IDIOMS AND PHRASES : English prep set 4

An armchair job

A regular job which is considered easy and well‐paid

Backstairs gossip

Gossip among servants

A close fisted man

A mean or stingy man

A curtain lecture

The scolding of a husband by his wife in private

Elbow room

Room on opportunity to move and act freely

Forty winks

Short sleep

An ivory tower

A place or state of life that is out of touch with people and reality

A latchkey child

A child who returns from school etc. To and empty house because

both parents working

Soft soap


The bill of fare

The menu

An eye on the main chance

Looks after his won welfare

Esprit de corps


Make a wry face

Show disappointment

For a consideration

Paid to do something

To give currency to

To pay much attention to

Blue blood

An aristocrat

At one’s wit’s end

To be completely confused

To hold a candle to

To be nearly as good as someone in his/her absence

Black sheep

An unworthy person

Out and out


Not to mince matters

To speak our frankly

To play with


Rainy days

Unlucky times

To fly off the handle

To get into a rage and lose self‐control

The alpha and the omega

The beginning and the end

End in smoke

To give no practical result

Mincing manners

Not to speak plainly

Hanky –panky


Hot head

The fighter

Have a go

Make an attempt

Mince one’s words

Choose term carefully

Be in the mire

Be in difficulties

Let on


To get along

To manage to

Make too much of


Lay bare


Stem from


On the nod

On credit

To take a occasion

To rake advantage of and opportunity

Take it ill

Too be offended

Extinct and obsolete

As dead as a dodo

In a delicate state

Hanging in balance

In abeyance

In suspension

With might and main

With full vigour

In a jam

In trouble

To get at


On the wane

Growing less

At a loss

To be puzzled

At all events


As a rule


At sixes and sevens

In disorder

All the same


To egg on

To urge on

To keep the ball rolling

To maintain progress

To knock the bottom out

To make a scheme

To bear a grudge

To have a better felling

By virtue of

On account of

To beat hollow

To defeat completely

To the backbone

Thoroughly /in detail

A cat’s paw

To make somebody a tool

To come of age

To be major

To cry over a spilt milk

To reach a crisis

Fits and stars


Damocles’ sword

An impending danger

Cast down


To go without saying


In the nick of time

Just in the time

Jack of all trades

A person supposed to know everything but master of none

To leas astray

To misguide

To leap in the dark

Careless action

A man of means

A rich man

Off hand

Without preparation

Neck or nothing

With the use of everything

To pay the piper

To bear the cost

A rolling stone

One who is never constant to one’s work

To stir a finger

To make the best effort

To sow the dragon’s teeth

To do something

Street Arabs

Homeless and parentless children

To turn one’s head

To be proud

To and fro

Backwards and forwards

To while away

To pass in amusement

To win the palm

To win the prize

To wild up

To bring to an end

Wait upon

To serve

Wear and tear

Decrease in value due to constant use

Judas kiss

False love

Black ox


Donkey’s year

After a long time

An old flame

Sweat heart

To see pink elephants

To show courage

Blind alley

Unprofitable action

The heels of Achilles

The weak point in a person

Kangaroo court

Unofficial court

Lump in the throat

A highly emotional state

Fabien policy

Policy of cautions persistence

A fly in the ointment

A problem in a situation

Mother wit

Common sense

A grass widow

A women whose husband is temporarily away from her

To make a pile

To make a fortune

A nig‐nog

A fool

Kiss the rod

Accept the punishment

Itsy bitsy

Very small

In the nick of time

Just in time

In lieu of

In place of

In embryo

In under developing stage

A damsel in distress

A helpless woman



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