SSC English Topic Wise Previous Year Solved Papers – Idioms/ Phrases
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 1-5) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the weaning of the given Idiom/Phrase. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC CGL 1st Sit. 2011)
1. A bolt from the blue
(a) a delayed event
(b) an inexplicable event
(c) an unexpected event
(d) an unpleasant event
2. Cold comfort
(c) slight satisfaction
(d) foolish proposal
3. To be all at sea.
(a) a family voyage
(b) lost and confused
(c) in the middle of the ocean
(d) a string of islands
4. To take to one’s heels
(a) to walk slowly
(b) to run away
(c) to march forward
(d) to hop and jump
5. To bite the dust
(a) eat voraciously
(b) have nothing to eat
(c) eat roots
(d) None of the above
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 6-10) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the given Idiom/Phrase. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/ Phrase.
(SSC CGL 2nd Sit. 2011)
6.A damp squib
(a) rainy weather
(b) a disappointing result
(c) a skirt in a laundry
(d) None of the above
7.In cold blood
8. To take someone for a ride
(a) to give a ride to someone
(b) to deceive someone
(c) to be indifferent
(d) to disclose a secret
9. To move heaven and earth
(a) to cause an earthquake
(b) to try everything possible
(c) to pray to all Gods
(d) to travel in a rocket
10. To smell a rat
(a) to smell foul
(b) to see a rat
(c) to chase a rat
(d) to be suspicious
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 11-15): In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the idiom / phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best express the meaning of the idiom/phrase as your answer.
(SSCCGL 1st Sit. 2012)
11. Ram is very calculative and always has an axe to grind.
(a) has no result
(b) works for both sides
(c) has a private agenda
(d) fails to arouse interest
12 The police looked all over for him but drew a blank.
(a) did not find him
(b) put him in prison
(c) arrested him
(d) took him to court
13. On the issue of marriage, Sarita put her foot down.
(a) stood up
(b) was firm
(c) got down
(d) walked fast
14. His investments helped him make a killing in the stock market.
(a) lose money quickly
(b) plan a murder quickly
(c) murder someone quickly
(d) make money quickly
15. There is no gainsaying the fact that the country is in difficulties.
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 16 – 20) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/phrase given in bold in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/phrase.
(SSCCGL 2nd Sit. 2012)
16. His speech has taken the wind out of my sails.
(a) made my words or actions ineffective
(b) made me depressed
(c) made me think for the future
(d) made me remember my past
17. There is no point in discussing the new project with him as he always pours cold water on any ideas.
(a) puts off
(c) disapproves of
18. Regardless of what her parents said, she wanted to let her hair down that night.
(a) really enjoy
(b) wash her hair
(c) comb her hair
(d) work till late
19. I jumped out of my skin when the explosion happened.
(a) was in panic
(b) was excited
(c) was nervous
(d) was angry
20. She didn’t realize that the clever salesman was taking her for a ride.
(a) trying to trick her
(b) taking her in a car
(c) pulling her a long
(d) forcing her to go with him
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 21-25): In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the idiom/phrase printed in bold in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.
(SSC CGL 1st Sit. 2012)
21. The project is carried over to this year, and we need to keep the ball rolling.
(a) to continue the work
(b) more information
(c) to do better
(d) new strategies
22. The host team bore the palm in the league matches.
(a) played quite well
(b) was victorious
(c) was defeated
(d) played a very boring match
23. Just keep your wig on. Everything will be alright.
(a) Hold on to your wig, so it won’t fall off
(b) Get another hair cut
(c) Calm down
(d) Take off your wig
24. Parents pay through the nose for their children’s education.
(a) by taking loans
(b) an extremely high price
25. Monica’s habit of picking holes in every relationship is very irksome.
(a) admiring people
(b) finding fault
(c) criticizing people
(d) arguing with people
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 26 – 30) : In the following questions four alternatives are given for the idiom /phrase and bold italicized in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom /phrase.
(SSC CGL 2nd Sit. 2012)
26. Once the case reached the court, the police washed their hands off it.
(a) waited for a response to
(b) claimed credit for
(c) disassociated themselves from
(d) seemed eager to continue
27. She wanted to go hitch-hiking but her mother put her foot down and now she’s going by bus.
(a) took a firm stand
(b) expressed her displeasure
(c) scolded her badly
(d) got irritated
28. Adolescence is a period of halcyon days.
(a) hard days
(b) of mental pressure
(c) happy days
(d) days of preparation
29. My sincere advice to my maidservant fell on stony ground.
(a) was counter productive
(b) had a strong impact
(c) made on stubborn
(d) had little success
30. He has all his ducks in a row; he is complacent.
(a) has everything ready
(b) is well organized
(c) always scores a zero
(d) never gets confused
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 31-33) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the idiom/phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.
(SSC Sub. Ins. 2012)
31. For some people, writing verse is as duck takes to water.
(a) like taking the duck to water
(b) like bursting out suddenly
(c) like dropping the duck in the water
(d) like easily and naturally speaking
32. He made my day by telling me how important I was to him.
(a) gave me great pleasure
(b) displeased me
(c) spoiled my day
(d) made me resentful
33. He made away with ten thousand rupees in the course of three months.
(b) ran away with
34. The students of that group have assured their project guide that they will all work against the clock.
(a) work while keeping patience
(b) work with vigor to finish in limited time
(c) work with enthusiasm
(d) work hard to go against the time
35. To let off steam, my friend started murmuring.
(a) to release his tension
(b) to show his anger
(c) to show his approval
(d) to show his displeasure
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 36 – 40) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase bolded in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC CHSL 2012)
36. I could have continued my higher studies if I wanted but, that’s water under the bridge.
(a) something I cannot change
(b) the time I met with an accident near the bridge
(c) something my family did not want
(d) the time I went on a cruise
37. My parents want me to study science, but I will stick to my guns and graduate in Economics.
(a) prefer to disobey them
(b) hold on to my decision
(c) refuse to listen to them
(d) show them that they are wrong
38. The manager dismissed the proposal out of hand and said that it was not at all practical.
39. The people of this village are the salt of the earth.
40. He accused her of talking through her hat and refused to accept a word of what she said.
(a) talking straight
(b) talking nonsense
(c) talking tough
(d) talking sense
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 41-45): In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/phrase underlined. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/ Phrase.
(SSCCGL 1st Sit. 2013)
41. Villagers always call a spade a spade.
(a) to speak about spades
(b) to speak in a straightforward manner
(c) to call someone a spade
(d) to speak ill about someone
42. Marty broke a dining-room window and had to face the music when her father got home.
(a) accept the punishment
(b) listen carefully
(c) ask a lot of questions
(d) listen to music
43. To play second fiddle
(a) to be happy, cheerful and healthy
(b) to reduce the importance of one’s senior
(c) take a subordinate role
(d) to do back seat driving
44. Why are you jumping down my throat ? I wasn’t even in the house when it happened.
(a) running away
(b) making a joke
(c) scolding me
(d) forcing me to eat
45. I am out of my wits and therefore cannot find a way to solve the problem immediately.
(a) not intelligent enough
(b) greatly confused
(c) helpless without power
(d) totally ignorant
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 46-50): In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase printed in bold the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSCCGL 2nd Sit. 2013)
46. Hard work pays in the long run.
(b) over a period of time
47. I felt a fish out of water among the lawyers.
48. The Cauvery water issue led to apple of discord between the two Governments.
(a) cause of anger
(b) cause of hatred
(c) cause of quarrel
(d) cause of animosity
49. The construction remains unfinished and the workers have let die grass grow under their feet
(a) grown grass all over the lawn
(b) gone on a luxury tour
(c) delayed doing the work
(d) demanded more benefits
50. The police smelt the rat behind the death of the girl.
(a) got very much confused
(b) identified the cause of death
(c) suspected that something is fishy
(d) jumped to the conclusion
DIRECTIONS (Qs. Nos. 51-55) : In these questions four alternatives are given for the Idiom/ Phrase bold in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase,
(SSC CGL 1st Sit. 2013)
51. Let sleeping dogs lie.
(a) Do not bring up an old controversial issue
(b) Dogs can raise tempers
(c) Do not allow dogs to stand
(d) Prevent dog mobility
52. To get admission in present day educational institutions, all children should be born with a silver spoon in the mouth.
(a) be born to silver spoon manufacturer
(b) always hold a silver spoon
(c) be born with silver spoon
(d) be born in a rich family
53. A man of straw means
(a) a worthy fellow
(b) an unreasonable person
(c) a man of no substance
(d) a very active person
54. Children complain about their parents gifts. They should learn not to look gift horse in the mouth.
(a) look at a horse’s mouth
(b) find fault with the gifts received
(c) ask for more gift
(d) find goodness in the gifts
55. Acquiring a job a cakewalk for a student who has good academic performance coupled with the good attitude.
(a) walk away with a cake
(b) a difficult achievement
(c) a walkway made with cakes
(d) an easy achievement
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 56-60) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/ Phrase.
(SSC CGL 1st Sit. 2013)
56. To be above board.
(a) To have a good height
(b) To be honest in any business deal
(c) Having no debts
(d) To try to be beautiful
57. To cry wolf.
(a) To listen eagerly
(b) To give false alarm
(c) To turn pale
(d) To keep off starvation
58. He is on the wrong side of seventy.
(a) more than seventy years old
(b) less than seventy years old
(c) seventy years old
(d) eighty years old
59. To have an axe to grind.
(a) a private end to serve
(b) to fail to arouse interest
(c) to have no result
(d) to work for both sides
60. To drive home.
(a) To find one’s root
(b) To return to place of rest
(c) Back to original position
(d) To emphasize
DIRECTIONS (61-65): In the following questions, four alternatives are given to the Idiom/Phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC CGL 1st Sit. 2013)
61. What egged you on to become a social worker?
62. Many politicians in India are not fit to hold a candle to Mahatma Gandhi.
63. She must be paying through the nose for the face left.
(a) paying less than necessary
(b) paying too much
(c) paying the right amount
(d) paying reluctantly
64. He is putting the cart before the horse by purchasing furniture before buying a house.
(a) doing a thing in the wrong way
(b) doing a thing in the right way
(c) committing a great crime
(d) doing things meticulously
65. Casting pearls before swine.
(a) speaking nice words and convincing them
(b) offering good things to undeserving people
(c) uplifting the needy for their welfare
(d) doing worthwhile things to unknown people
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 66-70) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase printed in bold in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/ Phrase.
(SSC Sub. Ins. 2013)
66. I tried to feel his pulse on the issue, but in vain.
(a) find his views
(b) enlighten him
(c) argue with him
(d) guide him
67. For this act of indifference, he will be taken to task by the authority.
(a) he will get an official reprimand from the authority.
(b) he will be rewarded by the authority.
(c) he will tender his resignation to the authority.
(d) he will be entrusted with an official job.
68. You need to have something up your sleeve if the present plan does not work.
(a) have some honest means
(b) have some hidden sources of money
(c) have a secret pocket in the sleeve
(d) have an alternative plan
69. The new manager ruled the roost to every one.
(a) exercised authority
(b) rushed through work
(c) got paid very handsomely
(d) created good impression
70. Despite his initial arrogance he had to eat humble pie.
(a) he had to yield under pressure
(b) he maintained composure
(c) he failed to protest eventually
(d) he accepted the food offered
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 71-73) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom / Phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC CHSL 2013)
71. The police cordoned off the area after the explosion.
(a) The police checked everyone in the area
(b) The police did not allow anyone to leave the area
(c) The police filled the whole area
(d) The police isolated the area
72. The manager hesitated to assign the job to the newcomer as he was wet behind the ears.
(a) stupid and slow-witted
(b) young and inexperienced
(c) drenched-in the rain.
(d) unpunctual and lethargic
73. Mrs. Roy keeps an open house on Saturday evening parties—you’ll find all kinds of people there.
(a) keeps the doors of the house open
(b) keeps the gates open for a few persons
(c) welcomes all members
(d) welcomes a select group of people
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 74 – 76) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the idiom / phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom /Phrase.
(SSC Multitasking 2013)
74. The man changed colors when I questioned him on the allocation of funds.
(a) became different
(b) got numbed
(c) turned happy
(d) get motivated
75. We cannot depend on him for this assignment as it needs careful handling and he is like a bull in a china shop.
(a) a felicitous person
(b) a clumsy person
(c) a tactful person
(d) a no-nonsense person
76. The mother always insists on keeping the house spick and span.
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 77-81) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom / Phrase. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idion /Phrase.
(SSC Stenographer 2013)
77. Hue and cry
(a) lot of laughter
(b) an uproar
(d) plenty of tears
(c) a burst of anger
78. To win laurels
(a) to achieve success
(b) to win the hearts of ladies
(c) to win praise
(d) to win a lottery
79. To pay heed
(a) to submit
(b) to listen
(c) to care for
(d) to understand
80. To eat the humble pie
(a) feel humiliated
(b) feel abandoned
(c) feel rejected
(d) feel glorified
81. A tall order
(a) too difficult a task
(b) a normal task
(c) a simple task
(d) an easy task
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 82-86): In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC CGL 2014)
82. With great difficulty, he was able to carve out a niche for himself.
(a) became a sculptor
(b) did the best he could do
(c) destroyed his career
(d) developed a specific position for himself
83. You will succeed if you follow my advice to the letter.
(a) about writing letters
(b) written in the letter
(c) in every detail
(d) very thoughtfully
84. A critic’s work is to read between the lines.
(a) to comprehend the meaning
(b) to appreciate the inner beauty
(c) to understand the inner meaning
(d) to read carefully
85. Where discipline is concerned, I put my foot down.
(a) take a firm stand
(b) take a light stand
(c) take a heavy stand
(d) take a shaky stand
86. The convict claimed innocence and stood his ground in spite of the repeated accusations.
(c) kept standing
(d) refused to yield
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 87-91): In questions below, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/ Phrase.
(SSC Sub. Ins. 2014)
87. We must work with all our might and main, otherwise we cannot succeed.
(a) full force
(b) complete trust
(c) exceptional skill.
(d) full unity
88. The sailors nailed their colors to their mast.
(a) put up a colorful mast
(b) refused to climb down
(c) took over the ship
(d) abandon the ship
89. We had (had) better batten down the hatches. The weather is unpredictable.
(a) stay in-door
(b) prepare for a difficult situation
(c) go somewhere safe
(d) face the obstacles
90. It is difficult to have a sensible discussion with her as she flies off at a tangent.
(a) gets carried away
(b) starts discussing something irrelevant
(c) loses her temper easily
(d) does not really understand anything
91. The students found it hard to go at equal speed with the professor.
(a) get away from
(b) put up with
(c) keep up with
(d) race against
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 92-96) : In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom /Phrase.
(SSC CHSL 2014)
92. You cannot throw dust into my eves.
(a) terrify me
(b) cheat me
(c) hurt me
(d) abuse me
93. He spoke well though it was his maiden speech.
(a) long speech
(b) first speech
(c) brief speech
(d) emotional speech
94. The students were all ears, when the speaker started talking about the changes in the exam.
95. In his salad days he was quite a dandy.
(c) school days
(d) old age
96. he is cool about working at night.
(a) ready to work
(b) not ready to work
(c) excited about working
(d) grudgingly working
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 97-99): In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative that best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC Multitasking 2014)
97. The son wants to purchase a new car, but his father is dragging his feet.
(a) acting in a slow and hesitant manner
(b) acting methodically
(c) acting quickly with firm conviction
(d) acting courageously
98. The student passed out in the lab during the practical exam,
(a) fell down
(b) became anxious
(c) rushed out
99. My friend Rahim is fair and square in all his dealings.
(a) dishonest and complex
(c) rough and complex
(d)honest and simple
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 100-104): In the following Five Questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom\Phrase.
(SSC CGL 1st Sit. 2015)
100. At his wit’s end, he turned to his old trade.
(a) After careful thinking
(c) Not knowing what to do
101. Then it comes to dancing, he is all-thumbs.
(a) an expert
(b) a trainer
102. He usually goes to bed very early and rises with the lark
(a) very late
(b) very early
(c) after sunrise
(d) at midnight
103. .Their attempt to get back the stolen necklace proved to be a wild goose chase.
(a) wise decision
(b) useless search
(c) timely action
(d) delayed action
104. The day the new product was launched, people made a beeline to purchase it.
(b) were doubtful
(d) went on line
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 105-109): In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSCCGL 1st Sit. 2015)
105. Unless you make amends for the loss, nobody is prepared to excuse you.
(b) pay debt
106. Instead of keeping his promise of helping me with office work, he just left me high and dry.
(a) left me feeling like a fool
(b) left me in a state of anger
(c) left me without a drop of water
(d) left me alone to do the work
107. Amit said to Rekha, “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill”.
(a) attempt an impossible task
(b) start looking for molehills in mountains.
(c) create problems
(d) exaggerate a minor problem
108. Before the report reached the authority, the media spilled the beans.
(a) dropped the charges
(b) hinted at the consequences
(c) revealed the secret information
(d) spilled the content of the package
109. His friend turned out to be snake in the grass.
(a) cowardly and brutal
(b) low and mean
(c) a hidden enemy
(d) an unreliable and deceitful person.
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 110-114): In the following questions below, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC Sub. Ins. 2015)
110. The shopping mall is a beehive of activity.
(a) a secure place
(b) a sweet place
(c) a busy place
(d) a costly place
111. To win laurels..
(a) To be disappointed
(b) To memories
(c) To be victorious in a game
(d) To earn great prestige
112. The officer was in the soup when there was a raid in his office.
(a) preparing soup
(b) distributing soup
(c) to be in trouble
(d) drinking soup
113. We must draw the line somewhere.
(a) turn the tables
(b) put the screw on
(c) fix a limit
(d) aim at the sky
114. To cut the Gordian knot.
(a) to do a job perfunctorily .
(b) to cut a piece of cloth
(c) to perform an easy task
(d) to perform a difficult task
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 115-118): In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom /Phrase underlined. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom / Phrase.
(SSC CHSL 2015)
115. To put in a nut- shell
(a) To state something very concisely
(b) To place something
(c) To be blunt about something
(d) To be long and exhaustive about something
116. To make up one’s mind
(a) To remember things clearly
(b) To remember oneself of something
(c) To think creatively
(d) To decide what to do
117. Nowadays it has become a fashion to take French leave
(a) Saying goodbye in French style
(b) Absenting oneself without permission
(c) Taking leave to go to France
(d) Seeking permission from French Embassy
118. International monetary affairs are governed by the gnomes of Zurich
(a) foreign leaders
(b) big international bankers
(c) guardians of treasure
(d) witchcraft of Zurich
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 119-122): Four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
119.A sacred cow
(a) a person never to be criticized
(b) a saintly person
(c) a very religious person
(d) a helpful person
120. To shun evil company
(a) To kick out evil company
(b) To give up evil company
(c) To put off evil company
(d) To let loose evil company
121. He has made a dog’s breakfast of these accounts.
(a) A total mess
(b) A breakfast for the dogs..
(c) An accurate summary
(d) A breakfast being served by the dogs
122. You will be reminded of the seamy side of life if you visit the slum tenements.
(a) the softer aspects
(b) the impleasant aspects
(c) the pleasanter aspects
(d) the gentler aspects
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 123-125): In each of the questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase and click the button corresponding to it.
(SSC CGL 1st Sit. 2016)
123. To keep in abeyance
(a) In a state of permanence
(b) In a state of emergency
(c) In a state of suspension
(d) In a state of revision
124. To be in a fix
(a) In pain
(b) In distress
(d) In a difficult situation
125. To break the ice
(a) Made people angry
(b) Made people laugh
(c) Made people excited
(d) Made people relaxed and comfortable
DIRECTON (Qs. 126-128) : In each of the questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/ Phrase.
(SSC CGL 1st Sit. 2016)
126. Wild goose chase
(a) An admirable enterprise
(b) An honest effort
(c) A foolish, unprofitable adventure
(d) A powerful effort
127. Smell a rat
(a) Detect bad smell
(b) Suspect a trick or deceit
(d) See hidden meaning
128. A live wire
(a) Industrious and brilliant
(b) Lively and active
(c) Sincere and intelligent
(d) Sincere and efficient
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 129-131) : In each of the questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase and click the button corresponding to it.
(SSC CGL 1st Sit. 2016)
129. pull a fast one
(a) as fast as lightning
(b) play a trick
(c) carry a heavy burden
(d) take a deep breath
130. Grease the palm
(a) dirty one’s hands
(b) work in a garage
(c) slip and fall
131. turn turtle
(a) slow like a turtle
(b) turn upside down
(d) a game turtles play
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 132-136) : In the following Five Questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC Sub. Ins. 2016)
132. To put his foot down.
(a) To act firmly
(c) Ready to work
133. Have a foot in the grave.
(a) be close to death.
(b) have no interest in life.
(c) have an incurable disease.
(d) be afraid to nest
134. A hornet’s nest.
(a) an unpleasant situation
(b) a dilemma
(c) a comfortably position
(d) among thorns
135. To roll out the red carpet.
(a) to decorate the room
(b)to give a grand welcome
(c) to give a warning signal
(d) to buy a gift
136. To have an axe to grind.
(a) To work for both sides.
(b) To fail to arouse interest
(c) To criticize someone
(d) To have a selfish end to serve
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 137-141) : In the following Five Questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC Stenographer 2016)
137. Who will believe, your cock and bull story?
(a) Absurd story
(b) Common story
(c) Ambiguous story
(d) Authentic story
138. For years I could not shake off the trauma of that day:
(b) None of these
139. Sit on the fence.
(a) halting between two opinions
(b) to be defeated and dejected
(c) to be in a tricky situation
(d) to be relaxed and comfortable
140. The manager is not dismissed, but he is definitely under a cloud.
(a) under scrutiny
(c) under suspension
(b) warned severely
(d) under suspicion
141. Do not pull a long face.
(a) look dejected
(c) look ugly
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 142 -143): In the following questions, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.
(SSC CGL 2017)
142. To keep the wolf from door
(a) Avoid starvation
(b) Crack the deal
(c) Entry Prohibited
(d) Have a pleasant tour
143. Teething problems
(a) Oral problems
(b) Problems at the start of a new project
(c) Problems for quite a long time in adjusting in the new place
(d) Problem of having good dentist.
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 144-145): In the following questions, out of the four alternatives, select the alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.
(SSC CGL 2017)
144. The alpha and the omega
(a) Happy and sad
(b) The beginning and the end
(c) The love and the hatred
(d) Truth and dare
145. Throw up the sponge
(a) To attack
(b) To laugh at someone
(c) To surrender
(d) To talk loudly
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 146 -147): In the following questions, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/Phrase.
(SSC CGL 2017)
146. Spick and Span
(a) High and low
(b) Dark and light
(c) Neat and clean
(d) Happy and sad
147. To draw the longbow
(a) To nullify
(b) To exaggerate
(c) To underrate
(d) To demarcate
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 148-149): In die following questions, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.
(SSC CGL 2017)
148. Ended in a fiasco
(a) A complete failure
(b) A successful event
(c) Changed one completely
(d) Twisted around
149. Sow wild oats
(a) To make someone fool
(b) To make space to red
(c) To take revenge
(d) To waste time by doing foolish things
150. In the following question, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase:
An outline representing or bounding the shape or form of something.(SSC CHSL 2017)
151. In the following question, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.
Head over heels (SSC CHSL 2017)
(a) to think with instead of heart
(b) to run away from an unpleasant situation
(c) to take a nasty fall
(d) to be madly in love
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 152 -156): In the following questions, out of the four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom/phrase.
(SSC Sub. Insp. 2017)
152. An iron will
(a) A widely debated issue
(b) A fair bargain
(c) An impracticable plan
(d) A firm opinion
153. Get into a soup
(a) To make things difficult
(b) To be worrisome
(c) To be familiar of
(d) To get an advantage
154. Haul over the coals
(a) Talk irrelevantly
(b) Laugh heartily
(c) To scold
(d) Without hope
155. To carry the day
(a) To run away
(b) To die while in service
(c) To take an unimportant task
(d) To succeed
156. Go over
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 157 -161) : In the following questions, out of the four given alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
157. Apple of one’s eye
(a) the person with sweet tastes
(b) the person with wide pupils
(c) the person who likes apple
(d) the person who someone loves or cherishes the most
158. Ball is in your court
(a) Make the right decision
(b) The judgment in is your favor
(c) You should catch the ball
(d) It is upto you to decide something
159. Last Straw
(a) Last problem in the series of problems
(b) Last attempt to do something
(c) Last change to take decision
(d) Last chance
160. Back to Square One
(a) to go back to the beginning
(b) going forward
(c) you are holding a grudge
(d) to go back to a square
161. Burst Your Bubble
(a) to blow away the balloons
(b) to ruin someone’s happiness
(c) to give up
(d) to talk with someone
DIRECTIONS (Qs. 162 -164): In the following questions, four alternatives are given for the Idiom/Phrase underlined in the sentence. Choose the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the Idiom/Phrase.
(SSC MTS 2017)
162. John was as good as his word and came on time for the meeting.
(c) able to fulfill his promise
(d) a promising young man
163. He came to work looking very off color.
164. I was asked to take a hike for a comment I made.
(a) be quiet
(d) take a break
Hints & Solutions
Idiom ‘a bolt from the blue’ means: an event or a piece of news which is sudden and unexpected; a complete surprise.
Cold Comfort (Noun) means: the fact that something that would normally be good does not make you happy because the whole situation is bad.
Idiom to be all at sea means: confused and not knowing what to do.
Idiom take to your heels means to run away from somebody/something.
Idiom bite the dust means: to fail or to be defeated or destroyed.
Idiom ‘A damp Squib’ means: a situation or event which is much less impressive than expected.
Idiom ‘In cold blood means: Violent or aggressive.
Idiom ‘To take someone for a ride ‘ means: to trick or cheat somebody.
Idiom ‘To move heaven and earth ‘ means: to try everything possible, to exert the utmost effort.
Idiom ‘To smell a rat’ means: to believe that something is wrong in a particular situation, to be suspicious.
Idiom have an axe to grind means : to have private reasons for being involved in something or for arguing for a particular cause.
Idiom draw a blank means: to get no response or result.
Idiom put your foot down means : to be very strict in opposing what somebody wishes to do; to drive faster.
Idiom make a killing means : to make a lot of money quickly.
Idiom Gainsay (verb) means: to disagree; to deny.
Idiom take the wind out of somebody’s sails means: to make somebody suddenly less confident or angry when you say or do something that they do not expect.
Idiom pour/throw cold water on something means: to give reasons for not being in favor of something; to criticize something
Idiom let your hair down means : to relax and enjoy your-self especially in a lively way.
Idiom jump out of your skin means: to move violently because of a sudden shock.
Idiom take somebody for a ride means: to cheat or trick somebody.
Idiom get/set/start/keep the ball rolling means : to make something start happening; to make sure that something continues to happen.
Idiom ‘bore the palm’ means: to win, victory
Idiom ‘keep your wig on’ means: to tell someone to calm down
Idiom pay through the nose means: to pay too much money for something.
Idiom pick holes in something means : to find the weak points in something such as a plan, suggestion etc.
Idiom washed their hands off means: to absolve oneself of responsibility or future blame.
Idiom put her foot down means: to tell someone in a strong way that they must do something or that they must stop doing something.
Idiom Halcyon days means: a very happy or successful period in the past.
Idiom fell on stony ground means : It a request, a warning, or advice falls on stony ground, people ignore it
Idiom has all his ducks in a row means : to organize things well.
Idiom ‘as duck takes to water’ means: easily and smoothly.
Idiom ‘made my day’ means: to put in a good mood, to give great pleasure.
Idiom ‘made away with’ means: to escape with stolen thing, to run away
The meaning of against the clock: in a great hurry to get something done before a particular time.
The meaning of let off steam : to release one’s pent- up emotions, such as anger, usually verbally.
Phrase ‘water under the bridge’ means: problems that someone has had in the past that they do not worry about because they happened a long time ago and can’t be changed now.
Idiom ‘stick to one’s gun’ means: to remain determined or steadfast in one’s opinion.
Phrase ‘Out of hand’ means: without taking time to think, quickly.
Idiom ‘Salt of the earth’ means: A person or a group that is regarded as genuine, unpretentious and morally sound.
Phrase ‘talk through your hat’ means: to talk about something without understanding and thinking nonsense.
Phrase ‘call a spade a spade’ means: speak frankly and directly.
Phrase ‘face the music means: be confronted with the unpleasant consequences of one’s actions.
Phrase ‘to play second fiddle’ means: to have a subordinate role to someone or something.
Idiom ‘Jumping down my throat’ means: to scold someone severely.
Idiom ‘Out of my wits’ means: to frighten someone to such an extent that they behave irrationally.
In the long run means: concerning a longer period in the future.
A fish out of water means: a person who feels uncomfortable or awkward
Apple of discord means: cause of quarrel.
Let the grass grow under your feet means: to delay in getting things done.
Smell the rat means: to suspect that somebody is wrong about a situation.
Let sleeping dogs lie means to avoid mentioning a subject that happened in the past, in order to avoid any problems or argument
Born with a silver spoon in your mouth means having rich parents
A man of straw means a man of no substance; an ordinary man
Look a gift horse in the mouth means to refuse or criticize something that is given to you for nothing
A cakewalk means something that is extremely easy to do
If somebody is above board, he/she is honest in any business deal.
To cry wolf means that someone is giving false alarm.
Idiom ‘on the wrong side of (any age)’ means: some what more than (a specific age) i.e. more than the given age.
If you have an axe to grind;that means you have private end to serve private end to serve.
If you drive something home, that means you are making something completely clear to someone. She didn’t have to drive the point home. The movie had done that.
Idiom ‘egged you on’ means: to encourage somebody to do something, to urge, push and incite etc.
Phrase ‘ not fit to hold a candle ’ means: not to be named in comparison with, inferior or of a lower quality.
Idiom ‘Paying through the nose’ means: to pay an exorbitant amount of money, to pay excessive amount of money.
Idiom‘putting the cart before the horse’means: to do things in a wrong order.
‘Casting pearls before swine’ means: to offer something valuable or good to someone who does not know its value.
Feel pulse means: to try to know someone’s views.
Take somebody to task means: to criticize somebody strongly for something they have done.
Have/keep something up your sleeve means: to keep a plan or an idea secret until you need to use it.
Rule the roost means: to be the most powerful member of a group.
Eat humble pie means: to say and show that you are sorry for a mistake that you made.
Phrase ‘Cordon ofF means: to close, isolate, block and barricade etc.
Idiom ‘wet behind the ears’ means: inexperienced, often because one is young.
Idiom ‘keep on open office’ means: to have one’s house in a stafe or condition in which visitors or guests are welcomed at any time.
Phrase ‘change colour’ means: to give a completely different form and to cause to be different etc.
Idiom ‘bull in a China Shop’ means: one who is aggressive and clumsy in a situation that requires – delicacy and care.
Idiom ‘spick and span’ means: totally clean/organized.
‘Hue and Cry’ means a loud clamour or public outcry.
Idiom ‘To win laurels’means: to win honor/respect.
Phrase ‘To pay heed’ means: to pay attention or to listen.
Idiom ‘eat humble pie’ means: to admit that one is wrong, usually when doing so triggers great embarrassment or shame.
Idiom ‘ A tall order ’ means: very difficult to do or get.
In the sentence, ‘to carve out a niche’ means ‘to develop a specific position for him’. The word ‘niche’ means ‘a specialized area or sector’.
The alternative meaning of the phrase ‘ to the letter ‘ is ‘in every detail’.
The meaning of the idiom ‘to read between the lines’ is ‘to understand the inner meaning’. So, the critic’s work is to understand the inner meanings.
The meaning of the idiom ‘put my foot down’ is ‘to take a firm stand’. So, as the meaning of the sentence implies that where discipline matters, one should take a firm stand.
The idiom ‘stood his ground’ means ‘refuse to yield’. So, as the meaning of the sentence implies, the convict claimed his innocence and refused to yield for the blames that were laid upon him.
The idiom ‘with all our might and main’ means with great physical strength; great force.
The idiom ‘nailed their colors to their mast’ means to defiantly display one’s opinions and beliefs. Also, to show one’s intention to hold on to those beliefs until the end.
The idiom’ batten down the hatches’ means to prepare for difficult times.
The idiom’ she flies off at a tangent’ means to pursue a somewhat related or irrelevant course while neglecting the main subject.
The idiom ‘ go at equal speed’ means to go neck-to-neck and put up with the teacher.
The idiom ‘ throw dust into eyes ’ means to confuse or mislead somebody to deceive.
Maiden speech means first speech.
The idiom ‘all ears’ means listening eagerly and carefully.
Salad days refers to the time of youth, innocence, and inexperience.
Cool about working means he is relax and has no problem in working late at night.
The idiom ‘dragging his feet’ means to deal with something slowly because you do not really want to do it. Here, the son wants to buy a new car, but his dad is acting in a slow and hesitant manner.
The idiom ‘pass out’ means to become unconscious and faint, Here the student fainted in the lab during the practical exam.
The idiom ‘fair and square’ means completely fair; justly, within the rules. Here, ‘My friend Rahim is honest and simple in all his dealings’.
At one’s wit’s end means at the limits of one’s mental resources. Example: I’m at my wit’s end with choosing the subject in my graduation. I cannot figure it out. Anju could do no more. She was at her wit’s end.
All thumbs means very awkward and clumsy, especially with one’s hands. Poor Sam can’t play the piano at all. He’s all thumbs. Pamela is all thumbs when it comes to gardening.
To rise with the lark entails to rise very early in the morning.
Wild-goose chase means a worthless hunt or chase; a futile pursuit. I wasted all evening on a wild-goose chase. Raj was angry because he was sent out on a wild-goose chase.
Make a beeline for someone or something means heading straight toward someone or something. John came into the kitchen and made a beeline for the cookies. After the game, we all made a beeline for Dhoni, who just played the winning run.
Make amends for means make payment to; compensate
Leave somebody high and dry means leave him alone to do the work.
If you are making a mountain out of a molehill, it means you are exaggerating things, blowing them out of proportion.
The idiom ‘ spills the beans ’ means revealing the secret information.
A snake in the grass means a hidden enemy.
Beehive means a very busy place.
To win lawels means to earn respect and prestige.
Phrase ‘In the Soup’ means in trouble.
Idiom ‘draw die line’ means to clearly separate or create boundaries for two things.
‘To put in a nut-shell’ means to state something very concisely.
‘To make up one’s mind’ means to crane to an opinion or decision.
‘Take French leave’ means a period when you are absent from work without asking for permission.
‘The gnomes of Zurick’ refers to Swiss bankers and the power and influence with which they control foreign money.
‘A sacred cow’ means a person held to be above criticism.
‘ Shun evil company’ means to avoid or to evade from a bad company (Group of People).
A dog’s breakfast means a complete mess.
‘The seamy side of life’ means the most unpleasant or roughest aspect of life.
Phrase ‘To keep in abeyance’ means a state of temporary disuse or suspension.
‘To be in a fix’ means in a difficult situation.
Idiom ‘break the ice’ means to do something as a means of reducing or eliminating shyness, awkward tension or unfamiliarity.
Idiom ‘wild goore chase’ means a chaotic search for ‘ something that is’ difficult to find.
Idiom ‘ Smell a rat’ means to suspect a trick or deceit.
‘A line wire’ means an energetic, lively and active person.
Pull a fast one- to succeed in an act of deception.
Grease somebody’s palm also grease the palm of somebody- to give someone money to persuade them to do what you want.
Turn turtle- to turn upside down.
Phrase ‘to put one’s foot down’ means to act firmly or stand firmly.
Idiom ‘Have a foot in the grave’ means to be on the verge of death/ to be almost dead.
Idiom ‘hornet’s nest’ means a dangerous or complicated situation.
Phrase ‘To roll out the red Carpet’ means to welcome someone with great or elaborate hospitality.
Phrase ‘To have an axe to grind’ means to have a personal motivation or selfish reason for saying or doing something.
Phrase ‘Cock and bull story’ means a widely exaggerated or falsified story.
Idiom ‘Shake off means: to rid or free oneself from someone or something that one finds upsetting or annoying,
Idiom ‘Sit on the fence’ means: to not make a decision when presented with two options or possibilities.
Idiom ‘Under a cloud’ means viewed with distrust or thought to be dishonorable.
Phrase ‘Pull a long face’ means, to look sad, glum or disapproving.
“To keep the wolf’ from door means to word off starvation or financial ruin.
If a project or new product has teething problems, it has problems in its early stages or when it first becomes available.
Alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the greek alphabet. It means from beginning to end.
Throw up the sponge means to admit defeat.
Spick and span means spotlessly clean.
The idiom “to draw the long bow” means to exaggerate.
Ended in a fiasco means to end with a failure.
Sow wild oats means to do wild and foolish things.
An outline representing or bounding the shape or form of something is called ‘contour’.
‘Head over heels’ means to be madly in love.
‘An iron will’ mean a burning determination that cannot be stopped or hindered by anything.
‘Get into a soup’ mean be in, or get yourself or somebody into, trouble or difficulties.
‘Haul over the coals’ means to scold, reprimand, or reprove someone severely for an error or mistake.
‘To carry the day mean to be victorious or successful.
‘Go over’ means to examine or look at something in a careful or detailed way.
Apple of one’s eye means something or someone that one cherishes above all others. .
Ball is in your court means -One needs to take some action to keep something going.
Last straw means the final difficulty in a series; the last little burden or problem that causes everything to collapse.
Back to square one means back to where one started, with no progress having been made.
Burst your bubble means giving information to another person that will more likely disappoint them.
‘As good as word’ means obedient to one’s promise; dependable in keeping one’s promises.
‘Off colour’ means slightly unwell.
Take a hike means leave or go away (used as an expression of irritation or annoyance).