Word Lists

20 -- 20/20 hindsight
having a better understanding of the way something should have been done after it has already occurred

Words & Phrases

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Word List: Higher O-Q

partners in crime

Word List: Higher O-Q

two people who together do something they really shouldn’t do

The two teens were partners in crime when they toilet-papered their friend’s house.


Word List: Higher O-Q

acting in a condescending way

Don’t patronize me!  You always act like I don’t know what I’m talking about.

pay it forward

Word List: Higher O-Q

doing something nice for another person (that you might not even know) because someone else did something nice for you

When I went to pay for my coffee, the worker said that it was already paid for by the person ahead of me.  It’s really nice when somebody pays it forward!

pecking order

Word List: Higher O-Q

a basic order of people or things by importance, one higher than the other

In the company where I work, there’s a definite pecking order.  It looks like it’s going to take a long time to climb the ladder.

per se

Word List: Higher O-Q

Latin for “in itself” meaning 'truly'

She didn’t copy from the news article per se; she just didn’t reference her sources. 

pet peeve

Word List: Higher O-Q

something that irritates or bothers you

One of my pet peeve is when a driver has a blinker on but doesn’t make the turn.

photographic memory

Word List: Higher O-Q

able to recall things vividly

My aunt has a photographic memory. Whenever I want to know details about my family history, she explains things clearly.


Word List: Higher O-Q

when there is little improvement after a period of progress

Some learners of English reach a plateau and decide not to go further at that time.

preach to the choir

Word List: Higher O-Q

when you express your opinions to someone who actually already agrees with you or already knows (not necessarily religious)


Denise:  We are trying to convince you that we should change the policy on smoking at meetings. 

Derick:  No need.  You’re preaching to the choir.

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Word List: Higher O-Q


The lack of precipitation in Southern California makes it very dry, and it often causes brush fires.