Common Idioms – Topic : Starting and Stopping
1. call it a day
If you call it a day, you decide to stop doing something you have been doing that day.
I searched for hours but I had to call it a day when it got dark.
NOTE: In the evening, people sometimes say that they are going to call it a night.
Tomorrow is going to be busy, so let’s call it a night.
It’s no secret I want his job when he calls it a day.
2. call it quits
If you call it quits, you decide to stop doing something or stop being involved in something.
The nightclub stays open until the last customer is ready to call it quits.
3. cut your losses
If you cut your losses, you decide to stop spending time, energy, or money on an activity or situation on which you have already spent a lot without having any success.
Competition in the market was very strong, so we decided to cut our losses and close the business.
4. enough is enough
People say enough is enough when they think that something, usually something bad, should stop.
How much longer will we allow ourselves to be insulted before saying enough is enough?
5. from scratch
If you do something or start something from scratch, you create something completely new, rather than adding to something that already exists.
NOTE: In the past, the starting line for races was often a line scratched in the earth.
He would rather start again from scratch with new rules, new members, and a new electoral system.
6. grind to a halt
If a process or an activity grinds to a halt, it gradually becomes slower or less active until it stops.
The peace process has ground to a halt.
NOTE: This expression refers to the way metal parts, for example in an engine, rub together and make a noise when they are not oiled well enough.
7. hit the ground running
If you hit the ground running, you start a new activity with great energy and enthusiasm, working effectively from the beginning.
NOTE: This image here may be of soldiers landing by parachute or helicopter in a battle area and moving off quickly as soon as they reach the ground.
She’s having a holiday just now and will no doubt hit the ground running with all sorts of new ideas when she gets back.
8. In business
If you say that you are in business, you mean that you can start doing something because you have got everything ready for it. [SPOKEN]
The new software is installed and working, right? Okay, we’re in business.
9. Knock something on the head
- If you knock a story or idea on the head, you show that it is not true or correct. [INFORMAL, BRITISH]
It’s time to knock the idea that we are not living a full life unless we are married on the head.
We’ll never be a famous band. When we stop enjoying ourselves, we’ll knock it on the head.
10. nip something in the bud
If you nip a bad situation or bad behaviour in the bud, you stop it at an early stage.
NOTE: This expression may refer to extremely cold weather damaging a plant and stopping it flowering. Alternatively, it may refer to a gardener removing buds from a plant to prevent it flowering.
It is important to recognize jealousy as soon as possible and to nip it in the bud before it becomes a serious problem.
11. set the ball rolling or start the ball rolling
If you set the ball rolling or start the ball rolling, you start an activity or you do something which other people will join in with later.
I’ve already started the ball rolling. I’ve set up meetings with all sorts of people.
NOTE: You can also use verbs such as get and keep.
Once you get the ball rolling, everyone wants to be involved.
12. turn over a new leaf
If someone has turned over a new leaf, they have started to behave in a better way than before.
While Eddie has turned over a new leaf, his brother is still racing around in fast cars and causing trouble.
13. up and running
If a system, business, or plan is up and running, it has started and is functioning successfully.
The project, once it is up and running, will be very dangerous.