Politics – English idioms and sayings

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Question English
Answer English

A competition or election which doesn't have many likely winners.
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one / two horse race
This presidential election was just a two horse race.

The frenzy the media goes into whenever a general election is announced.
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election fever
Election fever has started, there's politics on every channel.

Empty, exaggerated, or pretentious talk.
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hot air
Politicians always talk the hot air.

A parliament in which no one political party has an outright majority.
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hung parliament
In Poland we always have a hung parliament.

To conform to the rules or standards of the political party you belong to.
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to toe the party line
The party usually punishes those who don't toe the party line.

A politically organized group of people under a single government.
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body politic
Body politic elected the new president.

A problem that doesn't get solved because the politics of the issue get in the way, or the issue is very controversial.
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political football
Apart from being a controversial issue, abortion is also a political football.

Something potentially dangerous or embarrassing.
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political hot potato
This scandal will be a political hot potato.

The way politics runs.
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political machinery
Not many people fully understand political machinery.

To use or not use language that will cause offence - often shortened to PC.
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politically correct / incorrect (PC)
To call an Afro-American a “nigger” is not PC.

To shake hands.
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to press the flesh
Political campaign includes a lot of flesh pressing.

To talk a lot about a subject you feel strongly about. If someone tells you to "get off your soapbox" they think you're talking too much about that subject.
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to get on / off your soapbox
When a politician gets on his soapbox nothing can stop his talking.

To leave a country right after voting
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to vote with one's feet
Many people in Africa vote with their feet and emigrate.

What exactly do politicians mean when they use some political idioms and phrases?

VocApp has taken a step to offer you a course on idioms about politics to explain you in an easier way. The presidential campaign is now “in full swing” in the United States. In full swing is just one of the idioms on politics English speakers in the United States use that may be difficult for speakers of other languages. It means at the highest level of activity, or fully moving forward. The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms says the phrase has been in use since the mid-1800s. It refers to “the vigorous movement of a swinging body.” The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms says the political Idioms and phrase has been in use since the mid-1800s. It refers to “the vigorous movement of a swinging body.” Presidential candidates and the journalists who report on their activities use many political idioms and expressions. Most speakers of American English understand these Idioms and phrases. But people who are not familiar with the ways American political candidates and reporters speak may not. Have you heard or read political idioms and expressions in stories about the American presidential campaign that you do not understand? Let us know. We are happy to “clear up” any confusion or misunderstanding you might have. By the way, clear up means to explain. We hope this report has explained some of the Political idioms and expressions you have been hearing in the recent American election campaigns.

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