Useful Phrases & Idioms about Politics, Crime, Police and War 1

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

Learn Common Expressions and Idioms about Politics, Crime, Police and War with Meaning, ESL Picture and Example Sentences.

Useful list of legal idioms in English. 

Expressions & Idioms about Politics, Crime, Police and War

Phrases & Idioms about CRIME

List of crime idioms in English.

Caught Red-Handed

  • Meaning: Apprehended while committing a crime
  • Example: It shouldn’t be hard to get a conviction – the burglars were caught red-handed.

Five-Finger Discount

  • Meaning: Shoplifting
  • Example: We need to install security cameras in the store. Too many shoppers are getting a five-finger discount.

Foul Play

  • Meaning: Crime, typically murder
  • Example: The actor was found dead in his garden, but police do not suspect foul play.

Sayings & Idioms about POLICE

List of police idioms & sayings in English.

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.

Expressions and Idioms about POLITICS

List of phrases and idioms about politics.

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.

Waka-Jumping

  • 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.

Sayings and Idioms about WAR

Phrases and idioms about war in English.

(The) Cavalry

  • 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.

Shot Across the Bow

  • Meaning: A warning of more serious actions to come
  • Example: The CEO’s letter was a shot across the bow, and legal staff are already working on a patent infringement lawsuit.

Note: The idiom comes from naval combat; the bow (rhymes with cow) is the front part of a ship, so a shot fired across the bow is a warning not to continue farther.

Up in Arms

  • Meaning: Angry, protesting (usually said of a group)
  • Example: The workers are up in arms about the shortened lunch hour. I think we should lengthen it again.

Weekend Warrior

  • Meaning: Someone who has an office job but enjoys contact sports on weekends; a member of a military reserve force (whose exercises are typically on weekends)
  • Example: Richard is very formal at work, but he’s a weekend warrior – he enjoys playing football with friends on weekends.

Idioms about Politics, Crime, Police and War | Image

Common Idioms about Politics in English | Politics Idioms

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