Idioms (Y)

yank (someone's) chain

meaning: to tell a lie – and have somebody believe it – for a joke

1. “No, no, don’t call her. I was just yanking your chain. She isn’t really on a date with her ex-boyfriend.”
yellow streak

meaning: to be a coward; to be prone to cowardice

1. He is a nice guy, but with a terrible yellow streak. Whenever his friends are in trouble, he runs away.
yes man

meaning: a member of staff who always agrees with the boss

1. “Tell me what you really think. I don’t need a bunch of yes men around me.”
you can say that again

meaning: “I totally agree”; “what you said is exactly right” (spoken)

1. “Dave is such a womaniser.”
You can say that again; I saw him flirting with his girlfriend’s mum last week.”
you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs

meaning: in order to make progress some people have to get hurt

1. Dave has made millions, but now his old school friends all hate him, saying that he used them. He doesn’t care, saying that you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs.
you can't take it with you

meaning: use it now, because it will be useless to you after you die (usually money)

1. His parents are spending all their money now that they have retired. He can’t blame them – you can’t it with you – but it would be nice, he thinks, if they leave a little for him.
you get what you pay for

meaning: if you spend only a little money, you get a bad product; if you spend more, you get a higher quality

1. I bought this pepper grinder last week from the dollar shop, but it has already broken. I suppose you get what you pay for; I’ll get a better one next time.
young blood

meaning: young people with fresh ideas

1. “The boss says that the company’s ideas are tired, and we need some young blood to freshen the place up. I think, however, experience is important.”