Verbal Ability – Tips and Tricks to Memorize Idioms and Phrases

You can use the following tips and tricks to memorize idioms:

  • Tip 1: Do not limit yourself to meanings alone, understand contexts: Try and understand in what context a particular idiom or phrase has been used. This will help you understand and remember the particular idiom or phrase better.
  • Tip 2: Keep a handy list for revising what you have learnt: Keep a diary to learn words on the go. This will not make learning a chore. In fact, these days you don’t even need to carry a diary. You can simply note down the idioms and their meanings in a notepad app on your smart-phone and revise it on the go.
  • Tip 3: Do not try to cram at once: Never try and learn too many idioms or phrase at the same time. However, learning them by grouping them into themes is quite a good idea.
  • Relate idioms and phrases to visual imagery: Try and relate idioms and phrases to images and link them to stories. Trust us, you will never forget them!
  • Try to explore the origin of idioms & phrases: Most idioms & phrases have very interesting origin stories. You should try to explore them as these would enable you to understand the meanings of these idioms and phrases better. In the exercise for this lesson, the origin of some idioms and phrases has been explained. These would serve as a guide for you.

Idiom 1: Best thing since sliced bread

Meaning: A relatively recent invention likely to significantly improve people’s lives.

Sentence: The invention of mobile phones is the best thing since sliced bread.

Idiom 2: More holes than Swiss cheese

Meaning: Something that has a lot of problems, it is incomplete or lacks important components.

Sentence: The assignment on Microbiology has more holes than Swiss cheese.

Idiom 3: Put a sock in it

Meaning: A request to be quiet

Sentence: The angry professor asked the class to put a sock in it.