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pulling the strings

Pulling the strings
Pulling the strings

COMMON If someone pulls the strings, they control everything that another person or an organization does, often in a way that is not noticed by people. He engineered many of these political changes, pulling the strings from behind the stage. He is the kind of man who prefers to work behind the scenes, pulling the strings.

Note: The image here is of a puppet which is controlled by means of strings.

Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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Pay your dues

paying your dues
Pay your dues
Pay your dues

To earn the right to have something because you worked hard: For example: “I’ve paid my dues for the last 25 years, and now I’m ready for a comfortable retirement.”

Usually, dues. a regular fee or charge payable at specific intervals, especially to a group or organization: membership dues.

 

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Across the pond

Across the Pond

United Kingdom
United Kingdom

The North Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe. It is most often used to describe travel or location between the United Kingdom and the United States or Canada.

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Happily ever after

Happily ever after

Happily ever after
Happily ever after

The new economic realities of the 19th century then cross-pollinated with the ideas that emerged from the Enlightenment about individual rights and the pursuit of happiness, and the result was a full-blown Age of Romanticism. It was the 1800s and people’s feelings suddenly mattered. The new ideal was not only to marry for love but that that love was to live on in bliss for all of the eternity. Thus, it wasn’t until the relatively recent 150 years ago that the ever-popular “happily ever after” ideal was born.

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Under the radar

under the radar
under the radar
under the radar

The definition of “under the radar” is: doing something without other people noticing. For example, “The employee didn’t want his boss to find out that he was looking for another job, so he did all his searching under the radar.”

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Putting on airs

If someone is “putting on airs” it means that he or she is acting superior or snobbish.
Since the 1500s, “airs” has referred to having an affected manner. It’s from the French word air, “look, appearance, or bearing.” Behaving as if you’re better than other people — wealthier, better dressed, or better educated — is to put on airs. Acting like you know more than your teacher is a way to put on airs.

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Having said that

Question
What does it mean when people start a sentence with “Having said that….” ?
Answer

“Having said that” is a transitional phrase that has become more and more common in spoken language. When people say, “Having said that” it is a signal that they are going to say something which will contrast or disagree with what they said a moment ago. Take, for example, this quote from a man talking about his father’s death:

  • “He was 93 years old, so it was the natural way of things. Having said that, it’s still a shock when it actually happens, when your parent dies.”

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