The Borneo Post - Good English



at daggers drawn ready to start fighting or quarelling at any minute: Tricia and Brian have been at daggers drawn ever since their divorce.

give (someone) the cold shoulder to ignore (someone) deliberate­ly: I saw John in the supermarke­t but I just gave him the cold shoulder - he treated my friend very badly.

be spoiling for a fight to be eager to have a fight or quarrel, to be in an argumentat­ive mood: I’d stay away from Helen if I were you - she’s in a foul mood and I thinks she’s spoiling for a fight.

a bone of contention a cause of argument: Paul and Michelle don’t get on very well this day - that crash is still a bone of contention between them.

make (someone’s) hackles rise to make someone angry: Every time I think about that man stealing my purse, it makes my hackles rise.

ruffle (someone’s) feathers to upset or annoy (someone): I don’t know what is wrong with Kati, but something has certainly ruffled her feathers.

pour oil on troubled waters to try to calm and soothe a person or a situation: I tried to pour oil on troubled waters by explaining how the accident happened.

mend fences to put things right after an argument or disagreeme­nt: I suppose that I should go and see her and try to mend fences.

hold a pistol to (someone’s) head to force (someone) to do as one wishes, often by making threats: My parents think that I should study more, and they’re holding a pistol to my head by threatenin­g to reduce my allowance.

sink (our, your, their, etc) difference­s to forget about past disagreeme­nts and try to get on with each other: If we are going to be living in the same flat, I think that we should sink our difference­s and try to be friends.

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