This is the second of two posts on idioms that contain the word ‘water’. On this blog, we always try to provide you with commonly used, contemporary idioms and this post is no exception!
If you say you will do something come hell or high water, you mean you are very determined to do it, whatever difficulties you may face: I’m going to be at that ceremony next year, come hell or high water!
If you describe yourself as treading water, you mean you are in a situation where you are not making progress: I feel like I’m treading water in this job – I’m not learning anything new. (To ‘tread water’ literally is to float – but not move forward – in water, by moving your arms and legs quickly up and down.)
Someone who throws cold water on your idea or suggestion is negative about it, in a way that makes you feel discouraged: I try to make helpful suggestions, but you just throw cold water on them!
If you keep your head above water you have or make just enough money to continue, though the situation is difficult: Currently we have enough customers coming in to keep our head above water, but only just.
If you dip a toe in the water, you try doing something in order to work out whether it is worth going ahead with it: I did some voluntary work in a school for a term, just to dip a toe in the water.
If an explanation or argument doesn’t hold water, it doesn’t seem to be true or reasonable: As a justification for spending all that money, it just doesn’t hold water.
‘Water’ also features in a saying. Blood is thicker than water means that the relationships we have with our family are more important than relationships with other people: At the end of the day, she’s my sister and I want to help her. Blood is thicker than water.
A group of idioms use the plural ‘waters’. For example, uncharted waters refers to a situation or activity that people have no knowledge of, often because it has never happened before: We simply don’t know how the current situation will play out long-term. We’re in uncharted waters.
In British English, if you pour oil on troubled waters, you do or say something to make people who have been arguing become friends again: My attempts to pour oil on troubled waters, sadly, didn’t help.
We’ll end with another saying. Still waters run deep means that someone who seems quiet and shy on the outside actually has a very interesting and complicated character.
I hope you’ve enjoyed these two ‘water’ idioms posts. Enjoy the rest of your week.