Hindi Language Blog

More Idiomatic Phrases Posted by on Jan 15, 2018 in Hindi Language

Let’s learn some more figurative language today.

In a previous blog we explored a few idiomatic phrases or हिंदी मुहावरे (Hindi muhaavre). Let’s see if you remember them and their usage.

Match Column A with the correct usage according to the context described in Column B. Post your answers in the comments section below.

 Column A  Column B
a1) दूध का दूध पानी का पानी हो जायेगा।
Doodh ka doodh, paani ka paani ho jayega.
b1) … when a conniving person donates to charity after swindling someone of wealth.
a2) बन्दर क्या जाने अद्रक का स्वाद।
Bandar kya jaane adrak ka swaad.
b2) … when you’ve tolerated enough ridicule for being overweight and you enroll into a fitness bootcamp program to train for a marathon.
a3) नौ सौ चूहे खाके बिल्ली हज को चली।
Nau sau choohe khaake billi Haj ko chali.
b3) … when your aunt keeps blaming her knitting failures on the quality of the yarn.
a4) नाच न जाने आँगन टेढ़ा।
Naach na jaane aangan tedha.
b4) … when the lawyer returns to court with new evidence in the case.
a5) ईंट का जबाब पत्थर से देना।
 Eenth ka jawaab patthar se dena.
b5) … what your spouse might say in frustration when you reject all of his culinary endeavors 🙂

And now, we’ll move on to learning more मुहावरे.

चलो और हिंदी मुहावरे सीखते हैं।  (Chalo aur Hindi muhaavre seekhte hain.)

1. आँखों में धूल झोंकना

Aankhon mein dhool jhokna

Literal meaning: To blow/throw dust into someone’s eyes.

Idiomatic meaning: To cheat or to pull wool over someone’s eyes.
आँख (aankh) = eye

आँखों में (aankhon mein) = in the eyes

धूल (dhool) = dust

झोंकना (jhokna) = to blow/throw



2. उन्नीस बीस का अंतर होना

Unnees bees ka antar.

Literal meaning: The difference between 19 and 20.

Idiomatic meaning: An imperceptible difference
उन्नीस (unnees) = 19

बीस (bees) = 20

अंतर (antar) = difference

3. अपने पैरों पर कुल्हाड़ी मारना

Apne pairon par kulhaadi maarna.

Literal meaning: To strike one’s own feet/legs with an axe.

Idiomatic meaning: To jeopardize something for oneself/to incriminate oneself/to make things unfavorable for oneself
अपने (apne) = one’s own

पैरों पर (pairon par) = on the feet/legs

कुल्हाड़ी (kulhaadi) = axe

मारना (maarna) = to strike

कुल्हाड़ी मारना (kulhaadi maarna) = to strike the axe


Aankhen dikhana.

Literal meaning: To “show” eyes.

Idiomatic meaning: To express anger or scold someone by gesturing with the eyes.
आँखे (aankhen) = eyes

दिखाना (dikhana) = to show




Eid ka chaand hona.

Literal meaning: To be an Eid moon.

Idiomatic meaning: To appear as rarely as the Eid moon (when you haven’t seen someone in a long time)
  ईद (Eid) = Eid festival

 चाँद (chaand) = moon

  होना (hona) = to be



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About the Author: Nitya

Namaste, friends. My name is Nitya. I was born and raised in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I'm a native Hindi speaker. However, as life took me through school, college, work, and waves of friends from different parts of India, my repertoire of Hindi flavors and dialects grew and added dimension to my native fluency. Casual, formal, colloquial, and regional ... Hindi is a language with incredible variety and localization. Through this blog, I will help you learn Hindi through conversations, vocabulary, colloquialisms, and glimpses of Indian culture. आओ, मिलकर हिंदी सीखते हैं। (Aao, milkar Hindi seekhte hain!) Come, let's learn Hindi together.