chest

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keep (something) close to (one's) chest

To keep one's plans, intentions, or tactics secret from everyone else. Refers to holding one's playing cards close to one's chest in a card game, so as not to allow other players to see one's hand. We're all curious about what the boss has been discussing in those meetings with the lawyers, but she's keeping it close to her chest. Sorry for not being more straightforward about my plans, but I'm keeping this one close to the chest for the time being.
See also: chest, close, keep

play (one's) cards close to (one's) chest

To keep one's plans, intentions, or tactics secret from everyone else. Refers to holding one's playing cards close to one's chest in a card game, so as not to allow other players to see one's hand. We're all curious about what the boss has been discussing in those meetings with the lawyers, but she's playing her cards close to her chest. Sorry for not being more straightforward about my plans, but I'm playing my cards close to my chest for the time being.
See also: card, chest, close, play

play (something) close to (one's) chest

To keep one's plans, intentions, or tactics secret from everyone else. Refers to holding one's playing cards close to one's chest in a card game, so as not to allow other players to see one's hand. We're all curious about what the boss has been discussing in those meetings with the lawyers, but she's playing it close to her chest. Sorry for not being more straightforward about my plans, but I'm playing this one close to the chest for the time being.
See also: chest, close, play

hope chest

1. A piece of furniture used to store household items such as clothing and linens. The antique store had a beautiful cedar hope chest that would be a perfect addition to my bedroom furniture.
2. A young woman's collection of household items to use in her home after marriage. Sarah collected linens and sheets for her hope chest in anticipation of her new life as a married woman.
See also: chest, hope

keep (one's) cards close to (one's) chest

To keep one's plans, intentions, or information secret from everyone else. Refers to holding one's playing cards close to one's chest in a game, so as not to allow other players to see one's hand. We're all curious about what the boss has been discussing in those meetings with the lawyers, but she's been keeping her cards close to her chest. Sorry for not being more straightforward about my plans, but I'm keeping my cards close to my chest for the time being.
See also: card, chest, close, keep

put hair on (one's) chest

A humorous phrase said of something very pungent or strong in taste. A: "These cough drops will clear you right up." B: "Yeah and put my hair on chest too! Ugh!"
See also: chest, hair, on, put

get (something) off (one's) chest

To express one's repressed feelings about something. I'm sorry but I just have to get something off my chest. How could you treat me like that last night?
See also: chest, get, off

get something off one's chest

to unburden oneself; to confess something; to criticize or make a personal complaint to someone. You will feel better if you get it off your chest. I have to get this off my chest. I'm tired of your rudeness to me!
See also: chest, get, off

play one's cards close to one's chest

 and play one's cards close to one's vest; keep one's cards close to one's chest; keep one's cards close to one's vest
Fig. to keep to oneself or be very cautious in one's dealing with people. (As if one were playing cards and not permitting anyone to see any of the cards.) He is very cautious. He plays his cards close to his chest. You seem to be playing your cards close to your vest.
See also: card, chest, close, play

put hair on someone's chest

Fig. to do or take something to invigorate or energize someone, always a male, except in jest. Here, have a drink of this stuff! It'll put hair on your chest. That stuff is powerful. It will really put hair on your chest.
See also: chest, hair, on, put

off one's chest, get

Relieve one's mind by confessing or saying something that has been repressed. For example, I've got to get this off my chest-I can't stand his parents, or He admitted taking the dollar and said he was glad to get it off his chest. This expression uses chest for the seat of the emotions. [c. 1900]
See also: get, off

play it close to one's chest

Be secretive or cautious, give nothing away, as in We've no idea how many tickets they sold; they play it close to their chests. This expression, which is also put as play one's cards close to one's chest, alludes to holding one's cards up against one's chest, so that no one else can see them. [Slang; mid-1900s]
See also: chest, close, play

put lead in one's pencil

Enhance or restore sexual vigor, as in Try one of these hot peppers; that'll put lead in your pencil. This phrase, a euphemism for causing an erection, is considered far more vulgar than the contemporary synonym put hair on one's chest, alluding to a secondary male sex characteristic. [Colloquial; c. 1900]
See also: lead, pencil, put

beat your breast

or

beat your chest

COMMON If someone beats their breast or beats their chest, they publicly show regret or anger about something that has happened. At this month's meeting of the party's Central Committee, the party leader beat his breast with ritual self-criticism. Why don't you both stop beating your chests and do something productive? Note: You can describe the action of doing this as breast-beating or chest-beating. His breast-beating on behalf of the working classes always seemed false to me. Note: You usually use these expressions to suggest that the person is not being sincere but is trying to draw attention to himself or herself.
See also: beat, breast

play your cards close to your chest

mainly BRITISH or

play your cards close to the vest

AMERICAN
If you play your cards close to your chest, you do not tell anyone about your plans or thoughts. Williams is playing his cards close to his chest, especially in terms of his driver line-up for next season. He plays his cards very close to the vest, leaving some attorneys with whom he's worked to describe him as secretive and manipulative. Note: You can also say that someone keeps their cards close to their chest or keeps their cards close to the vest. The Prime Minister was said yesterday to be keeping his cards close to his chest after an informal discussion at cabinet on Thursday. Note: Other nouns are sometimes used instead of cards. Taylor kept his thoughts close to his chest, saying only: `I'm not prepared to comment.' I have no inside information — Dave's playing this one close to his chest. The military's playing this whole operation pretty close to the vest — they generally don't like to talk about future operations. Note: This is a reference to card-players holding their cards close to their chest so that nobody else can see them.
See also: card, chest, close, play

get something off your chest

COMMON If you get something off your chest, you talk about a problem that has been worrying you for a long time, and you feel better because of this. My doctor gave me the opportunity to talk and get things off my chest. Sarah certainly seemed as though she had a lot to get off her chest.
See also: chest, get, off, something

put hairs on your chest

If you say that a drink or a type of food will put hairs on your chest, you mean that it is very strong or very good for you. Our parents thought the soup would put hairs on our chests. Note: This expression is used humorously.
See also: chest, hair, on, put

beat your breast

make a great show of sorrow or regret.
See also: beat, breast

keep (or play) your cards close to your chest (or vest)

be extremely secretive and cautious about something. informal
The previous two idioms both refer to a hand of cards in a card game. If you hold all the cards you have a winning hand, while card players who hold their cards close to their bodies ensure that no opponent can look at them.
See also: card, chest, close, keep

get something off your chest

say something that you have wanted to say for a long time, resulting in a feeling of relief. informal
See also: chest, get, off, something

put hair (or hairs) on your chest

(of alcoholic drink) revive your strength. informal
See also: chest, hair, on, put

hope chest

a chest containing linen, clothes, and household items stored by a woman in preparation for her marriage. North American
The British equivalent of this expression is bottom drawer (see drawer).
See also: chest, hope

keep/hold/play your cards ˌclose to your ˈchest

not tell others what you are intending to do: He keeps his cards pretty close to his chest. I don’t know whether he plans to buy the house or not. OPPOSITE: show/reveal your hand
See also: card, chest, close, hold, keep, play

ˌget something off your ˈchest

(informal) say something that you have wanted to say for a long time and feel better because you have done this: If something is worrying you, get it off your chest.
See also: chest, get, off, something

put ˈhairs on your chest

(informal, humorous) (especially of alcoholic drinks) make you feel strong, etc: This Polish vodka will put hairs on your chest.
See also: chest, hair, on, put

take the spear (in one’s chest)

tv. to accept full blame for something; to accept the full brunt of the punishment for something. The admiral got the short straw and had to take the spear in his chest.
See also: chest, spear, take

war chest

n. a political campaign fund. They say the vice president has more than one million dollars in his war chest.
See also: chest, war

get (something) off (one's) chest

To vent one's pent-up feelings.
See also: chest, get, off