1. to have(many) irons in the fire: to have a lot of activities going on at the
Don't bother him because he has many irons in the fire.
Some people even like to have many irons in the fire.
2. to talk over (one's) head(s): to use large or big words so that audience will
not understand exact
Dr. Lee's lecture was so specialized that he almost talked over our heads.
In order to show his profound knowledge he talks over my head.
3. to put (something) back into (in) its cage: to put something under control
We are trying to put inflation back into its cage and our economy is on the
Diplomats and politicians need to put aggression and hostility back into its
4. to keep (one's) fingers crossed: to hope something good will happen
"I wish you best (good) luck!"或 "Good (best) luck to you!")
He keeps his fingers crossed hoping his father will send him more money.
Many people have been keeping their fingers crossed that we can live in a
peaceful world. (许多人都在祈求好运，盼能在和平的世界里生活。)
5. to stretch (one's) legs: to relax or to take a short break
Let's take ten minutes to stretch our legs. （让我们先休息十分钟。）
May I take a break so that I can stretch my legs？ (我可以休息一会儿伸伸腿吗？)
During the a long flight from the US to Taiwan, I normally stretch my legs every
two hours. (在从美国到台湾的长途飞行中，我通常每两个小时起身走走。)
6. to read between the lines：to interpret the hidden meaning or a hidden
message; to discern the true fact
As you look at this poem, be sure to read between the lines.
After he re-read the love letter between the lines, he realized that he was
dumped by his sweetheart. (重读情书之后，他终于明白他已经被情人抛弃了。)
7. to let off steam：to give vent to one's anger
（发泄、出气，像放掉蒸汽以减少压力似的。这与"to fly off the
handle"意思相近，但比"to lose temper"委婉客气些 ）
What will you do if your wife lets off
但是谈到第三者，就可不必太委婉，可用 lose temper:
What will you do if one of your staff lose temper?
Occasionally we should be given a chance to let off
8. to pay through the nose: to pay too much for something or excessively
expensive （花费太多，代价过高，与" to cost an arm and a leg" 意义相近）
Don't pay through the nose when you buy the furniture. (不要花太多的钱买家具。)
Some women paid through the noses for their jewelry.
9. to take center stage：to be in the spotlight
Mrs. Lin always takes center stage at a party. (林太太总能成为宴会上的焦点。)
President Bush takes center stage wherever he goes.
His constant taking center stage could deprive him of his privacy.
10. to drag（one's）feet：to procrastinate or
It is not a good idea to drag your feet when the work needs to be done.
No employers like for their employees to drag their feet on any project.
11. to paint（someone or oneself）into a corner：to trap oneself or someone; to
be in trouble（使自己或某人陷入困境, 应该注意的是即使主语是复数形式，corner
Don't try to paint yourself into a corner. (不要让自己身陷困境，无法脱身。)
After a heated debate with his boss, Mr. Chen has painted himself into a