100 popular idioms and their meaning.

Courtesy of http://www.englishforums.com/content/lessons/list-of-idioms.htm

Idiom 1) 2)

3)

4) 5) 6) 7)

8)

9)

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?"

1

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

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

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

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

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

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. "He loves his country. Are you sure you're not out of your depth?" 7 . "Be sure to read the contract carefully before you sign it. or ingrained. Patriotism runs deep in his veins. You don't want to get a raw deal." Beyond your existing knowledge or ability." Entrenched.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful