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boy in the boat

A woman's clitoris, so euphemized for its placement between the labia minora resembling a person within a small boat.
See also: boat, boy

little man in the boat

A woman's clitoris, so euphemized for its placement between the labia minora resembling a person within a small boat.
See also: boat, little, man

fresh off the boat

Newly immigrated, especially without having yet assimilated the host country's language, culture, and/or behavior. My grandfather was still fresh off the boat when he opened up his business here in 1820, and he didn't speak a lick of English.
See also: boat, fresh, off

a rising tide lifts all boats

economics A strong economy benefits businesses and individuals at all levels. The phrase was popularized by US President John F. Kennedy. Thanks to the economy doing so well lately, our business has been booming. I guess it's really true what they say, that a rising tide lifts all boats.
See also: all, boat, lift, rising, tide

float (one's) boat

To make someone happy. Often used in the phrase "whatever floats (one's) boat." A: "What do you want for dinner?" B: "Whatever floats your boat, I'm not even hungry." I think this new job in the lab will really float Isabel's boat.
See also: boat, float

*in the same boat (as someone)

in the same situation; having the same problem. (*Typically: be ~; get [into]~.) Tom: I'm broke. Can you lend me twenty dollars? Bill: Sorry. I'm in the same boat. Jane and Mary are both in the same boat. They have been called for jury duty.
See also: boat, same

just off the boat

Fig. to be newly immigrated and perhaps gullible and naive. I'm not just off the boat. I know what's going on. He may act like he's just off the boat, but he's very savvy.
See also: boat, just, off

miss the boat

 
1. Lit. to miss out (on something); to be ignorant (of something). Pay attention, John, or you'll miss the boat and not learn algebra. Tom really missed the boat when it came to making friends.
2. Fig. to have made an error; to be wrong. If you think you can do that, you have just missed the boat. The guy's missed the boat. He's a lunkhead.
See also: boat, miss

rock the boat

 
1. Lit. to do something to move a boat from side to side, causing it to rock. (Often in a negative sense.) Sit down and stop rocking the boat. You'll turn it over!
2. Fig. to cause trouble where none is welcome; to disturb a situation that is otherwise stable and satisfactory. (Often negative.) Look, Tom, everything is going fine here. Don't rock the boat! You can depend on Tom to mess things up by rocking the boat.
See also: boat, rock

Whatever turns you on.

 
1. Inf. Whatever pleases or excites you is okay. Mary: Do you mind if I buy some of these flowers? Bill: Whatever turns you on. Mary: I just love to hear a raucous saxophone play some smooth jazz. Bob: Whatever turns you on, baby.
2. . Inf. a comment implying that it is strange to get so excited about something. (Essentially sarcastic.) Bob: I just go wild whenever I see pink gloves on a woman. I don't understand it. Bill: Whatever turns you on. Jane: You see, I never told anybody this, but whenever I see snow falling, I just go sort of mushy inside. Sue: Weird, Jane, weird. But, whatever turns you on.
See also: on, turn, whatever

don't rock the boat

do not upset people by trying to change a situation You shouldn't sit there and say everything's fine, don't rock the boat.
Usage notes: sometimes used without don't: Of course you'll want to rock the boat.
Related vocabulary: keep your nose clean
See also: boat, rock

miss the boat

1. to lose an opportunity that could lead to success He thinks we're missing the boat on improving relations with Russia.
2. to not understand the importance of something I believe that people who think this issue is simply going to disappear have missed the boat.
See also: boat, miss

in the same boat

experiencing the same situation or condition Suddenly Paul was in the same boat as any other worker who had lost a job.
See also: boat, same

whatever floats your boat

do what makes you happy If you want to have five children you should have five - whatever floats your boat.
Usage notes: also used in the form what floats your boat: By the time you've finished high school, you've probably figured out what floats your boat.
See also: boat, float, whatever

burn your boats

  (British & Australian) also burn your bridges (British, American & Australian)
to do something that makes it impossible for you to change your plans and go back to the situation you were in before She didn't want to burn her boats by asking for a divorce, so she suggested a trial separation instead. I'd already burned my bridges with my previous employer by publicly criticizing their products.
See burn fingers
See also: boat, burn

not float somebody'sboat

  (informal)
If something does not float your boat, you do not enjoy it or want it. The idea of crawling through an underground cave doesn't really float my boat.
See also: boat, float, not

miss the boat

to be too late to get something that you want Anyone still hoping for concert tickets will discover they have missed the boat. I sent off my university application at the last minute and nearly missed the boat.
See also: boat, miss

push the boat out

  (British)
to spend a lot of money or more money than you usually do, especially when you are celebrating As it's your birthday, I think we can push the boat out and have a bottle of champagne. (sometimes + for ) They really pushed the boat out for Jane's wedding.
See also: boat, out, push

rock the boat

  (informal)
to do or say something that causes problems, especially if you try to change a situation which most people do not want to change We certainly don't want anyone rocking the boat just before the election. I tried to suggest a few ways in which we might improve our image and was told very firmly not to rock the boat.
See rock to its foundations
See also: boat, rock

be in the same boat

to be in the same unpleasant situation as other people She's always complaining that she doesn't have enough money, but we're all in the same boat. (often + as ) If he loses his job he'll be in the same boat as any other unemployed person.
See also: boat, same

burn one's bridges

Also, burn one's boats. Commit oneself to an irreversible course. For example, Denouncing one's boss in a written resignation means one has burned one's bridges, or Turning down one job before you have another amounts to burning your boats. Both versions of this idiom allude to ancient military tactics, when troops would cross a body of water and then burn the bridge or boats they had used both to prevent retreat and to foil a pursuing enemy. [Late 1800s] Also see cross the rubicon.
See also: bridge, burn

in the same boat

Also, all in the same boat. In a similar situation, in the same position. For example, Everyone's got too much work-we're all in the same boat. This expression alludes to the risks shared by passengers in a small boat at sea. [Mid-1800s]
See also: boat, same

miss the boat

1. Fail to take advantage of an opportunity, as in Jean missed the boat on that club membership. This expression, which alludes to not being in time to catch a boat, has been applied more widely since the 1920s.
2. Fail to understand something, as in I'm afraid our legislator missed the boat on that amendment to the bill. [Mid-1900s] Also see miss the point.
See also: boat, miss

rock the boat

Disturb a stable situation, as in An easygoing manager, he won't rock the boat unless it's absolutely necessary. This idiom alludes to capsizing a small vessel, such as a canoe, by moving about in it too violently. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
See also: boat, rock

boat

1. n. a big shoe. (see also gunboats.) Those boats are special made, in fact.
2. n. a big car; a full-size car. I don’t want to drive a big boat like that.

boat anchor

n. a useless computer; anything heavy and useless. Why don’t you replace that boat anchor with a new model?
See also: anchor, boat

just off the boat

mod. freshly immigrated and perhaps gullible and naive. (see also FOB.) I’m not just off the boat. I know what’s going on.
See also: boat, just, off

miss the boat

tv. to have made an error; to be wrong. If you think you can do that, you have just missed the boat.
See also: boat, miss

whatever turns you on

and whatever floats your boat
tv. whatever excites you or interests you. (Main entry was said originally about sexual matters.) I can’t stand that kind of music, but whatever turns you on. Ketchup on hot dogs! Yuck! But whatever floats your boat.
See also: on, turn, whatever

whatever floats your boat

verb
See also: boat, float, whatever

in the same boat

In the same situation as another or others.
See also: boat, same

miss the boat

Informal
1. To fail to avail oneself of an opportunity.
2. To fail to understand.
See also: boat, miss

rock the boat

To disturb the balance or routine of a situation: He has an easygoing managerial style and won't rock the boat unless absolutely necessary.
See also: boat, rock

slow boat to China

A very long time. A poker players' expression for a player who constantly lost was “I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China,” meaning that the others would have all the time in the world to win the guy's money. Composer Frank Loesser used the phrase as the title and the first line of a 1948 romantic ballad, and the expression started being used as a compliment.
See also: boat, china, slow
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