Friday, 18 July 2014


                                                                                                                         (continued from last post)
An Idiom or idiomatic expression is a form of expression of words in their peculiar form as prevalent in a language.The words used have different meanings to their  literal meanings. An idiom has its metaphorical rather than literal meaning. The use of words in an idiom is fixed.These idioms undergo changes with the passage of time. 

The usage of idioms enhance the beauty of a language and give richness to it. Idioms usually  comprise of a few words but these words have their own meanings different from their literal meanings. Just as  the meaning of put is different from when some words are added  to it as --Put up, Put out , Put off  or To put up for a rainy day etc. These words are to be used as they are and these cannot be changed at all. The grammatical use of these words is fixed.For example  He has his own axe to grind cannot be changed to ground his axe or some other form. Idioms have their meanings in metaphorical sense rather than literal one. 

Idioms add richness to a language but their correct and appropriate use is necessary. Here is a list of idioms with their meanings and usage though it is illustrative and not exhaustive.

T,U,V to Z

Turn coat : ( a person who changes his principles or party easily) :

A turn coat never commands  respect in the society.

Tell - tale : ( a person in the habit of backbiting) :

He is a tell tale and everyone jeers at him.

Turn a blind eye: ( to ignore something or someone ) :

Parents cannot afford to turn a blind eye towards their children's faults.

Turn  a deaf ear : ( not to listen to ) : 

The authorities turned a deaf ear to  demands of  the employees. 

Turn turtle : ( to overturn ) : 

The bus after striking against a tree turned turtle and rolled down the road.

Turn one's head : ( to make one arrogant ) :

It appears that riches have turned his head.

Turn one's back : ( to ignore, to turn one's face from ) :

All his friends turned their back from him during days of adversity.

Turn tables  : ( to reverse the action on the person ) :

Ultimately he managed to turn the tables against his rivals.

Turn down : ( to refuse) : 

The authorities turned down all the demands raised by the employees.

Turn over a new leaf : ( to start a new phase ) :

My friend  turned over a new leaf after his marriage.

Turn up : ( to come back ) :

All the friends went out for a picnic and they did not turn up till evening.

Take for : ( to consider erroneously) :

The child dreaded to take a piece of rope for a snake in dark.

Take to : ( to start a  habit of ) : 

He took to drinking after he suffered heavy losses in his business.

Take in ( to be deceived,cheated) :

The merchant is too clever to be taken in by your proposal.

Take aback : ( to be astonished ) : 

All the guests were taken aback when the chief guest reached before time.

Take after : ( to be similar to, to resemble ):

Children take after their parents.

Take to heart : ( to consider seriously ) :

The son took his father's words to heart and mended his ways.

Take ill : ( to feel bad ) : 

We should not take ill of what he said.

Tongue in cheek : ( not meant to be taken seriously) :

In the beginning he seemed to be serious but later everybody found him tongue in cheek and started laughing.

Take one's breath away :  (  to astonish or surprise ) :

The bride's beauty took  the guests' breath away.

Under one's nose : ( to happen in one's presence or knowledge) :

All this happened under principal's nose and he did not take any action against these boys at that time.

Under the carpet : ( keep something secret ): 

In the beginning all the things were kept under carpet but not for long and soon every body knew about it.

Under radar : ( under constant vigil ) :

His activities were kept under radar and soon he was caught taking bribe  red handed.

Under the table : ( In unauthorised  way) :

We had to pay money under the table to get the work done.

Under one's thumb : ( in control of ):

She has kept her husband under her thumb.

Under one's skin : ( to irritate or annoy) :

Children get under my skin as they make such a loud noise.

Under fire : ( face criticism) :

Her behaviour in the party yesterday brought her under fire among all.

Under cloud : ( under suspicion) :

Her recent actions have put her whole career under cloud.

Up to the neck : ( involved completely) :

The merchant is under debt up to the neck. 

Up to the ears :( involved completely) :

The merchant is under debt up to the neck. 

Up and doing : ( to take part actively) :

The examinations are drawing near, be up and doing.

Vicious circle : ( sequence of bad events or things) :

The young man is caught in a vicious circle of his bad  habits.

Vouch for : (  to assure or guarantee ) :

The parents vouched for the good behaviour of the student to the principal.

Vent on : ( to express strong feelings or emotions) :

She vent her frustration on her family.

Vie for : ( to strive for better ) :

Both the boys are intelligent enough and both vie for the first position in the competition.

Weather storms : ( to face difficulties ) :

His father  weathered many storms in his life.

With open arms : ( welcome whole heartedly ) :

The host welcomed all the guests with open arms.

A wild goose chase : ( a useless activity) :

It is a wild goose chase  for you to compete with him in the examination.

Win laurels : ( to bring honour ) :

Our hockey team won laurels for the college in the tournament.

Walk over : ( easy victory) :

Our team was given a walk over in the tournament as the other team did not turn up to platy.

Walk out : ( to go out in protest) :

The opposition party walked out of the house over the new bill. 

Wet blanket : ( a person who spoils the fun) : 

We took him along with us to have fun but he turned out to  be wet blanket.

Wash one's dirty linen : ( to expose one's dirty secrets) :

Do not wash your dirty linen in the public.

Wash one's hands off : (  to dissociate or delink from something) :

As things became worse, the chairman washed his hands off the whole incident.

White elephant : ( expensive burden ) :

This old bus has proved a white elephant for our school.

White lie: ( a lie not to hurt others) :

She told a white lie and it was not intended to hurt others.

Word of mouth : ( to come to know from conversation among people) : 

 We all came to know about this incident from word of mouth.

Wrong side of  : ( above certain age) :

He is on the wrong side of fifty.

Yeoman's service : ( to do an exemplary job ) :

He did yeoman's service during his service in the office.

Yell out : ( to burst out in anger) :

The old man was feeling very  angry and he yelled out at the shopkeeper.

Yearn for : ( to long for, to pine for ) :

The young lady was yearning for her love.

Yes-man : ( one who agrees with persons in authority) :

We should not expect much action from him because he is a yes-man of the boss.

Zenith of power : ( at the top of authority) : 

Our institution was at the zenith of power during the period you were its president.

Your views/suggestions about the post (or correction of error if any ) are solicited. Do post/e-mail

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