100 popular idioms and their meaning.

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Idiom 1) 2)


4) 5) 6) 7)



Meaning You are not very good at that. You could definitely not do it Don't give up the day job. professionally. "I really like the way you sing, but don't give up your day job. An easy way to earn money regularly. Cash cow. "Income tax is a real cash cow for the government." Trying to do something that is too difficult or time consuming to Bite off more than you can finish. chew. "I'm glad you want to prepare the report by yourself. Just be sure that you don't bite off more than you can chew." Discuss something that was causing people to feel upset. Clear the air "There seems to have been a misunderstanding. I'd like to explain what happened, just to clear the air." Give up on, or abandon. Turn your back on "I needed your help but you just turned your back on me" Not suitable for something. Not cut out for "He tried mountain climbing, but he simply was not cut out for it." The very last, or the very worst. Scrape the bottom of the "These are the last volunteers we could find. We really had to barrel scrape the bottom of the barrel to find them." Sophisticated, above average. A class act "He offered to help, even though he doesn't know me. He's a real class act." Improve your behavior. "If you are ever going to improve your English skills, you must start Clean up your act getting in to class on time and doing your homework. Why don't you clean up your act?"


Go ape "Jack was really angry." Participation in an activity. Uncover only a few facts about something Scratch the surface "Cancer research is a very long-term process." Be happy when a person leaves. What an early bird. It seems very plain and uncomfortable." Something that is difficult to define." 2 . Let's give him the slip. I would like to get in on a piece of the action. A piece of the action "I heard that you are looking for partners in your new investment. Cold shoulder "I don't think Jim likes me. Everyone was up in arms over the government decision. So far. He sure is an eager beaver. you must get your act together. generally obvious. Early bird "Dave was in class 30 minutes before anyone else. "You have been late for work every day this week." Angry." People's intentions can be judged better by what they do than Actions speak louder than what they say. A grey area "I researched your case. each to his own. Oh well." Do something without telling someone. actions speak louder than words. we have just begun to scratch the surface." Being discussed. I thought he was going to go ape. Spring is in the air. Give him the slip "I think that man is following us. Up in arms "The crows was agitated. Give him/her credit "Although he is not easy to work for. "Why don't you give her a hug instead of saying you are sorry. you have to give him credit for managing the company well. If you want to keep this job. I tried to speak with him but he gave me the cold shoulder." Acknowledge an achievement or contribution of a person." Leave him. Your situation seems to fall into a grey area." Everyone is entitled to his own individual opinion. She acts friendly but she's always going behind someone's back." Examine only a part of something." Enthusiastic person. Each to his own "I can't say that I like George's new furniture. Go behind someone's back "Don't trust Jane." A person who is early. I'll be glad to see the back of him. Hide from him. or gets up early." Go crazy.10) Get your act together 11) 12) 13) 14) 15) 16) 17) 18) 19) 20) 21) 22) 23) 24) 25) Get more organized. If you don't mind. Eager beaver "John did all of his homework before supper. words. but there are not any black and white answers. Be glad to see the back of "That guy bothers me." To treat someone in an unfriendly manner. In the air "The days are getting longer and the flowers are blooming.

40) Rock the boat Everyone likes Anthony. Give the benefit of the 33) "The teacher's explanation did not seem logical. I just can't do it by myself. He killed him in cold blood." Join a popular trend or activity. 36) Black and blue "He was beaten until he was black and blue." Seems correct. He doesn't rock the boat. but I gave her the doubt benefit of the doubt. 27) Jump on the bandwagon "I like that new procedure and I've decided to jump on the bandwagon." A relative. He doesn't like to give someone the boot." Make someone prove what they say. but beggars can't be choosers. 42) Give someone the boot "Mr. we spent a lot of time planning this project." Dismiss or get rid of someone." Learn about and understand fully. but I called his bluff. 32) Flesh and blood "I must help him." Keep something away." With no compassion or mercy." Tell a secret. 41) By the book "He's a good cop. 29) Keep something at bay "Sarah found it difficult to keep the salesperson at bay.Start something. Smith is an easy boss to work for." Bruised. 34) A safe bet "It's a safe bet that your English skills improve quickly if you study at Elanguest. without proof. he's my own flesh and blood. It's a losing battle. He does everything by the book." Probably true. 39) Call someone's bluff "He implied that he would terminate my contract. After all." Unexpected. Now." Doing something according to rules." Believe someone's statement. 31) Beggars can't be choosers "I don't like the color of the sweater she gave me." 26) Get the ball rolling 3 . 30) Spill the beans "I won't be the one to spill the beans. "The assassin was evil." People cannot complain about something they get for free." Something that cannot be accomplished." Create problems for other people. but we intend to get to the 43) Get to the bottom of bottom of this. Usually associated with ruthless 37) In cold blood murder. Will probably happen. I'll take it. 35) Fit the bill "That seems to fit the bill. 28) A losing battle "I've tried fixing this phone many times. "We are not sure what happened. 38) Out of the blue "A great idea just came to me out of the blue. "All right everyone. it's time to get the ball rolling.

He's someone who means business. 51) The buck stops here "A lot of people try to pass problems to other people. Cross that bridge when 49) "I'm not too wirried about a possible downturn in the economy." This should stop." 60) A fat cat 44) Out of bounds 4 . That was a close call." Something (usually bad) almost happening. 47) Give me a break "You think the teacher is joking? Give me a break. He's a real fat cat. 59) Enough is enough "I have listened to his complaints for years but enough is enough. but I explained that she is out of bounds. "Hans wanted to ask Mary out on a date. 58) A close call "That car almost hit us." Regular income." Someone is serious 55) Someone means business "Watch out for Harry. I can change your account information at the touch a button. 48) Don't hold your breath "Yes." Enjoy something without paying for it." Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary." Don't wait too long because it might not happen." Don't expect me to believe or agree with that. Unfortunately. it seems that the bubble has burst. The best thing since sliced 46) "I love this paper folding machine. 53) My ears are burning "Pierre is talking again. 56) At the touch of a button "No problem. Unfortunately. you cannot have your cake and eat it. too. Mary is engaged to Jack. not before. 50) The bubble has burst "Last year. let's cross that bridge when we come to it. It's the best thing since sliced bread bread. 45) Bread and butter "We are very dependent on our advertising revenue." I think someone is saying something about me." Leave it for later." A previously positive situation has encountered a serious problem. "He has everything he needs. 57) Have your cake and eat it "He expected to pass without studying. At my desk.Not permitted. you don't want to burn your bridges." Problems are resloved here. the stock market was doing very well. 54) Put on the back burner "I don't think we'll have time to complete it this year. 52) Burn your bridges "Be polite when you hand in your resignation. you come to it Anyway." A wealthy person. Let's put it on the back burner. but don't hold your breath. It's our bread and butter. it's possible that they will lower taxes. My ears are burning. After all. however. the buck stops here." make it impossible to return." A good invention or innovation." Quickly and easily.

" Go back in time. 70) Steer clear of "She's not very nice." Another version of a story or event." Be together." Think more realistically.My humble opinion. like clockwork. 63) A change of heart "At one time." Explain something that is bothering you. I feel left out in the cold." Left unaided or unprotected. Don't count your chickens "Yes." Have just enough but not more. 78) Scrape by "Our budget is not satisfactory but we will find a way to scrape by." Legitimate and proper. 65) before the eggs have Remember. She's squeaky clean. Is there something you would like to chest get off your chest?" Don't make plans for something that might not happen." He is angry about something. I wish I could turn back the clock. don't count your chickens before the eggs hatched have hatched. you don't seem happy. 68) Squeaky clean "We checked all of her references. we can just hang out and practice our English." Out of trouble." A changed opinion. 71) Round the clock "She's a very hard worker. He seems to have a chip on his shoulder. let's get together tonight. Wake up and coffee smell the coffee." With enthusiasm and exuberance." Avoid." With mechanical efficiency. however. 62) Hang out "Hey Lauren. I think we should steer clear of her. 73) Like clockwork "He's very predictable. Get something off your 64) "Gary. I think we will probably get a raise in pay this year. On the other side of the coin." All day. I supported George Bush. 75) The other side of the coin "The global summit will encourage meaningfull dialogue. I'll be there with flying colors. Its life cycle has come full circle. I had a change of heart." A process has been completed. He's in the clear. 69) In the clear "His innocence has been proven. 72) Turn back the clock "I feel old. "He seems like a corrupt politician. 76) Left out in the cold "They don't include me in their group. 77) With flying colors "I can't wait to see you all." 61) My two cents worth 5 . That's just my two cent's worth. He always eats at the same time. Wake up and smell the 74) "He doesn not respect you as much as you think. it might result in violent protests. 66) A chip on his shoulder "I don't know why he's so unhappy. 67) Come full circle "The salmon has returned to the place where it originally hatched. though. spend time with each other. As time went on. She usually works around the clock.

" Very different from. but it seems a little late in the day to make such a decision." A guess. "Don't get Shirley upset. She just can't cut it. "Relax." Become upset. "I warned Bill but he would not listen. he is a real professional. is that it is a good idea. "I hate that dress. "Don't get upset." Stop. My off-the-cuff impression. If you lose your cool. "Milo has run out of options. though." Ignorant. "I'm tired. "Luis just watches tv all day. We can only wait and let the illness take its course." Without trying to hide it." Without research." A situation develops naturally." When there are no more possibilities. or considering. he's up the creek. He really is a couch potato." Exaggerated or faked sympathy. strong person.79) A tough cookie 80) Keep your cool 81) Lose your cool 82) In a tight corner 83) A couch potato 84) Takes its course 85) Up the creek 86) Crocodile tears When it comes to the crunch 87) 88) A far cry from 89) Off-the-cuff 90) Can't cut it 91) In the dark 92) A shot in the dark 93) Call it a day 94) Late in the day 95) In broad daylight 96) Makes someone's day 97) Wouldn't be caught dead A stubborn." In trouble." 6 . I wouldn't be caught dead wearing it. Let's call it a day. planning. he might find himself in a tight corner. "I'm not sure but I could take a shot in the dark. "Victor seems to have a casual point of view." (Almost) too late. it will make matters worse." A lazy person. it was just crocodile tears." Make someone happy. "There is nothing we can do to relieve the effects of her disease. If he takes any more chance. however. She's a tough cookie. "Kim shouldn't be working here." Don't become upset. "She told me she was sorry but she was not. I felt like they had left me in the dark." Without any good options. When it comes to the crunch. "They didn't tell me anything. "The government just decided to buy new helicopters. "They robbed the bank in broad daylight. Now. keep your cool. "Your letter made my day!" Would never. "I haven't had the time to think about it." Cannot do it. "His personality is a far cry from his father's.

" Entrenched. Patriotism runs deep in his veins. You don't want to get a raw deal." Beyond your existing knowledge or ability. or ingrained. Are you sure you're not out of your depth?" 7 . "Be sure to read the contract carefully before you sign it. "He loves his country.98) Get a raw deal 99) Runs deep 100) Out of your depth Receives less than what is deserved. "You don't seem to have much experience in this subject.

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