idioms & Phrases Page.1

Idioms & Phrases
Meaning
Rank and File
Ordinary People
Out of the wood
Free from difficulties and dangers
Under his thumb
Under his control
To get rid of
Dispose of
To play ducks and drakes
To act foolishly or inconsistently
To take the bull by the horns
To tackle a problem in a bold and direct fashion
Rain cats and dogs
Rain heavily
To move heaven and earth
To make a supreme effort
No avail
Without any result
Make a clean breast of it
Confess – especially when a person has done a wrong thing
The pros and cons
The various aspects of a matter in detail
Out of the question
Impossible
Out of the way
Strange
Show a clean pair of heals
Run away
Sitting on the fence
Hesitate between two decisions
Spread like wild fire
Spread quickly
The gift of the gab
Talent for speaking
Throw out of gear
Disturb the work
Take to one’s heels
Run away
Tooth and nail
With all one’s power
Take a leaf out of one’s book
Imitate one
Read between the lines
Understand the hidden meaning
Smell a rat
Suspect something foul
To make both ends meet
To live within one’s income
Nip in the bud
Destroy in the early stage
Stick to one’s guns
Remain faithful to the cause
To eat humble pie
To apologize humbly and to yield under humiliating circumstances
Put the cart before the horse
Put or do things in the wrong order
To all names
To abuse
On tenterhooks
In a state of suspense and anxiety
Wash one’s dirty linen
Discuss unpleasant in public-private matters before strangers
To bell the cat
To face the risk
Kill two birds with one stone
To achieve two results with one effort
Take one to task
Rebuke
To blow one’s own
To praise one’s own trumpet achievement
Turn a deaf ear
Disregard / ignore what one says
Turn over a new leaf
Change for the better
Make up one’s mind
Decide
Pay off old scores
Take revenge
To cut a sorry figure
To make a poor show
With a high hand
Oppressively
Play second fiddle
Take an unimportant part
Through thick and thin
Under all conditions
Put a spoke in one’s wheel
To upset one’s plans
To burn one’s boats
Go back on a decision
To beat about the bush
Talk irrelevantly
To burn candle at both ends
To waste lavishly
Take one to task
Rebuke
To build castles in the air
Make imaginary schemes
Once in a blue moon
Something that happens very rarely
Piece of cake
Something that is easy to understand or do
Spill the beans
To disclose a secret
Mean business
Being Serious or Dedicated
The best of both worlds
The benefits of widely differing situations, enjoyed at the same time
To be in the doldrums
To be in low spirits
To sit on the fence
To remain neutral
Make a face
To show dislike or disappointment through facial expressions
To pour oil on troubled waters
To make peace
To put in a nutshell
To say in a few words or to make something concise
Open the floodgates
Release something that was previously under control
Out of the blue
Happen unexpectedly
Out on a limb
Do something  risky
Over the Top
Totally excessive and not suitable for the occasion
Pen is mightier than the sword
Words and communication have a greater effect than war
Push one’s luck
Trying to obtain more than what one has
Reap the harvest
Benefit or suffer as a direct result of past actions
Roll up sleeves
To get yourself prepared
See eye to eye
To be in agreement with
Shot in the dark
A complete guess
Sink your teeth into
Do something with a lot of energy and enthusiasm
Take with a grain/pinch of salt
To doubt theaccuracy of information
Skating on thin ice
Do or say something risky
Tight spot
A difficult situation
Strike while the iron is hot
To act at the right time
Take the plunge
Venture into something of one’s interest despite the risks involved
Take a nosedive
Rapid drop or decrease in value
Think the world of
Admire someone very much
Stand in a good stead
To be useful or be of good service to someone
Take a back seat
Choose to be less important in a role
Wave a dead chicken
Do something useless
Whale of a time
Enjoy a lot
Wrap one’s brain around
Concentrate on something to understand
Zero in on something
Focus all attention on one thing
On Account of
Due to
On no account
Not for Any Reason
The Heel of Achilles
A Weak Point
To assume airs
To affect superiority
To stand aloof
To keep to oneself and not mix with others
To lead to the altar
To marry
To Upset the Apple Cart
To disturb the peace
To take up arms
To fight or go to the war
To Grind
To have some selfish objective in view
To break the back of anything
To perform the most difficult part
To backbite a person
To speak disguise about someone
To cause bad blood
To Cause Enmity
To keep the ball rolling
To keep things going
To hit below the belt
To act unfairly in a contest
To bite the dust
To be Defeated in Battle
One's bread and butter
One's means of livelihood
To breadth one's last
To Die
To make bricks without straw
To attempt to do something without proper materials
To kick the bucket
To die
To burn the candle at both ends
To expend energy in two directions at the same time
To Catch one's eye
To attract attention
To take the chair
To preside a meeting
She is no chicken
She is older than she says
To pick and choose
To make a careful selection
To square the circle
To attempt something impossible
To be cock sure
To be perfectly sure or certain
To throw cold water upon anything
To discourage efforts
Off color
Not in the usual form
To commit to memory
To learn by heart
Too many cooks spoil the broth
Where there are more workers than necessary
Up to date
Recent
To step into dead man's shoes
To come into an inheritance
To throw dust in one's eyes
To try to deceive someone or mislead someone
To set the Thames on fire
To do something sensational or remarkable
To jump from a frying pan into fire
To come out of one trouble and get into a worse
To die in harness
To continue at one’s occupation until death
Make hay while the sun shines
Take advantage of all opportunities
To move heaven and earth
To exert all efforts
One swallow does not make a summer
It is unreliable to base one's conclusions on only a single test or incident
Yellow press
Newspapers which publish sensational and unscrupulous stories and exaggerates the news to attract readers.
To balance the books
To make certain that the amount of money spent is not more than the amount of money received.
To cook the books
To modify financial statements
To get the sack
To be dismissed from your job
To be snowed under
To be very busy
To work your fingers to the boneOrTo sweat blood
To work really hard
Not a spark of decency
No Manners
Speak of the devil!
This expression is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives
Whole nine yards
Everything. All of it
Your guess is as good as mine
To have no idea about anything