Category : Idioms

Face the music:

Meaning: face the consequences/results of your actions.

Example: Tina said, “We all know that Gina is going through a difficult phase right now. But that does not excuse her rude behavior. She has been picking up fights with all her class mates for the past one week.”

Reema said, “Yes. I heard about her behavior. A few parents have already complained to the principal. She will have to face the music sooner or later.”

Tina hoped Gina would realize her mistake before it was too late.

With open eyes:

Meaning: being aware of all the details.

Example: Mr. Jones said, “This is a big opportunity for you Tom. Yes, I know you will have some problems settling down with your family in a foreign country. You will have to face some challenges there but you will also learn a lot. Take some time to think it over Tom. And I want you to sign the deal with your eyes wide open.”

Tom thanked Mr. Jones for the opportunity and decided to discuss the matter with his wife over the weekend.

Necessary evil:

Meaning: an unpleasant but necessary task.

Example: Rose said, “I wonder why we need to write so many exams? We are young and instead of enjoying our lives we have to spend the best part of our lives studying these boring subjects.”

Rose’s mother said, “Exams are a necessary evil for all the students. You would never study otherwise. And you will not be young forever will you? And how will you earn a living if you don’t study?”

Rose looked at her mother and smiled. Her mother had the knack of seeing things with the right perspective. She decided to start studying for her exam.

A man of straw:

Meaning: A person having a shallow character.

Example: Quincy said, “Did you read the headlines today? The CEO of a multinational company was involved in a huge scam.”

June said, “He did look like a man of straw to me. I was watching the news on TV last night. He was talking more about himself than the company.”

Quincy said, “I suppose it is difficult to find out about a person’s character.”

June nodded her head in assent.

An elephant in the room:

Meaning: a problem that obviously needs to be solved immediately, but everyone ignores it.

Example: Mr. Anderson said, “All the staff members of the organization are aware that the company is not doing too well. There are going to be either pay cuts or layoffs. We need to deal with the elephant in the room sooner or later. Let’s call for a meeting tomorrow.”

Mr. Anderson’s secretary nodded in assent and hoped that things would improve for everyone in the near future.

Spread like wild fire:

Meaning: spread quickly.

Example: The news that a tsunami had struck the Andaman and Nicobar Islands spread like wild fire. Within an hour, all the people residing along the coast of Bay of Bengal were evacuated.

When the tsunami struck the coast, it caused a lot of damage and destruction but there was no loss of life.  All the people were grateful because technology and prompt action had saved their lives.

Walk on egg shells:

Meaning: choosing your words carefully.

Example: Mr. Parker said, “What is wrong with Judy? She is moody and highly sensitive these days. Dealing with her is like walking on egg shells all the time!”

Mrs. Parker replied, “Her best friend, Pam did not invite her for her birthday party. She is upset about it.”

Mr. Parker said, “Well, if she behaves so selfishly and rudely all the time, no one would invite her.”

Mrs. Parker hoped that Judy would understand that.

Blow one’s own trumpet:

Meaning: boast about oneself or one’s achievements.

Example: Nancy said, “It was amusing to watch Judy at the Parent Teacher Meeting today. She was blowing her own trumpet. And nobody was listening to her at all. Most of the other parents knew that her son had failed in all his exams again.”

Nancy’s husband said, “Her son is quite well behaved. If she just spent more time with him, he would do well in school too. I pity the child.”

Nancy simply shrugged her shoulders.

Dip into one’s savings:

Meaning: Use one’s savings.

Example: Peter said, “It’s really good to see Tina playing again. It’s a miracle that she did not hurt herself seriously in the accident.”

Peter’s wife said, “We had to dip into our savings to pay the hospital bills. But it’s really nice to see her safe and sound.”

Peter and his wife were happy that they had saved some money each month.

Make ends meet:

Meaning: not earning enough to fulfill basic needs.

Example: Lily’s grandmother said, “In our times, the men went out to work and we took care of the home. Times have changed so much these days.”

Lily said, “Yes grandma! These days, both the husband and the wife need to go out and earn money in order to make ends meet. The cost of living is rising every day. We have no choice.”

Lily’s grandmother said, “I can understand that Lily. But do take care of yourself.”

Lily hugged her grandmother.