Failure expressions

Failure Expressions

A dead duck
Something that is not successful or useful; something that will fail.

  • This project was a dead duck right from the start because of a lack of funding.

Failure expressions
A no-win situation
A difficult situation in which whatever happens the result will be bad.

  • We’re in a bit of a no-win situation. Whatever we do, no one is going to be satisfied.

Failure expressions
A sinking ship
A company or organisation that is failing.

  • I’ve had a look at the accounts and they’re in a complete mess. In fact, I’d say that this company is a sinking ship.

Failure expressions
Go pear-shaped
If a plan “goes pear-shaped’; it fails or goes badly.

  • We had planned to finish the project this week, but everything has gone pear-shaped.

Failure expressions
Go/fall to pieces
To fail suddenly and completely; to start playing or doing really badly.

  • The football team did really well last year, but this year they have gone to pieces.

Failure expressions
Not set the world on fire
Not to be very exciting or successful.

  • This new club is good, but it’s just like every other club. It won’t set the world on fire.

Failure expressions
Sod’s law
Bad things will happen if there is any possibility of them happening.

  • The one time I arrive late for work, the boss happens to notice. It’s sod’s law.

Failure expressions
Murphy’s law
An unwritten law that says that if something can go badly, it will go badly.

  • I’m a great believer in Murphy’s law: what can go wrong, will go wrong.

Failure expressions


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