Idioms 2

1. BADGER SOMEONE: If you badger someone into doing something, you persistently nag or pester them until you obtain what you want.

  • Sofia badgered her dad into buying her a new computer.
  • Rita badgered me into showing her my notes.
  • Whenever I meet Sohan, he always badgers me to get him an English book.
  • Do you think these stupid boys will badger you in the meeting?
  • Why are you badgering me. I have already told you that I don’t want to buy this car?

2. BALANCING ACT: When you try to satisfy two or more people or groups who have different needs, and keep everyone happy, you perform a balancing act.

  • Many people, especially women, have to perform a balancing act between work and family.
  • In my family, my mother has to perform a balancing act. She does a job as well as chores at my home.
  • Keeping both sides in the dispute happy was a difficult balancing act which required an extraordinary degree of diplomacy.
  • I found myself having to do a balancing act between my career and family.
  • The balancing act was over, she was going to have to choose.

3. BARK UP THE WRONG TREE: A person who is barking up the wrong tree is doing the wrong thing, because their beliefs and ideas are incorrect or mistaken.

  • The police are barking up the wrong tree if they think that Joey stole the car – He can’t drive.
  • You barked up the wrong tree when you accused Rohan of stealing.
  • If you think that I am responsible for this incident then you are barking up the wrong tree.
  • He will be barking up the wrong tree if he asks me for money. I am broke.
  • Expecting anything from the government is like barking up the wrong tree.

4. ONE’S BEST BET: The action most likely to succeed is one’s best bet.

  • Your best bet would be to try calling him at home.
  • India’s best bet has been to depreciate the dollar for last three months.
  • Today, this Lawyer’s best bet will be to get his client set free.
  • If you want to buy a cheap jacket, then your best bet will be to try a second-hand shop.
  • I told him his best bet would be to board a train as the weather is not right for a flight.

5. BIDE YOUR TIME: If you bide your time, you wait for a good opportunity to do something.

  • He’s not hesitating, he’s just biding his time waiting for the price to drop.
  • I am just biding my time until a permanent job opens up.
  • Sonu bid his time to take the right decision.
  • He decided to bide his time until he got an opportunity to talk to her alone.
  • “He wanted to ask for a raise, but bid his time.”

6. LIKE THE BACK OF ONE’S HAND: If you know something like the back of your hand, you are very familiar with it and know it in detail.

  • Of course, I won’t get lost. I know London like the back of my hand.
  • She knows the night-time sky light like the back of her hand.
  • Rohit has worked on computer for last three years and he knows it like the back of his hand.
  • I know east Africa like the back of my hand.
  • I have come to your house many times and I know it like the back of my hand.

7. BACK INTO SHAPE: To get yourself back into shape, you need to take some exercise in order to become fit and healthy again.

  • The old boxer needs to get back into shape before going in the ring.
  • After a prolonged illness, I took two months to get back into shape.
  • She studied hard for last few months. She has been very weak. She needs to take her  diet and exercise to get back into shape.
  • Once he met with an accident, and he bled so much that he could never get back into shape.
  • Manish is too weak to get back into shape.

8. BACK ON YOUR FEET: If you are back on your feet, after an illness or an accident, you are physically healthy again.

  • My grandmother had a bad flu but she is back on her feet again.
  • She will get back on her feet again, as soon as she starts working.
  • I will get back on my feet once I recover from my injuries.
  • Sometimes, it takes a long time to get back on your feet after an accident.
  • The Athlete who got hurt in the ring, has not been able to get back on his feet so far.

9. BACK TO SQUARE ONE: To say that they are back to square one means that they have not succeeded in doing what they were trying to do, so they have to start again.

  • When the plans were refused, it was back to square one for the architect.
  • The investigation was back to square one when Mrs. Pooja proved she wasn’t anywhere near the crime.
  • Now, all of our plans have failed, we are back to square one.
  • His Failure in business has brought him back to the square one.

10. BACK THE WRONG HORSE: If you back or bet on the wrong horse, for example – in the contest, match or election, you support the loser.  

  • When I voted for him, I was convinced he would win, but I backed the wrong horse.
  • It was only after we’d invested all the money on that company that we discovered we had been backing the wrong horse.
  • Don’t back the wrong horse, you know he cannot win the elections.
  • She backed the wrong horse in the budget hearings.
  • I backed the wrong horse by supporting the new party.