Idioms: Brownie Points and Wild Goose Chase

An idiom is an expression whose meaning is different from the meaning of its constituent words. Knowledge of idioms is an important part of comprehension of the English language. Below is a list of some commonly used idioms in English with their meanings and usage. Examples:

TURN OVER A NEW LEAF – changing for the better
After Ajit was released from prison, he decided to turn over a new leaf and become an honest man. PULL UP ONE’S SOCKS – to make an effort to improve
Rajesh scored only forty on his English mid-term exams. He needs to pull up his socks if he wants to do well in his finals. HIT BELOW THE BELT – to act in an unfair manner
The candidate of the opposition party spread false rumours about the Minister. People felt that he was hitting below the belt. GIFT OF THE GAB – the ability to speak well
Pooja was able to keep the audiences amused with her stories. She surely has thegift of the gab. WILD GOOSE CHASE – futile search
Searching for hidden gold in the village field is nothing but a wild goose chase. HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS – reconsider a decision
Rajiv began to have second thoughts about his decision to study Economics when he realised that he could not even pay attention during the lectures. TAKE TO TASK – to reprimand someone
Payal was taken to task by her mother when she failed her Mathematics exam. FACE THE MUSIC – to face the consequences of one’s action
I lost my father’s pen. I will have to face the music when I reach home. BREAK THE ICE – overcome initial shyness
The teacher asked the students to introduce themselves to each other to break the ice. MAKE A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLEHILL – to give great importance to minor things Manoj stopped talking to Rupa because she did not lend him her notebook. I think he is making a mountain out of a molehill. AT LOGGERHEADS – to differ strongly

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The two brothers can never work together. They are always at loggerheads. MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES – make the best of a good situation while it lasts Mr. Sharma got the big contract to supply machine parts to a big Japanese company. He should make hay while the sun shines. LET BYGONES BE BYGONES – ignore the bad things of the past

We have not spoken to each other since the time we had a fight a few months back. We should let bygones be bygones and become friends again. HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD – be exact or accurate
Ram is a genius. He hit the nail on the head when he said that the car was overheating because of a leaking radiator. THROW IN THE TOWEL – to accept defeat
I am unable to solve this question. I am ready to throw in the towel. NO STONE UNTURNED – make all possible efforts
Ramesh has joined two coaching classes. He is leaving no stone unturned in his efforts to get into an engineering college. BORN WITH A SILVER SPOON IN ONE’S MOUTH – to be born in a very rich family Priya was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. Her father gave her an expensive car on her eighteenth birthday. KEEP ONE’S FINGERS CROSSED – hope for a positive outcome

My results will come out day after tomorrow. I am keeping my fingers crossed. BY HOOK OR BY CROOK – using any means, fair or foul There is a cricket match tomorrow. Raj will make sure he gets the day off from office by hook or by crook. BURN ONE’S FINGERS – suffer for something that one has done I will never bet again. I burnt my fingers betting at the race course today. TO KICK THE BUCKET – to die

I heard the mafia boss had kicked the bucket.
AFTER ONE’S OWN HEART – having the same ideas, preferences or behaviours as oneself You like dunking rich tea biscuits too, a man after my own heart. TO ADD FUEL TO FIRE – to make a situation worse

First he dropped the pot plant, then adding fuel to the fire he trod on it. A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME – information gained from someone who you are not going to name Let’s just say I know about it because a little bird told me. KETTLE OF FISH – A situation different or alternative to some other situation, but not nec,unfavorable. Oh, you mean knitting a jumper, well that’s a different kettle of fish entirely. CAN OF WORMS – A complex, troublesome situation arising when a decision or action producesconsiderable subsequent problems. If you promote him to captain of the football team when he is not suitable, this could open a can of worms with the other players. A FEW SANDWICHES SHORT OF A PICNIC – mad, not sane.

He talks to himself, I think he’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic. BROWNIE POINT – Credit or praise for good work or a good deed. You’ll get brownie points with your girlfriend for buying her flowers. BARK UP THE WRONG TREE – to take the wrong approach to something or follow a false lead. If you think you will get him to change his mind just by asking nicely you are barking up the wrong tree. BRING HOME THE BACON – to earn a living and make money for your family to live on. Women these days not only take care of the household but also bring home the bacon.

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Idioms: Brownie Points and Wild Goose Chase. (2016, Aug 01). Retrieved from