Wednesday, March 23, 2011

English Idioms - Up to the Mark, Off Hand and On the Whole

English Idioms - Up to the Mark, Off Hand and On the Whole

1.       To make common cause with (to co-operate)
An up-right man always makes common cause with the forces of justice.
2.       To meet one’s Waterloo (to face complete ruin)
Germany met its Waterloo in World War II.
3.       To make the most of (put to the best use possible)
We must make the most of the fine weather.

4.       To the marrow (through and through)
He is a patriot to the marrow.
5.       Up to the mark (according to a fixed or required standard)
His performance is not up to the mark.
6.       Null and void (ineffective, cancelled)
This law has become null and void.
7.       Out of pocket (destitute; penniless)
He is out of pocket now.
8.       Out of the wood (free from danger)
I was out of the wood through the timely help of my friend.
9.       Off hand (without preparation)
I cannot give you the figures off hand.
10.   Olive-branch (a gesture of peace)
After a long war, the exhausted enemy held out the olive-branch.
11.   Order of the day (the current fashion)
Stiff collars are the order of the day for men.
12.   Once and for all (finally)
She told him, once and for all, that she would not marry him.
13.   On one’s last legs (on the verge of failure or exhaustion)
His business is on its last legs.
14.   On the spur of the moment (with preparation)
Though he spoke on the spur of the moment, his speech was a great success.
15.   On the whole (generally; mostly)
On the whole, it is a good novel.
16.   On the horns of a dilemma (in a fix)
He was on the horns of a dilemma and did not know what to do.
17.   Of the first water (excellent)
He is a singer of the first water.
18.   Off one’s head (crazy)
He talks as if he were off his head.
19.   Out of humour (displeased; in a bad mood)
Why are you out of humour today?
20.   On the look out (in search of)
He is on the look out for a good job.

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