The use of idioms and proverbs in a language adds colour to it and makes it more
interesting for the listeners.
In this video on improving English communication, we are going to deal with some
common idioms used in the language which you can use in your day to day
conversation to make it more effective and interesting.
We will learn 25 idioms in Part I of our video. I will explain you the meaning
of each Idiom and then give you an example to use it.
To practice them further, try to make your own sentences using each of them and
read them aloud. Gradually, you will find that you are abosulutely comfortable
in using them in your day to day talks.
1. Acid Test:
Meaning - Acid test proves the effectiveness of something.
Example - I practiced hard at the dance sessions but the acid
test will come when the master will assess our solo performances.
2. Cut the ground from under feet :
Meaning - When you cut the ground from under someone's feet,
you do something which weakens their position.
Example - When team India hit more than 350 runs in the ODI,
they cut the ground from under the opponent's feet.
3. Chase your tail:
Meaning - Spending a lot of time and energy doing a lot of
things but actually achieving too little.
Example - He's been chasing his tail all week collecting data
but the report is still not ready
4. Whole bag of tricks -
Meaning - Means trying all the clever means to achieve
Example - It was really difficult to find the information even
after applying the whole bag of tricks.
5. Deliver the goods -
Meaning - Do what is expected or promised.
Example - I have given my car to a new mechanic for repair,
hope he delivers the goods.
6. Fine-tooth comb -
Meaning - Examining something carefully to not miss out any
Example - The boss examined my report with a fine tooth comb
before submitting it to the senior management.
7. Explore all avenues
Meaning - Trying out every possibility to get a result.
Example - It is a difficult thing to do but if we really want
it done, we must explore all avenues.
8. Fast track something -
Meaning - Rating something higher on your priority list to
achieve the desired result.
Example - In view of the seriousness of the crime, the civil
society is pressing up on a fast track decision from the court.
9 . Get ducks in a row -
Meaning - Getting your things well organized.
Example - To ensure a successful product launch, we must get
our ducks in a row.
10. Get the show on the road -
Meaning - Putting up a plan or idea into action.
Example - Now that we have compeleted all the legal
formalities, let's get the show on the road.
11. Keep your fingers on the pulse -
Meaning - Being constantly aware of the most recent
Example - An entrepreneur must keep his fingers on the pulse of
the market to be successful.
12. Mean business -
Meaning - Being serious about what you announce.
Example - Now that all our policies about work are put up on
intranet, we mean business.
13. Think on your feet -
Meaning - Adjusting quickly to changes and making fast
Example - A good sales man must be able to think on his feet to
close the deal.
14. Sail through something -
Meaning - Being successful in doing something without
Example - The presentation at the national conference was
extremely important for the company. We sailed through it.
15. Tricks of the trade :
Meaning - Clever or expert way of doing something.
Example - Being into the construction business for last 10
years, I know all tricks of the trade.
16. Not let grass grow under feet -
Meaning - Don't delay in getting something done.
Example - As soon as he finished all the registration
formalities, he put the house on sale. He doesn't let the grass grow under his
17. Work like a charm -
Meaning - Works very well or has the desired effect.
Example - I had cloves from my sore throat and they worked like
18. Back-room boys -
Meaning - People who perform important work but have no contact
with the public.
Example - Our back room boys deserve an applause for the
success of this advertisement.
19. Dead wood -
Meaning - People or things which are no longer useful or
Example - The company bought in a lot of new computers. They no
longer want the dead woods.
20. Get the axe -
Meaning - lose the job.
Example - The projects team was undergoing a major
restructuring, recruitment executives were the first to get the axe.
21. Plum job -
Meaning - Desirable position which is well-paid and considered
relatively easy .
Example - This looks like a plum job but it has its own bunch
22. Shape up or ship out -
Meaning - This expression is used to warn someone that if they
do not improvetheir ways, they will have to leave their job.
Example - When Tom started neglecting the customers, he was
told to shape up or ship out.
23. Golden handshake -
Meaning - Big sum of money given to a person when they leave a
company or retire.
Example - The management of various PSUs wanted to cut down on
the man power. They offered a golden hand shake to many of their aged
24. Separate sheep from goats -
Meaning - Examining a group of people and deciding their
Example - Audition test was conducted by the director to
separate sheep from goats.
25. Waiting in the wings -
Meaning - Waiting for an opportunity to take action, mostly to
replace someone else in their job.
Example - The senior manager is going to retire in next 2
months. Two of his juniors who are waiting in the wings will have a fierce