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за бесценок - to go for a song: “The picture went for a song because the painter had to raise money quickly.”


за словом в карман не лезет - to have a ready tongue: “These folks are really wise, they have a ready tongue for all kinds of questions.”


за спиной - behind one’s back / when one’s back is turned: “Laura said some very nasty words about you behind your back.”


забивать себе в голову - to get it into one’s head: “Students couldn’t get Latin grammar into their heads.”


заблудиться в трех соснах - to be confounded be the simplest problem


заблудшая овца - lost sheep: “ was it necessary to risk his life for that lost sheep?”


забрать свои слова обратно - to eat one’s words: “Our critics said that we would never make a success of our magazine; now that we have proved them wrong, they will have to eat their words.”


завершить цикл - to harp on the string: “I wish you wouldn’t harp on the same string every time I drink coffee. I know already that it is bad for health, but I won’t give it up.”


завоевать доброе имя - to make a name for oneself: “Christian has made a name for himself in printing.”


загнать в угол - to drive someone into a corner: to deprive an opponent of any possibility to retreat. The phrase is often used in boxing.


задеть за живое - to cut to the quick: “Robert was cut to the quick when his wife told him she would not go abroad with him.”


задирать нос - to put one’s nose in the air: ‘You put your nose in the air every time your back is against the wall.”


заказывать музыку - to call the tune: “You must do what your uncle asks. He is paying for your training so he has a right to call the tune.”


закидывать удочки - to fly a kite: “It would be wise to fly a kite to test public reaction.”


закон джунглей - the law of the jungle: “The law of the jungle governs all in Free Market economy.”


закон не писан (для кого, кому) - to be a law into oneself: “Executives of his eminence rarely bothered themselves with the spadework but Cousins - as she’d begun to realize - was a law unto himself.”


закрутить гайки - to tighten the screw: “Our boss is trying to tighten the screw in order to make us work long hours.”


закрывать глаза (на что) - to shut one’s eye to: “She shut her eye to all his short-coming, although my brother was always pointing them out of her.”


зализывать раны - to lick one’s wounds: “She wanted to be alone to lick a few wounds.”


заложить краеугольный камень - to lay the corner-stone: the corner-stone is the most important part of the building


заметать следы - to cover one’s track: “The bank robbers have covered their tracks very thoroughly.”


замолвить словечко - to put a word (for): “Could you put a word for me, Nancy, when you see Mr. Jacobs tomorrow?”


заморозить (проект, план) - to put on ice: “We are sorry, Andrew, but we’ve had to put your project on ice. We’ll have another look at it in two months’ period.”


замучиться до смерти - to be sick to death: “I am sick to death of his endless stories.”


занят по уши - to be up to the ears in work / to have one’s hands full: “I cannot go to the theater tonight, I am up to the ears in work.” / “Don’t ask me to do anything else, I have my hands full with the children.”


запретный плод - stolen fruit / forbidden fruit: “Forbidden fruit is always the most desirable.”


заразительный смех - infections laugh: “Her laugh was so infections that when she laughed, all class joined in though they didn’t understand the joke.”


зарыть голову в песок - to bury one’s head in the sand: “He has buried his head in the sand ans does not want to listen to everybody.”


зарыть талант в землю - to bury one’s talent: to disregard one’s abilities and gifts.


застольная беседа - table talk: light conversation at the table


затевать безнадежное дело - to make bricks without straw: “We were unable to give you an opinion because you did not give the information we needed. We can’t make bricks without straw.”


затишье перед бурей - the calm before the storm: a period of quiet before an upheaval or crisis


затянуть ремень - to tighten the belt / to pull in one’s belt: “The president asked hes people to tighten their belts and to wait for better times.”


захватить кого-либо врасплох - to take someone by surprise: “The policeman took the criminal by surprise.”


заходить в тупик - to strike a snag: “The negotiations stroke a snag and had to be postponed for two weeks.”


злоба дня - a nine-days wonder: something very sensational but quickly forgotten.


знать как свои пять пальцев - to have at one’s fingertips / to know a place like the back / palm of one’s hand: “He has parliamentary procedures and the rules and traditions of the House of Commons at his fingertips.”


знать, куда ветер дует - to know which way the wind is blowing / wait and see which way the wind is blowing: “We should wait and see which way the wind is blowing.”


знать свое место - to know one’s place: “Dan should know his place and avoid giving advice to the boss.”


знать толк в чем-либо - to have an eye for: “She had an eye for clothing and she wore it beautifully.”


значиться в списках - to be on the books: “This institution is not on the books. I don’t think we will deal with it.”


золотая середина - a happy medium: “You should choose a happy medium and think about your health.”


золотое дно - a gold-mine: “This business could be a gold-mine if it were property developed.”


золотое правило - the golden rule: “Never to be late is the golden rule.”


золотое сердце - a heart of gold: “Your mother has a heart of gold; she is so kind, generoud and forbidden.”


Золотой век - The Golden Age: “The seventeenth century was the Golden Age for France.”


золотой юбилей - a Golden Jubilee: “Celebration of the fifties anniversary of an important event is a Golden Jubilee.”


золотые дни - a hey-day / halcyon day: the best days


зубы съесть - to cut one’s teeth: “Forty-four years age he cut his teeth on Richmond Council.”