No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39.

Idioms a bad egg a bed of roses a black mark a black sheep a bolt from the blue a bone of contention a cat on hot bricks a chip of the old block a cock and bull story a die hard a dog with two tails a doubting Thomas a fly in the ointment a good for nothing a green horn a heart to heart talk a man of straw a red herring a red letter day a red rag to a bull a scapegoat a snake in the grass a thorn in one’s flesh a white elephant a wild goose chase a wild-cat scheme alpha and omega an eye for an eye at one’s finger tips at one’s wit’s end at the eleventh hour be a wet blanket be at loggerheads be on tenterhooks between the devil and the deep blue sea big – headed blue collar job brain wave break the ice

Meanings a worthless person very comfortable record showing one’s wrongdoing person who disgraces his family an unpleasant surprise a cause of argument very nervous very much like father a silly and incredible story someone who does not give up his ideas easily a person who is extremely pleased a person who does not believe something something which prevents a plan from being carried out smoothly a useless person someone new and inexperienced in a job a confidential talk a weak and worthless person something meant to mislead people and throw them off the trail an important day where something good happens something which angers a person somebody who is blamed for something he did not do a person who is not to be trusted a nuisance a useless object which is expensive to upkeep an attempt to do something that has no chance of success a rash scheme which will probably fail the beginning and the end to return evil for evil to know thoroughly quite puzzled at the last moment discourage others from enjoying what they are doing disagreeing or quarrelling be in a state of suspense between two equally bad alternatives conceited job requiring little skill, factory job clever idea take the first step to start a conversation

Notes on Idioms
40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83. 84. 85. 86. burn the midnight oil by hook or by crook cat and dog life cat’s eyes caught red-handed change hands child’s play close fisted cry over spilt milk cut one’s coat according to one’s cloth dead broke dog-eared book donkey work donkey’s years drop a brick Dutch courage elbow room eye wash feel blue feel something in one’s bones final straw fish out of water fishy story from A to Z get your act together give the green light green belt green with envy grey matter guinea pig half – hearted hard – headed hard and fast rule have a down on someone have a soft sport for Hobson’s choice hornet’s nest hue and cry in a nut shell in a twinkling of an eye in cold blood in someone’s black book in the good books of in the nick of time in the red in the same boat Jack of all trades work till late at night by fair or foul means always quarrelling able to see in the dark caught while committing a crime pass from one owner to another very easy to do stingy, mean be unhappy about something that cannot be undone live within one’s income without a cent well-worn, much-used book work needing no skill a very long time say or do something tactless false courage, perhaps obtained by drinking alcoholic drinks space to move deceit feel unhappy to have feeling about something another problem that makes the situation unbearable to feel uncomfortable in a strange place or situation an untrue story very thoroughly and completely to get oneself organized give permission place which has plenty of trees filled with envy or jealousy common sense, brains person used as a subject for an experiment having no enthusiasm for a particular task or job unemotional, business-like very strict rule to be very hostile or opposed to someone feeling of special fondness for someone no choice at all a source of great trouble outcry of alarm to say everything in a few words very quickly deliberately out of favour with someone in favour with only just in time owing money in the same circumstances one who does many things but is not really an


Notes on Idioms
87. 88. 89. 90. 91. 92. 93. 94. 95. 96. 97. 98. 99. 100. 101. 102. 103. 104. 105. 106. 107. 108. 109. 110. 111. 112. 113. 114. 115. 116. 117. 118. 119. 120. 121. 122. 123. 124. 125. 126. 127. 128. 129. 130. 131. 132. 133. jump out of the frying pan into the fire keep a cool head keep a person in the dark keep one’s fingers crossed let bygones be bygones light-fingered like a bat out of hell like a bear with a sore head like gold dust live from hand to mouth make a mountain out of molehill mare’s nest monkey business no laughing matter not turn a hair on the cards on thin ice once in a blue moon one’s bread and butter out of the blue out of the question out of the top drawer paddle your own canoe paint the town red parrot fashion pass the buck pig in a poke puppy fat put two and two together rat race red carpet welcome red tape short – handed show one’s true colours single – handed slap in the face spread like wildfire that’s all moonshine the apple of one’s eyes the die is cast the gift of the gab the lion’s share the salt of the earth thick – skinned through thick and thin to add insult to injury to back out expert in any one of them go from a bad to a worse situation to keep calm keep something hidden from a person to hope for luck let things that are past be forgotten to have the habit of stealing extremely quickly very bad tempered extremely rare spending money as soon as it is earned to make a small matter appear important unfounded suspicion behaviour which is full of tricks or causes troubles something very serious to remain calm very likely to happen in a dangerous and difficult position very seldom one’s livelihood suddenly impossible from the upper social classes mind your own business, depend on yourself go out and behave noisily learn or repeat words mechanically to pass on the responsibility to buy something blindly fat which young people have during adolescence to arrive at conclusion competitive world special welcome to a guest official rules which cause delay lacking help show one’s true character to do something alone a rebuff to spread very quickly that’s all rubbish a favoured person something has been done that makes the future inevitable on yourself the ability to speak well on yourself the largest part on yourself the best people insensitive under all conditions to harm a person and then insult him to withdraw from an agreement


Notes on Idioms
134. 135. 136. 137. 138. 139. 140. 141. 142. 143. 144. 145. 146. 147. 148. 149. 150. 151. 152. 153. 154. 155. 156. 157. 158. 159. 160. 161. 162. 163. 164. 165. 166. 167. 168. 169. 170. 171. 172. 173. 174. 175. 176. to assist to be very nervous to prevent others from having what is useless to oneself to be all ears to listen attentively to be behind bars to be in prison to be born with a silver to be born in wealth and luxury spoon in one’s mouth to be caught napping to be taken by surprise to be cock-sure to be very certain to be in black and white to write it down on paper to be on cloud nine to feel very happy to be on the carpet to be scolded by somebody to be on the rocks the be in desperate or difficult condition to be true to one’s salt to be faithful to one’s employer to beat about the bush to talk in a roundabout way to bell the cat to do something dangerous to bite off more than one can to try to do more than one is able to do chew to bite the hand that feeds to be ungrateful or to harm someone who helped you you to blow one’s own trumpet to boast about oneself to bring someone to book to punish to build castles in the air to day dream to burn the candle at both to expend energy in two directions at the same ends time to burry the hatchet to forget the past quarrels and become friends again to call a spade a spade to be very frank and outspoken to call it a day to decide that something has come to an end to carry coal to New Castle to do something which is unnecessary to carry the cart before the to do something the wrong way round horse to carry weight to be important to chance one’s arm to take a risk to clear the air to make a situation less tense and difficult by talking about it to close shave a narrow escape to clutch at any straw to look for anything to save oneself, no matter how weak it may be to come clean to tell truth about something to come to the point to speak briefly and directly to cook one’s goose to spoil one’s chances to cool one’s heels to wait to draw the line somewhere to have a limit to eat humble pie to (be forced to) act in a humble way to eat like a bird to eat very little to eat like a horse to eat heartily or to have a hearty appetite to eat one’s words to take back what one has said to face the music to take punishment or scolding without complaint to feel run down to feel unwell to fight tooth and nail to fight with all one’s power to back up to be a bundle of nerves to be a dog in a manger


Notes on Idioms
177. 178. 179. 180. 181. 182. 183. 184. 185. 186. 187. 188. 189. 190. 191. 192. 193. 194. 195. 196. 197. 198. 199. 200. 201. 202. 203. 204. 205. 206. 207. 208. 209. 210. 211. 212. 213. 214. 215. 216. 217. 218. 219. 220. 221. to fly off the handle to foot the bill to get into hot water to get off scot-free to get your monkey up to go as the crow flies to go to the dogs to go to the root of the matter to have a bee in one’s bonnet to have a bee in one’s head to have a bone to pick to have a chance of heart to have a finger in the pie to have a sweet tooth to have an axe to grind to have green eyes to have green fingers to have no backbone to have the trump card to hit below the belt to hit the bottle to hit upon to hold one’s tongue to hold the reins to keep a person at arm’s length to keep in mind to keep one’s chin up to keep the ball rolling to keep up appearances to kick the bucket to kill two birds with one stone to know which side one’s bread is buttered to knuckle under to laugh up your sleeve to lead by the nose to leave no stone unturned to lend a hand to let the cat out of the bag to look a gift-horse in the mouth to make a clean breast of to make a day of it to make both ends meet to make the air turn blue to mind one’s p’s and q’s to nip in the bud to get angry to pay the bill to get into trouble not to be punished to get angry to go in a straight line to become worse to find out the source of the matter to have a crazy idea to have a crazy idea to have something to say which may lead to a quarrel to change a decision to mixed up in an affair (in a meddlesome sense) to like sweet things to have something to gain by an action to be jealous to have natural skill in making plants grow to have no will of one’s own to have some methods of becoming victorious to act unfairly towards an opponent to begin to drink too much to discover to keep quiet to be in full control of things to avoid being too familiar with a person to remember not to get discouraged or lose hope in a difficult situation to keep things going or conversation going to make things appear well when they are not to die to do two jobs with one action to be mindful of one’s interest to give way to laugh secretly at someone to lead blindly to try one’s hardest or to use all means to help to reveal a secret to ask questions about source of a gift to confess all to spend the whole day to live within one’s means to swear strongly and profusely to be careful how one behaves to stop something before it can develop


Notes on Idioms
222. 223. 224. 225. 226. 227. 228. 229. 230. 231. 232. 233. 234. 235. 236. 237. 238. 239. 240. 241. 242. 243. 244. 245. 246. 247. 248. 249. 250. 251. 252. 253. 254. 255. 256. 257. 258. 259. 260. 261. 262. 263. 264. 265. 266. 267. to pass the hat around to pass with flying colours to pay lip service to pay off old scores to pay through the nose to pick and choose to play fast and loose to play second fiddle to pull one’s weight to pull someone’s leg to pull strings to pull up the socks to put on one’s thinking cap to put on the back burner to put your best foot forward to put your foot down to rain cats and dogs to read between the lines to read the riot act to somebody to receive with open arms to sail too near the wind to save face to see eye to eye with to see red to see the light to shed crocodile tears to sit on the fence to smack one’s lips to smell a rat to sow the seed to spin a yarn to stand on one’s own feet to strike while the iron is hot to take a leaf out of another’s book to take French leave to take the law into to take to one’s heels to take up arms to take your slipper to someone to talk big to tell a white lie to throe in sponge to turn one’s back upon another to turn over a new leaf to turn turtle to wash your dirty linen in to ask for donation to do very well in a test to pretend to be loyal to have one’s revenge to pay too high a price to choose very carefully to say one thing and do another to be unimportant to do one’s fair share of a task to play a joke on someone to get the help of high officials to improve in what one is doing to think of a way to resolve a problem to delay dealing with something to do your very best to put a stop to to rain very heavily to find the hidden meaning to give somebody a very severe warning to welcome warmly to take a risk which brings disaster to save oneself from shame to agree with to lose control of one’s temper to understand to shed false tears to take no sides in a debate or a quarrel to show pleasure to suspect something to give the idea to tell a story to be independent to seize your opportunity while it is available to imitate him to take leave without permission to do whatever you think is right your own hands even if it is unlawful to run away at great speed to go to war to give someone a beating to boast to tell a lie for a good cause to admit defeat to refuse help, to abandon to change one’s conduct or behaviour for the better to overturn to show people your troubles and problems


Notes on Idioms
268. 269. 270. 271. 272. 273. 274. 275. 276. 277. 278. 279. 280. 281. 282. 283. 284. 285. public to waste one’s breath to win the day to work like a charm turn a blind eye turn a deaf ear turn the tables under one’s roof up to date up to the mark white collar job willing horse wipe the state clean with one foot in the grave with the naked eye within a stone’s throw of wolf in sheep’s clothing wolf whistle yellow at heart to say something which is ignored to be victorious to be very effective to refuse to see to refuse to hear to reverse the situation in one’s own house modern up to a certain standard office job, indoor job willing and helpful person to start afresh only a short time to live the eye unaided by any instrument very near an enemy who pretends to be friendly male whistle to attract a female’s attention cowardly


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