By Hook or by Crook
By some possibly dishonest means
- I decided I was going to get that job by hook or by crook.
Quickly, without delay
- This is a major client, so I need the report done right now, chop chop!
A mechanic, especially an auto mechanic
- My parents were of course concerned when I decided to drop out of high school and become a grease monkey, but I love my job!
Grease the Wheels
Do something to make an operation run smoothly
- More investment is needed to grease the wheels of reform.
Hold the Phone
Wait a moment
- Whoa, hold the phone—Jack and Jamie are dating now?
Have a Screw Loose
Be slightly unbalanced or crazy
- That guy on the corner must have a screw loose or something, because he's been standing out there yelling obscenities at passersby all morning.
Nuts and Bolts
Everyday detail of something
- We came up with a lot of big ideas, but no one addressed the nuts and bolts of how to implement them.
Pull the Plug On
- The new president pulled the plug on several of his predecessor's programs as soon as he took office.
Run into a Buzz Saw
Encounter severe and unexpected problems
- The bill ran into a buzz saw of opposition from labor groups after it was introduced, and it finally died in committee.