Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

Idioms beginning with I

if it’s not one thing, it’s the other

if it’s not one thing, it’s the other

also if it’s not one thing, it’s another or it’s one thing after another

Meaning:

  • everything is going wrong
  • bad things keep happening
  • face many problems in succession

Example:

  1. It’s such a bad day today. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other!
  2. I lost my wallet yesterday. At the moment, if it’s not one thing, it’s the other.
  3. First I burnt my breakfast, then I crashed my car. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other right now.
  4. I’m going through a hard time nowadays. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other.
  5. First she lost her job, then her boyfriend left her. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other for her right now.
  6. He is going through difficult times these days. If it’s not one thing, it’s the other for him.

Origin:
The origin of the idiom is not known.

it’s a small world

it’s a small world

Meaning:

  • meeting someone not expected to be at a certain place
  • encountering the same people, events, or situations in an unexpected place
  • someone knows a person you know
  • used to express surprise that events or people at different places are somehow connected

Example:

  1. I had no contact with him since school, and I bumped into him at a friend’s party! It’s a small world.
  2. My old English teacher is your aunt? Well, it’s a small world indeed!
  3. Fancy running into you here. I though I would never see you again! It’s a small world.
  4. You know my friend from school? Wow, it’s a small world, isn’t it?
  5. Imagine meeting her at the theater last night. It’s a small world.
  6. I never thought I’d run into her at a sports ground – it’s a small world.
  7. It was great catching up with you after all this time. I never imagined you would be here – it’s a small world.

Origin:
This phrase is an old one and the origin is not known. It has been used for centuries in Spanish speaking countries. The Spanish form is “El mundo es un pequeno”.

in the heat of the moment

in the heat of the moment

Meaning:

  • saying or doing something without thinking due go anger or excitement
  • being overwhelmed by what is happening at the moment
  • saying or doing something thoughtless as a response to the experience of the moment

Example:

  1. He really didn’t mean what he said about you. He said it in the heat of the moment.
  2. He was very stressed and frustrated and in the heat of the moment, quit his job.
  3. She had a big argument with her husband and in the heat of the moment, left him.
  4. He lost his head in the heat of the moment and tried to hit the police officer.
  5. In sports, most offences are actually committed in the heat of the moment. The offenders usually rue their actions later.
  6. He was fed up with the incessant phone calls he was receiving and in the heat of the moment, banged his phone down hard on the table, breaking it.
  7. We often do things in the heat of the moment, only to regret it later.
  8. He lost his cool during the meeting and in the heat of the moment, shouted at his boss and called him names.

Origin:
This phrase has been in use since the latter part of the 1900s. The origin is not clear.

in tandem

in tandem

Meaning:

  • one after another
  • alongside each other
  • together
  • group of two things or people working together

Example:

  1. He often works in tandem with an engineer, one coding for the website and the other taking care of website design.
  2. This actress has worked in tandem with the same script writer on several documentaries.
  3. Those two swimmers have worked in tandem for several swim relays & won many trophies for the country.
  4. The dining for the VIPs in the mega event was placed in a tandem arrangement by the organizers.
  5. The designers that have worked in tandem for various fashion shows married last week in London.
  6. Virat & Raina have worked in tandem while batting for various T-20 matches & scored centuries several times. But they couldn’t create the show this time during the world cup.

Origin:
With its origin in Latin, tandem means ‘at length’. It was at first used in English as an expression for a carriage drawn by two horses harnessed one in front of the other. The first meaning reflects this late 18th-century sense, but since the middle of 20th century this idiom has been commonly used to mean simply ‘working as a team or a group’.

in high dudgeon

in high dudgeon

Meaning

  • feeling or exhibiting great resentment
  • taking great offense at something
  • a reaction of extreme righteous anger

Example Sentences

  1. After the scuffle, the man who was affronted left in high dudgeon.
  2. Julia strode from the meeting in high dudgeon, and I knew she would get his revenge eventually.
  3. Banging the door in Catty’s face, Kelly drove off in high dudgeon.
  4. Veronica drove off in high dudgeon, she was waiting you for last 3 hours.
  5. John came storming into the kitchen in high dudgeon.

Origin
Currently, we do not have any information regarding the origin of “in high dudgeon” idiom.

in dire straits or need

in dire straits or need

Meaning:
– experience difficult financial conditions or circumstances
– in a very serious, bad circumstance
– in extreme danger or difficulty
– causing or involving great fear or suffering

Examples:
1. The earthquake and the drought left the region in dire straits for a long time.
2. I am totally broke and need help to buy some food for my children. We are in dire straits.
3. After the death of her father, little girl in dire need.
4. Last night everything burned in the factory of a successful business man now he is in dire straits.

Origin:
1560–70;
Latin dīrus worried, ill-fated.

in the driver’s seat

in the driver’s seat or in the driving seat

Meaning:
– in control
– in charge of things or situation

Examples:
1. The availability of a wide range of products has made the consumer sit in the driving seat.
2. Money and talent will put you in the driver’s seat.
3. If you are in the driver’s seat, you are in charge of something or in control of a situation.
4. I’m in the driver’s seat now, and I get to decide who gets raises.
5. Destinations are limitless when your dreams are in the driver’s seat.

Origin:
The first expression dates from the 1800s, the second from the early 1600s.

in the dark

in the dark
Meaning: uninformed, a state of ignorance.
Example: We’re still in the dark about the company’s layoff policy.

Another forms of in the dark Idiom:

keep in the dark
Meaning: keep someone unaware, not informed, keep somebody off from any act.
Example: My best friend kept me in the dark about his plan of starting new business with my brother.

a shot in the dark
Meaning: an attempt to guess something when you have no information or knowledge about it.
Example: The whole theory about life on Mars is a shot in the dark, no one takes it seriously.

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