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Related to terrible: Terrible twos
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a (good, bad, etc.) hand to play

One's (good, bad, great, poor, etc.) ability to deal effectively or ideally with a given situation. An allusion to the strength of one's hand in a game of cards. The strength of our existing IT infrastructure gave us a pretty good hand to play when it came time to negotiate the merger. The situation leaves the political party with a poor hand to play in response. Considering how smug the defense attorney was acting, I figured he must have a great hand to play. Sure enough, here's a new eye-witness.
See also: hand, play, to

a mind is a terrible thing to waste

Education and exercising one's mind is important. No, you absolutely must go to college after you graduate in the spring! A mind is a terrible thing to waste! I can't believe you let the kids just loaf around all summer long. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, is it not? A mind is a terrible thing to waste, you know, so how are you going to keep your mind sharp in retirement?
See also: mind, terrible, thing, to, waste

bedside manner

One's demeanor and behavior when interacting with patients, as of a medical professional, especially a doctor. Based on his bedside manner, I wonder if Dr. Smith is capable of feeling compassion at all. Her wonderful bedside manner was able to calm even the most agitated patients.
See also: manner

enfant terrible

A famous person who is known to behave inappropriately, often to others' shock or horror. As this phrase is French for "terrible child," it is typically pronounced with a French accent. If you continue to have tantrums on the court, you will be known as the enfant terrible of tennis. He is the enfant terrible of high society, so of course he wore blue jeans to the gala.
See also: terrible

I'm terrible with/at names

I have a very hard time remembering people's names. A: "No, I'm Matt." B: "I'm so sorry, I'm terrible with names."
See also: name, terrible

paint a (some kind of) picture (of something)

To give an elaborate or detailed description of something that portrays it in a specific way. The board meeting painted a pretty grim picture. If sales don't improve, the company might not have a future. Jonathan always paints an idyllic picture of our childhood, glossing over the bad memories of our father.
See also: kind, paint, picture

the terrible twos

A developmental stage of children, generally at or around the age of two, marked by increased rebelliousness and frequent tantrums. Becca's been having really bad temper tantrums lately and just keeps saying "no" to everything we say to her. I guess she's going into the terrible twos.
See also: terrible, two

track record

A history of someone's or something's performance, often cited as a predictor of how they will perform in the future. The mayor brought in the new police chief because he has a strong track record of reducing crime in inner-city neighborhoods. The company had an almost perfect track record before the scandal, which made it even more shocking. The boss is trusting them with our new website, but their track record isn't the best.
See also: record, track
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

I'm terrible at names.

 and I'm awful at names.
I can't seem to remember anyone's name. (Said as an apology to someone whose name you have forgotten.) I'm terrible at names. Please tell me yours again. Haven't we met already? I'm awful at names.
See also: name, terrible
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

track record

A record of actual performance or achievements, as in This applicant has an excellent track record. This term probably comes from horse racing, where it signifies the best time a horse has ever achieved at a particular track or over a particular distance. However, some believe it alludes to track and field records. Its figurative use dates from the late 1940s.
See also: record, track
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.

bedside manner

a doctor's approach or attitude to a patient.
1993 Bill Moyers Healing & the Mind Are you just talking about the old-fashioned bedside manner of a doctor who comes around and visits you when you need him?
See also: manner
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

paint a terrible, depressing, rosy, etc. ˈpicture (of somebody/something)

describe something in a particular way; give a particular impression of somebody/something, often a negative one: You paint a depressing picture of your childhood!People who don’t like students paint the worst possible picture of their behaviour.The book paints a vivid picture of life in the city.
See also: paint, picture
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

track record

The sum of a person’s performance or achievements in a given line. The term comes from horse racing, where it is defined as the best time a horse ever made over a given distance on a particular track. It was transferred to human endeavor about 1950. “[Billy] Wilder has had a series of extremely successful pictures. . . . We were betting on his track record that this one would be, too” (Life, 1965).
See also: record, track
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
Fuller knowledge of the organization which produced such terrible results served to increase rather than to lessen the horror which it inspired in the minds of men.
One hears -- one hears such dreadful stories about those who oppose the Prophet: something terrible always happens to them."
That night, as we lurked in the scullery, balanced between our horror and the terrible fascination this peeping had, al- though I felt an urgent need of action I tried in vain to conceive some plan of escape; but afterwards, during the second day, I was able to consider our position with great clearness.
Now and then patches of moonlight filtering through occasional openings in the leafy roofing revealed to Virginia the battle that was being waged for possession of her, and once, when Number Three turned toward her after disposing of a new assailant, she was horrified to see the grotesque and terrible face of the creature.
Could it be that she had at last fallen into the hands of the dreaded and terrible Number Thirteen!
But when the Woodman entered the great Throne Room he saw neither the Head nor the Lady, for Oz had taken the shape of a most terrible Beast.
"I am Oz, the Great and Terrible," spoke the Beast, in a voice that was one great roar.
He dismounted, and sat down at the edge of the fountain, where he awaited the genius in terrible suspense.
But little did she realize, even then, as she hid the Manuscript and prepared to flee, how terrible had been the breakdown of the Second Revolt.
When the terrible story of Lucy's death, and all that followed, was done, I lay back in my chair powerless.
The ape-man had had sufficient experience with the lower savages of Africa to know that even there may be found the cruder virtues of charity and humanity; but their lives were at best but a series of terrible privations, dangers, and sufferings.
Now, the best tragedies are founded on the story of a few houses, on the fortunes of Alcmaeon, Oedipus, Orestes, Meleager, Thyestes, Telephus, and those others who have done or suffered something terrible. A tragedy, then, to be perfect according to the rules of art should be of this construction.
They have not yet become men, those terrible ones: may they preach desistance from life, and pass away themselves!
The loyal fellow would not be the one to force from mine a confession of the terrible truth that I had returned from the bosom of the Iss, the River of Mystery, back from the shore of the Lost Sea of Korus, and the Valley Dor.
They knew the drink game, and all were certain that something terrible was going to happen.