Directions (Qs. 1 - 30): In the following question, out of four alternatives, select the alternative which best expresses the meaning of the idiom.
1. At one’s wit’s end
A) Most important B) Perplexed C) Allow someone to judge D) In perfect order
2. Hit the jackpot.
A) Critical B) Unexpected success
C) To have encounter D) A bribe
3. Turn the tables.
A) To clean the ashes B) To pass a critical stage.
C) To take lightly with contempt D) To reverse the condition.
4. Come to a pass
A) A difficult situation B) Solving the toughest problems
C) Win approval D) Very sure
5. Hold a brief.
A) Raise controversy B) To defend someone
C) Excited for everything D) In a dilemma
6. Cut throat.
A) To end in nothing B) Yield
C) Complete failure D) Tough
7. In the dumps.
A) To be depressed B) To leave a friend in difficulty
C) In low spirits D) Reduce the pain
8. Lost in the clouds.
A) Confused B) With cool nature
C) To cheat D) Fail to keep position
9. Midas touch
A) To prove one’s success B) To grow in the beginning
C) The ability to make money out of anything one undertakes.
D) Confused nature
10. Man of letters
A) To utilise time B) Dubious
C) A weak person D) Literary person
11. Live - wire
A) Energetic B) To be carried away
C) False hope D) Recluse
12. Kick the bucket
A) Unexpected success B) To die
C) To keep a secret D) Very difficult work
13. In the Red
A) To defend someone B) Hard labour
C) Suffer a loss D) Here and there
14. Speak volume for
A) To be defeated B) A theft committed by someone
C) To agree for D) To have abundant proof
15. In the lurch
A) To leave a friend in difficulty B) Depressed
C) Prominent D) A newspaper article
16. Hole and corner
A) Excited B) Secret
C) Hopeful D) One who visits new places
17. Make amends
A) To give compensation B) To confess
C) To make peace D) Warning by higher officials
18. Take to heart.
A) Feel bold B) Friendly
C) Blind folded D) Feel excessively
19. White elephant
A) Anything with less utility and more expenditure B) To discourage
C) Surrender D) A high tempered person
20. A hair’s breadth
A) To fight B) A narrow escape
C) Make a speech D) Something difficult
21. Throw a spanner
A) To run away B) Feel bold
C) To sabotage a plan D) Rigorous
22. A mare’s nest
A) Under suspicion B) To fight
C) Entirely D) A wrong discovery
23. Turn a deaf ear
A) Refuse to listen B) Signal
C) Active D) Suspicion
A) Complete failure B) Fearless person
C) A lover of money D) Supplement income
25. A moot point
A) Out of elements B) Full of ups and downs
C) Topic of discussion D) Reward and punishment
26. Cup of tea
A) To one’s liking B) Inseparable part
C) Flexible person D) Out of trouble
27. A bag of bones
A) Pretend to regard B) Thin person
C) To look sad D) To obstruct
28. A black sheep
A) Strange person B) Shortage
C) Disgrace D) Great confusion
29. Pick holes
A) Friendly B) Foolishly ideal
C) Strange person D) To find fault with
30. A jack of all trades
A) A person who can do different types of work. B) Not working properly
C) To deceive D) Feel bold
1. At one’s wit’s end: So worried, confused that you do not know what to do next.
Example: Radhika was at her wits’ end trying to figure out how to control her son.
2. Hit the jackpot: To have a big success, usually through luck.
Example: Tillu seems to have hit the jackpot with his new investment in shares.
3. Turn the tables: Reverse one's position relative to someone else.
Example: Rohit Sharma often turns the table by his good batting.
4. Come to a pass: In a complicated situation
Example: The situation has come to a pass that she is financially ruined .
5. Hold a brief: To defend by argument; endorse
Example: It is very improper for a husband to hold a brief for his wife who is in the wrong.
6. Cut throat : Fierce or relentless in competition.
Example: Many companies have fallen victim to cut-throat competition.
7. In the dumps: Unhappy or depressed.
Example: Shraddha is a bit down in the dumps because she failed one of her exams.
8. Lost in the clouds: Feeling puzzled or confused.
Example: My Physics teacher is often lost in the clouds as he sometimes is unable to explain the questions clearly.
9. If someone has the Midas touch, that person is financially successful in everything they do.
Example: Mahesh Babu seems to have the Midas touch when it comes to blockbusters.
10. Man of letters: A writer, who knows a lot about literature.
Example: Rajesh wished to fashion for himself a career as a man of letters.
11. Live - wire: An energetic and unpredictable person.
Example: My brother was the live wire and I was always called the quiet one.
12. Kick the bucket: If you say that someone has kicked the bucket, you mean that they have died.
Example: The old man kicked the bucket, a few days ago.
13. In the Red: Spending and owing more money than is being earned.
Example: The factory has been in the red for the last three years.
14. Speak Volume for: Convey a great deal without using words.
Example: Kriti said very little but her face spoke volumes.
15. In the lurch: To leave (someone) without help or protection when it is needed.
Example: Pavan’s friends left him in the lurch when he needed them the most.
16. Hole and corner: Attempting to avoid public notice; secret.
Example: A hole-and-corner vacation
17. Make amends: To do something good to show that you are sorry about somethingn you have done.
Example: Hasini tried to make amends by inviting Haswanth out to dinner.
18. Take to heart : To be deeply affected.
Example: Karthik took his failure to heart and lost interest in exams.
19. White elephant : A possession that is useless, especially one that is expensive to maintain.
Example: The auditorium is likely to become a white elephant after the events are over.
20. A hair’s breadth : A very small amount or distance.
Example: Amrutha escaped death by a hair's breadth.
21. Throw a spanner: To cause something to not go as planned.
Example: My family was ready to start the project when the bank threw a spanner in the works by denying the loan.
22. A mare’s nest : An illusory discovery.
Example: The hold of the steamer was a mare's nest.
23. Turn a deaf ear: Refuse to listen or respond to a statement or request.
Example: In the past they have tended to turn a deaf ear to such requests.
24. Daredevil: A reckless person who enjoys doing dangerous things.
Example: They sometimes happen because of the daredevil nature of those in that age group.
25. A moot point means a question about which there is debate.
Example: In the movie action part was the moot point.
26. Cup of tea: If something is not your cup of tea, it is not the type of thing that you like:
Example: Thanks for inviting me, but football is not really my cup of tea.
27. A bag of bones means someone who is very thin.
Example: Her husband is just a bag of bones.
28. A black sheep means a member of a family who is considered a disgrace.
Example: Maxwell has always been the black sheep of my family.
29. Pick holes: To find mistakes in something/ someone has done or said, to show that it is not good or not correct.
Example: It is really not too difficult to pick holes in the plan.
30. A jack of all trades means a person who can do different works.
Example: Shivangi is a jack of all trades in her office.
Some more Questions:
Directions (Qs. 1 - 25): Select the most appropriate meaning of the given idiom.
1. Chip of the old block
A) ready made form
B) resembling one's parents
C) very sure
D) full detail
2. Cut throat
A) decide the matter B) betray someone
C) tough and unfair D) yield
3. Egg on
A) poor and ruined B) to apologise
C) to urge somebody D) win approval
4. Bank on
A) to scold B) narrowly
C) causing damage D) depend on
5. Burn candle at both ends
A) squander B) to bully
C) receive applause D) repent
6. Call spade a spade
A) to scold B) to speak plainly
C) day dream D) to bully
7. Spick and span
A) clean B) lament
C) hypocrite D) to support
8. Sowing his wild oats
A) to get ahead secretly
B) facing imminent danger
C) to achieve something impossible
D) to have many sexual relationships
9. A scarlet woman
A) violently B) encouraging
C) immoral D) to value
10. Writing on the wall
A) feel bold B) entirely
C) warning D) something difficult
11. Up and doing
A) punish B) to run away
C) to deceive D) active
12. Tall order
A) something difficult B) friendly
C) feel bold D) punish
13. Palmy days
A) ineffective B) prosperity
C) certain D) dislike
14. No love lost
A) invention B) unwell
C) dislike D) fashion
15. Out and Out
A) flattering B) expert
C) hide the truth D) completely
16. Hornet’s nest
A) prejudice B) controversy
C) secret D) prominent
17. In a fix
A) dilemma B) hopeful
C) secret D) loss
18. Fish in troubled waters
A) to avoid B) good fortune
C) take advantage D) to fight
19. Fly off the handle
A) to have no effect B) to avoid
C) to lose temper D) to compete
20. Fabian policy
A) squander B) to quarrel
C) good fortune D) to delay decision
21. Gain ground
A) to defy B) to succeed slowly
C) to bribe D) to avoid
22. Feather in one’s cap
A) additional success B) to have no effect
C) very rare D) to quarrel
23. Flash in the pan
A) sudden success B) to defy
C) penniless D) complete failure
24. Ever and Anon
A) to drift into trouble B) sometimes
C) upright D) one who helps strangers
25. Damp squib
A) decide B) abuse C) yield D) failure
1-B 2-C 3-C 4-D 5-A 6-B 7-A 8-D 9-C 10-C 11-D 12-A 13-B 14-C 15-D 16-B 17-A 18-C 19-C 20-D 21-B 22-A 23-A 24-B 25-C
1. Chip of the old block: An expression used of people who closely resemble their parents in some way.
Example: We feel that her daughter is a chip off the old block.
2. Cut throat: Competing in a strong and unfair way.
Example: Many companies have fallen victim to cut-throat competition.
3. Egg on: to urge or encourage (someone) to do something.
Example: Samuel continued to take off his clothes while the audience egged him on.
4. Bank on: Base one's hopes or confidence on something.
Example: The president cannot bank on their truce.
5. Burn candle at both ends: to exhaust someone's energies or resources.
Example: Since starting her new job, Priyanka has been burning the candle at both ends.
6. Call spade a spade: to say something the way it is.
Example: Karthik failed the exam twice. If you were to call a spade a spade then you would not push him to give it again.
7. Spick and span: neat and clean
Example: The apartment was spick and span when the guests arrived.
8. Sowing his wild oats: to have many sexual relationships particularly when one is young
Example: After sowing his wild oats, Rahul has decided to stick to the straight path in future.
9. A scarlet woman: A woman who is considered to be immoral.
Example: Being a scarlet woman she is looked down upon by her family members.
10. Writing on the wall: To mean that there are clear signs that something will fail.
Example: The company owner read the writing on the wall and closed down the factory.
11. Up and doing: active; busy
Example: A normal young person wants to be up and doing.
12. Tall order: An unreasonable or difficult demand
Example: Asking me to wake up at 6 a.m. is a pretty tall order.
13. Palmy days: prosperous
Example: They knew Sushmitha in her palmy days when she was living high.
14. No love lost: There is a mutual dislike between two people.
Example: There is no love lost between the family members.
15. Out and Out: complete; total
Example: That was an out-and-out lie!
16. Hornet’s nest: A troublesome situation.
Example: The author stirred up hornet's nest by referring to changes in the government.
17. In a fix: In a difficult or embarrassing situation, in a dilemma.
Example: I was really in a fix when I missed the train.
18. Fish in troubled waters: Try to take advantage of a confused situation
Example: Akhil often buys up stock in companies declaring bankruptcy, fishing in troubled waters generally works.
19. Fly off the handle: to lose one's temper suddenly and unexpectedly.
Example: You have to be very careful because Tanmay flies off the handle very easily.
20. Fabian policy: To one which is delayed and cautious.
Example: Politicians generally follow a Fabian policy in order to keep the people satisfied.
21. Gain ground: Get closer to something that is ahead in a competitive situation.
Example: The Congress party is gaining ground in the Eastern states.
22. Feather in one’s cap: An achievement or honour that someone can be proud of.
Example: This victory was another feather in his cap.
23. Flash in the pan: A thing or person whose sudden but brief success is not repeated.
Example: The company was just a flash in the pan with only one successful project in 2016.
24. Ever and Anon: occasionally.
Example: Akash visits his friends ever and anon.
25. Damp squib: something that is disappointing because it is not as exciting or effective as expected.
Example: After all that media attention, the tournament turned out to be a damp squib, with very few people attending.