Category : Idioms

Leave somebody holding the baby:

Meaning: dump the problem onto somebody else.

Example: Michael said, “Gerry, did you know that Tom was given another memo again yesterday? Mr. Manor seems to be pretty upset about his behavior!”

Gerry said, “Frankly, Tom never takes up the onus for his mistakes. His work is always slip shod. He then talks smoothly with all the clients, leaving me holding the baby. Why should I bear the brunt of his mistakes all the time!!”

Michael said, “I suppose Mr. Manor found out about it yesterday. He was having a long talk with the clients yesterday.”

Gerry shrugged his shoulders as he went about his work.

Every nook and corner:

Meaning: every corner of a room/ place.

Example: Susan said, “Dad has become so absent minded these days. Yesterday, we spent over an hour looking for his glasses. We searched every nook and corner of the house and finally decided to give up. And can you guess where it was?”

Susan’s mother replied, “Yes. It must have been in his pocket all the while. This is something that happens regularly. I have become equally absent minded. I suppose it happens with age.”

Susan wondered how she could help them.

Cry one’s heart out:

Meaning: cry bitterly.

Example: Sheela had set aside some money every month to buy the latest mobile phone. Last month she finally bought one. She was really very happy and excited about it. Unfortunately, it was stolen last week. She was really crying her heart out last night.

When Sheela’s friends came to know about it, they felt very sad. They decided to surprise her by giving her a new phone on her birthday.

Face like thunder:

Meaning: extremely angry.

Example: With a face like thunder Daniel’s father shouted, “You take my car without asking for my permission and then meet with an accident. And then you ask me to come and pick you up from your friend’s house! Can you please explain what exactly happened Daniel?”

Daniel said, “My friend’s mother suffered from a heart attack this morning after you left for work. He wanted my help to take her to the hospital and unfortunately we met with an accident while returning from the hospital. I did not have time to inform you. I’m sorry Dad!”

Daniel’s father regretted losing his temper.

Fact of the matter:

Meaning: actually, in reality.

Example: Sophie said, “No matter how well you argue Lucy, the fact of the matter is that you never help around with the chores. And neither do you buy your share of groceries. Why should I do your share of the work and pay your bills too?”

Lucy knew that Sophie was right. She needed to be more responsible. She decided to buy the groceries and cook dinner for both of them today. She hoped Sophie would forgive her.

Fall flat:

Meaning: a joke that does not amuse anyone.

Kim said, “Don’t play the fool all the time Peter. Your jokes are not funny and they fall flat most of the time. There is a time to be serious and a time to play the fool. All time is not fun time. Why don’t you help me with the chores instead of cracking such stupid jokes? They don’t make me laugh, they irritate me!”

Peter wondered why her mother was so annoyed. 

Fair weather friend:

Meaning: people who are friends with you in your good times but not with you during bad times.

Example: Wilma said, “Tracy is really outgoing and friendly. She willingly helps everyone and likes to make new friends.”

Wilma’s husband said, “Good for her. I wonder how many of them will be her true friends. Most of her friends look like fair weather friends to me. They have a nice time at her expense.”

Wilma said, “I noticed that too. I just hope she realizes that.” Wilma’s husband hoped so too.

Fall on deaf ears:

Meaning: ignoring something.

Example: Rachel said, “Stop advising him when he is on his way out of home. It always falls on deaf ears. He is preoccupied and is thinking about the exam.”

Rachel’s husband said, “I wish he would study consistently throughout the year instead of pressurizing himself at the last minute.”

Rachel knew that her son would learn from his mistakes and simply smiled at her anxious husband.

Fair and square:

Meaning: winning/getting something by honest means.

Example: Howard said, “Oh! Come on now Peter! Be a sport. He played better than you and he won fair and square.”

Peter said, “Yes! I know and that is why it is so difficult to accept defeat. I need to practice more regularly. Let me go and congratulate the winner now.”

Howard liked this trait in Peter. He accepted the fact that he had flaws too. Howard decided to help him improve his game.

Straight face:

Meaning: put on a serious face to hide your real feelings.

Example: Maria said, “Well, that’s enough girls! You’ve been giggling all morning. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for Dad. So, please hide all the invitation cards before daddy comes home and don’t forget to keep a straight face while we are having dinner.”

Her daughters hugged her and did as they were told. They appreciated their Dad’s efforts and wanted to surprise him on his birthday by hosting a small party at home.

They hoped it would make him happy.