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Cliches starting with F

ClicheMeaning
face the musicFace the music is an idiom about accepting the unpleasant consequences of ones actions. To face the music means you are facing the consequences of whatever you did, primarily something against the rules, illegal or just frowned upon. If someone says they had to face the music, it meant they did something intentionally knowing it was not allowed, and they got caught and had to face punishment.
face up to the factsFace up to the facts is a way of saying you need to confront someone by using courage or to confront something that is representing a threat or something else that is unpleasant. If someone says they are facing up to the facts, it means they are accepting that something is happening that is unpleasant and they realize they cant change it, so they are trying to go with it and confront it head-on.
facts of lifeFacts of life is a figurative phrase which refers to the undeniable truth about the unpleasant ways that the world works. Facts of life is often talking about the unfortunately unpleasant things that can happen to a person, how the society we live in may negatively impact our life, and the world as a whole not always being fair. The television show by the same now was about the same type of thing; that growing up is not always pleasant.
fair weather friend A fair weather friend is someone who only seems to come around and act likes a friend when everything is pleasant and going well for you. This may be someone who takes advantage of your good fortune because he or she knows they can get something from you, while others simply only want to be around people who are positive, happy and pleasant. Fair weather friends are scarce when you have troubles in your life or are going through problems.
faith can move mountainsFaith can move mountains is a phrase which expresses that having beliefs in something and confidence in those beliefs, can achieve things very difficult. Faith can move mountains is the belief that having the confidence in what you believe in whether it is a religion or spiritual belief, that you will be able to do more with your life and complete more harder, difficult challenges than those who do not have a solid belief system.
fake it till you make itFake it till you make it is a common cliche which is referring to faking the appearance of something until you no longer have to fake it. This catchphrase is often used when you are imitating confidence so that when your confidence will lead to success, you will then be able to generate real confidence because you are now truly successful. The phrase is also used when you are imitating something, such as having fine furniture that is less than what it appears to be, until you make enough money to get the real thing.
fall guyA fall guy, also known as a fall back guy, is a phrase used when referring to someone who acts as a scapegoat, or someone to fall back on should the details of the current plan or situation go awry. The fall guy is typically a gullible person by nature who is easy to take advantage of, which is why he (or she) is chosen in the first place. The fall guy is there so that the group has someone safe to rely on should they get into trouble.
fall head over heelsTo fall head over heels is the idiom used when someone has fallen in love with someone else. They have become slightly infatuated and obsessed with this person, where they dont entirely feel like themselves. Falling head over heels is typically a way to say that you have become emotionally attached to someone at a very quick pace and have given your entire self over to them because they are now at the forefront of your mind.
fall through the cracksTo fall through the cracks means to get lost or be forgotten, primarily within a system. Falling through the cracks is an idiom often used when describing something which has fallen through the cracks, such a detail of a system in business which causes other areas of the business to not work as efficiently. A person can also fall through the cracks where they become figuratively lost and others dont keep up with them.
fan the flamesFan the flames is the figurative term which means to make something more intense or severe than it already is or to make a situation worse. Literally, fanning the flames of a fire would make the fire roar much higher and more severe. Figuratively speaking, fanning the flames is the phrase used when speaking of doing or saying something that will make the current situation worse or more intense in some way.
fancy meeting you hereFancy meeting you here is a way to tell someone you are pleasantly surprised that they are in the same place as you, whether it be an informal gathering, public place like a store or restaurant, or a special or holiday celebration. Fancy meeting you here is most commonly used when you are surprised in a good way to see them, usually for someone you havent seen in a while; it can also be used in a negative way such as you being sarcastic about seeing someone where you didnt expect.
far and away the bestFar and away the best is the idiom used when something is unquestionably the best, where nobody would be surprised it is the best or doubt the validity of the superlative. Far and away the best is therefore a way of convincing someone that the topic at question is the very best option within that topic, such as a materialistic possession, person or business. The cliche is often used in relation to selling something to someone and convincing them it is the best.
fashion victimA fashion victim is typically someone who crosses the boundaries of proper fashion and style, such as over-exaggerating a certain style, taking a fad a little bit too far or wearing too many different trendy items at one time and overdoing it. Generally, a fashion victim is someone who does not understand the proper way to dress in order to be presentable; usually someone who is okay at choosing each individual piece, but cant put the outfit together correctly.
faster than a speeding bulletFaster than a speeding bullet is the idiom used when describing something that goes very fast at lightning speed and similar to the term of greased lightning, which means to go as fast as humanly possible. Faster than a speeding bullet is commonly used in relation to a car, usually a sports car that goes extremely fast; much faster than other cars. It is a term used when you want to exaggerate how fast a car goes.
faster than greased lightningFaster than greased lightning is a way to talk about something (usually a vehicle) that goes extremely fast; faster than a speeding bullet. Faster than greased lightning is an idiom which is often used about vehicles, typically sports cars, which go extremely fast and are often the fastest type of cars. Greased lightning is commonly known as a way to say something is very, very fast.
favor us with a songFavor us with a song is the cliche used when you want to request a song to be played for a group. By saving favor in regards to a song being played, the request is asking for a treat or a reward. Favor us with a song is most commonly used in a group of people where playing a song isnt expected, therefore someone who is musically gifted playing a song on the piano or other instrument, or singing a song, is a treat.
fear and loathingFear and loathing is the phrase used when you are going out at night for a night of partying, random adventures in a variety of locations and a partying night which is fueled by a variety of body and substance abuse and recreational drugs. The phrase is most commonly related to the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas with Johnny Depp which depicts a series of nights just like this.
feast your eyes on thisFeast your eyes on this is a way to look at someone or something with pleasure and a positive feeling. By feasting your eyes on something or someone, you are indulging yourself by looking at it. This phrase is often used with something new and extravagant such as a new item someone has purchased, an elegant dress, or another item which will please, impress and excite someone to look at.
feed a cold, starve a feverTo feed a cold, starve a fever is the old wives tale in which eating more will cure the common cold and eating less will help cure a fever. The phrase is often used when deciding the best approach to naturally treating a cold or a fever and is commonly used when someone needs to remember what the best approach is as far as eating for either a bad fever or a common cold.
feel like a fifth wheelFeel like a fifth wheel is an idiom used when someone is in a situation where they feel they are being ignored by other people, passe dup by their colleagues or they are altogether not needed. It is in relation to a vehicle that has and needs only four wheels, so the fifth wheel is unnecessary and thus not required to be there. Feeling like fifth wheel is when you feel like the fifth, useless wheel, of a vehicle.
feeling his oatsFeeling his oats is a figure of speech which means to be very lively and have a large amount of confidence in your abilities and your importance in any given situation. Feeling his oats is less about being a conceited person and boasting about yourself, than it is about having an honest appreciation and confidence in your own abilities and feel to be very important in an excitable way.
few and far betweenFew and far between is the idiom used when describing things or situations happening where there are very few of them, and they are far between such as being widely scattered. This can be true of anything, such as a certain type of special occasion or treat you are given, but it doesnt come around very often, where you would say it is few and far between. This is also a way of showing your appreciation for something that doesnt happen often.
fiddle while Rome burnsFiddle while Rome burns is a figure of speech in which it is referring to neglecting your priorities during a crisis. The phrase is relating to Rome burning where you are fiddling; in other words, distracting yourself with other things and occupying yourself with unimportant matters. This idiom is used for any type of stressful situation which involves a crisis that you dont help with and simply go off to do other things.
field this oneField this one is an idiom which refers to answering questions for a specific situation. Field in the figurative way means that you are answering something or coming up with a resolution. If someone says that you will field questions, you are answering these questions in a well thought out and reasonable manner. Field this one is when someone asks you to handle this situation.
fifteen minutes of fameFifteen minutes of fame is a commonly used idiom which is referring to each person having their moment in the spotlight, whether by being a celebrity for a short period of time or another method of being famous for a short period of time. The phrase was originally said by Andy Warhol, in which he said In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes when answering a question about his own fame and fortune.
fight fire with fireTo fight fire with fire means to respond to an attack using the similar method you were attacked with. Literally, fighting fire with fire results in using a weapon against the same exact weapon. Figuratively, this idiom is referring to the same thing but without actual weapons. In your personal life, for example, you would fight fire with fire such as responding to a verbal attack with the same type of verbal attack on the other person.
fight like a manFight like a man is a common figure of speech which is referring to someone fighting with courage and skill. To fight like a man in the literal sense, you are typically using your fists for a real fight rather than a weapon of some sort which is commonly seen as being less challenging than using your body for the fight. The phrase is also use figuratively by using your skills and being courageous in the situation rather than finding an easy way out.
fighting a losing battleFighting a losing battle is the figure of speech used when you are trying very hard to do something but if there is very little chance you will succeed. Fighting a losing battle is typically said when someone is trying to fight a battle that they more than likely know the poor chances of success, but are willing to try anyway. This can be any type of battle or situation in which the person knows ahead of time the risk, but find it worth it.
filthy richFilthy rich is the phrase most commonly used when describing just how rich, or well off someone is. It is usually a term describing a person who has a lot of money, typically millions or even billion of dollars. While it can be used for someone who came by the money in any way such as through work, an invention or being born into it, it is sometimes used to describe people who have a lot of money through unfair means.
finders keepers, losers weepersFinders keepers, losers weepers is the idiom used for finding something that didnt belong to you, but you can now claim is your own. This is an old saying which indicates that if you find something which seems to be unclaimed or abandoned, it automatically becomes yours regardless of who might claim it a later date. Finders keepers, losers weepers is usually spoken by schoolchildren when they find something and claim it as their own.
fine and dandy
fire in the bellyFire in the belly is the idiom used when referring to being ready to fight with a good deal of energy and determination. Fire in the belly is most commonly used when someone truly believes in what they are fighting for and therefore has determination and courage for the fight. The fight can literal or figurative in that there is a situation which needs resolved and the person has fire in their belly in order to resolve it.
fishing for complimentsFishing for compliment is a well-known and common phrase used when someone makes statements that seem to be encouraging others to compliment them. When you are fishing for compliments, you typically make statements or comments that are negative about yourself because you want the other person to disagree with you and therefore compliment you as a result of it. The phrase is also used for someone that makes a general statement about themselves in order to encourage others to then compliment them.
fit as a fiddleFit as a fiddle is an old phrase which indicates someone, something or the current situation is very fit and well. Fit as a fiddle isnt used nowadays as much as it was in the last few decades, however you will sometimes hear it being used. To be fit as a fiddle, everything is very well and fit and going according to plan. This can be in reference to a persons mood or outlook, a given situation or any type of material possession.
fit to be tiedFit to be tied is the idiom used when someone is very angry, agitate or irritable. Fit to be tied is referring to someone needing to be tied or restrained because they are getting very angry and agitated; someone who is acting this way might need to be restrained. Figuratively, the phrase fit to be tied is used when describing the current emotional state of someone who is losing their temper or getting very angry about something.
flash in the panFlash in the pan is the cliche which is referring to something that disappoints by failing to deliver anything of value even if it had a showy beginning. This idiom is typically used when something seems to be wonderful in the beginning and like it would be successful, but then it doesnt show this success with the follow-through and often lack anything of value as it did in the beginning.
flat as a boardFlat as a board is the phrase used when describing how flat someone or something is, such as an object or other material item. It is a way of exaggerating the flat shape of any type of item. The cliche flat as a board is most commonly used for girls or women who are not well developed and their chest is flat, or for women whose stomachs are very flat (such as skinny women) and this term will be used.
flat as a pancakeFlat as a pancake is another way of saying something is very flat and is often used as a way to describe the severity of the shape of something that is flat. Flat as a pancake is not used as often as flat as a board, which means virtually the same thing. It can be in reference to any type of object that is flat, or even a persons figure such as their chest or abdomen which is very flat.
flattery will get you nowhereFlattery will get you nowhere is a phrase often used to tell someone that no matter how much they flatter you or compliment you, it will not increase their chances of success in whatever they are trying to do. The idiom is often used in response to someone who seems to be giving you a lot of flattery in order to achieve something, such as flattering a colleague in order to receive a promotion.
flipped his lidFlipped his lid is a way to explain that someone has gone crazy or become angry and agitated very suddenly. This phrase is often used when someone seems to have lost their temper quite suddenly which surprises you and you will therefore say they have flipped their lid. It is a common cliched term for anyone who is seemingly angry, agitated, temperamental or moody; even acting crazy or out of sorts.
flirt with disasterFlirt with disaster is a cliche which is commonly used for someone who is dealing playfully or carelessly. To flirt with disaster, the person is usually aware of the consequences if things dont go as planned, but they are willing to take the chance. By flirting with disaster, or a potential threat to the situation, this person is messing around with the risk and understands what can happen but is still willing to do it.
flown the coopFlown the coop is the past-tense version of fly the coop, both of which are common idioms which have become cliches due to being used often and for many years. Someone who has flown the coop has escaped with whatever means necessary. It is a way of saying they trapped or caged in some way, whether this means they were trapped somewhere literally or figuratively; and they managed to escape.
fly by nightFly by night, such as in the terms of a fly by night operation, is the derisive term used when a business appears to be transient or untrustworthy. Typically the business seems legitimate and beneficial in the beginning, but people soon realize that this business has gone awry and is either an illegitimate business and has been from the start, or has become a quick way to make money, such as a scheme.
fly the coopTo fly the coop means to escape or get away from a situation. Fly the coop can be used literally when someone is actually trapped somewhere and they manage to get away without being caught. Figuratively, fly the coop relates to a chicken escaping from their chicken coop. Someone who flies the coop can also do it figuratively in which they have escaped some type of bad situation.
flying by the seat of your pantsFlying by the seat of your pants is the idiom referring to someone who is deciding the next course of action as they go along, rather than having planning and organization beforehand. They do not have any sort of pre-determined plan or perceptions of how the plan will go, but instead use their intelligence and common sense as well as intuitions along the way, deciding the next course of action as they go further along.
follow suitTo follow suit means to imitate someone in a way that is complimentary to them or to follow in someone elses example. Rather than in the case of imitating for the sake of claiming the recognition for your own, following suit means that you acknowledge another way of doing things as being a better way, and therefore will mimic these actions in order to follow in the example of who used this method before you.
following in his footstepsFollowing in his footsteps is an idiom phrase which is referring to doing the same type of job or the same things in your life as someone else, usually someone close to you. This may be a parent, grandparent or other family member, or someone else who you admire and have received guidance from. To follow in someones footsteps, you are figuratively following their actions such as going into the same business as them or following their lead.
fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on meFool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me is a long idiom that is referring to being tricked and learning from your mistakes. If you get fooled once, it was the first time and therefore were not expecting it. After being fooled, you should be wary in the future of this person who tricked you. However, if you get fooled a second time in the same manner, it is shame on you because you were not cautious and didnt learn from your mistakes.
fools rush in where angels fear to treadFools rush in where angels fear to tread, often shortened to fools rush in, is a figure of speech that is speaking of the fact that an inexperienced and na
foot loose and fancy freeFoot loose and fancy free is an old idiom which is referring to the fact that someone who is not married or does not have many responsibilities can do what they want, when they want and come and go as they please. Whether because this person is young and inexperienced, doesnt have responsibilities yet or is single and living a fun free life, the phrase foot loose and fancy free is speaking of someone who enjoys doing what they want without answering to anyone.
for all intents and purposesFor all intents and purposes is a way of saying that under the current situational circumstances, this is true for every functional purpose, every practical sense, practically speaking, or in every important respect. For instance, if someone says a certain situation should be considered this way for all intents and purposes, it means you should assume that in the practical sense, it indeed is this way.
for crying out loudFor crying out loud is a figure of speech many people use as a way to express their annoyance or surprise about something. It is often spoken after someone else has just done or said something in front of them that they find highly annoying or irritating and in some cases; simply very surprising. It is usually in a sentence preceding their further thoughts such as Oh for crying out loud.
for everything there is a seasonFor everything there is a season is a figure of speech which is referring to there being an appropriate time and place for everything. This idiom is referring to the fact that you should be wary about when and where you say or do certain things and should choose this time wisely. It is not always appropriate to say what you want to say, and you should pick your time and place wisely; in this phrase, they are speaking of the right season as a time period.
for Gods sakeFor Gods sake is a common expression used when you want to show surprise, impatience or another similar emotion. This cliche is used very often in everyday conversation as a way to express your surprise or irritation at something that was just said or done in front of you. It is considered a kinder way to speak up about your annoyance over something, rather than a blunt comment which can be more insulting.
for petes sakeFor Petes sake is an expression idiom which shows that you are annoyed or surprised which something that has just happened or been said to you or in front of you. The phrase is the same as for gods sake only with different terminology. Many people do not like to use God in conversation when it doesnt pertain to God or their religion in general, and will say for Petes sake instead.
for the birdsFor the birds is an idiom often used to express that something is undesirable or worthless, as it is for the birds. When someone says that something is for the birds, what they mean is that it is worthless or uninteresting to them because they are superior to what the item or situation is. Many people use this phrase as a way to show how disinterested they are in something they find quite undesirable.
for the love of GodFor the love of god is a very common idiom which has been transformed into a cliche due to how often it is used in every day conversation. For the love of god is an exasperated exclamation which is expressing emotions of being surprised, annoyed or irritated with the subject at hand. A person might use this phrase as a response to something that has just been done or said in their presence and that they do not agree with.
four on the floorFour on the floor is an idiom used to describe a steady, uniformly accented beat that has a 4/4 time signature as a literal slang term for a kick drum pattern played in quarter beats of a bar. It is an idiom only used in music, typically for drummers or guitarists which will recognize this figure of speech. You may not recognize the phrase if you are not a musician since it isnt commonly spoken in general, everyday conversation.
fox in the henhouseFox in the henhouse is the term used for a predator that is loose among the prey, typically a smaller type of wild animal. Literally speaking, a fox in the henhouse is extremely dangerous to the hens and chickens because the fox will more than likely kill many of these animals, or injure them at the very least. When use figuratively, this saying means virtually the same thing; that something dangerous is among what it is aiming for.
free as a birdTo be free as a bird means that you are completely and utterly free to do what you want and when you want without having to answer to anyone or worrying about you plan to do. It is a figurative phrase which is aimed at showing that you are free in one way or another whether it be that you are single (not married) and able to come and go as you please or you simply have a free frame of mind allowing you to do things without worrying about the small details.
fresh as a daisyFresh as a daisy is an idiom commonly used when describing you are very clear and fresh when in terms of a person, or being alert and ready to go. To be fresh as a daisy is often used figuratively to explain that you are very alert and prepared and ready to go or to handle any type of task. The phrase is also used more literally on some occasions where you are fresh, clean and ready to go someplace.
fresh out of ideasFresh out of ideas is a figure of speech where someone is describing that they have just run out of good ideas for a project, assignment or other type of situation. Fresh out of ideas is a phrase that is most commonly used as an answer to a query about further ideas when someone has run out of inspiration. It is also often used while in the middle of a dilemma and the person using this idiom has completely run out of ideas for getting out of the dilemma.
freudian slipA Freudian slip is defined as a verbal mistake which is thought to reveal a repressed belief, thought, or emotion that you have been thinking but never wanted to verbalize. If you have ever said something without thinking that was possibly negative or overly judgmental, but immediately took it back and said you didnt mean it or were just joking, that may have been a Freudian slip because you were thinking it was repressing the thought by not wanting to say it out loud.
from day oneFrom day one is a phrase that is referring to something which has been happening since the very beginning, or the first day of the project or situation. It is often used in everyday conversation when describing how long something has been happening or how long you have been doing something. A person who uses this phrase is typically talking about something in particular relating to work or life in general.
from rags to richesFrom rags to riches is a cliched term which is speaking of someone going from poverty to wealth or from modest to elegance. You will hear this idiom spoken in a variety of different situations and circumstances as it is a common and well-known phrase. Someone who uses the phrase from rags to riches is often talking about a person who used to be lower class or poor and has come into money whether by luck or through hard work.
from the four corners of the earthFrom the four corners of the earth is an idiom which is describing something that comes from all places in the world, including all countries on the planet. It is an idiom that is used in various circumstances and situations, though it is not as common a cliche as some other ones which can be used more generally. When someone says something comes from the four corners of the earth, they mean all over the planet.
from the frying pan into the fireFrom the frying pan into the fire is a phrase used when you go from a bad situation to one that is even worse. It is a way of saying that due to some unforeseen circumstances, the situation which seemed to be horribly bad already has now become even worse. This may also be used in relation to someone that has intentionally done something that has further worsened the situation in question. From the frying pan to the fire is a way of saying the heat is even hotter and more severe.
full of himselfIf someone is full of himself (or herself) they are typically a conceited person, also known as an egotistical person that speaks highly of themselves and feels that they are superior to others. They are typically preoccupied with their own work, interests and point of views. This phrase is often used as another way to show that someone is very self-centered where most of their thoughts are pertaining to their own talents, skills and good looks.
full of hot airFull of hot air is a phrase used when you are talking about someone who is talking nonsense or always seems to be full of nonsensical things. To be full of hot air means you are always talking about things that dont make a lot of sense or that are not very practical or substantial. This phrase is most commonly used about someone who cant seem to stop talking nonsensical even when asked to change subjects of conversation.
full of mischiefTo be full of mischief means to constantly be involved in behavior which causes annoyance to other people such as playing pranks, causing embarrassment, minor trouble or disturbances. Children, teenagers and young adults are most often given this label due to their habit of causing trouble whether it is on purpose or not, but someone of any age, intellect and maturity can be full of mischief.
full of the devil
full of vinegarFull of vinegar is an idiom often used when referring to a person who tends to be full of youthful energy, boisterous and rowdy in the way they act on a daily basis. While not as common a phrase in todays language than it was a few decades ago, you may still hear this label in relation to someone young or an older person with this youthful energy. A person full of vinegar is most often very hyper and boisterous in their every day life.
fun and gamesFun and games is the cliched term for playing around, usually with doing worthless things. It is often a part of another phrase such as Its all fun and games until someone gets hurt which is referring to the fact that playing around and acting childish is fun until someone gets seriously injured as a result of this type of behavior. Fun and games can also be used in other situations of playing around, not necessarily ones which may end badly.
fun in the sunFun in the sun is an idiom often used when you are enjoying yourself in warm weather, such as a cliche for any type of enjoyment. Fun in the sun has a broad range of what defines it, which varies based on the type of situation it is referring to and what connotation it is spoken in. Most often, fun in the sun is a way to describe a fun outing for a family or group of friends as a more literal term.
funny you mention itFunny you mention it is a figure of speech in which you express that what someone has just said to you reminds you of something else you were thinking of recently. When someone says funny you mention it as a response to what you have just talked about, they are telling you that it is funny because of the fact that they were just talking about or thinking about that and were going to bring it up themselves.