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75

I suggest "having the upper hand". Oxford defines this as: have (or gain) the upper hand (phrase) Have or gain advantage or control over someone or something. and provides this example sentence: Just when Claudius thinks he controls Hamlet, it is really Hamlet who has the upper hand over Claudius.


66

Cutting off your nose to spite your face is a stock phrase for this; Wikipedia says it's been in use for 800 years!


54

You can put the animal out of its misery. It means to euthanize. I suppose you could say the same of a failing business enterprise, figuratively, and even of a dysfunctional relationship, when speaking with a sort of grim humor, where you're casting the relationship as a badly injured or terminally ill and suffering creature.


53

A common metaphor for this is to say you've been "thrown in the deep end", referring to the (supposed) practice of teaching someone to swim by throwing them into a swimming pool at the deep end, where they'll drown if they don't figure out on their own how to swim.


48

In British English, you can indicate that two subjects, things or situations are completely different by saying about one of them: That's another kettle of fish That's a different kettle of fish It can be used verbatim, on its own, in various circumstances. If, for example, somebody brings up a subject that, in your opinion, is nothing to do with the ...


42

While it does not explicitly mean "afraid of wife", henpecked refers to a man who is controlled by his wife. Much more vulgar, pussy-whipped has the same meaning.


39

You can paint yourself into a corner.


37

Yes, there are a number which imply "by accident": Mike Pompeo let slip some of the CIA's secrets. Mike Pompeo spilled some of the CIA's secrets. Mike Pompeo let out some of the CIA's secrets. Mike Pompeo blabbed some of the CIA's secrets. Mike Pompeo gave away some of the CIA's secrets. Mike Pompeo blurted out some of the CIA's ...


36

The first thing that came to mind was "That's a whole new ball game" or "That's a different ball game", but that saying is primarily used for situations and not things. As JavaLatte mentioned, this is more common in AmE than BrE. There are some variations on the phrase because "ball game" has come to mean a state of affairs, or a situation. Oh, you want ...


34

The meaning of "just" here is adjectival: "well-merited", "well-earned". In short, he earned the reward, therefore the reward was "just". I also half-expected an indefinite article there, but in another position: The victory, within four days, was a just reward for skipper Kohli's insistence on playing five bowlers. Kohli led the way with a superb 200. ...


32

"To hold all the aces" means having overwhelming advantage, the metaphor coming from bridge or pretty much any card game. Re a previous contribution: "an ace up one's sleeve" means more of having a secret weapon rather then being in an advantageous situation.


31

The first thing that pops into my mind is That's a horse of a different color.


30

Another idiom is baptism by fire: A phrase originating from Europe that describes an employee that is learning something the hard way, like being immersed in their field of employment. Baptism by fire has its roots in battle terminology, describing a soldier's first time in battle. Thus this usage seems to match the subject matter of your own ...


29

A very common verb used here is crave: They really crave a drink. But one could crave ice-cream as well. To give anything for: I'd give anything for a drink. The same meaning goes for die for, as in: I'm dying for a drink. He's dying for some chocolate cake. Less strong: I could really use a drink. I could really use some coffee. There are, of course, ...


29

An old Latin expression can be used in these situations: "Carpe Diem", which literally translated means "pluck/pick the day", but a more idiomatic translation would be "seize the day". It is a rather sophisticated expression. the enjoyment of the pleasures of the moment without concern for the future (source: Merriam Webster) The Wikipedia article ...


29

A "queue" is, by definition, line-shaped, therefore it makes sense to define it by its length rather than its size. So "a long queue". In contrast, a "crowd" is kind of blob-shaped, so you would say "a big/large crowd".


29

The first word that jumped to my mind is the adjective belligerent. Some published definitions include: inclined or eager to fight; hostile or aggressive. Aggressively hostile, eager to fight; acting violently towards others. hostile and aggressive: a bull-necked, belligerent old man.


29

Let the cat out of the bag is the idiomatic answer to this. Oxford (and google dictionary): Reveal a secret carelessly or by mistake. Edit: It appears commentators dispute the 'unintentionality' of this phrase. Further definitions in support: Dictionary.com: to divulge a secret, especially inadvertently or carelessly <- scroll down to idioms ...


28

An apt English idiom in this context is: The pot calling the kettle "black." The Dictionary.com entry tells us: Criticizing others for the very fault one possesses: “I wouldn't call him lazy if I were you, Andy; that would be the pot calling the kettle black.”


26

"The blind leading the blind." From Wikipedia: The blind leading the blind is used to describe a situation where a person who knows nothing is getting advice and help from another person who knows almost nothing. Example: "Alice just bought her first car and is asking Bob for driving tips. I don't know why, since Bob is infamous for how often he gets ...


25

I can't think of any expressions that are specific to the case of noticing a recent change, but there are a number of common expressions that can be used whenever someone says something that should have already been obvious. Here are a few: "Thank you, Captain Obvious." (Captain Obvious, naturally, commands the Starship Duh.) "No duh." "No shit." (Or "No ...


25

It fits like a glove. It's tailor made. [Often said of things which are not literally tailor made, but fit very well.] It's made to measure. [Likewise, often used metaphorically of things which are not made to measure.] The three idioms above seem to come close to what you want to say.


24

The one that came to mind first was "rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." It doesn't have the sense of doing a related task, like the horse and horseshoes idiom. It can mean doing something completely pointless in the face of a larger problem, but some folks see it more as fiddling with something that is doomed to fail, so it may not best capture ...


22

In spoken American English you have that's a whole 'nother story, with emphasis on 'whole'. This same structure can be applied to some of the other answers here, such as "that's a whole 'nother ball game". See http://grammarist.com/usage/a-whole-nother/ . In fact, using this structure you could probably even get away with a literal translation: "but that's ...


21

Such a person is a hothead or a bruiser, or has a chip on his/her shoulder. According to Vocabulary.com, A hothead is someone who's suddenly and easily angered or agitated. It's usually a hothead who starts a riot or turns a peaceful protest violent. Source: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/hothead According to CollinsDictionary.com, A ...


21

To "have {someone} over a barrel" is such an idiom. You might also want to look at idioms for the weaker side's negotiating position. These often involve two bad choices. For example, "between a rock and a hard place"


19

In Indian English, quite a common word for someone who realizes things lately is... tube-light ....hey...tube-light... The reason is, here we have tube-lights that don't start the moment you put on the switch! They blink, blink and then get started. However, tube-lights these days come up with double 'starters' or 'chokes' for an instant start. But the ...


19

As a 'Nerd' - I'm surprised this isn't a leading contender yet - I always think of the term Bike Shedding TL;DR: The idea is that people will pay attention to what they understand - the minor details - to the point that they spend months on minor minutia that bears no real importance... while fast tracking major decisions. Months get spent debating the ...


19

I can't argue with the logic of previous answers, preferring 'Long'. But, as a native English speaker, I have to say that 'a big queue' would raise no eyebrows.


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