1. Cock and bull story – an unbelievable tale. Example- She started to tell some cock and bull story to the police officers about how she found a huge bag containing 5 pounds of gold.
2. Ethnic cleansing – killing of a certain ethnic or religious group on a massive scale. Example- The horror of ethnic cleansing was shown on TV screens across the world last week.
3. Get your walking papers – get fired from a job. Example- It was Vogel’s turn to get his walking papers from the board of directors.
4. Haste makes waste – quickly doing things resulting in a poor ending. Example- Do not try to finish them too quickly-remember, haste makes waste.
5. As nice as nine pence – neat and tidy looking. Example- Bob’s home is as nice as nine pence ever since he has got married.
6. Gird up the line – to be ready. Example- Gird up the lion, we are going to get the benefits of GST.
7. As right as rain – perfect, healthy. Example- I’ll be as right as rain in a day or two .
8. Burn the midnight oil – to be working until late in the night. Example- The assignment was very lengthy so she was forced to burn the midnight oil to get it done on time.
9. Stir up a hornets’ nest – provoke trouble. Example- It is not that the management is not aware of few false bills here and there, but they don’t call it because it would expose many and stir up a hornet’s nest.
10. Back against the wall– be in a difficult situation from where escape is difficult. Example- With banks baying for his blood over default in payments, he has his back against the wall.
11. Keep someone at arm’s length– If you keep someone at arm’s length, you avoid becoming friendly with them. Example- I’ve more productive time in the day because I’ve developed this good habit of keeping video games at arm’s length.
12. Drive a hard bargain– if you drive a hard bargain, you argue hard to get a favorable deal. Example- The author tried to drive a hard bargain with the publisher on signing amount , but couldn’t because he didn’t have best sellers in his name.
13. Blow your own trumpet – If you blow your own trumpet, you tell people how good or successful you are (used in negative way). Example- The doctor can be so off-putting. He is always blowing his trumpet mentioning his awards and positions in various associations.
14. Break fresh/new ground – If you break new ground, you do something that was not done before. Example- Our scientists are breaking new ground in robotics and cancer research.
15. Against the clock – If you’re working against the clock, you’re working in great hurry. Example- With only half the syllabus studied, I raced against the clock to be ready for the exam on Monday.
16. On cloud nine– If you are on cloud nine , you’re very happy. Example- I was on cloud nine after receiving the news of my promotion.
17. Under a cloud – If you’re under a cloud, you’re under suspicion or in trouble. Example- The IP for our key technology has been leaked, and many in my team , including the manager , are under a cloud.
18. Small cog in a large wheel – someone or something that has a small role in a large setup or organization .Example- I work as a sales representative in a Fortune 500 company-just a small cog in a large wheel.
19. Boil the ocean – if you try to boil the ocean, you try to accomplish something too ambitious. Example- You expect our plant to manufacture 40,000 parts in a week. You’re trying to boil the ocean on this one.
20. Clear the decks – if you clear the decks for something, you remove all hurdles to get started on that work. Example- By sanctioning the budget and filling in the vacancies, the committee has cleared the decks for our new office.
21. Keep an ear to the ground – Be well informed of current trends, opinions, and happenings. Example- One of the main reasons for his success in business is that he keeps an ear to the ground to know what the customers want and why they’re dissatisfied with competing products.
22. Go against the grain – If an idea or action goes against the grain, you don’t do it or accept it because it is against your beliefs or principle. Example- It goes against the grain these days to use polythene bags as carry bags.
23. Move heaven and earth– make supreme effort. Example- I’ll move heaven and earth to finish in top 10 percentile in the exam.
24. Cut no ice– fail to influence or make an effect. Example- His reasons to get leave cut no ice with his manager.
25. Light at the end of the tunnel – if you see at the end of tunnel, you see signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time. Example- The business has started to gain momentum after months of struggle. We finally see light at the end of tunnel.