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Idioms

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Idioms

  1. 1. Idioms are expressions or turns ofIdioms are expressions or turns ofexpressions whose meanings cannotexpressions whose meanings cannotbe immediately derived except whenbe immediately derived except whenconsidered critically beyond the literalconsidered critically beyond the literallevel. The meanings of idiomaticlevel. The meanings of idiomaticexpressions are always hidden thusexpressions are always hidden thusgiving them deeper meaning differentgiving them deeper meaning differentfrom the surface. The meanings offrom the surface. The meanings ofidioms cannot be derived if weidioms cannot be derived if weconsider the individual words thatconsider the individual words thatmake them up. Rather, we shouldmake them up. Rather, we shouldconsider all the words in associationconsider all the words in associationor connection.or connection.
  2. 2. The following are some universally acceptedThe following are some universally acceptedidioms and their meanings:idioms and their meanings:1. to be at the loose end – to be desperate in1. to be at the loose end – to be desperate indoing something.doing something.2. the apple of one’s eye – somebody or2. the apple of one’s eye – somebody orsomeone dear or precious.someone dear or precious.3. all ears – to pay more attention.3. all ears – to pay more attention.4. to have a lions heart – to have great4. to have a lions heart – to have greatcourage.courage.5. in an apple pie order – in a well arrange5. in an apple pie order – in a well arrangeorder.order.6. to have a dutch courage – to acquire6. to have a dutch courage – to acquirecourage only when drunk.courage only when drunk.
  3. 3. 7. no through fare – no entry.7. no through fare – no entry.8. to be light fingered – to be a thief.8. to be light fingered – to be a thief.9. to hold one’s tongue – to keep quite9. to hold one’s tongue – to keep quiteor silence.or silence.10. to face the music – to meet worse10. to face the music – to meet worsesituation.situation.11. to raise the wind – to obtain money.11. to raise the wind – to obtain money.12. bag and luggage – everything.12. bag and luggage – everything.13. to split hairs – to argue.13. to split hairs – to argue.14. all my eyes – nonsense.14. all my eyes – nonsense.
  4. 4. 15. to spin a yam – to tell a story.15. to spin a yam – to tell a story.16. an iron hand in a velvet – one who16. an iron hand in a velvet – one whoacts differently from his/her looks.acts differently from his/her looks.17. to go through fire and water – to17. to go through fire and water – toendure/withstand difficulty.endure/withstand difficulty.18. to take faulty wind – to have a short18. to take faulty wind – to have a shortsleep or nap.sleep or nap.19. to look blue – to be sad.19. to look blue – to be sad.20. To bite the dust – to die.20. To bite the dust – to die.21. A high brow – an intellectual or21. A high brow – an intellectual orscholar.scholar.22. To hit below the belt – to be unfair.22. To hit below the belt – to be unfair.
  5. 5. 23. at the eleven hours – at the last moment.23. at the eleven hours – at the last moment.24. to pick to pieces – to analyse critically.24. to pick to pieces – to analyse critically.25. to be in six and seven – to be in a state25. to be in six and seven – to be in a stateof confusion.of confusion.26. to be in a balance – to be undecided.26. to be in a balance – to be undecided.27. to keep at arm’s length – to avoid coming27. to keep at arm’s length – to avoid comingin contact with person.in contact with person.28. to save one’s face – to avoid disgrace.28. to save one’s face – to avoid disgrace.29. to burn the midnight oil – to work till late29. to burn the midnight oil – to work till latein the night.in the night.30. to throw dust in one’s eye – to deceive30. to throw dust in one’s eye – to deceivesomeone.someone.
  6. 6. Exercise:Exercise:Write the correct interpretation of theWrite the correct interpretation of thefollowing idiomatic expressions:following idiomatic expressions:1. to let a sleeping dog lie –1. to let a sleeping dog lie –2. to rain dog and cat –2. to rain dog and cat –3. a white elephant –3. a white elephant –4. a black sheep –4. a black sheep –5. to turn the tables on somebody –5. to turn the tables on somebody –6. to play second fiddle to somebody6. to play second fiddle to somebodyelse –else –
  7. 7. 7. to give somebody a blank check –7. to give somebody a blank check –8. to take the bull by he horns –8. to take the bull by he horns –9. a red herring –9. a red herring –10. A white lie –10. A white lie –

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