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Important Idioms for IELTS Speaking

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1. Jump (or climb) on the bandwagon​

Meaning​

Join others in doing or supporting something fashionable or likely to be successful.

Origin​

Bandwagon was originally the US term for a large wagon able to carry a band in a procession.

In a sentence​

When your TV show does extremely well, advertisers will be competing to be the first to jump on the bandwagon.

2. At someone’s beck and call​

Meaning​

Always having to be ready to obey someone’s orders immediately.

Origin​

Beck in the sense of “significant gesture of command” comes from the verb beck, which is shortened form of beckon and is now found mainly in this phrase.

In a sentence​

She is going to be confined to a wheelchair for the next three weeks but she’s not complaining as she will have a nurse at her beck and call.

3. Bed of nails​

Meaning​

A problematic or uncomfortable situation.

Origin​

Originally a board with nails pointing out of it, as used by Eastern fakirs and ascetics.

In a sentence​

My parents are very judgmental and living with them can be a bed of nails.

4. Make a beeline for​

Meaning​

Go rapidly and directly towards.

Origin​

The bee was supposed to fly in a such a way when returning to its hive.

In a sentence​

They hungry tourists made a beeline for the buffet that featured delicious food from all over the world.

5. Beggar on horseback​

Meaning​

A formerly poor person made arrogant or corrupt through achieving wealth and luxury.

Origin​

The proverbial saying set a beggar on horseback and he’ll ride to the devil.

In a sentence​

It’s not surprising that he lost everything and is being investigated by the authorities as he was a beggar on a horseback.

6. Work like a beaver​

Meaning​

To work steadily and industriously or to work very hard and energetically. Also, work like a dog, work like a horse.

Origin​

The beaver is referred to here because of the industriousness with which it constructs the dams.

In a sentence​

He worked like a beaver to clean the house.
 

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