June 10th, 2013 in Vocabulary
Here is a list of words and phrases that have idiomatic meanings. You may come across these words in newspaper articles and magazines.
Panacea: This expression is used to refer to a remedy that would cure all diseases
Paraphernalia: Accessories or equipment associated with a trade or hobby. This term is also used to refer to a person’s belongings.
Quack: A quack is an incompetent or fake doctor.
Red-letter day: A red-letter day is a very special day.
Red tape: Time-consuming official processes.
Scapegoat: A scapegoat is an individual singled out for blame.
Sea change: Big, significant change
Sour grapes: This expression is used when somebody pretends not to care for something after they have discovered that they cannot achieve it.
Spinster: An unmarried woman. This term is also used to refer to a person whose occupation is spinning.
Square the circle: To square the circle is to attempt to do something impossible.
Stereotype: Fixed image or representation of something. Note that this representation may or may not actually reflect reality.
Stigma: A generally held distasteful opinion associated with something.
Sycophant: A creepy person who tries to win the favor of his superiors through flattery
Teetotaler: A person who abstains from drinking
Thunderbolt: Imaginary strike from above or a massive surprise
Tomboy: A girl who behaves or dresses like a boy
Utopia: An ideal society with the perfect social, political and legal system
Vandalism: Deliberate damage to property