breathing down my neck: meaning and explanation
to breathe down somebody’s neck = to monitor someone very closely, watching everything they do.
When someone (e.g. your boss) is watching you very closely or checking up on you very frequently, it is almost like they are standing right behind you, so close that you can feel their breath on your neck. If you wanted to complain about this, you might tell a colleague or friend that your boss is always breathing down your neck.
We can use this expression whenever someone won’t give us space and is watching us too closely. e.g. I’ve been staying with my sister, but I really want to find a new place to live. She’s breathing down my neck all the time.
Have a go at these micro-dictation exercises to hear this expression being used in context – how much can you understand?
Accent: Northern England
About the sentence
…I wish he wouldn’t…
Remember, we use the structure: I wish + subject + would/wouldn’t + verb when we want to make a wish about someone else, usually about something they do which annoys us. e.g. I wish he wouldn’t chew with his mouth open – it’s gross.