Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

blazing row

blazing row

Meaning

  • a very angry argument
  • a big fight or quarrel
  • a noisy and verbal quarrel
  • an intense argument where both parties refuse to back down and are vengeful

Example Sentences

  1. After having a blazing row with his wife, he stormed out of the room and banged the door behind him.
  2. I think its best for them to separate. They are no good together and are having blazing rows with each other almost every day.
  3. The couple had a blazing row about the amount money spent on shopping in the middle of the shopping mall.
  4. The couple did not see eye to eye on most things and had blazing rows every now and then, but when it came to their child’s education, they usually agreed on what was best for him.
  5. Jim and Sally called off their wedding after they had a blazing row over their honeymoon destination.
  6. Andy cannot be reached since he stormed out of his house last night after having a blazing row with his wife.
  7. They had a blazing row with each other a couple of days back, but now they seem to have resolved their differences and are going good again.

Origin
The origin of this phrase is not known.

go through a rough patch

go through a rough patch

also go through a bad / difficult / sticky patch

Meaning

  • to experience a lot of problems in a period of life
  • be in the middle of a period of trouble
  • experience a difficult or unpleasant period of time
  • to face a lot of hardships during a period of time

Example Sentences

  1. They have usually been very supportive of each other, but right now, their marriage is going through a bit of a rough patch.
  2. Steve has been going through a rough patch lately – he has lost his job and his wife wants a divorce.
  3. All relationships go through a rough patch at some point or the other. The key is to work together to resolve the issues and not blame each other for what’s gone wrong.
  4. They are going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment, but I am sure they will get over it soon and work out a way to settle their differences.
  5. Their marriage went through a rough patch when he quit his job to try his hand at something new, but now, they love each other more than ever.
  6. Every now and then they go through a rough patch, but they manage to come out of it stronger every time.

Origin
The origin of the phrase is not known.

tie the knot

tie the knot

Meaning

  • to get married

Example Sentences

  1. They have been dating each other for quite some time now and are planning to tie the knot a few months from now.
  2. He tied the knot with his long time girlfriend in a quiet ceremony in his private farmhouse in his ancestral village.
  3. After five years of going around with each other, George and Mia have finally decided to tie the knot later this year.
  4. The celebrity couple tied the knot in a gala ceremony amidst huge fanfare and press coverage.
  5. I heard Chris and Tina will be tying the knot soon. Do you know what they have planned?
  6. If you really think he is perfect for you, why don’t you two plan to tie the knot soon?
  7. They tied the knot in a private ceremony and flew off to their honeymoon without much ado.

Origin
The word knot has been associated with marriage since very old times, with the first known occurrence in 1225. It is not clear whether the knot refers an actual knot being tied in marriage ceremonies or it is just a symbolic reference to two people being united. This exact expression was first recorded in 1717 by an English poet, Matthew Prior in his poem “Alma; or, The Progress of the Mind.”

get hitched

get hitched

Meaning

  • to get married

Example Sentences

  1. Have you heard? Marge and Sam are getting hitched this weekend.
  2. My new neighbours are my idea of an ideal couple. I’ve heard they got hitched pretty early in their lives and have been going strong ever since.
  3. I heard Claude and Julia got hitched last week all of a sudden. Don’t you think they were a bit hasty in their act?
  4. My friend and his fiancee are getting hitched next month and then they are going for a month long honeymoon to some exotic location.
  5. They were quite young when they got hitched and they had no clue as to what they were doing. Not surprisingly, they separated after a few years together.
  6. Did you really get hitched to her when you went on that trip together or is it only rumours that I am hearing?
  7. It’s been ages since you have been dating each other. When do you plan to get hitched?

Origin
The phrase originated in America and was initially used to describe tying horses to wagons, around the late 1500s to early 1600s. Later, it was used to describe two people getting married, implying that two  people were being tied together just like a horse is tied to a wagon.

cupboard love

cupboard love

Meaning

  • affection given in order to gain a reward
  • love shown by someone in order to get what they want
  • love given in order to get something from someone
  • a show of love inspired by some selfish or greedy motive
  • a show a love that stems from the hope of some gain
  • insincere or superficial love motivated by selfish interest

Example Sentences

  1. I had suspected all along that Jane’s affair with that man was just cupboard love. What she really liked about him was his big mansion and luxurious car.
  2. They children usually never pay much attention to the old man, though he tries to speak with them; but they show him a lot of cupboard love when he get some candies and chocolates for them.
  3. I believe its just cupboard love that holds them together. She loves the security he provides and he loves her great cooking.
  4. It’s cupboard love for sure between those two, but let’s hope it is good while it lasts.
  5. In a typical display of cupboard love, the child ran to her and jumped into her lap as soon as she brought out the toy she had got for him
  6. It’s cupboard love I know, but at least they will be fond of me for as long as I keep bringing them gifts.

Origin
This phrase originated in the mid 1700s. It derives from the way a cat shows superficial love for a person who feeds it, or for the cupboard that holds its food.

whet one’s appetite

whet one’s appetite

Meaning

  • A stimulation that causes you to want additional of something, mostly food.
  • A reason which increases your interest in something.

Example Sentences

  1. You have whetted my appetite to go for another theatre performance after making me watch this one.
  2. The advertisements shown are meant to whet your appetite to buy those products.

Origin
Tools in the olden days were used and sharpened on grindstones which were also known as whetstones. So the word whet in this phrase merely represents sharpening of something. This phrase is sometimes confused with ‘wet your whistle’ but the two are not actually connected. The whistle phrase is a lot older than the appetite phrase and means to have a drink. Whistle refers to the throat here.

In 1612, Thomas Dekker used the phrase ‘whet your appetite’ in ‘If it be not good, the diuel is in it’. Then in 1688, Thomas Shadwell used it in his literary work called ‘The Squire of Alsatia’ albeit in a varied form than it is seen today. ‘Whet’ which means to sharpen and ‘wet’ which is to dampen are different from each other when used as verbs but in many parts of the world the two words are interchangeable with regards to this phrase.

veg out

veg out

Meaning

  • to stop working hard
  • to take things slow and easy
  • to relax and have all worries out of one’s mind
  • to participate in activities that are relaxing in nature and helps one rejuvenate

Example Sentences

  1. After a hard week, I like to veg out in front of the television during the weekend.
  2. My grandfather had decided to work hard until he turned 50 and then veg out and enjoy life.
  3. She just wants to veg out after coming back from school.
  4. I like to veg out every now and then, it is the only way that I can maintain my cool at such a stressful job.
  5. It is important for a person to be attentive at meetings, vegging out is for after work hours.

Origin
In common parlance a person would be referred to in a vegetative state when he has lost his mental capacity and ability to do things by himself. The phrase is milder version of that state which people choose in order to rejuvenate. This is a fairly modern phrase and originates in the late 90’s. The literary origin is not available but this phrase has been used by Julia Robert’s character in the film ‘Pretty Woman’.

fancy free

fancy free

Meaning

  • something or someone who has no commitments or ties
  • to do something as you please.
  • having no social responsibilities.

Example Sentences

  1. Until the time his father was around to take care of him he was footloose and fancy free. Now things are very different.
  2. The teacher in this class lets no student be fancy free. She has a schedule for the entire year made already and follows it very strictly.
  3. I was fancy free until the time I got married.
  4. It must be nice to have a fancy free I have had no such luck so far.
  5. You can’t run fancy free when you have to take care of a business.
  6. Our parents never let us be fancy free. We were always given responsibilities even if they were small in nature.
  7. You are a professional, you can’t run fancy free and take a vacation since you have clients to respond to.
  8. Kids are meant to be fancy free, mine are no exceptions.

Origin
Shakespeare used this phrase in his work ‘Midsummer nights dream’ in the year 1598. In the 1900’s the phrase is extended and read as ‘footloose and fancy free’.

love of life

love of life

Meaning

  • the person who is loved most by someone in all their life
  • the person someone wants to spend the rest of their life with
  • the person that someone cannot stop loving come what may.

Example Sentences

  1. After having spent most of his life being single, he finally found the love of his life at the ripe old age of fifty.
  2. She was the love of his life, and he could not bear the thought of being away from her.
  3. With a heavy heart, he stood there, watching, as the love of his life said her final goodbye and went on to board a plane to the other side of the world.
  4. They were the love of each other’s lives and even after all these years, they were still the beautifully romantic couple they had been when they were young.
  5. With every new relationship, he used to say that he had found the love of his life, but after a few years, he used to lose interest.
  6. John thought of Emily as the love of his life, but he was too shy to go on and profess his feelings for her.

Origin
The origin of the phrase is not known.

puppy love

puppy love

Meaning

  • a mild infatuation, or a crush
  • a shallow but intense romantic attachment, usually associated with adolescents
  • temporary infatuation of a teenager
  • romantic love felt by a young person which disappears as they grow older
  • adolescent love that is not expected to last

Example Sentences

  1. Most teenagers are quick to fall in love and expect it to last a lifetime, but of course it is puppy love and they soon fall out of it.
  2. My friend had his first love affair when he was just twelve. It was just puppy love, but at that time, he felt on top of the world.
  3. When Beth fell in love with Joe at a young age, she was sure that she would marry him, but now she realizes that it was just puppy love and has moved on.
  4. I think Pam and Sid are the cutest young couple in town. Although it might be just puppy love, they look wonderful together.
  5. They do make a nice couple, but do you think they would really last together or is it just puppy love?
  6. Jane is crazy about him, but I think it is just puppy love and don’t expect it to last.

Origin
The phrase has been since the early 1800s. It refers to the love that a young dog expresses for its owner.

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