KNOW THE MEANING
keep one’s/someone’s nose to the grindstone to work very hard without stopping or make (someone) work very hard without stopping: I’ll have to keep my nose to the grindstone if I’m going to finish painting this room this evening.
pull one’s weight to do one’s share of a task: We have to get all these books packed up by tonight and so we’ll all have to pull our weight.
for nothing without payment: We did all that gardening for nothing - the old man didn’t give us a sen.
pay (someone) peanuts to pay (someone) very little money: Adam has a job washing dishes in a coffee shop and he’s being paid peanuts.
look a gift horse in the mouth to complain about something that one has been given: You shouldn’t complain about the job which your uncle found you in his factory - jobs are scarce and you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
not to do a stroke to do no work whatsoever: Dad’s paying my brother to look after the garden but so far he hasn’t done a stroke.
play havoc with (something) to cause a great deal of damage to (something), to ruin (something): Heavy rain played havoc with the Champions League final this year.
pull strings to use personal influence or power to gain some kind of advantage: Dick’s father might have pulled a few strings to get him a job in the Attorney General’s Chambers – he’s a judge.
give (someone/something) a wide berth to avoid having contact with (someone or something): The Wongs advised their son to give the boy next door a wide berth – he had a previous conviction for using drugs.
a bed of roses (usually found in negative constructions) a very easy and pleasant situation: I know Sally had a tragic childhood, but mine wasn’t exactly a bed of roses.