Tag: idiom

Idiom – Bite Your Tongue

English Idiom – Bite your tongue. Meaning – To stop yourself from saying something that might be rude or hurtful. This expression used to convey the idea of…

Idiom – Long In The Tooth

English Idiom – Long in the tooth. Meaning – Old or getting old. This idiom suggests that the person or thing has reached an advanced age or is…

Idiom – To Boot

English Idiom – To Boot. Meaning – In addition or as an extra. This idiom is used to emphasize an added or supplementary factor, often highlighting something positive…

Idiom – That’s The Way The Cookie Crumbles

English Idiom – That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Meaning – That’s just the way things happen, and there’s nothing we can do to change it. This phrase…

Idiom – Wake Up And Smell The Coffee

English Idiom – Wake up and smell the coffee. Meaning – To become aware of what’s really happening or what needs to be done. To recognize a situation…

Idiom – Turn The Tables

English Idiom – Turn the tables. Meaning – To reverse a situation in favour of yourself or another person who was previously at a disadvantage. To change a situation so that…

Dog Idioms

Dog Idioms: A Guide for English Learners Have you ever wondered why dogs are often called man’s best friend? It’s because they have been loyal companions to humans…

Idiom – Bite The Bullet

English Idiom – Bite the bullet. Meaning – To face a difficult or unpleasant situation with courage and determination. This idiom is commonly used to describe a difficult…

15 Essential Idioms for English Language Learners Taking Exams

Idioms are a crucial part of the English language, and they are often used in academic and professional settings. Being able to understand and use idioms confidently and…

Idiom – Pull A Fast One

English Idiom – Pull a fast one. Meaning – To engage in a deceitful practice or play an unfair trick. This expression refers to deceiving or tricking someone…

Idiom – Green-eyed Monster

English Idiom – Green-eyed monster. Meaning – Jealousy or envy. This phrase is often used to describe the feeling of intense jealousy that one might experience when someone…

Idiom – Everything But The Kitchen Sink

English Idiom – Everything but the kitchen sink. Meaning – Including almost everything imaginable or every possible item, without any regard for necessity or relevance. This expression can…

Idiom – In A Pickle

English Idiom – In a pickle. Meaning – To be in a difficult or complicated situation, typically one that is hard to get out of. The phrase can…

Idiom – Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

English Idiom – Put your money where your mouth is or Put money where your mouth is. Meaning – Back up your words with action. This idiom is used to…

Idiom – Play With Fire

English Idiom – Play with fire. Meaning – To take a risk or do something dangerous, especially when the consequences of doing so could be serious or even catastrophic. The…

Idiom – Swim With Sharks

English Idiom – Swim with sharks. Meaning – To operate among dangerous or risky people. The idiom swimming with sharks is used to describe a situation where someone…

Idiom – Lose Your Marbles

English Idiom – Lose (one’s) marbles Meaning – Become crazy or insane. The idiom lose your marbles is used to describe someone who is acting in a confused…

Idiom – On Cloud Nine

English Idiom – On cloud nine. Meaning – Extremely happy. The English idiom on cloud nine is used to express a state of extreme happiness and elation. It…

Idiom – Spill The Beans

English Idiom – Spill the beans or Spill beans Meaning – To reveal a secret. To reveal a secret or piece of information that was previously unknown. The…

Idiom – Like A Bear With A Sore Head

English Idiom – (Be) Like a bear with a sore head. Meaning – To be extremely angry, annoyed, or irritable. The idiom like a bear with a sore head is used to describe someone…

Idiom – Cakewalk

English Idiom – Cakewalk. Meaning – The idiom cakewalk is used to describe something that is very easy to do. It is often used to describe a task…

Idiom – Rule of Thumb

English Idiom – Rule of Thumb. Meaning – A rough guide or general principle, usually based on experience or practical wisdom. A guideline that is used to make…

Idiom – Long Shot

English Idiom – Long Shot. Meaning – Used to describe something that has a very small chance of success, or that is unlikely to happen. This expression is…

Idiom – Feel Blue

English Idiom – Feel Blue. Meaning – To feel sad or depressed. This expression can be used to describe any unhappy feeling you may have. Colours and Emotions: Different colours…

Idiom – Ring A Bell

English Idiom – Ring a bell or Ring any bells. Meaning – To sound or seem familiar. If something rings a bell it awakens a memory or reminds you of something. This…

Idiom – Smell A Rat

English Idiom – To smell a rat. Meaning – To suspect that something is wrong or that something dishonest is happening.  You can use this expression when you recognize that…

Idiom – Right As Rain

English Idiom – Right as rain or As right as rain Meaning – In good order or in good health. To be completely healthy or well again after an illness or…

Idiom – Kangaroo Court

English Idiom – Kangaroo Court. Meaning – An unofficial or unauthorised “mock” court. This expression can be used to refer to an unofficial court or a court that exists to come…

Idiom – Catch Somebody’s Eye

English Idiom – Catch somebody’s eye. Meaning – To attract someone’s attention or interest. This expression can be used when you make eye contact (two people look directly into each other’s…

Idiom – Be Like Talking To A Brick Wall

English Idiom – (Be) Like talking to a brick wall. Meaning – To be completely ignored by someone. This expression is used when the person you are speaking to does not…

Idiom – Elephant In The Room

English Idiom – Elephant in the room or Elephant in the living room. Meaning – An obvious and significant issue or problem that is present but deliberately ignored…

Idiom – Light At The End Of The Tunnel

English Idiom – Light at the end of the tunnel. Meaning – The end of a difficult situation, or the solution to a problem. If there is light at the…

Idiom – As One Door Closes, Another Door Opens

English Idiom – As one door closes, another door opens or As one door closes, another one opens. Meaning – As one opportunity ends, another opportunity often follows. If one…

Idiom – Not A Dry Eye In The House

English Idiom – Not a dry eye in the house. Meaning – This expression is used to say that everyone (in a place) was emotional about something. Everyone in…

Idiom – Hold Your Horses

English Idiom – Hold your horses. Meaning – Wait. This expression is a command that tells someone to stop doing something or to wait for a moment. Hold your…

Idiom – Pull Your Socks Up

English Idiom – Pull your socks up or Pull up your socks. Meaning – To do better. To make a real effort to improve. If you pull your socks up…

Idiom – Pipe Dream

English Idiom – Pipe dream. Meaning – An idea or plan that is very unlikely to happen. An impossibility or an unrealistic dream. A pipe dream is a dream that…

Idiom – Under The Weather

English Idiom – Under the weather. Meaning – To be feeling unwell. If you are under the weather you are feeling poorly or generally run-down (feeling bad because you…

Idiom – Square The Circle

English Idiom – Square the circle. Meaning – To try to do something that is impossible. An attempt to do something that is extremely difficult and is unlikely to be…

Idiom – Tread Water

English Idiom – Tread water. Meaning – To be active but not make progress towards something. To put time and effort into something, but not get much of a…

Idiom – Face The Music

English Idiom – Face the music. Meaning – To accept responsibility for something you have done. To accept the consequences or criticism for your actions. If you face…

Idiom – Call It A Day

English Idiom – Call it a day. Meaning – To stop doing what you are doing (usually work) for the day. You may call it a day because you are…

Idiom – The Apple Of My Eye

English Idiom – The apple of somebody’s eye. Meaning – The person that you love the most. A person that you cherish or adore more than anyone else. Related Expressions:…

Idiom – On The Nose

English Idiom – On the nose. Meaning – To be exactly right about something. If you are on the nose you guess something correctly and accurately. You may be on…

Idiom – Chase Rainbows

English Idiom – Chase rainbows. Meaning – To pursue unrealistic goals or dreams. To try to get something you can never have. If you are chasing rainbows you are wasting…

Idiom – Take a Rain Check

English Idiom – Take a rain check or Rain check. Meaning – To politely refuse an offer or invitation, on the implication that you may accept it some time in…

Idiom – A Stone’s Throw

English Idiom – A stone’s throw. Meaning – A short distance away from something. Not very far. This idiom is usually used to emphasize how close two places or objects…

Idiom – Loan Shark

English Idiom – Loan shark. Meaning – Someone who lends people money and charges them an extremely high rate of interest. A loan shark is usually dishonest and sometimes they…

Idiom – A Few Sandwiches Short Of A Picnic

English Idiom – A few sandwiches short of a picnic. Meaning – Unintelligent. The expression is used to describe a person who is stupid or displaying an obvious lack of intelligence….

Idiom – Hit The Nail On The Head

English Idiom – Hit the nail on the head. Meaning – To be exactly right about something. Find exactly the right answer. If you hit the nail on the head…

Idiom – Pinch Of Salt

English Idiom – Take something with a pinch of salt or Take something with a grain of salt. Meaning – To listen to a story or explanation of something with…

Idiom – Rob Peter To Pay Paul

English Idiom – Rob Peter to pay Paul. Meaning – To solve a problem in a way that makes another problem worse. If you rob Peter to pay Paul you…

Idiom – Back To Square One

English Idiom – Back to square one. Meaning – To start again. If you go back to square one you go back to where you started, having made no progress….

Idiom – Shoot The Breeze

English Idiom – Shoot the breeze. Meaning – To have an informal chat or casual conversation. Shooting the breeze can also be used to describe a situation when you waste…

Idiom – Make Hay While The Sun Shines

English Idiom – Make hay while the sun shines. Meaning – To make the most of an opportunity while it is available. To take advantage of a favourable situation for…

Idiom – Bring Home The Bacon

English Idiom – Bring home the bacon. Meaning – To earn money for your family. The act of earning money or achieving a goal. If you are bringing home the bacon you are providing financial support for you…

Idiom – Yellow-belly

English Idiom – Yellow-belly. Meaning – To be a coward or easily scared. This expression is used to describe a person who is not brave. This expression can also be used in the form yellow-bellied. A…

Idiom – Green Fingers

Idiom – Green fingers. Meaning – This expression is used to describe someone who is a highly skilled gardener. This expression is British English and is common in the…

Idiom – In (Someone’s) Black Books

English Idiom – In someone’s black books. Meaning – To be out of favour with someone. If you are in somebody’s black books you are in trouble with them. You may have…

Idiom – Lion’s Share

English Idiom – The lion’s share. Meaning – The majority.  This idiom is used to describe the largest part of something. This idiom possibly originates from a story or fable about…

Idiom – Smell Fishy

English Idiom – Smell fishy or Fishy. Meaning – Suspicious.  This idiom is used when something is making us suspicious or when we believe somebody is being dishonest. The expression smell fishy can…

Idiom – Gild The Lily

English Idiom – Gild the Lily. Meaning – To improve something unnecessarily. To further decorate something that already looks perfect. Attempt to improve something beautiful and therefore spoil it. To…

Idiom – Hit The Sack

English Idiom – Hit the sack or Hit the hay. Meaning – Go to bed. To go to bed in order to sleep. Usage: When could you use this…

Idiom – Get Your Feet Wet

English Idiom – Get your feet wet. Meaning – To begin or start doing something for the first time or to gain initial experience in a particular field….

Idiom – To Play Devil’s Advocate

English Idiom – To play devil’s advocate. Meaning – To express an opposing or unpopular point of view for the sake of argument.  To argue against a certain position…

Idiom – High Horse

English Idiom – High horse. Meaning – An attitude of moral superiority. Behaving in a superior way. If you tell someone to ‘get off their high horse‘ you are…

Idiom – Walk On Air

English Idiom – Walking on air. Meaning – Extremely happy or excited. If someone is walking on air they are feeling elated. The idiom walking on air might be…

Idiom – Up In The Air

English Idiom – Up in the air. Meaning – Uncertain or undecided. This expression can refer to a situation or a plan that has not yet been finalised…

Idiom – Miss The Boat

Idiom – Miss the boat or Miss the bus. Meaning – To miss an opportunity. To be too late to act to take advantage of something. If you…

Idiom – Man Cave

English Idiom – Man cave. Meaning – A room or small building that is created to be a private area for the men in a household. The area of the…

Idiom – Full Of The Joys Of Spring

English Idiom – Full of the joys of spring. Meaning – Very happy. This expression is used to describe someone who is both happy and full of energy. This…

Idiom – Music To My Ears

English Idiom – Music to my ears. Meaning – Very pleasing information or news. If something is music to your ears you are very happy to hear it! Other…

Idiom – Play It By Ear

English Idiom – Play it by ear. Meaning – To decide what to do as a situation develops. To do something without making detailed plans, to decide on your…

Idiom – Salt Of The Earth

English Idiom – Salt of the earth. Meaning – This expression is used to refer to a person who is simple, honest and worthy. A very good person. Someone who…

Idiom – Canary In The Coal Mine

English Idiom – Canary in the coal mine or Canary in a coal mine. Meaning – Someone or something that is an early warning for trouble or danger. An early…

Idiom – Down In The Mouth

English Idiom – Down in the mouth. Meaning – Sad or depressed. A person who is down in the mouth is probably showing visible signs of unhappiness. The idiom…

Idiom – Neck Of The Woods

English Idiom – Neck of the woods. Meaning – A neighborhood or nearby area. This expression usually refers to the area where somebody lives. A wood is an area…

Idiom – Let The Cat Out Of The Bag

English Idiom – Let the cat out of the bag. Meaning – To reveal a secret. This expression is usually used when you reveal a secret by accident. You can…

Idiom – Tickled Pink

English Idiom – Tickled pink. Meaning – Extremely pleased. To be delighted about something. Very amused or entertained by something. Colours and Emotions: Different colours can be used to portray…

Idiom – Dragged Through A Hedge Backwards

English Idiom – Dragged through a hedge backwards or Pulled through a hedge backwards. Meaning – to look like you’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards is to look…

Idiom – A Piece Of Cake

English Idiom – A piece of cake. Meaning – Very easy. A task is very easy to do. Other expressions to describe something easy: A breeze A cakewalk…

Idiom – Rat Race

English Idiom – Rat race. Meaning – The modern daily way of life – a struggle to get a better job and improve our social life. The fierce…

Idiom – Pain In The Neck

English Idiom – Pain in the neck. Meaning – Something or someone that is annoying or difficult to deal with. Someone or something that causes trouble or irritation. This…

Idiom – Dark Horse

English Idiom – Dark horse. Meaning – Someone who wins something unexpectedly. A person, animal or thing that competes in something and is not expected to win. A contestant…

Idiom – As Sick As A Parrot

English Idiom – As sick as a parrot. Meaning – Very disappointed.  This expression means that you are disappointed or unhappy about something that has happened. As sick…

Idiom – Whet Your Appetite

English Idiom – Whet your appetite. Meaning – To increase your desire for something. To stimulate your interest in something. You can whet someone’s appetite for anything, but…

Idiom – Chop Chop

English Idiom – Chop chop. Meaning – Hurry up! This expression is used to tell someone to hurry, or to do something faster. Do something without delay. This is…

Idiom – Too Many Irons In The Fire

English Idiom – Too many irons in the fire or Several irons in the fire. Meaning – To have too much to do at the same time. To be…

Idiom – Pick Your Brain

English Idiom – Pick somebody’s brain. Meaning – To obtain information by asking someone questions. To ask advice about something from someone who knows a lot about it. Request…

Idiom – Wouldn’t Say Boo To A Goose

English Idiom – Wouldn’t say boo to a goose. Meaning – If someone wouldn’t say boo to a goose, they are very timid and nervous. This expression might be used…

Idiom – Chicken

English Idiom – Chicken. Meaning – A coward. A chicken is used to refer to a person who is nervous, timid or afraid. If you call someone a chicken you…

Idiom – Storm In A Teacup

English Idiom – Storm in a teacup. Meaning – A small event that has been exaggerated out of proportion. A lot of fuss over a trivial matter. This expression is used when something…

Idiom – Get A Wriggle On

English Idiom – Get a wriggle on or Get a wiggle on. Meaning – Hurry up. This expression is used when you want to tell someone (quite forcefully) to do something faster….

Idiom – Keep A Stiff Upper Lip

English Idiom –Stiff upper lip or Keep a stiff upper lip. Meaning – To not show your emotions when you are upset. To keep your emotions hidden or bottled…

Idiom – Cheap As Chips

English Idiom – Cheap as chips or As cheap as chips. Meaning – Very inexpensive. This expression can be used to refer to something that is reduced in price, something…

Idiom – Throw A Spanner In The Works

English Idiom – Throw a spanner in the works or Put a spanner in the works. Meaning – To do something that prevents an activity or plan from…

Idiom – On Top Of The World

English Idiom – On top of the world. Meaning – Feeling wonderful.  This idiom can be used when you are feeling ecstatic, glorious or delighted. When someone uses this…

Idiom – Speak Of The Devil

English Idiom – Speak of the devil or Talk of the devil. Meaning – This expression is used when a person being talked about suddenly appears.  This idiom…

Idiom – Cost An Arm And A Leg

English Idiom – Cost an arm and a leg or An arm and a leg. Meaning – Very expensive. This expression is used when something costs a lot of…

Idiom – By The Skin Of Your Teeth

English Idiom – By the skin of one’s teeth. Meaning – To only just succeed in doing something. To just barely do something; to succeed by the smallest…

Idiom – Get Away With

English Idiom – Get away with (something). Meaning – To not get punished for doing something wrong. To escape punishment, criticism, or negative consequences for one’s actions or…

Idiom – Ants In Your Pants

English Idiom – Ants in your pants. Meaning – To be unable to sit still because you are excited or nervous about something. This expression conveys a sense…

Idiom – Caught With Your Pants Down

English Idiom – Caught with your pants down or Caught with your trousers down. Meaning – To be found in a situation that embarrasses you. Caught doing something (usually…

Idiom – Bad Hair Day

Idiom – Bad hair day. Meaning – A day when your hair is difficult to manage or style, or more broadly, a day when things seem to be going…

Idiom – Better The Devil You Know

English Idiom – Better the devil you know. This idiom is a shortened version of the expression Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know. Meaning…

Idiom – Cold Feet

English Idiom – Cold feet. Meaning –  A fear of doing something. To suddenly become too frightened to do something that you had planned to do. The idiom…

Idiom – Butterflies In My Stomach

English Idiom – Butterflies in my stomach. Meaning –  To feel nervous or anxious. This feeling is the nervous feeling you sometimes get in the pit of your…

Idiom – See Eye To Eye

English Idiom – See eye to eye. Meaning – To agree with someone about something – or in general. This expression is used when people completely agree with each…

Idiom – Caught Red-handed

English Idiom – Caught red-handed. Meaning – To be caught in the act. To be found doing something wrong or illegal. If you are caught red-handed you are caught with…

Idiom – Paint The Town Red

English Idiom – Paint the town red. Meaning – To go out and celebrate. To have a wild and exciting night out, usually involving a lot of partying…

Idiom – Eat Your Words

English Idiom – Eat your words or Swallow your words. Meaning – To admit that you’ve said something wrong. This expression is used to ‘take back’ an earlier…

Idiom – Cherry-pick

English Idiom – Cherry-pick or cherry pick. Meaning – To selectively choose only the best or most suitable from a number of options. To choose things that support…

Idiom – No Dice

Idiom – No dice. Meaning – No. Not possible. This expression is used to refuse a request, to make it clear that something is not possible. This idiom…

Idiom – Two Left Feet

English Idiom – Two left feet. Meaning – To be clumsy or awkward with your feet. This idiom often refers to poor dancing and is aimed at people who are…

Idiom – Too Much On My Plate

English Idiom – Too much on my plate or A lot on my plate or Enough on my plate. Meaning – To be too busy. To have too…

Idiom – Hit The Books

English Idiom – Hit the books or Pound the books. Meaning – Study. To study hard or with a concentrated effort for something. In this expression hit means to…

Idiom – Once In A Blue Moon

English Idiom – Once in a blue moon. Meaning – Very rarely or almost never. If something happens once in a blue moon it happens very infrequently. The…

Idiom – Like Turkeys Voting For Christmas

British English Idiom – Like turkeys voting for Christmas or Like turkeys voting for Xmas. Meaning – This expression is used to describe a situation when people accept something that…

Idiom – A Little Bird Told Me

English Idiom – A little bird told me or A little birdie told me. Meaning –  This expression is used when you have some information, but you don’t…

Idiom – Get Your Skates On

English Idiom – Get your skates on or Put your skates on. Meaning –  Hurry up. This expression is used to tell someone to do something faster. This…

Idiom – Choppy Waters

English Idiom – Choppy waters. Meaning –  This expression refers to troublesome, difficult or uncertain times. This idiom is usually used when someone or something has difficult times…

Idiom – Put A Sock In It

English Idiom – Put a sock in it. Meaning –  Be quiet. This expression is used to tell someone to stop making so much noise. Put a sock…

Idiom – Raining Cats And Dogs

English Idiom – Raining cats and dogs. Meaning –  Raining very hard. This expression is said when it is raining very heavily. There are a number of different…

Idiom – Cat Got Your Tongue?

English Idiom – (Has the) Cat got your tongue? Meaning –  This expression is said to someone who has nothing to say. If you are annoyed with someone…

Idiom – In One Ear And Out The Other

English Idiom – In one ear and out the other or Go in one ear and out the other. Meaning – This expression is used to describe a situation…

Idiom – Twist My Arm

English Idiom – Twist Somebody’s Arm. Meaning –  To persuade somebody to do something that they do not want to do. To put pressure on someone in order…

Idiom – Pigs Might Fly

English Idiom – Pigs might fly. Meaning – This idiom is said about something that has no chance of happening. This expression is usually used in a humorous or sarcastic…

Idiom – Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

English Idiom – Let sleeping dogs lie. Meaning –  This idiomatic expression means you should leave something alone if it might cause trouble. This idiom advises you to…

Idiom – Kiss And Make Up

English Idiom – Kiss and make up. Meaning – To make friends after a disagreement or argument. This is a phrase used to encourage two people who have…

Idiom – Tie The Knot

English Idiom – Tie the knot. Meaning –  To get married. This expression can refer to the action of getting married in general, or the actual wedding ceremony….

Idiom – Whale Of A Time

English Idiom – Whale of a time. Meaning – To have a great time. To enjoy yourself very much and have a positive experience. More featured phrases to…

Idiom – Copycat

English Idiom – Copycat. Meaning – A person who copies someone else. Someone or something that closely imitates another. A copycat might copy the words, actions or behaviour…

Idiom – Hit The Road

English Idiom – Hit the road. Meaning – To leave or to begin a journey. To depart, especially in order to go home. The idiom hit the road…