Go potty over this cracking collection of pottery phrases

Large decorated potHaving previously written posts about baking, cooking and dancing related idioms to tie in with popular TV shows, it seems only right to turn to pottery as we approach the final of this year’s The Great Pottery Throw Down.

So, let’s crack on to discover which well-known pottery phrases I unearthed…

What a lot of pots

A pot (or crock) of gold = a large amount of money that someone hopes to get in the future

A watched pot never boils = the feeling that time seems to go slower when you’re anxiously waiting for something to happen

Fusspot = a person who fusses unnecessarily

Go potty = become irrational or crazy; become very excited or enthusiastic (about something)

Go to pot = be ruined; deteriorate through neglect

In the melting pot = likely to change; in the process of changing

Take potluck = eat whatever food has been prepared or is available

The pot calling the kettle black = someone making criticisms about someone else which could equally well apply to themselves

China calling

Bowl over = surprise someone greatly; astound; amaze

Feet of clay = a weakness perceived in someone held in high regard

Jug-eared = having ears that stick out markedly, resembling the handles of a jug

Like a bull in a china shop = behaving recklessly and clumsily in a place or situation where you’re likely to cause damage or injury

My old china (plate) = Cockney rhyming slang for ‘mate’

Not for all the tea in China = not at any price

On the tiles = out having a wild or enjoyable time, not returning home until late

The messy part

Asleep at the wheel = not attentive or alert; inactive

Fifth wheel = a superfluous or unnecessary person or thing

Glaze over = become glassy; lose clear vision (in reference to eyes)

Give someone the slip = evade or escape from someone

Let something slip = reveal something inadvertently in the course of conversation; fail to take advantage of an opportunity

Let something slip through one’s fingers = lose hold or possession of something; miss the opportunity of gaining something

Put a spin (on something) = twist or report a story to one’s advantage

Reinvent the wheel = waste time or effort in creating something that already exists or doing something that’s already been done

Slip up = make a blunder or mistake; fall over

The wheel has come full circle = being back at the point of departure

Throw down the gauntlet = issue a challenge to someone

Finishing touches

Cracked up to be = asserted to be (generally used in negative contexts to indicate that someone or something has been described too favourably)

Crackpot = crazy person; crank

Fire away = begin talking or asking questions

Get cracking = (start to) act quickly and energetically

Paper over the cracks = disguise problems or divisions rather than trying to solve them

Play with fire = take foolish risks

Scratch the surface = deal with a matter very superficially

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mixed bag of pottery phrases, idioms and sayings. Do let me know if I’ve missed any obvious ones and I’ll be glad to add them.

To finish off, here’s an old pottery quotation that caught my eye:

A vessel is formed from a lump of clay with care, however, it is the empty space within the vessel that makes it useful. – Laozi

Posted in Idioms, Language Tagged with: , ,

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