Campus Recruitment – Verbal Ability – Idiomatic Expressions
With open arms = with a warm welcome.
The father received his prodigal son with open arms.
Turn a deaf ear = disregard.
His father advised him not to take up this project but he turned a deaf ear.
Turn over a new leaf = change for the better.
After the surgery, he turned over a new leaf and gave up drinking.
No love lost between them = not on good terms.
Though they have been together for a long time, there is no love lost between them.
Nick of the moment = at the right moment.
The ambulance arrived at the nick of the moment and so his life could be saved.
Through thick and thin = under all conditions.
His mother supported him through thick and thin.
Bum one’s fingers = get into trouble.
He burnt his fingers by investing in an unknown firm.
Up to date = modem.
This is the most up-to-date gadget in the market.
In high spirits = cheerful.
The students are in high spirits after getting their results.
Foot the bill = pay for.
After he ordered expensive dishes, I had to foot the bill.
Take to heels = run away.
The miscreants took to their heels when they heard someone coming.
Stand one’s ground = maintain one’s position.
In spite of incriminating evidence, the accused stood his ground.
Read between the lines = look for hidden meaning.
While looking at advertisements for jobs, you must read between the lines.
Stir up a hornet’s nest = excite hostility or criticism.
By commenting about women, the minister stirred a hornet’s nest.
At a stretch = continuously.
Some of the workers are forced to work more than eight hours at a stretch.
To catch some red-handed = to catch in the act.
The thief who was trying to break into the ATM was caught red-handed.
At arm’s length = at a distance.
Keep him at arm’s length, or you will get into trouble.
Tale up cudgels = defend vigorously.
The students took up the cudgels for the illiterate villagers.
Play with fire = take risk.
These youngsters are playing with fire while racing on the road.
Black sheep = bad character.
He is the black sheep of the family. All his other siblings are well settled.
On tenterhooks = in a state of suspense or anxiety.
The students awaiting their results are on tenterhooks.
Wild goose chase = foolish and fruitless search.
The agent took them on a wild goose chase after promising them lucrative jobs.
Yeoman’s service = excellent work for the society.
Many youth are doing yeoman’s service in the field of education.
A great hand = expert.
Take his advice. He is a great hand at organizing these things.
Bone of contention = a subject of dispute.
Kashmir has always been a bone of contention between India and Pakistan.
The apple of one’s eye = beloved person or thing.
The youngest was the apple of his father’s eye.
Once in a blue moon = very seldom.
My sister lives in Canada, so I only get to see her once in a blue moon.
Bottle neck = a serious obstruction or problem.
A pact with the State Government on eliminating a bottleneck will save time and improve safety.
Cast pearls before swine = do thing for pec who cannot appreciate.
Giving him advice is just casting pearls before swine. . doesn ‘t listen.
Between the devil and the deep sea = between two equally serious dangers or evils.
For most people a visit to the dentist is the result of a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Go to the dogs = becoming less successful than it was in the past.
It seems that the reputation of your business has gone to the dogs.
Drink like a fish = drink heavily, a drunkard.
It’s not a good idea to drink like a fish.
Face the music = to accept the unpleasant consequences of one’s actions.
Sometimes people afraid to face mistake what they made.
Acid test = severe test.
The acid test of all performances, in the end, is the audience’s attentiveness.
The alpha and the omega of = the beginning and the end of.
Effectiveness of assertion is the Alpha and Omega of style.
At sixes and sevens = to be in confusion.
They leave things at sixes and sevens.
Between the cup and the lip = between expectation and fulfillment.
There’s many a slip between the cup and the lip.
Blow one’s own trumpet = to advertise one self.
You certainly couldn’t call him modest because he’s always blowing his own trumpet.
A Bolt from the blue = an unexpected misfortune.
The news that Sita had lung cancer was a bolt from the blue.
By hook or by crook = by any means, good or bad.
He like to succeed in life by hook or by crook.
Crocodile tears = to pretend to be sad.
Suman shed his crocodile tears after the principal caught him and threatened him with suspension.
To fish in troubled water = to take advantage from others troubles.
The extremists were fishing in troubled waters during the political uncertainty in the country.
From pillar to post = from one place to another.
He had to move from pillar to post in search of a job.
In hot water = in trouble.
He was in hot water because of his speech about racism.
To let the cat out of the bag = to reveal a secret.
Don’t let the cat out of the bag.
Lion’s share = the largest portion.
She did the lion’s share of the housework.
To nip in the bud = to stop something at the earliest stage.
He wanted to be an actor, but his parents soon nipped that idea in the bud.
Out of the blue = unexpectedly
I had nearly given up hope when out of the blue I was offered a job.
A queer fish = a strange or peculiar fellow.
I knew his brother and he was a queer fish too.
To read between the lines = to find out a hidden meaning.
You have to read between the lines to know the true intention of the author.
Sword of Damocles = an impending danger.
Zishaan said, ‘The threat of an audit looms like the sword of Damocles over the heads of taxpayers’.
To tighter one’s belt = to spend less money.
In the new economy, we all have to learn to tighten our belts.
A white elephant = a costly possession which is useless.
Your car is a white elephant, as it often breaks down, causing you too much expenditure.
To bell the cat = to do a dangerous thing taking risk for the good of others.
Everyone was unhappy with the officer but no one was ready to bell the cat.
A bitter pill = an un happy experience.
It’s a bitter pill but that was inevitable.
A fly on the wheel = an important person in an organization but thinks that he is very important.
The man was a fly on the wheel; he could never win first place in the singing contest with his poor voice.
French leave = absence from duty without permission.
Let’s take French leave tomorrow.
A good Samaritan = one who help strangest in difficult
Flood victims are calling for a good Samaritan to help.
A man of parts = a talented man.
CV Raman was a man of parts.
A square peg in round hole = a person who is not suitable.
He is like a square peg in a round hole trying to do the job of an accountant.
Hen-pecked husband = dominated by his wife.
Some wives turn even lion-hearted men into henpecked husbands.
To play with fire = to take risk.
You’re playing with fire if you go into business with Carl.
Rainy days = time of difficulty.
Save something for rainy days.
Red -tape = too much official formality.
I want to start a new business but the red tape involved is very frustrating.
To sack a person = to dismiss a person from job.
If you are late to the office daily, the company will sack you.
A stab in the back – attack by cheating.
He’s been known to stab his friends in the back.
A slip of the tongue = a small mistake or slight mistake in speaking.
If you make a slip of the tongue, you make a small mistake when speaking.
A red letter day = an important day which cannot be forgotten.
15th August 1947 is the red letter day in the history ofindia.
To have a screw loose = to be slightly mad.
I don’t listen to you because you have a screw loose.
To be in the same boat = the same problem.
The students that didn’t study were all in the same boat.