#1 – a show of hands
= asking people to raise their hands if they approve of something or will answer “yes” to a question
Can I see a show of hands for how many people are available to help out at the festival?
#2 – just for show
= mainly to appear good, to make a good impression on other people, but doesn’t necessarily reflect the true situation
The company gives an “Employee of the Year” award, but it’s just for show – the winner doesn’t get any real benefits.
#3 – a no-show
= someone who doesn’t appear for a previously scheduled appointment
The client who was supposed to come at 3:30 was a no-show, so I went home early.
#4 – show your true colors
= reveal the true nature of your character
When things get stressful, that’s when people start to show their true colors.
#5 – show someone the door
= order the person to leave. This can be used when someone is fired from their job, or kicked out of someone’s life after the end of a romantic relationship.
Gary’s performance at work was getting worse and worse, and eventually the company showed him the door.
Note: When we want to talk about bringing a guest in your home or office to the door as he/she is leaving, we say show (the person) to the door, or show (the person) out.
#6 – show someone the ropes
= teach someone the details of a task or procedure
During my first week on the job, my co-workers showed me the ropes.
#7 – show someone who’s boss
= make it clear to the other person that you have more power/authority
If the kids in the classroom are misbehaving, the teacher must show them who’s boss.
#8 – show what you’re made of
= prove how smart, strong, or brave you are
My boss has given me a huge project – now’s my chance to show what I’m made of.
#9 – show biz
= short for “show business” – the industry of performance and entertainment (theater, music, TV, movies, radio, etc.)
She quit her job in Boston and moved to Hollywood to pursue a career in show biz.
#10 – steal the show
= get all the attention and praise, especially at an event or performance
All the singers were good, but Brian completely stole the show!