your heart set on something = convinced you want something
turn up the heat on someone = apply more pressure
heavy handed = muy bruto
hedge your bets = choosing two or more courses of action to reduce risk of loss or error
all hell broke loose = there was a loud and large reaction to something
hell-bent on something = determined to do something
hem and haw = to be evasive, avoid giving a clear answer
herding cats = difficulty in coordinating a situation with people who want to act indpendently
here today, gone tomorrow = something that doesn't last long. fleeting
neither here nor there = having no effect, not important to the situation at hand
hidden agenda = a secret intention
to be left high and dry = to be in a difficult situation without help
to act high and mighty = to act superior
it's my way or the highway = if you dont accept my terms, you must leave
hit and run = an accident in which the person at fault flees
hit the ground running = ready to start immediately
hit the hay / hit the sack = go to bed
hit the nail on the head = acertar exactamente algo
hit the road = begin to travel
hit the spot = satisfy, to be exactly what was needed
hold your breath = to wait for something to happen
hold the fort down = guard a place while someone else is gone
hold your horses = slow down, stop, don't be so hasty
hold your own = able to defend yourself
holds the reins = in complete control of something
hold your tongue = not say something
if something doesn't hold water = it is unfounded, does not stand up to critical examination
holier-than-thou = morally superior
on the home stretch = the last leg of a process, almost done
honeymoon is over = initial friendly period of a new relationship is done, now it gets more serious
my hook or by crook = however necessary in order to succeed
off the hook = avoiding punishment or blame
to fall for something hook, line, and sinker = to be tricked, to believe a story
hop, skip, and a jump = not far away
a horse of a different color = an entirely different situation
to have horse sense = to have the ability to make sensible decisions
dark horse = mysterious person
could eat a horse = very hungry
beat a dead horse = waste time trying to do something that wont happen
straight from the horse's mouth = directly from someone involved
hot off the press = recently published
hot potato = a sensitive and controversial matter that is difficult to deal with
on the house = free of charge
household name = a common name known by everyone
hunky-dory = everything is fine, satisfactory
hustle and bustle = energetic activity in an area