8,326 Metaphors
Version 4.2 September 21, 2020
Collected by Crowd-Sourcing

ability to fog a mirror as the minimum qualification for a Cabinet post | able to climb gum and chew stairs at the same time, or not | able to direct a two-car funeral convoy, or not | able to hold a candle for comparison, or not | able to play three-dimensional chess, or not | able to see around corners / over the fence | aboard a boatload of detonators in a lightning storm | aboard a rickety lifeboat from a sinking tramp freighter | abolishing earmarks for swapping support | about-face / financial turn-around / flying reverse course / doing a one-eighty to stay out of a storm | above the fold with banner headlines | absence makes the heart grow fonder, or not / out of sight out of mind | absent as the first ‘a’ in paenultimate | abstinence does indeed work, becoming most reliable after a vasectomy | absurdity has become the currency of discourse | abundance of corrugated cardboard | accepting a free lunch can cost plenty | accepting half a loaf as better than none | accident looking for a place to happen | accounting acrobatics / gymnastics / contortions / pretzels | ace in the hole / tricks up one’s sleeve | Achilles heel / kick in the teeth / punch in the belly / poke in the eye | acid rain keeps falling on my head | acting as a heat shield for one’s boss / subordinates | acting as the arsonist in order to be seen as the heroic fire-fighter | acting completely out of character | actions speak louder than words / a profusion of famous last words of brave resisters | actions speak louder when they are not kept secret | Adam’s apple / rib / navel / fig-leaf / same number of ribs as Eve | adding fuel to the fire / hosing kerosene on embers / to extinguish a blaze | adding insult to injury | administration appointees like a candy-box full of turds | administrative purgatory | ads on a bus bench / a bus runs faster when one is chasing it than when one is riding in it | advertisements the size of gum wrappers decorating a web page | aerodynamic properties of a typewriter / rolled up newspaper | aerosol can | aesthetic abortion | after making one’s bed one must lie in it | after that double-jump you were supposed to king me | after they get jammed up, rats traditionally wear a wire | afterburner for takeoff | after-school detention / study-hall | aftershocks of an earthquake | against the grain / having one’s back against the wall | against the tide of opinion | age soothes the hustle out of a hustler / losing a step or two | agenda on life-support | agent orange as a weed killer | aging arm pitching only knuckle-balls in relief | agnostics are merely reluctant theists who fear the consequences of an atheistic disbelief in any deity | ah-hah-moment of discovery / comprehension | air conditioning, or not | airbags and seatbelts | airbrushed out of history | airport condominium with an attached hangar | air-quotes / scare-quotes in text / waggling fingers beside the temples / air-guitar musical accompaniment | albatross worn as a necklace | alibi no more credible than hiking the Appalachian Trail / the dog-ate-my-homework excuse | all atheists believe in free-will, indeed, they have no other choice | all ears | all good things come to the most deserving, or not | all hands on deck | all hat no cattle / all mouth no hat / all sail but no anchor | all of a piece, or not | all over him like a cheap suit | all tuned up when the baton comes down, or not | allergic to facial tissues / the down in one’s pillow | allergy to the truth | alligator diplomacy with crocodile concessions / an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last | all-in with table-stakes | allowing trivialities to obscure the bolder form | almost as tacky as wearing a button-down collar with a three-piece suit | alphabet soup full of acronyms | alpha-dog / male, or not | alternative facts / opinions | alternatives on the table, or off | altitude chamber without oxygen | always drive the thin edge of the wedge forward, my friend | always is merely a word that means every day that ends in ‘y’ | always responsible for how one acts no matter how one feels | always trying to want what one gets – not vice versa | Amateur Hour diplomacy / strategy / management | amateurs built Noah’s ark, professionals built the Titanic | ambush question, or not | ammunition and ordnance | amounting to a hill of beans, or not / spilling the beans | amplifying the angriest voice in the mob | anal retentiveness as a Freudian diagnosis / Freudian slip as an excuse | anally retentive or nasally retentive or both | anatomies of the characters in Oz: gutless, brainless, and heartless | anatomy of an organ versus the physiology of what it does | anchor aweigh, sailing with the tide | anchor babies and baby boomers | anchor in a storm | angels on the head of a pin | anger management | angler using sonar for fish-finding / multiple lines in the water | angrier than a hound dog with a headache | angry as having recently experienced and uncontrollable need to urinate | angry mob with pitchforks and torches | animated logos for commercials / screen credits / program openers | annoying kid in the class who always raises his hand to answer every question, or her hand | anonymous as the ‘l’ in folks | answering the phone on the first ring | anticipatory tantrum seizes the initiative | antihistamines for snotty correctness | anti-immigration legislators who live in genealogical glass houses | antilock brake | ants in one’s pants / suing one’s pants off | ants on a hot pan | any manner or fashion, way, shape, or form | any port in a storm | any ship can be a minesweeper…once / the Titanic always missed icebergs except just that one time | anything is possible, if so try striking a match on an ice-cube / if anything is possible, nothing is true | apogee versus perigee / zenith versus nadir | applauding sagacious rats for disembarking the unseaworthy vessel | apple for the teacher / the shine is off the apple, or not | apple polishing / kissing ass | apples falling far from the tree, or not | approval ratings that look like shoe sizes | architecture of a Quonset hut | arguing on facts versus arguing on applicable laws versus pounding like hell | arguing over scraps at the table | arguing over the shape of the table | arguing with a person who rejects reason is like administering medicine to a cadaver | argument blown out of the water / successfully sending a pandemic disease packing | argument in a nutshell | arguments / events appearing in the rear-view mirror | arm’s length agreement / organization / personal relationship | armchair generals | armor-piercing bullets with sabots | arm-pit of the country | arm-twisting by lobbyists, or not | arranging deck lounges on the Titanic / declining the offer of a life-vest on a sinking ship | arriving on a balmy shore greeted by happy natives / the natives are restless | arrogance marinating in snot | arsonist in a hayfield | art exhibition featuring agglomerations of rusted objects found in junkyards | art of scripting robo-call messages | artful smear / finger-painting | artificial diamonds are a boy’s best friend | asking why the grass is green, the sky is blue, one’s nose is scarlet | asleep at the switch / wheel | aspirin for a hangover | aspiring to achieve adulthoodliness / putting one’s big-boy pants on | assembly-line cooking / salad tossing | assertion being valid / invali right out of the gate, or not | astrology in planning | at the end of the day | atheists in foxholes | attaching the words of one person to the deeds of another | attacked by wombats from down-under | attacking the witness’s lie like lions on a gazelle | attempted kiss being classified as assault | attention span of a gnat on meth | attention span of a pubic mite | attention spans pulverized by cellphones / overheard conversation in the next stall | attention-span like a first-grader on a sugar-high / sugar-high in the stock market | attracted by the scent of an airport Cinnamon | attraction to a shiny object | attributing the despicable acts of one person to the deplorable words of an authority figure | attributing to malice that which cannot be adequately explained by stupidity | attributing to malice that which is adequately explained as stupidity | audible wallpaper which is always there but not really noticed | audiotaped conversations / wiretapping / wearing a wire, or not | audition on a casting couch / hey, by a couch potato | authentication by acid test, or not | autumn leaf-lookers on the back roads alongside shun-pikers | avalanche of criticisms / resignations | avatar being used for a rôle-model | avatars more authentic than one’s perceptions of reality | avenues: Madison / Broadway / Fifth | awakening to a vision of naked babies with wings | awarding a garland of flowers and two ears after a bull fight / sometimes the bull he wins / playing the clown in a bull fight / at full gallop the bull cannot turn in its own length | awards won for name-dropping | awash, adrift, in the doldrums, becalmed | babe in the woods, or not | baby-food / Pablum / Gerber babies, or not | back in the saddle again / riding side-saddle | back of the envelope management plan / paper napkin product design | back pressure, or not | back when ‘chrome-to-chrome’ meant ‘bumper-to-bumper’ | back when Bikini was an atoll in the Pacific | backbiting as a way of life | back-channel communications | backdrop / downstage props / curtains / footlights / limelight / center stage / spotlight | backfield in motion | backfire / backlash | background music for elevators and department stores | back-kick to the groin for breaking out of a half-Nelson | backlash versus front-lash / back-pressure, or not | back-pedaling / walking back an assertion / claim / accusation | backslapping sycophant | back-stabbing featured in a stratagem / front-stabbing featured in cruelty | backstage maneuvering / setting the stage for a drama / the book being better than the movie | backstop behind the plate | bad blood in a relationship | bad karma, or not | bagpipes playing Amazing Grace | baguette-burger and Brittany beer | bailing out of a lifeboat versus into a parachute | bait and switch | balance sheet, P & L, sources & apps | balancing one’s checkbook | balcony-ushers secretly stuffing their pockets from collection-plates while descending the back staircase | bald-faced lie / a lie can get half-way around the world while truth is still putting its boots on | ball and chain / marital leg-irons | ball in one’s court, or not | balloon in a box | ballooning expectations versus exploding myths | balls in the air / spinning plates atop sticks | ballyhooing a promise to be fair and balanced / promising your child the gift of a unicorn | bamboozle the naïve / hoodwink the gullible / exploit the gullible | banana republic / banana-town | band-aide solution / crutch-cripple | bandwagon effect | bang for the buck | bang the drum slowly / beating the same old political drum / playing an opponent like a cheap fiddle | banging heads together | banging one’s head against a limitation | banging the table / lectern / pulpit | bankable prediction before the game / the season | banking on an outcome / take it to the bank | bankrolling an effort | bank-shot for the side pocket | bank-shot in the corner pocket / side pocket | banner headline | Baptists on bongos | baptized in brandy | barbarian at the gate | barbed wire | bar-car jigger with a hip-flask chaser | barcode for a can of peas on a sugar-cured ham | barcodes on grocery coupons as well as groceries | barefoot and pregnant / being a little bit pregnant, or not | bare-knuckle brawl | bargain with the devil / devil’s deal | bargaining chip | baring one’s teeth | bark worse than one’s bite / the guilty dog barks the loudest | barking up the wrong tree / in one’s natural voice | barnacles on the future / on history / on vessels plowing oceans of needs / opportunities | barnstorming | barometer of public opinions | barroom brawl over a bottle of beer | bar-stool romance / the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his – never mind | baseball is a game you cannot play with your teeth clenched / is a game of inches | baseband / baseplate | bases loaded, two out, full count / tied score / ninth inning | bashing one’s rival / opponent / competition | bashing versus talking trash | basket case / advanced degree in basket-weaving | bat out of hell | bathing beauty featured in posters hanging in garages | bats in one’s belfry | batten down the hatches / reefing the sails | battered, breaded, and basted before baking | batting a thousand | batting cleanup | battle of Armageddon | bawling out | be afraid, be very afraid, be scared shitless | bearded hobos use plain rubber-bands for their pony tails | beasts get more dangerous when they are starving | beat a hasty retreat | beating a dead horse / enough of something to choke a horse | beating around the bush, or not | beauty is in the eye of the beholder | beauty parlor: that is a place where women curl up and dye | becalmed at sea / dead in the water | becoming the meat in a partisan sandwich / being forced to eat a manure sandwich | becoming toast in losing a contest | bed of roses, or not | bedroom community at a superfund site / in the rust belt / with smokestacks nearby | bedtime stories, or not | bed-wetting decision maker | beer-belly and tobacco-stained teeth | before personal computers, one’s laptop was a romantic place on which to sit | beggaring belief / such proposals beggar credibility | beggars cannot be donors | beginning at the drop of a hat | beginning of the end versus the end of the beginning | behavior / policies / actions from the get-go | behavior resembling a jumping bean | behavior that speaks to intention / to loyalty / to disgust | behaviors attributable to one’s DNA, or not | behind the (power) curve | behind the eight ball | being a camp follower for someone else’s previously despised policy | being a guinea pig in a sociology study / psychology experiment | being a happy camper, or not | being a straight arrow / there’s a limit to how straight one’s lace can be | being a walk-off winner while staring down one’s challenger | being a wuss is worse than being a squish, or not | being able to hear a pin drop, or not | being able to stomach something, or not / stomach growling in hunger / hunger pangs | being an activist means to lean forward | being as pure as the driven snow, or not | being at loggerheads with someone / logger-headed impasse | being at the table or on the menu | being born on third base and claiming to have hit a triple / knocking it out of the park | being broken like a dried twig | being bullish on the market, or bearish | being caught by the short hairs | being caught off base | being criticized is merely part of the gig | being double-crossed | being extremely careful about what one wishes for | being first in writing a tell-all memoir / that’s not writing, it’s typing | being flushed down the toilet, or not | being garbed head to toe | being in a groove versus in a rut | being in a relationship, or not | being in contact with planet earth, or not | being in one’s corner / having one’s back / watching one’s own back | being in one’s right mind, or not | being in the crosshairs / line of fire / legal or investigative crosshairs | being in the safest place when the shit hits the fan | being in with the in-crowd | being left with nothing but a fine-tooth comb / running a fine-tooth comb over financial reports | being merely a cog in the business machine | being off one’s game / off one’s rocker / off one’s meds | being on a roll right now, or not | being on an even keel | being on cloud nine | being on one’s last legs | being on the bubble / popping a bubble | being on the same page / or not | being on the side of the angels | being on tinter hooks about the outcome of an existential event | being one’s brother’s keeper was the rôle declined by the first murderer | being one’s nationality to the bone | being one’s own worst enemy | being oneself may be bad advice | being out of one’s ever-lovin’ mind | being out of step with someone / something | being out of the woods with a diagnosis, or not yet | being present at the Creation / the Great Flood | being pulled around like a dog with a helium balloon attached to its collar / lying like a dog | being reminded of being young and stupid | being sentenced by the judge to stay in the crowbar hotel | being shocked – shocked – to learn something obvious / shell-shocked as a clinical diagnosis | being sick and tired of being sick and tired | being skinned alive | being sold a bill of goods | being the spitting image of one’s parent | being the worst person in the world, or not | being to the manor born, or not | being worth one’s weight in gold | belch in a chapel | belief in Santa Claus / the Easter Bunny / the Tooth Fairy | bell for recess at the beginning of one’s recitation | bells and whistles / slings and arrows | bell-weather / weathervane / weather helm | belly aching | belly dancing | belly flop | belly of the whale / in the belly of the beast | belt and suspenders / pantyhose and torn blue-jeans | belting out a Rossini aria in the shower | benchmarks in surveying / in history / in progress | bending one’s knee / kissing the ring | bending over backwards to be leaning forwards | benign expression as a proxy for an accusation that is more malicious | best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter | best books for a bonfire, or not | best products cost a penny to make sell for a nickel and are habit forming | best scenes are in the trailer | better angels of our nature | better late than never, or vice versa | better safe than sorry | better to ask forgiveness than permission, or vice-versa | better to be a doozy than a doofus | better to be a has-been than a never-was | better to be an also-ran than a never-tried | betting against the matador in a bullfight | betting one’s bottom dollar | betting the farm | between a rock and a hard place | between the devil and the deep blue sea | between the dog and the fireplug, or not | beware of wireless phones with calendars and cameras | bewildered by how a seatbelt works | bewildered like a kindergartner at a seminar on string theory | beyond the pale means outside some boundary | Bible-thumping Hell-fire and brimstone / the Bible is the most shop-lifted book in the world | big bad bankers behind bars | big bad wolf and Little Red Riding Hood | big fish in a small pond | bigger fish to fry / different kettle of fish | biggest whiners in the executive ranks | Big-Mac with cheese | big-tent to express sincere inclusiveness, or not / taking someone down like a cheap pup-tent | billionaire bingo for beltway bucks | binders full of women | binge-watching an entire television series / the whole kit-and-caboodle | binoculars for stealing signals from center field | bird flu is the new catnip and mockery is the new poetry | bird in the hand gathers no moss / rolling stone is worth two in the bush | bird species that produces excrement capable of denting the hood on a pick-up truck | bird-droppings on a Bentley | birds of a feather can become jailbirds together | birds strolling on lily pads | birdy putt after a slice to the rough | birthday, Hanukah, Christmas all on the same day | bitching at the umpire | bite your tongue | biting off more than one can chew | biting the bullet / dodging the bullet / being a lucky bullet-dodger | biting the dust / buried on boot hill | biting the hand that feeds one, or not | bitter medicine tinctured with saccharin | black box, or orange, actually | black bug’s blood on a rubber buggy bumper | black feet and lily-white hands | black hole of charisma | blackboard approximation / equation / derivation / definition | blackeye for politics | black-letter law / red-letter day / red-font words spoken by Jesus | blackmail in a bottle | black-swan event | blaming B for the evil prevailing in A | blank slate | blast from the past | bleak chic / adorable grouchiness | blind leading the blind / retinally challenged guiding the visually impaired | blind spot | blind taste test | blindly touching the elephant’s trunk / tail / toenail | blindside tackle | blind-sided | blink of an eye in a protracted investigation / continuously blinking turn signal on a straight road | blinking versus winking | blip on the radar screen, or not | blizzard of amendments / news reports / legal objections | blockbuster bomb / movie | blocking and tackling in politics / in management | block-parties in Brooklyn / street-dancing in Oakland | blog-sphere / Twitter-sphere | blond bombshell / joke | blood, sweat, and tears | bloodletting to purge an infection / by amputation pre-antibiotics | bloodstream of a political party / lifeblood of a campaign / electoral blood bath | blow-dryer without hairspray | blowing a fuse | blowing a gasket as the radiator boils over | blowing one’s stack | blowing smoke up one’s ass | blowing taps at a funeral | blowing the doors off of a competitor’s vehicle | blowing the whistle / whistle-blower | blowing up a balloon / popping one’s balloon / letting air out of one’s balloon | blowing your own horn | blow-out preventer | blow-torch investigation | blue-chip investment, or not | blue-plate special | blueprint stage in the age of xerography / nobody ever actually sees a blue-print anymore / same for red-tape / drawing board with T-square and triangle | blue-wall asylum | bluffing in penny-ante poker / under table-stakes / having one’s bluff called, or not | blundered speech like bombsville / a good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest | blunt is decidedly rude but dull is merely boring | blunting the criticism / putting a sharper point on it | blushing bride / grumbling groom | boastful humility | Bobbsey Twins | bodice-ripper / page-turner | body blocking | body language | body piercings and colorful tattoos | bogeyman declining blame | boilermaker in a souvenir mug | boiler-plate policy / specification | boiling point | bolt out of the blue | bombastic subtlety | bombing one’s enemy back to the Stone Age / making the desert glow | bombs, guns, and helicopter rides | bombshell reporting about a kinetic story | bomb-thrower / smoke bomb / flash-bang bomb as an overwhelming distraction | bone in one’s throat | bone of contention, or not | bonfire of reputations | boning up on a subject | booby trap legislation / booby prize position in the West Wing | boogie on bass with a high-treble signature dribbling onto the melody line | boomerang argument style / results, or not | boosting one’s stock | boot upon one’s neck | bootleg hand-off / whisky / software / recordings / comedy material | bootleg provisioning | bootlicking / ass-kissing / brown-nosing / genuflecting / taking a brow-beating with a smile | boot-licking fair-haired boy / multiple fair-hair-ism | boots on the ground | bored as an Amish electrician | born on third base / with a silver spoon in one’s mouth | born yesterday, or not / I didn't just fall off no turnip truck | both sides of the aisle / reaching across the aisle | Botox brows and bee-stung lips | bottle and can opener / corkscrew | bottleneck in traffic | bottom line / other than the bottom line | bottom of one’s heart off the top of one’s head | bottom of the ninth | bought the farm | boulevard stop / signalized intersection | boulevards: Hollywood / Champs Élysées | bowdlerizing means exclaiming criminently for Jesus’ sake | bowing out, or not / declining a curtain call | bowling a gutter ball | bowtie and spats at a funeral | boxer with a cut eye | boxing one’s ears / down for the count / wiping one’s gloves on the referee’s vest / bobbing and weaving | boxing promoter with a crewcut / coming out swinging / throwing in the towel, or not | bragging rights | braiding issues / keeping the issues in separate silos / siloing oneself off from one’s peers | brain blister / brainstorm / having a brain fart | brainchild / blame child / blamestorming | brain-surgery, or not | brainwashing as cerebral laundering / brain-washed cult member | branded with the Mark of the Beast | brassiere control | brave wink at the evil eye | braving Niagara Falls in a kayak | bread-and-butter product line | break down the door | break glass in case of fire | breakfast cereals / flakes | breakfast-table issues | breaking a logjam | breaking bread | breaking shells to have an omelet or to make people angry | breaking the cellophane to accept a limited license | breaking the emergency glass on the fire alarm / extinguisher | breaking the glass ceiling | breaking the mold | breaking the scales in an axle-load test | breaking the sound-barrier | breakneck work schedule / rolling up one’s sleeves and getting to work | break-the-glass emergency | break-through innovation | breath of fresh air | breathtaking event / waiting with bated breath | breech delivery versus caesarian section | breeding like rabbits | brick-and-mortar versus on-line retailing | bridge too far / an analogy too far / a metaphor too far / a comparison too far | bridging the gap | briefings received, orders given | brighter than a fool’s gold tooth filling | brightest bulb in the box, or not | bright-line legal distinction | bring a proposition or an issue to the table | bringing a dog to heel / bringing spreadsheets to a gunfight | bringing a stick to the plate | bringing more people under the tent and up to the table | bringing on the Rapture | bristling hair and bared teeth | broken clocks can show all different times but each is right twice a day / a stopped twenty-four hour clock is right only once a day | broken escalators only become stairs | broken heart, or not | broken-record complaints remedied by the extinction of the phonograph | broken-window policing | Brownian motion of people in a crowd | bruising one’s chin on one’s necktie knot / one’s eyebrows seeking refuge in one’s forelocks | brush-back pitch | brushfire extinguished is a forest fire prevented / firebreak | brushing back the batter | brushing up on one’s ignorance in a library | brutality of a cage-fight | bubblegum and duct-tape | bubblegum popping sincerity | bubbles burst sooner or later | bucket list | bucket of cold water in one’s face / a bucket of cold water on a hot day | buckle up for a bumpy ride | buffalo turds in a watering hole | buffing one’s nails on one’s vest | bug in the software / glitch in the hardware | bug in your ear | bugle call / reveille / taps | building a bridge too far versus a bridge not quite far enough | building a haystack to hide a needle in / to submarine a policy position / a prepared statement | building a sandcastle with the tide coming in / the tide is indeed turning / a rising tide lifts all boats | building a structure on sand | building bridges, or not | building greatness on anger and fear, or not | building more roads to prevent congestion is like loosening one’s belt to prevent obesity | built like a brick shit-house | bulbs incandescent / fluorescent / light emitting diodes | bull / elephant in a china-shop | bull in a china shop / carrying around one’s own china-shop | bullet-proof argument | bullhorn for expressing one’s opinions | bully at a birthday party | bully pulpit | bullying on the school-ground versus name-calling | bumming cigarettes from one’s customer | bump fire stock | bumper cars and Ferris wheels | bumper stickers / lawn-signs | bumper-sticker slogans | bungie-jumping from a helicopter / hot-air balloon / as an Olympic event | bungled burglary | bunker mentality | bunting down the line | buoyed up by one’s enthusiasm | buoying up one’s spirits | bureaucratic purgatory / obscure assignment / meaningless job marooning one’s career | buried on boot hill / in a pauper’s grave | burkas versus miniskirts and tank-tops | burn rate in a campaign / a business start-up / a rocket launch | burning books in a bonfire | burning bridges, or not | burning good-will / bipartisan bridges, or not | burning one’s candle at both ends | burning the midnight oil | burning their bras and draft cards | burning toast activating the smoke alarm | burnishing one’s reputation / qualifications / earlier public statements | burping in the confessional | burr under one’s saddle / getting saddled up to join the posse | burying one’s cash in the back yard / to deep-six a controversial report | burying the hatchet | bush-league screw-up | business developments in an incubator building / by in-vitro fertilization | business investment masquerading as political donation / masquerade party for donors | busy as a one-armed paperhanger / toll-taker | butterfly effect | butterfly net at the end of a stick | buttering up a rival / an enemy / a boss for a raise | butting heads with a rival | buttonholing a donor on the golf course / par for the course | buy low, sell high, collect fast, pay slow | buyer’s remorse in one’s marital relationship | buying a pig in a poke / cat in a bag / letting the cat out of the bag | buying a ticket on the Titanic after seeing the movie | buying the cow when the milk is free, or not | caddie to a golfer who takes 18 mulligans | calculations on the back of an envelope | calculators were not reliable during both world wars | calculus for dummies | call of the wild | call-back to an earlier comedy line | calling a spade a spade, or not | calling balls and strikes / pitching straight into the strike zone / brush-back pitch | calling card | calling for a hit-and-run play by the third-base coach | calling for a whiff of smelling salts, or not | calling one’s shots | calling out an assertion / denial | calling out the National Guard | camcorders capture family events, which are never watched again | camel through the eye of a needle / camel’s nose in the tent / not a big nose under the flap, maybe, but a mighty big camel is waiting outside the tent | camera does not blink / YouTube does not forget / the camera of history is rolling | campaign dominated by muffin recipes | campaign donors ripped off by political consultants | campaign from the caboose / lead from behind / the caboose travels as fast as the train but always stays at the rear | campaign in poetry, govern in prose | campaign ribbons, epaulets, and sewn-on patches | campaign slogans on urinal walls / boiler room full of telephones and campaign volunteers / pump-and-dump stockbrokers / real estate investors | campaign videos that attack campaign videos | campaign war-chest / campaign gaining traction, or not | campfire stories at a marshmallow roast | canary in a coal-mine / a two-hundred-pound parakeet in a coal mine | cancellation of a purchase faster than the ink will dry on the document that orders it | cancer metastasizing | candidate’s name on the campaign bus | candor in a gaffe | canned-hunting of trophy-game in confined areas | cannibalizing parts and pieces | cannon fodder | cannot judge the book by its cover or the logic of a lover / hey, or the product by its name | cans tied to one’s marital bumper | capital investment limited to one wheelbarrow for the whole construction crew | capsizing the ship-of-state | captain of industry / foot soldier boss | captains of industry with their staff sycophants and marching grunts | capture lightning in a bottle | capture-the-flag teams / false-flag campaign ploys | car-alarm set off by a shopping cart | carbon footprint | carbon-14 dating an idea | card-carrying member of a despised group | cards are dealt and the chips are down / playing the cards that one has been dealt | career like a star going from zenith to nadir without stopping at the horizon | caring exactly one jot and one tittle, or not | carnival barker / snake-oil merchant / side-show freak | carnival barkers running a rigged game at the town fair | carnival barking | carom shot / ricochet off the bumpers | carpet bombing is a war crime | carpet bombing with precision is an oxymoron | carpool conversation | carpool lane / diamond lane | carrots but no sticks / sticks but no carrot | carrying a torch for a person or an idea | carrying coals to Newcastle | carrying water for a cause / person | carte blanche agenda | cartoon character beyond the edge of a cliff and declining to look down | cartwheeling during a sobriety test | carving out a niche | carving up shoulder and joint | cash cow / growth star / scratching dog | cash for clunkers / for human caused climate change | cashing one’s chips at the cage | cast in concrete / the die is cast | cast your bread upon the waters | casting a long shadow | casting a no-confidence vote by middle finger | casting a wide net | casting one’s bread upon the water | casting oneself as the big man on campus | casting pearls before swine, or not | castling queenside | castrating anyone who opposes big-money politics | castrating one’s husband in a divorce | castration is not necessary; vasectomy provides assurance than abstinence works | casual gossip around the water cooler | cat litter for some ideas | cat on a hot tin roof | cat that swallowed the canary | cat’s got one’s tongue | cat’s meow | catalyst for change / catalyst not a reactive agent | catapult / leapfrog | catastrophic health coverage | catbird seat | catch 22 dilemmas versus catch 23 inevitabilities | catch and release / catch as catch can | catch more flies with honey than vinegar | catching a tell in poker / having an ace in the hole | catching on fire / a wave | catching the red-eye flight at midnight | catching the yellow light | catchy jingle / ear worm | categorically believing all complaining women / men | catnip for demagogues / for deplorable voters | cats may have nine lives, politicians have only one / a cat with eight more lives to go | cattle-call for candidates | cattle-prod reminder | caught embezzling paper clips from office supplies | caught flat-footed / being on one’s back foot / front foot | caught in a run-down between bases / one’s first trip around the bases, or not | caught in the Bermuda Triangle of security, crime, and politics | caught stealing second base | caught with one’s pants down | caught without a chair when the music stops | cauterizing a bleeding injury | cavemen who have just discovered fire | cavitation versus spalling | cease-fire / stay-in-place | celebrating a triumph with a high-five | cell-phone video | cement mixer / truck / building blocks | centrifugal force driving cultures apart | ceremonial cortege to boot hill | certain countries form an Ivy League of terrorism | certain wrestling holds being barred / no holds barred | chads and butterfly-ballots | chaff-and-flares distraction | chain being only as strong as its weakest link / being the strongest link in a weak chain | chain of command / food chain / supply chain | chain of custody / events / reasoning | chain reaction | chainsaw massacre / juggling | chalk and cheese going together, or not | chalk up a win | chalking one’s stick, then running the table | chalking up accomplishments on a whiteboard using colored markers / done and dusted | champagne taste on a beer budget | chances being slim to none and slim just left the room | chances of a snowball in hell / assured come hell or high water | change everything; start anywhere | change-up pitch following a fast-ball | changing horses in mid-stream, or not / changing lanes | changing one’s mind like a diaper, or not | changing the ball on one’s typewriter | channel-clicker for conversational topics / fast-forward for boring stories / pause for bladder breaks | channeling the policies of a person who is not alive | channel-surfing during presidential debates | chaos theory of management | chapter and verse for better or worse / tolerating anything so long as one can think of something worse | character from central casting | character straight out of central-casting, or not the least likely | charged moment / a fully ionized interval | charging extra for salt on the rim of a margarita glass | charging one’s battery, pumping up one’s tires, filling one’s tank | charging the battery on one’s skateboard / hoverboard | charming as the bee’s knees | chasing the white whale | chattering classes with snobbish opinions about yammering yokels | chauvinistic xenophobia | cheap wine and cheese | cheap-shot followed by a shit-eating grin | cheaters never prosper | cheating at solitaire, or not | cheating only gets you so far / a stone’s throw | cheat-or-fail is a false dichotomy | checking all the boxes | checking one’s hole card before betting, or not | checkmate versus stalemate | check-the-box responses / assertions | cheek by jowl / peas in a pod | cheerleaders on strike during half-time | cherry on the top of a pastry | cherry picking evidence | chess-clock for angry conversations with one’s spouse | chest-thumping humility | chewing bubble-gum during a symphony / nuisance like finding gum on the sole of one’s shoe | chewing one’s nails to the quick / wringing one’s hands raw | chewing-gum stuck to the cockpit windshield as a gunsight | chewing-tobacco cheek / teeth / breath | chicken in every pot / a chicken is one egg’s way to produce another egg | Chicken Little warning that the sky is falling | chicken or the egg dilemma | chicken soup for the soul, or not | chicken-hawk war mongering | chicken-hawks advocating for wars to be fought by others | chickens are the only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead | chief cook and bottle washer | chief operating officer of a hotel chain versus concierge in a flop-house | child’s seat and hipflask | child’s seat on a sports-car | children's crayons mark the beginning of one’s life in art, or not | chiming in / hanging on / ringing off | China syndrome in the backyard | Chinese fire drill | Chinese wall / Maginot line | chips falling away from a hammered stone | chocolate cake before dinner | chocolate covered maggots | choirboy with a Mohawk and an attitude / choirgirl in a miniskirt and tank-top | choke artist | choke collars for politicians held by campaign donors | chokehold on pricing | choking on one’s first cigar | chomping at the bit / rearing at the gate / hugging the rail | choosing between a robotic vacuum cleaner and the automatic bread maker | choosing the gerbil for a college mascot | chumming for fish off the stern | church full of atheists | Cinderella’s slipper | circling the wagons | circular firing squad / argument | claim stench / skunk smell | clapping one in chains / clapping one off the stage | clashing politicians evoking the spectacle of colliding showboats | classical western brawl: white hat hero versus black hat villain | classy as catsup bottles on a banquet table | claw-back provisions in a venture capital investment | clay in one’s hands | clay-pigeons / skeet-shooting | clean as a hound’s tooth | clean cut kid | clean out the barn / it takes a carpenter to build a barn but any jackass can kick it down | clean slate | cleaning toilets with a toothbrush | cleanliness is next to political stratagems that succumb to negative advertisements | clean-up-on-aisle-three moment | clear the bar, raise the bar | clearing that hurdle, or not | click to a different channel / channel surfing | click-bait to attract eyeballs and ears | clicking one’s ruby slippers together to make miracles happen | clicking the undo button | cliff-hanger in the third reel / on the B-roll | climate-change denier on a glacial crevasse | climbing down from one’s high horse | climbing Jack’s beanstalk | climbing the walls with frustration | cloak and dagger | cloak spun from political yarn / gagging on the taste of political pablum | cloning one’s pet | close but no cigar | close call at first base / getting to first base, or not | close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades | close shave in a crosswalk versus a barbershop / jaywalking for fun and fortune | closing kick in the sprint | clothesline tackle | cloud with a silver lining, or not / hey, every silver lining has a touch of grey | clown car / slap-stick comedy / full of politicians | clown with bulbous nose and face-paint | clubbing an opponent | cluster bomb | coach reaming out a player | coast is clear, or not | coastal liberalism / land-locked conservatism | cobbling together a solution to a problem like a pair of huaraches | cock and bull story | cock fight in the Senate | cock of the walk | cockpit error | cockpit voice recorder overwriting everything beyond an hour ago | cockroaches aboard Noah’s ark | cocktail of medications / lethal injections / campaign slogans | cocktail on the rocks / marriage / shipwreck | cocktail tinctured by polyvinyl chloride | coddling a whiner | cognitive dissonance for dummies | coin of the realm / currency of appreciation in small denominations | coins in the fountain / fishpond | coin-toss / toss-up / decision is up in the air | cold blood | cold storage is what some people call a handkerchief | cold turkey rehabilitation | colder than a witch’s tit in a brass brassiere | collaborating with the burglar to improve one’s alarm system | collaboration in a slime-mold colony | collapsing house-of-cards | collapsing of rusty lawn-chairs / folding like a cheap lawn-chair | collect the money while the tears are still wet | collecting coins / stamps / baseball cards / comic books | collecting deposits on bottles and cans | collective excuse: all we like sheep have gone astray | collision course versus pursuit course | color-blind chameleon | colorful speech features a basketful of juicy words decorating each mixed metaphor / details so juicy one cannot avoid reporting them | coloring inside the lines, or not / painting by the numbers | coloring one’s opinion | coloring the figure in a restaurant placemat with a blunt crayon | coloring-book understanding of international issues | colors in the crayon box | combination lock on the cockpit door | combustibility of a controversial international issue / flammable decision / incendiary remarks | come-to-Jesus meeting, or not | comfortable as a suffragette in a bar | comforting to know that ‘wonk’ is ‘know’ spelled backwards | coming clean about what one knows | coming in on a wing and a prayer | coming out of the woodwork | coming out smelling like a rose | coming to a bumper sticker near you | coming to a head like a boil on one’s butt / a pimple on one’s nose | coming to bat with two strikes against one | coming under fire for interfering with an investigation | coming up with the short stick, or not / giving short shrift to a proposition, or not | commercial off-the-shelf components / characters | commission plans get what they reward | committing electoral suicide / suicide bombers / kamikaze candidates | common as a bordello in a convent | common as murders on TV | common occurrences are a dime a dozen / dozen face-cards in a deck | common sense should not be quite so unusual | communicating by messenger pigeon / by tom-toms and smoke signals | communications intercept | commuting to one’s office by cross-country skis / by row-boat | compact discs got rid of broken record repetitions, or not | company picnic with an open bar | comparing a scandal or hardship or crisis to a walk-in-the-park | comparing apples and oranges / peaches and apricots / cucumbers and pickles / being in a political pickle | complaining about weeds in the wilderness | complaint-a-rama / food-a-rama / vote-a-rama | complete cock-up | computer-generated graphics in animation | computerized axial tomography for reading one’s thoughts | concert mosh pit | conclusion confirmed: game, set, match | condemned engineer repairing the guillotine | condescending smile tinctured with envy / no sparkle in the eye, only envy | conducting a smear campaign, or not | confession aloud on a crowded elevator about one’s oozing body sores | confidence ploy | confidential gossip | confirming Rasputin for a cabinet post | conflicts of interest up the wazoo | confrontation head to head | confrontation mano a mano | conga-line of lawyers / complainers / suitors | congratulating one’s children for cleaning their rooms | connecting one’s rooks in the middle-game | connecting the dots | connective tissue | conquest of ego | conserving fang poison by rattling one’s tail to ward off creatures too big to swallow | conserving one’s urine for marking posts where females are known to do their sniffing | conspiracy theory made out of whole cloth | conspirators flipping like / flapjacks / griddlecakes / pancakes | constitutional amendment to defang federal marshals | constitutional crisis inflicted by a presidential scofflaw | constitutional guard rails / legal airbags | contact lenses in costumes for horror movies | contemplating one’s own navel | contemplation of an undecided issue as the jury is still out | context featured in the B-roll | continental divide | contraception by Vatican roulette | controlling the spigot of foreign investment | conversation at the watercooler | conversation on the rope-line | conversational / journalistic segue | conversational contributions of a potted plant, or not / a potted plant as one’s political opponent | conversational no-fly zones | convertible top on a dump-truck | converting a hopeless can-not into a hopeful why-not | convex cheek unmistakably distended by tongue | cooked up excuse / smell of one’s goose being cooked | cooking one’s goose, or not | cooking the books | cooking with gas | cool as a cucumber | cool as a freshly picked nostril | cool as the other side of the pillow | cool brain but hot head / strike while the iron is hot | cop on the beat | copycat crime | coral reef for protection | cornered animal | corner-man in the boxing ring | corners of the flight envelope | corporate gadfly dominating the annual meeting | corpse getting cold on the table | correction fluid went out with the typewriter | corruption by touching a tar-baby | corruption impacting a country’s immune system | cotton gin is for clothing not for cocktails | coughing up a hairball / a payment / a concession | count your blessings one by one | countdown by mission control | countdown to disaster | counter-punching tactics | counterweight to a political rival’s influence | counting noses / taking roll / whipping votes | counting on one’s fingers wearing mittens | counting one out, or not | counting one’s chickens before they hatch / counting one’s sheep before they hatch | country bumpkins versus city-slickers | country of the curt where even the shah is shy | court of public opinion / kangaroo court | covering a candidate’s indiscretion like flies on dung | covering one’s eyes to become invisible | covering up the crime is worse than the crime, or not really | cowboy behavior in the cockpit / pulpit / classroom | cowboy diplomacy / justice | cowering freshmen during halftime at a high school football game | cows coming home | cozy competition / cooperation / corruption | cracking heads to force reconciliation / to achieve consensus | crackling fire / sighing bellows | cracks can bring down walls, or not | cradle to grave / urge to dirge | craft skill is not a rampart for one’s defense but a barrier to one’s advance | cramming for the final examination, or not | cramming political baggage in the overhead compartment before take-off | cramping one’s style | cranking out the solution / cookie-cutter solutions / solution in search of a problem | cranking up the old Victrola | crash and burn deadline | crashing the party | crassness of confidence | crawling out of the ooze before walking on water | crazier than an outhouse rat | crazy about a proposal, or not | crazy like a fox / to out-fox versus merely to fox | crazy uncle at Thanksgiving / nutty as a fruitcake / nuttier than a thirty-pound bag of commercial squirrel food | creative triple means a walk, a stolen base, and a bunt down the line | credibility needs a bucket without holes for carrying water | credibility takes years to build, seconds to break, forever to repair | credit cards are leading the way for individuals into the cashless economy | credit-card fiscal policy | cricket on one’s shoulder / bats in one’s belfry | critical mass | crook stealing a hot stove and them coming back for the smoke | cross-buck or lane-gate at a grade crossing | crossing all the t’s and dotting all the i’s / crossing one's i's and dotting one's t's | crossing that bridge when one comes to it, or not | crossing the line | crossing the Rubicon | cross-pollination of attack methodologies / information transfers | crossroad moment / fork-in-the-road decision | crowd’s center of gravity | crowded field | crowd-sourcing may not require a crowd larger than one person | crowing like a rooster | crucifix at arm’s length for protection | cruise control / automatic pilot | cruising for a bruising | crunching the numbers for the powers that be | crushed by one complaint of a tush-squeeze | crush-loaded commuter train | cry me a river / or not | crybaby behavior | crying crocodile tears | crying over spilled milk when one’s cup runneth over | crying the blues | crying uncle, or not | crying wolf | cubical barn versus desks in a bullpen | cubical farm workspaces | cuckolding customers | cue eye-roll / grimace / shrug | cue-ball-in hand behind the head-string following a scratch / calling one’s shots / running the table | cul-de-sac for that possibility | curing ambition with embalming fluid | curse the darkness or light a candle | cursing one’s accuser | curtain of night falling quickly upon the town / valley / waters | cut to the chase / roll the credits | cut-and-dried rules | cut-and-dry argument / open and shut case | cute as a bug’s ear | cutthroat business model / finding the best throat to cut, or not | cutting a deal / sewing up a deal | cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face / playing the spite card | cutting the umbilical cord, or not | cutting to the chase | cynicism is what passes for insight among the mediocre | damage control | damaged goods | damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead | damning with faint praise / faint praise hall-of-fame | damning with faint praise / praising with faint condemnation | dance with the one that brung ya / playing the cards you’re dealt | dancing between the raindrops | dancing in the end-zone / spiking the ball in the end-zone | dancing on one’s grave | danger of becoming numb to danger | dangerously rabid sea-otters / jackrabbits / feral cats | dangers along the highest ridges of free thinking | dangling an offer / a reward / a threat | dark horse in the race / black-swan election | dark moods and motives | darkest quite long after sundown | darkness before the dawn / it is always darkest before it goes completely black | dash-cam / puppy-cam / kitten-cam / bassinet-cam / chest-cam | daunting task, or not | David and Goliath or vice-versa | dawn of disaster | day late and a dollar short / too little too late | day of light / night of dark | day-care for adolescents and opponents in that other party | daydream becoming a nightmare, or not | daylight separating positions on an issue, or not | deacon on drugs | dead as a door nail | dead battery / recharging one’s battery, or not | dead man walking, or woman | dead on arrival | dead stick landing | dead stick landing, for sure not take-off | dead-end road / hairpin turn | dead-letter mail | deadlier than neutrons from the business end of a particle accelerator | dead-nuts tight | dead-stick landing | deaf as a post | deafening silence / blinding flash | dealer’s choice | dealt a defeat | death by a thousand cuts / tweets | death knell / rattle | death rattle for coal interests | death spiral / graveyard spiral | deathbed confession / conversion / revelation | debaters pole-dancing for votes | debit column being closest to the window | debtor nation / a nation that forgets its past has no future | debugging a proposal or presentation | decide in haste regret at leisure | deciding to give it a go | deciding whether to panic or check one’s e-mail | deciding whether to shit or go blind | deciding who threw the first punch in a bar fight | decision made immediately after getting lit up in a poker game | deckchairs on a submarine | decorum in the Senate cloakroom, or not | deep bench, or not | deep doo-doo | deep in the tank without scuba gear | deer’s eyes in the headlights / petrified / bear-paws on the hood | defanging enforcement measures | defeated candidate like a flea-bitten dog baying at the moon | defeating radar with stealth technology | defensive denial ironically being followed by the thing being denied | deliberately dense / willfully ignorant / surprised to learn that men and women have the same number of ribs | delivering an olive branch to make peace | demagogues finding plenty of rabble to rouse | demanding a bribe is a crime / merely proposing a conspiracy is a crime | democracy 101 / any other elementary subject 101 | democracy is merely a marionette manipulated by the oligarchy | demolition derby in the parking lot | denial becomes necessary only if the shoe fits / if the shoe fits, turn the other cheek | denial of having some such bone in one’s body | deniers have fewer options now that facts are catching up | dentures on the bedside table | denuded like a forest after overzealous logging | departmental stovepipe / organization / ideological silos | depending on what the meaning of was was | deporting wetbacks, or hiring them | derailing an effort / a proposal / a sale / a career | descending a staircase blindfolded and without a handrail / blindfolded and hands tied | describing a despised rival as having been created in a petri dish | describing a rogue politician as a freelance / a free-radical in a chemical mixture / a plasma | describing a slow aircraft as being threatened by bird-strikes from the rear | describing oneself as ‘rubber’ and someone else as ‘glue’ | describing oneself as rubber and one’s opponent as glue | describing youthful eagerness as being full of urine and vinegar / a complainer as always urinating and moaning about working conditions | designated driver / drunken decoy | designed from the ground up / ground-breaking innovation | desperation of bar patrons unattached at last call | despising someone with the intensity of a thousand burning suns | despising the attack-ads that are most unforgettable | despot needing a food-taster | detention in the dean’s office | detergent-opera on cable | detonating talking points | devil in the details | Devil, take the hindmost | devil-may-care deportment | dialing the phone with pushbuttons | diametrically opposed / triangulating one’s position on an issue | diametrically opposite, or at some other angle | diarrhea of the mouth | did not lay a hand on him, or her | diddling with drive-by-wire software to conceal engine pollution levels | died in the wool | difference between a kick-start and a jump-start | difference between a teddy bear in a crib and a grizzly in the forest | difficult gets done immediately, the impossible takes a while longer | difficulty in passing any gun-control law needs a word way stronger than ‘very’ | difficulty in putting down a book on anti-gravity / eye, there’s the rub | digging deep into a subject / digging means understanding and appreciating | dime’s worth of difference, or not | ding-dong Avon calling | ding-dong the wicked witch is dead | dinosaur at the end of the Cretaceous, no later | diplomacy as an alternative to warfare | diplomacy is the art of telling people to go to hell in such a way that they ask for directions | diplomatic immunity / pitfalls | direct promotion from apprentice to journeyman with juice from the mob / rolling credits in a mob film | dirty tricks in the campaign | disaster looking for a place to happen / looking forward to passing a kidney stone / having a root canal | disconcerted, disoriented and all shook up / musical trifecta: bewitched, bothered, and bewildered | discounting predictions in the stock market | discovered check in the end game / promoting a pawn to queen | discretion is the greater part of valor / the smaller part of cowardice | discretion means keeping one’s opinion password-protected | disgraceful concession speech, or not | disguising political boorishness as anti-correctness | dismissed from the discussion by being told to go fly a kite / skeleton of a child’s kite dangling on a power line / higher than a kite in a gale | dismissing an assertion as a big nothing-burger / ignorance-burger / incompetence-burger / fallacy-burger | dismissing something from one’s mind – by accident | dispassionate drone strikes | disposable diapers in the sewer system | distant thunder as evidence of a gathering storm | distinguishing tall timber from small brush | distributing snuff films on social media | ditching an idea / a person / an assignment / a class | dithering / teetering / tottering / wobbling | divide and conquer | diving face-first into the sewer | divorce is always preferable to an unhappy marriage, or not | divorce leaves scars hardly less obvious than tattoo removal | dizzy with delight / just-plain vertigo | do unto others then cut out | docking its tail does not make a dachshund into a Doberman | doctored documentation / grab-bag of document releases | dog and pony show / canine and equine performance / your standard one-trick pony | dog catching the car / bus / truck / ambulance but no knowing what to do with it | dog in the manger | dog not knowing the difference between being tripped over and being kicked | dog trashing one’s homework / tax filing | dog whistle | dog with fleas / dog with a bone / dog with muzzle / muzzling a witness in a trial | dog-eared book-marks | dog-eat-dog business model | dog-eaten homework assignment / dog-trashed tax returns | dogfight / dogpile / dog day afternoon / dog turd / having one’s dog in that fight, or not / having one’s dog on the team pulling that sled | dogfight with the Devil while God is my copilot | dogged determination | doghouse / penalty box / solitary confinement | dogs don’t bark at parked cars | dogs don’t like that dogfood / my dog ain’t in that hunt | dog-whistle politics / blow-horn racism | doing a dance in the end-zone while the ball is still outside the 20-yard line | doing business as a debt-carnivore | doing some indignant pearl-clutching | doing the Lord’s work | doing the nasty outside of one’s marriage | dolly-in for a close-up / or not | domino effect / tipping the first domino / ignoring the concerns of the dominos | dominos clattering across the table, each then unable to rise up | don’t just do something, sit there | don’t let the doorknob hit ya where the good lord split ya | don’t tase me, bro | don’t tread on me | don’t worry about a dead bird falling out of the nest | don't worry about the mules, just load the wagons | doom and gloom are more than rhyming words | dooming one as toast / ass as grass | door of leadership swinging on the hinges of character | door-shaker security / gumshoe detective / private eye | dotting all the t’s and crossing all the i’s | double down – but only if you’re holding aces not deuces | double down / walking back an assertion | double feature | double or nothing | double-dipping one’s severance packages | double-dog dare | double-edge sword / double-barreled shotgun | double-header | double-parking at a fireplug | doubts about Noah's Ark and other biblical narratives | dove hunting with an assault rifle | down at the heels / round heel floozy | down for the count | down in flames | down to earth / up in arms / clear as mud | down to the wire | downbeat / upbeat / offbeat | download a video / a tune / a text file | dowsing for groundwater with a divining rod | draconian layoff / punishment | drafting behind the rider pulling pace | drag racing in the neighborhood / dragnet by police | dragging one’s feet / slow walking legislation | dragging someone’s name through the mud | dragon-slayer with a blunderbuss | dragooning captives into combat with one’s enemies | draining the swamp and getting up to one’s ass in alligators / making the Everglades look like a backyard plastic wading pool | drawing a red line to declare a policy limit | drawing the short straw | drawing to an ace-high hand / outside straight / one-eyed jacks | drawing to an inside straight, or not | dreams up in smoke | drenching one’s defense in an ocean of excuses | dressed fit to kill / amused fit to be tied | driftwood sculpture with abstract titles | drilling down for detail / issue granularity | drinking denatured alcohol / decaffeinated coffee | drinking fountains in airport boarding areas | drinking from a fire hose / taking a blowtorch to light tinder | drinking responsibly means not spilling it | drinking someone under the table / payoff under the table / above board | drinking the Kool-Aid, or not | drip-drip of leaks to the media | drip-dry fabric | drive-by shooting | drive-through bank with deposit instructions in Braille | driving a lemon / a gas-guzzler | driving fast on a corduroy road | driving one’s needles off scale | driving one’s tractor during the harvest | drone combatants must think they are merely stepping on ants | drooling for a fight / for any appreciation | drooling of Pavlov’s dog at the sound of the bell | drop in the bucket / spit in the ocean / gnat on an elephant’s ass / freckle on a flea | drop-dead date / complexion to die for | dropping a cannonball into a kiddie pool | dropping a dime on a miscreant | dropping a truth-bomb / from one’s lips to God’s ears | dropping the bucket further down the well | dropping the mic | droughts make water preferable to wine / distilling prison wine with toilet paper and old sugar packages | drowning in whatever | drowning man clutching at a straw | drowning one’s sorrows | drumbeat of allegations | drumbeat of developments in a scandal | drummer in a rock-band with a syncopated cardiac pacemaker | drum-roll and standing ovation | drunk as a skunk | drunk as being completely urinated / angry as being really urinated off | drunk negotiating with a parking meter | drunkard talking philosophy into an empty gin bottle | dry cleaning services cannot be exported overseas | dry drink / dry humor / homespun humor / dry subject / one dry eye in the house, or not | drying one’s tears | duct tape and bailing wire | duking it out / dishing out criticisms / compliments | dull as dishwater / dirt | dumb as a brick / playing dumb, or not actually playing | dumber than a box of rocks | dumbest decisions sponsored by the biggest donors | dumbing down versus dumbing up | dumping ground for political dustbins | dumpster fire / Dempsey dumpster diving for evidence | dumpster-diving for dinner | dust is mud with the juice squeezed out | dustbin of history overflowing with doubtful documents / having a long paper-trail | dying for something to die for / the hill one is willing to die on, or not | dying on the vine / clinging vine emotional dependence | dying to get / to have / to live / to see | dying with one's boots on / quaking in one’s boots | dynamite in a shipping container | E for effort | each hand washing the other | each mosquito is an insect that makes you like flies better | each raison is a grape with a sunburn | Eagle Scout as commander-in-chief, or not / having an eagle-eye | ear to the ground / eye to a keyhole | early worm gets gotten by the early bird | earmarking a pig for political spoils / pork-barrel legislation | earmarking donations for one’s own causes | earmarks in a legislative proposal | earning / deserving a blackbelt in street strolling | earthquake epicenter | earth-shaking event, or not | ear-worm melody / lyrics | easier than playing pick-up-sticks with one’s butt cheeks / wearing mittens / butt-dialing one’s smart phone | easier to believe than Lazarus had actually died / that water is wet / that earth is not flat | easily dismissed, a buffoon can be dangerous | Easter-egg hunt for the cause of a system failure | easy as selling to a salesman / bull-shitting a bull-shitter | easy come easy taxed / a penny saved is a penny not taxed yet | eating lousy food in small portions | eating one’s words / one’s heart out / crow | eavesdropping or wiretapping or intercepting one’s smartphone metacodes | echelons of high-stepping troopers covering the parade ground | echo-chamber commentary / media terrarium | eclipse of the sun / of the moon / of one’s career | economic bubble | economic siphon | economic tides / waves backing and filling on the beach | economist in a rainstorm avoids getting drenched by assuming he has an umbrella | edge of the diving board moment / sitting on the edge of one’s seat, or not | editing history books for political correctness | education in the second kick of a mule, or not | education is an investment in the future and a maintenance expense | effluvia circling the drain | egghead with four eyes and pocket protector | egging on ridicule / anti-establishment behavior | ego-driven / ego trip / ego-builder | egotism off the charts / financial results off the charts | eight-hundred-pound gorilla sleeps anywhere he or she wants | eighty percent friend is not a twenty percent enemy | ejected from the game | elbow in one’s ribs | election results tighter than a tick | electioneering slogans on tea bag labels / that’s one’s cup of tea, or not | electoral no-brainer becoming a nail-biter | electric chair / gas chamber / lethal injection / firing squad / gallows / guillotine | electric guitar with a wah-wah lever and echo-control pedal | electric motors are actually powered by burning coal back at the power plant | electron microscopic close-up of a bedbug | electronic pictures are by definition instant photography / a picture is worth a megabyte or two | electrostatic charge demonstrated by rubbing fur on a glass rod and seeing those pith-balls fly apart | elephant in the room / hiding under the rug | elephant riding a tiger / there is not off-button on a tiger | elevator shoes in the city / cowboy boots on the dude ranch | eleventh hour show-down in the OK Corral | embarrassed enough to mimic a ripe tomato | embarrassing outlier in statistics / embarrassment of riches, or not | embarrassment of a wheels-up landing | embroidery on bib overalls | embryology straight from the gates of Hell | emergency room coverage for victims without insurance | eminence grise / power behind the throne | emotion in tatters | emotional crutch / plummeting morale | emotional equilibrium made doubtful by an unbalanced brain | emperor’s new clothes | empire building | empowered by one’s victimhood for a single tush-squeeze by one’s supervisor | empty barrel makes the most noise | empty nest | emptying the dishwasher as cheap family entertainment | enacting a-la-cart international policies | end of the day / of the line | end-game strategy | ending a cinematic saga with a ‘rosebud’ enigma | ends justifying the means versus the means justifying the ends | enema taken in preparation for a filibuster | enemy of one’s enemy can actually be one’s enemy / friend of one’s friend is usually also one’s friend | enforcing a no-fly zone with drones capable of dogfighting aloft | engagement telescoped by pregnancy | enjoying pleasantries in the paddock / trotting out horseflesh | enjoying the finest tracks in the Muzak collection | enjoying the home-field advantage | enough ice to cool a martini, or not | entertained with one’s private animadversions of other politicians | entitlements in the budget | entrepreneurial as a public utility | entropy in management | envelopes with hand-written address always get opened by recipient | epicenter for a seismic event | equality of vowels and consonants are favored by crossword puzzlers | equalizer for a weakling is a loaded side-arm | equipping a grammar school with escalators | errors have been made so others will be blamed | escaping a black hole | escaping by the skin of one’s teeth | essential as a screen door in a submarine | established one’s chops in a given discipline, or not / licking one’s chops | establishing customer-confidence in shelf-labeling and barcodes | establishing one’s bona fides / making one’s bones | establishing the gold standard for a given attribute / having a particular attribute in spades | eternal security versus salvation through good-works | E-ticket ride at Disneyland | eunuch guarding the sultan’s harem | Evangelical’s three G’s are God, Guns, and Greed, or not | Eve’s leaves would conceal her navel, if only she had a navel to conceal | even a blind pig gets an acorn every once in a while / mighty oaks from little acorns grow | events dilated in slow-motion versus compressed in time-lapse | events in the rear-view mirror | every army travels on its stomach | every benchmark needs a bench to mark | every boxer has a plan until he gets punched in the mouth | every button needs a buttonhole | every committee is a body that keeps minutes and wastes hours / a camel is a horse that was designed by a committee | every egotist is a person who is usually me-deep in conversation | every fiber of one’s being | every flat surface is now a refrigerator door thanks to Post-it Notes | every problem has a simple solution and it is always simply wrong / solution following every problem around like dog on the end of a leash, or not | every theist disbelieves in the deities of all other theists; every atheist merely disbelieves in just one more | everybody being in the same boat, or not | everybody onboard rowing in the same direction | everything but the kitchen sink | everything from soup to nuts | everything will be all right in the end and if not all right it’s not the end | evidence of neurotic manicuring | eviscerating an opponent in a debate | evolving opinion on an issue | excavating at the coal face | except for its fin slicing along the surface, the shark is invisible | exchanging bishops and knights in the middle-game | exchanging opposing views in a urination tournament, better known as a pissing contest | exciting to watch a baby crawl across the interstate | excommunicated from the league / team / huddle | exhibiting the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval | exit polls are more revealing than official vote counts | expecting fealty but giving none / awarding loyalty but demanding none | expecting the development to follow a learning curve | expedient as Cliff notes | experience castrating hogs supposedly qualifies a candidate for the Senate Finance Committee | explaining how the tooth-paste got into the tube in the first place | exploiting convenience of carbon paper | exploiting gullibility by the sale of water-front real estate in the desert | explosions need fuel and oxidizer plus confinement and ignition | expressing a vulgar gesture for one and for the horse one rode in on | expressing affection in a scrum, or not | expressions like ‘hang-up’ and ‘hook-switch’ are quaint metaphors for the red button on a cell phone | extinguishing a house fire with a squirt gun | extortion works more decisively than persuasion | extracting the enchanted sword from the stone, or not | extravagant economic projections | extreme event as merely a wake-up call | extreme political incorrectness / heresy / blasphemy | extremism being the first choice of the uninformed | eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, and everybody becomes blind and toothless | eye of the needle / threading the needle / head of a pin / splitting hairs | eye of the storm / rim of the volcano / touch-down of a tornado | eyeglasses as ornamentation more than for correcting vision | eye-popping numbers | eye-rolling reaction to what is being said | eyes big as saucers / eyes bigger than one’s stomach | face in a crowd / this is what happens when one walks through a trailer-park waving a $100-dollar bill | face like an oven-mitt | face on the FBI’s most-wanted poster | face-guarding penalty | facelift for a legislative proposal | facelift surgery | face-off in hockey, jump-ball in hoops | facing a firing squad | facing an uphill battle | facing headwinds, or not | facing one’s own mortality | factory popping out products like rabbit turds | factory-prepared baby food / formula / pacifiers | facts about the future do not exist and many opinions about the future never will either | facts giving way to favor | fade to black / roll the credits | fading into the background | failing to be selected for a part in community theater then landing a starring rôle in a Broadway hit | failing with flying colors | failure is not an option but an outcome | failure that sleeps with the fishes | fair shake of the dice / of a lamb’s tail | fair-haired boy / boy-wonder / girl Friday | fairy tale written in pixie dust | fairytale science | fall downstairs registering on the Richter scale | falling / taking a detour down a rabbit hole | falling apart like a paper suit in the rain | falling into the clover | falling like a ton of books | falling off a cliff on a clear day / balanced on a precipice | falling off the wagon and then the bandstand | falling on deaf ears | falling on one’s sword / defending one’s self with sword and shield in hand | falling through the cracks / crack-down versus crack-up | fall-out shelter in the backyard / sheltering in place during an attack / storm | false dichotomy asserts that nobody is perfect | false in small things false in large things / a small person looking for a balcony | false start | false-flag stratagem | falsehood gallops and truth comes limping after it | familiarity breeds contentment, or contempt | family modelled after Leave it to Beaver | fanatic warriors found hiding in the jungles decades after the armistice | fan-dance modesty | fanning doubts and misgivings | fanning the flames of discontent | fans hyperventilating on seeing a rock-star in person | farting in an elevator | fashion models in spiked heels striding like farm animals on the runway | fashion your seatbelt | faster than a Soapbox Derby vehicle, or not | fast-food workers wear uniforms but nuclear reactor operators do not | fatally struggling in quicksand | fattest hog in a kleptocratic pigsty | Faustian bargain | favoring the sunrise side of the mountain, or not | fealty through thick and thin | fear is a reaction; courage is a decision | fear mongering can lead to hysteria | fearing fear itself / becoming terrorized by terrorism | feather boa constrictor | feather in one’s cap / so astonished that one could be knocked over with a feather | featherbedding reduces unemployment numbers | feathering one’s nest / quite a little nest-egg | featuring one’s opinions inside a snow-globe | feeding-frenzy by journalists | feeling a stone in one’s shoe | feeling guilty is the most appropriate emotion sometimes / even before the jig is up | feeling it in one’s bones / making no bones about it | feeling one’s oats | feeling queasy on the ferry-deck | feeling the chill of negative opinions / heat of being lobbied | feeling under par, which in golf is good, remember | feet of clay | feral cat chasing mice in the barn / playing cat and mouse | fertile imagination | fever swamp | fever-dreams under the influence of psycho-active substances | fiber optics as an alternative for cables for broadband communications | fiberglass structures, first proven in surfboards, have become essential for spacecraft | fibroid enmeshed in a cat’s cradle of countervailing interests | fickle as a day-trader in pork-belly futures | fictional bacteria that devour radiation | fifteen minutes of fame in reruns | fifth column | fifty lashes with a wet noodle | fighting fire with fire / with a fire hose / with a squirt gun | fighting ring around the collar | fighting tooth and nail / with one hand tied behind one’s back | fight-or-flight response | figurehead on the bow of a rowboat | figure-skating contest at the roller derby | filibuster is merely a hundred-car pile-up with nothing moving | filibustering family decisions | filling a drinking cup with a firehose / sipping water from a firehose | fill-in-the-blank routine | film at eleven | film clips / sound bites | film footage on a disk file | filthy lucre | financial losses no greater than a waiter’s tip | find the sweet spot | finding an empty table in a food court | finding common ground | finding enough buses to throw one’s friends / opposers under | finding one’s fly unzipped after speaking at Junior League banquet | finding oneself in the path of a river of lava | finding oneself married to a Stepford husband | finding oneself out on a limb / sawing off the limb one finds oneself out on | finding the engineer asleep in the caboose | finding the restroom on the first day | finger-in-the-dike heroics | fingernails on the chalkboard | finger-pointing | fingerprinting and DNA make it hard to hide one’s indiscretions | fingerprints on a financial crime scene / found in a money-laundering case | finger-snapping rhythm | fire in dry grass | fire in the belly, or not / getting all fired up | firearms available for purchase in a gumball machine | firebrand demeanor | fire-breathing political activist | fire-engine red lips | firehose of donations / falsehoods / fake news | fireproof, waterproof, dustproof, rustproof | firewall between engine and passenger compartment | firewall on a vehicle / in a software calling sequence / communications interface | firing off an angry letter / memorandum / message | firing off an evidentiary flare gunshot / victim of friendly fire | firing on all cylinders, or not | first and ten | first bite / taking only one bite at the apple, or not | first come first serve | first get elected | first in first out | first the bad news, then the worse news | fish / enterprise going belly up / fish rotting from the head | fish and chips / macaroni and cheese / peanut butter and jelly | fish eggs laid during a press conference / speech spawning | fish out of water | fish stinks from the head down / buck stops at the top | fish, cut bait, or get off the pot | fishes do not know they are wet / fish do need water | fishing expedition without a warrant | fish-net stockings with garter belt | fitness is assured by fear of heights / of spiders / of snakes | five stages of grief | fixing the holes where the rain gets in / just because the rain has stops doe not mean the sun has come out | fizzling fireworks | flame out / flare out / rained out / washed out | flaming discourse in the age of social media | flapping furiously without a feather on one’s body | flare gun shooting into the air to attract attention | flash in the pan | flash in the pan / interval from flash to bang | flash point | flash-back / back story | flashing one’s high beams at an oncoming eighteen-wheeler | flat as a billiard table | flat as a pancake | flat-earth report | flat-out effort | flatscreen with liquid crystal display | flat-tire and no spare | flavoring fruit salad with salsa | fleeing foolishly like a shoplifter running from a routine check-out beeping | flew the coup | flickering neon lights producing a vulgar abbreviation | flight at Kitty Hawk | flight is not over until the wheels are chocked | flight of the bumblebee | flip-flop during a campaign | flipping burgers during graduate school | flipping like a dropped nickel on a hardwood floor / running like a lizard on linoleum | flipping one’s lid | flipping the bird | flipside of a long-play record | flirting with bankruptcy | float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight | floating around in a snow-globe | flood control with sandbags | flooding the zone strategy / full-court press | fluke that dashes all expectations | fluorine gas eats glass | flushing one’s cache buffer | flushing toilets with potable water | fly in the ointment | fly on the wall | flying below radar coverage | flying blind | flying by the seat of one’s pants / skirts | flying into a box canyon | flying is the reason that the bird has wings – not vice versa | flying is the second most thrilling activity known to man; the first is landing | flying off the handle | flying too close to the sun | flying trapeze / tight-rope walking / high wire act – all without a safety net | flying-the-coop resignations | flyswatter to kill a grizzly bear | foaming at the mouth, bleeding from wherever | foaming the runway for a crash landing / for a crippled aircraft | focal point / out of focus | focus like a laser-beam | fog of war / foggy language of diplomacy | folding like a cheap umbrella / a chair at a two-bit poker game | follow that bomb technician running with his or her fingers in his or her ears | following all the actions like a hawk | following in one’s footsteps / publicity footprint / high profile, or not | following in the tracks of history / growing up on the right / wrong side of the tracks | following one’s dream as a wage-earner versus an entrepreneur | following suit / strong suit / trumping the leading suit | following the breadcrumbs / connecting the dots | food for thought / nourishment for one’s soul / soul-searching in vain | food park in a shopping mall | food-stamps on a cruise-ship | fool and his or her money are soon parted | fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me | fool’s mate of an international grand master, or not / a fool’s errand | foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds | foolishly consuming one’s seed corn | fools rush in where angels fear to tread | foot dragging / slowwalking | foot in the door | footage found on the cutting-room floor | footage on the cutting-room floor | footing the bill, or not | footprints in wet sand / fresh snow | footprints on one’s tongue / foot in mouth disease | for a fat girl, you sure don’t sweat much | for all intents and purposes, motives and aspirations | for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction | for whom the bell tolls / on whom the shoe fits | foray among the fungi | forbidden fruit | forbidden territory / no-man’s land, or woman’s | forcing a frown to wipe the smirk from one’s face / ensconced on the cat-bird seat | forecasting the last nine out of five recessions | forehead slapper | forest concealed by the trees / letting trivialities obscure the bolder form | forest fire / a spark is not a forest fire, but it can sure start one | forget everything else and take the money | forgettable as the ‘m’ in mnemonic | forgive some sinner and wink your eye at a homely girl | form-1040ing each year as a content, non-entrepreneurial wage-earner | formal reception following a shotgun wedding | formal wedding with all white shotguns | fought to a draw | foul ball / foul tip | fouled out in the first quarter | fouling on every play because – heck, they cannot all be called | foundation / ballast must be located at the bottom | foundation for an idea | fountainhead for a stream of consciousness | four corners of the globe | four horsemen of the apocalypse | four-flushing in five-card stud | four-letter word starting with ‘f’ that always gets people’s attention: free | fourth estate / fifth column | fox guarding the henhouse | foxes do not eat big animals | fragile ego | fragrance can be considered the flower’s echo | Frankenstein’s monster had many names other than Frankenstein | frankness expresses honesty, or not | fraternity-house food fight | free cheese is to be found only in a mouse trap | freedom for the pike is death for the minnows | free-fall in market prices | free-fall in the polls / cratering / tanking | free-for-all / race-to-the-bottom / fly-by-night | free-range chickens are the only ones that cross the road | freeze-dried foods are both practical and ugly | French fries and toast, cuffs and coiffure – oh, and kisses | fried fish in beer-batter | friend of one’s friend can actually be one’s enemy | frightening enough to make one grab for one’s gonads / gonads: grab ‘em if you have ‘em | frog in boiling water, or not / getting oneself in hot water | frog-walking a criminal suspect | front of the line | front page news followed by retractions buried among the classified ads | front page trivia | front-biting is more ethical but less effective than back-biting / on-putting versus off-putting | front-runner now bringing up the rear | frostbite from a spending freeze | frowning ventriloquist with grinning dummy | frozen foods and microwave ovens for bachelors / for space travel | fruit of knowledge | fruit of the poisonous tree | fruity aromas featured in vaginal sprays | frustrated as vainly attempting to urinate up a rope | fuel-cell makes electricity with no moving parts | full count | full count with two out, bases loaded, tied score in the bottom of the ninth | full court press / lay-up / three-pointer | full quiver | full steam ahead / all ahead full / steam roller | fumbling the ball | fumigate all you want but the cockroaches keep coming | fun of pulling the wings off butterflies | funneling federal funds for favors | funny as a rubber crutch / as all get-out | fuss-budget / persnickety purse-strings / modern purse-zipper / the power of the purse | gaining entrée to the press corps as an inside dopester | gallon-club donor at the blood bank | galloping gains overtaken by cantering trots | gallows humor / guillotine humor / electric chair humor / gas-chamber humor / lethal injection humor | galoshes in the cloakroom | galvanized gal who throws her legs about | gambling casino as a magnet for dirty money / laundromat for filthy lucre | game changer | gamesmanship / brinksmanship | gamesmanship in politics | gaming the system | gang busters / blockbusters / bunker busters | garbage in garbage out / nonsense on the keyboard nonsense on the screen | garbed as a bus-shelter vagrant | garden path naïveté | garden variety competitor / enemy / maneuver / battle / fraud / corruption | gargantuan task, or not | gargling Valium | garnering votes from the smelly masses | gas fumes in one’s tank | gas guzzling | gaslighting a far-fetched excuse into a logical explanation | gaslighting one’s own sanity | gasoline-soaked tinder box | gaveling the finality of one’s judgment | gawker traffic jam / line of rubber-necks | gender gap in voting patterns | general subject / policy writ large | generation X / Y / Z | generosity by definition never has to be repaid | genetic engineering for the vegetable species that has too much diversity to sell | genetically modified popcorn in a microwave | genuflect before any member of top management | geometrical ratio of population increase | geopolitical ju-jitsu | get off your high horse / he has spit the bit | get ready, get set, go – in that order | get the ball rolling | get this dead cat off my doorstep | get-out-of-jail-free card | getting / looking / peaking under the hood, or not | getting a bloody nose during a debate | getting a door-prize | getting a fair shake of honest dice, or not | getting a grip on reality | getting a hall-pass from the teacher, or not | getting a high-five from the Pope / high-fiving to celebrate a success | getting a leg up / showing some leg, or not | getting a new business off the ground, or not | getting a regular event baked into one’s weekly / daily cake | getting a thumbs-up, or not | getting all hot and bothered by something | getting away with murder | getting bent out of shape | getting Brownie points / gold stars on the blackboard | getting caught in a trap | getting caught on one’s back foot | getting change from a vending machine | getting cold feet | getting criticized in a burning building for calling the fire department | getting demolished right out of the chute | getting down into the weeds, or not | getting down on all fours | getting down to brass tacks | getting drunk with power / real power is used for the good of the many not the few | getting elected dogcatcher, or not | getting financially hosed / screwed over | getting goose bumps with expectations | getting gray hair from decisions among unobvious alternatives | getting hamstrung / ham-handed / ham-fisted | getting honey means not killing all the bees | getting hyped up on steroids | getting in hot water legally / matrimonially | getting in line | getting into a dust-up | getting into a good mind-space | getting into the nuts and bolts of a subject | getting knocked back on one’s heels / knock-on effect | getting lawyered up | getting left holding the bag, or not | getting lost in one’s own entrails | getting on a soapbox / giving a stump speech | getting on board with a policy position | getting on the hangman’s dance card / filling in one’s courtroom dance card | getting one’s act together / cleaning up one’s act | getting one’s antlers tangled in the lower branches | getting one’s back up | getting one’s clock cleaned | getting one’s facts in the spin room, or not | getting one’s name on the police blotter | getting one’s neck in a noose | getting one’s pants in a downpour, or not / getting one’s balls in a blender, or not | getting one’s scrotum caught in a zipper | getting one’s ticket punched in lower division | getting one’s tit in a wringer, or not | getting one’s wires crossed | getting oneself between the dog and the fireplug / walking behind an elephant carrying a shovel in one’s hands | getting oneself boxed into a corner, or not | getting oneself cornered | getting oneself wrapped around the axle / wrapping one’s head around an issue / idea | getting out over one's skis, or not | getting out-flanked | getting past the bouncer by naming A-listers | getting punked by a troll-farm | getting put in the doghouse | getting reamed out / getting a tongue-lashing / getting a new one | getting ripped off even when not carrying a purse | getting saddled with the costs, or harnessed to the expenses | getting screwed over for a promotion | getting shellacked | getting slimed by Fox News | getting snookered | getting some flesh on the bones | getting some shuteye / catching some Z’s | getting stabbed in the back | getting stiffed for the bill / ignoring the invoice | getting tarred and feathered / run out of town on a rail | getting the cart before the horse / one can lead a horse to water quite easily when he or she is thirsty | getting the cat into the bag | getting the epaulets ripped off of one’s shoulders | getting the lay of the land | getting the lead out / chelating your trousers | getting the low-down and keeping it on the down-low | getting the slammer for a felony conviction | getting to the bottom of an offensive issue / bottom line | getting to the bottom of something / or more likely the top | getting too much mud on one’s tires | getting under one’s skin | getting wind of a rival’s scheme | geyser / volcano / tsunami of news stories | ghetto-blaster in the subway | gift with strings attached, or not / a gift that keeps on giving | gifts on a silver plate | gift-wrapping the bribe | gig economy / gig labor | gilding the lily, or not | gimlet eye | ginning up and re-hashing accusations | girding up one’s loins for a figurative battle | give a man a fire and he will be warm for a day | give a man a fish but do not take out the bones | give me the child for the first seven years and I will give you the man | give one an inch and one takes a mile | give up if at first you don’t succeed | given a taste of one’s own medicine | giving / paying lip-service to a claim / assertion | giving a heads-up warning / incoming ordinance | giving a news story / opinion more oxygen, or not | giving a piece of one’s mind | giving a shout-out / put your hands together for the next speaker | giving a stump speech on the campaign trail / getting stumped by a question | giving an open playing field to an adversary | giving away the crown jewels, or not / wearing a jockey strap to protect the family jewels | giving directions best using words like left and right not east and west | giving him/her whatever he/she wanted to a fare-thee-well | giving one an adenoid stare | giving one enough rope to hang oneself | giving one fodder for one’s opinions | giving one the slammer and throwing away the key | giving one’s strategy to one’s enemy | giving oneself a do-over in life, or not | giving oneself a mulligan | giving smoke and mirrors a bad name | giving someone or a group the shaft | giving someone the cold shoulder / a shoulder to cry on | giving someone the velvet-glove treatment, or not | giving something one’s best shot | giving the dark arts a bad name | giving the devil a bad name | giving the finger as a sign of respect, or not | giving the opposition a free kick | giving the silent treatment to a passive-aggressive person | giving this state an enema requires inserting the tube right here in this city | glaciers are still a metaphor for ‘slow’ no matter how fast they are melting | glad-hand greeting | glass is half-empty pessimism versus half-full optimism / a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty | glass jaw versus taking a dive | glass slipper criterion for bride selection | glass-bottom boat / slime-tasting bottom-feeder | glide path to victory | gliding along in the president’s slipstream into respectability, or not | glimpsing the idea / capturing the notion / getting the punchline, or not | glow-in-the-dark suspect / expert | go to bat for a person / a good pinch-hitter must be willing to go to bat for a team-mate | go to the head of the class | go with the flow / follow the crowd, or go it alone | goal-tending penalty / double-dribble / traveling / running out the shot-clock | God does not play dice with the universe | God’s little acre becoming a junkyard for plastic trash / the gods must be crazy | going all in when the chips are down | going all-in while holding a pair of twos | going around the bend / bonkers / unhinged / disconnected from reality | going back to one’s day job / to the drawing board | going ballistic / freaking out / becoming unhinged / losing one’s grip / unmoored | going balls to the walls / balls-out for re-election, or not | going belly up | going beyond the four corners of a document, or not | going by the wayside | going down like a chubby kid on a seesaw | going down the tubes / going bananas | going down with the ship, or not | going for the jugular, or not | going forward (not going backward, presumably) / one step forward and two steps backward | going from bravado to bootlicking in the blink of an eye | going into extra innings / taking a seventh-inning stretch | going nowhere fast | going off half-cocked | going off the reservation | going on a fool’s errand | going one-on-one | going out to pasture but grazing too close to the freeway | going over like a lead balloon | going quietly into the night | going the extra kilometer | going the extra mile | going the way of the dodo / the marsupial wolf / penguins in Alaska | going through management changes like popcorn at the movies | going to Hell in a handbasket | going to the mat for a cause, or not | going to the mattresses in political conflict / in tribal warfare / crime family conflict | going toe to toe on controversy | going viral on the web / exponential distribution / exponentiation | going whole hog / full tilt | golden parachute for the venally gifted | Goldilocks design means not too big and not too small | goldmine of mine did not pan out | gold-plated toilet flusher is dictator chic | gold-rush for relevant quotations | golf widow / bowl-game widow | gone down swinging | good cop bad cop stratagem | good deeds must be punished, or not | good enough is better than best | good guy with a gun to shoot a bad guy with a gun, or vice versa | good or bad, apples don’t commit crimes against people | good people obey laws while bad people ignore laws | good pitching will always beat good hitting and vice versa | good Samaritan | Googling one’s homework | goose laying a golden egg | goose-bump experience / speed-bump in a public narrative | goosing the throttle / the candidate / the flight attendant | goosing the throttle wastes gas | got a tiger by the tail / there is no off-button on a tiger | gotcha questions / giving the second gotcha on the putting green / waiting for the second shoe to drop | go-to boogey man, or woman | go-to guy, or gal | gotta see a man about a horse | government is the enemy, or not | government program running on autopilot, or not | governmental / political eco-system | governmental iron boot | gown-less evening strap, or vice versa | grab the bull by the horns | grabbing the bull-horn and jumping onto the back of a pickup | grabbing the faceguard is sure convenient but against the rules | graceful style of dog paddling | grading grammar-school papers | grain of sand in the center of a pearl | grain of truth / truthiness | grandfathering an exception to a new regulation / a carve-out | grand-slam homerun | grandstanding play in sports / in politics | grant of immunity | granular investigation / perception / issue | granularity of decision options | graphic literature’s endless romance of Clark Kent and Lois Lane | grasping at straws | grass is greener on the other side of the fence / of the hill | grass-roots support with no PACs in sight / grass-roots politics using Astroturf | graveyard spiral on a clear day | gravity is not necessary because the world sucks | gravy train | gray area, not black or white | grease fire in a deli kitchen with nothing but smoke after the flash | grease the wheels / grease one’s palm / grease the skids | greased lightning | greed replacing need, or not | green plants are for nourishment, or not | greenhouse gasses | greenlight a proposal or a project | green-room conversation before going before the cameras | greeting the mailman in housecoat and bedroom slippers | gridlock in the Congress | gridlock on city streets / density-lock on expressways | grift certificate for a get-rich quick scheme / snake-oil by the barrel / snake-oil is always touted as a cure never a cause | grinding to a halt | grinning for one’s passport photo | grinning like the Cheshire cat | grinning speech by a drunk at the wake | grip-and-grin photo-op | grist for one’s mill | grit your teeth and place your vote | grits and gravy for breakfast at the greasy spoon | groovy is in the ear of the listener | groovy lyrics / memorable melody / funky rhythm | grotesque scenes from which one cannot look away | ground game | ground rules for meetings / for business policies / for industries | groundswell of activity | grownups in the room, or not | grudge match to settle a score | guardian angel / professional mentor / political sponsor | guardrails of society | guerrilla marketing stratagem | guided missile for destroying the fallacious argument | guilt-verbs being pursued by a blood-noun | gullible as a buyer of ocean-front property in the desert | gullible believers, one is born every minute / playing by the rules is for suckers | gum-shoe investigation by a flat-foot | gung-ho enthusiasm / hollering Geronimo before jumping out of the airplane door | gunning one’s engine / gunning for a promotion / for maximum emotional effect / merely plinking cans and bottles off the top of a fence / that’s the whole shooting match | gunpowder stored in the basement next to the oil-heater | guns or butter but not both | gushing compliments, or not | gut-punch | gutter-ball in bowling / bowling pin | habits good and bad / making and breaking | hail-Mary pass / our-Father in the huddle / catechism in the locker-room / genuflecting in the end-zone | hairs from the tail of the dog for that hangover – plus a sick-sack | half-baked logic / idea / reason | half-court jump-shot at the buzzer | half-life of radioactivity / public concern / popularity / value | hall of mirrors / house of horrors | Halloween rarely falls on Friday the 13th | ham-handed treatment of a delicate subject | ham-hocks and horseradish | hammer to kill a fly | hamstringed not hamstrung is the past participle of hamstring | hamstrung, or not | hand over hand / hand over fist | handful of supporters or contributors / detractors or distractions | hand-grenade on the conference table | handicapping horses in the paddock / candidates in a primary | hand-in-glove political collaboration / caught with one’s hand in the cookie jar | handling a subject or person with kid gloves / garden gloves / welder’s gloves / boxing gloves | handling the political equivalent of a live grenade | handshake strong enough to turn lumps of coal into diamonds | hands-on manager / hands-off management style | handstands and back-flips | hand-to-hand combat with a velvet glove / cooperatively working hand-in-glove | hand-waving more than handwriting | hand-wringing worries | hang out / hang in / hang over | hang-dog expression | hanging by a thread / in the balance / in there | hanging comedic lanterns on one’s embarrassments | hanging one’s hat on a precarious peg | hanging one’s laundry in the Sistine Chapel | hanging out one’s shingle | hanging someone out to dry | hang-ten ride on a pipeline wave | happy as a clam at high tide | happy as Scrooge at yuletide / happy as a pig in shit / happy as a hermit | happy camper / busy bee | happy customer will tell four people, an unhappy customer seventeen | happy hunting grounds | happy is one who has the least to do with worldly affaires | happy-hour hook-up | harassment in the workplace | harboring a grudge | hard act to follow | hard row to hoe | hard-boiled boss | hard-core pornography / political position | hardliners on budget matters / military spending | hardly a coin-flip decision | hardnosed manager | hardwired behavior in one’s genes | hare-brained idea | harmony versus dissonance / clashing notes out of tune | harpsichord on a music synthesizer | harvesting harm | harvesting the low-hanging fruit | harvesting throw-away vegetation by lawn mower | hat brimming with scrambled eggs, festooned chest with dangling medals and campaign ribbons | hatchet man / budgetary hatchet job | hating one’s guts | hating the sin but not the sinner | hating the truth like the devil hates holy water / affection for a person who does not hate a person like one’s self | hatred corrodes the container it is carried in | have gun will travel on one’s business card / bus bench | having a baby to save a failing marriage | having a bee in one’s bonnet | having a case of sticker-shock | having a Champaign taste on a beer budget | having a chip on one’s shoulder / knocking one’s block off | having a constructive conversation on race | having a cross to bear | having a face that looks like it already wore out two bodies | having a front-row seat for history | having a given bone in one’s body, or not | having a hundred spoons when all one needs is a knife | having a knife-fight in a phone booth / bringing a soupspoon to a knife-fight / bringing a knife to a gunfight, or a bone-saw | having a liar / an offender / a cheater dead to rights | having a little shimmy in one’s nose gear | having a long fuse / short fuse | having a low opinion of people who one considers to be one’s equals / one person with conviction will overwhelm a hundred who only have opinions | having a memory good enough to be a successful liar, or not / relying on muscle-memory | having a problem that is too hard to pronounce | having a relationship with a married person | having a screw loose | having a seat at the table | having a Sherpa for the climb, or not | having a talking point teed up for an argument | having a tin ear | having a volatile disposition / stock market | having all his marbles / sharp as a marble | having an affair | having an appetite for conspiracy theories | having an axe to grind, or not | having been born at night – just not last night | having been to this rodeo before / one’s first rodeo, or not | having both hands full and one’s house-key in the grocery bag | having certain friends means not needing enemies | having gangrene in a limb means cutting it off | having inferiority is better than having nothing | having method in one’s madness, or not | having more positions than the Kama Sutra | having one foot in the grave | having one leg to stand on, or not | having one over a barrel | having one’s back, or not | having one’s cake and eating it too / eating one’s cake and having it too | having one’s clock cleaned | having one’s finger on the pulse / a moist finger in the wind | having one’s gates for garters | having one’s head screwed on right, or not | having one’s life ruined by one grope, or not | having one’s lunch-money stolen by a bully | having political juice / getting the last drop of juice out of a particular lemon / the juice was worth the squeeze, or not | having sea legs under one, or not / the best cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree | having seen this movie before | having skin in the game, or not | having someone by the puppet strings | having the ability to carry someone’s jock strap / or not | having the bit between one’s teeth and ready to run | having the home court advantage, or not | having the lay of the land | having the qualifications to carry someone’s jockstrap, or not / to tie one’s own shoes | having the right stuff | having two left feet, or right | having wind in one’s sails / at one’s back | hawk watching field mice | hawks versus doves in foreign policy matters | haymaker punch in the belly / body-blow / saved by the bell, or not / down for the count / counting one out, or not | haystack full of needles / proclaiming that somebody did not lay a punch on one | he or she who is without sin should win the lottery, or not | he’s got ‘em, I got ‘em to get | head and shoulders above being down and out | head wreathed like a Roman victor’s | head-butting competition with a mountain goat in rutting season | head-fake and stutter-step / a quick head-fake stratagem | headlines / bylines / datelines | heads rolling for personnel dismissal | head-smacking crazy / head-snapping pace / revelation | health nut feeling stupid dying of nothing | hearing a tree fall in the forest, or not/ nobody cares about just one more tree falling in the forest | hearing the hoof-beat of approaching decisions | hearing the rumble of a train wreck | hearing the siren’s sound, or not | heartbreaking defeat in overtime | heartthrob of yesterday, bald and bulky today | heat of a thousand suns | heavy political lift | hedge-fund managers are people, my friend | heedless self-interest is bad morals and also bad economics | Hell freezing over | Hell-bent for leather / for nomination / for election | hemlines and necklines / hairlines and frown-lines | hemorrhaging cash / political support | her cheeks may have been somewhat excessive but those on her face were perfect | her teeth are like stars, they come out at night | herding cats | here’s the straight scoop | hermetically sealed | hermits are better informed than that | heroic rescuer saving one’s bacon, or some part of one’s anatomy | hiccups registering on the Richter scale | hidebound mentality | hiding in plain sight | hiding one’s cash under the bed | hiding one’s head in the sand | hiding one’s light under a bushel, or not | hiding one’s own Easter eggs | hiding the ball behind the line of scrimmage / audible call at the line of scrimmage / squaring one’s shoulders to the line of scrimmage and making some yards | high crimes and misdemeanors | high muzzle velocity, or low | high noon | high roller / time / stakes / risks / payoffs | high RPM low torque | high spirits, good cheer, and blissful ignorance | high voltage | high water mark | higher up the mountain the more treacherous the trail | high-fiber diet of economic issues | high-fiving joint triumph | high-handed low blow | high-heel shoes damage linoleum and asphalt tile | high-occupancy vehicle lane | high-stakes poker | hightailing it for home | high-tech lynching | high-tension voltage | hijacking a religion / a nation / a political party | hikers in nature take photographs only, leaving nothing behind | hind-brain response / reptilian part of one’s brain | hinge between cause and effect | hinge of fate | hippy-dippy stuff about conservation | hiring a crisis management firm | hiring a serial killer for your security department | hiring a skywriter to publicize a statement / towing a banner with a message along the beach | hiring an astronaut who does not believe in gravity / a doctor who denounces vaccination | historical record that deserves more than one asterisk | history does not repeat itself but it rhymes / a policy or directive with no rhyme or reason | history doubling back to reveal the future | hit and run | hit the chalk-line / snapping the chalked string | hit the ground running | hitch in one’s swing on strike two | hitless triple – a walk, a stolen base, and a back-spin bunt down the first-base line | hitman / hitwoman / hitlady | hitting a brick wall in an investigation | hitting a dry well in an investigation | hitting a few bumps in the road | hitting a pothole in the global economy | hitting foul-balls won’t advance runners, but they don’t get you struck out either / foul-ball specialist as pinch hitter to wear out the starting-pitcher’s throwing arm | hitting rock bottom | hitting the ball out of the park | hitting the bull’s eye | hitting the ground running | hitting the nail on the head and having it bend over anyway | hitting the panic button | hitting the wall in a marathon | Hobson’s choice | hockey goon high-sticking the goalie | hockey puck / slap-shot to transfer responsibility | hockey-stick revenue growth | hocus-pocus smoke-and-mirrors disappearing act | hodge-podge of state laws covering the nation | hog wash / bilge water | hoist on one’s own petard | hold a rock and hide your hands | hold your horses | holding a pat hand | holding on to one’s lunch money at a pickpocket convention without a money-belt | holding one’s breath for a hopeful outcome, or not | holding one’s feet to the fire / washing the feet of one’s followers | holding one’s nose in the voting booth | hold-your-nose vote | hole in the bucket means first turning off the spigot then fixing the hole | hole in the doughnut | hole-in-one versus hole-in-doughnut | holiday card as a marketing ploy | holier than thou / blow-hard sanctimony | holler down my rain barrel, slide down my cellar door | holstering one’s weapon | Holy Grail of an objective or achievement | holy Toledo depicts the ecclesiastical status of a city in Ohio | Holy Toledo is merely the ecclesiastical status of a city in Ohio / holy moly / holy guacamole | holy water driving off the devil | home on the range / in the microwave oven | home team advantage / home team playing an away game | homeowner or astronaut without duct tape | homeowner waking up from a bender and noticing a car in the living room | home-team advantage includes enthusiastic fans and custom-inflated footballs | homework by oil lamp writing on a shovel blade with charcoal | homing in on a radio beacon | homo sapiens / just another foolish homo-sap | honesty may often be the worst policy when one is struggling to give a compliment | honeydew weekend | honing a skill / an argument / a position | honor among thieves, or not / thick as thieves / den of thieves | honor of being vilified by an asshole | honored in the breach more than the observance / running through the breach | hoodwink without a hood | hook or slice into the rough | hook, line, and sinker / lock, stock, and barrel | hooking a dull comic off the vaudeville stage | hooking the brass ring on a merry go-round | hoopla for having one’s picture in the paper | hopeless, maybe, but never wish less | hopscotch celebrity matrimonies | horse in full gallop | horse show: a bunch of horses showing their asses to a bunch of horses’ asses showing their horses | horse trading | horseback application of a formal principle | horseflies on cow-pies / on an old gray mare | horse-trading legislative measures | host winding a clock to signal the end of a party | hot footing it to a destination / the destination for the road of good intentions | hot molten core of an issue | hot potato | hot-air balloon cooling off and coming down | hot-air balloons near high-tension lines / sending up trial balloons / throwing spaghetti at the ceiling and seeing if anything sticks | hot-button issues, or not | hourglass figure / pear-shaped silhouette | house of cards | house organ featuring pictures of newborn babies and triumphant anglers | howling at the moon | howling like a coyote with his tail caught in a snake hole | huffing and puffing and blowing the house down, or not | human dynamo | human nature includes fleeing a burning building | humane innovative progress from noose to electric chair to gas chamber to lethal injection | humanitarian war is brutally oxymoronic | humanity survived by cockroaches | Humpty-Dumpty’s fall | hung out to dry / put through the wringer | hunkering down | hunting quail with an assault weapon | hurting where the sun don’t shine | hush money / slush fund | hydra-headed issue | hymnal for hippies | hypergolic relationship | hyping one’s credentials | hypocrisy is the compliment that vice pays to virtue | hypocrisy may actually be a lesser sin in government than incompetence | hypodermic syringe for administering mathematical knowledge | ice skates in the Sahara | icebreaker / trial-balloon | icing on the cake | icing the puck | idea like being struck upside the head with a two-by-four | ideas coming to fruition | ideological paint-ball field | ideological silos | if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his rump with each jump | if all one has is a hammer every problem looks like a nail | if it ain’t broke don’t fix it | if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck and so on like that / if it swims and quacks, it’s probably not a piano | if it’s sustainable, you hunt it | if one wants an omelet, one must break some shells | if sixty is the new forty, ten pm is the new midnight | if the enemy is in range so are you | if the glove does not fit you must acquit | if the mountain won't come to the molehill, turn the other cheek | if the shoe does not fit, try it on the other foot | if we had some ham, we could have some ham and eggs if we had some eggs / if the intelligent designer intended man to fly, He would have made his poop white | if you can wear a mask to Klan meetings why can’t you wear them to Walmart | if you don’t know where you’re going, any path will get you there | if you think that something is done / finished / completed, put a fork in it | igniting / sparking / triggering / fueling | ignorance of the law excuses no one | ignoring a burp at a dinner party | ill wind blows nobody good | illegal use of the hands | imaginary as the ‘g’ in gnome | imagine a stag which is fatally shot but keeps running not knowing that it is soon dead | imagine being the only male touring around the city in a bachelorette party-bus | imagine passengers on a sinking ship who praise the captain for hitting an iceberg / trying to navigate around a fecal iceberg | imagining a Play-Doh app on a smart phone | imagining a sushi bar without soy sauce | imbibing whisky with a drinking straw | immense call centers in India | immigration policy can be a source of creative energy like a hydroelectric dam | immobile like the rook in the opening game | impersonal as the ‘o’ in people | implode versus explode | important as a refueling boom on a glider | imposing a no-fly zone to shoot down unconventional business proposals | impossible for one to find the hole that’s being eaten from inside | impoverished as having neither a pot to urinate in nor a window to throw it out of | in for a dime in for a dollar / out and out lie / in and in truth | incendiary rhetoric | incendiary rhetoric / flammable words | incestuous relationship between candidates and donor class | incredulity of the opposite is an irrelevant thesis fallacy | incurious and oblivious, unbothered by serious subjects | industrial strength voodoo economics / science / policy making | infield-fly rule / ground-rule double | infiltrating the presidency | inflation cuts money in half without damaging the paper | inflation is political nitroglycerin | inflationary spiral / deflationary crash | inflection point in a curve changing from concave to convex, or vice versa | information / warnings falling on deaf ears / shining on blind eyes / turning a blind eye on a nefarious action | information claw-back | information silo | information that is up for grabs | ink is not even dry on the contract / treaty / license | ink-blot psychology | inmates running the asylum | inoculation against public criticism | inside the beltway, or outside | inside the strike zone, or not | inside work by lawmakers with no heavy lifting / lifting a finger to help, or not | inside-the-park homerun | institution for the preservation of turds | institutional / emotional tailspin / nose dive | institutionally transparent / opaque / translucent / invisible | instruction labels for petroleum jelly | insulin administration | insulting compliment | insurance policy for people with catastrophic health / there is no bad insurance risk, only a bad insurance rate | integrity means doing the right thing even when nobody is looking | integrity: if one has it, nothing else matters; if one does not have it, nothing else matters | intellect / attention span of a gnat | intellectual bulimia | intellectual constipation | intellectual fire power of a water pistol | intellectual vulgarian with prodigal brilliance | intentional foul | interested-party management | interested-party management / weaponizing incentives | internal-combustion engine with the fire inside | international affairs comprise an unsolved Rubik’s Cube | international events can leave long-lasting scar-tissue on diplomatic relations | Intestinal fortitude / political testicles | intimidating the line judge | inventions as metaphors | invertebrates show more spine than some lawmakers | investigation getting sandbagged | investment safer than the lottery, or not | investments by Daddy Warbucks | invincible ignorance tinctured by proud stupidity | invoking one’s First / Fifth Amendment rights | invoking the “Chicken Little” syndrome to dismiss environmental concerns | invoking the dog-ate-my-homework excuse | iron clad conclusion, or not | iron filings clinging onto a magnet | iron-ass / tough as nails | ironclad deal / evidence | irresistible force meets the immovable object | isolated railroad right-of-way | items for one’s bucket list, or not | Jack and Jill fell off the hill | Jack and the beanstalk | Jack the Ripper of political campaigning | jackbooted thugs on the schoolboard | jailhouse snitches / giving the slammer to a convict / time behind bars / time off for good behavior | jamming a banana in the tailpipe | jamming the gears | jaundiced eyes see everything in the world as yellow | jaw hitting the floor / eyebrows seeking refuge in the hairline | jaw-boning persuasion / schmoozing | jaw-dropping revelations / bruising one’s jaw on one’s necktie-knot | jazz on a pipe-organ / boogie-woogie on a piccolo | jealousy is a drink best poured down the drain | jealousy is its own punishment | jeans comprise a fashion fad that will never go away | jelling in the public memory | jet-fuel of the campaign | jibe out of the wind | jiggering as a measure of incremental adjustments | jigsaw puzzle with missing pieces and no box-top picture | jitterbugging during a waltz | Job’s war-horse scenting the battle afar off | jockey looking for a horse, or vice versa | jockey strap / jockey shorts / famous jock | jockeying for legislative concessions | jogging one’s memory | johnnie-come-lately | joined at the hip | joining a militia for the middle-of-the-road view / on the middle-of-the-road one gets hit by traffic on both sides | Jonah and the whale – uh, make that a ‘big fish’ | journalists who are attracted to shiny objects, or not | journalists with subpoena envy | journey of a thousand miles beginning with a single step | joy of flight in five-abreast seating between service aisles | judging a book by its cover, or not | judicial decisions that twist logic into a pretzel / turning oneself into a pretzel, or not | judicial order to cease and desist | juggernaut | juggling chainsaws and bowling balls | juggling jobs and jokes | jukebox boogie | jump ball political contest | jump in a lake | jump on the bandwagon | jump to conclusions | jumper cables | jumping ahead in the line | jumping around like grease on a hot skillet | jumping from the frying pan into the fire | jumping ship so fast the rats were left gaping | jumping the gun | jumping the shark | jumping through hoops | jump-rope boogie | jump-shot from half-court | jump-start an economic development or stalled process | jungle justice | jungle-gym / merry-go-round / slippery-slide | junk in space otherwise known as orbital debris | junkies finding veins in their toes when those in their arms and legs no longer work | junkyard guard working graveyard | junkyard guard-dog | jury eating out of an attorney’s hand can nevertheless deliver a verdict that bites | just ‘cause a squirrel has went up a tree don’t mean he stole th’ nuts | just another day that ends in ‘y’ | just because one is done with the past does not mean that the past is done with one | just sweeping the porch is not cleaning the house | just to be clear, death is actually an alternative to taxes | juvenile caucus in a treehouse | juvenile delinquency / whining / insults | kabuki theatre / karaoke performance | kamikaze acts of loyalty / voluntary scapegoat / falling on one’s sward | kamikazes are rare in politics / a kamikaze mission is not the same as committing hara kiri | Katie, bar the door | keel-hauled / hung from a yardarm / walking the plank | keep touting that horse, or not | keeping a Geiger counter in one’s fallout shelter | keeping a person under one’s thumb | keeping a stratagem under lock and key | keeping all arms and legs inside the carnival ride | keeping both eyes peeled | keeping cash stuffed in one’s mattress | keeping matrimony as an opt-in agreement | keeping one’s ear to the ground and picking up nothing but grasshoppers / impossibility to look up when keeping one’s ear to the ground | keeping one’s eye on the ball, or not | keeping one’s eyes open is often an unpleasant task | keeping one’s finger on the pulse of a developing event / story | keeping one’s friends close and one’s enemies closer | keeping one’s kids away from rabid dogs | keeping one’s nose clean / blowing one’s nose as a sign of contempt | keeping one’s nose to the grindstone / keeping one’s nostril to the bitumen | keeping one’s own police-booking photo in one’s wallet as a souvenir | keeping one’s sword in the sheath, or not | keeping paper towels handy in a tear-jerker movie | keeping that stuff all bottled up inside | keeping the basement or attic as one’s secret slum / inner sanctum | keeping the paycheck in one’s pocket for spending at a strategic moment | keg of beer | ketchup bottle versus a firehose | key provisions are meant to unlock something | key to the executive washroom | keyboard warriors / flatscreen students | keys to the kingdom / executive restroom | Keystone Cops | kick in the pants / kick start / kick-off / drop-kick | kicked in the nuts with a steel-toed boot | kicking against the pricks | kicking ass and taking names | kicking sand in the eyes of a 97-pound weakling | kicking the bucket / bucket list | kicking the can down the road | kicking the tires | kicking unwanted information into the tall grass | kill the message not the messenger | killing a fly with an Uzi | killing fields on every continent | killing the fatted calf | killing two birds with one stone | killing with kindness / wasting an act of kindness / smothering with affection | Kilroy was here | kindling for a bonfire / throwing a lighted match on the kindling | kingmaker wanting to become king | kiss and tell | kiss of death | kissing any frog and hoping for a prince | kissing the ring of the emperor / of a campaign donor | kitchen cabinet of unofficial advisors | kitchen table issues / pocketbook subjects / a policy good for one’s wallet, or not | kitty-litter news scoop | klieg-light in a dark sky / darkened camera lens for shooting day-for-night scenes | knee in the groin / slap in the kisser / fist in the belly | kneecapping an opponent / a competitor / a snitch | knee-high to a grasshopper | knee-jerk reaction / nastiness | knee-jerk reactions against policy changes / flinch and grinch | knife through butter | knight in shining armor | knight without honor in a troubled land | knight-fork in the beginning game | knitting a sweater with wet spaghetti | knock-down drag-out fight  | knock-down-drag-out battle | knocking it out of the park | knocking on the door of opportunity | knocking the cover off the ball | knock-out punch / pack a big punch | knowing a subject like the back of one’s hand | knowing beans with the lid off the pot, or not | knowing how sausage is made / legislative sausage-making | knowing Jack Squat about something, or not | knowing one’s ass from a hole in the ground, or not | knowing pornography when one sees it | knowing shit from Shinola, or not | knowing the lyrics by heart | knowing the price of everything, the value of nothing | knowing the score, or not | knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em / if he’s got ‘em, I got ‘em to get | knowing where the bodies are buried / the less one knows the less one knows | knowing which side of the bread the butter’s on | knowing which way is up, or not | knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit | known for bringing potato salad to a Mensa social | known unknowns versus unknowable unknowns | know-nothings feasting on ignorance and fear | knuckle-dragger | knuckle-walking numb-nuts | knuckling under to the edicts of one’s party | Kumbaya agreement | laboratory curiosity, or not | lacing into an argument / opponent | lamb and lion may lie down together, but only one of them sleeps | lamb to the slaughter | lame duck presidency / congress / marriage | lancing a boil | land of milk and honey / mother’s milk in a policy | land of the terse where people speak only in holophrastic words | landing like a raindrop in an ocean of environmental issues | landslide, land-mine / land-schooner / land-mover / land-survey | lap-dancing for campaign donations / coughing up a cash donation | lap-dissolving one scene into another, not necessarily the next | last in first out | last line of defense | last one out, turn off the lights | last person standing can now sit down | last will and testament, or not | latch-key kids | latest transistor radio in one’s pocket | laughing all the way to the bank | laughingstock / giggling sincerity | launch window | launching a salvo | launching a thousand ships | launching missiles upon detecting southbound flocks of geese by radar | launching pad for a distinguished career / commercial development | laundering money / reputation / motive | laundromat love-affair / clothes dryer romance | laundry bleach and soda on the rocks with a twist | Laurel and Hardy comic caper | law of the jungle | lawmaking is a game of inches, or not | lawn-darts were dangerous for any age | laws of political reality | lawyering 101 / the key to good lawyering is to be client-focused | lawyering up one’s defense | lay a foundation | lay it on the table | laying a glove on an opponent, or not | Lazy-Susan of repeating behavior patterns | lead or follow or get out of the way | leader of a rat pack | leaders are the ones with the arrows in their bellies / a good leader neither does it all himself/herself nor takes all the credit for getting it done | leading a conga line in musical chairs | leading from behind, or not | leading the pack / by example / from behind | leading without followers is just taking a walk | lead-pipe cinch / easy as pie | leak in the dam / finger in the dike | leaking like a sieve | learned behavior instead of inherited in his or her DNA | learning by osmosis | learning how to wave goodbye in kindergarten | learning in knee-pants | learning the latest dope, or not | learning to tie one’s own shoelaces in high school | lease on life / if life is not accepted it must be changed; if life cannot be changed then it must be accepted | leaving a dirty barn for a successor | leaving embittered flotsam in one’s wake | leaving no stone unturned / no phone uncalled / no hand unshaken | leaving some wiggle room, or not | leech-based remedies using maggot medicines promoted by quacks on social media | left high and dry / afloat but becalmed | legal arsenal | legal loopholes big enough to drive a truck through | legal mumbo jumbo | legal tripwires and guard-rails | legalistic shake-and-bake | legally allowing for disinheritance prevents the neglect of aging parents | legislate in haste and repent in leisure | legislating anti-science policies is flourishing and foolish as hell | legislating is a contact sport, or not | legislation about lady-parts – by male lawmakers, of course | legislative earmarking / logrolling / sausage-making | legislative earmarks / sinkhole / viscosity | legislators / preachers / journalists frothing at the mouth | legitimate rape and God’s plan for the fetus | leisure suits made possible by elastic fabrics | lemmings’ stampede to the sea and ostrich’s head in the sand, both are myths | leopard changing his or her spots / tiger changing his or her strips, or not | less abundant than water in the Mojave | less challenging than predicting last week’s weather | less desirable than speedbumps on a freeway | less entertaining than surveillance videos | less frequent than emergency circumcisions | less likely than a Little Leaguer pitching in the World Series | less meaningful than scrawling repetitions on a blackboard after school | less practical than an ATM at the sperm bank | less promising than harvesting papayas in the Himalayas | less protection than the tissue-paper in a toilet-seat gasket / ass-gasket | less significant than a burp / belch | less valuable than a bridge located only in the middle of the river | less welcome than a pinecone suppository | let sleeping dogs lie | letter from Birmingham jail | letter of gratitude to someone who held a door open | letting a food processor do one’s chewing | letting a maxim marinate moistly in one’s mind | letting a politician skate after doomed commitment | letting down the drawbridge for the attacking hordes | letting grass grow under one’s feet, or not | letting it all hang out is healthy, or not | letting out one’s verbal clutch without one’s brain in gear | letting the cat out of the bag / pig out of the poke | letting the chips fall where they may | letting the dust settle | letting the punishment fit the crime, or not | letting the rich write the rules | letting the right hand know what the right hand doeth, or left | level the playing field | leverage an investment in an asset with debt secured by the asset | liar’s poker | licking one’s wounds | licking some dreaded disease | lickspittle lapdog | lie down with dogs wake up with fleas | lies being mother’s milk to one’s flattery / approval | life between puberty and menopause | life in a bubble | life in a fishbowl | life is like a box of chocolates since you never know exactly what you are going to get | life is what is happening while one is still making plans | life lived one tent away from a circus | life support showing a flatline | lifeblood of an enterprise / technology / economy | lifeboats standing off from the foundering ship | lifeline / life preserver / life raft | lifting a rock / rolling a log over to see what crawls out | lifting both hoods and hooking up the jumper cables | lifting the lap-bar during a roller-coaster ride / roller-coaster thrills at Kiddie-Land | lift-off for some moon-shot, or mars | light house focusing its beam through a Fresnel lens | light travels a whole lot faster than sound | lightbulb moment | lighting a candle for a saintly villain | lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness | lighting a fuse | lighting candles / incense to honor one’s boss | lightning bolt | lightning in a bottle / bolt from the blue on a clear day | lightning rod on a church steeple | lights, camera, action | light-years away / light-emitting diodes are slower than dark-emitting diodes / wherever there is light, dark was there first | like a beetle on its back flailing its legs | like trying to put both slippers on the same foot | liking the cut of his or her jib, or not | lily-livered peacenik / wooly-headed liberal | limousine driver wearing bib-overalls | linchpin of one’s policy / securing a wheel on its axle / wheels coming off the bandwagon | linchpin versus bell-weather | line in the sand | line of sight | linguistic deodorant | lining one’s pockets | lion's share, or not | lips are sealed | lip-sinking during a karaoke performance | lipstick-and-stiletto management style | lip-synching the words of a tyrant | listening on earbuds in secret / unnoticed | listing limits one by one then overcoming them all at once | litmus test | Little Bo Peep counting her sheep | little engine that could | little old lady in tennis shoes | live by the sword die by the sword / diving on one’s own grenade | live wire threatening shock / producing sparks | living as a doorknob, or not | living from hand to mouth / from paycheck to paycheck | living in a bubble / a cave | living the back-nine of one’s life | living through humpty dumpty times | loaded for bear | loaded to the Plimsol mark painted on the hull | loading the spring on a backlash | loaves into fishes / water into wine | lobbing into the debate a live hand grenade / pulling the pin on a hand grenade, or not | lobbying for a matrimonial commitment on the first date, or not | lobbyist in the woodpile | lobotomy versus straitjacket | lock and load / hammer cocked | locked and loaded | locked-in low-ball (64321) is the only guaranteed winning hand | locking horns with a challenger | locking the barn door after the horse escaped / hitting a barn door with a beach ball | locks keep an honest man honest, thieves will break locks and steal | lock-step agreement | locomotive as distinguished from a draught vehicle | lodestar for guiding one’s moral guidance / come-to-Jesus moment | lodestar of ideas | lofty title as a giant robe hanging loose upon a dwarfish scoundrel | logic getting drowned out by emotion | logrolling | logrolling legislation | logrolling political favors | Lone Ranger in the legislature | lone-wolf versus wolf-pack | long ago that train has left the station / that ship has already sailed away | long for this world, or not | long in the tooth | long knives are out / long odds and high stakes | long pole in the tent | longbows have been replaced by Kalashnikovs | longest sword, strongest lungs, most voices are each false measures of truth | long-hair music | look before you leap | looking a gift horse in the mouth or any other orifice | looking behind curtain number two | looking down from a lofty perch | looking for bacteria in a pile of dung | looking him or her in the eye and tell him or her that his or her feet stink | looking through one’s fingers at the iniquity instead of avenging it | looking under the lamppost for keys that were lost in a gutter because the light is better | loose cannon on a rolling deck | loose in the saddle / riding side-saddle | loose lips sink ships | Lord willing and the river don’t rise | lose a sock in the dryer and it comes back as a plastic lid that does not fit any container | losing a quarter in one’s dimple | losing control of one’s sphincter, or not | losing one’s bearings | losing one’s face / holding one’s head high | losing one’s grip | losing one’s mojo / getting one’s mojo back | losing one’s skate-key | lost in space | lost in the dark / in the forest / in the rain / in one’s own thoughts | lost without a map / or a GPS | lots of sizzle but no steak / selling the sizzle not the steak | loudness of an argument versus the logic with which it is made  | lounge lizard | lounge-singer lifestyle | love, honor, and whatever | lowballing a proposal then overrunning the contract | low-bar criterion for responsible behavior | lower than a snake's belly in a wagon-wheel rut / lower than whale barf in the bottom of the ocean / imagine a qualification bar for Cabinet posts so low that only ants and caterpillars can get under it | lowest common denominator | low-key speaking can make listeners sleepy | loyal opposition is merely a quaint phrase, or not | luck is getting out of jail free then landing on Boardwalk | Lucy holding Charlie Brown’s place-kick | lump of coal in one’s Christmas stocking | luxury car with radio, heater, and overdrive | luxury rust bucket | lying low / keeping one’s powder dry / keeping one’s sneakers laced up / holding one’s horses | lying low to be above the fray | lynch mob mentality | lynchpin for an assertion | Lysistrata’s peace initiative | Machaca moment | Machiavellian plot / ploy | macho intolerance for nuance | magical forces / numbers / symbols / texts / thinking | magnetic fields / personalities | magnetic resonance imaging to display your innermost thoughts | magnets on a refrigerator for a child’s crayon drawings | magnifying mirror / lens | magpie collection | mailing in a box-top to get a decoder-ring | mail-order catalogs and cash registers going the way of the typewriter | major corporations are being succored by the nanny state | make God laugh, tell Him you have made plans | make-shift / jury-rigged / ad hoc | making ‘stupid’ from concentrate and forgetting to add the water | making a beeline from A to B / estimated distance as the crow flies / ‘far-cry’ as distance | making a big splash in the water hazard | making a dent in the accomplishment of some goal, or not | making a double bank-shot | making a down payment | making a long story even longer / shrinking a lengthy narration into a miniscule anecdote | making a mountain out of a molehill, or not | making a pact with the devil | making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear | making a splash with an announcement, or not | making a virtue of necessity, or vice versa | making budget cuts with a chain saw not a scalpel | making common cause with one’s enemy | making friends with the alligators before swimming in the swamp | making hay out of something other than hay | making heroic assumptions about the future | making lemonade if all one has is a lemon | making mincemeat of an idea / proposal / opinion | making moves on cat’s feet | making new friends in the petri dish | making one’s bed then lying down in it | making one’s bones for status | making one’s hair stand on end | making out in the backseat / taking a backseat to nobody | making out like a bandit | making peace means talking to your enemies more than to your friends | making predictions based on one’s Bingo card | making promises with secret expiration dates | making Shakespeare read like Dr. Seuss | making spider-web patterns in safety glass with one’s forehead | making stones cry | making sure to kiss the other (facial) cheek | making the ‘ask’ for campaign financial support | making the trains run on time, or not | making the wish the proverbial father of the thought | making victims pay for sexual-assault evidence kits | making Watergate look like pee on a tree | mama grizzly | management / political consulting confined to the gig economy | management by reference to Cliff notes | management of relationship tension | managers look through frosted glass, the CEO is surrounded by mirrors | man-bites-dog cliché / routine dog-bites-man story / nipping at one’s heels | mandate by state governments for vaginal ultrasound | mandatory triple-axel | mangling / mulching / mincing one’s words, or not | man-in-the-middle attack for meddling / cryptographic eavesdropping | man-made debris in space becoming the nemesis of orbital missions | manna / pennies from heaven | manner to invert the order of nature | manning up an empty scrotum with a codpiece, or not | manspreading in a subway seat | manufactured house is preferred nomenclature for mobile home | manure-spreader in a windstorm | many a slip between cup and lip / between one’s vertebrae and hip | many political jokes get elected / selecting a chestnut as candidate | mapping out a winning strategy / war-gaming it out | marathon not a sprint | marathon testimony / performance / fundraising effort | marching in lockstep | marching out of Sunday-school singing Onward Christian Soldiers / singing from the same political hymnal | margarine competing with the ubiquitous comestible | marinating in media moonshine | marital retread | marketing pharmaceuticals for lethal injections | marking a trail with breadcrumbs / trail-blazing on the frontier | marks in doorjambs to keep track of a child’s growth | marriage is no longer for fanatics | marriage of convenience | marshmallow on a stick at a campfire | mashed potatoes for a brain | masked ball / mosquitos at a nudist colony | mass incarceration regime | massage therapist for the candidate in the opposition party | materials for home projects include wire coat-hangers and duct-tape | matrimonial trampoline | matter of cold hard logic | matter too big for weak folks and too deep for simple | maybe God must actually obey the laws of physics | meagre achievements from gang-buster efforts | mean-free path for gauging interactions among individuals | mean-free path through interfering obstacles / path of least resistance | means justifying the ends is best justified for recreation | meat and potatoes kind of guy | mechanical augmentation by brassieres and high heels | meddle not in the affairs of dragons for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup | media scandal investigations going into overdrive | media treatment of a face-lift as a cosmetic event throughout the galaxy | medicine too strong for the illness, or not | medium is the message and candidates mirror the masses | meet-and-greet event | megaphone for the encyclical | melody line featured in a typical rap selection | meltdown in anger / in crazy behavior / if this isn’t crazy it’ll do until crazy gets here | meltdown of a nuclear reactor | melting one’s heart | melting-pot population / forged by sensible immigration policies and good will | members of a motorcycle gang wearing ties and tuxes | members of the Woodstock generation now have teenagers and mortgages | memory like a battering ram | memory like a sieve | men lie, women lie, numbers do not lie | mending fences versus building walls | mental elevator not reaching the top floor | mentally out of kilter | mentioning rope to a family where there has been a hanging | mercurial temperament / hot is the opposite of cool / cold is the opposite of cool | mere mortal | merely a bagman collecting vigorish | merely a member of the Twitter mob pulling pins and lobbing social grenades | message in a bottle | metal detectors being triggered by orthodontic appliances | metallic anatomic machismo like brass balls and iron ass | metaphors that are impossible make my blood boil | meteoric rise is an oxymoron | metric system of measurement is designed for people with ten fingers | mice belling the cat, or not | Mickey Mouse design feature / inventing a better mouse trap, or not | microscope for finding flaws | Midas touch / Midas touch in reverse | mid-course correction | midnight ride of Paul Revere | midterm election | midwifery for bringing forth bad ideas | mighty big for one’s britches | military bloodbath | military tactics / strategies / advances / retreats / blunders / expectations | milk of human kindness | milking an argument for all it’s worth | millennials and generation X | millionaire in a pawnshop | mind of the mob | mind-blowing event | minding one’s Ps and Qs / pints and quarts | minefield of political correctness | minefields in religious dogma | minimum wage for medical interns | miniskirt in a hurricane | minor offenses like tearing off one’s mattress tags / jaywalking | miss is as good as a mile / 1.6 kilometers | missing a bet, or not | missing a goal by air-ball | missing a putt on the eighteenth hole | missing a tie-breaking free-throw at the final buzzer | missing an easy lay-up / dropping the ball, or not | missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity / looking askance at an opportunity | missing card in the deck | missing in action | missing something / some person like and amputated limb | missing the boat / train / point | mission creep | mistaken identity during pillow-talk | mistaking a rose stem for a rectal thermometer | mixed bag of right and wrong, truth and falsity, good and bad | mocking one’s position replaced by whining about one’s tone | modeling clay in the hands of a child | modern beatitudes of guns, greed, and jingoism | modern firemen wear belts plus suspenders of various colors | modern milk processes include pasteurizing and cream separation | modesty of a pole-dancer at a bachelor party / serving only tea at a bachelor party | Molotov cocktail | moment of truth / Zen | momentum and inertia / the big ‘mo’ in electoral politics | Monday-morning quarterback | money can buy happiness, or not | money growing on trees, or not | money in the bank means it’s a sure thing | mongoose invading the chicken coop | monkey see monkey do | monkeys in a row covering their eyes, ears, and mouth | monkey-wrench French | Monopoly money | montage / lily-pad treatment of a subject in an advocacy video | montage on Comedy Central | moon-landing denier | moonlighting a second career | moral compass or GPS for pandering issues | more attention than the last parking space in the mall on Christmas eve | more constrained than a brook in a canyon | more dangerous than a hydrogen-filled airship | more hair growing out of either nostril than atop the head of one’s rival | more holes than Swiss cheese | more horses' asses than horses | more intelligence from stuff blown out of one’s nose | more leaks than placing webcams in every room at the White House | more like a snake pit than an office environment | more mistakes than one can shake a stick at | more nervous than a porcupine sneaking into a balloon factory | more promising than cold fusion | more surprised than a porch pirate opening a gift-wrapped stink bomb | more than one elephant drinking from the same thimble | more than one way to skin a cat / to bake a cake | more toxic than a creek flowing out of an arsenic mine | morphing one’s opinion into that of one’s opposition | mortal sin / immortal righteousness | mortgage-burning party | mosquito with a spot on his back the size of a nickel | most ionized moment for adjusting one’s knowledge / behavior | most memorable slogans are hard to forget | mote in the eye | moth drawn to the candle flame / knowing a moth from a butterfly, or not | mother lode of scripturally sanctioned atrocities | mother of all battles / wars / spending sprees | motherhood and apple pie / return to the mothership / components being plugged into the motherboard | motor-mouth domination of chats and commentaries | mouth-breather with tobacco-stained teeth | movable type printing press | move in one second or forfeit in two, that’s rapid-transit chess in the extreme | movers and shakers / rainmaker | movie screen fading to black / rolling the credits | moving parts in a political machine / issue | moving the goal posts / raising the bar | moving the needle | mowing the lawn with nail clippers / pulling up weeds with tweezers | muddying the waters, or not / perfectly muddy waters | mud-slinging rhetoric | mud-wrestling fashions | mugger with facial tattoos | mug-shot grin | multi-level marketing programs as pyramid schemes | multiple radar blips for the same airplane cannot mean good news for that flight | multitasking means reading on the toilet | muscle memory / political reflexes | mushroom cloud | mushroom management keeps subordinates in the dark, buried in shit, and when they stick up their heads, cut ‘em off and can ‘em | mushrooming into a political issue | music so dull that when the waiter dropped his tray, everyone got up to dance | musical chairs for departmental reorganization and for management shake-ups | musical sound from snapping can-lids | mystery meat | mythological creatures include unicorns and welfare queens driving Cadillacs | myths for the moment, realities for eternity | nadir / low ebb | nail that sticks out is the one that gets pounded in | nail-biter vote-count | nailed to the wall with a spear | nailing butterflies to the wall | nailing it, whatever it is | nail-salon offering discount manicures for amputees | naked ambition in a three-piece suit | name of the game | names aplenty on one’s Rolodex | naming a grown-up childhood monster to manage a daycare facility | narcissistic cults of super-heroic characters / cult-hopping | narrative clothing on a bare-bones concept | narrower than a needle’s eye | natural selection is ineffective when parents do dangerously stupid things | natural selection means the holes pick the pegs not vice versa / round pegs trying to fit square holes | nature abhors a vacuum, history abhors a secret / a secret is something you thought up in the shower this morning and haven't told anyone yet / a secret is something you tell one person at a time  / only to a person who promises not to tell anyone else | nature sprawling in the countryside | navigating by homing pigeon / to pigeon-hole a proposal / request / resolution | navigating the vessel using a lamp held up at the stern | near-missed collision / near collision unmissed | necessity is the mother of invention, or vice versa (for the best inventions) | neck and neck / photo-finish / winning by a nose / nostril | neck-snapping change in policy | neck-snapping reversal in political position | necktie and starched shirt in an empty suit | nectar of the gods mixed with tears of angels | need for the winning ticket in the Irish sweepstakes, or not | needing a food-taster for personal safety | needing a hole in the head, or not | needing a Venn diagram to discern overlapping jurisdictions / concepts | needing a Zamboni to smooth over one’s hard feelings | needing something or someone like a toothache / a hole in the head | needle in a haystack / ant colony in Texas | needle in the groove | needling stratagem for getting one’s way | neglecting one’s rearview mirror | neighbor’s big dog with healthy turds versus yapping mutt with diarrhea | neighborhood of the un-neighborly owners where every house has a swimming pool / neck of the woods | neither girls nor bicycles can climb trees, same for boys on bicycles | neither top notch nor bottom of the barrel / merely punching notches on one’s belt | neon signs on a whorehouse | nervous as a long-tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs | nervous as a nun in pregnancy | nervous break-down / marital break-up / new-car break-in / prison break-out | nervously biting one’s toenails / nail-biter balloting | never watching that first day of kindergarten on videotape / like throwing a puppy in the middle of a kindergarten class | never wrestle with a pig; you both get dirty, but the pig likes it / coming to grips in a wrestling match | new sheriff in town | new-car smell in an aerosol can | news coverage of planes landing / grass growing / paint drying / concrete hardening | news release pin-balling through the media | news story with legs / traction / popularity | news-anchor analysis of events and opinions | news-gods getting drunk | newspapers are the first draft of history | next batter in the on-deck circle | nimble from a thimble to bender from a blender | nip in the bud or harvesting harm | nitroglycerin in the rhetorical mix | no deal is better than a bad deal / a good deal may not be perceived as such by all sides | no harm no foul / no scream no scowl | no more pretentious than a lunch-pail guy | no news is good news, or bad | no pain no gain / no stink no stain | no scientific controversy about Newton’s Apple only about climate change | noble sentiments enrich one’s soul, but corruption pays the bills | nobody ever comes from there except whores and hockey players; what team do you play for? | nodding off / taking a snooze / catching some Zs | nonchalant to beat the band | nose for news / an ear for gossip | not knowing squat, or Jack shit about a subject / for Pete’s sake, who is Pete? | not letting one’s right hand know what the left hand is donating | nothing being more disruptive in a business meeting like a loud belch | nothing but miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles | nothing but sounds of crickets and frogs / the frog and the scorpion | nothing focuses the mind at night like an execution in the morning | nothing is less useful than a tripod with fewer than three legs | nothing more than a limp handshake with sweaty palms | nothing to see but barcodes on blister-packs | nothing to see here | nothing to sneeze at / to piss on or to fumble away / to botch or not to botch | nuclear option / ground zero / overkill | nuclear-powered seagoing vessel or a plant for electricity production | nudging a bull snoozing in a meadow | nuisances are like slalom flags | numb nuts and fried brains | number of ways to skin that cat | numbers that are off the chart | nun snapping one’s hands with a ruler in catechism class | nuts and bolts | nuts falling exceptionally far from the tree, or not | obeying the call of nature / seeing a man about a horse | objects in the side mirrors may be closer than they appear | obligation that is a pain in the neck / located down beyond the lower back | obligatory greeting cards for holidays and personal events | obscuring by squid-ink / nuclear submarine engulfed by a giant squid | obsequious lapdog / adulatory sycophant | obtaining advice from the legal firm of gin and tonic | obvious things are not always apparent | ocean liner plowing choppy waters | off the rails | off the wall / over the wall / over the side / over the top | off-beat humor | offensive utterances with an unlimited vocabulary from the a-word to the f-word | offering an olive branch | offering up someone’s head on a platter / serving incriminating evidence to the prosecution on a silver platter | officers’ caps festooned with scrambled eggs | official pronouncements offered as bromides for public unrest | off-ramp for political concessions | offshore storm making landfall | off-sides penalty | off-the-cuff remarks / cheating / cribbing | oh well, back to the drawing board | oil wells in the middle of the city on a hill | old habits die hard | older means getting late earlier | older than the hills, or not | old-fashioned dongle now replaced by a thumb-drive loaded with gigabytes | old-fashioned shoe-leather journalism / dam-bursting journalistic impact | on the fence | once hard ice melts, spring comes and flowers bloom / the bloom is off the rose, or not | once in a blue moon | one argument falling flat / one holding water, or not | one bad apple can spoil the bunch | one bean short of a basic burrito / one sandwich short of a complete picnic / one brick short of a full load / not the sharpest tool in the shed / more loose screws than a hardware store in an earthquake | one cannot drive around the block without breaking some traffic law | one cannot live by bread alone | one cannot talk a person out of what they have not been talked into | one cannot un-ringing the bell / put toothpaste back in the tube / clear as a bell | one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a box of matches to start a campfire | one does not have to be smart to outsmart most people | one fell swoop | one hand clapping | one hand offers only the most awful options, the other hand has five fingers | one hand tied behind one’s back | one has already seen that dog eating grass | one has but a few toys in the attic | one loses only when one quits | one man / woman serving two masters / mistresses | one man’s ceiling is another man’s floor | one man’s trash is another man’s treasure / same for woman’s | one nation indivisible versus a house divided with itself | one never actually grows up – only learns how to act in public | one never knows who is swimming naked until the tide goes out | one size fits all, or not | one swallow does not make a spring or prevent a burp | one turd ruins the whole punchbowl | one who actually knows Jack Shit personally, or not | one will never reach one’s destination if one stops to throw stones at every dog that barks | one wonders where the yellow went, or maybe not | one’s ears are like flowers – cauliflowers | one’s position winding up as a setup for hypocrisy  | one’s sword is mightier than one’s pen without ink | one’s triumphant competitor eating one’s lunch | one-eyed jacks are wild / jacks or better to open / showing one’s openers | one-finger salute | one-upping a rival / one-up-man-ship | one-upping one another | one-way street / fork in the road / crossroads / cul-de-sac | onion skin tracing paper | only game in town | only needing a parachute to skydive – more than once | on-ramp or off-ramp / acceleration or deceleration lane / slip-road or turnout | oops-moment in a debate or a marriage proposal | opaque windows on a stretch limousine | open and shut case | open microphone gaffe | open season on opposition journalists / activists | opening a can of worms | opening an unmarked box of candy | opening lines of a political obituary | opening Pandora’s box | opening the mail over the recycling bin | opening the starting gate and the horse just lies down | openly expressing an honest opinion with a yawn | opera glasses at a baseball game to catch the opposing coach’s signals | operating a sewing machine with a smartphone app | operating like a 1970s video game with the white ball pinging within the black triangle | operating the train from the caboose | operator’s manual for a stapler | opinions expressed with the timidity of cannonballs | opinions that disappear like skywriting | opinions written in disappearing ink | opponent being out for blood | opposite charges attract, like charges repel | opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference | opposite of not wrong is not right | opposition ends at the water’s edge, or not | optimism with the glass half empty depends on what was in the glass when it was full | oral contraceptives at the beginning of the post-pill revolution | orchestrating a criminal operation / political campaign / business policies | orchestrating a management change | ordering from the tailor a three-piece swimsuit | ordinary run of the mill, or not | organizational roadblocks and administrative detours | organizing a two-car parade, or not | ostrich-like oblivion is not a valid metaphor | ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure / a milligram of prevention equals a kilogram of cure | out for blood | out in left field / in the cold | out of bounds | out of synch / touch | out on a called third strike | out to lunch mentally | outboard motor on a luxury cruise-ship / on a canoe | outbreak vs break-out / break-in vs break-out | outlawed like free grocery bags whether paper or plastic | outrunning the grim reaper, or not | over one’s shoulder view during the frog-walk | over the rainbow | over the top exaggeration | over the transom / arms-length relationship | over the transom opportunity / recommendation | overdose on politics / Olympics / Super Bowl | overdosing on Viagra | overhyping public expectations then the vault turns out to be empty / finding the Capone vault empty / finding the Capone vault empty | overlaps on a Venn diagram / since there are no overlapping areas of agreement, political Venn diagrams are dead | overloading one’s washing machine | over-the-counter medications for a nasal-retentive political hack | oxymoronic as kosher ham / a hardtop convertible | ozone layer and acid rain | pace-car at a drag-race | padded dashboard | padding the P-and-L / balance sheet / expense account | paddling one’s canoe over a waterfall / epic douche canoe | pagan religion / practitioner / folklore | pain in the ass | paint by the numbers | painting a house with a nail polish brush | painting oneself into a corner | painting the walls while the plaster is still wet | painting with a broad brush | paleface speak with forked tongue | palmistry for ascertaining one’s personal future | palm-to-the-forehead / hey, face, meet palm | panning in chroma-key | panning out a suspicion, or not | panties snooper | pantomimed contradiction to verbal expression | pants on fire liar | pants-suits and pantyhose | panty-raid in the coed dorm | paper money is hard currency that one can fold | paper money is only paper unless people believe in its value | paper tiger / paper machete / paper moon | papering over an imperfection / an indiscretion | par for the course / sand-trap / shank shot / chip onto the green / slice into the rough / plopping into a water hazard / sinking a hole-in-one / curling off the rim of the cup | parachute needed not an umbrella | parades without stock tickers any more | paradigm shift / fault | parallel parking in Paris | paralyze a city / state / nation | paranoia may be appropriate for some people / some people are like gum on the sole of one’s shoe, hard to make go away | paranoiacs are threatened by their own worst enemies | parboiling interview questions | pardon my French | parent’s verbal proscriptions versus avuncular vernacular | parents with benefit of clergy, or not | pariah status | parking one’s ego at the door | partisan irony and satire buried together in a backened valley where they drain coal ash / swept into the ash heap of history | passengers taking the side of the hijacker | passing a kidney stone | passing bills into laws that merely name post offices | passing muster, or not / changing of the guard | passing out pacifiers at a crowd-rage | passing the buck / shouldering the blame | passing the hat for contributions | passing the sniff test / smell test, or not / an assertion holding water, or not | passing the straight-face test, or not / passing muster | passion is the logic of the heart / identify the bleeding heart of the matter | passionately kissing one’s sister | past may be prologue, but it’s nothing like what it used to be | past-posting means placing one’s bet after the wheel has stopped spinning / after the horses cross the finish line | pat on the back / attaboys / contortions required for giving oneself a pat on the back | patent portfolio full of practical inventions, or not | pathway to the gallows that focuses the mind | patience of Job | patience testing negative | patina of respectability | patron saint of losers / braggarts / polymaths | paving the way for controversial action | pay it forward | pay no attention to the man behind the curtain | pay the check, I’ll get the tip | pay the piper and call the tune / pied piper | pay to play / quid-pro-quo donation | pay-for-play political corruption | paying alimony / bribes / blackmail / vigorish | paying sales commissions in cash at the racetrack | payola for publicity | payola offered versus squeeze demanded | pay-toilet in a dysentery ward | peace offensive / offering / smoking the peace-pipe | peach-colored complexion | peanut gallery | pearly gates / streets paved with gold / celestial choir | pearly teeth and oyster breath | pea-soup fog / wind-blown hair / rain-soaked streets | pecking order | pecking the ground hardly demonstrates courage | pedal-to-the-metal / getting up to speed / putting on the brakes / binders | pedestrians in a crosswalk | peeping-tom surveillance | pen (with ink) is mightier than the sword | penalty box / doing time off the ice | penalty stroke | pencil prick | pencil-whipping safety inspection checkboxes | pendulum clock that chimes in the night | pendulum that has swung too far | penis-envy | penny for your thought | penny saved is a penny earned | penny wise, pound foolish | penny-ante poker / politics / propositions | people clapping like a bunch of seals | people in Hell want ice water | people in organizations who are called upon to put out fires often get burned | people pleaser / charmer | people who live in glass houses shouldn’t take showers | people who live in grass houses shouldn’t smoke pot | pepperoni on pizza / anchovies in a salad | pep-talk versus policy speech | perfect penmanship / pitch | perfect storm / atmospheric hurricanes accompanied by extreme tidal surges / weather trifecta / trifecta in parimutuel wagering / in successful policies | perfection is the enemy of the good / ideal is the enemy of the acceptable | performing an about-face on policy / flip-flopping | performing triage at the scene of an accident / in selection of lay-offs | performing under the spell of Svengali | performing with an organ grinder and a dancing monkey | performing with the use of smoke and mirrors / deploying a fog-machine in a debate | perhaps the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese | periodic table for zodiacal signs | perking up one’s ears | persistent truther saying I kid you not | person without sin throw the first stone | personal chaos theory | personal clone | personal watercraft / surfboards to jet-skis / electric hydrofoil | personality disorder is a hard-wired way of being | personality transplant | persuasion by PowerPoint | persuasion by twisting arms / trading favors | petroleum age death rattle | phalanx of obstacles blocking one’s path / to vote in some precincts requires one to run a goddam obstacle course | phantom limbs | phone ringing off the hook | phony promises for one’s acolytes / fly-by-night operations / enterprises | photocopying by xerography means cloning of documents | photographic exhibit of images captured from weather satellites | photographic film now obsoleted in both cameras and projectors | phrenology for ascertaining one’s personality | physician, heal thyself / politician, behave yourself | pianissimo shout-out | pick of the litter / runt of the litter | picking a scab on a healing wound / ripping a bandage off | picking flyspecks out of horseshit | picking oneself up by one’s bootstraps | pickup basketball team / jump-ball / both toes over the free-throw line / toss-up jump ball at half-court / double dribble / plenty of time on the shot-clock, or not | pick-up game with shirts and skins | pick-up line at a coed summer camp | picture on milk-cartons | pig in a poke / foolishly poking the bear | pig in a python / legislation in the Senate resembles a pig in a python | piggie-bank / nest-age / mattress stuffed with coin-of-the-realm  | piggybacking on public relations notices / piggy bank | pigs always eat at the same place in their troughs / corrupt legislators feed at the trough of public revenues / public gluttony besmirching the reputations of pigs | pigs do fly, so maybe Hell has indeed frozen over | pigtail versus pig’s tail / pony tail versus pony’s tail | piling on the tackled player after the whistle is blown / blind-sided in the back field | pillar of political rectitude | pillar of salt on the hill overlooking Sodom and Gomorrah | pillow-talk espionage | pilot fish under the chin of a shark | pimple coming to a head | pimple on the ass | piñata of guilty disclosures / singing like a canary | pinball machine with bells ringing and lights flashing | pinching oneself to dispel a dream / to confirm a realization / a dizzying revelation | pinhead logic / fuzzy logic / more artificial than intelligent | pinning the tail on the donkey | pins and needles | pint-a-pound the world around | piss and moan / piss and vinegar | pissing up a rope | pit-boss in a casino | pit-bull in an argument | pitch perfect points | pitchfork fundamentalists | pity the tuba player | pivotal moment / hinge of fate / fulcrum for leverage | pizza without anchovies or pepperoni or onions | placing seven letters in one turn to score a Scrabble | plagiarism by copy machine is made risky by search engines | plain as the nose on one’s face | plank in one’s platform, or not | planning for the unintended consequences | planting seeds of doubts / discontent / despair | platitudinous platform / euphoric euphemisms | plausible deniability for a child’s mischief | play book with all those Xs and Os | play-action pass | playbook / behavioral template | playground ploy to bash bullies | playing 52-card pickup | playing a honky-tonk piano in a smoke-filled bar / a brothel / either playing by ear or  using one’s hands | playing a pat-hand | playing a rôle to the hilt / dogmatic believing to the hilt | playing a shell game with the facts | playing a trump card | playing ball as cooperating in a scheme | playing castanets during a funeral dirge | playing catch in the middle of a forest fire, or not | playing checkers instead of chess / after the game the king and every pawn go into the same box | playing chicken on the turnpike | playing dodgeball on the playground | playing down a revelation in the news, or up | playing eeny meeny miney moe / playing duck duck goose / loves me loves me not | playing fast and loose with the rules of the game | playing footsie with the facts / a serious matter | playing golf with God | playing hardball with one’s queries | playing in a sandbox | playing it down the middle | playing lawn-darts with stinger missiles | playing Lucy and Charlie’s football routine | playing on the same sheet of music, or not | playing one’s cards close to one’s vest / playing one’s antagonist like a blue-grass fiddle | playing pickup sticks with one’s butt cheeks | playing ping-pong with a beach ball / medicine ball | playing slap and tickle | playing spin-the-bottle to select an alternative | playing stickball in the alley | playing the ball where it lies | playing the devil’s advocate | playing the field in romances | playing the game of Simon-says | playing the hand that one is dealt / bad hand / pat hand | playing the long game | playing the race-card | playing video games in study-hall | playing with a full deck, or not | playing with fire | playing with matches | playing with the house’s money | play-money under Gresham’s law | pleading the fifth | pledging generously and penuriously when ponying up hard cash | plentiful as worms in a compost barrel / as the worm turns / has turned, or not | plentiful piercings plus pubic pigtails | plentiful road-signs like a trip through the Yellow Pages | plenty more fishes in the sea | plenty of car-chase scenes with pyrotechnics, or not | plenty of hand-waving when argument is weak | plenty of meat on the bones, or not | plenty of push-water in the tank | plop plop fizz fizz, oh what a relief it is | plowing around the stump | plowing the ground in the rain | plowing the same ground | ploy on words | plucking emotional cords for bipartisan harmony / not a dry eye in the house | plug and play / point and click / drag and drop | plumbing the depths of an issue / subject | plump, maybe, but winning his or her private struggle against obesity | pocketbook issues / deep pockets, or not | pocketing the credit / pocketing the buck on the way up | pod people / body snatchers / extraterrestrial visitors | point blank range | point gun at foot, pull trigger, mop up blood | point of no return | pointed arguments being used as lances when jousting / verbal jousting matches | pointing a loaded gun | pointing and clicking with one’s computer mouse, and also hovering sometimes | pointing guns at one another in a Mexican standoff | poisoning a cyanide factory | poisoning the well, or not | poison-pill legislative amendment / rider | poke in the eye with a sharp stick | poking a stick in one’s cage | pole-vault over the truth / leapfrog over your own team-mate | pole-vaulting over the border fence | political / partisan blood sport / death match | political correctness appropriated by bigotry | political drama turning into a Greek tragedy | political ecosystem | political efforts to problematize an opponent’s biases | political eunuchs | political fault-line | political football / ping-pong match / chew-toy | political heavyweight, or not / throwing one’s weight around | political immolation | political inertia / viscosity | political landscape | political malpractice | political orbits of influence and popularity | political Pablum | political panic taking the form of Jesus take the wheel | political party insider / tapeworm | political piñata | political platform | political self-immolation | political theater | political windsock | politicians can be smarter than scientists, or not | politics is a game of addition not subtraction | politics is a spectator sport, or not | poll-tested policy proposal | pollution at sea is what smokestacks are for | Pollyanna optimism | Pollyanna with a moustache | polygraph test at one’s wedding | polywater in the punchbowl | pondering complex issues in white-water rapids | poor / silent as church mice | poor kids splashing in potholes on the highway | poor people can never be made to suffer enough | popping Champaign corks | popsicle in a polyethylene package | popularity lower than protests favoring a filibuster / lower than toenail fungus | population explosion / document deluge | pork-barrel spending limits | pornographic Rorschach test | porpoised-landing at the end of one’s otherwise perfect check-flight | port and starboard, bulkhead and deck, little round window in the side | porterage nesting in a blind | port-o’-call on one’s honeymoon itinerary | portrait of a comedian who does not ever expect to run for public office | portraying oneself as an innocent stepping out of a brothel in bug-eyed astonishment about scenes of debauchery witnessed therein | positive feedback runaway / loops | possessing one’s brioche is precluded by one’s consumption of it | possibility of parking in Paris | postage stamps assure an envelope will be opened; metered postage not so much | posterchild for a cause / corruption | poster-paint for marking bumpers to measure traffic patterns out of parking lots | post-modern style / fashion / opinion / awareness | pot calling the kettle black / or vice versa – if either could talk, of course | potato in the exhaust pipe | potbelly and tobacco-stained teeth | potholes in the pavement of history | pound sand can be taken as an impolite rejection | pounding the pavement | pour on gasoline and strike a match | pour poison into water; the water is still there but don’t drink it | pour vinegar in a glass of milk | pouring chicken-broth over ice-cream in a sugar cone | pouring gasoline on a blaze / quenching a fire with diesel fuel | pouring gravy on a gelatin dessert | pouring hot coals on one’s head / walking over a bed of coals | pouring sand in the wheel-bearings / gears / the squeaky wheel gets the grease | pouting to get one’s way from parents / teachers / bosses / government | powder keg situations are dangerous, and their outcomes depend on who holds the match | power of attorney | power steering and antilock brakes | power vacuum | powerful bimbos | practice course for the Baja Badlands race | practice makes for tedium at the keyboard | praise in public, criticize in private | praising with faint damnation | pranging one’s nose-gear in a down-wind landing | preaching to the choir | precedence always guides politics; until it doesn’t | precognition by tea-leaf scrutinizing / crystal-ball gazing / taro-card reading / palmistry | preferred location for when the shit hits the fan | pregnant parental pilot with one in the hangar and one on the ramp | pregnant pause | prenuptial agreement for electing a candidate | prescribing tampons for birth control | preservation is cheaper than restoration / a stitch in time saves nine | presidential debates morphing from charade to reality-parody / an estimate and the reality not being in the same zip-code / ballpark | pressing the flesh | pressure cooker | pressure ratio of a turbojet engine for getting someplace quickly | prettifying life | preview of Armageddon on the evening news | prime numbers from the sieve of Eratosthenes | priming the pump | primrose path / tiptoe through the tulips | printing a proposal on toilet paper | prisoner in a cell typing out poetry in Morse code on a toilet pipe | prison-yard spotlight | privatize the profits, nationalize the costs / corporate welfare / subsidies | privileged / damaging information being kept on the down-low | prize-winning canvas from random globs of acrylics in airplane prop wash | problems from the ready-get-set-go / right from the git-go | problems so bad even atheists pray for solutions | prodigal son’s return to a welcoming feast | products flying off the shelves | profound illiterates know better than to believe such nonsense | program / budget on the chopping block | progress milestone / waypoint / checkpoint / landmark / benchmark | progressive policies opposed by regressive souls | promised land | promising a chicken in every pot and a war on every continent | proof of the pudding is in the tasting | proposal for putting to sleep by a veterinarian | proposals are on the table, but all bets are off / in for a penny in for a pound / buck | proposed policy versus political ploy | proposition by Humpty Dumpty / Tweedledum and Tweedledee | prosecuting with the precision of an acupuncturist | protecting the nation from second amendment remedies | protectionism is like blockading one’s own ports | protesting the height of grass in the infield | prototypical scoundrel / psychopath | providing circuses to a population in need of bread | psychotics with neuroses of steel | public address amplifier / loudspeaker | public address announcement in a supermarket / clean-up on aisle three | public address howling from microphone feedback | public attention span is four minutes, memory four weeks | public figure with sharp elbows and political ambitions | public memory is like Etch-a-Sketch / one historical event that is etched into our memories forever | public persona resembling jazz rather than earnest folk music / difference between a disk-jockey and a band leader | public positions that resonate with voters | public relations gimmick | pugilists in the squared circle | puking in the pulpit | pull it up by its roots and pour acid down the hole | pull out all the stops | pulling a pin out of a grenade and putting it in one’s mouth | pulling a rabbit out of a hat | pulling a thread to unravel an issue / pulling the threads on a blanket assertion / lots of dangling threads to pull / threading the needle | pulling for something generally works as well as praying for it | pulling off an adhesive bandage | pulling out all the stops on a pipe organ | pulling out one’s hair with chagrin / having a bad hair day | pulling pace for the peloton | pulling rank | pulling the pin and tossing the grenade | pulling the plug | pulling the rug out from under someone / thing, or not | pulling the strings in a puppet regime | pulling the wool over one’s eyes | pulling up a plant to see if the roots are growing | pulling up stakes / being kept on tenterhooks / folding one’s tent | pulling up the rescue ladder | pull-the-pin for retirement | pulp magazine story / pulp fiction novel | pump and dump stock stratagem / catch-and-kill to suppress a tell-all story | pump the brakes / full stop | pump your own bilge | pumped up wackadoo in an empty suit | pumping iron for relaxation | Punch-and-Judy show | punch-drunk boxer hoping to land a lucky punch | punching a time clock | punching above one’s weight / punching upward is preferable to punching downward | punching one’s way out of a paper bag, or not | puncturing the balloon | punditry after the polls close versus punditry before the vote | punishment for a good Samaritan | punishment of students for guessing on an examination question / pencils up, or down | punting on third down | puppet on a string / sock-puppet / hand-puppet | puppeteer’s strings attached, or not | puppies-and-rainbows tax plan | purchasing with plastic | purpose of business is to create and keep a customer | push-button dialing | pushing a schedule into the long grass | pushing back on a news report | pushing on an open door | pushing pawns in the opening along with prancing ponies and bashing bishops | pushing someone in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs is hardly a sled-ride | pushing someone over the edge | pushing the (flight) envelope | pushing the mute button | pushing the pause button / fast-forward / back-hitch | pushups inside of – or instead of – brassieres | put on your thinking cap / a positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible | put something out on the back stoop and see if the cat licks it | putt and puke | putting / laying one’s cards on the table | putting a bug in one’s ear | putting a cork in it, ‘it’ being information the disclosure of which is to be prevented | putting a price-tag on freedom / on children / on originality | putting a sharper point on the criticism | putting a shiny gloss on unpleasant events | putting all of one’s eggs in one basket / a basket of deplorables | putting all one’s ducks in a row | putting all the behavioral monkeys in the same barrel | putting an announcement to the horn | putting an effort on the front burner / on the back burner / completely off the stove-top | putting an important issue in frame | putting another nail in the coffin / last nail in one’s coffin | putting footprints on one’s tongue | putting fresh ice in the casino’s urinal | putting heads together to solve a problem | putting in one’s two-cents’ worth | putting ingredients into a blender | putting investigators into a straitjacket / handcuffing any short stock selling | putting lipstick on a pig / whipped cream on a hotdog | putting on one’s shoes and socks – not necessarily in that order | putting one through a meat grinder | putting one’s best foot forward / pulling one’s worst foot backward | putting one’s clodhoppers on the ottoman, or off | putting one’s ego on autopilot | putting one’s fingers in the cake mix | putting one’s foot down in opposition | putting one’s money where one’s mouth is | putting one’s money where one’s mouth is may be sanitary, or not | putting one’s pants on one leg at a time | putting one’s suspicions on lock-down | putting out a fire with gasoline | putting peanut-butter on the door-handle of a double-parked pickup | putting the truth in a chokehold | putting up a strawman argument to be readily knocked down / denial | pyramid of cheer leaders with pom-poms | pyromaniac in the legislature / in the executive branch | Pyrrhic victory can be worse than a defeat | quackery in medical matters / in mass psychology | quadriphonic sound must be stereo for people with four ears | quaint procedures for administering the death penalty | qualifying for the pole position | quarterback getting ahead of the offensive line | quarterbacking without the whole team in the huddle / Monday morning quarterbacking | queen-for-a-day interview by a prosecutor | quick as two shakes of a lamb’s tail / jiffy | quick on the draw / not all that quick on the draw / quick enough on the draw | quick-draw show-down | quickest completions should be served first according to queueing theory | quickest way to a man’s heart is through his belly, or not | quicksand for one’s spirits / quagmire slowing one’s progress | quid must be nowhere near the quo pro | quiet as the ‘q’ in billiards | quit while you're behind | rabbit in the lettuce patch / rabbits watching the lettuce | rabid dogs do not make good pets for your children / lawn-darts are not recommended as toys for tots | race to the bottom | racing spoiler on a pickup truck | rack up the balls and I’ll break ‘em | radiating in expanding circles like a stone tossed in a pond | radio silence / mum’s the word | radioactive fallout / public figure / policy | rags to riches story that puts Horatio Alger to shame | rainbow diversity | raining cats and dogs / fighting like cats and dogs / the dogs bark but the caravan moves on | raining on one’s parade, or not | raise the bridge or lower the water | raising one’s blood pressure, or not | raising repeatedly while holding a sixty-four lock in a low-ball hand | raising some eyebrows, or not raising any eyebrows | raking in the chips, mucking the cards | raking leaves on a windy day | raking over the coals | rally around the flag / running something up the pole to see if anyone salutes | rally packed in an airless auditorium like a breeding barn with a PA system | ramp lowering on the bow of a landing-craft | ramping up an effort | ramping up an investigation / drilling down into disclosures | ramshackle scaffold of lies / scaffold for misunderstanding | rank and file / front and center | rank has its privileges | rap sheet / ink blotter on the sergeant’s desk blotter | rapid-fire policy changes by machine-gun management | rare as beer in a bar | rare as hen’s teeth / scarce as snow in the Sahara | rare bird / the first bird flying off the telephone wire followed by all the others | ratcheting up a statement / attack / investment | ratcheting up but not down | rat-race employment environment | rats riding a sinking ship all the way down | rattlesnake venom in a test-tube | rattlesnake with a toothache | rattling a tin cup on the internet | rattling one’s cage | raucous rejoinders qualify as humor, or not | raw facts / half-baked ideas / warmed over theories | rayon was forbidden in the Old Testament | razor-thin election / profit | reaching escape velocity | reaching for a dollar-bill that’s tied to a string / stringing one along | reaching the head of the line | reading between the lines | reading crop reports in the Idaho Statesman | reading forbidden literature under the covers by flashlight / journalist peeking out from under the covers | reading someone the riot act | reading the approach plate on final | reading the Cliff notes instead of studying the assignment / farming out an assignment | reading the fine print, or not | reading the tea leaves / the entrails of a goat / the moon’s location in zodiacal signs | reading the teleprompter, or not / going off the glass and winging it | ready for prime time, or not | ready, shoot, aim | real barnburner / doozy / comedian / smart aleck | real estate bargains at a hazmat site | real head-scratcher | real stem-winder that brought on lively reaction / a real yawner | real-estate sales at a superfund site | reality replaced by holography as a preferred visual experience | reaping what one sows | rear-guard action | reboot your marriage / coursework / engine-startup | receiving a presidential pardon | receiving a singing electrocardiogram for one’s birthday | recipe featuring eye-of-newt | recipe for disaster | reciprocal back scratching / enough quid for the pro-quo, or not | reciprocal back-scratching | reciting the copyright warning at the beginning of a video | recycling employees like empty soda cans | recycling tropes | red herring argument / ploy / identification / denunciation | red light district | red meat nourishment during a political rally | red-faced confession | reducing toxic waste to pure chemical elements | refusing to sit in the back of the bus / to drink from the negro fountain | region bristling with gun owners | regression to the mean | reining in a tyrant / an untamed mustang | reinventing the wheel | relax and enjoy the show | releasing a cluster of clochettes | relief pitcher warming up in the bullpen | relief-tube for the tower-crane operator | religious spoof | remembering last night’s tequila tango | removal of something in one fell swoop, whatever that is | removing a mote, whatever that is, from thy neighbor’s eye | removing a pebble from one shoe then feeling a pebble in the other shoe | renegade candidate going rogue | rented mule | renting snowmobiles in Las Vegas | repealing a despised law root and branch | repeating like a broken record / going over plowed ground | repeating rounds of Russian roulette | repetitions of Groundhog Day | replacing buttons, shoelaces, and zippers with Velcro | report card on the president’s performance / parental signature on a report card | reporting a crime-in-progress, or not | rescue by a dangling basket from a hovering helicopter | resembling the Energizer Bunny | resonance one’s position on an issue with a public announcement / news story with legs | resonant damage to a bridge by marching troops | resonating with something requires being in tune with that thing | respecting the chain of custody for an idea | respirator standing by during one’s marriage proposal | responsibility moving up the food-chain, or down | responsible gate keeper | restitution cannot fully restore the victim | results are in the pipeline with the valve open, or not | retired MLB All Star coaching Little League / playing on a team in some bush league | return fire / if your enemy is within range, so are you | return on investment / on sales / on assets | revenge is a dish best served cold / as one sews so one reaps / inherit the wind | revenge is a dish that’s best served cold | reverberations as a most unwelcome feature in the acoustics of a crystal cathedral | reverse bungee-jumping | reverse engineering of classified information | reverse engineering of nature is another name for science | reverse Robin Hood as a tax-reduction policy | reverse-pay toilet: get in for free, pay to get out | reversible judicial error, or not | revival meetings in a circus tent / sports arena | revolt that seemed to come from out of nowhere | revolving door policy to prevent influence pedaling | revolving plotlines in fiction | rewarding wealth instead of work | rhythm method / synchronized abstinence | rhythm section | ribbon clerk in a dime store / pompous functionary | rick-rolling for fun and profit | ridden out of town on a rail / tarred and feathered | ride herd over kids / inventors / politicians | riding a pack mule in the Grand Canyon | riding an autocratic flywheel | riding shotgun | riding side-saddle in a steeplechase | riding someone’s coattails in an election | riding the pine means confined to one’s desk | riding the roads on a high-handled crotch rocket | right off the bat | right there in black and white | right things for the right reason or sneaky things for the wrong reason | right-handed haymaker following a left hook | ringleader more than a mastermind | rip-off like premium pricing for mediocrity | ripping off the bandage | ripping the Band-Aid off, or not | ripple effect | riptide reversal in politics | rising to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor | river of happiness, or not | river rafting the rapids | riveting shots for the highlight reel | road to Damascus moment / Sister Soulja moment / come to Jesus moment | road to perdition / to nowhere / to ruin | roadkill during information warfare | roadmap for abstract destinations / political solutions / life ambitions | road-rage on the off-ramp / in the check-out line | road-testing a talking point | robbing Peter to pay Paul | robocalls emanating from racks of cabinets with bundles of telephone wires / hierarchical voice mail | robotic articulation of recycled talking points | rock around the clock | rock star with a buzz cut | rock the boat, or don’t | rocket science, or not | rocket-fuel for launching a career / a sales campaign | rocketing around town | rock-paper-scissors contest / as a triangular hierarchy | rodeo clowns | rôle reversals for Romeo and Juliet | rôle-model in prison | roll over and play dead | roll the credits and play the closing theme | roller coaster rides in a typical marriage | roller derby on the sidewalk | rolling a grenade into the room | rolling like a ship without ballast | rolling marbles in one’s hands during search for the missing strawberries | rolling over in one’s grave / performing snap-rolls in one’s coffin | rolling the dice | rolling-on-the-floor absurdity | Roman candles going off inside a phone booth | romance during a blood-donation drive | Rome was not burned in a day | roof of the world | room full of centrifuge tubes in a nuclear fuels factory | rooster taking credit for the dawn / politicians taking credit for the status quo | rope-a-dope stratagem / corrupt boxer taking a dive | rose by any other name will still have stickers | rose-colored glasses | rough-and-tumble endeavors | roughing the ref / an obvious effort to intimidate the line judge | round-about or traffic-circle | round-heel defection | roundhouse swing / whiffing one’s bat on the third strike | rounding the curve heading for home | rounding up a slate of collaborators | rounding up busloads of assisted-living residents for casino gambling | rowing one’s boat gently down the stream and over the falls | rowing with all oars in the common direction, or not | Roy Rogers and Gabby Hayes / Lone Ranger and Tonto / Batman and Robin | rubber-necking traffic jam | rubber-stamp approval | rubbing elbows with the elites | rubbing it in, or not | rubbing one’s fur the wrong way / getting under one’s skin | rubbing salt into an open wound / peppering a person with tough questions | ruffling one’s feathers | rule 1, never lie; rule 2, see rule 1 | rule of thumb limits the size of the stick with which one is allowed to beat one’s spouse | rules of the road / courtesy of the road | ruling upheld on appeal, or not | ruling with an iron grip / smothering dissention | rumor speed or gossip speed, but enlightenment speed, not so much | rump caucus / department / committee | run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes | run out of steam | run over by a cement truck | runaway train / beer truck | runner-up in the contest of ideas | running a business enterprise into the ground | running a red light | running a tight ship, or not | running amuck / working for a mucking company | running an issue / argument to ground | running around like a chicken with its head cut off | running around like beheaded chickens | running as a dark horse | running away like a scalded dog | running circles around an opponent | running for the hills | running in the red / the black | running into a buzz-saw in the legal system | running of the bulls | running off at the mouth / verbal diarrhea | running off the end of the runway / landing short of the runway threshold | running on empty / on fumes | running out of cheeks to turn | running out of Scotch tape while wrapping presents | running out the clock / no time left on the shot-clock | running rough-shod through opposition or subordinates | running the ship aground / though asleep in his quarters, the ship’s captain is nevertheless responsible if the vessel runs aground / if that outcome were permissible, the vessel would be equipped with wheels on its bottom | running the table, or not | running through the tape at the finish line | running with scissors in one’s hand / on the swimming pool deck / with the bulls in Spain | running with the baton / handing off the baton / taking the baton | run-of-the-mill mediocrity | Russian roulette with a rusty revolver | rusty flange on one’s scabbard in a sword fight | saber rattling | sabotage a campaign / sticking a potato in the exhaust pipe | sackcloth and ashes | sacred cow getting favorable treatment | sacrifice-fly failing to advance the baserunner | sadistic amusements | sad-trombone musical coda | safe cracker / safehouse / hideout | safe following distance versus tailgating / spitting distance | safe harbor | safety net for hedge-fund managers | sage-and-sand horticulture | salad days as an undergraduate | salt of the earth | sand and sagebrush as far as the eye can see / nothing but miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles | sand blasting a gravestone | sand in the gears / flowing through one’s fingers | sands of time | sarcasm like the first murderer asking if he was his brother’s keeper | sarcastic tributes at a celebrity roast | sardonic smile turns away sarcastic wrath | satellite dish on a house-trailer | sauce for the goose sauce for the gander | sausage made with mystery meat | saving face / getting one’s face ripped off | sawing the woman in half, or not | saxophone at a funeral | saying something while drunk one would never say while sober | saying that a husband must man-up may require his wife to butch-down | scaffold for misunderstanding | scalding rhetoric | scales having fallen from one’s eyes | scalping tickets for the nose-bleed seats at the World Series | scamper like dogs tail high | scandal-gate | scapegoat / sacrificial lamb | scapegoat for management’s fiascos / fizzles | scare quotes | scarfing and barfing | scatter-gram that resembles an ink-sneeze | scattering something of value to the four winds / scatter-shot strategy versus laser-sharp focus | school of hard knocks | school principal notifying parents to pick up their expelled child | schoolbooks must include alternatives to science, or not | schooner capsizing in a squall / righting the ship | science is the reverse engineering of nature | sclerotic governmental officials | scorched earth policy / making the desert sands glow with nuclear radiation | scoring a bargain from an auctioneer with a fast hammer | scramble versus stand-down | scratch a re-elected politician and I’ll show you an influential lobbyist | scratching an itch / itching for a fight / seven-year itch | scratching one’s fingernails on a black board | scratching one’s head / real head-scratcher | scratching the surface / message scratched onto the wall of a bathroom stall | screaming while under water | screeching histrionic drama queen | screen-crawl announcements on television / chyron news bulletins | screwball idea | screwing the pooch / romancing the collie | scrum of paparazzi | scuba diver chumming for sharks / scuba diving under the icecap | scumbag versus douchebag | sea-change in history / hightide now retreating | sea-change in public opinion, or not | sealed as the ‘c’ in indictment | searching for braves in Squaw Valley | searching for those who are attacking fanatical beliefs | seasoning applied by shaking in a plastic bag | seat on the dunking chair in a village carnival | seatbelts and airbags | seated at the children’s table | second chin proving one’s conquest of anorexia | secret as the ‘k’ in knowledge | secret sauce pushed by a consultant | security blanket / wet blanket | security camera video | see / hear / speak / smell / feel no evil | seeing a better face on an iodine bottle | seeing eye to eye on every subject, or not | seeing ghosts wearing the clothes they died in | seeing how it all pans out, whether gold or gravel | seeing is believing but digging is appreciating | seeing is the reason that the octopus has eyes, or actually vice versa | seeing neither hide nor hair of someone / neither complexion nor coiffure | seeing oneself in a funhouse mirror | seeing the big picture, or not | seeing the handwriting on the wall, or not | seeing the iron filings moving on top of the table | seeing the light after the fog lifts | seeing the world through a straw | seeing through a glass darkly | seeing through a person as an open book | seeing what’s coming down the pike, or not | seeking payment of a pound of flesh | see-sawing economic times | seismic effect of change in policy / seismic shift | seize the day / moment / credit / opportunity / glory | seldom as the ‘t’ in often | selecting a head-shrinker for one’s mental health practitioner | selecting from alphabetical columns in a Chinese menu | self-deportation policy from the founding fathers | self-explanatory as the string for a teabag label | self-flattering picture / pose / praise | self-instruct / conduct destruct | selfless as the I in business | self-sabotage | selling counterfeit bricks fresh from the kiln for an historic building that’s still standing | selling is getting rid of what you have, marketing is having what you can get rid of | selling refrigerators to Eskimos | selling short against the box | selling someone down the river | selling yarmulkes to Muslims and rosaries to Baptists | semipermeable membrane for osmosis in plants and protoplasm | sending women to jump-school, or men | sensational triumphs on cold war battlefields, or not | sensitive to a (frozen) pea under one’s (foam-rubber) mattress | sentenced to rehab | separating a fool from his or her money | serenading political supporters / leaning in | serenading the voters / or not | serious as a heart-attack | serious disconnect | service ace / double fault | service-ace to end the game / set / match / tournament | serving as a standard-issue bureaucrat | serving cocktails in that airliner floating on the Hudson river | serving Jell-O with chopsticks | serving red meat to one’s audience | serving sashimi cold and sake warm | set the trap / cock the trap / spring the trap | set your hair on fire and the media will be there to watch | setting a perjury trap for a wayward spouse / a hostile witness | setting off alarm bells | setting off briskly like a herd of turtles / running like the winded | setting one’s hair on fire to make a point | setting sail on a sea of red ink | setting the pace from the rear of the pack / conductor in the caboose | seven come eleven / crapping out / rolling the bones and hoping not to crap out | seven on the bitchy-mood scale | sew a wind and reap a storm | sexiest nylons have seams / bursting at the seams, or not | shackles for your hackles, put your dander down | shadow boxing below the belt | shaggy-dog story / long and pointless story | shake of a lamb’s tail | shake with one’s right hand while holding a rock in one’s left hand | shake, rattle, and roll | shake-down threatening a shake-up / quid pro quo in the form of extortion | shaking dog shedding rain | shaking hands with a clenched fist | shaking the dust of one’s shoes onto a despised city / on an object of grief | shaking the water off a lame duck | shaking things up like a horse in a hospital | shaking up ants in a jar | shaking up the kaleidoscope | shaky argument | shark smelling blood in the water / feeding frenzy / falling overboard with sharks in the water | sharp as a tack | sharpest knife in the drawer, or not | sharpest tool in the shed, or not | shaving one’s head in solidarity with a family chemo patient | she was wearing an outfit that would make a dog break his leash | shedding light on a subject | shedding more than a cold weather dog on a hot summer day | sheep in wolf’s clothing, or vice-versa / a wolf in wolf’s clothing | shelf-life of an idea / beyond the sell-by date | shell shock | shielding one’s eyes, or not | shift in tectonic plates | shifting sand | shimmy in one’s nose-gear | shining a light in the darker corners of the world | shining a light on a question / issue | shining on a victim for ridicule / laughs | ship of state / of fools | ship that already sailed a long time ago / trimming the sails of one’s opponent | shipwreck survivors in lifeboats / wearing a lifejacket, or not | shipwrecked on an island with a favorite book | shirts and skins on a half-court pick-up game | shirts-and-skins partisan debating exercise | shivering one’s timbers | shock and awe | shock-proof crap-detector | shockwave of policy changes | shockwave through an organization / system / community | shoe on the other foot | shoestring budget | shooing grateful Oscar-winners off the stage with times-up music | shoot first aim later | shooting a coyote with a handgun while jogging | shooting a low caliber bullet at a high caliber target | shooting ahead of the bird / skate to where the puck will be not to where the puck has been | shooting an intellectual on fifth avenue and not losing any constituents | shooting fish in a barrel | shooting from the hip / from the lip | shooting oneself in the foot | shooting the breeze | shooting the community mascot and then marching as grand marshal at the head of the parade | shoot-the-moon stratagem | shoplifting phrases / embezzling sentences | shopping carts in check-out lines | short circuit / open circuit / popping a circuit breaker | short fuse, or long | short-change / sweet-hearting at the cash register / in the casino’s cash-cage | shorter than tit-high on a puppy | shot across the bow | shot in the dark | shot of adrenaline for voters in the opposition | shot of vodka in a minor key with splashes of dark beer from the brass section | shot-glass pronouncement | shoulder holster for one’s slide-rule | shoulder-launched criticism / replying straight from one’s shoulder | shouting fire in a crowded theater | shouting ideals, whispering realities | shouting into a crystal ball of battery acid leaving others to decipher the vibrations | show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser | showboating / grand-standing | showcase / mannequin / window display | showing off one’s trophy-wife | showing one the ropes / ready about and helm’s a-lee / jibing out of the wind | showing the whip in the final furlong | showing up for a six-pack after the liquor store has closed | shrinking violet | shuffle the cards before a new deal | shuffling off this mortal coil | shun-piker / leaf-looker / sightseer | shutting off one’s cell phone in the theater, or not | shut-up and deal | sidelined by the coach / by one’s supervisor | side-show attraction / freak | side-show not the featured attraction, or vice-versa | side-tracking an argument | sign of the times | signal-to-noise ratio | signature in treble above the melody line | signing on the dotted line | signposts / destination signs / route guides / mileposts / waypoints | silence of snowshoes on fresh powder | silent like the ‘p’ in swimming | silicone for improving one’s personality | silver bullet / usually no such possibility | simmering unrest | simultaneous translation in sign-language | sincere claptrap | sinecure bootlicking / brown-nosing / drip-spittle adulation | singing for one’s supper | singing like a canary | singing the bag-holder blues | single malt whiskey in one’s hipflask is not for kids | single-child policy means no siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces, aunts, uncles | single-issue voter / candidate / election | sink or swim | sinking the hook when the tip of the pole twitches | sipping one’s cocktail and squinting down at flyover country | Sister Souljah moment | sister-city celebration-swapping | Sisyphus Torture | sitting duck / duck blind | sitting in a line like nesting hens | sitting in church does not make you a Christion, and standing in a garage does not make you a car | sitting in the corner wearing a dunce cap | sitting on one’s hands | sitting on tall stools wearing green eyeshades and sleeve garters | sitting on the bench for the whole game | sitting tight and denying everything | situation comedy / comedy of errors / slap-stick comedy | six of one, half-a-dozen of the other / a score of one, twenty of the other | six-hundred-dollar toilet seat on single-source procurement | six-year-olds playing soccer | sizzle can be the sound made by a fiasco | skating on thin ice / sledding on thin snow / tobogganing on pine needles | skeleton in one’s closet / a skeleton is a bunch of bones with the person scraped off | skeleton-key to secret motivations | skepticism / critical thinking of a stooge | skidding turns on an icy road | skid-row residence | ski-jump aspirations | skin and mouths purpling up to spew out fictitious tales | skinny-dipping at a Baptist summer camp | skittering bugs on one’s computer screen | skunking one’s competition | skyrocketing prices / substance abuse / firearm-deaths | slack-jawed, gob-smacked, and hornswoggled / flabbergasted / mind-boggled | slake the beast | slam dunk / easy lay-up | slamming the door on a salesman’s shoe | slamming the screen door only wakes up the flies / a door getting angry in the wind | slap in one’s face / kick in one’s ass | slap on the wrist / slap on the back followed by punch in the nose | slapping one’s knee with a cackling laugh | slap-shot the puck at the goal | slash and burn farming | slave to fashion | sledgehammer to drive a tack / taking a sledgehammer to establishment principles | sleep with a dog and one gets flees | sleeping eight hours per day and at least ten at night | sleeping in a hammock on the face of Half-Dome | sleeping in one’s bed after making it | sleeping with the fishes | sleight-of-hand deception | sliced bread | slicker than snot on a doorknob | slight-of-hand / prestidigitation | slim pickings / sucking hind tit | slingshot / bow and arrow / crossbow and other non-explosive weaponry | slippery slope | slipping and sliding | slipping on a banana peel / abundant banana peels on which one might slip | slip-shod diligence and craven generosity | slipstream / streamlining / wake turbulence | slogan on a license-plate holder | slogans painted on bus-benches / lawn-signs | slot machine grinding / one-arm bandit / suck-along jackpots | slow boring of hard boards | slower than molasses in January | slowest served go to the end of the queue | slow-motion calamity | smack-down of an argument | small bore weaponry / narrow bandwidth mentality | small fish to catch a big fish / one does not use a large fish to catch a small fish | small mom-and-pop shop / petty crime syndicate | smarmy excuse: to err is human, to forgive divine | smart bombs delivered by drones | smart-phone pictures up close and personal | smash-and-grab acquisition policy | smashmouth approach to resolving a political controversy | smearing Vaseline on a pornographer's lens | smelling a rat | smelling blood in the water | smelling worse than a feedlot at a hog farm | smiling like a deacon with four aces | smiling rage / frowning approval / tearful joy / not a wet eye in the wedding | smiling selfie | smog eventually clearing, or not | smoke-filled rooms where grand poo-bahs hang out to broker the convention | smoke-screen argument / barrage-balloon interference | Smokey the bear / Tote McGoat / Poop Fairy | smoking dope / grass / pot / weed | smoking in bed | smoking out a suspect in hiding / being caught red-handed | smoking-gun evidence / a smoking-gun may only be a fictional plot device | smoldering anger | smooching the runway in a three-point landing | smooth as glass / putting green with gopher holes | smoothing the ride with ball bearings | smorgasbord of contract provisions / cornucopia of product features | smorgasbord of statements in an unscripted speech | smothering with affection | smudge pots do not warm the orchard but produce atmospheric smudge above the trees | smugglers with calves the size of cantaloupes | snakes in the grass | snakes saving their venom by using a rattle to ward off threats that are too big to swallow | snapping one’s fingers for attention and promptness | snapshot / still life / time exposure | snarky versus smarmy | snatching victory from the jaws of defeat / snatching failure from the jaws of victory | sneezing in an elevator / in the salad bar | snoozing on a bed of nails / unable to feel each nail on a bed of nails | snorkeling for a point of view | snot-nose impudence | snowballing into a crisis / snowball’s chance in Hell | snuffing out a candle | so cold downtown that one might expect to see a mink wearing a rich lady | sober as a skunk, or not | soccer moms / loudmouth coaching dads | social media can get oneself nailed to a digital cross | soft target / moving target | softball questions / softball right over the plate | soft-core documentary about hard-core pornography | softening the ground | soft-hearted madam | soft-pedaling one’s assertion | soft-soaping a reluctant partner | soiling one’s britches / pissing one’s pants | solar panels on the church steeple | solemnly placing an empty envelope in the collection-plate | solidarity with a political view | solutions imposed don’t last | solving a contentious problem calls for influence not authority | solving a Rubik’s cube wearing mittens | some condition / result / subject writ large | some dork sitting in a full parking lot with his back-up lights on | some elections make stupid people famous | some jurisdictions require a license to be ugly | some living envy the dead | some village is missing its idiot / I’d rather argue against a hundred idiots than have one agree with me | somebody has got one’s back | someone left swinging slowly, slowly in the wind | something more / less than meets the eye | something on the ball besides spit / being on the ball, or not | something smells fishy | something that makes one’s skin crawl | something that would be sad if it were not so funny, or vice versa | sometimes the bull he wins / a charging bull cannot turn in his own length | sometimes you are the windshield sometimes you are the bug | son of a bitch – but notice, never a daughter | son of a gun / holy moly | sonic boom scaring cattle and rattling school windows | soothing the savage beast, or not | sophisticated feint | sorcerer’s apprentice in the halls of government | sore loser, or not | sound of a rock in a clothes dryer | sound of hunters’ horns fading in the wind | sound of tin cans clattering from the bumper of a groom’s car | sour cream and chives / bacon-bits | sour grapes, or not | space debris fallout | space walking in orbit / on the moon | spadework done by a fair-haired boy / multiple fair-hair-ism | spaghetti western / shoot-‘em-up / riding off into the sunset | spanking new / smack in the middle | spanking the tambourine | spare the rod and spoil the child but and avoid child abuse accusations | sparkplug / glow-plug | sparring in a ring versus shadowboxing | sparring partner for debate preparation | spawning a cottage industry for investigations / for speculations | speak no evil and so on like that | speak softly but carry a big stick | speaking at the podium as the earthquake struck | speaking of the devil as a greeting to an arriving late-comer | speaking out of both sides of one’s grimace | speaking volumes using few words | speaking with a forked tongue / out of both sides of one’s mouth / life is fraught with opportunities to keep one’s mouth shut | speaking with the facial paroxysms of blowing up a child’s balloon | speck of dust in one’s own eye, or a plank maybe | spectrum of belief systems | speculating about the results if the shoe were on the other foot | speed of light / speed of sound / speed of thought | speedbumps on neighborhood streets and swerving-curbs for traffic calming | speedbumps on the road of life | speed-dial for one’s plumber and for one’s hedge-fund manager | speeding in a supermarket parking-lot | spending food-stamps for caviar | spending time in the penalty box | spending years to become famous overnight | sphinxlike presence in a business meeting | spider seeking a safe sanctuary | spigot of money / a rat’s nest of issues | spike in a statistical trend / in virus infections | spilling one’s guts / gut-punch | spilling one’s milk / tipping over one’s rice bowl / pissing in one’s soup | spinning a yarn / pulling on a piece of yarn and unraveling the whole damn sweater | spinning one’s wheels | spinning plates on sticks now wobbling ominously | spinning statistics to make one’s point | spin-off television series | spin-painting at a carnival | spiraling out of control | spirited performance despite a mental funk | spit and polish | spitball analysis | spite is the worst basis for a business decision | spittin’ image is colloquial contraction of spirit and image | spitting on the floor of the dugout | splash-down near the recovery vessel, or not | splinter group / offshoot organization / spin-off sitcom | splinter under one’s fingernail | split-screen reaction shots | split-screen video montage of embarrassing pronouncements | split-the-baby compromise / spooling out the implications | splitting a pair and doubling down / declining a concession | splitting hairs one at a time | spooling up a turbocharger | sports car in a blue parking place | spotlight / searchlight / parking-light / dome-light / flashing lights | spotlight on an unsolved problem / on a celebrity in the audience | spotting a warplane / a freight-train / a getaway automobile | spousal consent decree / parental consent | spread too thin | spreading nails in the road | spreadsheet diplomacy | spring fever means praying to high heaven for recess | spring loaded | springing a leak | sprint not a marathon | spur a campaign into action | spur of the moment, or not | spurring one’s horse in the haunches / putting spurs to a horse already at full gallop | spy coming down with a cold | square peg in a round hole / round peg in a square hole / last square on the roll | squaring off in a pugilistic confrontation | squaring the circle | squeaky wheel gets the grease | squeeze play / double play / triple play | squeezing blood from a turnip, or not | squirming in the spotlight one has sought | squirrelly people / ideas / statements | squishy voters / the average voter has one testicle and one breast | St. Bernard in the snow | stab in the back | stack of plates in the cafeteria / last in first out | stacking the deck against one’s opponent | staffing the guard-shack in a gated community | staggering costs for persons on minimum wage | staging a demonstration on behalf of the underendowed | staging a sit-down meeting with a stand-up guy | stain becoming a tattoo | stainless steel for her fingernails and lipstick the color of dried blood | stairway to Heaven, or not | staking out a homestead / a gold-panning site on the river | staking out the moral high ground | stalemate can be an exciting end to the game, or not | stalking horse | stammering in a spelling-bee | stampede to take a political position | stanching the flow | standing on Widow’s Walk craning one’s gaze at the horizon for the returning mast | standing one’s ground | standing pat versus drawing a card | standing the heat in the kitchen, or not | standing up too fast is like doing drugs | standing with legs spread and arms akimbo | star-crossed fate | staring at the ceiling fans / at the tops of one’s shoes | staring down the barrel of tax audits | stars aligning for a particular outcome | stars in the daytime | starting gate / gun / line / flag | start-up enterprise in an incubator-building | starve a cold and feed a fever | starve-the-beast austerity policy / as an excuse for benign neglect | state of limbo in life may be worse than purgatory in death | statement / position / institution writ large | statement or threat being pure hot air | state-of-the-art sleaze ball | station-keeping in a polar orbit | stations-of-the-cross in management assignments | statisticians may lie, statistics do not | statute of limitations for a solitary grope, or not | stay tuned for details | staying three zip-codes away from a controversy | staying tuned / tuned out / tuning the dial/ tuning in | staying until the last dog dies | staying within the lines | steady-cam, dolly-shot / crane-mounted camera | stealing a car with the keys in the ignition | stealing one’s thunder | stealth campaign | stealth science does not bother with peer reviews | steamboat gambling casino | steamroller / steam-shovel / steam-whistle | steel-belted radials and poly-glass brains | steep hill to climb / rolling smoothly downhill | stem-winder speech | stench of corruption / compliance by nip-and-tuck actions | step on it / pedal to the metal | step up to the plate | stepladder ambition | stepped on the line / over the line / outside the line | stepping in a pasture pie | stepping in it, whatever ‘it’ may be | stepping on a land mine / minefield: cheap and deadly but expensive to get rid of | stepping on a rake in the grass | stepping on it / on the tail of an unflattering story in the news | stepping up to the plate / out of the batter’s box | stepping-stone versus shore-destination / versus a bridge | stethoscope in a whorehouse | stick a fork in it | stick to one’s guns / packing heat | sticking out like a sore thumb / a sore toe in tight shoes | stickpins and tacks on an otherwise empty bulletin board | sticky wicket | stiff as a fencepost | stiff upper lisp | stiff-neck symptoms from bifocal lenses | stifling criticism by threatening / bullying the critic | still allowing for growth in new shoes and shaving only once per week | still water runs deep | still waters run deep / deep waters don’t run much at all | stiller than a porcelain cat | stirring the presidential speculation pot | stochastic terrorism exploits mass-communications of memes to incite remote-control murder | stock in trade | stock market going south while staying in New York | stoking fires / fears / fortitudes | stomach flu as an absence excuse for a hangover | stomaching a distasteful idea / statement / policy, or not | stomping grounds | stone age did not end because of running out of stones / a finding / a decision set in stone, or not | stonewalling a decision / an interrogation | stoolpigeons in the jailhouse / modeling the latest model of GPS ankle monitors | stop and frisk / papers please | stopping in one’s tracks / covering one’s tracks, or not | storm the Bastille | storm-troopers in black boots and epaulets | stove-piping that prevents collaboration | straddling the line, or not | straight and narrow | straight down the fairway | straight from the horse’s mouth or some other orifice | straight shooter, or not / the gang that couldn’t shoot straight | straight up or down vote on the bill | straight-arm tactic / body-blocking / face-masking | straight-laced behavior | stranded asset / obsolescence trouncing depreciation | strange as a three-dollar bill | strange bedfellows | strangling creativity | strangling reform in its crib | strapping on a parachute and opening the plane door / pulling the ripcord, or not | strategic withdrawal / retreat / backing out / turn around and run | strategy is a concealed intention but differs from what is called deceit / however beautiful the strategy, one should occasionally look at the results | strategy of the champion: whatever the coin-toss, don’t get thrown out of the game | straw donor to conceal the true funding source | straw in the wind | straw purchase for circumventing background checks / for alcoholic beverages | straw that broke the camel’s back / straw that gave the camel a hernia | straws in the wind / straw poll | stream of consciousness | stream was a ribbon of moonlight | streaming the commentary | street thugs who did not get enough broccoli as little boys | streets: Wall / Main / Fleet | stretch of the imagination, or not | stretched as taut as a violin string | strike a match on an ice cube if you really think nothing is impossible | strike while the iron is hot | striking a nerve with a dentist’s drill | strip-malls in every block | stroke from the sand-trap | strolling in quicksand wearing bedroom slippers | strong as an ox but more intelligent | strong winds blowing from the conservative or liberal region / if you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty, you have no brain | stronghold / chokehold / threshold | stropping Ockham’s razor | struggle for existence / natural selection / perpetuation of the fittest | stubbing one’s toe on a curbstone of truth | stubborn as a mule / one does not learn anything from the second kick by the mule | studying the playbook in the huddle / playing into the opponent’s playbook / confused by all those x’s and o’s on each page of the playbook | stuff happens so there ought to be a law, or not | stumbling over the pronunciation of your own name | stumbling-block versus roadblock | subatomic particles | subject above one’s paygrade / topic outside one’s skating lane | submarine sandwich in a French restaurant | suboptimal chess opening played repeatedly waiting for a weaker opponent to come along | subordinate rebellion in the form of bucking and rearing | subpoena power / serving the subpoena | subsoil / subgrade | substrate for structuring one’s thought | subtle as the ‘b’ in subtle | subtlety of a crowbar / bazooka | success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm | success in the office requires regarding one’s boss’s secretary as always right | successfully managing a two-car funeral, or not | sucking hind tit | sudden death in the overtime | suffering a financial haircut | suffering a sudden face-plant | suffering fools gladly, or not | sugar and spice and everything nice, or not | sugar-coating a criticism / warning | sugar-coating a report / an issue | sugar-free sweetener | sugary soft drinks in the school cafeteria | suggestions that just reek of common sense | sullying a pig or mocking a clown | summarizing an argument or story to fit in a nutshell / dovetail matchup | Sunday-morning road-rage in church parking-lots / six ways to Sunday | sunscreen on an earthworm | sunshine is the best disinfectant | supercharged expression for normally aspirated rhetoric / super-sizing political power | superglued toupee | supplying bibs for all the drooling going on | supply-side versus demand-side economics | sure, we can just stroll, but instead let’s boogie | sure-footed versus stumbling | surf is up for some bitching rides | surf pounding against the rocks with overtopping foam | surfing the tube while hanging ten | surge-pricing reduces demand, maximizes profits, and blemishes enterprises | surgical strike / bloody-nose strike | surgical strike using smart weapons | suspended like a kitten on a tree-limb | swagger gene | swallowing a bitter pillswallowing swords | swallows have been shitting in Capistrano | swan song resignation | swapping the slot in one’s time-sharing schedule, or not | swarm of locusts | swarm of radioactive termites | swear word as a Bozo no-no | swearing by the twenty-four testicles of the twelve apostles | sweating blood / bullets / buckets | sweaty jowls flopping about like a Thanksgiving turkey | sweeping scandalous stuff under the carpet | sweetheart deal in a plea bargain | sweet-hearting discounts at the cash register | swept under the rug | swimming suit competition in a beauty pageant | swimwear fashions today feature the codpiece and the camel toe | swing and a miss for the presidency | swinging a big bat at the plate | swinging for the fences / designated hitter | swings and slides and merry-go-rounds | swirling in the porcelain | switching gears | switching horses midstream, or not | Sword of Damocles poised over one’s head | sword swallowing to impress the chicks | sycophant who goes around the office parroting what the boss says | symbiosis in political relationships | syncopated reasoning / melodious logic | synthetic skin | syrup on pancakes / honey in tea / milk on toast / catsup on fries / gravy on grits | table d’hôte versus à la carte | table stakes only means getting tapped out slower | taco sauce on an ice-cream cone | tag-team in a wrestling match / a significant number of people believe that professional wrestling is real | tail between one’s legs but head held high | tail wagging the dog as a re-election ploy | tailgate party before the bowl game | tailspin / wing-over / slow-roll / snap-roll / barrel-roll / loop-the-loop / tailspin / flat-spin | take it to the bank | take no hostages / prisoners | take your child to work day / lecture your child’s classroom about your workday | take your licking / sycophantic bootlicking / adulation | take your mark, get set, go – in that order | taken to the woodshed, or not / woodshedding | taking a back seat to no one / as an expression of subordination | taking a bulldozer to a job for a shovel | taking a different tack | taking a gateway drug to fanaticism | taking a happy break on the tire-swing / surfing on an inner-tube | taking a perp walk / forcing a frog walk / giving a bum rush | taking a powder | taking a raincheck on that invitation | taking a statement literally but not seriously, or vice versa | taking a statement with a grain of salt / as much as a teaspoon of salt / the whole shaker full of salt | taking a straw poll on a question / the sixty-four dollar question | taking a sucker-punch / cold-cocked | taking a swan dive | taking a tranquillizer before an argument begins | taking a victory lap | taking a wrecking ball to an opponent’s position / wrecking-ball diplomacy | taking arrows in the belly / in the back | taking baby steps | taking candy from a baby | taking incoming | taking it on the chin | taking my marbles and pedaling home | taking names for rostering threats / rewards | taking off the gloves / punching below the belt / pulling one’s punches, or not / laying a glove on one’s opponent, or not | taking one to the cleaners | taking one’s dirt nap / digging up dirt on one’s rival / hitting pay-dirt / hitting the ball out of the park / stadium / over the fence | taking one’s foot off the gas | taking one’s share of the road from the middle | taking something unsaid for granted | taking the bait / baiting the hook | taking the blame, or not | taking the cake | taking the fall | taking the lead right out of the starting gate / down the stretch / at the finish line | taking the wind out of the sails of a blow-hard | taking the words right out of one’s mouth / unhygienic agreement | taking umbrage at a statement that happens to be true | talent competition in a beauty pageant | talk a mile a minute / 1.6 kilometers per minute | talk like a hawk, fly like a dove | talking a dog off a meat-wagon | talking as coherent as a word-salad | talking behind one’s back | talking heads and pedantic pundits | talking out of the other side of one’s mouth / both sides of one’s smirk / sneer | talking points trumping data points / putting a finer point on an argument, or not | talking someone off the ledge | tamp down expectations | tamping down dissent | tangled web we weave | tanking the market | Tantalus Torture | tantamount to stealing one’s television remote | tap into a vein | tarantulas always live in pairs | target practice using hunting duck decoys | tattle-tale stains | tattoos as lasting mementos of shore-leave drinking bouts | tautological as a three-legged tripod | tautological repetitions of anodyne euphemisms | tax and spend / borrow and spend / borrow and tax | tax code on an index card | tax loopholes are but one form of corporate welfare | taxi into position and hold | taxicab romance | tax-shelters for the homeless | teabag political party | teach a man to fish and his woman will never see him again | teachable moment | teaching a mother-in-law to suck eggs, or not | teaching an old dog new tricks, or not | teaching preschoolers how to handle their AK-47s | team of eccentrics led by a wackadoo | tear-jerker script for a detergent drama / soap opera | technological break-through / a negotiation break-off | technology-rich retirement with bifocals, hearing aids, and dentures | teeing up for the next slice into the rough | Teflon cladding for a political figure | telegraphing one’s opinion / strategy / maintaining a poker face, or not /a tell during a hand | telegraphing one’s punches, or not | telegraphing one’s stratagem to an adversary | telephone answering machine / voice mail / caller identification | teleportation must make a remote facsimile without destroying the original | teleprompter scrambling versus cue-card shuffling | telescopic view of the planets and galaxies / as useless as a telescope viewed in reverse | telescoping the longitudinal dimension for viewing celestial objects / viewing an issue through the wrong end of a telescope | telescoping tripod legs | television rage factory | television set with rabbit-ears / with oval screen / boob tube | television’s gifts include a flying nun and a talking horse | telling a whopper, or not / home of the whopper | tempest in a teapot / storm on the sidewalk | template for a business model | tent-meeting salvation | terrorism is the weapon of the weak against the mightiest military | testier than an underfed alley-cat in a rainstorm | testing the waters / dipping in one’s toe | tethering one’s lifeboat to the sinking ship / to unrealistic expectations / playing tether-ball with a dwarf | text-book learning dispelled by practical experience / having been to this rodeo before | texting a message while driving | that dog won’t hunt | that zit should have been popped a long time ago | that’ll sure dampen your drawstrings / scald your scrotum | that’s how the cookie crumbles / following the breadcrumbs | the last straw / yet another last straw | their way or the highway means no way at all | them small potatoes is sure hard to peal | theme in Russian doll formation / Matroska media-container format | theory X means kick-ass management style / telling not selling | theory Y means motivate-through-persuasion management style / selling not telling | there are two sides to every pancake no matter how thin one slices it, but not to every story | there is no second chance to make a first impression | there is no there there | there is none so blind as they won’t see | there must be a pony in here somewhere | there’s no more squeeze in the lemon | there’s no time like the well-remembered past | thermostatically controlled temper | they laughed when I sat down to play | thin oxygen for a proposal | think tank | thinking back to when God was in short pants | thinking outside the box / checking every box | thinking that ‘tally-ho the fox’ is British for ‘there goes the son-of-a-bitch’ | thinner than mustard on a hotdog | thin-skin and thick skull | thin-skinned sensitivity | third and long at midfield | third world country | third-finger greetings: vertical for you and horizontal for the horse you rode in on | thorn in one’s side / in one’s crown | those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities | thought experiment versus taking data in a laboratory | thought is a prelude not an alternative to action | thrashing around like a loose garden hose | threading a rope through a controversial needle | threatening a vampire with a wooden stake / warding off a vampire with a sign of the cross | threatening to meet an underclassman behind the gym after school / under the bleachers | three blind mice, see how they run | three hundred and sixty degrees of situational awareness | three out of four wheels are hanging over the edge of the cliff | three sheets to the wind | three things best done slowly: sex, cooking ribs, and impeachment | three-alarm fire | three-card Monty / full Monty / full frontal nudity | three-legged stool | three-marshmallow campfire | three-piece suit made of Kevlar | three-pointer at the buzzer on the shot-clock | three-ring circus versus a side show / discerning the side show from the main event | threshing machine for misbehaving teenagers | Thrilla in Manila / rope-a-dope boxing stratagem / being on the ropes / giving one’s opponent a black eye | throng at the teat | through the looking glass | throw spaghetti at the wall and see if it sticks | throw-away culture | throw-away steering wheel | throwing a fire-blanket over a swarm of flaming issues | throwing a line in the water and having Moby Dick come back | throwing a monkey wrench into the works / conquest by vagina wrench | throwing an argument into a cocked hat | throwing an interception | throwing another log on the fire of controversy / friendship | throwing away one’s umbrella during a rainstorm because one is not wet / when it rains it pours | throwing Christians to the lions | throwing cold water on a proposal | throwing for the sideline to stop the clock | throwing him/her under the bus / to the dogs / lions | throwing money at the problem, or not | throwing one’s cap over a wall to force oneself to climb over it | throwing one’s hat in the ring | throwing one’s hat into the ring / being handed one’s hat as a polite signal to exit the scene | throwing one’s shoe at the speaker | throwing oneself in front of a moving train | throwing rivals together like scorpions in a wet sock | throwing sand in someone’s eyes | throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks | throwing spitballs in class | throwing the baby out with the wash / splitting the baby in a compromise | throwing the book at a convicted offender / making an offender wear a scarlet letter | throwing the first stone, or not | thrown away like the rind of a squeezed orange / grapefruit | thumb on the scale / loading the dice | thumbing a ride as personal transportation | thumbing one’s nose / flipping the bird | thumping one’s chest | thunderbolt out of the blue | ticker-tape parades do not happen much these days | ticking time bomb | tickle the ivories | ticklish subject | tidal wave / tsunami of misinformation shifting public opinion | tied game with sudden-death in overtime | tied to the mast of a sinking ship | tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly; man got to sit and wonder why, why, why? | tiger got to sleep, bird got to land; man got to tell himself he understand | tight as a tick | tightening the thumb screws | tight-fisted generosity | tilting at windmills / going after an objective full tilt | tilting the table in a séance / on a pinball machine / pinballing from topic to topic | time capsule full of thumb-drives | time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like an apple | time growing increasingly short / decreasingly long | time required to microwave popcorn | time wasted in a treasure hunt | time will eventually reveal what lies attempt to conceal | timeline / byline / dateline / deadline | time-out called to stop the clock / to treat an injury | tin-cans dragging from one’s bumper on wedding day | tinder box | tinkle contest with a skunk | tin-pot dictator | tinted windshield / spectacles / vanity mirror | tip of the iceberg / hidden face of the iceberg / just the foam on the beer | tip of the spear / underling scribe and spear-carrier | tipping one’s hand | tipping the head waiter, or not | tipping the scales of justice / reaching one’s tipping point | tiptoe around a controversial issue | tit-for-tat argument | tit-for-tat on a hot tin roof | tits on a bull | to be sure of hitting the target shoot first then call whatever you hit the target | to irk or not to irk | toeing the jurisdiction line | toeing the start-line / the edge of an issue | toe-in-the-water boldness | toll booth without a change-maker | tomorrow is one of the best labor-saving devices for today | ton of attention / of opinions / of emotions / of shots fired | tone deaf politician | tongue-in-cheek / wink and a nod / twinkle in one’s eye / spring in one’s step | tongue-lashing | too clever by half | too many cooks in the kitchen / spoil the recipe | too much of a good thing | too much to swallow | tooth and claw | tooth by jowl | top dog / underdog / lapdog / watchdog | top of the totem pole, or bottom | top-heavy chain-of-command / management structure | topics that are right in one’s wheelhouse | top-spin lob | topsy-turvy / herky-jerky / oaky-doaky artichokey | topsy-turvy hierarchy | tormenting the substitute teacher | tornado in action | torpedoed idea / proposal / venture / competition / damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead | tortoise and the hare / wild as a March hare | tossed in the river wearing cement bootees | tossing one’s cookies / tossing and turning over some troubling revelation | tossing rolls of paper towels into a room full of flood victims | toss-up / tip-in / jump-shot | touch a wet finger on an electric iron | touch base | touch-and-go on the fashion-show runway | touching a subject with a barge pole, or not | touching the third rail of politics | touching with a barge pole, or not | touchstone of security or authenticity | tough as titanium | tough cookie | tough sledding / bumpy toboggan ride | tougher than Chinese algebra | tough-guy veneer | toward some distant Valhalla | towel-snapping adolescent talk in the locker-room | towing a banner along the beach / skywriting on a clear day | towns: China / Japan / Korea / Vietnam | track record / field record / game record / league record / war record | track record for any sport / endeavor / accomplishment / reputation | trading ballpoint pens for laptops | trading pretend courage for genuine cowardice / piss-pants in courage | traditional encyclopedia for writing term papers | traffic jam in the legislature | trafficking in prejudice / panic / paranoia | tragedy of the commons | tragedy stimulating sadness in some people | trailer-trash among the rich | train-wreck looking for a place to happen | train-wreck on the main-line | train-wreck theatre | trampling marketplace / stock promotions  | trampling one’s opponent under foot / on one’s best idea | tranche one’s investment | tranquil as a colony of ants strolling through spilled chardonnay | transnational crime syndicate masquerading as a government | transparency in government, or not | trap-door escape | trash talking an idea / talking smack about one’s rival | traveling with Gulliver or living with the Lilliputians | tread water / go with the flow / swim with the sharks | treading water | treating a major conflict as a minor dust-up | treating a vanquished rival as roadkill / road rage with or without a vehicle | treating an enemy to a dirt nap | treating some poor sap as a piñata | treating the Treasury as an automated teller machine | tree huggers in baggy jeans and flip-flops | tree of wisdom / a wise man once said nothing at all | trend-setting jetsetter | triage as a process for prioritizing issues | trial by Twitter | tribal chieftain | tricked-out hotrod hood-paint | trickle-down as likely as Rumpelstiltskin turning straw into gold | trickle-down economics, or not | tricky answers to cooked up questions | trifecta of oblivion: decrying evil by covering one’s eyes, ears, and mouth | trifecta of offensiveness: wrong, reprehensible, and hypocritical | trifecta of unreliability | trigger an event to occur | trigger happy, or not | trigger-happy / trigger-finger / hair-trigger | triggers are meant to initiate irreversible events | trimming tulips to tiptoe through | trip down memory lane | tripping over one’s own feet / two left feet, or right | triumph in disaster | Trojan-Horse stratagem | trolling by comical impersonation / straight-faced trolling / prevarication by trolling | trombone solo at a wedding | trophy seat on a Harley, unoccupied sad to say | trotting out arguments | truck-stop restaurant | trump card in a weak hand | trumping an issue / a purpose / a value | trusting anything said by a man wearing pantyhose, or not | truth is anything that confirms one’s fears | truth is something to be stretched, or not | truth may be real, but falsehood often works better | truth may be stranger than fiction but never as dramatic | truth serum | trying in vain to look away from an accident scene | trying out one’s dentures on a banana before a ripe apple / getting ripe enough to fall off the tree | trying to forget the first time one met an ex-spouse | trying to urinate into the wind  | tsunami of press attention / commentaries on social media | tumescent self-infatuation | tummy-tuck and face-lift | tunnel vision / seeing light at the end of the tunnel, or not | turbocharged editorializing | turbocharged engine on a Piper Cub | turbocharging the economy | turbulent disposition | turkeys voting for Christmas / Thanksgiving | turmoil in the cockpit / pandemonium in the wheelhouse | turn / stop on a dime in a pedestrian’s pocket | turn the other facial cheek / turn the page | turning a blind eye | turning around an aircraft carrier inside a canal lock | turning one’s cards face up | turning over a new leaf | turning over a rock and seeing what crawls out | turning over every rock to prove an allegation / to catch a fugitive | turning over in one’s grave | turning over the tables of the moneychangers | turning the crank for a jack-in-the-box surprise / getting pole-axed by electoral outcomes | turning the tables on an opponent in an argument | turning up the rhetorical heat / raising the decibel level / communicating on the level | turnstile for lobbyists and lawmakers | turtles all the way down / that turtle on top of a fence post did not get there all by itself / flailing like a turtle on its back | tweaking an adjustment / an expressed opinion | twelve-step programs / so many, so little time | twenty-twenty hindsight / perfect retrospective vision | twiddling knobs and flicking levers in the cockpit while the pilot sleeps | twinkle in one’s eye disguising larceny in one’s soul | twisted pipe cleaners as high art | twisting slowly slowly in the breeze | twitchy suspicions metastasizing into full blown paranoia | two bald guys wrestling on the barroom floor over a find-tooth comb | two dogs in a gunny sack | two heads are better than one / are evidence of a crooked coin | two left feet, or right | two platoon system | two rights can make a wrong, or not | two-timing one’s marital partner means pissing in the soup | two-way wrist-radio used by Dick Tracy never needed earbuds | tying one’s hands | tying oneself to the mast for a doomed policy, or not / having one’s hands tied behind one’s back | tying up loose ends | typical and unseemly one-upmanship | typing a master for a spirit-page printer | tyranny of First Principles | tyranny of the majority | tyranny of urgency inflicted by that ringing damn telephone | ugliest triumph in a war of attrition / war determines who is left not who is right | ultrasound imaging, obstetrics / heart / lungs | unable to find one’s ass with both hands in three tries | under pressure greater than an elephant standing on a stiletto heel | under the thumb of a controlling person | undermining an organization / undercutting a policy | underpinning / undergirding / underscoring an observation / opinion | understanding the infield-fly rule, or not | undertones of intolerance / discrimination | undertow / riptide / tidal surge | undertow in a riptide | underwear riding up / wearing asbestos underwear | unforced error can be a gift-wrapped gaffe | unforgettable events / persons are forgotten eventually | unicorns and trolls | unicorns featured at a horse show | uninvited life of the party | unleashing a snarling Weimaraner dripping drool / slipping the leash | unleashing an attack / beefing up security | unlicensed stray-dog | unlike a door, an unhinged person may deserve to be slammed | unlike an election, in a horse race, the whole horse runs | unmarked grave in an unkempt cemetery | unmistakable sound of chase-me-catch-me pumps on a hardwood floor | unpaid precinct workers / yard-sign planters / telephone poll-takers | unprecedented events are not necessarily historic, or vice versa | unquestionable facts steeped in truth | unraveling what was tied up in knots | unrealistic hopefulness / pie-in-the-sky thinking | unspoken like the first ‘d’ in Wednesday | until the cows come home | until the day B’Nai B’rith honors Yassir Arafat | untimely as the ‘h’ in hour | unvarnished demagogy | up a creak without a paddle and a hole in the boat | up shit creek without a paddle | uphill all the way from here on down | upload a webpage / download a tune | upping the ante | urban legend, or not | use of air quotes to disparage opposing opinions / scare quotes in text | useless as a pulled tooth | useless as a relief-tube on a Predator drone | useless as an ashtray on a motorcycle | useless as nail clippings | using a cellphone to dial 911 when losing one’s keys | using a chronometer with a dead battery for celestial navigation | using a compound optical microscope for examining nasal discharge / nasal floss | using a five-iron in miniature golf | using a flame-thrower in an argument | using a Goldilocks procedure to select a verdict | using a person for a punching bag / medicine ball | using a scare-crow stratagem when the crows are fearless | using a word or phrase as shorthand for a large or complex expression | using both blades of one’s scissors to cut the fabric of truth into ribbons | using napalm on a lake of oil / napalming a legal defense | using navigator’s balls to correct the shipboard magnetic compass | using the smoke detector in the kitchen for ascertaining when the bacon is done | using the stock market as a barometer for evaluating the economy, or not | using tonnage for amounts of people / ideas / opinions | using X-ray imaging to see one’s dirty thoughts | usual suspects, or not | vaccination against boredom / criticism | vacuum flasks by magic keep hot things hot and cold things cold | valley of the blind where the one-eyed man is king | vamp for a few bars and then let’s jam | vampire with an attitude | vanity plates on a military tank being perceived as a parade-ground weapon | varsity team | vaudeville act / skit / given the hook off the stage | veering off the roadway into a ditch / last ditch offer / last ditch rescue effort | vehicle stopping on a dime | veiled accusation, or not | vending machines on a jumbo jet | venerable creative toys including Erector Set, Lego, Lincoln Logs | veracity is for losers, or not | vestigial pocket-watch pocket | victim’s bubbles still surfacing, or not | victim’s picture on a milk carton | video news-loop | video with instant replay / pan / tilt / zoom / dolly-shot / steady-cam / auto-focus | videocassette recorder larger than a breadbox | view from a skyscraper in the smog | vile as monkeys hurling excrement | village excitement watching pole-raising | virtual reality is hardly less oxymoronic than science fiction | virtue is its own boredom | virtue is its own reward, jealousy is its own punishment | vision correction by laser ablation | visitors from an alternate universe | visualizing in your mind’s eye | vitriol casting more heat than light on a subject | volcanic dust collected by jet-engine turbine blades | volcanic temperament | volume of a thimble / making a hairpin turn | volunteering to perform as a stalking horse | Volvo-and-brie set funding a liberal charity | vortex press coverage | voter fraud has taken its place as the modern boogeyman | voting / conceding through gritted teeth | W2-ing at a huge salary | wagering dollars to dog turds | wagering dollars to donuts / in for a nickel in for a dime / hiring a lawyer on one’s own dime | waggling fingers at one’s temples to simulate “scare” quotes | waiting for the next Krakatoa to stimulate public concerns for environmental issues | waiting for the second gotcha in golf | waiting for the second shoe to drop | waiting in the wings / upstaging / curtain call / standing in the limelight / gazing out over the footlights / performing in the spotlight | waiting patiently on-line at the concourse level then rushing for the station platform | wake-up call / shake-up announcement / shake-down demands | waking nightmare | waking up in bed with a grinning stranger and a hangover | waking up on the wrong side of the cage | waking up Winkle | walk back a statement / a walk, a stolen base, and a sacrifice fly are about as good as a three-bagger | walking a fine line | walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, or a kilometer | walking a mile in someone’s shoes can give you blisters | walking along a hotel corridor testing each door to see if it is unlocked | walking behind an elephant carrying a shovel | walking on eggs to avoid waking up the whole hen-house | walking the line, touching one’s nose, blowing up the breathalyzer balloon | Wall Street versus Main Street / Avenue of the Americas / Madison Avenue / Broadway | wallflower at the ball / sitting this one out | walls of Jericho came a-tumbling down | wall-to-wall carpeting / coverage | wall-to-wall egos / MBAs / lawyers / snobs / drunks / lobbyists / news coverage | walruses piled up on the beach in Alaska | wanting a paycheck instead of a career | wanting something so bad one can taste it | wanting to be the goat in scapegoat, or not / put the wheat where the goats can eat it | war is an extension of politics by other means | war paint / eye shadow / lip gloss | warlord character in civic matters | warm affection for hate speech | warm bodies to pad the payroll | warming the cockles of one’s heart, or not | warming up in the bullpen | warp speed | washboard roadway pavement | washing a child’s mouth out with soap | washing one’s hands of an issue / responsibility | washing one’s SUV in potable water makes sense, or not | waste not but recycle instead | watch out for those chickens coming home to roost / to graze / to lay their eggs | watch this space | watchdog with a sporadic bark | watched pot never gets anybody high | watching footage in a video technology that does not have footage | watching footage on a DVD | watching for the ‘tell’ indicating a bluff / a strong hand | watching paint dry / concrete harden / grass grow | watching the roulette ball bouncing from fret to fret | water and oil don’t mix, but water and whiskey sure does | water finding its own level / being level-headed, or not | water off a duck’s back | water over the dam / under the bridge / down the drain | water wagon as the best transportation for teetotalers | waterboarding for intelligence, or for vengeance | watering down an argument / commitment | watering down the mulch in one’s composting tumbler | watering one’s garden | watershed historical event / decision / moment | wave election | waves thrashing the beach | waving a red flag in front of a bull | waving a white flag in surrender | wax in one’s ears / tears in one’s eyes / sweat on one’s brow / not even breaking a sweat | we all scream for ice-cream | weapon of mass confusion | weaponizing hacked materials / propaganda on social media | weaponizing the First Amendment | weaponizing virtue / charity / sympathy | wearing a hair shirt in regret and shame | wearing a safety pin in one’s pierced ear | wearing a wire in the Oval Office | wearing homemade garments / threadbare argument / threadbare idea | wearing one’s heart on one’s sleeve, or not | wearing only one uniform on the field | wearing sunglasses in the jury box | wearing the shoe that fits | wearing torn blue jeans to a fashion show in Paris | weather pays no attention to criticism | weathering the storm | weathervane policy / fair-weather friends / formulation | weathervanes are fickle, one never knows which way it will point next | wedge issue / hot-button issue | weekend warrior | weft and warp in the weaving of a fabric | weighing in ahead of a boxing match / about an issue | weightlessness for a year in earth orbit | welching on a wager | welcome as an adult chaperone at a high-school prom | welcome as drunks at a temperance convention | welcome as weeds and snails and aphids in one’s garden | well-deserved self-righteousness, or not | well-formed Hershey bar with all the almonds in the right places | wet behind the ears / shaving only once a week | wet firecracker | wet T-shirt contest | wet-blanket life of the party | wetted area on boat-hulls and baby-bottoms | wetting one’s whistle while whetting one’s scythe | whack-a-mole remedial action | whale of a difference in miniaturized cellphones | wham bam thank you ma’am | what goes around comes around / be careful what you wish for | what works always has limits, what does not work has none | what-about-ism in a juvenile dispute / both-sider-ism in political accusations | whatever floats your boat / makes your tail wag | whatever happens from now on, remember Kilroy was here | whatever is coming down the pike | whatever the expression means, let’s talk turkey | what-me-worry detachment | wheel of fortune / fortune-cookie maxims and proverbs | wheelbarrow full of bricks | wheelchair soccer competition | wheels coming off that bandwagon / training wheels on a racing bicycle | wheels derailed on the gravy train | wheels up, gotta go | when blush comes to shrug / distraction from an involuntary facial glow by a deliberate shoulder shrug / when jerk comes to shirk | when hell freezes over / when pigs fly / in your dreams | when one dances with the devil, the choreography can get awkward | when one door closes and another door opens means you are probably in prison | when person ‘p’ sneezes his or her nose, institution ‘i’ gets pneumonia | when push comes to shove, or vice-versa | when tempted to fight fire with fire remember that fire departments prefer to use water | when the cat is away the mice will play / when enforcement is in play corruption holds sway | when the fat lady sings, you can put away your opera glasses | when the going gets tough the tough gets going | when the reach exceeds one’s grasp | when the smoke clears, one sees who will be left standing | when they go low, we go high, or lower | when things get interesting, they are necessarily bad things, or not | when you least expect it, expect it | whenever you feel blue start breathing again | where seagulls go at night is a secret for the ages | where the rubber meets the road | where there is a will it is best to be named in it | where there’s smoke there’s always smoke and sometimes fire / stinking to high heaven | wherever there is glass one will soon find a closed-circuit camera behind it | whether one is worth one’s salt, or not | whether you believe in gravity or not, jump out of the window and gravity wins | whiffing one’s bat on third strike | while doing good unto others, one wonders what the others are doing unto oneself | whining for attention | whiplash / backlash / front-lash | whipping party votes | whistle-stop makes sense only for steam locomotives | whistling girls and crowing hens both come to the same bad ends | whistling past the graveyard / dancing on a grave | white elephant / treasures in the attic | white eye sockets from wearing goggles in a tanning bed | white knuckles in turbulence | white knuckles on takeoff / landing | white-collar position / blue-collar job / black-collar pit boss | white-faced clowns with red noses and orange wigs solemnly swinging slap-sticks | white-hot fear / fat’s in the fire | whitewash for an offensive position statement / policy result | whitewashing a regrettable report, or not | whole ball of wax / whole nine yards / whole enchilada / whole scrotum full of nuts | whole being greater than the sum of its parts, or not | whole laundry-list of policy positions | whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on | whole other kettle of fish, or not | why bad things seem to harm good people | why bending over backwards demonstrates cooperation | why front-row seats are always empty in chapels and churches | why good things seem to benefit bad people | wicked versus iniquitous is a distinction without a difference / the wicked are like the troubled sea, whose waters cast up mire and dirt | wide spot in the road / that shack on the corner is the birthplace of a great man, or woman | wide stance in the next stall could be a Senator for all one knows | wide-open throttle / flooding the carburetor | wife being one’s better half, or not | wife-swapping may in fact be husband-swapping | wild card / one-eyed jacks | wild ducks flying in formation | wild goose chase / often when one’s heart knows what the wild goose knows | wild horses could not keep me away | wildfires followed by mud slides | wildlife taking over the wilderness | Wiley Coyote off a cliff | will o’ the wisp / port o’ call / coat o’ paint | will versus way / intention versus method / the road to hell is paved with good intentions | willfully ignorant one-man band, or not | willing neither to fish nor to cut bait / do something useful or get off the pot | willing to give up one’s left testicle for something | willing to lose in the primary to win in the general | win a few, lose a few, and the rest get rained out | win, place, and show – and then there’s when my horse comes in | wincing as a form of grimacing, or vice versa | wind beneath one’s wings / at one’s back / in one’s sails | wind turbine for everything from household power to pumping water on the farm | windfall benefits / profits / forcing premature harvests | window dressing | windshield wiper / washer | winging an unprepared presentation | wings are hardly redundant; every airplane needs both | wingtips worn by the Fuller-brush man for blocking front doors | wink-and-nod banking regulations | wink-wink, nudge-nudge compliance / approval | winner in the count of used sick sacks following a televised interview | winner of the sweepstakes will probably need a defibrillator | winner-take-all versus one-man-or-woman-one-vote | winning a dressage competition bareback, or not | winning a political trifecta: executive plus bicameral legislature | winning an insult contest | winning is not the only thing, it is everything, or vice-versa | winning playbook and strong bench | winning the gold medal in bungie jumping | winnowing wheat from chaff versus culling the herd | win-win situations are intuitively better than lose-lose | wiping one’s nose on one’s pants cuff / rubbing one’s nose in one’s defeat | wireless pickpocket / wire-tapping bug / wearing a wire / wireless phone tap | wish named Wanda | wishbone expectations | wistfulness in wisdom as evidence of good manners | witch-doctor’s prescriptions | witch-hunt journalism / prosecution | with cowboy boots, the manure is on the outside | with his house on fire he rolls over in bed and mutters about his action plan | within a hair’s breadth | within a stone’s throw | within an eyelash of success or failure | witnessing a crime-in-progress | wolfing down one’s take-out dinner | wolves in sheep’s clothing, or vice versa | woman with no visible means of support | women and children first to test the buoyancy of the lifeboats | women in the most hazardous combat units by long established tradition | wondering why it is no longer a disgrace to be an asshole | wondering why the exit poll was more accurate than the vote count | wood burns faster when one chops it oneself | woolgathering focus on the matters at hand | word / name on the tip of one’s tongue | words spoken like cannonballs | working hand-in-glove | working one’s fingers to the bone / cut to the bone | working the bellows to feed the flames | working the referee / working the umpire, or not | working up a full head of steam | world class screw-up / election fiasco | world does not change in front of our eyes, it changes behind our backs | world full of paranoiacs, and they’re all out to get me | world without flirting | world’s tallest shortstop | worn-out wipers in a rainstorm | worshiping the porcelain god | worst-case scenario like in Macbeth or something | worth less than a bag of dirt / hitting pay dirt, or not | wound suppurating in the damp air | wrangling committee positions / whipping legislative votes | wrapping one’s head around a surprising proposition | wreaking havoc in hard-core political institutions | wrestling on the edge of a cliff / rooftop / window ledge | wrestling tag-team / body slamming | wringing the bells now, wringing one’s hands later | wrinkles are something other people have that are similar to one’s own character lines | writing a maxim on the blackboard a hundred times | writing, either by pen or pencil, has become quite quaint in the age of word processing | wrong track / wrong foot / wrong side of the bed / wrong side of the cage | wrong-way Corrigan-ism | yammering adolescents on a school bus | yards-gained may be interesting but only points-on-the-board determine the winner | yard-sign to support a political candidate, or to trash an opponent | yawning gulf / audience / kitten | yellow-brick road to the Emerald City in Kansas | yellow-dog bombs | yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – and other parental prevarications | you break it you own it | you fumbled, I scored, put my points on the board | you’re rubber and I’m glue, or maybe the other way around | your wish shall be my command, your command shan’t mean shit | youth is not an age but a lens | youth means getting up without making sound effects | zeroing in on a target | zero-sum game in politics and schoolyards, or not | zigging in and zagging right back out again | zip up your lips | zombie on steroids | zoom lens for finding metaphors

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