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sit like piffy on a rock cake
To be conspicuous but ignored or left out, especially from a group or activity. (A "rock bun" or "rock cake" is a type of hard cake with currants; what "piffy" refers to is unknown.) Primarily heard in UK. I was excited to go with my wife to her awards ceremony, but I didn't know anyone there and ended up sitting like piffy on a rock cake. After Tommy hit one of the other boys in his class, he was left sitting like piffy on a rock cake during playtime.
sit like piffy on a rock bun
To be conspicuous but ignored or left out, especially from a group or activity. (A "rock bun" or "rock cake" is a type of hard cake with currants; what "piffy" refers to is unknown.) Primarily heard in UK. I was excited to go with my wife to her awards ceremony, but I didn't know anyone there and ended up sitting like piffy on a rock bun. After Tommy hit one of the other boys in his class, he was left sitting like piffy on a rock bun during playtime.
sit tall in the/(one's) saddle
To be or remain proud, stoical, or august in one's manner or composure. Even after two years of a losing war, the general still sat tall in his saddle before his troops. I'll have nothing to do with your schemes or plot. One day, you're going to be locked up and lose everything, and I'll be sitting tall in the saddle when you do.
sit at (someone's) feet
To be in a position of devotion or worship to someone; to pay homage or reverential attention to someone. I've been sitting at the professor's feet ever since I heard his astounding lecture on quantum mechanics. My brother chose to sit at the saints' feet for the rest of his life, but I do not intend to pursue such a life of the cloth.
sit (up)on hot cockles
To be impatient. Quit sitting on hot cockles—you'll get your birthday present soon enough.
sit at the feet of (someone)
To be in a position of devotion or worship to someone; to pay homage to or be reverential to someone. I've been sitting at the feet of my renowned professor ever since I heard his astounding lecture on quantum mechanics. My brother chose to sit at the feet of the saints for the rest of his life, but I do not intend to pursue such a life of the cloth.
sit up and take notice
To become alert and give one's complete attention to someone or something. Although he's been making music for years, it was his smash hit song last April that caused people to sit up and take notice. The president's proposed legislation has made many global leaders sit up and take notice.
sit on the fence
To not make a decision or take a side when presented with two or more options or possibilities. You can't sit on the fence any longer—you need to choose who of these two we need to fire. The government has been sitting on the fence about legalizing marijuana for the past several years.
1. To rise up to a sitting position after lying down. I woke up very thirsty, so I sat up to take a drink of water.
2. To raise someone up into a sitting position after they have been lying down. (A pronoun is used after "sit" in this usage.) They sat the patient up so she could see her visitors.
3. To sit in one's seat with a fixed, upright posture. Please sit up during class—it annoys me to see you slouching at your desk like that!
4. To suddenly take notice of something or become very alert. Our son sat up the moment we mentioned the possibility of going to Disneyland.
sit up with (one)
To stay awake past one's normal bedtime in order to care for someone. My daughter kept vomiting, so I had to sit up her through the night.
obsolete To be squeezed tightly between two people while traveling, especially in a carriage. Pressed for time ahead of his appointment, the Duke was rather unceremoniously obliged to sit bodkin between the two daughters of his host.
sit below the salt
old-fashioned To be in or at a position of low or common standing, rank, regard, or repute. The term is derived from the social hierarchy of nobility in medieval times, in which salt, a precious commodity then, was set in the middle of the dining table. Those of high noble rank were seated "above the salt," that is, closer to the lord and lady of the house, while those in lower social standing were seated "below" or "beneath" it. Robert's tech firm bankrupted last month, so I guess he's back to sitting below the salt with us again. I know it makes me a snob, but I just consider these big summer blockbusters to sit rather below the salt.
sit beneath the salt
To be in or at a position of low or common standing, rank, regard, or repute. The term is derived from the social hierarchy of nobility in medieval times, in which salt, a precious commodity then, was set in the middle of the dining table. Those of high noble rank were seated "above the salt," that is, closer to the lord and lady of the house, while those in lower social standing were seated "below" or "beneath" it. Robert's tech firm bankrupted last month, so I guess he's back to sitting beneath the salt with us again. I know it makes me a snob, but I just consider these big summer blockbusters to sit rather beneath the salt.
sit next to Nellie
old-fashioned To work alongside a person with a lot of experience so as to learn how best to do a job by watching them work. It used to be the case that new recruits would just sit next to "Nellie" when they joined the team; now, with how quickly technology is advancing, it's often the new recruits who have to explain how things work to the older members of staff.
sit on (one's) tail
To follow close behind someone or something, especially in a car. Why is this guy sitting on my tail when I'm already going over the speed limit? I sat on his tail for nearly 30 minutes before I finally had a chance to pass him.
sit on the fence
Fig. not to take sides in a dispute; not to make a clear choice between two possibilities. (Fig. on the image of someone straddling a fence, representing indecision.) When Jane and Tom argue, it is best to sit on the fence and not make either of them angry. No one knows which of the candidates Joan will vote for. She's sitting on the fence.
sit on the fence
(about something) Go to on the fence (about something).
1. to rise from a lying to a sitting position. When the alarm went off, he sat up and put his feet on the floor. She couldn't sleep, so she sat up and read a book.
2. to sit more straight in one's seat; to hold one's posture more upright while seated. Please sit up. Don't slouch! You wouldn't get backaches if you would sit up.
sit up and take notice
to become alert and pay attention. A loud noise from the front of the room caused everyone to sit up and take notice. The company wouldn't pay any attention to my complaints. When I had my lawyer write them a letter, they sat up and took notice.
1. Rise to a sitting position from lying down, as in The sick child sat up and asked for a drink of water. [Early 1200s]
2. Stay up later than usual, as in The nurse sat up with her all night long. [Mid-1500s]
3. Sit with the spine erect, as in She was always telling the students to sit up. [Early 1700s]
4. Become suddenly alert, as in The students sat up when he brought up the test. The same sense appears in the related sit up and take notice, as in When he mentioned the arrival of a movie star, they all sat up and took notice. [Late 1800s]
sit on the fence
COMMON If you sit on the fence, you refuse to give a definite opinion about something or to say who you support in an argument. Who was cooler, Starsky or Hutch? You couldn't sit on the fence and say you liked both of them equally. Note: Verbs such as stay and be can be used instead of sit. Democrats who'd been on the fence about the nomination, in the end all voted for him. Note: You can call this kind of behaviour fence-sitting, and someone who behaves like this a fence-sitter. At his first press conference there was much fence-sitting. I sense that there are a lot of fence-sitters out there on this issue. Note: These expressions are usually used to show that you disapprove of the fact that someone is not making a decision. Note: The fence referred to is one that separates two properties or territories and someone sitting on it is unable or unwilling to make a decision about which side to stand on.
sit up and take notice
If someone sits up and takes notice, they start paying attention to something because they realize it is important or worth noticing. In the last few years the medical world has begun to sit up and take notice of the role diet has to play in health. Pressure groups will need to campaign hard before anyone in power is forced to sit up and take notice.
sit on the fenceavoid making a decision or choice.
The two sides of a fence are seen here as representing the two opposing or conflicting positions or interests involved in a particular debate or situation.
1995 Duncan McLean Bunker Man Let's have a proper decision—goal or no goal—none of this sitting on the fence.
sit below the saltbe of lower social standing or worth.
This expression derives from the former custom of placing a large salt cellar midway down a long dining table at which people were seated in order of rank.
sit next to Nellielearn how to do a job or task by watching and copying someone experienced in it. informal
sit up (and take notice)suddenly start paying attention or have your interest aroused. informal
sit on the ˈfenceavoid deciding between two sides of an argument, discussion, quarrel, etc: Either you support me or you don’t. You can’t sit on the fence all your life. ♢ Politicians cannot sit on the fence. People expect them to have clear views. OPPOSITE: take sides ▶ ˈfence-sitter noun a person who cannot or does not want to decide which side of an argument, etc. to support
1. To rise from lying down to a sitting position: The patient sat up for her meal.
2. To sit with the spine erect: The nanny told the children to sit up.
3. To stay up later than the customary bedtime: My parents sat up waiting for me to come home.
4. To become suddenly alert: The students sat up when the teacher mentioned the test.