Words and phrases I learnt from House of Cards – 6


extremely hungry

“I’m famished—is there anything to eat?”

line in the sand

a point beyond which one will not go; a limit to what one will do or accept.
To establish a figurative boundary that someone or some group refuses to cross or beyond which no further advance or compromise is accepted.

“I don’t mind my roommate being a bit messy, but leaving dirty dishes for me to clean up is where I draw a line in the sand!”
“The banks drew a line in the sand: there was to be no additional help.”

draw a line in the sand


of, relating to, or resembling twilight
“crepuscular light”
“the crepuscular sky”

occurring or active during twilight
“crepuscular insects”
“crepuscular activity”
“crepuscular birds”

“The combination of the colour of the coat, the isolation of the girl and the crepuscular woods brings to mind Little Red Riding Hood, an association that settles in your mind like an unformed thought.”

take a toll/ take its toll

to have a serious, bad effect on someone or something to cause harm or damage

“If you keep working so hard, the stress will eventually take its toll.”
“Too much sunlight can take a heavy toll on your skin.”
“Her illness has taken a toll on her marriage.”

take a toll


(adj.) angry or dissatisfied

“Judges receive letters from disgruntled members of the public.”


(v.) make (someone) angry or dissatisfied.

“Nothing disgruntles anyone more than the feeling they are being cheated.”

on a dime

In a very small space, suddenly
“That horse is so well trained it can turn on a dime.

With agile precision, especially with limited room to maneuver.
“He stopped on a dime to catch that ball—look at that agility!”
“The steering is so good on this car that you can turn on a dime, even at high speeds.”

In an instant; very quickly, rapidly, or abruptly.
“He’s usually a nice guy, but his temper can turn on a dime sometimes.”

on a dime


impressive and colourful ceremonies, especially traditional ceremonies on public occasions

“The prime minister was received with all the traditional pomp and ceremony that is laid on for visiting heads of government.”
“Despite all the pomp of his office/position, he has only limited powers.”


pull with a jerk; to pull something forcefully with a quick movement

“Her hair was yanked, and she screamed.”
“He tripped over the cord and yanked the plug out.”
“She yanked open the cupboard door and everything fell out.”


challenge (a judge, prosecutor, or juror) as unqualified to perform legal duties because of a potential conflict of interest or lack of impartiality.

“He was recused when he referred to the corporation as ‘a bunch of villians'”


information received from other people which cannot be substantiated; rumour.

“According to hearsay, Kevin had managed to break his arm.”



a stone coffin, typically adorned with a sculpture or inscription and associated with the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Rome, and Greece.


a mass (= a Christian ceremony) at which people honour and pray for a dead person

“A requiem was held for the dead queen.”

leave in the lurch

to leave in an uncomfortable or desperate situation; desert in time of trouble

“Our best salesperson left us in the lurch at the peak of the busy season.”
“He said he would help with the rent, but he left me in the lurch.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *