The ABCs of American Idioms

Add insult to injury

To make worse a situation that was already bad.

Example: “She spilled coffee all over my shirt, and then, to add insult to injury, she told me that it never looked that good on me anyway.

As if!

An interjection used to express that the speaker thinks something is very unlikely.


A: "I hope our econometrics professor gets sick and doesn't come to class tomorrow."

B: "Yeah, as if! He never misses class."

Backhanded compliment

A compliment that is insulting, usually on purpose.

Example: "My mom told me that I'm still very pretty, for a chubby girl. What a backhanded compliment!"

Beat around the bush

In conversation, to circumvent a subject for fear of your interlocutor’s reaction; to avoid saying something outright.

Example: “
Let’s not beat around the bush: it’s time we discussed your student loan payment.

Bend over backwards

Making an extra effort to accomplish something or to help another. 

Example: "My mother paid for my plane tickets home by working two jobs. She really bent over backwards for me."