1、 Quibble about/at something or a quibble over something
— argue about small unimportant points.
Examples: ① Don't quibble with her about the money.
② She quibbled at the small price.
③ There was a quibble cver a few dollars.
2、 About average
— no better or no worse than others.
Example: Some staff's performance is about average. They have never proved better.
3、 About time
— the appropriate time.
Example: You have been working for quite a while. It's about time you had a new car.
4、 About to
— ready to
Example: We were about to go out when it suddenly rained.
5、 Back to back
— with the back facing the other.
Example: Stand back to back, boys! Let me see who is the tallest.
6、 Back to front
— with the back placed where the front should be.
Example: You got your pullover on back to front.
Example: All the people here know the government's major policies back to front.
7、 Back up someone/something
— support someone/something.
Example: ① No matter how, we should back up our most respected representative.
② Some new evidence backed up the prosecutor's argument.
8、 Call on/upon someone
— visit someone
Example: When are we going to call on our new neighbours?
9、 Call on/upon someone to do something
— invite someone to speak, etc.
Example: Without further ado, let me call upon our distinguished guest to speak to us.
— appeal to someone to act.
Example: In times of difficulties, we will have to call on the public to make donations.
10、 Call out someone
— order officially.
Example: During the riot, the chief of police had to call out the riot police to restore law and order.
11、 Damp(en) something down
— make a fire burn less strongly.
Example: It was a moonlit night, so the campers dampened down the fire.
— control and reduce something; suppress something.
Example: ① Some boys were over-zealous and we had to damp down their enthusiasm.
② Lack of support has damped down political dissidents' activities.
12、 Dance attendance on/upon someone
— do what someone wants without asking.
Example: The manageress sat still, expecting everyone to dance attendance on her.
13、 Halcyon days
— times of undisturbed peace and happiness.
Example: When people grow older, they long for halcyon days more than anything else.
14、 Hale and hearty
— strong and healthy
Example: In spite of old age, Mr Lin is still hale and hearty.
15、 Half a loaf is better than no bread
— we should be thankful for what we have, even if the amount is not as much as expected.
Example: Dr Huang applied for a week's leave, but was given three days. Half a loaf is better than no bread.
16、 I hate to mention it, but...
— May I remind you that...
Example: I hate to mention it, but you still haven't given me your annual report.
17、 I would be the first/ last person to...
— I am very willing/ unwilling to do something.
Examples: ① If you ask me for assistance, I would be the first person to volunteer.
② I assure you I would be the last person to commit a crime.
18、 Jealous of someone/something
— envious of someone/something
Examples: ① Why is she so jealous of her successful colleagues?
② It is wrong to be jealous of your friends' accomplishments.
19、 Jeer at someone
— laugh or shout disrespectfully at someone
Example: The spectators jeered at the team for playing dreadfully.
20、 Odds are that, the...
— the likelihood is that...
Example: Nobody knows what the pay rise will be like, but the odds are that it will be about 5%.