Commonly Used Idioms – Part 2

One can never have enough of spicy English Idioms. So here is the second part for the list of idioms.

Idiom Meaning Sentence
Bat an eyelid To not show any shock or surprise With both the eurozone and US in economic doldrums,aid from these sources have dried up; hence African nations do not bat an eyelid while accepting Chinese aid,which comes with strings attached.
Strings attached Special demands or constrains
At the crack of dawn Very early in the morning He used to get up at the crack of the dawn to study for his exams.
An apple of discord The root cause of a fight The ancestral property was the apple of discord between the two brothers.
Fall off the back of a lorry Something that is very cheap or acquired in a dishonest way or stolen. This laptop is very cheap. Did it fall of the back of a lorry?
Get an earful To have a lot to listen,often used for criticism and unwanted suggestions Modi got an earful for remark that Bangladesh PM is fighting terror ‘despite being a woman’.
On a knife edge In a difficult situation and worried about future Talks between Nitish and Lalu appears to be on a knife’s edge.
To cut corners When something is done badly to save money If a company tries to cut corners on quality, it risks losing customers.
Let the cat out of the bag To reveal information that was previously concealed He let the cat out of the bag and told us about his girlfriend.
An eagle’s eye If someone has an eagle’s eye, he/she has very accurate vision My father has an eagle’s eye– he saw the small dent on the rear of the car.
A left handed compliment a remark which seems approving but which is also negative The senator said that her opponent was quite competent for someone so inexperienced; you hear nothing but left-handed compliments in these debates
Wax and wane to increase and then decrease, as the phases of the moon. Voter sentiment about the tax proposal waxes and wanes with each passing day.
Turn the other cheek to ignore abuse or an insult When she yelled at him, he turned the other cheek.
Carve a niche To create one’s own style or position Actor R Madhavan has managed to carve a niche for himself both in the Southern film industry and Bollywood
Bone of contention Point of argument The question of a fence between the houses has become quite a bone of contention between the neighbors.
Spill the beans to give away a secret or a surprise. There is a surprise party for Heidi on Wednesday. Please don’t spill the beans. Paul already spilled the beans about Heidi’s party.

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