see: shoe is on the other foot
- On the outs
adjective phrase Estranged; alienated: The young couple are on the outs now (1887+) No longer on friendly terms, as in They’ve been on the outs with their in-laws for years. This idiom appeared in the early 1900s and derives from the synonymous at outs, first recorded in 1824.
- On the pipe
adjective phrase : The common slang term we’re hearing now when we talk to arrested people is that they’re ”on the pipe” That means they’re smoking crack [1980s+ Narcotics; the same phrase, found by 1926, meant ”smoking opium”]
- On the rack
Under great stress, as in I was on the rack while I waited for the test results. This expression, alluding to a medieval instrument of torture to which the victim was fastened and stretched, has been used figuratively since the late 1500s. Shakespeare had it in The Merchant of Venice (3:2): “Let me choose, for […]
- On the q.t.
Secretly, as in They told her on the Q.T. that she was being promoted. This slangy term, in which Q.T. is an abbreviation for “quiet,” was first recorded in 1884.