WHAT ARE IDIOMS?
Idioms are words, phrases, or expressions that are either grammatically unusual, as in, "Long time, no see!", or their leaning cannot be taken literally, as in, "It's raining cats and dogs!"
This expression does not mean that cats and dogs are falling from the sky, but it is a metaphorical expression (word picture) that means that it is raining very heavily
He cried crocodile tears because he wanted his dad to buy him something just as a crocodile cannot cry, the boy was not crying at all! He was just acting! People use idioms to make their language richer and more colorful. Idioms and idiomatic expressions can be more precise than the literal words, often using fewer words but saying more.
Some commonly used Idioms & Phrases
- Beat back (to compel to retire): The firemen were beaten back by angry flames and the building was reduced to ashes.
- Boil down to (to amount to): His entire argument boiled down to this that he would not join the movement unless he saw some monetary gain in it.
- Cast aside (to reject, to throw aside): Men will cast aside truth and honesty for immediate gains.
- Cry down (to deprecate): Some of the Western powers did their best to cry down India's success in the war.
- Egg on (to urge on): Who egged you on to fight a professional boxer and get your nose knocked off?
- Gloss over (explain away): Even if you are an important person your faults cannot be glossed over.
- Play off (to set one party against another for one's own advantage): It best serves the interests of the super powers to play off one poor nation against another.
- Pull someone through (to recover, to help one recover): Armed with the latest medicines, the doctor will pull him through.
- To come off with flying colours (to come out of a conflict with brilliant success): The 1971 election outcome was uncertain but finally the congress came off with flying colours.
- To come off second best (to be defeated in every contest): Be it an election or a tambola, I have always come off the second best.
- To fall to one's lot (to become one's fate): It fell to the lot of Mujib and his colleagues to reconstruct the shattered economy of their nation.
- To get into hot water (to get into difficulty): The businessman got into hot water with the Income-tax authorities for concealing his income from ancestral property.
- To give someone the slip (to dodge someone who is looking for you): The police had nearly got the dacoits when the latter gave them the slip in the Chambal ravines.
- To go to rack and ruin, to go to the dogs (to be ruined): If a big war comes, our economy will go to the dogs.
- To have one’s hands fuil (to be very busy): Pakistan could hardly expect active help from the U.S.A. her hands were already full with Vietnam, Laos and West Asia problems.
- To have a bone to pick with one (to have a difference with a person which has not yet been fully expressed) the extreme leftists have a bone to pick with the police and if ever they come to power there may unpleasantness between the two.
- To have too many irons in the fire (to have so much work in hand that some part of it is left undone or done very badly): Let the Government not go in for nationalization so fast. If they have too many irons in the fire they are bound to fare badly.
- To have two strings to ones bow (to have an alternative means of achieving one's purpose): A wife always has two strings to her bow if coaxing fails to achieve the desired end; tears succeed.
- To have an axe to grind (have personal interests to serve): Bigger nations supply arms to the smaller on primarily because they (the bigger nations) have their own axe to grind.
- To keep the wolf from the door (to keep away extreme poverty and hunger): Lakhs in India have struggle every day to keep the wolf from the door.
- To make common cause with (to unite, to co-operate with): During the last elections the princes made common cause with the rightist parties. Both went down.
- To eat one’s heart out (to brood over one's sorrows or disappointments): Don't eat your heart out over failure in this competition.
- To eat humble pie (to have to humiliate oneself): Since none came to his support he had to eat humble pie and give in to their demands.
- A red letter day: (an auspicious, fortunate or important day): The 26th January, 1950 is a red-letter day in India's history.
- Lion s share: (an unfairly large share): The big nations continue to have the lion s share of world trade.
- With a pinch of salt: (to take a statement with a grain of salt is to feel some doubt whether it is altogether true): Shaw's claim of having remained a celibate even after marriage has to be taken with a pinch of salt.
- Fools rush in where angels fear to tread: said of reckless persons.
- He who pays the piper calls the tune: One has to act according to the wishes of one's master
- A bird in hand is worth two in the bush: right use of the present opportunity.
- One man's meat is another man s poison: what is good for one may be harmful for another person.
- Out of the frying pan into the fire: From one trouble to another.
- The last straw breaks the camel's back: The smallest addition to an already heavy task makes it intolerable.
- Look before you leap: Don't be reckless and impulsive.
- Make hay while the sunshine’s: To make/ill use of the given opportunity.
- Never look a gift horse in the mouth: There can be no choice about things given in charity.
- Beggars can't be choosers. No choice in scarcity.
- Nearer the Church, farther from heaven: The more opportunity you have, the less you benefit from it.
- A wiling stone gathers no moss. An aimless person cannot succeed
- Rome was not built in a day: things
- take time to complete and to mature.
- One swallow does not make a summer. One person can 't do everything