IDIOMS, PHRASES, COLLOQUIALISMS
A bad shot: A wrong guess.
A baker’s dozen: Thirteen.
A bill of fare: Menu.
A bull in a china shop: An awkward, clumsy person.
A cauliflower ear: A swollen ear due to boxing.
A cock and bull story: An invented story.
A loaded question: One which is intended to trap a person into admitting or saying something.
A miss is as good as a mile: Failure is absolute.
A paper tiger: A person who appears to be powerful but is not.
A pretty kettle of fish: Mix up; great confusion.
A pyrrhic victory: A victory where the loss is greater than the gain.
A rope of sand: A bond or promise which is easily broken.
A rum fellow: An odd or unusual being.
A stalking horse: A pretence used to conceal a secret project.
Acid test: A test to prove the true worth of anything just as the acid will not harm gold but will stain baser Metals.
Afraid of his own shadow: Excessively limit.
After a fashion: Not completely or perfectly.
All Greek to me: Incomprehensible, Unintelligible.
All hell breaks/is set loose or anger: There is great confusion
All in all: Considering everything; dearest in affection.
An armchair critic: A person who passes criticism without being actively involved.
And I do not mean maybe: Do what I say.
Ants in his pants: Excessively restless or eager
Apron strings: Being under the influence of mother or wife.
At a pinch: If absolutely necessary.
Babes in the wood: Easy to fool; simple, credulous, unsophisticated people.
Back to square one: Start all over again.
Back-seat driver: Someone who gives orders when he or she is not in charge.
Bag of bones: Thin or emaciated.
Bated bath: With breathing checked out of awe or fear
Beard the lion in his den: Take on a dangerous task
Beat a retreat: To withdraw from any action or enterprise.
Better safe than sorry: Steer clear of obvious risks.
Between you, me and the gatepost: In strict confidence.
Betwixt and between Unsettled; neither one thing nor the other.
Bite off more than you can chew: To take on a task more than you can handle.
Blind with science: Deliberately confuse someone with difficult technical words.
Blue funk: Uncontrollable fear or panic.
Bob’s your uncle: Everything is done; complete.
Bold as brass: Shamelessly impudent.
Bosom buddy: An extremely close friend.
Brain trust: The main thinkers or policy makers in an organisation.
Brown cow now how? : What next?; What’s up?
By rule of thumb: By guesswork.
By the grapevine: By rumour or hearsay
Call someone’s bluff: Find out if someone will do as he says.
Cannot call your soul: To be so much under your own influence of someone as to have lost one’s inde-pendence.
Cannot see beyond one’s nose sighted: To be intellectually near-
Cannot see the wood : Not be able to separate unimportant
for/ from the trees : details for important ones.
Chapter and verse : Giving all the reasons for something; with full information.
Chase a rainbow : Pursue an illusion.
Cheek : Rude talk.
Chickens come home to roost: Things you have said or done wrongly, or problems kept aside will return to you.
Chief cook and bottle washer: Person who does all the jobs around.