Saturday, June 12 2004


Writ in water

Prerana Trehan

This week we take up idioms that have to do with water.

In deep water: in a situation that is difficult to handle.

You should not drive to Leh alone because if your car breaks down on the way, you will be in deep water.

In hot water: said of a person with whom people are angry and who is likely to be punished.

The examiner warned us that anyone caught cheating would be in hot water.

Like a fish out of water: feel awkward because you are not familiar with a situation or because you are very different from the people around you.

The first time I had a meal at a five-star hotel, I felt like a fish out of water.

Be (like) water off a duck’s back: when criticism has no effect on a person.

I have told my teenage son time and again to keep his room tidy, but its just water off a duck’s back.

Blood is thicker than water: family relationships are stronger and more important that other kind of relationships.

I have many friends but I know that if I need help the only person I can approach is my brother. After all, blood is thicker than water.

Come hell or high water: be determined to do something even if it is difficult.

I have to finish the assignment by this evening, come hell or high water.

Go through fire and water: experience many difficulties in order to achieve something.

The television crew went through fire and water to report from the war front.

Not hold water: an opinion or statement that can be shown to be wrong.

The Prime Minister found it easy to counter the Opposition’s charges because most of them simply did not hold water.


Rewrite the following sentences using idioms:

I told my daughter that I would be very angry with her if she did not finish her homework before going out to play.

The sales executives have been told that no matter what happens, they have to meet the targets.

When my sister finds out that I have torn her favourite pair of jeans, I am going to be in a lot of trouble.

I have requested my neighbours to keep down the volume of the music they play, but it is no use, they never listen to me.

The prosecuting attorney’s argument is so weak that there is almost certain the accused will not be sentenced.

(Reference: Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms)