Learn useful English Idioms about Law and Politics with meaning and examples.
You can jump to any section of this lesson:
- 1 Law Idioms
- 2 Idioms about CRIME
- 3 Idioms about POLICE
- 4 Idioms about POLITICS
- 5 War Idioms
(Caught) Bang to Rights
- Meaning: Caught in an unlawful or immoral act without any mitigating circumstances.
- Example: The criminal was caught bang to rights, but thanks to a sophisticated defense team he served only a light sentence.
Above The Law
- Meaning: Exempt from the laws that apply to everyone else.
- Example: Members of the president’s party often act like they’re above they law. They violate regulations, but they are not punished.
Act Of Congress
- Meaning: Hard to get, said of authorization
- Example: It shouldn’t take an act of Congress to get the project approved.
All Rights Reserved
- Meaning: Said of a published work; all reproduction rights are asserted by the copyright holder
- Example: All rights reserved by the copyright holders of this website!
Useful Idioms about Law and Politics in English | Image 1
Idioms about CRIME
- Meaning: Apprehended while committing a crime
- Example: It shouldn’t be hard to get a conviction – the burglars were caught red-handed.
- Meaning: Shoplifting
- Example: We need to install security cameras in the store. Too many shoppers are getting a five-finger discount.
- Meaning: Crime, typically murder
- Example: The actor was found dead in his garden, but police do not suspect foul play.
Idioms about POLICE
Throw The Book At
- Meaning: Prosecute legally as strongly as possible
- Example: The judge let me off with a warning after two speeding tickets. But the next time, she’s going to throw the book at me.
Blue Light Special 1
- Meaning: A temporary sale at a discount store.
- Example: Come quick! The local discount store is having a blue light special – shirts are three for $10 until 10 p.m.
Blue Light Special 2
- Meaning: A traffic stop by the police.
- Example: Sorry I’m late getting home – I was speeding, and I got the blue light special.
Note: Both these expressions are less common now than formerly.
Useful Idioms about Law and Politics in English | Image 2
Stick It to the Man
- Meaning: Do something that frustrates those in authority
- Example: People who jump subway turnstiles are really stealing, but they may feel they’re sticking it to the Man.
- Meaning: Change political parties (said of politicians themselves)
- Example: The may was promised a choice job in the national government in return for waka-jumping.
Note: Jump wakas is also used.
- Meaning: Assistance from a powerful source in a difficult situation.
- Example: We’re running into serious trouble with the investigation of this crime. It’s time to call in the cavalry – I’ll contact the crime lab tomorrow.
Pin Someone Down
- Meaning: Demand a decision or clear answer
- Example: My boyfriend and I have talked vaguely about getting married, but I think it’s time to try to pin him down.
Scorched Earth (Tactics, Policy, etc.)
- Meaning: Ruthless, extremely destructive
- Example: The government’s scorched-earth tactics finally crushed the insurgency.