Answer the call of nature
Teddy was on a walk in the forest when suddenly -- and without warning -- he had to answer the call of nature. "I really must obey the call of nature." he whispered. Fortunately for Teddy, there was a WC nearby for to answer/obey the call of nature is to go to the bathroom.
Brush up on
Professor Oxbridge has been invited to give a talk on the history of his school. He hasn't read anything about it for so long that he'll have to brush up on it. That is, he'll have to refresh his knowledge of it. "There, I've brushed up on the subject." Professor exbridge smiled.
To be on the safe side
Those who take extra precautions to reduce or eliminate the possibility of a mistake, an error or even danger are taking measures to be on the safe side. "To be on the safe side Felix always makes certain his valuables are kept in a secure place."
One day Malcolm went shopping. He was so shocked at the cost of things that he got angry. "These prices are absurd !" he shouted. "It's daylight robbery to change such prices !" What Malcolm was saying was that in his opinion, the prices were so high that shopkeepers seemed to be robbing people of their money.
Deliver the goods
The goods referred to in this idiom mean an expected -- or hoped for -- result. "Deliver" means to come forth with. "Now that I've had my car repaired it's running fine and delivering the goods." ( Hoped-for results ) "I knew Sam would deliver the goods once he understood his job. That's why I promoted him." the boss said. ( Expected results )
"I thought I understood you, but now I'm not sure." Patrick complained. "You're speaking double talk!" Double-talk is written or spoken langauge that seems clear and meaningful but, on close examination, proves to be ambiguous and nonsense. Sometimes, but not always, this is done in a deliberate attempt to confuse or mislead people.
In black and white
In this idiom, black refers to words and white refers to the paper that they are written on. Very simply, then, when something is in black and white it is written or printed on paper. "Inever sign a contract without first looking carefuly at the conditions in black and white." Leon said.
Whistle in the dark
To whistle in the dark means (1) to guess wildly about something or (2) to keep up your courage. "I don't know when the last bus leaves the terminal," Douglas said, " so I'd be whistling in the dark if I said it was at midnight.
During the terrible storm, we sat inside the house whistling in the dark hoping it would quickly pass."
A walking encyclopedia
An encyclopedia is a book or a series of books containing a wide range of information about many subjects. A person who is a walking encyclopedia is someone who has a wide rage of information about many subjects. "By the time I finish college, I suspect I will be a walking encyclopedia, "Melissa said as she returned to her studies.
Turn night into day
Robert certainly has strange working habits! But being a genius isn't easy, so when he is in a creative mood he turns night into day. You don't really have to be a genius to turn night into day, though, for this idiom means to stay up at night working or playing, and sleeping during the day. "You just reverse the order of doing things, "Robert explained. "I work all night and sleep until noon."
The telephone is ringing off the hook
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, but it was the users of telephones who invented this remark. The hook is the cradle on which the receiver rests, and this remark refers to a telephone that is constantly ringing. " Steve won the swimming championship, and ever since his name appeared in the newspapers his telephone has been ringing off the hook.
Toy with the idea
Teddy is toying with the idea of studying to be an engineer. That, of course, will be a few years away so he may change his mind between now and then. To toy with an idea is to think of one in an easy, light and speculative manner. "I don't know. I may or may not want to be an engineer," Teddy said. "I'm just tyoing with the idea."
Run up an account
Instead of paying cash each time he shops, Mr. Long finds it more convenient to run up an account at the stores where he makes his purchases. To run up an account is to increase the money you owe. You can also run up a bill or a debt, which means the same as run up an account. Mr. Long does this ( very easily, I might add!) by using credit cards.
Get up someone's nose
Hubert is unhappy. He's annoyed, too. The cause of it all is Franklin who has got up his nose. That means that Franklin is making a nuisance of himself .... and that's annoying ! "Go away," Hubert shouted. "You're getting up my nose today," he growled. This is a British expression.
Go over someone's head
Poor Penelope, Mathematics has never been one of her favorite subjects. she simply isn't able to comprehend it. She often complains that most of what her teacher says goes over her head. As Penelope knows, things that are said to go over our heads are too difficult for us to understand.
Look daggers at someone
A dagger is a weapon with a short, pointed blade. In fact, daggers look exactly like those things coming from this mother bird's eyes. She is looking daggers at a cat who is threatening her young. To look daggers at someone is to glare at him or her with mean, hostile, angry eyes.
On pins and needles
When people are on pins and needles they are either very excited or very anxious. "The children are on pins and needles thinking about their trip to the zoo tomorrow." ( Very excited ) "Mr Singh is on pins and needles wondering if the noise he heard is from his pet cobra which escaped. ( Very anxious )
A peeping Tom
When a little boy peeps through fences or windows he is probably just being curious. When a man does the same thing it's often because he has indecent intentions. A man who snoops like that is called a peeping Tom. "The neighbors are convinced that we have a peeping Tom in the area."
This outing is turning out to be no picnic, "Teddy declared. To say that something - a job or an examination, for example is a picnic is to say it is enjoyeable or easy. If it is unpleasant or difficult, it is described as being no picnic. "It was a picnic getting here," Angela said, " but trying to eat with all these ants around has been no picnic!"