Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

you’ve made your bed

you’ve made your bed, now lie in it

or you’ve made your bed , you’ll have to lie in it

Meaning

  • to make a decision and to accept the consequences of those decisions
  • to have  done something in the past which is either good or bad and to bear the ramifications of it
  • to accept and bear the repugnant results of the deeds committed by oneself

Example Sentences

  1. Don’t come back when it is all over and you have nowhere to go. Once you’ve made your bed , you’ll have to lie in it.
  2. You can’t go back to them when this does not work out. I’m warning you because you’ve made your bed and you’ll have to lie in it.
  3. My mother always told me to make the right choices because once you make your bed, you have to lie in it.
  4. The mistakes you made are all yours. You’ve made your bed and now lie in it.
  5. You could have only looked out for her, you couldn’t have chosen her life for her. She has made her bed and she’ll have to lie in it. There is nothing you can do about it.
  6. Having cheated on his wife of 25 years, David knew he had made a mistake but he also knew he had made his bed and would have to lie in it.

Origin

The origin of this idiom isn’t known yet.

yes man

yes man

Meaning

  • a person who only agrees with the crowd or a group of people in order to please them or look good in front of them
  • individuals who do not really put any thought in what the other people are saying but simply agrees in order to impress them
  • people who are believed to be spinelessly and cannot stand up for their own views, but rather brainlessly follow the person with power or a person in charge
  • a person who will just agree with their supervisor irrespective of their own views

Example Sentences

  1. You really can’t trust what Donald might say in front of the boss. Everyone knows that he is just a yes man and I am not even sure if he has his own views on anything.
  2. Well, I think that he is just a yes man and does not have the strength to say what he actually feels in front of his wife. He will just agree with her.
  3. I don’t want you to be just a yes man but rather have your own views on things as well.
  4. He is just a yes man, trust me I have been working with him for 5 years. He will only say what the boss wants to hear.

Origin

The idiom yes-men originated from Rome when Julius Caesar was furious at his council of lawyers for their denial to give him correct answers. He had his lawyers killed which led to more years being added to his punishment and eventually led to his death by lions which was painful and gruesome.

your call

your call

Meaning

  • to leave a decision on  another person
  • when someone else takes the final call of what has to be done or decides the same
  • when someone else regulates what has to be done  or someone else finalises the decision

Example Sentences

  1. I don’t really care where we go right now for dinner. It’s your call.
  2. I suggest that we use the funds to make new parks for under privileged children but it is your call in the end.
  3. He said, “I am not sure about this article yet. I don’t think it is ready to be published.” She replied, “Okay. It’s your call.”
  4. “Well, I have shown you both the sides to it – It’s your call.” Everything has its pros and cons in the end.
  5. It totally depends on you if  accept or refuse his proposal to be Manager. It’s your call.
  6. “Do you want to leave now or rest for some time before that? It’s your call, I don’t mind either way”
  7. Would never go ahead and do such a thing, but it’s your call.
  8. You know it’s your call if you want to watch a movie or go for dinner with me tonight. I’ll be fine with anything as far as we are together.
  9. I don’t know why but I just can’t decide on one thing here because it’s all so messed up. It’s your call. I just can’t think of anything.

Origin

Currently we are unable to locate the origin of this idiomatic expression. If you’ve something about it’s origin please share in comments.

prick ears up

prick ears up

also prick up ears

Meaning

  • listen carefully
  • begin to listen attentively
  • become very alert and start listening
  • start to listen with full attention

Example Sentences

  1. She pricked up her ears when she heard her name being mentioned by the group chatting animatedly at the corner.
  2. His ears pricked up when he heard the word “incentive” during the otherwise boring all employees’ meet.
  3. He pricked up his ears when he overheard a juicy bit of gossip being discussed at the office lobby.
  4. He pricked up his ears when he heard that they were going away for a vacation to a place he had always wanted to go to.
  5. An interesting piece of news always gets everyone to prick their ears up and listen carefully.
  6. Jeff pricked his ears up when he heard his wife’s name being mentioned.
  7. Everyone pricked up their ears when the announcement about the new policy came in.

Origin

The phrase alludes to the ability of some animals like dogs and horses to lift their ears in order to hear more clearly. It has been in use since the 1500s-1600s. An early reference is found in Francis Bacon’s Essays – On Fame in 1626.

pig in a poke

pig in a poke

Meaning

  • something that is bought without examining properly
  • an offer or deal that is accepted without properly evaluating it first
  • buying something without looking at it

Example Sentences

  1. If you buy a used car without examining it thoroughly first, you might end up buying a pig in a poke.
  2. Though online shopping has gained huge popularity, it can sometimes be something of a pig in a poke, as you cannot see what really you are buying.
  3. Instead of trusting your agent and ending up buying a pig in a poke, why don’t you go and have a look at it first?
  4. I am afraid if I accept that offer, I might end up with a pig in a poke.
  5. I am not closing that deal until I have all the details of what they are offering. I don’t want to end up having got a pig in a poke.
  6. The package I bought turned out to a pig in a poke.

Origin

The phrase is quite an ancient one and has been used in the literal sense. A poke is a sack or a bag. The idiom implies that if a a pig is bought when it is in a poke, or bag, the customer might be cheated. Written citations of the phrase have been found since the mid 1500s.

zip your lip

zip your lip

Meaning

  • to stop talking
  • to stay calm
  • to stay hush
  • to remain secret or silent

Example Sentences

  1. Why don’t you just zip your lip, I am tired of being nagged all morning.
  2. And then the politician asked them all to zip their lips as he wanted to state his point first.
  3. Zipping your lip is one difficult task for a fellow to likes to speak his heart out.
  4. It is almost impossible to zip your lip when you are in the company of family or friends.
  5. The manager asked all those who disagreed with the new rule  about shortening of the lunch breaks to zip their lips.
  6. I once saw an old lady being bad mouthed by some thieves but I just zipped my lip as I was too scared to do anything about it.
  7. Anyone who wishes to stop talking should just zip their lip.
  8. I am going to zip my lip at dad’s place on Monday and you can go ahead and explain why we need the extra 2000 bucks.
  9. I zipped my lip for the entire presentation until I was forced to speak my Mrs. Shukla.
  10. She zipped her lip at the meeting yesterday, as it was pointless saying anything.

Origin

Earlier this idiom was used in 1868 as ‘button your lips’ because during that period of time buttons were used to close things. After Zippers started being used this idiom was modified to ‘zip your lip’ by the people. The use of this idiom can be traced back to 1943.

yellow streak

yellow streak

Meaning

  • people who  have an inclination towards being fainthearted.
  • referring to a cowardly trait in a person’s temperament.
  • a  fault or a weak trait in a person’s disposition.
  • used for people who aren’t courageous.

Example Sentences

  1. Ginna’s got a yellow streak which shows up the moment she is asked to stand up against Nick.
  2. Why don’t you just go and get rid of the yellow streak, huh?
  3. “Hard luck for the people who have a yellow streak because we will show no mercy today soldiers!”
  4. Why don’t you show these people that even a person with a yellow streak  like your’s can trek through this mountain terrain?
  5. “I need to get rid of this yellow streak somehow,” she muttered, wiping the tears in her eyes.
  6. My cousin says that his yellow streak is a plus point for him as it keeps him sane and saves him from getting into any trouble.
  7. They say that Edward has a yellow streak but trust me I have seen nothing but courage in him?

Origin

The origin of this Idiom is from the European culture in which color yellow is linked to being cowardly or craven. The idioms yellow-bellied or just yellow are also used for fainthearted people or for people who aren’t brave.

year-round

year-round

Meaning

  • happening in continuation throughout the whole year
  • taking place as much as possible through the year

Example Sentences

  1. The park provides free food for orphans year-round as a service to the God and humanity.
  2. Huggies gave them a year-round supply of diapers so that it could be distributed amongst the poor in that area.
  3. The FBI headquarters operate year-round to keep crime rates to a minimum.
  4. 50 seats are reserved for exchange students year-round.
  5. There was a year-round supply of goods, food, utensils and clothes by the king in the memory of his beloved wife Maria.
  6. We have hospital beds reserved for pneumonia patients, cancer patients, pregnant females and twenty percent reservation in case of an epidemic year-round.
  7. She prayed to the gods for rain all year-round as she believed that her prayers would be answered and there would be harvest in the fields again.
  8. Himachal Pradesh has a cold and pleasant climate and skiing on the snow-covered mountains  year-round which are an attraction for all the tourists.
  9. The year-round bill for the usage of AC’s during summer season and heaters during the winter season in India is astronomical and it leaves a very negative impact on the environment and influences global warming.

Origin

The idiom was first used in 1924.

unring the bell

unring the bell

Meaning

  • once something has been done you cannot run away from it, you can only face the aftermath
  • ramifications have to be withstood whenever something is done
  • we cannot take back something once said or done.

Example Sentences

  1. Remember Tom, you cannot unring the bell once you have sent out that mail.
  2. Once he was done screaming at his old parents for all the pain they had caused him, he realized that there was no unringing the bell now.
  3. It often happens to me that I say some really awful things to my mother even though I love her and I realize that there is no unringing the bell now.
  4. If only we could unring the bell, this world would be a better place to live in.
  5. You can only learn from the mistakes that you make and not repeat them again because unringing the bell is not an option.

Origin

The earliest use of the idiom unring the bell  was in the Oregon Supreme Court case of State v. Rader, argued on May 9, 1912, decided on May 28, 1912.This idiom is sometimes used in jury trials  to describe the judge’s instructions to the jury to ignore inadmissible evidence and statements they come across in trials.

young turk

young turk

Meaning

  • a young person who has many new ideas and wants a reform
  • a young person eager for rigorous re-order to the established order.
  • a member of one or more of the insurgent groups in Turkey in the late 19th century who rebelled against Ottoman’s rule
  • a young person who is defiant and insubordinate to dominate in a company, team or organization.

Example Sentences

  1. The beginning of the young turk’s party was after they started becoming organized and confident of their power and abilities.
  2. It is a very famous saying that the young turk could conquer the hearts of beautiful girls even as their enemy.
  3. The thought of leaving his mother and family in order to fight a war which was not even his truly saddened the young turk .
  4. Shivaji Maharaj was a young turk that could not be tamed and he thirsted glory and victory in all his wars.

Origin

The origin of this Idiom can be traced back to as early as 1929 when a group of people who were fervent  about reforms were known as ‘Young Turks’. The figurative expression of the idiom ‘young turks’  means ‘the new breed, impatient for change’.The Three Pashas – Mehmed Talaat (aged 34 in 1908), Ismail Enver (27) and Ahmed Djemal (36), were called the ‘Young Turks’ because they were members of Turkish Nationalist party and led the Turkish revolution of 1908.The idiom was later used by  American President Churchill when he disagreed with some of Prime Minister’s argument.He said,”You’re just like the Young Turks in my government.”.

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