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18 Idioms beginning with Y

Click on any idiom for more information, including example sentences, notes and quizzes.


a yellow streak

If someone has a yellow streak, they can sometimes act in a cowardly way and not be very brave.

a yes-man

If someone's a yes-man, they'll say they agree with someone, or say "yes" to them, in order to please them.

the year dot | the year one

You can say "the year dot", or "the year one", when you're talking about a very, very long time ago.

year in, year out

If something has happened year in, year out, it's happened every year for many years in a row.

yellow journalism American English

Journalism in which sensational stories are used to boost sales, or biased reporting is used to change the reader's views on an issue. Both of these are unethical.


If someone is yellow-bellied, they are not brave, or they are cowardly.

You are what you eat.

You can say "you are what you eat" when you want to point out the connection between food and health.

You asked for it! Informal

You can say "You asked for it!" when you think someone deserves the punishment they're getting or the trouble they're in.

you bet | you bet your boots | you bet your life Informal

You can say "you bet", "you bet your boots" or "you bet your life" when you strongly agree with a statement or a suggestion, or to emphasise what you're saying.

You can say that again! Informal

If someone says "You can say that again!", it shows they strongly agree with what was just said.

You can't win them all.

Something you can say after you, or someone else, loses a contest or fails to achieve something (said to make losing seem not so bad).

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

You can say "you could have knocked me over with a feather" to show how surprised you were when something happened, or when you heard about something.

You're on!

You can say "You're on!" if you want to accept a challenge, a bet or an invitation.

You're only young once.

You can say "you're only young once" when you're trying to persuade someone, or yourself, to do something while you're still young enough to do it.

You're telling me!

You can say "You're telling me!" when you strongly agree with what someone has said.

young at heart

Someone is young at heart if they still feel young even though they're getting old.

young blood

If you say "young blood", you mean young people who have fresh, new ideas and lots of energy.

Your guess is as good as mine. Informal

You can say "your guess is as good as mine" when you don't know the answer to a question.

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