25+ Useful Phrases & Idioms about Politics, Crime, Police and War

In this article, we will explore some fascinating expressions and idioms about politics. Just as politics itself is dynamic, the idioms we use to describe it are alive and constantly evolving. They reflect our times, the changes in our society, and the shifts in our political thought.

List of Expressions & Idioms about Politics

  • (The) Cavalry
  • A lame duck
  • A political animal
  • A political hot potato
  • Blue Light Special 1
  • Blue Light Special 2
  • Caught Red-Handed
  • Dark horse
  • Filibuster
  • Five-Finger Discount
  • Foul Play
  • Gerrymandering
  • Grassroots movement
  • Left-wing and right-wing
  • Pin Someone Down
  • Political football
  • Rubber chicken circuit
  • Scorched Earth (Tactics, Policy, etc.)
  • Shot Across the Bow
  • Smoke-filled room
  • Stick It to the Man
  • Stump speech
  • Swing voter
  • The powers that be
  • Throw The Book At
  • Toe the party line
  • Up in Arms
  • Waka-Jumping
  • Weekend Warrior

Idioms about Politics, Crime, Police and War | Image

Common Idioms about Politics in English | Politics IdiomsPin

Expressions & Idioms about Politics with Meaning

Here is a list of Expressions & Idioms about Politics with meaning:

Idiom Meaning
(The) Cavalry Reinforcements or rescue, often in the context of a difficult situation
A Lame Duck An officeholder who has little power or influence because their term is about to end
A Political Animal A person who is deeply interested and involved in politics
A Political Hot Potato An issue that is controversial and difficult for politicians to handle
Blue Light Special 1 Typically refers to a discounted sale item, but in politics may refer to a sudden policy change
Blue Light Special 2 A rapid police or emergency response, sometimes used in political contexts
Caught Red-Handed To be caught in the act of committing a crime or doing something wrong
Dark Horse A candidate or competitor with little apparent support who unexpectedly wins or succeeds
Filibuster A prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly
Five-Finger Discount A euphemism for stealing or shoplifting
Foul Play Unfair or dishonest behavior, often used to describe criminal activity
Grassroots Movement A political movement that begins with the people rather than leaders
Left-wing and Right-wing Terms used to describe liberal (left) and conservative (right) political positions
Pin Someone Down To force someone to give a clear statement or make a commitment
Political Football An issue that is passed back and forth for political advantage, with little real action
Rubber Chicken Circuit A series of political fundraising dinners or events where similar speeches are given
Scorched Earth (Tactics, Policy, etc.) A strategy that destroys anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area
Shot Across the Bow A warning or preliminary challenge
Smoke-filled room A place where political power brokers make important decisions away from scrutiny
Stick It to the Man To rebel or fight against authority
Stump Speech A standard campaign speech used by someone running for public office
Swing Voter A voter who does not have a strong party affiliation and can be persuaded to vote for different parties
The Powers That Be The people who are in charge; those who hold authority in a situation or organization
Throw The Book At To punish or reprimand someone as severely as possible
Toe the Party Line To conform to the policies or principles of a political party without dissent
Up in Arms Being very upset or angry about something, often leading to protest or action
Waka-Jumping A term from New Zealand politics where a legislator switches parties or becomes independent
Weekend Warrior A person who participates in an activity only in their spare time, often in the context of reservists in the military, but can also refer to politicians who engage with constituents primarily on weekends

Expressions & Idioms about Politics with Example

Here are some example sentences of Idioms about Politics:

Idiom Example Sentence
(The) Cavalry “When the negotiations were failing, they called in the cavalry to help finalize the deal.”
A lame duck “After losing the election, the current mayor is just a lame duck until the new one takes over.”
A political animal “She’s a real political animal, always looking for the next opportunity to advance her career.”
A political hot potato “The immigration issue has become a political hot potato that no one wants to handle.”
Blue Light Special 1 “The candidate’s promise of tax cuts was like a Blue Light Special, attracting voters.”
Blue Light Special 2 “The sudden policy change was a Blue Light Special, designed to gain quick approval.”
Caught Red-Handed “The senator was caught red-handed in a corruption scandal.”
Dark horse “She was considered a dark horse in the race, but she managed to win in a surprising upset.”
Filibuster “The senator used a filibuster to delay the vote on the new bill.”
Five-Finger Discount “He joked about getting a five-finger discount, but stealing campaign signs is no laughing matter.”
Foul Play “The sudden resignation of the official led many to suspect foul play.”
Grassroots movement “The environmental law was passed thanks to a strong grassroots movement.
Left-wing and right-wing “In the debate, both left-wing and right-wing viewpoints were represented.”
Pin Someone Down “The journalist tried to pin the politician down on his stance regarding the policy.”
Political football “Social security has become a political football that politicians kick around for their own gain.”
Rubber chicken circuit “The candidate spent months on the rubber chicken circuit, attending dinners and giving speeches.”
Scorched Earth Policy “The outgoing administration implemented a scorched earth policy to hinder the transition.”
Shot Across the Bow “The new candidate’s criticism was a shot across the bow to the incumbent.”
Smoke-filled room “The party’s candidate was decided in a smoke-filled room, away from the public eye.”
Stick It to the Man “The protest was an attempt to stick it to the man and challenge the status quo.”
Stump speech “The governor gave his standard stump speech to the gathered crowd.”
Swing voter Swing voters could very well decide the outcome of this election.”
The powers that be “The powers that be have decided to implement new regulations next year.”
Throw The Book At “The judge decided to throw the book at the corrupt politician, giving him the maximum sentence.”
Toe the party line “Despite his personal beliefs, he decided to toe the party line to maintain party unity.”
Up in Arms “The community was up in arms over the proposed closure of the local hospital.”
Waka-Jumping “The politician was accused of waka-jumping after leaving his party to join the opposition.”
Weekend Warrior “He’s a weekend warrior, always campaigning vigorously on Saturdays and Sundays.”

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