Biblical Phrases

the blind leading the blind

meaning: the uninformed, stupid or useless telling other uninformed, stupid or useless people what to do

1. He’s teaching you Japanese? This sounds like the blind leading the blind, because the only Japanese he knows is ‘arrogato’.

2. That company is a mess. The manager is the owner’s 15 year old son, the workers don’t speak the same language, and the only person who knew how to work the machines has quit. It’s the blind leading the blind.

flesh and blood
meaning: family

1. I love my brother; after all, he is my own flesh and blood.

2. Friends are important, but they aren’t as important as your own flesh and blood.

3. I can’t believe I’ve been robbed by my own flesh and blood.
lambs to the slaughter

meaning: something moving forwards, unaware of the terrible future/fate waiting for it

1. The soldiers walked forward, like lambs to the slaughter, unaware that in fifteen minutes they would all be dead.

2. He still thinks this is a good relationship, but he’s a lamb to the slaughter: she’s going to destroy him.

3. The test was almost impossible. The students were lambs to the slaughter.

eat, drink, and be merry

meaning: have a good time by eating too much, drinking too much, and being happy

1. Tomorrow is my birthday, and I plan to eat, drink and be merry.

it is better to give than receive

meaning: it is better to give things than it is to receive

1. At Christmas one should remember that it is better to give than receive.

2. “I want a bike. I want a computer. I want a doll. I want a puppy. I want a pony.” the girl demanded.
Her parents looked at her.
It is better to give than receive,” said her mother.

bite the dust

meaning: to die; to end (very casual)

1. I’m afraid that while you were on holiday one of your gold fish bit the dust.

2. I planned to marry her, but that idea quickly bit the dust.

3. For her birthday she wanted to go to karaoke, but everyone said they hated the idea of singing, so that plan quickly bit the dust.

in the twinkling of an eye

meaning: happens very quickly; happens in an instant.

1. In the twinkling of an eye she was gone.

2. The world can change in the twinkling of an eye.

3. With one wrong word he had ruined everything and so, in the twinkling of an eye, his chances of becoming President disappeared.

labour of love

meaning: work or project undertaken not for money or reward, but because you want to do it

1. Building this boat has been a labour of love.

2. The gallery is losing money, and not many people come, but it is what I want to do in life. It is a labour of love.
how the mighty have fallen

meaning: a person or thing that was once powerful and important has become weak and useless.

1. The President is now in jail. How the mighty have fallen.
an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth

meaning: to punish in the same or equal way to how you were hurt

1. If he steals your bike, you steal his bike – an eye for an eye.
good Samaritan

meaning: a person who helps others for no reward, usually through actions and kindness (not money)

1. Last week she saw a homeless man on the street and let him stay in her spare room; she really is a good Samaritan.

2. My brother is always playing the good Samaritan; it’s disgusting.

the writing is on the wall

meaning: disaster or the end is close and cannot be avoided; the moment when something becomes un-fixable or un-savable

1. Down by 20 points with 1 minute to play, I’m afraid the writing is on the wall for this team.

2. The writing was on the wall from the moment she told him about her ex-boyfriend.

3. The moment Titanic hit the iceberg people thought it could still be saved; but once the fifth compartment flooded, the writing was on the wall.
go the extra mile

meaning: to do a little bit extra; to do more than others; to more than necessary

1. If you’re polite she might agree to go on a date with you; but if you go the extra mile – flowers, romance, poetry – I’m sure she’ll agree.

2. This hotel always goes the extra mile: they do anything you ask.

you reap what you sow

meaning: good deeds and practice get reward; bad deeds and laziness get punished.

1. He has been practicing on the basketball court since he was six years old, and now he is going to the NBA. He’s reaped what he has sowed.

2. “You can’t come to my party.”
“But I really want to.”
“But you called me a pig. I’m afraid you reap what you sow.”

3. He didn’t study at all, while she worked her tail off. Now he has no job and she is a millionaire. It shows that you reap what you sow.