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46 votes

Similar quotes to "Eat the fish, spit the bones"

separate the wheat from the chaff to judge which people or things in a group are bad and which ones are good The magazine describes many different products and then separates the wheat from the ...
fev's user avatar
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34 votes

Idiom meaning to give a stern lecture

"Dressing down" may not have the "stern but fair" meaning that your example suggests, but it's what first came to mind. a severe reprimand In your example, the usage would be ...
user888379's user avatar
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32 votes

People who frequently travel in planes are called…?

Frequent Flyer is a good label. Cambridge Dictionary online show: a person who often travels by plane, especially someone who usually uses the same airline and belongs to that airline's club, which ...
EvanNguyen's user avatar
31 votes
Accepted

Idiom to describe an insensitive comment

Out of line beyond what is considered acceptable behavior: You can disagree with her, but calling her dishonest was out of line. (Cambridge) It is quite common to describe comments as out of line ...
fev's user avatar
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29 votes

Idiom for when two people agree on an idea for very contrasting reasons

Strange bedfellows might also fit the definition. Early use in Shakespeare's The Tempest : “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” Dictionary.com has "Unlikely companions or allies; ...
ItWasLikeThatWhenIGotHere's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

What is a term (or idiom) for someone who enters and exits without a request or order?

Willy-nilly may fill the bill, though Merriam-Webster gives as its first sense “by compulsion : without choice.” The other sense it gives is “in a haphazard or spontaneous manner.”
PaulTanenbaum's user avatar
26 votes
Accepted

Idiom for someone acting extremely out of character

Here is a common instance of this .... Maan thinks Bhaskar is acting extremely out of character. So Maan says: "Who are you? And what have you done with Bhaskar?" Heartspring suggests The ...
GEdgar's user avatar
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26 votes

What is a term (or idiom) for someone who enters and exits without a request or order?

I'd suggest changing your focus to the verb: how about "You can't just waltz into his office" Obviously a waltz is literally a dance, but Oxford Languages provided by Google offers this ...
Casey's user avatar
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25 votes

Idiom for being watched after your bad actions

Keeping someone on a short leash is a way of saying they are being closely supervised or controlled in some way to make sure they don't do something bad. It doesn't necessarily mean they have already ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
25 votes

What idiom could describe bureaucratic inefficiency?

This may be slightly stronger than what you're looking for, but consider Kafkaesque: Kafkaesque (adj). Having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality (https://www.merriam-webster.com/...
Syntax Junkie's user avatar
24 votes

A phrase that means you are indifferent towards the things you are familiar with?

This is an old, familiar one: Familiarity breeds contempt. Note that contempt may feel a bit harsh, but I don't think it's out of bounds when you consider the gigantic fall that takes place when one ...
Robusto's user avatar
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23 votes

Idiom meaning to give a stern lecture

One expression is, from Farlex read the riot act To scold, reprimand, or reprove one severely for an error or mistake. I was read the riot act by my boss last week for messing up the accounting ...
Weather Vane's user avatar
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23 votes

A phrase that means you are indifferent towards the things you are familiar with?

People often take for granted the attractions and features that make their hometowns special. take something for granted (idiom) To never think about something because you believe it will always be ...
DjinTonic's user avatar
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22 votes
Accepted

Scottish idiom for people talking too much

If patter wis water you'd droon. Translation: “If your conversation was water you would drown. Meaning: You talk too much.” From Guide To Scottish Sayings
user 66974's user avatar
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22 votes

Idiom to describe an insensitive comment

In colloquial British usage, out of order is sometimes used in this way. Sometimes intensified to right out of order. It refers to any unacceptable behaviour, not only speaking insensitively.
Colin Fine's user avatar
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21 votes
Accepted

Another idiom for 'jumping the shark'

(Go) off the rails Off the rails Out of the proper or normal condition, off the usual or expected course. 1848 G. E. Jewsbury Let. Mar. (1892) 242 I was very worried, and I felt as if the least ...
DjinTonic's user avatar
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21 votes
Accepted

Idiom for being watched after your bad actions

On probation is an idiomatic expression that can be used. Note that this expression has different senses and Merriam Webster lists the relevant sense as below: being watched for a period of time ...
ermanen's user avatar
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21 votes

Idiom for being watched after your bad actions

"To be on thin ice" or "to be skating on thin ice" is what I think you are looking for. It's used in a similar context (mother to teenager) to mean "if I catch you screwing up ...
machoman's user avatar
  • 211
20 votes

Synonymous phrase/idiom for "kangaroo court" that communicates a predetermined verdict

M-W defines "show trial" as: : a trial (as of political opponents) in which the verdict is rigged and a public confession is often extracted Wikipedia says: A show trial is a public trial ...
MarcInManhattan's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

Idiom for frustrating someone else's plans by taking what the other person wanted in the first place

I believe the closest idiom is beat someone to the punch. The idiom is originated from boxing, where it literally means a boxer lands a punch before their opponent could. Another version is beat ...
ermanen's user avatar
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20 votes
Accepted

Idiomatic expression for "putting off a task until a disaster strikes"

‘A stitch in time saves nine’ expresses essentially the same idea: a preventive fix done early is much easier than an emergency fix after disaster strikes. The main difference is the temporal ...
PLL's user avatar
  • 20.6k
19 votes

Idiomatic expression for "putting off a task until a disaster strikes"

Shut the stable door after the horse has bolted seems quite close to your intended meaning.
Kate Bunting's user avatar
19 votes

Idiom meaning to give a stern lecture

tongue-lashing A harsh verbal reprimand (Farlex Dictionary of Idioms) After Jim failed the first two exams, Prof. X gave Jim a tongue-lashing, which set Jim straight.
import random's user avatar
16 votes

Idiom for Spanish ‘no escupas para arriba’ (i.e., ‘be careful with the harm you do, it could come back at you’)

I can think of nothing phrased as an instruction in the same way, but I think "what goes around, comes around" is a pretty good fit. The idea is that whatever badness you do to others will ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
  • 1,969
16 votes
Accepted

Idiom for when two people agree on an idea for very contrasting reasons

If two parties with a history of antagonism and mistrust between them come together to achieve a specific goal, you could say that there is an unholy alliance between them. Wikipedia states this was ...
Nobilis's user avatar
  • 2,222
16 votes
Accepted

People who frequently travel in planes are called…?

I personally find air traveller more elegant than “plane” traveller, and it’s difficult to argue the need to differentiate between planes and helicopters. A Google ngram comparison shows my ...
David's user avatar
  • 12.9k
15 votes

Idiom to describe an insensitive comment

Another expression that could be used is 'That joke was beyond the pale'. beyond the pale [phrase of pale] outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour "The language my father used was beyond the ...
Edwin Ashworth's user avatar
15 votes

Idiom for when two people agree on an idea for very contrasting reasons

Marriage of convenience is sometimes used in this extended sense. Originally it means two people getting married for a reason other than love, e.g. for immigration status, tax, or to cover up their ...
Stuart F's user avatar
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14 votes

Idiom for frustrating someone else's plans by taking what the other person wanted in the first place

steal someone's thunder means to do what someone else was going to do before they do it, especially if this takes success or praise away from them. Examples: You have a significant part to play in ...
Graffito's user avatar
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14 votes

Idiom meaning to give a stern lecture

Perhaps Prof. X decided to haul him over the coals, in other words "to criticize sharply; censure; scold" him. Collins
Peter's user avatar
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