A Bed of Roses:
(An altogether agreeable position or situation) – A parochial life is not a bed of roses, Mrs. Mann. – Dickens
A bed of thorns: (Full of difficulties and troubles) – Shelley cried that his life was a bed of thorns.
A bird’s eye view: (A general account) – Maria had a bird’s eye view of the grand city from his apartment.
A black sheep: (An ill-conducted person; a member of society who is not considered respectable) I’m forbidden the house. I’m looked upon as a black sheep – a pest, a contamination.
A blank cheque: (Permission to do what one feels necessary with complete freedom) – He’s given me a blank cheque to carry out my plan.
A blue stocking: (A woman who prides herself on her learning) – Lucy Hutchinson was evidently a very superior young lady, and is known as a blue stocking by her colleagues
A bone of contention: (A cause of dispute) – Kashmir is still a bone of contention between India and Pakistan.
A bosom friend: (A very intimate friend) – “So I have heard; but he is not quite bosom friend enough with me to have told me all the particulars.”
A breathing-space: (A short time in which one can have a rest) – I’ve only a breathing-space of ten minutes before my next appointment.
A Bull’s eye: (The inner disk of a target, surrounded by rings of increasing magnitude) – The Republicans had made a bull’s eye, and were jubilant.
A burning question: (A question of interest to, and eagerly discussed by, many people) – The burning question in the office was who was to be the next manager.
A cock and bull story: (An absurd tale) – I did hear some cock and bulls story the other day about the horses not having run away at all.
A cry in the wilderness: (A voice of protest that is heeded by no one) – Our complaints against corrupt officers have been nothing more than a cry in the wilderness.
A Dark Horse: (A competitor about whose chance of winning the world knows nothing) You see I was dipped pretty deep, and duns after me, and the Derby my only chance so I put the pot on (betted heavily on the favourite horse); but a dark horse won.
A dead letter: (Obsolete; Something no longer in force; a rule never attended to) – The rule about ready money was soon a dead letter.
A dog in the manager: (A selfish man, who refuses to allow his neighbour to enjoy even what he himself has no use for) – Haider Ali neither enjoys Park facility unto himself nor allows his cousin, he really a dog in manager.
A far cry: (a long distance) Lahore is far cry from Karachi.
A feather in one’s cape: (an honour) – The new citizen of this book is feather in Publisher’s cap.
A fish out of water: (a person who is placed in a position which is strange and distasteful to him) – Mr. Dance stood there, as he said, “like a fish out of water.”
A fool’s paradise: (Dream world) – For long I lived in a fool’s paradise, and then the hard realities of life made me return to earth to face facts.
A jail bird: (One who is jailed again and again) – Saud is a jailbird; he has been in and out of jail over six times.
A laughing stock: (An object of fun and ridicule) – Rabia was a laughing stock in her class.
A man of letters: (A scholar) – Our university has produced many great men of letters.
A man of straw: (A creature evolved from the fancy, and wholly unlike the real person; an unreal person; a dummy) – The man of straw who offers ball is furnished the money by those who stimulated the outrage.
A narrow escape or shave: (A hair-breadth escape; escape by a very narrow margin) – It was a narrow escape; the bomb exploded only seconds after I had taken cover.
A rainy day: (Time of trouble and difficulty) – Thou’lt give away all the earnings, and never be uneasy because thou hast nothing against a rainy day.
A red letter day: (An auspicious or happy day) All being holidays, I feel as if I had none, as they do in heaven, where ’tis all red-letter days.
A thorn in the flesh: (A cause of trouble or irritation) – Struggle of independence in Kashmir is throne in India’s flesh.
A wet blanket: (One who discourages others) – My elder brother is a wet blanket; he never permits me to do as I like.
A white lie: (An unacceptable lie) When I said I thought his poems were good, it was a white lie.
A wild goose chase: (A foolish, profitless attempt) – By telling his sons that there was a treasure in their field, the old man put them on a wild goose chase.
A wolf in sheep’s clothing: (A hypocrite) – I strongly feel Professor Faisal is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
A. B. C.: (The A B C of any subject – its rudiments; its elementary knowledge) – Many farmers seem not at all inclined to observe the very A B C of morality as regards the payment of just debts.
Above all: (Most important) – A successful salesman must be friendly, dynamic and above all persuasive.
Aladdin’s Lamp: A lamp which gave its owner, or rather the (person who rubbed it, everything he wished) – Government is striving hard to bring some healthful changes in society. She has no Aladdin’s Lamp for magical change.
All at once: (Suddenly) I was walking through the park at lunchtime, when all at once it started drizzling.
All in all: (supreme; all-powerful; of the first importance) – The then Prime Minister was all in all at Oxford.
Alpha and Omega: (The beginning and the end) – Here we have the beginning and the end, alpha and omega.
Answer back: Retort rudely (usually to a request, instruction or rebuke) – ‘Will you fetch me the telephone directory, please?’ – ‘Fetch it yourself!’ He answered his elder brother back.
Apple of discord: (Something which causes strife) – The letter was her long contemplated apple of discord, and much her hand trembled as she handed the document up to him.
Apple of one’s eye: (A much-prized treasure; something very delicate and tender) – Poor Richard was to me as an eldest son, the apple of my eye.
Arm in arm: (Walking in friendly fashion with the arms linked) – It was an agreeable surprise to her, therefore, to perceive them walking up to the house together arm in arm.
As bold as brass: (impudent; without modesty or shame) Though Asif knows nothing about new policy method but he is as bold as brass.
At a loss: (Unable to understand) – I am at a loss why my brother has not come as yet.
At a stone’s throw: (Quite near) – My house is at a stone’s throw from my college.
At a stretch: (Continuously) – He cannot work for four hours at a stretch.
At arm’s length: (At a distance) – We must keep dishonest people at arm’s length.
At dagger’s drawn: (At enmity) – The two brothers are nowadays at dagger’s drawn with each other.
At home: (familiar; on easy terms) There was administration, and more even than admiration, in his eyes. It was a beautiful expression that I cannot define or put into words………… that made me feel at home with him at once.
At length: He explained the case to me at length.
At sixes and sevens: (In disorder) – When I found everything in my room at sixes and sevens, I was sure my little sister had been there.
At the eleventh hour: (Just in time and no more) – Sir, have you no shame to come here at the eleventh hour among those who have borne the heat and burden of the day?