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ENG101 : IDIOMS AND PROVERBS LIST
Nature:
Land Sayings
The following nature sayings contain references to land features and mostly describe negative situations. 1. to beat around the bush – to be indirect; to avoid coming to the point 2. between a rock and a hard place – a difficult situation 3. Can’t see the forest for the trees. – to look too closely at small details and not see the whole picture 4. clear as mud – unclear, confusing 5. down to earth – practical and realistic 6. to make a mountain out of a molehill – to over exaggerate the severity of a situation 7. slippery slope – a course leading to disaster or destruction
Water Sayings
These English proverbs that include references to different forms of water describe both good and bad situations. 1. to break the ice – to make a beginning in some undertaking or enterprise; to break through cold reserve or stiffness; to begin an initial conversation with a new unknown person 2. in deep water – in big trouble 3. a drop in the ocean – a quantity bearing an infinitesimally small proportion to the whole 4. to go with the flow – to act as others are acting, conforming to common behavior patterns with an attitude of calm acceptance 5. to make waves – to cause trouble 6. on thin ice – in a dangerous, hazardous, or delicate situation; at risk; in an unsafe, difficult, or vulnerable situation 7. tip of the iceberg – when there are bigger problems that it seems 8. up the river without a paddle – in an unfortunate situation
Sky Sayings
The following English sayings contain references to the sky including light, air, the sun, the moon, the stars, wind, and the weather. 1. to beat the living daylights out of someone – to be someone severely 2. a bolt from the blue – something that happened unexpectedly 3. in broad daylight – during the day with many witnesses 4. dead air – complete and total silence 5. full of hot air – talking rubbish, talking a lot without really saying anything 6. Make haySayings - Time
|Idiom/Saying while the sun shines. – advice to do something at an opportune time 7. many moons ago – a long time ago 8. a ray of sunshine – someone or something that brings great joy 9. to reach for the stars – to set lofty goals 10. to scare the living daylights out of someone – to scare someone severely 11. scattered to the four winds – going in all directions 12. to shed light on something – to make something clearer 13. under the weather – not feeling well 14. up in the air – in an unfixed or uncertain state, in doubt 15. to weather the storm – to reach the end of a very difficult situation without too much harm or damage
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TIME:

Idioms and |Explanation |
|On the dot. |At a precise time. |
|For example:- | |
|On New Year's Eve we always open the champagne on the dot of | |
|midnight. | |
|Overtime |The time we work in addition to what is normal. Overtime is |
|For example:- |either paid, or unpaid. |
|I told my boss I would do any overtime, I want to save up for my | |
|holiday. | |
|To not give someone the time of day. |To refuse to speak to someone because you do not like them or |
|For example:- |because you think you are better than them. |
|I don't know why you spend so much time with him. I wouldn't even | |
|give him the time of day. | |
|To pass the time of day. |To have a short conversation with someone about things which are|
|For example:- |not important |
|It's important to pass the time of day with your colleagues. | |
|The early bird catches the worm. |If you do something in a timely manner you will succeed. |
|For example:- | |
|"I'll go to work early tomorrow. After all, the early bird catches | |
|the worm." | |
|A stitch in time saves nine. |If you fix a small problem right away, it will not become a |
|For example:- |bigger problem later. |
|You need to get the leak fixed before it gets bigger. A stitch in | |
|time saves nine. | |
|Just in time (JIT) |A production strategy that strives to improve a business return |
|For example:- |on investment (ROI) by reducing inventory and associated |
|The factory has implemented a new JIT strategy. All inventory must be|carrying costs. |
|reduced. | |
|Full-time |The whole of someone's available working time, typically 40 |
|For example:- |hours in a week, |
|My niece went back to full-time work 3 months after having her first | |
|baby. | |
|Part-time |Employment with fewer hours per week than a full-time job. |
|For example:- | |
|There are more part-time jobs nowadays. | |
|To be on time. |If you're on time you arrive or do something before or by a |
|For example:- |stated time |
|We managed to finish the project on time. | |
|To buy time. |To postpone an event hoping that the situation will improve. |
|For example:- | |
|The policeman tried to reason with him in order to buy time until | |
|backup arrived, | |
|To call time. |What happens when a publican signals that it is closing time at |
|For example:- |the pub. |
|We had to drink up when he called time. | |
|To do time. |To be imprisoned. |
|For example:- | |
|It's hard for people who have done time to get a job. | |
|To give someone a hard time. |To criticize someone and make them feel guilty about something |
|For example:- |that they have (or haven't) done. |
|I always give my students a hard time if they haven't done their | |
|homework. | |
|To have the time of your life. |To enjoy yourself - a lot. |
|For example:- | |
|I had the time of my life at the party. | |
|To run out of time. |To have no time left. |
|For example:- | |
|I ran out of time before I could finish the exam. | |
|The time is ripe. |A good time to do something or for something to happen. |
|For example:- | |
|The people decided the time was ripe for a revolution. | |
|Take your time. |To not rush. |
|For example:- | |
|I decided not to rush, so I took my time and made sure the job was | |
|done properly. | |
|Time in lieu |Time off instead of, or in addition to, receiving pay for |
|For example:- |overtime worked or working on public or bank holidays. |
|I worked two bank holidays, and I got two days off in lieu, but I | |
|would have preferred the cash. | |
|Time off. |To have a period of time free from employment |
|For example:- | |
|I decided to take some time off to visit my family. | |
|Time out. |Time when you rest away from your usual work or studies. |
|For example:- |(Not to be confused with "out of time".) |
|You've been on that computer for hours. Time out! | |
|Sometimes used to break up a fight. | |
|For example:- | |
|The moderator called time out, when he saw the argument was getting | |
|out of hand. | |
|Time's up. |Used to show an activity is finished. |
|For example:- | |
|The game finished because my time was up and I needed to pay to play | |
|on. | |
|9-5 |A conventional and possibly tedious job. |
|For example:- | |
|She has a 9-5 job, but she never complains. | |
|From the cradle to the grave. |The whole of your life. |
|For example:- | |
|The National Health Service (NHS) has two guiding principles. | |
|Firstly, that such a service should be comprehensive, with all | |
|citizens receiving all the advice, treatment and care they needed, | |
|combined with the best medical and other facilities available. | |
|Secondly, that the service should be free to the public at the point | |
|of use, from the cradle to the grave. | |

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BODY:

1.as broad as a barn door
- very broad or fat
The flight attendant at the airport was as broad as a barn door.

2.as dry as a bone
- very dry
The river bed was as dry as a bone at the end of the summer.

3.as soft as a baby's bottom
- very soft and smooth
My new silk pajamas are as soft as a baby's bottom.

4.at each other's throats
- fighting or arguing all the time
The two boys were at each other's throats when they entered the room.

5.at the top of one`s lungs
- with a very loud voice
I yelled at the top of my lungs to get the man's attention.

6.(one's) back is against the wall
- one is in a very difficult position
The man's back was against the wall and there was nothing that he could do to change the situation.

7.back-to-back
- next to each other and touching backs
The students were sitting back-to-back as they exercised in the gym class.

8.bad blood (between people)
- anger or a bad relationship due to past problems with someone
There is much bad blood between the two supervisors.

9.behind (someone`s) back
- without someone's knowledge, secretly, when someone is absent
I do not like people who talk behind my back.

10.blood is thicker than water
- family members are closer to one another than to others
Blood is thicker than water and people usually support and help their family in times of trouble.

11.blood runs cold
- terrified or horrified
My blood ran cold when I saw the poison spider on my bed.

12.blue blood
- the blood (family line) of a noble or aristocratic family
Many blue bloods attended the opening of the new opera.

13.breathe one's last
- to die, to breathe one's last breath before dying
The elderly man breathed his last late yesterday evening.

14.a bundle of nerves
- someone who is very nervous and anxious
I was a bundle of nerves after I finished studying for my exams.

15.carry the weight of the world on one's shoulders
- to appear to be dealing with all the problems in the whole world
My friend has much stress and thinks that he is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.

16.chilled to the bone
- very cold
I was chilled to the bone after swimming in the cold lake.

17.cut a fine figure
- to dress and look good
I cut a fine figure as I walked through the doors to interview for the job.

18.difficult to stomach (someone or something)
- to be unable to accept someone, to be unable to accept something that you think is unpleasant or wrong
It is difficult to stomach my friend when she begins to complain about things.

19.get butterflies in one`s stomach
- to get a feeling of fear or anxiety in one's stomach
I got butterflies in my stomach just before I took the test.

20.get on (someone's) nerves
- to irritate someone
The constant complaints of my coworkers get on my nerves.

21.goose bumps
- the bumpy skin (like a goose) that one gets because of excitement or fear
I got goose bumps when the woman began to talk about her sick child.

22.over my dead body
- not if I can stop you
I told my friend that I would lend him money only over my dead body.

23.touch a raw nerve
- to upset someone by talking about a subject that upsets or embarrasses him or her
The criticism from the supervisor touched a raw nerve in the secretary.

24.stab (someone) in the back
- to betray someone
My friend stabbed me in the back although I helped him get a job.

25.You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.
- if you do me a favor then I will do you a favor
"You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours," is a common expression in the construction industry.

26.a shoulder to cry on
- someone to whom you can tell your problems to and then ask for sympathy and advice
I gave my friend a shoulder to cry on when I met him at the coffee shop.

27.shoulder to shoulder
- side by side, with a shared purpose
The children were standing shoulder to shoulder during the exercise class.

28.get under (someone`s) skin
- to bother or irritate someone
My neighbor is beginning to get under my skin with her constant complaining.

29.eyes are bigger than one's stomach
- taking more food than one can eat
My eyes were bigger than my stomach when I went to the buffet table and took too much food.…...

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