A dead cert is not a deceased certificate but an absolute certainty, particularly in racing.
It’s in the bag is another expression meaning a sure thing. The bag referred to could belong to a hunter who is optimistic about catching something. The other day I was out for a walk with hubby and we saw a grandad and small grandson with a line into the stream. “Have you caught anything?” asked hubby. “Just a cold each!” replied the grandad.
Come what may means whatever happens.
Be prepared is the motto of the Boy scouts and the Girl Guides. It uses the initials of their founder Lord Baden-Powell.
Cropping up means coming to one’s notice. For example, the same topics keep cropping up in conversations with various people.
An act of will is deliberate and the title of a book by Barbara Taylor Bradford.
A battle of wills may happen between a two-year old and his or her parents.
Losing the will to live is an expression I have heard recently in the context of extreme boredom. People sometimes do lose the will to live.
Making one’s will is something everyone should consider doing. If someone takes a long time in “the smallest room in the house” they are said to be making their will.
Will-power is determination or self-control.
The powers that be are those in authority, whether at government level, on a committee for a local society or management in a workplace.
Challenging authority is what rebels and whistle-blowers are about.
The status quo is the way things are managed at any particular time. Didn’t a pop-group adopt the name?
A pillar of the establishment is someone with a good track record in a position of authority.
A pillar of the Church supports the people and work of the Church in the way a pillar supports the roof of the building they meet in.
Rise and fall with the tide is an instruction to a newcomer to a church service, who may not know when to sit, stand or (less often now) kneel.
Sitting in state is what monarchs do in throne rooms. Of course there are other uses of the word throne and by analogy of sitting in state. (I prefer to avoid toilet humour!)
To pull rank is to delegate by virtue of one’s higher status.
Rank and file were the foot-soldiers who marched out in rows and columns. It has come to mean ordinary.