‘Barking up the wrong tree’

To misunderstand something, to go down the wrong track, to believe something that is false. The phrase gives the image of a dog at the base of a tree barking at something it thinks is up there, but he’s wrong, there’s nothing there!  “If you think I cheated during that exam then you’re barking up the wrong tree!”

‘Can’t see the wood for the trees’

 To be unable to see the way ahead. Unable to distinguish between truth and fiction, unable to see what is obvious, what is right in front of you.  “He’s missing the point, he is so involved he can’t see the wood for the trees”

‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’

Money is hard to come by and isn’t free!  “How much did that cost? Money doesn’t grow on trees you know!”

‘Out on a limb’

‘Limb’ here means the branch of a tree not an arm or a leg! This means being isolated in your idea or opinion, going in a different direction to everyone else.  “I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest we start incorporating late working hours”.


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