100 idioms and their meanings and examples - part 1


Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4

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.

Let's begin:

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 something.

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 details.

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 developments.

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 decisions.

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 difficulty.

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 feet.

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 a charm.

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 necessary.

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 of complications.

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 employees.

24. Separate sheep from goats -

Meaning - Examining a group of people and deciding their suitability

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 competition.  

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Discussion Board
Idiomatic expression

Very helpful. Excellent

Allen 04-15-2014 04:43 PM

recommendation

I really commend your affort and the work done on these idiomatic expression.welldone and more power to your elbow.

chijioke obike joseph 04-12-2014 08:47 AM

idiomatic expressions

gud wrk proved 2 b helpful thx ppl <3

hannah williams 04-12-2014 02:02 AM

idiomatic expresion

i like using it, rather than the common English word

rodolfo manzano 04-11-2014 08:06 PM

 

 
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