We all know the significance of water in our daily lives. We cannot survive without it, more than 50% of our bodies comprise of water, and all basic necessities such as bathing, cleaning, cooking et al require the use of water. But have you ever thought how you can use this particular word to enrich your English grammar? There is a comprehensive list of idioms that involve the word ‘water’ and which you can use in different contexts and situations to sound more eloquent and well-versed than the average person. Here are 18 such idioms that you can use with the word ‘water’:

16. A fish out of water- A person who is uncomfortable in a particular situation. E.g. Having led most of his life in the blissful surroundings of his village, Rohit felt like a fish out of water in New Delhi.

Pep Talk India, Public Speaking, English Speaking

15. Be as/like oil and water- This idiom refers to the natural tendency of oil and water to separate. So, it is used to describe people, factors or forces that are unable or unwilling to mix easily. E.g. The more you read about politics in India, the more you get convinced that political thoughts and common sense are like oil and water- they simply don’t get along.

14. Be in deep water- To be in a dangerous or perilous situation where the hope of a resolution seems bleak. E.g. Due to his addiction to gambling, Rakesh was in deep water with his creditors. He had been warned to pay off his debts within a month or his personal assets would be seized by them.

13. Blood is thicker than water- Family is more important than anything else! Your obligations and priorities should be towards your family members. E.g. The adage blood is thicker than water seems to have been taken most seriously by the Bollywood fraternity, where nepotism is rampant.

12. Blow someone out of the water- To totally destroy or obliterate someone. E.g. With his whirlwind century, Hardik Pandya totally blew the Sri Lankan bowlers out of the water.

11. By hell or high water- By any means necessary, regardless of the difficulty or obstacles faced. E.g. By hell or high water, I am going to make sure I vote in the next elections!

10. Cast (one’s) bread upon the waters- Do good deeds without having any motivation for a potential award. E.g. Ravi left his well-paid corporate job to devote his life to serving the underprivileged.

9. Dull as dishwater- Boring, tedious, uninteresting. E.g. Shyam was ineffective as a leader because his speeches were as dull as a dishwater.

8. Go through fire and water- Undergo many difficulties and dangers in order to attain your goal. E.g. Security personnel go through fire and water every Independence Day to ensure the Prime Minister’s safety.

7. Like water off a duck’s back- Easily without any apparent effect. E.g. Insults and criticism seem to roll off Sajid Khan like water off a duck’s back. He just can’t stop making awful movies.

6. Muddy the waters- To make a situation more confusing and complex than it was already, confusing the issue. E.g. By making ad hominem remarks on his panelists, Arnab Goswami muddies the waters on important discussions.

5. Navigable waters- Bodies or stretch of water that can be easily traversed by ships. E.g. Many Syrian refugees were able to make it to safer pastures after their boats made it through navigable waters.

4. Pour oil on troubled water- To calm someone or something down. E.g. When Paul was going through a difficult phase in life following the car accident, his wife poured oil on troubled waters by getting him to calm down.  

3. Troubled waters- A situation or experience that is engulfed by disorder, distress and difficulties. E.g. Many newly-married couples in North India are going through troubled waters, which has led to divorce rates rising sky high.

2. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink- You can present or provide an opportunity to a person, but you cannot force them to benefit from it. E.g. Despite being told by the HR consultant of the various job openings at different companies, Arjun did not apply in any of them. This made the exasperated consultant to remark ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink’.

1. Be water under the bridge- If some unpleasant issue or situation happened long time in the past and no one is upset about it now, then it is considered to be water under the bridge. E.g. Political parties criticize each other a lot during election campaigning, but when the issue of alliance-making arises, everything becomes water under the bridge.

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