Figure of Speech – Idiom: Idioms are words or phrases that cannot be taken literally. Every language has its own collection of sayings. These sayings have a different meaning. When they are short they are known as idioms and if they are longer they are called proverbs. “Cold feet” indicates that someone has become very nervous. Every culture has its own set of idioms. Unless one is familiar with the language and culture it is difficult to understand the real meaning. So when someone says feeling ‘under the weather’ if you are not familiar with the cultural usage you might think it is something to do with weather. It is not; it means that someone is feeling quite ill.

Practise Exercises

Choose the appropriate idiom and fill in the blanks.

[ Speak of the devil, dime a dozen, blessing in disguise, got out of hand, once in a blue moon, under the weather, beat around the bush, call it a night, bite the bullet, cut me some slack, best of both of the worlds, cut any corners, rubbed me the wrong way, jump the gun, pull yourself together, missed the boat, back to the drawing board, the last straw that broke the camel’s back, let her off the hook, hang in there ]

  1. Is this what you really mean? Don’t _______________________.
  2. I have had a tiring day. I am going to ______________________.
  3. The rain was a _______________________. It cleared all the trash in the river.
  4. The call centres are a ________________________ in this country. Most of the youngsters are working there.
  5. She put away that activity for long time. Finally she decided to _________________.
  6. Don’t be so harsh on me. _____________________.
  7. They never ________________________. Their work is on dot and as promised.
  8. Once the first stone was thrown, the situation ______________________.
  9. After four years of sabbatical I am ________________________________.
  10. We know that the going is tough but _________________________________.
  11. Please wait for your turn to speak. Don’t _____________________________ .
  12. He decided to __________________________ from all the responsibilities.
  13. Because of his procrastination he ____________________________ .
  14. ______________________________ they cook meat in their homes.
  15. Please do not shout so much. _________________________.
  16. I would not shouted like that if she had not ________________________________.
  17. _____________________________ and there he is.
  18. I was already stressed out and his comments was _______________________________.
  19. She has got ______________________________, a good job and a lovely family.
  20. After drinking that juice I am feeling ________________________.

Write the missing word of the idiom

  1. Let us cross the ___________ when we get there.
  2. I cannot wrap my _______ around it.
  3. The promises are just a ___________ in the sky.
  4. The money she gave was just a drop in the ______________.
  5. She had to face the ______________ all by herself.
  6. Since they fought yesterday he gave Paul a cold ______________________.
  7. His story is a __________ to riches story.
  8. Business is bound to face some ________ and downs.
  9. That sum was just a piece of ______________________________.
  10. Talk about the __________ and _____________ of the bill passed today.