An idiom is a phrase that has a figurative meaning while sometimes it can even have a literal meaning. It is estimated that there are at least twenty-five thousand idiomatic expressions in the English language. It is always fun to learn idioms at any age group. We bring to you 20 idioms that you can use to spruce up your everyday communication.
Pot calling the kettle black
Meaning: It means to criticize someone else, for which they themselves are actually guilty about.
Example: You are cunning too. Is the pot calling the kettle black?
Head in the clouds
Meaning: This person is not grounded in reality and is usually prone to an unrealistic idea or a pipe dream.
Example: He cannot be the right choice for this task; he has his head in the clouds.
Barking up the wrong tree
Meaning: Pursuing a line of thought or course of action that is misguided.
Example: I think you’re barking up the wrong tree. I am very sure that he was not responsible for this goof up. He was not here rather somewhere else at that time.
Bite off more than you can chew
Meaning: Taking up a project or task which is beyond your own capability.
Example: I bit off more than I could chew. I should not have committed to an extra assignment at office.
Mad as a hatter/ Mad as a March hare
Meaning: Someone who is totally crazy.
Example: Please don’t take his advice. He is mad as a hatter/ mad as a March hare.
Driving me up the wall/ driving me round the bend
Meaning: Something or someone causing extreme exasperation and annoyance.
Example: That consistent loud music from the neighbour’s home is driving me up the wall/ driving me round the bend.
Know the ropes
Meaning: Someone who is experienced at what they are doing.
Example: Take a suggestion from your uncle. He knows the ropes.
Extend the olive branch
Meaning: To take steps towards achieving peace with an enemy.
Example: It is always good to extend the olive branch and thereby end the long fight.
A red herring
Meaning: A red herring refers to something that is designed to distract or throw someone off a trail.
Example: The scene in the detective movie looked very important, but it turned out to be nothing less than a red herring.
Meaning: You are laughing so badly because of which your sides begin to hurt.
Example: The comedy show last night on television had all of us in stitches.
My two cents
Meaning: That is my opinion.
Example: During the discussion, I put forward my two cents. I hope they liked it.
Rain or shine
Meaning: Regardless of the weather.
Example: I have an important meeting scheduled today; I have to reach office whether it is rain or shine.
Under the weather
Meaning: Not feeling good.
Example: I will not be able to make it to school today since I am under the weather.
You snooze, you lose!
Meaning: Don’t hesitate to do it.
Example: If you are passionate about something go for it. You snooze, you lose.
This is baloney
Meaning: This is nonsense, over exaggeration.
Example: I don’t agree with you. This is baloney.
When pigs fly
Meaning: It’s never going to happen.
Example: I think he will only lose weight when pigs fly.
You scratch my back. I will scratch yours
Meaning: If you do me a favour. I will also do you a favour.
Example: Usually in a partnership between two firms the attitude is more like if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
Meaning: Fat chance refers to something that is incredibly unlikely.
Example: He thinks he might bag a huge lottery sum. Fat chance.
Meaning: In a very bad situation that is difficult to fix.
Example: With the best players out from the game, the team found itself in dire straits.
Play it by ear
Meaning: Decide on a course of action as a situation develops.
Example: We don’t know what time our guests will arrive. Hence we decided to play it by the ear.