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Idioms

Idioms

Idioms: An idiom (also known as an idiomatic expression) is an expression, word, or phrase with a figurative meaning that native speakers understand. This meaning differs from the literal meaning of the idiom's individual elements. In other words, idioms do not always mean what they say. They do, however, have a hidden meaning.
For example,
• We cannot put him in court or he would spill the beans.

In the above given sentence the idiom ‘spill the beans’ has been used. The sentence does not imply that he would literally spill the beans, but it means that he would reveal the secret.

Some commonly used idioms and their meanings are:


• Kick the bucket- to die
• Damp squib- something that is disappointing
• Beat around the bush- to avoid getting to the point of an issue
• A breath of fresh air- something that makes a situation more interesting
• A slap in the face- an insult especially when it comes as a surprise
• A watched pot never boils- time passes very slowly when one is waiting for something to happen
• At the drop of a hat- immediately, without delay
• A dark horse- a person who unexpectedly wins or succeeds
• Dog’s life- a miserable existence
• Hale and hearty- in good health
• Have green fingers- skilled at gardening
• Hit the road- to begin travelling, to leave a place
• Lie like a rug- lie shamelessly
• Pay through the nose- pay a lot of money for something


One word substitution: The use of a single word instead of wordy phrases or a string of words to describe something or someone is referred to as one word substitution. For example, if a person is unable to sleep, we can say that he is an insomniac.

Some commonly used one word substitutions are:


• Study of birds- ornithology
• Study of earth and rocks- geology
• Study of diseases- pathology
• Study of languages- philology
• One who is capable of using both the hands- ambidextrous
• One that is beyond reform- incorrigible
• Love for mankind- philanthropy
• One who loves his country- patriot
• Government by a few powerful people- oligarchy
• A place where objects are exhibited- museum

 

Exercise

Choose the correct meaning of the given idiom.

1. Hit the sack
a. Get eliminated
b. Get fired
c. Go to sleep
d. Go to long trip

2. Break the ice
a. Do the impossible
b. Start conversation
c. Keep going
d. Lose hope

3. Wild goose chase
a. Furious search
b. Search for something valuable
c. Search for something invaluable
d. A foolish and hopeless search

4. Give someone the cold shoulder
a. Avoid someone
b. Give away the secret
c. Rarely
d. Save money for later

5. Burn bridges
a. Being savage
b. Annihilate something
c. Destroy relationship
d. Something that happened without warning

Choose the one word for the given group of words.

6. To walk aimlessly
a. Ambulance
b. Amble
c. Coincident
d. Circumambulator

7. One who hates woman
a. Misogynist
b. Misogamist
c. Misandrist
d. Misanthropist

8. Study of election trends
a. Politics
b. Numismatics
c. Psephology
d. Theology

9. One who is all powerful
a. Omniscient
b. Omnipresent
c. Periodontics
d. Omnipotent

10. One who is known for bad qualities
a. Notorious
b. Credulous
c. Famous
d. Incredible

Answers

1. C
2. B
3. D
4. A
5. C
6. B
7. A
8. C
9. D
10. A

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