Idioms add color and complexity to language, helping us to express ideas and feelings in a unique way. However, they can also be challenging, especially for non-native speakers, because they often don’t make sense when taken literally. Here, we’ll explore 200 idioms, their meanings, and some examples of their use.
Idioms with Their Urdu Meanings
- A dark horse: (چھپا رستم)
Meaning: An unexpected winner.
Example: He proved a dark horse and came first in the annual examination.
- A red rag to the bull: (بھینسا)
Example: My name to my enemy is a red rag to the bull:
- Under a cloud: (شہرت میں کمی ہونا)
Meaning: In adversity.
Example: In the past he enjoyed the confidence of his officers but now a days he is under a cloud.
- Hand in glove with: (گہرے تعلقات)
Meaning: On intimate terms.
Example: Aslam, and Arshad are great friends they are hand in glove with each other.
- Once in a blue moon: (شاذو نادر)
Meaning: Very rarely.
Example: He visits the college office once in a blue moon.
- The man in the street: (ہرکس ناکس)
Meaning: An ordinary inexpert man
Example: The man in the street often has little interest in politics.
- A cat and dog life: (ہر وقت لڑتے رہنا)
Meaning: to be always quarreling.
Example: Dogs and cats are traditional enemies.
- Hornets’ nest: (نا خوشگوار صورتحال پیدا کرنا)
Meaning: To create an unpleasant situation.
Example: If you try to stop Hamid from going to cinema you will stir up a hornet’s nest.
- A feather in one cap: (پر)
Meaning: A distinction
Example: The prize that he won was quite a feather in his cap.
- A turn coat: (نا قبل اعتماد انسان)
Meaning: A person who changes his opinion
Example: Do not trust a politician he is a turn coat.
- Eye Wash: (مہمل بات)
Meaning: Do not talk such eye wash.
Example: Elections in Pakistan is just eye wash.
- A square deal: (ایمانداری کا معاملہ)
Meaning: A BARGAIN MARKED by fames:
Example: The mill owner did not have a square deal with his workers:
- A square Meal: (دو وقت کی روٹی)
Meaning: A good nourishing meal.
Example: MOST OF laborers do not get a square meal now a days
- A square peg in a round hole: (ایسا شخص جو مناسب مقام پر نہ ہو)
Meaning: A person who feels out of place.
Example: He is a square peg in a round hole.
- The eternal triangle: (ایک مرد کی دو عورتوں کے ساتھ محبت)
Meaning: Two men’s love for one women.
Example: The theme of most of the Pakistani films is the eternal triangle.
- A dead letter: (ختم شدہ قانون)
Meaning: Someone no longer in force
Example: This law on divorce has already become a dead letter.
- A bird’s Eye view: (جسے اڑتا ہوا پرندہ کسی چیز کا جائزہ لیتا ہے)
Meaning: Is a view seen from above as by a bird flying.
Example: The headmaster took a bird’s Eye view of the class.
- A beast of burden: (بوجھ اٹھانے والا)
Meaning: An animal used for carrying heavy loads.
Example: The donkey is a beast of burden.
- Red tape: (دفتری طوالت)
Meaning: Official day
Example: I could not get the new job because there is a too much Red tape involved in it.
- A bird of passage: (ایک جگہ سے دوسری جگہ بدلنے والا)
Meaning: A migratory.
Example: Do not trust him. He is a bird of passage.
- A hard nut to crack: (مشکل کام)
Meaning: A uphill task.
Example: To root out corruption from our society is a hard nut to crack.
- An open secret: (کھلا راز)
Meaning: A bone of contention:
Example: His marriage with a beautiful film actress is an open secret.
- A bone of contention: (فساد کی جڑ)
Meaning: The root of evil.
Example: This piece of land is a bone of contention between the two brothers.
- At a stone’s throw: (تھوڑے فاصلے پر)
Meaning: A small distance.
Example: Our College is situated at a stone’s throw from the bus stop.
- Lions share : (بڑا حصہ)
Meaning: Major portion:
Example: He got a lion’s share of his father’s property.
- In the good books: (منظور نظر)
Meaning: To be like and loved.
Example: Sincere and honest workers always remain in the good books of their officers.
- Below the belt: ناجائز کردار ادا کرنا)
Example: In the battle the cowards always hit below the belt.
- Chicken heated: (بزدل)
Example: Only the chicken hearted persons can flatter their officers.
- At daggers drawn: (دشمنی)
Meaning: To have Enmity:
Example: All the religious Parties in Pakistan are at daggers drawn with one another.
- On the horns of dilemma: (پریشانی)
Meaning: to be in fix.
Example: She likes Ashraf but her parents force her to marry her cousin.
- In a fix: (سخت الجھن کا شکار)
Meaning: To be in difficulty:
Example: His car has stock in the mud so that he is in a bad fix.
- Every inch: (مکمل طور پر)
Example: He is very inch a Muslim and his proud of his traditions.
- A storm in the tea cup: (معمولی باتوں پر ہنگامہ)
Meaning: Great fuss over a little thing.
Example: It is just a storm in the tea cup.
- A blue eyed boy. (محبوب)
Meaning: A favorite:
Example: He will not be punished for his dishonesty because he is a blue eyed boy of his boss
- To burn ones fingers: (تکلیف محسوس کرنا)
Meaning: To get into trouble.
Example: You will burn your fingers if you try to help his rogue
- To turn a deaf ear to: (توجہ نہ دینا)
Meaning: To be inattentive.
Example: The boys turn a deaf ear to their teacher’s advice.
- To nip something in the bud: (کسی سکیم یہ شے کو پہننے بغیر کچل دینا)
Meaning: To destroy in the early stages of growth.
Example: You should try to nip the evil in the bud.
- Hold Water: (موثر بنانا)
Meaning: To be Effective.
Example: Your arguments do not hold water here.
- To keep an arm’s length: (پرے رکھنا)
Meaning: To avoid.
Example: You should try to keep this swindler at an arm’s length.
- Tongue in cheek:(منافقانہ)
Meaning: Insincere without meaning what one say.
Example: He said he was terribly sorry but I know he spoke with his tongue in the cheek.
- A necessary evil:(ضروری برائی)
Meaning: An evil that cannot be avoided.
Example: Examination are a necessary evil.
- Scot free:
Meaning: without any punishment
Example: Others were punished while
- To be at loggers head:(ان بن ہونا)
Meaning: To be on inimical terms.
Example: She is on loggers head with her boss over the new working hours.
- A Labour of love :(بغیر معاوضے کے کام)
Meaning: A thankless labour.
Example: I did not him for any personal gain it was all a labour of love.
- A willing horse: (رضا مندی سے کام کرنے والا)
Meaning: A willing worker.
Example: Only a willing horse can make the working of his office successful.
- At cross purpose: (متضاد نظریات کے حامل لوگ)
Meaning: Two persons having opposite view.
Example: He is at cross purpose with his farther on the issue of his marriage.
- In ones elements: (جوش و خروش میں ہونا)
Meaning: To be in agreeable circumstances.
Example: Our player of cricket team were in their elements in the final match.
- Fair play: (ایمانداری کے معاملات)
Meaning: Honest dealing.
Example: India does not have a fair play with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue.
- Foul play: (نا جائز برتاؤ)
Meaning: Unlawful Dealings.
Example: I see a foul play in the Indian policy on no war with Pakistan.
- The back bone: (مکمل طور پر)
Meaning: Chief support.
Example: He is a gentle man to the backbone.
- The Fourth estate: (جائیداد جو بڑے قلعہ اراضی اور ایک بڑے مکان پر مشتمل ہو)
Meaning: the press
Example: The Fourth estate wields a great influence in a democratic country.
- A snake in the grass: (چھپا دشمن)
Meaning: A deceitful person:
Example: Beware of your new friend he may prove a snake in the grass.
- A ruling passion: (غالب)
Example: Greed has become a ruling passion with most of us now a days.
- In full swing: (جوبن پر)
Example: When I left the playground the match was in full swing
- On the anvil: (زیر بحث)
Meaning: Under discussion.
Example: The new education policy is on the anvil.
- A skeleton in the cupboard : (شرم ناک راز)
Meaning: A source of shame
Example: There are many skeleton in my neighbor cup board.
- Last straw: (آخری تنکہ)
Meaning: A little addition that makes a thing very miserable.
Example: he was a sick and weak person. His hard work at the new job proved a last straw for his health.
- A hat track: (مسلسل تین کامیابیاں)
Meaning: Three successive victories
Example: Imran khan had hat trick in the cricket match when he bowled out three players of Indian team.
- Blue stocking: (ادبی ذوق والی عورت)
Meaning: A women having literary taste.
Example: She is not well educated but she is a blue stocking:
- : A bolt from the blue or out of blue: (ناگہانی آفت)
Meaning: A sudden calamity.
Example: The news of his son’s death in the car accident was a bolt from the blue for him.
- At one’s beck and call: اشارے پر چلنا)
Meaning: Ready to serve.
Example: He is an obedient govt servant He is at the beck and call of his officers.
- Herculean task: (غیر معمولی جسامت اور قوت رکھنے والا آدمی)
Example: It is a herculean task to make an end of unemployment in Pakistan.
- To leave one in lurch: (مصیبت میں گرفتار)
Meaning: To leave one in time of difficulty.
Example. Her husband left in the lurch and now she is leading a miserable life.
- To eat a humble pie: (لڑ کھڑاہت)
Meaning; to yield to a very humiliating position.
Example: At least the proud Indian Army had to eat a humble pie in the 1965 War.
- To stand on ceremony: (ذلت آمیزہ ترکے سے ہار ماننا)
Meaning: To be format.
Example: Sincere friends do not monkey with my new.
- To monkey with; (تکلف برتنا)
Meaning: To do mischief or trick with a thing.
Example: Please do not monkey with my new V.C.R. You will break it.
- To hit the nail on the head: (شرارتیں)
Meaning: To speak to the point.
Example: I hit the nail on the head by telling her that she was married.
- To make a clean breast of: (ٹھیک بات کرنا)
Meaning: To confess one’s guilt.
He made a clean breast of his guilt before the judge.
- To win laurels; (اعزاز حاصل کرنا)
Meaning; To win distinction.
Example; He bowled out three players of his rival team and thus won laurels in the match.
- To cast a slur upon; (عزاز جتنا)
Meaning; to bring into dispute.
Example; He cast a slur upon the fair name of his parents by his wicked deeds.
- To a long face: (خفگی)
Meaning: To look serious or solemn
Example: He pulled a long face at his insult in the meeting.
- TO give vent to: (اظہار کرنا)
Meaning: To express.
Example: He gave went to his anger by kicking the chair.
- To go hand in hand: (ساتھ ساتھ چلنا)
Meaning: To accompany each other.
Example: Rights and duties go hand in hand.
- To sleep through one’s fingers: (موقعہ ہاتھ سے نکلنا)
Meaning: To escape narrowly.
Example: The post of a judge slipped through his fingers due to his idleness.
- To pay one back in the same coin. (جیسے کو تیسا)
Meaning: To treat the same person in the same way in which he treats you.
Example: HE insulted me in the persons of my friends and I paid him back in the same coin.
- To stand one in great stead: (کسی کی جگہ)
Example: My knowledge in English stood me in great stead in England.
- To sallow the bait: (لالچ میں آنا)
Meaning: To be caught by temping promise.
Example: During the election many people swallow the bait and elect the insincere leaders.
- To get into hot water: (مثبت میں گرفتار)
Meaning: To leave one in time of difficulty.
Example: if you not stop drinking. You will soon get into hot water.
- To cut a sorry figure: (ناکام ہونا)
Meaning; to make one self-ridiculous.
Example; She cut a sorry figure in the presence of her only husband.
- To turn of a new leaf; (زندگی کا رخ بہتری کی طرف موڑنا)
Meaning: To change better.
Example: I am glad that you have turned over a new leaf after the death of your father.
- To get rid of: (نجات حاصل کرنا)
Meaning: To be free from.
Example: I want to get rid of nasty fellow like you.
- To put two and two together. (آپس میں مشورہ کرنا)
Meaning: To drew a conclusion from certain circumstances
Example: IF we lay heads together we shall be able to find a way out of this difficulty.
- To throw cold water on: (مایوس کرنا)
Meaning: To discourage
Example: I asked him to help me but he threw cold water upon my hopes.
- To look down upon: (نفرت کرنا)
Meaning: To hate.
Example: The rich should not look down upon the poor.
- To come to pass: (رونما ہونا)
Meaning: To happen.
Example: It come to pass after a period of time that they had a son.
- To pull a long face: (خفگی)
Meaning: To look serious or solemn.
Example: He pulled a long face at his insult in the meeting.
- To fight tooth and nail: (جنگ لڑنا)
Meaning: To fight persistently.
Example: We should fight tooth and nail for our right.
- To fight shy of: (شرمیلا)
Example: She fights shy of her relatives.
- To follow suit: (الٹ جانا)
Meaning: To imitate
Example: When he left the class room, his class fellows followed suit.
- To turn turtle: (جوانی کی خرمستیاں)
Meaning: To be upset.
Example: The boat turned turtle in the accident and into the river.
- To sow one’s wild oats: (مشتعل کرنا)
Example: HE sowed all his wild oats before the married.
- To add fuel to the fire: (جلتی پر تیل پھینکنا)
Meaning: to supply fresh cause of excitement.
Example: His speech to the workers added fuel to fire and they went on strike.
- To beggar description: (اس کے بیان سے زبان قاصر ہے)
Meaning: be too extraordinary to describe.
Example: Her Beauty beggars description.
- To burn the candle: (فضول خرچی کرنا)
Meaning: To suffer both way:
Example: My friend burnt the candle at both ends and lost his property.
- To die in harness: (مرتے دم تک کام کرنا)
Meaning: To die in active employ.
Example: QUAID E AZAM died in harness.
- To fan the flames: (مشتعل کرنا)
Meaning: To aggravate the situation
Example: His speech seemed to fan the flames between the students and the principal.
- To keep up appearances: (واضح داری قائم رکھنا)
Meaning: To maintain the outward shows.
Example: it is very difficult for the poor to keep up appearances now a days.
- To be taken aback: (ہکا ہکا رہنا)
Meaning: to be surprised.
Example: HE was taken aback at the sudden change of govt in Pakistan.
- To have a fly in ones bonnet: (ذہنی طور پر پریشان ہونا)
Example: his broken speech in the function shows as if he had a fly in his bonnet.
- To bury the hatchet: (دشمنی ختم کرو)
Meaning: To make an end of enmity.
Example: Let us bury hatchet and be friends again.
- Pay off old scores: (بدلہ چکانا)
Meaning: Take revenge of old grievances.
Example: He killed his enemy and in this way paid off his old scores.
- To have an axe to grind:(ذاتی مفاد )
Meaning: A prive end to serve.
Example: I have no political axe to grind.
- To end in smoke:(رائیگاں جانا )
Meaning: To fail,
Example: All his efforts to start a new business ended in smoke.
- To curry favour:(خوشامند کرنا)
Meaning: Curry to make meat or vegetables into curry.
Example: I consider it beneath my dignity to curry favor with my boss.
- To biow one’s own trumpet: (اپنے میں مٹھو بننا)
Meaning: To boast or to indulge in self-praise:
Example: He is in habit of blowing his own trumpet.
- To end in fiasco:(انتشار پر احتتام )
Meaning: To end in confusion.
Example: The debate ended in fiasco.
- A jack off all trades:
Meaning: A person who can do any kind of work.
Example: He is a jack off all trades but mater of none.
- A man of letters: (ادبی ذوق رکھنے والا آدمی)
Meaning: literary man.
Example: Dr. Iqbal is a literary man.
- A man of parts: (غیر معمولی قابلیت کا آدمی)
Meaning: a man of superior ability
Example; everybody now realizes that Dr.Abdul Qadeer Khan is a man of superior ability.
- A man of spirits: (بہادر آدمی )
Meaning: Brave person.
Example: Major Abdul Aziz is a man of spirits.
- A man of straw: (معمولی آدمی)
Meaning: of no importance.
Example: Nobody respect him Because he is a man of straw.
- A bed of roses : (آرام دا)
Example: Life is not a bed of roses for a ruler in Pakistan.
- A bed of thorns: (مشکل)
Meaning: A difficult thing:
Example: Life is a bad of thorns for a policeman
- Birds of a feather: (پر)
Meaning: Persons having the same disposition of a feather means of one feather i.e. of the same plumage.
Example: Birds of a feather flock together.
- A cock and bull story: (مرغ)
Example: His marriage with a film actress is simple a cock and bull story.
- A fish out of water: (بےچین)
Meaning: A state of uneasiness
Example: The mother felt like a fish out of water in the absence of the child.
- A wet blanket: (کسی محفل کے جوش خروش کو کم کرنے والا شحص)
Example: Nobody likes him because he is a wet blanket and spoils the pleasure of every function.
- The swan song: (کسی شحص کا کوئی آخری اچھا کام)
Example: This poem was the swang song of Iqbal.
- A white lie: (سفید جھوٹ)
Meaning: an outright untruth
Example: What he said was a white lie.
- A wild goose chase: (ناکام کوشش)
Meaning: Useless effort
Example: To find lost girl without the help of police will prove a wild goose chase.
- An apple of discord: (فساد کی جڑ)
Meaning: An object of dispute.
Example: This house is an apple of discord between two brothers.
- A queer fish: عجیب)
Meaning: A strange or crazy person
Example: Our professor of English is a queer fish.
- A rainy day: (مشکل وقت)
Meaning: Time of difficulty.
Example: we must lay be something of against a rainy day.
- A red letter day: (مبارک دن)
Meaning: An auspicious or fortunate day.
Example: 14 August 1947 is a red letter day in the history of Pakistan.
- A right hand man: (دست راست)
Meaning: Chief helper
Example: Liaquat ali khan is a right hand man of Quaid I Azam
- Small talk: (ہلکی پھلکی)
Meaning: Light conversation
Example: Quaid I Azam did not indulge in small talk with other politicians.
- Iron will: (مضبوط ارادے والا)
Meaning: Strong determination
Example: Quiaid I Azam was a man of iron will
- A laughing stock: (خیز شے)
Meaning: An object of ridicule:
Example: He has become a laughing stock of the class for his foolish acts.
- An oily tongue: (چکنی باتیں کرنا)
Meaning : Oily covered with oil
Example: beware of the oily tongue of your new friend
- Smooth sailing: (تیرنا)
Meaning: an easy task:
Example: To pass the B A examination without preparation is not a smooth sailing
- Point blank: (بے لاگ)
Meaning: to say or do something direct
Example: He gave a point blank refusal to help me.
- A fair weather friend: (مطلبی دوست)
Meaning: A friend who leaves you in trouble.
Example: Do not trust him, he is a fair weather friend.
- French leave: (غیر حاضری)
Meaning: Absence without leave or permission
Example: The clerk was given a warning for talking French leave.
- A hair breath escape: (بال بال بچنا)
Meaning: A narrow escape
Example: He had a hair breath escape in the car accident.
- A henpecked husband: (عورت کا اپنے مرد کو ستانا)
Meaning: A husband who obeys his wife
Example: He cannot help you without the permission of his wife as he is a henpecked husband.
- An iron hand: (سختی سے)
Meaning: Firm control:
Example: The government crushed the criminal with an iron hand.
- A burning question: (گرما گرم مسلۂ)
Meaning: An urgent and important matter
Example: The burning question is whether Kashmir will become a part of Pakistan
- A maiden speech: (پہلی تقریر)
Meaning: The first speech that one makes
Example: His maiden speech in the assembly was successful.
- A close fisted man: (کنجوس آدمی)
Meaning: A miser to spend money close.
Example: He is close fisted man. He does not spend money on the poor.
- A cold blooded murder: (بے رحم قتل)
Meaning: A murder having no mercy or pity.
Example: The killing of Liaquat Ali khan was a cold blooded murder.
- Crocodile tears: (مگرمچھ کے آنسو)
Meaning: it was a false belief that the crocodile wept in order to allure its victims.
Example: The step mother shed crocodile tears on her son’s death.
- In apple pie order (حد درجہ صفای)
Meaning: Perfectly neat and methodical arrangement
Example: The books are laying on the table in apple pie order.
- A white elephant: (ایسی چیز یا جائداد جس کی ضرورت نہ رہی ہو)
Meaning: Too costly to be worth maintaining
Example: This old car is a white elephant for a poor person.
- A black sheep: (کسی گروہ یا خاندان کا نہ پسندیدہ شحص)
Meaning: That member who is thought to be disgrace to the other members of it.
Example: Now every profession has got its black sheep.
- A bosom friend: (گہرہ دوست)
Meaning: A close and dear friend and went everywhere together.
Example: They were bosom friends and went everywhere together.
- A brown study: (خیالات میں غرق)
Meaning: A state of mental absorption
Example: He did not make an answer to me as he was engaged in a brown study.