Structure: Idioms

An idiom is a phrase or group of words whose meaning cannot be deduced from the individual meanings of the words in the phrase. The following are few examples of idiomatic expressions.

  1. To play the ostrich – avoiding reality or danger
  2. To play God – to act like you all-powerful
  3. To leave no stone unturned – to do everything possible
  4. To be an edge – to be hot tempered
  5. Icing on the cake – sample of the real thing
  6. To keep the flag flying – maintain a good impression
  7. To lead a dog’s life – to live in misery
  8. To keep body and soul together – to survive
  9. To cook the books – to falsify accounts
  10. In the red – in debt, going bankrupt
  11. A fair weather friend – an unfaithful friend
  12. Chicken hearted/ liver-hearted – cowardly
  13. Feather brain – foolish
  14. Eagle-eyed – very good sight/very observant.



Write our five more idiomatic expressions with their meanings.


  1. Vocabulary Development: Words Associated with Politics and Government, pg
  • Manifesto – programme of action, policy of a party.
  • Ballot-box – box into which voters put their ballot papers.
  • Suffrage – right to vote in a national election.
  • Primaries – first stages of party election to select a candidate.
  • Nomination – act of naming a candidate for a poster office
  • Aspirant – someone who desires to hold a political office.
  • Rigging – manipulating the votes to favour one candidate.
  • Votes – opportunities to indicate a choice of leader.
  • Election – choosing by vote
  • Ballot – voting, votes
  • Sovereign – self-governing, independent
  • Party – association of people with political aim.



Use five of the words above in sentences


  1. Essay Writing: Descriptive Essay: A festival I like.


  • Identify the festival
  • Mention when and where it is celebrated
  • Explain why it is celebrated
  • Discuss the preparation for this festival
  • Describe the costumes (if any) used for it.
  • Explain the processes/events logically.
  • Highlight its significance/special features
  • Mention what you like about it and why
  • Conclude with a captivating remark.



Write a descriptive essay on the outlined topic above.



  1. Define idioms giving copious examples for them.
  2. Write out five other words peculiar to government and politics.




Write out the meanings of the following idioms.

  1. The teacher was talking over the student’s head.
  2. I couldn’t make a head or tail of what he was saying.
  3. Davies burnt his fingers in the business deal.
  4. Don’t take me for a ride.
  5. You should set your teeth for this cause


See also

Vocabulary Development: Hotel & Catering

Speech Sounds /I/ and /I:/ contrasted

Vocabulary Development: Words Associated with Films and TV

Structure: Adjectival Clause

Essay Writing: Story Writing

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