Binomials, or binomial expressions, are frequently used by native speakers of English. The word order of a binomial pair is usually fixed, and to use them in a different order would sound strange to a native speaker. Here are some common binomials:

BINOMIAL EXPRESSIONS MEANING EXAMPLE
Aches and pains Minor pains and a feeling of discomfort, especially in the muscles. After a hectic outing with the kids I had aches and pains all over!
Alive and well In good physical condition The search party found the stranded hiker alive and well.”
Back and forth Going to and from a place. He’s tired of travelling back and forth to London.
Bits and pieces Small items or personal belongings. Here’s a cupboard where you can put all your bits and pieces.
Bit by bit Gradually; little by little; a small amount at a time. They renovated the old house bit by bit.
Black and blue Sore and bruised The boy was black and blue after falling off his bike.
Black and white  Something clear to understand or something in writing Climate change is not black-and-white issue for me.
Born and bred Be born and grow up in a particular place. I was born and bred in Madrid.
Bright and early Early in the morning My dad goes off bright and early every Saturday morning to play golf.
By and large On the whole, generally. He can be difficult but by and large he’s a good kid.
Cloak and dagger Refers to stories or situations that involve intrigue, secrecy, espionage or mystery. My young brother loves cloak-and dagger spy novels.
Comings and goings How people keep arriving at and leaving a place She observed the comings and goings of guests at the party.
Cut and dried Clear and definite or unchangeable. There is no cut-and-dried solution to the problem.
Do’s and don’ts A set of basic rules. There’s a list of Dos and Don’ts on the wall for everyone who uses the kitchen.
Done and dusted Completely finished. We’ve finished the project. It’s all done and dusted, so let’s go and get a bite to eat!
Down and out Without any money or means of support After losing his job, car and home, he was completely down and out.
Dribs and drabs Little by little; in small numbers or amounts Instead of the crowd expected, people arrived in dribs and drabs.
Fair and square In an honest and open manner Gavin won the competition fair and square – no doubt about it.
Far and wide Over a large geographical area. People came from far and wide to visit the exhibition.
First and foremost What is most important. She went into politics for a while, but first and foremost she was a writer.
Give and take Make mutual concessions or find a compromise. Most relationships require some give and take.”
Give or take More or less; plus or minus an amount or number. I’ll be there at 9 a.m. give or take 5 minutes.
Hard and fast Fixed and strongly binding The administration established hard-and-fast rules for every procedure.
Haves and have-nots Rich and poor people Our aim is to reduce the gap between the haves and have-nots in our society.
Heart and soul Make a lot of effort to do something. Paul put his heart and soul into the project. Let’s hope it will be a success.
Here and there In various different places We found some mushrooms here and there in the woods.
High and dry In a difficult situation without resources or assistance Those who lose their jobs may be left high and dry.
High and low Everywhere I searched high and low for my keys but couldn’t find them.
High and mighty Superior, haughty, full of self-importance She was too high and mighty to tidy up after herself.”
Hot and bothered Agitated, flustered or worried There’s no need to get all hot and bothered. It’s just an English test!
Hue and cry Loud opposition to something There will be a great hue and cry when the measures are announced.”
Hustle and bustle Noisy activity and surroundings. John moved to a small village to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Ins and outs The finer details of something. I heard he was arrested but I don’t know the ins and outs of the story.
Laughter and tears Joy and sorrow The family reunion was a blend of laughter and tears.
Leaps and bounds Very quickly and greatly. Silvia’s English has improved in leaps and bounds this year.
Loud and clear Easy to understand. The message was loud and clear; everyone understood.
Make or break Will lead to either success or failure This is a make-or-break collection. Our future depends on it.
Mix and match Put different things together e.g. clothes, furniture… In our house we like to mix and match different styles of furniture.
Neat and tidy With everything in good order. I don’t know how you manage to keep your desk so neat and tidy.
Now and again
Now and then
Sometimes but not very often We don’t eat out often but now and again wo go to a local Italian restaurant.”
Now or never At the present moment because you may not get another chance Go on! Ask him for an autograph. It’s now or never!
Null and void Have no legal force or be invalid. The agreement was declared null and void.
Odds and ends Various small items.
Small tasks to finish.
Part of the garage was full of odds and ends.
I’ve got to take care of a few odds and ends before I leave.
On and off Intermittently; sometimes. I’ve been suffering from backache on and off this past year.
Out and about Go out regularly and take part in an activity My mother was ill for a while but she’s out and about again.
Out and out Absolute; complete Don’t trust that man. He’s an out-an-out liar!
Part and parcel An integral or essential part of something. Travel is part and parcel of the job.
Peace and quiet Freedom from stress and noise; a period of calm. I just can’t concentrate. I need some peace and quiet.
Pick and choose Select only certain things and reject the others. You must obey all  the rules. You can’t pick and choose!
Pins and needles A tingling sensation in a part of the body. I lay curled up for so long that I had pins and needles in my legs.”
Pride and joy Something that makes you feel proud and happy The house he built is his pride and joy.
Prim and proper Formal and socially correct She’s too prim and proper to be seen drinking beer!
Pros and cons
The good and bad sides of something; the advantages and disadvantages. Before we decide on anything we should discuss the pros and cons.
Pure and simple Plainly, without exaggeration or further explanation If you cheat, you fail the exam – that’s the rule, pure and simple!
Rank and file The ordinary workers or members of an organisation – not the leaders The minister remains popular with the party rank and file.
Rant and rave Speak loudly and angrily about something. You can rant and rave about the rules but you still have to obey them!
Rough and ready Hastily prepared but sufficient for the purpose. Without formality or refinement. The map of the area was rough and ready, but we found our way.
Rules and regulations Instructions as to what is allowed or forbidden. The rules and regulations in our school are very strict.
Safe and sound Not injured or hurt in any way. After the avalanche all of the skiers were found safe and sound.
Short and sweet Brief but pleasant or appropriate. His introductory speech was short and sweet – which suited everyone!
Sick and tired Annoyed or frustrated with something to the point of weariness. Tom was sick and tired of having to explain the problem over and over again.
Sink or swim Succeed or fail solely through your own efforts After a brief explanation the new recruit was left to sink or swim!
Skin and bone Be very thin or emaciated. She was nothing but skin and bone after a severe illness.
Sooner or later Eventually; at some time in the future I’ve mislaid my bracelet but I’ll find it sooner or later.
Step by step From one stage to the next. The whole procedure was explained to us step by step.
The long and (the) short Used to explain something without giving the details The long and short of it is that I just don’t want to go.
Toss and turn Move around restlessly in bed because you are unable to sleep. She tossed and turned all night, and woke up feeling exhausted.
Trial and error Solving a problem by trying different methods and learning from mistakes. Some things we have to learn by trial and error.
Trials and tribulations The difficulties we face in life It’s a book about the trials and tribulations of living abroad.
Tried and true Tested and known to be reliable A cup of warm milk is my tried-and-true remedy for insomnia.
Up and coming Showing great promise or likely to achieve success Nowadays he’s meeting competition from up-and-coming players.
Ups and downs A mixture of both good and bad experiences or events. Anne and Tony have had their ups and downs but they’re still together.
Wear and tear Damage that happens gradually over time due to everyday use. After several years of wear and tear we had to buy a new sofa.
Weird and wonderful Strange or unusual but ingenious A collection of weird and wonderful inventions was on display.
Wine and dine Entertain someone with a good meal The company likes to wine and dine good customers.