Idioms and Phrases

Idioms and Phrases 

1. Achilles heel- दुखती रग

Meaning: vulnerable spot, a small fault or weakness in a person or system that can result in its failure.Example: The corrupt minister is regarded as the government’s Achilles heel and is expected to resign.

2. A bone of contention- झगड़े की जड़

Meaning: if there is an issue that always causes tension and argumentsExample: A bone of contention between the husband and wife is that the husband always spends too much money.

3. A dead letter-

Meaning: An argument or law not followed by anyone.Example: The blue laws here are a dead letter; all the stores open on Sundays and holidays

4. At the eleventh hour-आख़िरी वक्त में 

Meaning: be too late.Example: She always turned her term papers in at the eleventh hour.

5. A queer fish-सनकी व्यक्ति

Meaning: a strange person

Example: I knew his father and he was a queer fish too.

6. A worm’s eye view-

Meaning:  having very little knowledge about something

Example: The novel provides us with a worm’s eye view of society.

7. At (on) the heels of

Meaning: close behind or soon after something

Example: As in Mom’s birthday comes on the heels of Mother’s Day

8. Apple of someone’s eyes-आँखों का तारा 

Meaning: someone loved very much.

Example: His youngest son was the apple of his eye.

9. Ask for the Moon-

Meaning: to ask for too much.

Example: There’s no point hoping for a permanent peace in the area. It’s like asking for the moon.

10. Asleep at the switch

Meaning: not to be alert on opportunity

Example: Health experts were asleep at the switch when the disease began to spread rapidly again.

11. At sixes and sevens

Meaning: to be lost and bewildered

Example: Riya is at sixes and sevens since the death of her husband.

12. At someone’s beck and call

Meaning: to be always ready to serve

Example: Imagine what it’s like to have a cook and a maid at your beck and call.

13. At an arm’s length

Meaning: to keep at a distance

Example: Ram always keeps his friends at arm’s length, so that no one gets close enough to hurt his feelings.

14. A red letter day

Meaning: an important day

Example: A special occasion, as in When Ram comes home from his tour of duty, that’ll be a red-letter day

15. A nine days wonder

Meaning: pleasure for a short time

Example: His music was derided by an older generation convinced that he was a nine-day wonder.

16. Alma Mater

Meaning: Institution where i got my education

Example: She has been offered the position of professor of international economic policy in Delhi , her alma mater.

17. At the drop of a hat

Meaning-Willingness to do something instantly

Example: She expects me to make dinner at the drop of a hat even if I am very busy with office work

18. A cold Fish

Meaning: A person devoid of emotions

Example: Ram isn’t very demonstrative, but his mother was a cold fish so he probably gets it from her.

19. A cock and bull story

Meaning: An improbable excuse

Example: She told me some cock-and-bull story.

20. Above board

Meaning: straight; without concealment, legitimate; open.

Example: No tricks, please. We want the deal to be above board completely.

Some others

1. Every Dog has his day

Meaning: Sooner or later, everyone has his share of good fortune

Example: You may become successful in your business someday. Every dog has his day.

2. Early bird

 Meaning: A person who gets up early or arrives early for something.

Example: My brother is an early bird and gets up very early every morning.

3. Egg on

Meaning: to urge or push someone to do something.

Example: The boy is always egging his friend on to do stupid things.

4. Eye of the storm

Meaning: The center of a problem

Example: The politician was in the eye of the storm because of the accounting scandal.

5. Excuse (someone)

Meaning: to forgive someone

Example: We excused the man for his rude comments because he did not know any better.

6. Eagle eye

Meaning: Quick to discover ( Unusually keen sight)

Example: A good students has an eagle eyes for his errors.

7. Empty vessels make the most noise

Meaning: Those who know or have little knowledge often shout the loudest

Example: Ram tells as if he’s an expert on everything, but empty vessels make most noise.

8. Earn one’s keep

Meaning: To perform satisfactory physical labor or to provide other worthy services in return for remuneration, lodging, or other benefits; to support oneself financially.


1.Make a clean breast of- कबूल करना

Meaning: To confess

Use: He made a clean breast of his crime.

2.Make one’s way-खुदकी मेहनत से आगे बढ़ना 

Meaning: Advance in life by one’s own efforts.

Use: He had to make his own way in the world as his family was very poor.

3.Man in the street-एक साधारण व्यक्ति

 Meaning:An ordinary person

Use:Ram is a man in the street.

4.Man of his word-जो अपने वादों को रखता है

 Meaning:One who keeps his promises.

Use: Sandeep by helping me, proves that he is a man of his word.

5.Man of straw- एक कमजोर आदमी 

Meaning:A weak person.

Use:When his wife needed his support, he run away and left her facing all the problems all alone. That is why; she called him a man of straw after all.

6.Mark my words- मेरी बात सुनो

Meaning:Listen to me

Use:Mark my words; this boy is going to become a great ruler.

7.Marry money- अमीर से शादी करना 

Meaning:To marry a rich person

Use:She married to sandeep Ambani and got rich.

8.Meet one’s death- मर जाना 

Meaning:To die.

Use:A friend of mine met his death when he got hit by a train.

9.Minting it- जल्दी से बहुत सारा पैसा कमा लेना 

Meaning:Earning a lot of money quickly.

Use:The company is minting it is only due to new manager.

10.Miss the boat- किसी अवसर का लाभ उठाने में विफल

Meaning:To fail to take advantage of an opportunity.

Use:A good business opportunity comes in ram’s life but ram miss the boat.

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