Structure Idiom


Idioms add beauty and charm any language. English is rich in idioms.

A few of them are listed with their meaning and usage.

A big gun – a person of great importance .

Example; Dangote is a big gun in Nigeria.

A black sheep    – an evil person

Example;we should beware of black sheep in society.

A beast of prey   – a beast that lives by killing and eating other animals.

Example: the tiger is a beast of prey

Apple pie order    – neat and clean

Example: you must arrange the books in apple pie order.

blue stocking   –   a lady who pretends to have literary taste.

Example: Lola is a blue stocking.

A chicken hearted fellow   – a cowardly person.

Example: my friend is a chicken hearted fellow.

A man of parts – a man of extraordinary qualities.

Example: the former president was a man of part.

A serpent in the egg- in the initial stage.

Example: terrorism is harmful to national integration, we should terminate the serpent in the egg.

An iron will –  a strong will.

Example: my mother is a woman of iron will.

Hush money -bribe.

Example: he got a job by paying hush money.

A henpecked husband –  a husband who is in control of his wife.

Example; my uncle is a henpecked husband, he obeys his wife in everything.

A gala day  – an important day.

Example: 1st October is a glad day in Nigerian history.

A fair weather friend –  a false friend.

Example: it is a foolish thing to depend on a fair weather friend.

A fag end  – the close.

Example: we are at the fag end of poverty.

A man of straw  – an important person

Example: no one respects my cousin because he is a man of straw.

The olive branch.

Example: an offer of peace.

A white elephant – a very expensive thing which proves to be a burden.

Example; a journey by air is a white elephant for a poor man.

A white blanket   a person who discourages.

Example: my friends is a white blanket, he discourages me in everything.

To cry for the moon  –   to desire for what is impossible.

Example : My desire to mary Titi is nothing but crying for the moon.

To chew the end –  to meditate on an idea.

Example: he chewed the end of overcoming his poverty.

To be true to one’s salt   –  to prove faithful.

Example: she is true to her salt and served him sincerely for ten years.

To be like a fish out of water – to be in difficult situation.

Example: I felt like a fish out of water in America.

To cry over spilt milk- to regret for a past loss.

Example: it is really a foolish thing to cry over a spilt milk.

To eat the humble pie  –  to pocket an insult.

Example: when I failed in the exam, I had to eat the humble pie.

Between the devil and the deep sea- between two dangers.

Example: she was to either endure his brutality or discontinue her studies ; so she is in between the devil and the deep sea.

A bolt from the blue – an unexpected misfortune.

Example: Victoria death was a bolt from the bleu to me.

A wild goose chase  –  a foolish attempt.

Example: Her desire to settle down in America is a wild goose chase for Funmi.

A clean slate  –  a fresh beginning.

Example: she started with a clean slate in teaching.

A bull in a China shop-  an unnecessary person or evil.

Example: Amina is a bull in China shop because she creates tension among us with her arguments.

A tall  talk  –  a boastful talk.

Example: I am not convinced of his tall talk because there is no truth in it.


Students evaluate the students by asking the questions.

Give the meaning of these idioms.

Cog in the machine

A slow coach

A sword of demoes

Penelope’s web

A storm in a tea cup.


Give meaning and use in sentences the following phrasal verbs and idioms.

  • Throw up
  • Wind up
  • Sell off
  • Settle down
  • A broken reed
  • An apple of discord
  • A man of letters
  • An uphill task.


There is a party- politics in all modern systems of government. The practice of the democratic system of government as been accepted as the only form of government welcomed and acceptable to the international organizations like the United Nations. A nation that refuses to practice democracy will be considered a pariah nation. The world seems to have rejected one-party  system of government because it leads to the curtailment of individual liberty and promote dictatorship. A multi-party system of government is the acceptable form of government approved for states in the international system.

Multi-party system of government gives room for the citizens of a country to exercise their freedom to vote for the party of their choice. Political parties in this system present various lists of candidates to be voted for in elections. Eachparty prepares a manifesto telling the people what it promises to do if elected to power. Political campaigns for votes usually precede the period of election. During the campaigns, there are several public campaigns when the candidates have the opportunity to meet the electorates and tell them what he intends to do for them when he is voted into power. The candidates are also free to canvass for votes, they is, go from house to house soliciting support.

Elections are conducted by electoral bodies. The electoral bodies in charge of an election can call for nominations from the parties for election. It releases guidelines for the election and it can disqualify any candidates if, after screening, it discover the candidate not qualified to stand election. When the electoral chairman is satisfied that there are no electoral irregularities in the nominations of candidates, he declares them valid and then prepares an electoral list of all the candidates contesting the elections. The electoral list will be made public for public scrutiny.

The most acceptable form of voting  is voting by secret ballot which allows a voter to vote for the party and candidate of his choice secretly without any intimidation. The voters are guided on the day of election by party symbols which are usually displayed  at pulling booths. A voters has the right to collect  polling or voting papers which contain party symbols of the registered political parties. It is the duty of the polling officers in charge of each of each polling station or booth to ensure that no one votes more than once.  After each election, the polling officer has the right to count the used ballot papers and register the number of total votes against each of the political parties in the presence of the voters. The figure and the used papers and ballot boxes are carried to the counting Centre’s where the total vote cast  in all the booths are put together. The candidate with the largest number of votes will be declared the winner.

In parliamentary system of government we have an elected president who is the executive president who precedes over the affairs of the country. In every state, there are elected governors. Once a candidate is elected to go into the national assembly or the senate, he becomes a senator. However, a member of the state of assembly is addressed as honorable. A senator is expected to attend the meetings of the national assembly or the senate. The member of the house which presides over the meetings of the house is the speaker. The mace is the symbol of the authority of the house. The mace is placed on the table of the house in front of the speaker. The public gallery is a public place for any citizen who wishes to watch the proceedings of the house. There is another gallery for the press reporters.

It is the duty of the government to formulate policies for the state. The policies are presented before the house as bills. When the bills are read and accepted by the assembly they become acts. The acts become laws when the president signs it. Hansard contains all the official records of the speeches and debates made in the House.


In the following passage, the numbered gaps indicate missing words. Against each number in the list below the passage are options labelled A-D. For each questions,  choose the word  that is the most suitable  to fill the numbered gap in the passage.

With the most profound respect to the members of the senate, I do not think that it is within the competence of that     1 body to pass a motionto 2 the executive action of the president. The senate is 3 of the National Assembly. But it is not by itself alone the National Assembly. One can imagine the confusion which would be created if the 4 were to take a view diametrically oppose to that reflected in the senate resolution.

The strongest objection to the action of the senate is passing the resolution is the fact that it constituted itself the  5   as well as the judge if the constitutionality of the action of the president. The function of the senate is to  6  laws.  But the senate has no authority or  7   to control the president in the exercise of his   8   powers. It cannot by a mere resolution or motion give any directive to the president regarding the exercise of his powers nor can it undo what the president has done in the exercise of those powers. The only way in which the exercise of the powers of the president can be  9  is by   10  of the National Assembly.

 AB                           C   
3A portionA wingAn anchorAn arm 
4Executive council JudiciaryHouse of RepresentativeNational   Assembly 
7Might ExecutiveDynamismPowerStrength 
9A decreeA motionAn ActA bill.

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