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You could say he was the butt of the joke the reason for or aim of a joke, especially when it is a person. Poor Fred was the butt of every joke told that evening. McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs The origin of the phrase is discussed in this ELU question and answer. A more formal term might be taunt to provoke or ...


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You could say: "Please stop teasing me, you make me feel like the laughing stock of everyone". someone who does something very stupid which makes other people laugh at them (usually + of ). I can't cycle around on that old thing! I'll be the laughing stock of the neighbourhood. (Cambridge Idioms Dictionary)


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All of the answers given so far give good, in-the-language expressions, but I don't think any of them describe the specific situation of a smaller fortunate occurrence happening concurrently with a larger misfortune, such as falling off a cliff and only breaking a leg. This sort of circumstance is called a silver lining, after the expression Every cloud has ...


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Another potentially suitable phrase is "double-edged sword." John Ayto, Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms, third edition (2009), has this entry for the phrase: double-edged A double-edged sword (or weapon) a course of action or situation having boh positive and negative effects. [Example:] 2000: Investor A rising pound is a double-edged ...


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The phrase "a blessing and a curse" is sometimes used to describe something that is both a benefit and a burden. The expression may have arisen in the first place from Deuteronomy 26–28: Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day. and a ...


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Fortune in misfortune is an expression you can hear or read to refer to such events. From Modernisation and Tradition by Kerstin Sundberg In that the fire ravaged them at the beginning of summer, they had had fortune in misfortune. Their animals were out to pasture and the warm season eased the reconstruction efforts. The results, that the ...


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Bernie is referencing the music industry execs. The entire album is a concept album regarding the struggles he and Elton endured during their early years.


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I agree with OP that whatever tickles your fancy is getting a bit "dated". The new kid on the block (AmE and BrE) is... whatever floats your boat - see whatever turns you on


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North Americans are not used to hearing these terms and we definitely do not use them often. The most common one, if I had to choose, is taken a fancy to (which is never used in a casual setting). Here are some equivalencies I've run into: "Whatever tickles your fancy" = "Whatever suits you" "They've taken a fancy to each other" = "They're taking it to ...


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to the victor go the spoils, alternatively winner take all These idioms are not usually applied to explain or excuse actions morally, but they are sometimes. Consider the idiom famously attributed (incorrectly) to Winston Churchill, "history is written by the victors." The application in this form would mean that in some competitions, (such as war or love) ...


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There are more complex answers here that are correct, but to simplify the answer, one may note that a "bet," is a prediction. When something is off, idiomatically, it is -not- "unpowered," which is literal, but it is no longer valid. The idiom is actually two idioms put together, "to bet," and "its off." e.g. "I bet it will rain," and "the wedding is off." ...


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"To throw sand (or dust) in someone's eyes" might also serve: throw dust in someone's eyes: Mislead someone, as in The governor's press aide threw dust in their eyes, talking about a flight at the airport when he was heading for the highway . This metaphoric expression alludes to throwing dust or sand in the air to confuse a pursuing enemy. ...


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If there is, say, a piece of sheet metal somewhere, it might have a sharp edge. Were one to accidentally rub their arm against this edge they might get a nasty cut. So, "Don't cut yourself on that edge" simply means that one should beware of the sharp edge being pointed out to you. However, let's say you're in a bar with a buddy and you see and are ...


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I'm reasonably sure the sense of 'edge' meant in the first instance is {AHDEL} edge n. 1. d. A slight but noticeable sharpness, harshness, or discomforting quality: His voice had an edge to it. (though c. A penetrating, incisive quality: "His simplicity sets off the satire, and gives it a finer edge" (William Hazlitt). {AHDEL} is just ...


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I guess It means you have not to do something because you will suffer from this.


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Filibuster from Oxford Dictionaries Online, not the OED: Noun an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures This word wold seem to fit your needs in that it speaks to "profuse talk" that is off topic and for the purposes of evading a topic. While ...


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To sidetrack e.g. "He sidetracked my questions about the project with small talk about the weather " which the Free Dictionary defines as v.tr. -- 1. To divert from a main issue or course: which derives from its literal meaning: To switch from a main railroad track to a siding.


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I am thinking to the moral of one of the fables of Jean de La Fontaine The lion and the rat - 1668. Original french text: « Patience et longueur de temps font plus que force ni que rage» Translation 1 : By time and toil we sever What strength and rage could never. Translation 2 : Patience and the fullness of time do more than force or fury.


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Fix used in the sense you are referring to dates back to the 18th century: Sense of "tamper with" (a fight, a jury, etc.) is from 1790. probably from the earlier meaning : "settle, assign" evolved into "adjust, arrange" (1660s), then "repair". (Etymonline) Ad a set phrase the earliest usage I could find is from the '40s, but ...


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Winners never quit, and quitters never win. Famously attributed to Vince Lombardi, the rule is if you want to win, you must not give up easily.


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It is the last straw that breaks the camel’s back.


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From humble beginnings come great things. Origin is possibly Job 8:7: Though your beginning was insignificant, Yet your end will increase greatly.


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Mighty oaks from little acorns grow. This is seen in many close forms: Even the mighty oak was once a nut like you The mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.


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No pain, no gain. There is no reward without sacrifice.


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If someone answered my question with irrelevant comments, I'd probably call it evasion or evading the question.


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...profuse talk about irrelevant things... You're looking for bloviate or its synonyms. Per Oxford Dictionaries Online, bloviate means: Talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way. Synonyms include yammer, blather, babble, prattle, and chatter.


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Your first example, has been stood, is grammatical; but it is not equivalent to has been standing. It is the ordinary passive construction, BE + past participle, employing stand as a transitive verb, as when we stand a vase of flowers on a table, or stand an unruly child in the corner. In Bernard Shaw's work we frequently find that a conventional ...


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Also to throw out a red herring: Does this dress make me look fat? Oh, look, the kitchen's on fire! or Does this dress make me look fat? Um, you've got something on your nose. (Finger swipe to nose. Big hug and kiss) We need to leave soon or we'll be late. You look terrific. Is my tie straight?


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If he is just being evasive, you can say he talked around the subject: talk around something to talk, but avoid talking directly about the subject.You are just talking around the matter! I want a straight answer!He never really said anything. He just talked around the issue. The Free Dictionary by Farlex However, if the purpose is to ...


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Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Originally a quote from George Santayana, it has been paraphrased into multiple idiomatic forms, such as "if you forget your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them."


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Prevaricate maybe? To speak or act in an evasive way


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Speaking as a former (1963) craps dealer at Harrah's Tahoe casino, now an attorney (Harrah's hired law students as craps dealers), bets are toggled as either on or off, in play or not, on the come-out roll. The reason: On the come-out roll, seven is a winner, but only at that time. Other bets lose. So on this roll, the shooter hopes for a seven to win ...


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to crash and burn, and similarly, to go down in flames, both can mean to fail spectacularly.


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Deflecting is probably the best answer — but this is also sometimes called misdirection.


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Pivoting or dodging the question comes to mind based on how I would describe politicians.


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go off on a tangent e.g. Sorry, I went off on a tangent and forgot your question . . . what were we talking about?


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I hear this given as the process of deflecting: deflect v To turn aside or cause to turn aside; bend or deviate. TFD


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change the subject This is indeed an idiom in its own right. e.g. I can't get any straight answers from you if you keep changing the subject.


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"To pull the wool over someone's eyes": http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/pull+the+wool+over+eyes "I have heard of to talk one's head off, but as far as I understand it means just talking a lot and being boring, doesn't it?" I means to talk a lot.


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Are you looking for steer the conversation away: Example: Helen tried to steer the conversation away from her recent problems. From Words and Their Meaning by Howard Jackson


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Do not use "right up my alley" in a cover letter. A suitable substitute would be, "a perfect fit for me."


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I wouldn't use this term in a cover letter as it sounds a little cheeky and I'm guessing that that's not the impression you wish to make with a would be employer. ;)


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Beat about the bush may convey the idea: (Fig.) to avoid answering a question; to stall; to waste time. Stop beating around the bush and answer my question. Let's stop beating about the bush and discuss this matter. The Free Dictionary You can find related expressions here: to change from one subject or discussion to another ...


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A fool and his money are easily parted! Investors never invest their own money or they may lose their shirt, so do not hand over a blank check, or else they control the purse strings, and with no dog in the fight it's no skin off their nose if they act like they own the place and spend money like water. Combining idioms to achieve the requested meaning ...


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Don't get ideas above your station From Macmillan: Above your station higher than is suitable for your position or rank She’s getting ideas above her station even by thinking of marrying him.


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Much more broadly, you may have a use for "Monopoly Money", from the fake bills used in the game Monopoly, but I think you have better answers already above. In American English, I have heard/used these most often: "Skin In The Game", "OPM", "House Money", "Company's Dime" -- each with its own subtleties. Chicken/Pig variations and fables are great, ...


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The fable of the chicken and the pig somewhat applies. The lab director or department discretionary budget is involved; the specific professor's grant money and reputation is committed.


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"The Company's Dime" is a phrase I've heard a lot here in the US.


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A chinese proverb says Sons spend their father's money with carefree hearts. from ABC Dictionary of Chinese Proverbs (Yanyu) by John S. Rohsenow


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One of my late grandfather's sayings was "Taxpayers' money is worth a penny a bucketful". I've no idea if he invented it or got it from some other source (he was an avid reader), but the meaning is clear enough.



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