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Idioms

paint yourself into a corner

to do something which puts you in a very difficult situation and limits the way that you can act

Example. I've painted myself into a corner here. Having said I won't take less than 20 dollars an hour, I can't then be seen to accept a job that pays less.

 

paint a bleak/rosy etc. picture of sth
to describe a situation in a particular way

Example. The article paints a bleak (= hopeless) picture of the future.
He painted a rosy (= happy) picture of family life.

 

paint the town red informal
to go out and enjoy yourself in the evening, often drinking a lot of alcohol and dancing

Example. Jack finished his exams today so he's gone out to paint the town red.

 

be like watching paint dry
if you say that watching an activity is like watching paint dry, you mean that it is very boring

Example. To me, watching golf on television is about as interesting as watching paint dry.

 

be no oil painting
if someone is no oil painting, they are not attractive

Example. She has an interesting face but she's no oil painting.

 

be like painting the Forth Bridge British
if repairing or improving something is like painting the Forth Bridge, it takes such a long time that by the time you have finished doing it, you have to start again. The Forth Bridge is a very large bridge in Edinburgh.

Example. Home improvements are a bit like painting the Forth Bridge. By the time you've finished the kitchen, the bathroom needs decorating and so it goes on.

 

close as two coats of paint
Cliche: close and intimate.

Example. When Tom and Mary were in high school, they were as close as two coats of paint. All their lives, the cousins were close as two coats of paint.

 

Do I have to spell it out (for you)? And Do I have to paint (you) a picture?; Do I need to paint you a picture?
Fig. What do I have to do to make this clear enough for you to understand? (Shows impatience.)

Example. Mary: I don't think I understand what you're trying to tell me, Fred. Fred: Do I have to spell it out for you? Mary: I guess so. Fred: We're through, Mary. Sally: Would you please go over the part about the square root again? Mary: Do I have to paint you a picture? Pay attention!

 

paint the town red
to go out and enjoy yourself in the evening, often drinking a lot of alcohol and dancing

Example. Jack finished his exams today so he's gone out to paint the town red.

 

paint somebody/something with the same brush
to say that someone or something has the same bad qualities as someone or something else

Example. When one swimmer uses banned substances, you feel sorry for the others because they are all tarred with the same brush.

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