| Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions by Katig.Com|
An idiom, also known as idiomatic expression, is a phrase or
sentence, whose meaning is completely different from the
literal meaning of the words comprising the idiom or idiomatic
expression. However idioms and idiomatic expressions have
become widely used because they convey clear and
meaningful messages in very few words that would otherwise
be lengthy to explain in non-idiomatic manner. Idioms are
previously considered informal expressions but because of
their widespread use idiomatic expressions have found
acceptance in formal communications as well.
Here are examples of idioms and the meaning behind these
Safe and sound – unharmed and in good shape physically – The ship
ran into some rough waters but we arrived at the harbor safe and
Sail under false color – to pretend to be different to mislead
somebody. I don’t trust the candidate because I have a feeling he is
sailing under false color.
Save the day – to do something that results positively when the
opposite results has been expected all along. Many in the audience
taught that we will lose the game but our team captain saved the day
See the writing on the wall – to become aware that something is
about to happen; to be clear about something. You need to study
harder in your history subject or you’re going to fail in the exams. Can’t
you see the writing on the wall?
Small fry – insignificant things; unimportant persons. The policemen
raided the hideout of the suspected robbers but all they caught were
the small fry.
The term small fry refers to small fish. "You go after the big fish, and
ignore the small fry."
Small print – that part of a document that easily gets unnoticed
because it is printed in smaller print than the rest of document but it
contains important information that someone should be aware of. Be
sure you read and understand the small print in the contract before you
accept and sign it.
Smell a rat – to be suspicious that something is wrong or someone is
about to commit a wrongdoing. The onlooker smelled a rat so he
walked away from the crowd in the plaza.
Too good to be true – so good that it is hard to believe. The teachers
got a hefty pay raise; it was too good to be true.
To put it mildly – to understate something in an attempt to be polite or
courteous. To put it mildly, the guest speaker came in unprepared for
To the letter – precisely; to do exactly according to written instructions.
The installation was perfect because the workers followed the
instructions to the letter.