1. Break the ice:
- Meaning- To initiate a social conversation or interaction
- Sentence- At the start of the lecture, the new professor tried to break the ice by telling a joke.
2. Apple of one’s eye:
- Meaning- Being cherished more than others are
- Sentence- Sam is adored by his teacher for his childlike nature. He is the apple of her eye.
3. Golden handshake:
- Meaning- A big sum of money given to a person when he/she leaves a company or retires
- Sentence- The management of the company wanted to decrease their workforce. They offered a golden handshake to their aged employees.
4. Come hell or high water:
- Meaning- Possible obstacles in your path (will not stop you)
- Sentence- I have decided that come hell or high water I will become an engineer.
5. Piece of cake:
- Meaning- Something that is easy to understand or do
- Sentence- I thought that the problem would be tough, but it turned out to be a piece of cake!
6. Chip on your shoulder:
- Meaning- When someone is upset about something that happened a while ago
- Sentence- He has a chip on his shoulder for being abandoned by his parents in his childhood.
7. Cry over spilt milk:
- Meaning- Complaining about a loss or failure from the past
- Sentence- He was mad because he couldn’t clear the cut off due to a silly mistake. But, then he realized there was no use crying over spilt milk and decided to become more careful.
8. Once in a blue moon:
- Meaning- Something that happens very rarely
- Sentence- Once in a blue moon, the blue jay can be seen in these parts of the forest.
9. Bone of contention:
- Meaning- A subject or issue over which there is continuing disagreement
- Sentence- The examination system has long been a serious bone of contention in the HRD Ministry.
10. Eat humble pie:
- Meaning- To apologize humbly
- Sentence- He will have to eat humble pie for the disrespect shown to the Captain.
11. Fool’s paradise:
- Meaning- False sense of happiness or success
- Sentence- They were living in a fool’s paradise, refusing to accept that they were facing poverty.
12. Give cold shoulder:
- Meaning- To ignore
- Sentence- I sent her a message to apologize for my misbehavior, but she gave me the cold shoulder.
13. Get a raw deal:
- Meaning- To not be treated as well as other people
- Sentence- The fact is that students in government schools get a raw deal.
14. Hit the nail on the head:
- Meaning- To do the correct thing
- Sentence- She hit the nail on the head when she laid out a list of justifiable grievances she had with the company.
15. Hand to mouth:
- Meaning- live on only basic necessities
- Sentence- The severe drought led the farmers to live hand to mouth.
16. Hit the bull’s eye:
- Meaning- To be exactly right about something or achieve the best result possible.
- Sentence- The detective hit the bull’s eye when he figured out that nobody but the doctor could have had access to the poison.
17. Let the cat out of the bag:
- Meaning- To reveal the secret carelessly or by mistake
- Sentence- Now that she had let the cat out of the bag, she had no option but to confess.
18. Make a face:
- Meaning- To show dislike or disappointment through facial expressions
- Sentence- Little Stella made a face at the sight of bitter gourd in her food.
19. Open Pandora’s Box:
- Meaning- To find a source of great troubles and problems
- Sentence- Finding the wallet on the road opened up a Pandora’s box. I was arrested for stealing when I went to report it at the police station.
20. It’s Greek to me
- Meaning- Something that is not understandable
- Sentence- I failed my commerce test; it was all Greek to me!
21. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket:
- Meaning- Do not put all your resources in one basket.
- Sentence- The boy put all his money into his dream startup that eventually failed. I had told him not to put all his eggs in one basket.
22. To call a spade a spade:
- Meaning- To be brutally frank, outspoken, blunt in speech.
- Sentence- Let’s call a spade a spade – popular he may be, but that man is a liar.
23. To be a Good Samaritan:
- Meaning- To be kind and compassionate to someone in distress
- Sentence- I was sure I would be stuck on the highway till the morning, but a Good Samaritan offered me a ride home.
24. To put in a nutshell:
- Meaning- To say in a few words or to make something concise
- Sentence- The Textbook Development Committee decided to put the 30-page chapter, in a nutshell, to help save time for students during revision.
25. To pour oil on troubled waters:
- Meaning- To make peace
- Sentence- I am always stuck pouring oil on troubled waters when my mother and wife start their bickering.