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Cliches starting with D

ClicheMeaning
damned if you do, damned if you dontDamned if you do, damned if you dont is an idiom used in reference to saying that no matter what you do, it is going to cause trouble. This is a cliche which shows that in the situation you are in, you cant make a choice that will not get you into trouble. Being damned, or being punished by getting into trouble, is inevitable when using this cliche as all of your options lead to being damned in one way or another.
dance with the devilDance with the devil is an idiom that means you knowingly are doing something that goes against God in one way or another. To dance with the devil also means feeling gleeful about doing something that is against Gods wishes or ideals, such as being a daredevil. Someone who is dancing with the devil is completely aware of what they are doing, they understand it is wrong and they get some kind of joy out of it so they continue to do it.
darting to and froDarting to and fro is a cliche which means to move from one place to another and back again, often in a repeated rhythm. Darting typically means to move extremely fast from one place to another. Darting to and fro is most commonly heard in songs as well as in childrens stories and rhymes but it is also sometimes spoken in general, everyday conversation as a way to explain something going back and forth and back again.
dead as a doornailDead as a doornail is the phrase which means to be devoid of life, finished with, unusable and often dead. It is most commonly applied to inanimate objects which have no value of life as they have never lived with a beating heart, along with people, plants and animals that are devoid of life or who have been deceased. Doornails, as inanimate objects, are very dead in that they never lived which is where the cliche comes from.
death and taxesDeath and taxes is a sardonic proverb that has been around for decades and slowly turned into a cliche way to explain the fatalistic fact that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Its meaning is that the actual inevitability of death highlights the difficult in avoiding the burden of taxes, but more commonly used in reference to the only for sure things in life you are going to experience are death and taxes.
deaths doorstepTo be on deaths doorstep means to be very near death, such as someone who is gravely ill (gravely meaning near fatal; near death) or severely injured to the point that you will most certainly not survive with your injuries. When saying that someone is on deaths doorstep, it means that they are as close to death as they can be without actually being dead; that they have a fatal illness and will be dying very shortly.
deep in thoughtDeep in thought is an idiom used to describe someone that is very deeply absorbed in thought. It is a literal cliche describing someone that is so deep in thought they are often distant, lost in thought and preoccupied to notice anything but what they are thinking. Someone deep in thought is often preoccupied with their thoughts, and wont notice anything else going on around them.
didnt just fall off of a turnip truckDidnt just fall off of a turnip truck is an idiom used to describe someone who is utterly and hopelessly na
distance makes the heart grow fonderDistance makes the heart grow fonder, also known as absence makes the heart grow fonder, is the concept that when you are far from someone, you notice how you truly feel about them. It is often used as a way to comfort someone who will be away from their significant other or close friend or family member, assuring them that the distance apart will make their heart grow fonder; which will make their love for that person grow.
dog days of summerThe dog days of summer are the hot, sultry period of summer that typically lasts from early July to early September. The cliche of dog days of summer comes from this period of stagnation and has nothing to do with the animal dogs at all. The dog days of summer date back to the first day that the ancient Romans saw the Dog Star (called Sirius) join the sun in the daytime sky which happened during this time of summer.
dog tiredDog tired is the phrase most commonly referring to being extremely tired. This cliche originated from the fact that dogs spend much of their day laying down whether they are simply resting, napping or completely asleep. Being dog tired can be the severity of how tired you are such as being extremely tired, or the regularity at which you are tired in how you seem very tired all of the time.
dont be a party pooperA party pooper is someone who tends to be a downer at a party, never really enjoying themselves and being the negative, pessimistic and cynical person who cant seem to have a good time. When you are telling someone not to be a party pooper, you are asking them to simply enjoy themselves at the party and stop bringing the mood of the party down with their negativity and cynicism.
dont be a stick in the mudDont be a stick in the mud is the phrase in which you are telling someone to stop being a downer at a party such as a party pooper or stop being a curmudgeon (someone who never enjoys themselves). A stick in the mud is typically someone who is completely unwilling to participate in activities and social events (such as a stick which does not move in mud) and makes it less enjoyable for everyone else.
dont bite the hand that feeds youDont bite the hand that feeds you is a cliche term which is advising you on not acting against people who you depend on. If someone is feeding you, supporting you or providing you with other types of comfort, security and safety, you should treat them with respect and kindness, rather than biting them as in the phrase, or being ungrateful to them. If you treat someone poorly who does you favors and helps you, they may stop helping you in the future.
dont burn your bridgesDont burn your bridges is an idiom which is referring to the importance of remembering the value of your relationships and friendships and not to damage those relationships. Dont burn your bridges is a phrase commonly used when referring to someone who is leaving and to not burn the bridges before you leave, or otherwise do not treat people badly and damage your relationships before you leave. When you burn bridges, you are unable to return to how things were.
dont call us, well call youDont call us, well call you is an idiom which is spoken to someone in order to hint at the fact that they should not pursue the relationship, friendship or application any further and wait for your response. Dont call us, well call you is often used in reference to meeting someone for the first time and simply a kind way to ask someone not to call you, such as when you are on a first date you will ask them not to call you as a way to hint at not wanting to speak with them further.
dont change horses in midstreamDont change horses in midstream is an idiom which is advising you not to change your leader or your basic position when you are part way through a campaign or other type of project. When you change horses midstream (leader or other powerful person) the newest horse may not know their way through the rest of the river and be unable to carry you and your group the remainder of the way.
dont count your chickens before theyre hatchedDont count your chickens before theyre hatched is an idiom which means that you should not count on something before it happens or expect your hopes to be fulfilled. This is basically a cliche which is advising you to not count on anything because at any point, something could go wrong and it may not work out. For instance, counting on money to be coming in when it isnt guaranteed can cause you more worry in the long run in the case it does not come when you expect it.
dont do anything I wouldnt doDont do anything I wouldnt do is a cliched term that is referring to behaving yourself. The phrase is often said ironically, such as telling the person to behave badly in order to enjoy themselves, as you the person would do. The doings that the listener of this phrase is asked to avoid are typically unspecified and assumed bad actions. It is a phrase very commonly used in movies and television shows.
dont do the crime if you cant do the timeDont do something risky unless you are willing to accept the consequences.
dont fire til you see the whites of their eyesDont fire til you see the whites of their eyes is an expression which is advising someone not to act before they have a chance of success. Literally speaking, this cliche is talking about not firing (shooting a gun) at their opponent until they are so close they can see their eyes because this means they are close enough tot heir target to be successful. Figuratively, it can mean any type of act which you need a good amount of success for.
dont fly off the handleDont fly off the handle is an expression of warning to someone else to regain their self control and not become a danger to others. This cliche is typically told to someone who is getting very angry and agitated where they seem to be losing their self control and may act out of anger in a way that can possible injure somebody else. Dont fly off the handle is a way to warn them of what may be coming if they arent careful to control themselves.
dont get your knickers in a twistDont get your knickers in a twist is an idiom which acts as a warning to someone to avoid getting upset or agitated any further. It is most commonly told to someone who is becoming defensive or agitated over something that should be minor and not cause such a negative reaction. It is often spoken in a sarcastic way as to show there is no logical reason why they should be so upset or what has been said.
dont get your panties in a bunchDont get your panties in a bunch is another way of telling someone not to get upset or flustered. Like many other idioms of the same meaning, dont get your panties in a bunch (or dont get your panties in a twist) is a way of telling someone they are becoming agitated for no reason and should just calm down and relax about the situation. It is a sarcastic warning of not becoming upset over the current situation.
dont have a cowDont have a cow is an idiom which is advising someone not to get so worked up as in upset or agitated over something that shouldnt be such a big deal. The phrase have a cow comes from the fact that a human being giving birth to a full-grown cow in all of its size and weight would cause a large amount of emotional expressiveness; in this way, the person is advised not to overreact to something superficial or meaningless.
dont hold your breathDont hold your breath is an idiom which is advising somebody not to wait around for something to happen by holding their breath; something that may never happen. It means that it may take longer than expected for it to happen, so holding their breath is pointless. Dont hold your breath is often spoken in a sarcastic tone to someone who is becoming impatient after waiting for something to happen within a certain period of time.
dont jump to conclusionsDont jump to conclusions is a figure of speech in which a person is telling someone else not to judge someone or decide something without having all of the facts first. It is a kind warning that reaching conclusions which may be unwarranted may only lead to negative consequences because assumptions can also be inaccurate. Dont jump to conclusions is typically said to someone who is judging someone else based on superficial information or assuming something that is probably false.
dont let the bed bugs biteDont let the bed bugs bite is a common phrase spoken during a nightly ritual which is Good night, sleep tight, dont let the bedbugs bite. This cliche comes from the time when mattresses rested on ropes that supported the bed and when the ropes were tight, you slept better. Bedbugs would crawl around the house after dark and get into bed with people who would sleep. Dont let the bedbugs bite is another way to wish someone a good nights sleep.
dont look a gift horse in the mouthDont look a gift horse in the mouth is an idiom used to warn someone not be ungrateful when they receive a gift. Looking a gift horse in the mouth is a warning because looking straight into the mouth of a horse can have negative consequences. If you receive a gift, even if it isnt exactly what you were hoping for, you should be appreciative or you may not receive any kind of gift in the future.
dont look backDont look back is an idiom often used as a fair warning to someone to not dwell on the past. It is often said to people who tend to dwell on things that have happened to them in recent years and cant seem to get over it. Dont look back is a way to warn people that if they spend all of their time regretting what they have done and dwelling on the past, they wont be able to look forward and enjoy the present or look to the future.
dont make me do something Ill regretDont make me do something Ill regret is an idiom which has become a cliche due to how much it is said, especially in popular media such as movies and television shows; even some popular songs. Dont make me do something Ill regret is a warning of sorts asking someone not to push their boundaries. It is typically said to someone who seems to be pushing the person to their limits, causing them to be angry and agitated.
dont push your luckDont push your luck is a phrase often used to tell someone not to risk their good fortune with the chance that they might lose it if they push too far. Dont push your luck is often to said to someone who has been lucky in what they have been given but they are acting over confidently and going too far in the risks they are willing to take because they feel confident in their luck and fortune.
dont put all your eggs in one basketDont put all your eggs in one basket is an idiom which is referring to having everything dependent on just one thing. If you count on just one thing (such as one client or one job) to be your backbone or something that you will keep you going, you may lose it and then lose everything. This comes from the fact that if you put all of your eggs in one basket and the basket drops, you have lost everything.
dont rock the boatDont rock the boat is an idiom often told to people to advise them not to upset others by trying to change a situation which doesnt need to be changed. It is especially used as a warning when what they are doing could possibly have negative consequences such in the case of rocking a boat where these actions could cause everyone to go overboard. It is a kind warning to someone who seems to be heading in this direction.
dont take any wooden nickelsDont take any wooden nickels is an old expression which was often said to people when they wanted to advise them not be cheated or ripped off. Wooden nickels might look beautiful and even valuable, but this is deceiving because wooden nickels have no actual monetary value. The saying dont take any wooden nickels, means to be careful you are not cheated or ripped off by other people.
dont tempt fateDont tempt fate is an idiom which is advising someone not to provoke others or to risk provoking a situation. Tempting fate means to take unnecessary risks in order for personal or financial gain, where the risks of that temptation could have dire consequences and is most often not worth what could be gained by tempting fate. Dont tempt fate is a cliched term often used in a variety of situations and circumstances.
dont toot your own hornDont toot your own horn is an expression which is telling someone not to brag about their own talents and skill levels. Tooting your own horn is typically done by someone who is conceited and knows their own value and talents. When you tell someone not to toot their own horn, you are warning them that if they continue to brag about themselves, they will in turn look less than what they are worth.
dont upset the apple cartDont upset the apple cart is an idiom which is a fair warning to someone to not disturb the way things are being done because it could possibly ruin things in the long run. Dont upset the apple cart means that if you try to change something that is already working well and cause a disturbance, everything could go awry and your changes could turn something profitable into something that is now ruined.
doubting ThomasDoubting Thomas is an idiom which has been around since the biblical days and means that someone will not easily believe something if they do not have a strong proof or evidence. This dates back to the biblical account of the apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until Thomas had touched the risen Christ. Doubting Thomas could be said to and about a man or a woman.
down and dirtyDown and dirty is a cliche which has a variety of meanings ranging from something that is unrealistic and unvarnished, uninhabited, unscrupulous and fiercely competitive. This expression is most commonly used as a figurative cliche in that someone is becoming fiercely competitive in the way that they handle their opponents in the competition. Someone who is down and dirty isnt afraid to get their hands dirty in order to win.
down in the dumpsTo be down in the dumps means to be unhappy and depressed. Down in the dumps is an idiom which has been known as a cliche because of how often it is used in everyday conversation as well as a variety of movies, television show dialogue and song lyrics of popular songs. Down in the dumps is usually referring to people who seen unhappy and depressed based on previous events.
down patDown pat is an expression used when describing that you understand something perfectly. It is a cliche often used when someone has explained something new to you such as a school project or a new duty at your job; when you say you have it down pat, you are telling your teacher, tutor or employer that you understand everything they have explained to you and have no further questions or doubts about it.
down the drainDown the drain is an idiom which is referring to the fact that if work or money goes down the drain, it will be wasted. It is usually referred to with money, such as Thats money down the drain. When someone says something like money has gone down the drain, they mean that it was wasted. This is often used when something was purchased that has broken and there is no chance of getting your money back.
down the hatchDown the hatch is an expression used to tell someone you are about to drink all of something, or another way to say Lets all drink up. This cliche can be spoken about yourself to others explaining that you are about to take a drink or spoken to a group of people as an informal toast that is asking everyone to all take a drink with you. Down the hatch simply means to drink something, most commonly all of it.
down to earthDown to earth is an expression which being to be realistic and sensible, not pretentious or affected by negative things, straightforward and not overly ornate. A person who is down to earth is very simple in their physical traits and appearance and clothing, hairstyle, and the way they behave towards other people and other things. Down to earth people take things as they come and are usually optimistic and positive.
dressed to killDressed to kill is a way of describing that someone is dressed in strikingly attractive clothing and most commonly spoken of women. Someone that is dressed to kill is usually intentionally dressed for the attention of a man. While dressed to kill is more commonly associated with the way a woman is dressed, a man can also be dressed to kill in that is he is trying to attract a woman with his clothing.
dressed to the ninesDressed to the nines is an idiom which is describing someone who is dressed smartly or flamboyantly. It is most frequently heard when attempting to explain the fact that the clothing has something in the quantity of nines to explain how extravagant and flamboyant it is, such as a jacket with nine buttons which would be a lot for that style of jacket. Another theory is that tailors once used nine yards of material to make a suit of this caliber.
drinks like a fishDrinks like a fish is a way to describe someone that drinks very heavily, most commonly an alcoholic drink. If you are talking about someone that drinks a lot whether you mean in volume such as a lot of drinks in one sitting, or in terms of how often this person drinks, they are drinking like a fish. Comparing heavy drinking to a fish is due to the fact that fish live in the ocean and therefore drink a lot due to their environment.
drive the point homeDrive the point home is an idiom expression that is referring to the explanation of something in such a way that is becomes deeply convincing to the listeners so that they will see your point of view. Driving the point home is a cliche often used when convincing a group of people in business, such as in a business meeting that your idea is the right one to choose.
drive you up a wallDrive someone up the wall is the idiom used when someone is being extremely annoying or irritating. It is typically spoken to someone who is bothering you with what they are doing, commonly talking a lot, making jokes you dont find funny or doing something that is irritating such as making noises with objects around them. It is often spoken to this person in a sarcastic person, like Youre driving me up the wall.
driving the porcelain busDriving the porcelain bus is an expression which means to be sick the morning after drinking too much the night before. When you are driving the porcelain bus, you are throwing up into the toilet (also called the porcelain throne) with two hands on either side of the toilet bowl like you were driving a bus. Driving the porcelain bus is simply another way to say you are sick from having a hangover.
drown your sorrowsTo drown your sorrows means you are drinking a lot of alcohol to stop having negative feelings, usually sad or depressing feelings. Drown your sorrows is a common expression for getting drunk in order to forget about being sad and is used so often it has since become a cliche. People still use it often in everyday conversation when talking about someone who simply drinks to forget their sadness.
drunk as a skunkDrunk as a skunk is an expression that talks about someone who is extremely drunk. The origin of this idiom is that someone who is drunk or has been drinking for a long time smells badly like the alcohol they are drinking, therefore they have a foul odor like a skunk. It is often used to describe just how drunk someone is; not necessarily that they smell of alcohol but are indeed very drunk.
dry as a boneDry as a bone is an idiom used for something that is extremely dry; it is often used for a persons extreme thirst or dehydration where they will say that their throat is dry as a bone as a bone is one of the driest parts of a persons body. Dry as a bone can also be used more figuratively in relation to something or someone being very dull or boring and they will be called dry as a bone.
dumb as a postDumb as a post is an idiom which insults the intelligence of someone and compares them to an inanimate object that would obviously have no intelligence; in this case, they are compared to a post, or a fencepost. Dumb as a post is simply another way to explain just how unintelligent (stupid or dumb) somebody is whether it is lack of intelligence or a response to something they did with no common sense.
dutch uncleDutch uncle is the term used for someone who regularly says harsh, frank and severe things to someone but for a good reason. Dutch uncle is a way of criticizing and insulting ones intelligence or offering harsh comments with the purpose of educating and encouraging someone, or to admonish them. A persons uncle is often the person that teaches their nephews and nieces, sometimes in a more harsh way than others would.
dyed in the woolDyed in the wool is an idiom used when you are referring to having very strong opinions about something about will never change your opinions. Dyed in the wool is a way of saying something is permanent or extreme, as when you dye wool you cannot ever dye it back because wool holds on to colored dye. Figuratively, it means that while your opinions seem extreme, they are permanent and will never change.