be on the verge of something—be on the point beyond which smth. bad happens: The country was on the verge of ruin; the revolution was a matter of months. verge on something— 1. border on a particular area: The rear of the park verges on the river. You can see the railroad bridge downstream…. 2. […]
be on the top line —(coll.) be in the highest state of perfection, readiness, etc.: It cannot be but harmful to the patient to be attended by a doctor who through sheer exhaustion is not on the top line. sweat on the top-line —(sl.) be close to attaining or obtaining smth.: Here was I sort […]
be on the side of the angels—be on the side that is morally right: His motivation to stop whaling is on the side of the angels and I share it. join the angels—(euph.) die: They were all children once. One day, sooner or later they will all join the angels beyond the garden of death.
be on the sick —(coll.) be on sick list; receive sickness benefit: Dad used to be on the sick for a long time and couldn’t work. be sick— 1. be unwell; be affected by illness: When she was sick he wanted her to get the best doctor. 2. (have an inclination to) vomit: “Ouch!” said […]
be on the mend— 1. be getting better after illness: He has been on the mend under the excellent care by his wife Phyllis. 2. (of things) improve: The economy has been on the mend since the data in the report was gathered. mend one’s ways—improve one’s behavior, work, etc.: He is unlikely to mend […]
be on the look-out for something—be watchful wishing to find or acquire smth.: Restaurant manager Jose Padilla is always on the look-out for something new for his customers. look out for something—(also: watch out for something ) 1. be on the alert for smth. harmful or dangerous: There were signs everywhere warning people to look […]
be on the hop —(coll.) 1. be very busy: I’d been on the hop ever since morning, for being in love with Anita was a strenuous calling. 2. play truant; stay away from school, etc.: Remember that day I was on the hop from school? I went down to the city that day… go on […]
be on the fiddle —(sl.) be involved in illicit money-making activities: As it was day-time, everyone in the coffee bar was on the dole or on the fiddle. fiddle about—(coll.) mess about or waste time: I’ve been fiddling about for ages trying to get the windscreen washers to work properly.
be on pins and needles —(coll.) be in the state of agitated expectancy: We had been on pins and needles all day long until we received her telegram. Note: a) The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase be on one’s pins—(coll.) be on one’s feet; be in good health: When I came […]
be on overtime—work after the usual working hours: The men stayed locked up for two hours until their boss agreed they would repair the faulty central heating immediately—on overtime. be over one’s time—(of a woman) be late in menstruating (the usual implication being that of unwanted pregnancy): “A fine father and mentor you are. Don’t […]
be on one’s own ground—(also: be on home ground) 1. be in the area where one works or lives (with the implication that it makes a person feel confident and secure): Whenever possible he liked to make a point of talking to drug users on their own ground. 2. be competent in a subject because […]
be on one’s last legs—be at the end of one’s resources and failing fast: At this point I was on my last legs … I would have loved nothing more than to have stopped for a rest. Cf.: need new legs —(also: need fresh legs) 1. be in need of rest: I think I need […]