shell


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Related to shell: shell shock, Shell scripting

crawl into (one's) shell

To retreat into one's mind or otherwise isolate oneself so as to avoid undesirable thoughts, situations, or interactions with people. After getting mugged, I crawled into my shell and didn't speak to anyone for nearly a week. I'm not good around large groups of people; I usually just crawl into my shell and wait until I can be alone. Don't crawl into your shell because you don't want an argument—talk to me and let's discuss the problem!
See also: crawl, shell

go into (one's) shell

1. To retreat into one's mind or otherwise isolate oneself so as to avoid undesirable thoughts, situations, or interactions with people. After getting mugged I went into my shell and didn't speak to anyone for nearly a week. I'm not good around large groups of people; I usually just go into my shell and wait until I can be alone. Don't go into your shell because you don't want an argument—talk to me and let's discuss the problem!
2. To act in a reserved and/or defensive manner. The team went into their shells after half time, trying to protect a slim lead. The senator went into his shell when reporters tried to question him about allegations of tax fraud.
See also: shell

be out of (one's) shell

To be less shy or reticent and more sociable, outgoing, or enthusiastic. Samantha was quite a quiet girl growing up, but she's really been out of her shell since leaving for college. Jack is actually a very funny, engaging guy once he's out of his shell.
See also: of, out, shell

out of (one's) shell

Less shy, reserved, or reticent and in a more sociable, outgoing, or enthusiastic state. Samantha was quite a quiet girl growing up, but she really started coming out of her shell in college. Jack is actually a very funny, engaging guy once he's out of his shell.
See also: of, out, shell

come out of (one's) shell

To become more outgoing. Usually said of a shy or introverted person. Wow, Anna has really come out of her shell lately. I remember when she wouldn't even talk to anyone, and now she's likely to be voted "Most Talkative."
See also: come, of, out, shell

shell game

1. A game in which an object is placed under one of three cups or shells, which are then moved around. The person playing the game must guess the final location of the object. Don't play any of those stupid shell games at the carnival, they're impossible to win!
2. By extension, a method of deception that involves hiding or obscuring the truth. Primarily heard in US. The appliance salesman played a shell game and switched the refrigerator I agreed to purchase with a used model. A Ponzi scheme is a type of shell game that always fails because it relies on money from new investors in order to pay old investors.
See also: game, shell

bring (one) out of (one's) shell

To cause someone to be more outgoing. Usually said of a shy or introverted person. Wow, I remember when Anna wouldn't even talk to anyone, and now she's likely to be voted "Most Talkative"—I wonder what brought her out of her shell.
See also: bring, of, out, shell

come out of one's shell

To be or become less shy or reticent and more sociable, outgoing, or enthusiastic. Samantha was quite a quiet girl growing up, but she really started coming out of her shell in college. Jack is actually a very funny, engaging guy when he comes out of his shell.
See also: come, of, out, shell

like shelling peas

Especially easy or intuitive. Primarily heard in UK. I was worried that the chemistry class would be too hard, but it was like shelling peas in the end.
See also: like, pea, shell

bring (one) out of one's shell

 and get one out of one's shell; bring one out; get one out
Fig. to make a person become more open and friendly. (Alludes to a shy turtle being coaxed to put its head out of its shell.) We tried to bring Greg out of his shell, but he is very shy. He's quiet, and it's hard to get him out of his shell.
See also: bring, of, out, shell

come out of one's shell

Fig. to become more friendly; to be more sociable. (Alludes to a shy turtle putting its head out of its shell.) Come out of your shell, Tom. Go out and make some friends.
See also: come, of, out, shell

in a nut shell

Fig. [of news or information] in a (figurative) capsule; in summary. This cable channel provides the latest news in a nut shell. In a nut shell, what happened at work today?
See also: nut, shell

shell out (an amount of money)

to spend a certain amount of money. I'm not going to shell out $400 for that! Come on. You owe me. Shell out!
See also: out, shell

in one's shell

Also, into one's shell. In a quiet or withdrawn state. For example, Jim is extremely shy; if you try to get him to talk he immediately goes into his shell. This usage alludes to the shell as a protective covering and dates from about 1800, as does the antonym, out of one's shell, as in Once Anne is out of her shell she's very articulate. However, the same expression was also used from the 1500s on to denote being young and inexperienced, alluding to a baby bird that had not quite emerged from its shell.
See also: shell

out of one's shell

see under in one's shell.
See also: of, out, shell

shell out

Pay, hand over, as in We had to shell out $1,000 for auto repairs. This expression transfers taking a seed such as a pea or nut out of its pod or shell to taking money out of one's pocket. [Colloquial; c. 1800]
See also: out, shell

come out of your shell

COMMON If you come out of your shell, you become less shy and more confident. She used to be very timid and shy but I think she's come out of her shell. Note: You can say that someone or something brings you out of your shell when they cause you to be less shy and more confident. I think the job has brought her out of her shell. Note: You can also say that someone goes into or retreats into their shell, meaning that they become more shy and less confident. He went into his shell as he got older, seeing less and less of his friends. Note: The image is of a snail or shellfish, both of which go into their shells for protection.
See also: come, of, out, shell

a shell game

AMERICAN
If someone is playing a shell game, they are deliberately deceiving people, usually by changing things or pretending to change things, in order to gain an advantage. At the same time, O'Leary was playing a shell game, moving money from one account to another to satisfy debts. Independent financing — with its soft money schemes and local tax breaks — is at best a shell game. Note: The shell game is an old confidence trick. An object is hidden under one of three cups, which are then moved out of their original order. The victim bets on where the object is, and typically gets it wrong. The trick may have become known as the shell game because it was originally done with walnut shells rather than cups.
See also: game, shell

shell out

v.
To pay some amount of money, often reluctantly: I had to shell out $500 on car repairs. We had to shell the full amount of tuition out even though many of the classes had been canceled.
See also: out, shell

shell out (an amount of money)

and shell (an amount of money) out
tv. & in. to spend a certain amount of money. I’m not going to shell $400 out for that!
See also: amount, money, of, out, shell

shell an amount of money out

verb
See also: amount, money, of, out, shell

shell out

verb
See also: out, shell

shell shock

Psychological adverse reaction to combat. The phrase originated during World War I when intensive enemy artillery bombarding caused soldiers in the trenches to suffer from a variety of traumas that ranged from moderate panic attacks to physical and emotional paralysis. Changes in warfare and psychological lingo caused the phrase to be replaced during the Second World War by “battle fatigue” and more recently to “posttraumatic stress disorder.”
See also: shell, shock
References in classic literature ?
I am afraid the shell has struck her," she said, yielding her place to him.
The light disclosed the frightful injury which a fragment of the shell had inflicted on the Englishwoman's head.
He turned from the bed, and illustrated his disgust by spitting on the fragments of the exploded shell.
Bewildered by the noise, panic-stricken as the danger from the shells threatened the cottage more and more nearly, Grace threw her arms round the nurse, and clung, in the abject familiarity of terror, to the woman whose hand she had shrunk from touching not five minutes since.
Without a moment's loss of time a small boat put off in the direction of its fall; some divers plunged into the water and attached ropes to the handles of the shell, which was quickly dragged on board.
Hardly had the shell been opened when the cat leaped out, slightly bruised, but full of life, and exhibiting no signs whatever of having made an aerial expedition.
It is just possible that this hill is Mount Ararat, and that Noah's Ark rested here, and he ate oysters and threw the shells overboard.
Simply at the point I started from, namely, those oyster shells are there, in regular layers, five hundred feet above the sea, and no man knows how they got there.
Each win, Shell $aver Cardholders can receive a savings of 22 cents per gallon when they purchase Shell Nitrogen Enriched Gasolines and Shell Diesel the Wednesday following the win -- also known as WINsday.
Dutch oil giant Shell is bowing out of Uruguay while heavyweights such as state-run behemoths Petrobras from Brazil and Venezuela's Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) see profits in the small South American country, especially taking into account Shell's departure.
Then, workers don protective gear and carefully hand-pack each shell with "black powder.
Diamond, in the heart of the petrochemical corridor known as Cancer Alley, was boxed in on two sides by the gas flares and roaring vent stacks of Shell Chemical.
If you don't get the crab out of the salt water in eight hours, the shell gets hard again.
Most coaches who teach man-to-man defense appreciate the intrinsic value of the Shell Drill.
THE HUNGRY GENE: The Science of Fat and the Future of Thin by Ellen Ruppel Shell Atlantic Monthly Press, $25.