Idioms beginning with P. Select an idiom for more details.

a pain in the neck INFORMAL

You can say someone is a pain in the neck if they annoy you, or something is a pain in the neck if you don't like doing it.

a pat on the back

You've given someone a pat on the back if you've told them they've done something well, or done a good job.

a piece of cake British English

If you say that something is a piece of cake, you mean that it is extremely easy.

a pipe dream

A pipe dream is a plan or a dream for the future that could never come true or be achieved.

paint the town red

If you paint the town red, you visit bars, nightclubs and other nightspots to have a good time.

par for the course INFORMAL

If something is par for the course, it's what you'd expect it to be.

part and parcel of

If something is part and parcel of an experience or a role in life, it is an important part of it and it cannot be avoided.

pass the buck INFORMAL

If you pass the buck, you shift the responsibility for something to someone else in order to take the pressure off yourself.

pay the price

You pay the price for doing something when you experience the unpleasant results of doing it.

pay through the nose INFORMAL

If you pay through the nose for something, you pay more than the usual price for it.

pick somebody's brains

If you pick somebody's brains, you ask them for detailed information or ideas about something.

pick up the tab | pick up the bill INFORMAL

If you pick up the tab, or pick up the bill, you pay for yourself and your friends in a restaurant or a bar.

plain sailing

If something is plain sailing, it's very easy to do and there are no problems to overcome.

play it by ear

If you play it by ear, you don't plan ahead but you do whatever seems best at the time depending on the situation.

playing with fire

You're playing with fire if you're involved in an activity that could be dangerous, or could lead to problems in the future.

pop the question INFORMAL

If you pop the question, you ask someone to marry you.

prey on your mind

If something is preying on your mind, you can't stop thinking about it or worrying about it.

pull out all the stops

If you pull out all the stops, you do everything you can to make sure something is successful.

pull someone's leg INFORMAL

If you pull someone's leg, you play a joke on them by saying something that isn't true.

pull your socks up INFORMAL

You can say "pull your socks up" to someone if you think they should improve the way they are behaving or the way they are doing something.

put all your eggs in the one basket INFORMAL

If you put all your eggs in the one basket, you put all your efforts or resources into one person, one thing or one plan, and if things don't work out, you lose everything.

put someone's nose out of joint INFORMAL

If you put someone's nose out of joint, you upset them by not treating them with as much respect or consideration as they think they deserve.

put the brakes on

If you put the brakes on something, you stop it or slow it down.

put your foot in it

If you put your foot in it you say or do the wrong thing and usually make matters worse.

put your foot in your mouth

If you put your foot in your mouth you say or do the wrong thing and usually make matters worse.

put your own house in order | get your own house in order

If you say to someone "put your own house in order", or "get your own house in order", you think they should solve their own problems before telling someone else how to solve theirs.

the pros and cons

The pros and cons of something are its good points and bad points.

Contributor: Matt Errey