NOTE - Links of study notes on each topic (with examples and handy tips) have been provided at the bottom of the page. 

πŸ”˜ Like 'The Hindu Vocabulary' The Hindu idioms and phrases  are also being asked in various SSC, BANK exams.This compilation containing list of idioms picked up from 'The Hindu' newspaper,is prepared by experts keeping in mind the demand and  changing  pattern of the  SSC and Bank exams.We have provided you with relatable and awesome examples so that You get to memorize it as soon as you read it. 

Do check out another posts as well.Each and Every post of 'EnglishKendra' is prepared by the experts of EnglishKendra team keeping in mind the demand and changing pattern of SSC, BANK exams.


1) On the horns of dilemma 

Meaning  - If you are on the horns of dilemma, you have to choose between two things, both of which are unpleasant or difficult.

Example -  She was on the horns of dilemma in the matter of her marriage.

2) snow under 

Meaning - to overwhelm especially in excess of capacity to absorb or deal with something.

Example- Hrithik Roshan was snowed under with fan's mail after his first film 'Kaho naa pyar hain'. 


πŸ’―Click here for the compilation of VOCAB asked in bank (IBPS SBI RBI) exams 

3) Let someone off the hook 

Meaning - If someone gets off the hook or is let off the hook, they manage to get out of the awkward or unpleasant situation that they are in.

Example - Kangna had told a lie to get off the hook in a debate. 

4)Hogging the limelight 

Meaning - Making oneself the centre of attention to the exclusion of others

Example- She always tries to hog the limelight. 

πŸ’―Click here for the compilation of VOCAB asked in bank SSC CGL CHSL CPO exams 


5) Man of letters 

Meaning - a male scholar or author, a literary person

Example- Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was a man of letters. 

6) Carry the coal to new castle 

Meaning - spending time and energy in doing something that is useless.

Example - To offer him money is like carrying the coal to new castle as he is very rich. 

7) Pull the wool over somebody's eyes 

Meaning - to deceive, fool, or misdirect one,  especially to gain an advantage.

Example- Don't try to pull the wool over Twinkle's  eyes as she is very smart and an avid reader

8) Tick all the boxes - 

Meaning - to satisfy or fulfill everything that is necessary or desired.

Example - The upcoming movie 'Laxmi Bomb' of Akshay Kumar should tick all the right boxes for their many fans. 

πŸ’― click here for the Most Important questions from Direct and Indirect Speech with detailed explanation

9) At the eleventh hour 

Meaning - at the last moment; almost too late

Example- The director was making changes to the script at the eleventh hour - I mean, the audience were already in the hall!

10) Tie up (the) loose ends 

Meaning - to deal with the last few things that have to be done before you can finish something

Example- We have just got a few loose ends to tie up and then the movie will be released, says filmmaker. 

11) Lump sum 

Meaning - A 'lump sum' is a large amount of money you pay or receive all at once rather than in increments over a period of time.

Example- Alia Bhatt paid a lum sump to buy a house in Juhu, Mumbai. 

12) Pie in the sky 

Meaning - something that you hope will happen but is very unlikely to happen

Example- Their plans to set up their own business are just pie in the sky. 

13) Put up a brave front 

Meaning - to act confidently in a difficult situation

Example- Though he was unable to run because of injury, yet he put up a brave front in the race. 

14) The scheme of things 

Meaning - the way things are organised or happen in a particular situation, or the way someone wants them to be organised

Example- I was disappointed not to get a good job in the industry in the beginning,  but it was not that important in the grand scheme of things (= when all things are considered), says Kartik Aryan

15) A feather in one's cap

Meaning - an achievement to be proud of.

Example- Getting a government job of  rank-A would be a feather in my cap.

16) In tatters 

Meaning- damaged beyond repair

Example- After the world wars, the world economy was in tatters. 

17)Blow the lid off 

Meaning - to make something public that was previously not known or was hidden

Example- The investigation blew the lid off corruption involved in the construction of the bridge. 

18)To feel under the weather 

Meaning - to not feel well,  feeling sick

Example- I am feeling a bit under the weather, I think I am getting a cold. 

19) Hit the right note 

Meaning - say or do something in a way that is very suitable (or unsuitable) for a particular audience or occasion

Example- PM Modi hit the right note in his show Man ki baat. 

20) Doing the rounds 

Meaning - to be passed from one person to another

Example- Rumours about kartik Aryan's  affair with Tara Sutaria are doing the rounds. 

21) Keep something at bay 

Meaning - to control something and prevent it from causing your problems

Example- She fought to keep her unhappiness at bay. 

22) Sweat something out 

Meaning - to anxiously wait for something,  to get rid of something in one's body by sweating.

Example- you'll just have to sweat it out. There's no way to hurry it up. 

23) To burst the bubble 

Meaning - To disillusion; to disabuse someone of a false notion or rationalization that has grown comfortable.

Example- I hate to burst his bubble, but he is going to be disappointed if he tries that idea. 

24) Method to madness 

Meaning - a purpose in doing something that is seemingly crazy

Example- Aditya keeps talking to himself loudly, but he insists there is a method to his madness. 

25) Time flies when you are having fun 

Meaning - when you are enjoying something, time seems to move quickly.

Example- wow, it's midnight already? I feel like we just got here. Time flies when we are together. 

26) Hark back to 

Meaning - mention or remember (something from the past).

Example- Deepa is always harking back to how things used to be. 

28) Blow (or toot) one's own horn

Meaning - to emphasize  your own achievements and success to other people

Example- I don't mean to toot my own horn, but this chicken chilli I made is quite delicious!

29) Hold your horses 

Meaning - ''stay on'' or wait

Example- Just hold your horses sheetal! Let's think about this for a moment. 

30)Not playing with a full deck 

Meaning - mentally deficient.

Someone who lacks intelligence.

Example- This guy did not play the game with a full deck.

31) Finding a needle in a haystack 

Meaning - when something is very difficult to find

Example- Trying to get a new job these days is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. 

32) Cast pearls before swine

Meaning - a right thing in a wrong hand.

Example- She explained the beauty of music to him but it was casting pearls before swine. 

33) Scratch someone's back 

Meaning - to do someone a favour in hopes the favour will be returned.

Example- I will do your work if you get groceries for me; you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. 

34) Banana Republic 

Meaning - small, poor countries that are politically unstable are sometimes referred to as banana republics.

Example- The citizens fear that the country will become a banana republic if the government fails to curb the corruption. 

35) It takes two to tango 

Meaning - if you say it takes two or it takes two to tango, you mean that a situation or argument involves two people and they are both therefore responsible for it.

Example- Divorce is never the fault of one partner; it takes two to tango. 

36)  The last straw 

Meaning - the final act or insult; the act that finally calls for a response.

Example- That was the last straw when he came to office late for the 3rd consecutive day and fired. 

37) Come hell or high water. 

Meaning - no matter what happens.

Example- Kareena told Saif that she had planned her vacation since a year and she would be going for it, come hell or high water. 

38) Keep the wolf from the door 

Meaning - to have sufficient money to prevent starvation or hunger.

to do something that lets one to escape death by small margin.

Example - The beautiful lady is the mother of 3 kids and earns money by illegitimate means to keep the wolf from the door. 

39) Rest on your laurels 

Meaning - to be satisfied with your achievements and not to make an effort to do anything else

Example- Just because I have done the few successful films, I can't rest on my laurels, says Ranbir Kapoor.  

40) Not a spark of decency 

Meaning - no manners

Example- She has not a spark of decency. 

41) Wash one's dirty linen (or laundry) in public 

Meaning - discuss one's personal affairs in public.

Example- Sheetal washes all her husband's  dirty linen in public.  

42) Walk a tight rope 

Meaning - to be in a situation where one must be very cautious.

Example- Since there's been talk of layoffs, I have been walking a tightrope at work to prove how valuable I am. 

43) Get ducks in a row 

Meaning - getting your things well organised.

Example- To ensure a successful product launch, we must get our ducks in a row. 

44) To break the back of anything 

Meaning - to finish the main part or the hardest part of a piece of work// To perform the most difficult part

Example- when you take the SSC, you should break the back of the English first, since it  gives you the most trouble. 

45) Cook the books 

Meaning - to falsify financial records for a company or organization.

Example- My partner had been cooking the books for years, but because I was the CEO, I got the blame for our company's collapse. 

46) Lock, stock and barrel 

Meaning - including everything;completely

Example- The site is owned lock, stock and barrel by an oil company. 

πŸ’―Click here for the compilation of 20 frequently asked error detection rules /GRAMMAR RULES in BANK exams. 

πŸ’―Click here for the compilation of frequently asked ERROR DETECTION RULES /GRAMMAR RULES in SSC exams

πŸ’―Click here for the study notes on ADJECTIVE 
πŸ’―Click here for the study notes on VERB
πŸ’―Click here for the study notes on ADVERB 

πŸ’―Click here for the study notes on PREPOSITION 

πŸ’―Click here for the compilation of ALL ONE WORD SUBSTITUTIONS asked in SSC Exams

πŸ’―Click here for the compilation of ALL ANTONYMS asked in SSC Exams

πŸ’―Click here for the compilation of ALL SYNONYMS asked in SSC Exams

The Hindu Idioms and phrases The Hindu editorial idioms and phrases for bank ( IBPS, SBI, RBI) exams, for SSC exams, Englishkendra


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Note  :- The cloze/Closet tests available on EnglishKendra, have been prepared from  recent articles of newspapers(The Hindu, The Indian...

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