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cook up

A noun or pronoun can be used between "cook" and "up."
1. Literally, to prepare food by cooking it. Are you hungry? I can cook something up for you.
2. To devise something. In this usage, the phrase often has a negative connotation. What ridiculous scheme has Sam cooked up now?
3. To plan to do something with someone. Have you been able to cook anything up with the boss yet? We really need to meet about this issue soon.
See also: cook, up

grand scheme

The long term; the complete picture of something. Typically used in the phrase "in the grand scheme of things." I know you're worried about getting a bad grade on this test, but you're such a great student that I doubt it will matter in the grand scheme of things.
See also: grand, scheme

in the (grand) scheme of things

In the long term; in the complete picture of something. I know you're worried about getting a bad grade on this test, but you're such a great student that I doubt it will matter in the grand scheme of things.
See also: of, scheme, thing

in the great scheme of things

In the long term; in the complete picture of something. I know you're worried about getting a bad grade on this test, but you're such a great student that I doubt it will matter in the great scheme of things.
See also: great, of, scheme, thing

scheme against (someone or something)

To form or contrive a secret or devious plan or conspiracy in order to oppose, overthrow, or undermine someone or something; to plot against someone or something. A group of lower-level executives have been scheming against the CEO in a bid to wrest control of the company away from him. It turns out that they had been scheming against the alliance since the day it was formed.
See also: scheme

scheme for (something)

To form or contrive a secret or devious plan or conspiracy in order to obtain, achieve, or accomplish something. We spent the afternoon scheming for a way to get into the elite Hollywood party so we could meet some celebrities. I heard that he's been scheming for a new computer that he could charge to the company accounts.
See also: for, scheme

the best-laid plans

proverb Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. It is an abbreviated version of the full proverb "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." I always thought our marriage was stable and that we'd be together forever. I guess it's true what they say, though, the best-laid plans and all that. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. The best-laid plans, I suppose."
See also: plan

the best-laid schemes

proverb Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. It is an abbreviated version of the line, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley" (go astray), from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse," which itself is a play on the proverb "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." I always thought our marriage was stable and that we'd be together forever. I guess it's true what they say, though, the best-laid schemes and all that. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. The best-laid schemes, I suppose."
See also: scheme

the best-laid schemes go astray

proverb Said when things that are well prepared for or seem certain end poorly or differently from how one intends. It is an abbreviated version of the line, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley" (go astray), from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse," which itself is a play on the proverb "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." I always thought our marriage was stable and that we'd be together forever. I guess it's true what they say, though, even the best-laid schemes go astray. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. Even the best-laid schemes go astray, I suppose."
See also: astray, go, scheme

the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley

proverb Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. It comes from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse," which itself is a play on the proverb "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." ("Gang aft a-gley" means "go oft astray" in Scottish vernacular.) I always thought our marriage was stable and that we'd be together forever. I guess it's true what they say, though—the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley, I suppose."
See also: aft, gang, men, mice, scheme

the best-laid schemes of mice and men

proverb Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. It is an abbreviated version of the line, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley" (go astray), from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse," which itself is a play on the proverb "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." I always thought our marriage was stable and that we'd be together forever. I guess it's true what they say, though, the best-laid schemes of mice and men and all that. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. The best-laid schemes of mice and men, I suppose."
See also: and, men, mice, of, scheme
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

best-laid plans of mice and men oft(en) go astray,

 and best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley.
Prov. Things often go wrong even though you have carefully planned what you are going to do. (The gang aft a-gley version is Scots dialect, and comes from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse.") Jill: I reserved a hotel room for us three weeks ago, but now the clerk says he has no record of our reservation. So much for our fun weekend in the city. Jane: Well, these things happen. The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray. I had all the arrangements made for my party, and then the guest of honor got sick and I had to call the whole thing off. The best-laid schemes of mice and men gang aft a-gley. If a little rain can ruin the best-laid plans of mice and men, think what an earthquake might do!
See also: and, astray, go, men, mice, of, oft, plan

cook something up (with someone)

Fig. to arrange or plan to do something with someone. (The something is usually the word something. See also cook something up.) I tried to cook something up with Karen for Tuesday. I want to cook up something with John. Let's see if we can cook something up.
See also: cook, up

cook something up (with someone)

Fig. to arrange or plan to do something with someone. (The something is usually the word something. See also cook something up.) I tried to cook something up with Karen for Tuesday. I want to cook up something with John. Let's see if we can cook something up.
See also: cook, up

scheme against someone or something

to plot or conspire against someone or something. A group of generals was plotting against the government. They schemed against the king until he caught them and put an end to it.
See also: scheme

scheme for something

to plot and plan for something, perhaps using deception. She is scheming for a raise. Ted is always scheming for a way to miss work.
See also: for, scheme
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

best-laid plans go astray, the

Also, the best-laid schemes go astray. Even very careful designs or projects do not always succeed. For example, Mary spent all afternoon preparing this elaborate dish but forgot the most important ingredient-oh well, the best-laid plans go astray . This particular turn of phrase comes from Robert Burns's poem "To a Mouse" (1786): "The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley [go often astray]." It is so well known that it is often abbreviated to the best-laid plans.
See also: go, plan

cook up

Fabricate, concoct, as in She's always cooking up some excuse. [Colloquial; mid-1700s]
See also: cook, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

in the scheme of things

COMMON People use in the scheme of things to describe how important one thing is when compared to everything else in a situation or how one thing relates to the other things in a situation. These aches and pains are annoying, but not very serious in the scheme of things. To enter into the adult world, we must have an understanding of our place in the scheme of things. Note: People often put words such as greater, grand or whole before scheme with the same meaning. In the grand scheme of things, Hertz was a small player.
See also: of, scheme, thing
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the scheme of things

the organization of things in general; the way the world is.
See also: of, scheme, thing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

the/somebody’s ˈscheme of things

the way the world and other things are or seem to be organized: Low-paid workers like us don’t have a very important place in the scheme of things.Don’t worry too much about your exam results; they’re not really important in the great scheme of things.
See also: of, scheme, thing
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

cook up

v.
1. To prepare some food: We cooked up a pizza for dinner. I cooked hamburgers up on the grill.
2. Slang To fabricate or concoct something; make up something: Don't cook up an excuse just because you're late. The suspect cooked up an alibi at the last minute.
See also: cook, up
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

best-laid schemes/plans, the

The most careful plans sometimes do not succeed. It was probably already a cliché by the time Robert Burns used the phrase in “To a Mouse” (1786): “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley [go often astray].”
See also: scheme
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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