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English (Precis & Composition) A test designed to assess the candidates' ability to handle Grammatical Structures,Reading, Comprehension,Analysis,Precis Writing and Composition

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Old Wednesday, August 24, 2011
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Thumbs up Most Important Idioms

A

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush:
Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything.

A Blessing In Disguise:
Something good that isn't recognized at first.

A Chip On Your Shoulder:
Being upset for something that happened in the past.

A Dime A Dozen:
Anything that is common and easy to get.

A Doubting Thomas:
A skeptic who needs physical or personal evidence in order to believe something.

A Drop in the Bucket:
A very small part of something big or whole.

A Fool And His Money Are Easily Parted:
It's easy for a foolish person to lose his/her money.

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand:
Everyone involved must unify and function together or it will not work out.

A Leopard Can't Change His Spots:
You cannot change who you are.

A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned:
By not spending money, you are saving money (little by little).

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words:
A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.

A Piece of Cake:
A task that can be accomplished very easily.

A Slap on the Wrist:
A very mild punishment.

A Taste Of Your Own Medicine:
When you are mistreated the same way you mistreat others.

A Toss-Up:
A result that is still unclear and can go either way.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words:
It's better to actually do something than just talk about it.

Add Fuel To The Fire:
Whenever something is done to make a bad situation even worse than it is.

Against The Clock:
Rushed and short on time.

All Bark And No Bite:
When someone is threatening and/or aggressive but not willing to engage in a fight.

All Greek to me:
Meaningless and incomprehensible like someone who cannot read, speak, or understand any of the Greek language would be.

All In The Same Boat:
When everyone is facing the same challenges.

An Arm And A Leg:
Very expensive. A large amount of money.

An Axe To Grind:
To have a dispute with someone.

Apple of My Eye:
Someone who is cherished above all others.

As High As A Kite:
Anything that is high up in the sky.

At The Drop Of A Hat:
Willing to do something immediately.


B

Back Seat Driver:
People who criticize from the sidelines, much like someone giving unwanted advice from the back seat of a vehicle to the driver.

Back To Square One:
Having to start all over again.

Back To The Drawing Board:
When an attempt fails and it's time to start all over.

Baker's Dozen:
Thirteen.

Barking Up The Wrong Tree:
A mistake made in something you are trying to achieve.

Beat A Dead Horse:
To force an issue that has already ended.

Beating Around The Bush:
Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.

Bend Over Backwards:
Do whatever it takes to help. Willing to do anything.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place:
Stuck between two very bad options.

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew:
To take on a task that is way to big.

Bite Your Tongue:
To avoid talking.

Blood Is Thicker Than Water:
The family bond is closer than anything else.

Blue Moon:
A rare event or occurance.

Break A Leg:
A superstitious way to say 'good luck' without saying 'good luck', but rather the opposite.

Buy A Lemon:
To purchase a vehicle that constantly gives problems or stops running after you drive it away.



C

Can't Cut The Mustard :
Someone who isn't adequate enough to compete or participate.

Cast Iron Stomach:
Someone who has no problems, complications or ill effects with eating anything or drinking anything.

Charley Horse:
Stiffness in the leg / A leg cramp.

Chew someone out:
Verbally scold someone.

Chip on his Shoulder:
Angry today about something that occured in the past.

Chow Down:
To eat.

Close but no Cigar:
To be very near and almost accomplish a goal, but fall short.

Cock and Bull Story:
An unbelievable tale.

Come Hell Or High Water:
Any difficult situation or obstacle.

Crack Someone Up:
To make someone laugh.

Cross Your Fingers:
To hope that something happens the way you want it to.

Cry Over Spilt Milk:
When you complain about a loss from the past.

Cry Wolf:
Intentionally raise a false alarm.

Cup Of Joe:
A cup of coffee.

Curiosity Killed The Cat:
Being Inquisitive can lead you into a dangerous situation.

Cut to the Chase:
Leave out all the unnecessary details and just get to the point.



D

Dark Horse:
One who was previously unknown and is now prominent.

Dead Ringer:
100% identical. A duplicate.

Devil's Advocate:
Someone who takes a position for the sake of argument without believing in that particular side of the arguement. It can also mean one who presents a counter argument for a position they do believe in, to another debater.

Dog Days of Summer:
The hottest days of the summer season.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch:
Don't rely on it until your sure of it.

Don't Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth:
When someone gives you a gift, don't be ungrateful.

Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket:
Do not put all your resources in one possibility.

Doozy:
Something outstanding.

Down To The Wire:
Something that ends at the last minute or last few seconds.

Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures:
When you are extremely desperate you need to take extremely desperate actions.

Drink like a fish:
To drink very heavily.

Drive someone up the wall:
To irritate and/or annoy very much.

Dropping Like Flies:
A large number of people either falling ill or dying.

Dry Run:
Rehearsal.



E

Eighty Six:
A certain item is no longer available. Or this idiom can also mean, to throw away.

Elvis has left the building:
The show has come to an end. It's all over.

Ethnic Cleansing:
Killing of a certain ethnic or religious group on a massive scale.

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining:
Be optomistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink:
Almost everything and anything has been included.

Excuse my French:
Please forgive me for cussing.

Cock and Bull Story:
An unbelievable tale.

Cock and Bull Story:
An unbelievable tale.



F

Feeding Frenzy:
An aggressive attack on someone by a group.

Field Day:
An enjoyable day or circumstance.

Finding Your Feet:
To become more comfortable in whatever you are doing.

Finger lickin' good:
A very tasty food or meal.

Fixed In Your Ways:
Not willing or wanting to change from your normal way of doing something.

Flash In The Pan:
Something that shows potential or looks promising in the beginning but fails to deliver anything in the end.

Flea Market:
A swap meet. A place where people gather to buy and sell inexpensive goods.

Flesh and Blood:
This idiom can mean living material of which people are made of, or it can refer to someone's family.

Flip The Bird:
To raise your middle finger at someone.

Foam at the Mouth:
To be enraged and show it.

Fools' Gold:
Iron pyrites, a worthless rock that resembles real gold.

French Kiss:
An open mouth kiss where tongues touch.

From Rags To Riches:
To go from being very poor to being very wealthy.

Fuddy-duddy:
An old-fashioned and foolish type of person.

Full Monty:
This idiom can mean either, "the whole thing" or "completely nude".

Funny Farm:
A mental institutional facility.



G

Get Down to Brass Tacks:
To become serious about something.

Get Over It:
To move beyond something that is bothering you.

Get Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed:
Someone who is having a horrible day.

Get Your Walking Papers:
Get fired from a job.

Give Him The Slip:
To get away from. To escape.

Go Down Like A Lead Balloon:
To be received badly by an audience.

Go For Broke:
To gamble everything you have.

Go Out On A Limb:
Put yourself in a tough position in order to support someone/something.

Go The Extra Mile:
Going above and beyond whatever is required for the task at hand.

Good Samaritan:
Someone who helps others when they are in need, with no discussion for compensation, and no thought of a reward.

Graveyard Shift:
Working hours from about 120 am to 80 am. The time of the day when most other people are sleeping.

Great Minds Think Alike:
Intelligent people think like each other.

Green Room:
The waiting room, especially for those who are about to go on a tv or radio show.

Gut Feeling:
A personal intuition you get, especially when feel something may not be right.



H

Haste Makes Waste:
Quickly doing things results in a poor ending.

Hat Trick:
When one player scores three goals in the same hockey game. This idiom can also mean three scores in any other sport, such as 3 homeruns, 3 touchdowns, 3 soccer goals, etc.

Have an Axe to Grind:
To have a dispute with someone.

He Lost His Head:
Angry and overcome by emotions.

Head Over Heels:
Very excited and/or joyful, especially when in love.

Hell in a Handbasket:
Deteriorating and headed for complete disaster.

High Five:
Slapping palms above each others heads as celebration gesture.

High on the Hog:
Living in Luxury.

Hit The Books:
To study, especially for a test or exam.

Hit The Hay:
Go to bed or go to sleep.

Hit The Nail on the Head:
Do something exactly right or say something exactly right.

Hit The Sack:
Go to bed or go to sleep.

Hocus Pocus:
In general, a term used in magic or trickery.

Hold Your Horses:
Be patient.



I

Icing On The Cake:
When you already have it good and get something on top of what you already have.

Idle Hands Are The Devil's Tools:
You are more likely to get in trouble if you have nothing to do.

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another:
When one thing goes wrong, then another, and another...

In Like Flynn:
To be easily successful, especially when sexual or romantic.

In The Bag:
To have something secured.

In The Buff:
Nude.

In The Heat Of The Moment:
Overwhelmed by what is happening in the moment.

In Your Face:
An aggressive and bold confrontation.

It Takes Two To Tango:
A two person conflict where both people are at fault.

It's A Small World:
You frequently see the same people in different places.

Its Anyone's Call:
A competition where the outcome is difficult to judge or predict.

Ivy League:
Since 1954 the Ivy League has been the following universities: Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Yale, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Harvard.



J

Jaywalk:
Crossing the street (from the middle) without using the crosswalk.

Joshing Me:
Tricking me.



K

Keep An Eye On Him:
You should carefully watch him.

Keep body and soul together:
To earn a sufficient amount of money in order to keep yourself alive .

Keep your chin up:
To remain joyful in a tough situation.

Kick The Bucket:
Die.

Kitty-corner:
Diagonally across. Sometimes called Catty-Corner as well.

Knee Jerk Reaction:
A quick and automatic response.

Knock On Wood:
Knuckle tapping on wood in order to avoid some bad luck.

Know the Ropes:
To understand the details.



L

Last but not least:
An introduction phrase to let the audience know that the last person mentioned is no less important than those introduced before him/her.

Lend Me Your Ear:
To politely ask for someone's full attention.

Let Bygones Be Bygones:
To forget about a disagreement or arguement.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie:
To avoid restarting a conflict.

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag:
To share a secret that wasn't suppose to be shared.

Level playing field:
A fair competition where no side has an advantage.

Like a chicken with its head cut off:
To act in a frenzied manner.

liquor someone up:
To get someone drunk.

Long in the Tooth:
Old people (or horses).

Loose Cannon:
Someone who is unpredictable and can cause damage if not kept in check.



M

Make No Bones About:
To state a fact so there are no doubts or objections.

Method To My Madness:
Strange or crazy actions that appear meaningless but in the end are done for a good reason.

Mumbo Jumbo:
Nonsense or meaningless speech.

Mum's the word:
To keep quiet. To say nothing.



N

Nest Egg:
Savings set aside for future use.

Never Bite The Hand That Feeds You:
Don't hurt anyone that helps you.

New kid on the block:
Someone new to the group or area.

New York Minute:
A minute that seems to go by quickly, especially in a fast paced environment.

No Dice:
To not agree. To not accept a proposition.

No Room to Swing a Cat:
An unsually small or confined space.

Not Playing With a Full Deck:
Someone who lacks intelligence.



O

Off On The Wrong Foot:
Getting a bad start on a relationship or task.

Off The Hook:
No longer have to deal with a tough situation.

Off the Record:
Something said in confidence that the one speaking doesn't want attributed to him/her.

On Pins And Needles:
Anxious or nervous, especially in anticipation of something.

On The Fence:
Undecided.

On The Same Page:
When multiple people all agree on the same thing.

Out Of The Blue:
Something that suddenly and unexpectedly occurs.

Out On A Limb:
When someone puts themself in a risky situation.

Out On The Town:
To enjoy yourself by going out.

Over My Dead Body:
When you absolutely will not allow something to happen.

Over the Top:
Very excessive.



P

Pass The Buck:
Avoid responsibility by giving it to someone else.

Pedal to the metal:
To go full speed, especially while driving a vehicle.

Peeping Tom:
Someone who observes people in the nude or sexually active people, mainly for his own gratification.

Pick up your ears:
To listen very carefully.

Pig In A Poke:
A deal that is made without first examining it.

Pig Out :
To eat alot and eat it quickly.

Pipe Down:
To shut-up or be quiet.

Practice Makes Perfect:
By constantly practicing, you will become better.

Pull the plug:
To stop something. To bring something to an end.

Pulling Your Leg:
Tricking someone as a joke.

Put a sock in it:
To tell noisy person or a group to be quiet.



Q

Queer the pitch:
Destroy or ruin a plan.



R

Raincheck:
An offer or deal that is declined right now but willing to accept later.

Raining Cats and Dogs:
A very loud and noisy rain storm.

Ring Fencing:
Seperated usual judgement to guarantee protection, especially project funds.

Rise and Shine:
Time to get out of bed and get ready for work/school.

Rome Was Not Built In One Day:
If you want something to be completely properly, then its going to take time.

Rule Of Thumb:
A rough estimate.

Run out of steam:
To be completely out of energy.



S

Saved By The Bell:
Saved at the last possible moment.

Scapegoat:
Someone else who takes the blame.

Scot-free:
To escape and not have to pay.

Sick As A Dog:
To be very sick (with the flu or a cold).

Sitting Shotgun:
Riding in the front passenger seat of a car.

Sixth Sense:
A paranormal sense that allows you to communicate with the dead.

Skid Row:
The rundown area of a city where the homeless and drug users live.

Smell A Rat:
To detect somone in the group is betraying the others.

Smell Something Fishy:
Detecting that something isn't right and there might be a reason for it.

Son of a Gun:
A scamp.

Southpaw:
Someone who is left-handed.

Spitting Image:
The exact likeness or kind.

Start From Scratch:
To do it all over again from the beginning.



T

The Ball Is In Your Court:
It is your decision this time.

The Best Of Both Worlds:
There are two choices and you have them both.

The Bigger They Are The Harder They Fall:
While the bigger and stronger opponent might be alot more difficult to beat, when you do they suffer a much bigger loss.

The Last Straw:
When one small burden after another creates an unbearable situation, the last straw is the last small burden that one can take.

The Whole Nine Yards:
Everything. All of it.

Third times a charm:
After no success the first two times, the third try is a lucky one.

Tie the knot:
To get married.

Til the cows come home:
A long time.

To Make A Long Story Short:
Something someone would say during a long and boring story in order to keep his/her audience from losing attention. Usually the story isn't shortened.

To Steal Someone's Thunder:
To take the credit for something someone else did.

Tongue And Cheek:
humor, not to be taken serious.

Turn A Blind Eye:
Refuse to acknowledge something you know is real or legit.

Twenty three skidoo:
To be turned away.



U

Under the weather:
Feeling ill or sick.

Up a blind alley:
Going down a course of action that leads to a bad outcome.

Use Your Loaf:
Use your head. Think smart.



V

Van Gogh's ear for music:
Tone deaf.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life:
The more experiences you try the more exciting life can be.



W

Wag the Dog:
A diversion away from something of greater importance.

Water Under The Bridge:
Anything from the past that isn't significant or important anymore.

Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve:
To openly and freely express your emotions.

When It Rains, It Pours:
Since it rarely rains, when it does it will be a huge storm.

When Pigs Fly :
Something that will never ever happen.

Wild and Woolly:
Uncultured and without laws.

Wine and Dine:
When somebody is treated to an expensive meal.

Without A Doubt:
For certain.


X

X marks the spot:
A phrase that is said when someone finds something he/she has been looking for.



Y

You Are What You Eat:
In order to stay healthy you must eat healthy foods.

You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover:
Decisions shouldn't be made primarily on appearance.

You Can't Take it With You:
Enjoy what you have and not what you don't have, since when you die you cannot take things (such as money) with you.

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine:
I have no idea.



Z

Zero Tolerance:
No crime or law breaking big or small will be overlooked.
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Main ne Allah Ko apney iraadon ke totney se pehchana hay...!!
Hazrat Ali (R.A)
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  #2  
Old Thursday, February 21, 2013
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Good work. Thanks
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Old Thursday, February 21, 2013
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seniors is it necessary to write meanings of idioms and pair of words or only we have to use them in sentences to bring out their meanings?
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  #4  
Old Thursday, February 21, 2013
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You should do as directed by the examiner... Mostly they ask " Use any five of the following idioms in your own sentences " , in this situation you need not to write the meaning but your sentences should be such as that the meaning of idiom/pair of words become clear. simply you have to give such an impression to the examiner that you know the meaning of idioms/pair of words....
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