10 English idioms with the word WATER


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#1 – a fish out of water

= feel uncomfortable, like you don’t belong in a particular situation

I don’t have any experience working with kids, so I felt like fish out of water when I had to teach a class of 6-year-olds.

#2 – come hell or high water

= if you say you will do something come hell or high water, it means you will definitely do it, no matter what difficulties appear

I am going to run a marathon this year, come hell or high water!

Warning: the word “hell” can be offensive, and in professional situations it’s best to use the expression “no matter what” instead.

#3 – in deep water

= in a difficult situation – especially one that is beyond the level of your abilities – or in trouble

A number of customers have taken legal action against our company – we’re really in deep water now.

#4 – in hot water

= in trouble, usually when somebody will be angry at you or you will be punished

Jason borrowed his dad’s watch and then lost it – he’s gonna be in hot water when his father finds out!

English Idioms - Water

#5 – dead in the water

= if a project or plan is dead in the water, it means it is stopped, without any chance for success or progress

Unfortunately the after-school theater program is dead in the water. There’s no space available in the building to hold the classes.

#6 – not hold water

= if a statement or belief doesn’t hold water, it means it has some flaws and is probably not completely true or correct

His argument just doesn’t hold water. It’s all based on emotions, not on facts.



#7 – test the waters

= to test the waters means trying to discover a little more about a situation before you go ahead and become very involved

Before I decided to become a full-time photographer, I tested the waters by doing a few projects to see if I’d enjoy the work.



#8 – keep your head above water

= this idiom means you are trying very hard to survive financially, or you are barely able to handle a lot of work which is almost too much

My boss gives me so much to do that I have to work weekends just to keep my head above water.

#9 – a watering hole

= this is a slang word for a bar. The literal meaning is a small lake or pond where wild animals go to drink… so a place where people go to drink (alcohol) is also called a watering hole.

If you’re looking to have some fun, O’Reilly’s is the best watering hole in town.

#10 – water under the bridge

= this idiom refers to something that has happened in the past and can’t be changed (so there’s no point worrying about it)

Ten years from now, all the little problems you’re having today will just be water under the bridge.

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