Idioms with Examples Part 02 l English Idioms for all Tests l Idioms l ELP

Here is idioms with Examples Part 02 for you!
(Idioms with Examples Part 01)
(Idioms with Examples Part 03)

⭐ up the creek without a paddle
Meaning: in a dire situation without any hope of escaping it.
Ex: When Haris got a flat in his car’s left tire, he realized he did not have a spare tire so he was up the creek without a paddle.
⭐ when pigs fly
Meaning: something that will never occur.
Ex: Jenna says she wants to win the lottery. When pigs fly!
⭐ You can’t judge a book by its cover. Meaning: decisions should not be made by
appearance.
Ex: Serena rejected a date with Haris. As they say, you can’t judge a book by its cover.
⭐ to let the cat out of the bag
Meaning: to tell a secret.
Ex: Haris, now let the cat out of the bag!
⭐ like clockwork
Meaning: precisely.
Ex: Haris always shows up to work like clockwork at 7 a.m.
⭐ mumbo jumbo
Meaning: nonsense or meaningless speech.
Ex: Haris dismissed the salesman from the office because of his non-stop
mumbo jumbo.
⭐ my two cents
Meaning: my opinion.
Ex: You should go to Australia and have a good time. Well, that’s my two cents.
⭐ nest egg
Meaning: money saved for the future
Ex: Ali created a large nest egg after working 25 years for Hamilton State Bank.
⭐ to scrape the bottom of the barrel
Meaning: to choose the worse of something,
least attractive option.
Ex: Maria scraped the bottom of the barrel when she chose Haris to take her
to the party.
⭐ to scratch someone’s back
Meaning: to do a favor for someone who does a favor for you.
Ex: It’s all politics who wins the contest: you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours!
(30,000+ Idioms With Examples)
(Advanced Spoken English Course)

⭐Act one’s age
Definition:
To be mature and not childish.
Example:
Stop being childish and act your age.
⭐Age before beauty
Definition:
A phrase said to allow older people to go before younger ones.
Example:
Please, you first. Age before beauty, you know.
⭐As gentle as a lamb
Definition:
Said about kind , innocent, mild-mannered people.
Example:
She is as gentle as a lamb. That’s why everybody likes her.
⭐Back the wrong horse
Definition:
To support someone or something that later cannot be successful.
Example:
Don’t back the wrong horse! You know he cannot win the elections.
⭐Be a chicken
Definition:
Be a coward.
Example:
Don’t be a chicken. Talk to her about your love for her.
⭐Be a cold fish
Definition:
Be a person who is distant and unfeeling
Example:
He rarely talks to his colleagues. He’s a cold fish.
⭐Beat a dead horse OR flog a dead horse
Definition:
To persist or continue far beyond any purpose, interest or reason.
Example:
If you continue talking about something that cannot be changed, you are beating a dead horse.
⭐Coon’s age
Definition:
The idiom a coon’s age refers to a very long period of time.
Example:
It’s been a coon’s age since I last went to the theater.
⭐Beef up
Definition:
To strengthen or make something more effective.
Example:
They beefed up their offer with another million dollar.
⭐Big fish in a small pond
Definition:
One who has achieved a high rank or is highly esteemed, but only in a small, relatively unimportant, or little known location or organization.
Example:
Dr. Jones could get a professorship at ABC University, but he enjoys being a big fish in a small pond too much to ever leave XYZ College.
(50,000+ English Literature MCQs)
(Advanced Grammar MCQs)

⭐Call off the dogs
Definition:
Said when you want someone to stop criticizing you.
Example:
Please, call off the dogs. I apologize for what I have done.
⭐Cat got your tongue
Definition:
Why aren’t you speaking?
Example:
Tell us about the trip. What happened? What’s the matter? A cat got your tongue!
⭐Chicken out
Definition:
To refuse to do something because of fear.
Example:
He chickened out just at the time they were taking him to operation theatre.
⭐Count one’s chickens before they hatch
Definition:
To assume success too early, before it is certain.
Example:
It’s too soon to cry victory. Don’t count your chicken before they hatch!
⭐Cry wolf
Definition:
To ask for help when there is really no danger.
Example:
Because he cried wolf too often, people stopped believing that he needs help.
⭐Dead duck
Definition:
Said about someone or something that is doomed to failure or death.
Example:
The attack they were intending to launch was a dead duck right from the start.
⭐Dog-eat-dog
Definition:
Said about a world where people do anything to be successful.
Example:
It’s disheartening to know that we are living in a dog-eat-dog world.
⭐Dogs are barking
Definition:
If your dogs are barking, this means that your feet are hurting.
Example:
My dogs are barking because I walked ten miles.
⭐Drink like a fish
Definition:
To drink alcohol excessively.
Example:
Haris really drank like a fish yesterday.
⭐Fall prey to OR Fall victim to
Definition:
to become a victim.
Example:
When she married him, she fell prey to his greed.
(20,000+ Linguistics MCQs)
(American Literature MCQs)

⭐Fight like cat and dog
Definition:
To argue and fight violently.
Example:
Those two children always fight like cat and dog.
⭐Fish for compliments
Definition:
To try to induce someone to make a compliment.
Example:
He is fishing for compliments.
⭐Grin/smile like a Cheshire cat
Definition:
To smile very broadly.
Example:
He stood in front of her and smiled like a Cheshire cat.
⭐Grouse about someone or something
Definition:
To complain.
Example:
He was grousing about his son’s laziness.
⭐Have a cow OR have kittens
Definition:
to be very worried, upset or angry about something
Example:
My father had a cow when I stayed out late yesterday.
⭐Have bigger fish to fry OR have other fish to fry
Definition:
to have other things to do; to have more important things to do.
Example:
I can’t answer your question. I have bigger fish to fry.
⭐Help a lame dog over a stile
Definition:
Said about someone who helps people who are in difficulty or trouble.
Example:
You can trust him. He always helps a lame dog over a stile.
⭐Horse of a different color OR horse of another color
Definition:
a different matter.
Example:
If you want to invest in the stock market, it’s ok. Gambling, however, is a horse of a different color.
⭐In two shakes of a lamb’s tail
Definition:
In a very short time.
Example:
He did the job in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.
⭐Keep the wolf from the door
Definition:
To have enough money to be able to ward off poverty or hunger.
Example:
They were really very poor, but they had enough money to keep the wolf from the door.
(Indian English Literature MCQs)
(Summaries)

⭐Lame duck
Definition:
Someone or something that is disabled, helpless, ineffective, or inefficient.
Example:
What do you expect from a lame-duck mayor?
⭐Let sleeping dogs lie
Definition:
To leave things as they are to avoid trouble.
Example:
It would be best to let sleeping dogs lie and not discuss the problem any further.
⭐Like water off a duck’s back
Definition:
Without any effect.
Example:
He has always been criticized for many things, but he didn’t care. It would be like water off a duck’s back.
⭐Lion’s share
Definition:
The majority; a large or generous portion.
Example:
The gang stole a lot of money from the bank. But the lion’s share of the money went straight into the leader’s pocket.
⭐Look like mutton dressed as lamb
Definition:
Said about a woman who tries to look much younger.
Example:
Her skirt is too short. She looks like mutton dressed as lamb.
⭐Make a monkey out of OR make a fool out of someone
Definition:
to cause a person, group, or action to appear foolish or inferior
Example:
Don’t make a monkey out of me. You’ll regret it.
⭐Neither fish nor fowl
Definition:
Said of something not easily categorized or not fitting neatly into any established group.
Example:
I can’t see what you want to say. Your proposal is neither fish nor fowl.
⭐No spring chicken
Definition:
Said of a person who is no longer particularly young.
Example:
Although he is no spring chicken, he runs fast.
⭐Not enough room to swing a cat
Definition:
Not very much space. Said abut a small place.
Example:
Their house was very small. There wasn’t enough room to swing a cat.
⭐Not have a cat in hell’s chance
Definition:
not to be able to achieve something.
Example:
He hasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of getting the money he needs for the project.

⭐Odd duck
Definition:
An unusual person
Example:
This boy is an odd duck in many ways.
⭐Play cat and mouse
Definition:
to tease, confuse or fool someone by trying to trick them into making a mistake so that you have an advantage over them.
Example:
The famous businessman spent his time playing cat and mouse with the judge.
⭐Put the cat among the pigeons
Definition:
To create a disturbance and cause trouble.
Example:
The principal put the cat among the pigeons when he informed the students that the excursion was cancelled.
⭐Rabbit hole
Definition:
A way into a bizarre world.
Example:
Schools are starting up again, time to “Go Down the Rabbit Hole” once more.
⭐Run with the hare and hunt with the hounds
Definition:
To support both sides of an argument.
Example:
She never takes a clear position in any dispute. She always tries to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
⭐Sacred cow
Definition:
Anything someone believes in without ever being able to question or criticize.
Example:
He didn’t like to discuss the sacred cow of his new religious beliefs.
⭐Scaredy cat
Definition:
Someone who is easily frightened.
Example:
Come on, scaredy cat. The dog won’t bite you!
⭐Over the hill
Definition:
Too old to perform like before.
Example:
You say you are over the hill, but see how you run as fast as your son!
⭐Put years on
Definition:
If something puts years on somebody, it makes them look or feel much older.
Example:
His financial problems put years on him.
⭐See a man about a dog
Definition:
Used as an excuse for leaving without giving the real reason (especially if the reason is to go to the toilet, or to have a drink)
Example:
Please, wait for me here. I won’t be long. I’m just going to see a man about a dog.

⭐Sitting duck
Definition:
Said about someone or something vulnerable to attack.
Example:
Because of his unpopular opinions about foreign policy, he made of himself a sitting duck.
⭐Spring chicken
Definition:
To be old; not young anymore.
Example:
She is not a spring chicken. She wouldn’t like to go partying with us.
⭐Take the bull by the horns
Definition:
To deal with a matter in a direct manner, especially to confront a difficulty rather than avoid it.
Example:
He was ready to take the bull by the horns and settle the problem he had with his partners.
⭐The straw that broke the camel’s back
Definition:
The small thing which causes failure
Example:
When the boss saw him coming late to work. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. He fired her immediately.
⭐To sell wolf tickets
Definition:
To make empty threats or promises
Example:
You’re selling wolf tickets.
⭐when pigs fly
Definition:
If you say when pigs fly you mean that something will never happen.
Example:
Sure she’ll help us clean the house. When pigs fly.
⭐All hat and no cattle
Definition:
Describing someone who is full of big talk but lacking action or power
Example:
We expect our president to be effective in his job, not a person who is all hat and no cattle.
⭐Be in somebody’s shoes
Definition:
To be in the situation that another person is in.
Example:
I wouldn’t like to be in Nancy’s shoes. She’ll have a lot of problems with her boss.
⭐Big girl’s blouse
Definition:
An effeminate or weak man or boy.
Example:
Don’t care about what he is saying! Let’s go! He’s just a big girl’s blouse.
⭐Birthday suit
Definition:
The idiom birthday suit is a slang term for the naked human body.
Example:
It was embarrassing for her to be seen in her birthday suit.

⭐Boots on the ground
Definition:
The ground forces actually fighting in a war or conflict at the time of speaking
Example:
The Pentagon may say we have enough, but that’s not what I’m hearing from the boots on the ground.
⭐Handle someone with kid gloves
Definition:
To be very careful and polite to a person because you don’t want to hurt him or her
Example:
He has become so sensitive after his divorce. You need to handle him with kid gloves.
⭐Hat in hand
Definition:
The phrase hat in hand means to ask someone for a favor with humility.
Another variation of the idiom is cap in hand
Example:
She came back hat in hand asking for forgiveness.
⭐Have a card up your sleeve
Definition:
To have a secret plan
Example:
She still has got something up her sleeve, and it should solve all her problems.
⭐I’ll eat my hat
Definition:
Said to suggest that you will be surprised if something happens.
Example:
If his business becomes successful, I’ll eat my hat.
⭐If the shoe fits, wear it
Definition:
The phrase if the shoe fits, wear it means if something applies to you, then accept it.
Example:
Lacy: The teacher says that I need to spend more time with my son.
Nancy: Well, if the shoe fits, wear it.
⭐In someone’s pocket
Definition:
The phrase to be in someone’s pocket means to be dependent on someone financially
Example:
The committee must surely have been in his pocket.
⭐Laugh up your sleeve
Definition:
To be secretly amused.
Example:
They’re very polite in your presence, but you get the feeling they’re laughing up their sleeves.
⭐Lick someone’s boots
Definition:
to act in a servile way toward someone, especially to gain favor from them.
Example:
She seizes every opportunity to lick the boss’s boots.
⭐Light skirt
Definition:
The phrase light skirt refers to a loose woman, a prostitute.
Example:
Don’t call her a light skirt. She is a respectable woman.

⭐Lose your shirt
Definition:
To lose all your money as a result of gambling or bad investment.
Example:
He lost his shirt yeterday in the casino.
⭐Pass the hat around
Definition:
to collect money by asking people or organizations.
Example:
They passed the hat round as they needed money to rebuild the poor neighbors’ house.
⭐Put yourself in someone’s shoes
Definition:
To see how it feels when you put yourself in someone’s place.
Example:
What could I have done to solve the problem? Just put yourself in my shoes.
⭐Quake in one’s boots
Definition:
To be frightened, scared, or nervous.
Example:
The thought of climbing that high had him quaking in his boots.
⭐Step into somebody’s shoes
Definition:
To take over someone’s place or job.
Example:
Who do you think will step into Leila’s shoes when she leaves?
⭐Talk through one’s hat
Definition:
To talk nonesense
Example:
He was talking through his hat. I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
⭐The boot is on the other foot
Definition:
It is said about a change of positions when someone who was in a weaker situation is now in strong position.
Example:
Don’t expect him to make any more changes in the manageement of the company, especially after his appointment as the new manager of the project. The boot is on the other foot.
⭐The men in grey suits
Definition:
The phrase the men in grey suits refers to the powerful and influential men in business or politics.
A variation of this idiom is: the men in suits
Example:
The men in grey suits will decide the future of this nation.
⭐Throw your hat into the ring
Definition:
to show your intention to enter a competition.
Example:
Nearly a year before the elections, he threw his hat into the ring.
⭐Tighten your belt
Definition:
The idiom tighten your belt means to try to spend less money or use less resources.
Example:
Going on holiday abroad cost us a lot of money so we’re all going to have to tighten our belts.

⭐Under one’s belt
Definition:
The idiom under your belt refers to something that you have learned, mastered or achieved and that might be an advantage for you in the future.
Example:
I see that you already have the techniques of drawing under your belt.
⭐Wait for the other shoe to drop
Definition:
To await a seemingly inevitable event, especially one which is not desirable.
Example:
He was waiting for the other shoe to drop once some of his companions had been captured by the official authorities,
⭐Wear the pants
Definition:
to exercise authority or to be the person in charge in a relationship.
Example:
He may seem authoritative, but the truth is that it’s his wife who really wears the pants in that relationship.
⭐Ripe old age
Definition:
Very old age.
Example:
After living to a ripe old age, she died yesterday.
⭐Tender age
Definition:
A young age.
Example:
It’s easier to learn languages at a tender age.
⭐Wear your heart on your sleeve
Definition:
To display one’s feelings openly.
Example:
Haris always has his heart on his sleeve. Everybody knows how he feels.
⭐Be in black and white
Definition:
to be written down.
Example:
My conditions to accept the job were in black and white in the contract.
⭐Black and blue
Definition:
Covered in bruises
Example:
He was black and blue the day after the accident
⭐Black sheep
Definition:
A disreputable member of a family or a group.
Example:
They say he’s the black sheep of the Bakers.
⭐Black-and-white
Definition:
Said when you have a simplistic opinion about situations while they are in fact more complicated.
Example:
I think terrorism isn’t a black-and-white issue.
(Idioms with Examples Part 01)
(Idioms with Examples Part 03)

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