Binomials and trinomials

cool, calm and collected
deaf, dumb and blind
healthy, wealthy and wise
here, there and everywhere
hook, line and sinker
liberty, equality and fraternity
mind, body and soul
rag, tag and bobtail
ready, willing and able
vim, vigour and vitality
way, shape or manner

aches and pains

ebb and flow

jot and tittle
hale and hearty
odds and ends
stuff and nonsense
vim and vigour
wear and tear
zip and zest
rags and tatters

 aches and pains,
all or nothing,
back and forth,
beck and call,
bigger and better,
 bit by bit,
 black and blue,
black and white,
blood and guts,
 bread and butter,
bubble and squeak,
cease and desist,
checks and balances,
cloak and dagger,
 cops and robbers,
 corned beef and cabbage,
cut and dried,
dead or alive,
death and destruction,
 dollar for dollar,
dos and don'ts,
fair and square,
fast and loose,
fire and brimstone,
 fish and chips,
 flesh and bones,
goods and services,
 ham and eggs,
hand to mouth,
hands and knees
, heads or tails,
hearts and flowers,
 hem and haw,
 high and dry,
high and low,
high and mighty,
 huff and puff, h
ugs and kisses,
 kiss and make up,
knife and fork,
leaps and bounds,
 life and death,
little by little,
long and short,
lost and found,
loud and clear,
make or break,
 milk and honey,
needle and thread
, nickel and dime,
nip and tuck,
 now or never,
 null and void,
nuts and bolts,
old and gray,
one to one,
open and shut,
part and parcel,
peace and quiet,
 pins and needles,
 pots and pans,
 rags to riches,
 rise and fall,
rise and shine,
 rough and ready
, safe and sound
, saints and sinners,
 short but sweet,
show and tell,

side by side,
 slip and slide,
soap and water,
song and dance,
 sooner or later,
 spic and span,
 sticks and stones
, strange but true,
sugar and spice,
thick and thin,
time after time,

tit for tat,
 tooth and nail,
toss and turn,
ups and downs
, wash and wear,
 win or lose.


The most common conjunctions used in a phrase that constitutes Siamese twins are and or or.
With "and" as the conjunction

    alive and kicking
    black and blue
    black and white
    clean and tidy
    cute and cuddly
    drawn and quartered
    hale and hearty
    hard and fast
    high and dry
    high and mighty
    home and dry
    hot and cold
    loud and clear
    old and new
    pure and simple
    rough and tumble
    said and done
    sick and tired
    thick and thin
    warm and fuzzy


    by and large
    far and wide
    fast and loose
    here and there
    in and out
    off and away
    once and for all
    to and fro
    up and about
    up and down
    yes and no


    airs and graces
    arm and a leg/an arm and a leg
    apples and oranges
    bells and whistles
    bit and bridle
    bits and bobs
    blood and guts
    bow and arrow
    boys and girls
    bread and butter
    cap and gown
    cat and mouse
    cats and dogs
    fingers and thumbs
    fish and chips
    flesh and blood
    hammer and sickle
    hammer and tongs
    heaven and hell
    intents and purposes
    king and queen
    knife and fork
    ladies and gentlemen
    law and order
    man and boy
    man and wife
    meat and potatoes
    milk and honey
    mum and dad
    nook and cranny
    nuts and bolts
    odds and ends
    Ps and Qs
    peace and quiet
    peanut butter and jelly
    peas and carrots
    pestle and mortar/mortar and pestle
    pros and cons
    shits and giggles
    signs and symptoms
    skin and bone
    song and dance
    spick and span
    spit and polish
    supply and demand
    sweetness and light
    tea and crumpets
    thunder and lightning
    tooth and nail
    trial and error
    vim and vigor
    ways and means
    wine and roses


    crash and burn
    make and mend/make do and mend
    meet and greet
    read and write
    stop and go
    touch and go

With "or" or "nor" as the conjunction

    more or less


    sooner or later
    yes or no
    neither here nor there*


    all or nothing


    day or night
    neither fish nor fowl*
    come hell or high water/hell or high water
    neither hide nor hair*
    neither love nor money*/love or money
    rain or shine
    fight or flight


    do or die
    kill or cure
    make or break
    sink or swim


    take it or leave it


    no ifs, ands, or buts
    'one way or another


The structure of any Siamese twins phrase has words that are related in some way or the other. The words comprising a Siamese twins phrase may be synonyms, antonyms, include alliterations or similar-sounding words. Other varieties of Siamese twins may also be possible.

Examples below are split into various tables; some may belong in more than one table but are listed only once.
With antonyms

    back and forth
    beginning to end
    better or worse
    black and white
    chicken and egg
    cops and robbers
    coming and going
    Cowboys and Indians
    dawn till dusk
    dead or alive
    floor to ceiling
    food and drink
    give and take
    give or take
    heads or tails
    hide and seek
    high and low
    hit or miss
    hither and thither
    in and out
    life or death
    long and short
    near and far
    now and then
    pros and cons
    rank and file
    start to finish
    sweet and sour
    to and fro
    top to bottom
    up and down
    victory and defeat
    war and peace
    wax and wane
    yes and no

With synonyms

    by hook or by crook
    cease and desist
    cheek by jowl
    first and foremost
    heart and soul
    leaps and bounds
    neat and tidy
    six of one, half a dozen of the other
    nook and cranny
    null and void
    peace and quiet
    pick and choose
    prim and proper
    rant and rave
    strait and narrow

With alliteration

    bag and baggage
    belt and braces
    the birds and the bees
    black and blue
    bread and butter
    cash and carry
    chalk and cheese
    fast and furious
    fun and frolics
    fur and feathers
    hearth and home
    hem and haw
    kith and kin
    part and parcel
    pillar to post
    rest and recreation (a.k.a. R'n'R)
    rock and roll
    rough and ready
    safe and sound
    sixes and sevens
    spick and span
    stars and stripes
    sugar and spice
    top and tail

With similar-sounding words

    box and cox
    chalk and talk
    flotsam and jetsam
    hither and thither
    hoi polloi
    huff and puff
    hustle and bustle
    meet and greet
    pell mell
    odds and sods
    onwards and upwards
    out and about
    shout and clout
    silly billy
    time and tide
    wear and tear
    wine and dine

With repetition

    again and again
    all in all
    around and around
    back to back
    bumper to bumper
    cheek to cheek
    (on the) up and up
    elbow to elbow
    arm in arm
    eye to eye
    face to face
    hand in hand
    hand to hand
    head to head
    heart to heart
    little by little
    man to man
    more and more
    mouth to mouth
    neck and neck
    on and on
    out and out
    over and over
    side by side
    side to side
    so and so
    step by step
    strength to strength
    such and such
    through and through
    time after time
    (from) time to time
    toe to toe
    wall to wall
    wire to wire
    woman to woman

Rhyming slang

    Adam and Eve
    apples and pears
    bottle and glass
    Brahms and Liszt
    dog and bone
    frog and toad
    hand and blister
    north and south
    rabbit and pork
    tit for tat
    trouble and strife
    two and eight
    whistle and flute


Siamese twins occurring as a pair (that is, having two words occurring together) are also known as binomials. If the variant has three words occurring together, it is also known as a trinomial.
Examples of trinomials

     blood, sweat and tears
    cool, calm and collected
    ear, nose and throat (E.N.T.)
    here, there and everywhere
    hither, thither and yon
    hook, line and sinker
    hop, skip and jump
    judge, jury and executioner
    lock, stock and barrel
    mad, bad and dangerous
    nasty, brutish and short
    ready, willing and able
    red, white and blue
    sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll
    tall, dark and handsome
    the good, the bad and the ugly
    Tom, Dick and Harry
    shake, rattle and roll
    stop, drop and roll
    this, that, and the other
    way, shape, or form

 above and beyond

to do much more than is required; also has a military usage: above and beyond the call of duty.  (to work much harder than is expected, or to take risks you haven't been ordered to take)

    Jamie's dedication to helping his horse get well is above and beyond the norm. He even sleeps with him!

all or nothing

everything or nothing at all

    When he proposed marriage, I told him we could be just friends. But he wanted all, or nothing.

backwards and forwards; blindfolded; in my sleep (your/his/her/their/our)

to know something so well that you could use it/do it from the beginning to the end, or starting at the end, and going toward the beginning.  To be able to perform a complicated task while blindfolded, or asleep. Remember---these are idioms! They're not meant to be understood in the literal or usual sense of the words.

    Edgar knows his computer backwards and forwards.

    He could reformat his PC, blindfolded.

    His wife could re-install the software in her sleep. (while sleeping)

bar and grill
a pub or tavern (where alcoholic drinks are served) that also serves food

    Harry's bar and grill was the best place in town to buy a steak dinner.

black and blue

a bruise on the skin; the colors may be green and yellow, too, but we don't say that; we call it "black and blue"

    Annie's arm turned black and blue where she had bumped it. (Also can be said, "She got a black and blue mark where...")

body and soul


    I'm yours, body and soul.

keep body and soul together

have the basic necessities

    I earn so little money, that I can barely keep body and soul together.

bound and determined

VERY determined, using a lot of effort and energy

    Helga is bound and determined to be an English teacher.

 bread and butter (my/her/their, etc.)

one's principal income/job

    Digging ditches is his bread and butter. (how he earns money; what his job is)

    Teaching at school is my bread and butter, and I also give a few students private lessons on  weekends.

Of course, the words 'bread' and 'butter' also have the usual meaning, when used separately:  "Please don't forget to buy butter and a loaf of bread when you're at the store."

bread and butter letter

a thank-you note you send after you visit someone's home to either eat a meal,

or have a longer visit, i.e., one day to two weeks .

    Susan went to a dinner party last week, and still hasn't written a bread and butter letter.

bacon and eggs (ham and eggs, sausage and eggs, etc.), beer and pretzels, cheese and crackers, coffee and doughnuts, cream and sugar, fries and a shake (means French fries and a milkshake), potatoes and gravy, biscuits and gravy, wine and cheese (there are many more)

Food items. These words are said or written in the exact order you see here. You would not say "I'd like to have an order of  eggs and bacon."  BUT: If you were in a restaurant and you wanted to order bacon and eggs but you didn't want them on the same plate, you'd say something like this: "I'll have an order of scrambled eggs, with bacon on the side." (or---with a side order of bacon)

"Your order sir?"  " I'll have bacon and  eggs."

cash and carry

pay with paper money, not credit, and take the items with you, not have them delivered.

    This is a cash-and-carry sale. No credit cards are accepted.

come and gone

already arrived and already left

    Sorry pal. The last bus has already come and gone.

coming or going

to feel overwhelmed with duties

    Tony has had too much to do at work. He told me that he doesn't know if he's coming or going.

crash and burn

     to fail in a big way, or to feel overwhelmingly depressed; (also, to literally crash and burn, as can happen with a car,  plane, train, spacecraft)

    Last night, Paul really crashed and burned after his very unpleasant date with Mimi.

cut and paste

to cut something out with scissors (usually from paper) and paste (glue) it to something else.

    Three-year-old Tessa made a picture for her mommy by cutting and pasting.

A simple, unimportant/boring/childish job

    I hate to spend my day at work just doing cut and paste!

to highlight, click and drag some text or graphic on a computer screen and insert it into a document, or another computer screen.

    If you want to send me that file, just cut and paste it into an e-mail.

dark and stormy

This has been used so much that it's a cliché. Literally, it means that the weather on a certain night was dark and stormy. A well-known expression said by the Snoopy character in the Peanuts comic strip.

    It was a dark and stormy night when the butler disappeared.

It can also mean an angry facial expression.

    She gave him a dark and stormy look when he said her cooking was bad.

divide and conquer

to separate the "enemy" into smaller groups, then overcome them; to make some group of people (or even just two people) less powerful by splitting them up/separating them from each other, in order to win a battle of some kind, or to achieve a certain goal.

    The police decided to divide and conquer the rioters.

    To get a raise at work, I think I should talk to each of my bosses separately, instead of having a joint meeting. Divide and conquer!

down and dirty

unfair, nasty, tricky; can also refer to music or dancing that's playful in a seductive way

    Politicians often play down and dirty during a campaign.

down and out

having no money or resources

    Jonathan's down and out after losing almost all of his money at the horse races.

eat and run

to eat at someone's house, and then leave immediately without helping clean the kitchen or staying to visit; (Don't change the order or the tense by saying something like "He ate and ran after I gave him a beautiful dinner." Say the expression exactly how it's  shown to you here:

    Instead of helping me clean up, he just said, "Sorry to eat and run! Christine's waiting to go to the movies with me."

fat and happy/fat and sassy

well-taken care of, content, full of life

    Clark must like his new job. He's looking pretty fat and sassy.

fish or cut bait

either do what you are supposed to, or stop to let someone else finish the task you're doing; or a phrase telling someone to stop taking so long to make a decision.

    Bonnie was tired of her husband promising her a vacation in Hawaii, and never doing it. "Either fish, or cut bait!", she told him.

forgive and forget

to forgive someone who does something that hurts you and to try to forget it ever happened

    I'm sorry we had an argument. Can we forgive and forget and be friends again?

  free and easy; laid-back

  casual, relaxed manner of being

    When trouble hits, just take it free and easy.

    She has a laid-back kind of personality. (Very little bothers her---she rarely gets upset)

give and take

willing to compromise, flexible attitude

    If people could learn to give and take, there would be fewer wars.

good and ready

When you are finally ready and willing (to do something, or to help someone)

    Marty said he would wash the car when he was good and ready, and not a minute before!

grin and bear it

to put up with something unpleasant or unwanted and keep your good humor

    My mother-in-law is coming to visit for a month. I'll just have to grin and bear it.

hard and fast

strict or rigid, usually said about rules and regulations

    The company was nice to work for, but they had a hard and fast rule against coming in late.

head-over- heels

usually said when describing someone who has just fallen in love

    Romeo and Juliet were head-over-heels in love. 

heart and soul

at the very center (core) of something

    The heart and soul of the matter is lack of money.

 the principal reason; completely committed

    Jenny loves her husband heart and soul.

come hell or high water

no matter what happens

    Luke promised to be here, come hell or high water.

 hide nor hair

no sign of, can't find someone or something

    We looked all over, but couldn't find hide nor hair of the dog.

hot and humid

hot weather with a high percentage of humidity in the air

     I can't stand to be outside when it's so hot and humid.

intents and purposes


    The class was so unresponsive, that for all intents and purposes, the teacher may/might as well have been talking to the wall.

Jekyll and Hyde; split personality

two separate good and evil personalities in one person

(Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the book "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.)

    When he gets angry, he's a real Jekyll and Hyde.  (suddenly changes from being very pleasant, to being a very angry person)

kiss and tell

to do or to take part in something secret, & then to tell everyone about it (also to kiss or make love with someone, and then brag about it)

    Watch out for Joe! He's a kiss-and-tell type of guy.

the whole kit and caboodle

everything, everyone, the whole amount

    I left the room to answer the 'phone, and the dog ate the pizza---the whole kit and caboodle. (He ate all of it, and didn't leave even a little bit)

knife and fork; knife, fork, and spoon

eating utensils, said in that order

    This food looks great! May I have a knife and fork?

last but not least

last in the order of something, but not in importance

    "Last but not least, I want to introduce Lord Byron." (last person being introduced, but no less important than the people who were introduced before him)

law and order

following the law or rules, no disquiet or crime

    The new governor promised law and order in the state during his term of office.

live and learn

learn by experience

    Aunt Tilly forgot to put oil in the car and ruined the engine. "Well, you live and learn.", she remarked. (meaning, every day we learn something new we hadn't known before.)

lock and key

only this word order

    I need a new lock and key for the front door.

love and marriage

only this word order

    "Love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage." are lyrics from a popular song.

make or break

improve or ruin someone or something; have success, or suffer failure

    Hard times can either make or break a person. (Having problems in life either makes you a stronger person, or destroys you.)

meat and potatoes

basic food, not spicy or exotic. (also literally the foods meat, potatoes)

    I don't care for (don't like) gourmet cooking. I'm a meat-and- potatoes kind of person.

meek and mild

quiet, unassuming, shy, not assertive

    My guard dog is a failure because he is too meek and mild to bark.

more or less

not definite; agreeable but unenthusiastic; "so-so"; kind of...

    Yes, I guess she's an honest person, more or less.

name and address

only this word order

    May I have your name and address for our files? (We would not say 'address and name'.)

new and improved

only this word order

    They said this soap was new and improved, but I doubt it.

now and again; now and then

once in a while

    Now and then, Jason likes to smoke a cigar after dinner.

now or never

right now, or very soon something won't be available

    If you want some cake, it's now or never. (eat it now, or everyone else will finish the cake)

the need to make an immediate decision

    If I don't accept that job today, it will be filled by someone else tomorrow. I guess it's now, or never. (I have to say "yes" immediately, if I want that job.)

odds and ends

miscellaneous bits and pieces that don't have a  category

    Rose has a kitchen drawer full of odds and ends. (We also call that "a junk drawer". all unrelated items...)

once and for all

definitely/finally, right now and for all time (forever)

    Once and for all, stop teasing the cat!

pen and ink/pen and pencil/pencil and paper

only this word order

    I need a pencil and paper in order to take notes in class today.

pick and choose

to be selective

    Darren's marks were the highest in the class. He can pick and choose which university he wants to attend.

postage and handling/shipping and handling

the cost of sending a package to someone

    The book was priced reasonably, but the shipping and handling was outrageously expensive.

pride and joy

something one is very proud of

    Duane's new car was his pride and joy.

question and answer

only this word order

    There will be a question and answer period after the lecture.

rain or shine

no matter what happens

    You can depend on me, come rain or shine.

read and write

only this word order

    Most children learn to read and write by age seven.

ready and able/ready, willing, and able

capable of doing something and ready to start

    These men are ready and able to build your barn.

rhyme or reason

no purpose or reason

    There is no rhyme or reason to insulting Hattie. (To insult her makes no sense to me.)

right and wrong/right or wrong

only this word order

     Every child needs to be taught the difference between right and wrong.

room and board

the cost of food and shelter

    Ever since Kent started working, his parents have asked him to pay room and board. (cost of renting his bedroom, and the cost of the food he eats)

safe and sound

 safe; out of danger

    The cat was hiding under the bed, safe and sound.

sand and sea

only this word order

    Fanny loved the smells and sights of the sand and sea.

savings and loan

only this word order (a type of financial institution)

    Robert lost all of his money in the savings and loan scandals during the 1980s.

shape up or ship out

improve or quit

    I'm warning you Johnson. Your work performance stinks! (is super-bad!)  Shape up or ship out.

short & fat/short & sassy/short & stout

only this word order; literal meaning

    Your little boy sure is short and sassy, isn't he?

     Aunt Tilly is short and stout, but she can run like a deer.

short and sweet

To the point, using very few words

    I'm telling you short and sweet: leave me alone!

sink or swim

fail or succeed

    Jack is on his own with this project--sink or swim.

skin and bones

extremely thin, skinny

    Abe should eat more. He's nothing but skin and bones.

slim and trim

at the right weight and in good physical shape

    Barry works out (exercises) to stay slim and trim.

slow(ly) and sure(ly), slow but sure

without rushing, carefully and deliberately

    Slow but sure, the crocodile hunter moved along the river bank.

sooner or later

eventually, at some undetermined time

    The rains will come, sooner or later.

straight and narrow

       law abiding, behaving well, not getting into any trouble

    After serving one term in prison, Rocky wanted to stay on the straight and narrow.

sweet and low

quiet, peaceful, soft volume, relaxing (refers to music or a person's voice)

    "That cannot be grandma's voice", thought Little Red Riding Hood, "because her voice is sweet and low".

then and there

(only this word order) exactly at that moment

    The police officer arrested Bert right then and there.

time and space

only this word order

        Mankind has yet to discover the mysteries of time and space.

thick and thin

through good or bad times

    Good friends stay together through thick and thin.

tooth and nail

to  work at achieving something with great determination--usually used referring to some sort of struggle/argument; to use all of your energy

    Darlene fought tooth and nail against the new parking laws.

up and down

only this word order

    The elevator had a short circuit and kept going up and down for three hours!

ups and downs

happy times/sad times (only this word order)

    To have a successful marriage, one has to accept life's ups and downs.

vim and vigor

energy (only this word order)

    Ever since she broke her leg playing soccer, Grandma hasn't had much vim and vigor.

wait and see

uncertain, cautious or skeptical attitude

    They didn't know if the snow was headed their way. They would just have to wait and see.

    The boss had a 'wait-and-see attitude' after she hired Jack to work on that complicated project.

weights and measures

only this word order

    Mr. Smith worked for the Department of Weights and Measures, checking the quality of rulers.

wine and dine

give someone a lavish meal; spend a lot of money on someone

    Mark thought if he wined and dined her, she would kiss him when he brought her home.

year in (and) year out

year after year, all the time

    Agnes wears the same boring jeans and t-shirts, year in and year out.


  1. Music Vocabulary is very imporant to learn Music. There is a huge list of Words Related to Music and Singing that helps to understand the Music and learn Music Fast. For More visit:- School of Symphony.

  2. Very helpful. But having all of them explained (with examples, of course) would be better