ENGLISH IDIOMS

Caravaggio Doubting Thomas

Caravaggio Doubting Thomas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

"A bird in the hand is worth two in the b...

“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” (Photo credit: katerha)

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two In The Bush: 
Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything.

A Blessing In Disguise:
Something good that isn’t recognized at first.

A Chip On Your Shoulder: 
Being upset for something that happened in the past.
A Dime A Dozen: 
Anything that is common and easy to get.
A Doubting Thomas: 
A skeptic who needs physical or personal evidence in order to believe something.
A Drop in the Bucket: 
A very small part of something big or whole.
A Fool And His Money Are Easily Parted: 
It’s easy for a foolish person to lose his/her money.
A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand: 
Everyone involved must unify and function together or it will not work out. 
A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots:
You cannot change who you are.
A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned: 
By not spending money, you are saving money (little by little).
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words: 
A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.
A Piece of Cake: 
A task that can be accomplished very easily.
A Slap on the Wrist: 
A very mild punishment.
A Taste Of Your Own Medicine: 
When you are mistreated the same way you mistreat others.
A Toss-Up: 
A result that is still unclear and can go either way.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words: 
It’s better to actually do something than just talk about it.
Add Fuel To The Fire: 
Whenever something is done to make a bad situation even worse than it is.
Against The Clock: 
Rushed and short on time.
All Bark And No Bite: 
When someone is threatening and/or aggressive but not willing to engage in a fight.
All Greek to me:
Meaningless and incomprehensible like someone who cannot read, speak, or understand any of the Greek language would be.
All In The Same Boat: 
When everyone is facing the same challenges.
An Arm And A Leg:
Very expensive. A large amount of money.
An Axe To Grind: 
To have a dispute with someone.
Apple of My Eye: 
Someone who is cherished above all others.
As High As A Kite:
Anything that is high up in the sky.
At The Drop Of A Hat: 
Willing to do something immediately.
B
Back Seat Driver: 
People who criticize from the sidelines, much like someone giving unwanted advice from the back seat of a vehicle to the driver.

Back To Square One: 
Having to start all over again.

Back To The Drawing Board: 
When an attempt fails and it’s time to start all over.

Baker’s Dozen: 
Thirteen.

Barking Up The Wrong Tree: 
A mistake made in something you are trying to achieve.

Beat A Dead Horse: 
To force an issue that has already ended.

Beating Around The Bush: 
Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.

Bend Over Backwards: 
Do whatever it takes to help. Willing to do anything.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place: 
Stuck between two very bad options.

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew: 
To take on a task that is way to big.

Bite Your Tongue: 
To avoid talking.

Blood Is Thicker Than Water: 
The family bond is closer than anything else.

Blue Moon: 
A rare event or occurance.

Break A Leg: 
A superstitious way to say ‘good luck’ without saying ‘good luck’, but rather the opposite.

Buy A Lemon: 
To purchase a vehicle that constantly gives problems or stops running after you drive it away.

C
Can’t Cut The Mustard : 
Someone who isn’t adequate enough to compete or participate.

Cast Iron Stomach: 
Someone who has no problems, complications or ill effects with eating anything or drinking anything.

Charley Horse: 
Stiffness in the leg / A leg cramp.

Chew someone out: 
Verbally scold someone.

Chip on his Shoulder: 
Angry today about something that occured in the past.

Chow Down: 
To eat.

Close but no Cigar: 
To be very near and almost accomplish a goal, but fall short.

Cock and Bull Story: 
An unbelievable tale.

Come Hell Or High Water: 
Any difficult situation or obstacle.

Crack Someone Up: 
To make someone laugh.

Cross Your Fingers: 
To hope that something happens the way you want it to.

Cry Over Spilt Milk: 
When you complain about a loss from the past.

Cry Wolf: 
Intentionally raise a false alarm.

Cup Of Joe: 
A cup of coffee.

Curiosity Killed The Cat: 
Being Inquisitive can lead you into a dangerous situation.

Cut to the Chase: 
Leave out all the unnecessary details and just get to the point.
D
Dark Horse: 
One who was previously unknown and is now prominent.

Dead Ringer: 
100% identical. A duplicate.

Devil’s Advocate: 
Someone who takes a position for the sake of argument without believing in that particular side of the arguement. It can also mean one who presents a counter argument for a position they do believe in, to another debater.

Dog Days of Summer: 
The hottest days of the summer season.
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch: 
Don’t rely on it until your sure of it.

Don’t Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth: 
When someone gives you a gift, don’t be ungrateful.

Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket: 
Do not put all your resources in one possibility.

Doozy: 
Something outstanding.

Down To The Wire: 
Something that ends at the last minute or last few seconds.

Drastic Times Call For Drastic Measures: 
When you are extremely desperate you need to take extremely desperate actions.

Drink like a fish: 
To drink very heavily.

Drive someone up the wall: 
To irritate and/or annoy very much.

Dropping Like Flies: 
A large number of people either falling ill or dying.

Dry Run: 
Rehearsal.
E
Eighty Six: 
A certain item is no longer available. Or this idiom can also mean, to throw away.

Elvis has left the building: 
The show has come to an end. It’s all over.

Ethnic Cleansing: 
Killing of a certain ethnic or religious group on a massive scale.

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining: 
Be optomistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.

Everything But The Kitchen Sink: 
Almost everything and anything has been included.

Excuse my French: 
Please forgive me for cussing.

Cock and Bull Story: 
An unbelievable tale.

Cock and Bull Story: 
An unbelievable tale.
F
Feeding Frenzy: 
An aggressive attack on someone by a group.

Field Day: 
An enjoyable day or circumstance.

Finding Your Feet: 
To become more comfortable in whatever you are doing.

Finger lickin’ good: 
A very tasty food or meal.

Fixed In Your Ways: 
Not willing or wanting to change from your normal way of doing something.

Flash In The Pan: 
Something that shows potential or looks promising in the beginning but fails to deliver anything in the end.

Flea Market: 
A swap meet. A place where people gather to buy and sell inexpensive goods.

Flesh and Blood: 
This idiom can mean living material of which people are made of, or it can refer to someone’s family.

Flip The Bird: 
To raise your middle finger at someone.

Foam at the Mouth: 
To be enraged and show it.

Fools’ Gold: 
Iron pyrites, a worthless rock that resembles real gold.

French Kiss: 
An open mouth kiss where tongues touch.

From Rags To Riches: 
To go from being very poor to being very wealthy.

Fuddy-duddy: 
An old-fashioned and foolish type of person.

Full Monty: 
This idiom can mean either, “the whole thing” or “completely nude”.

Funny Farm: 
A mental institutional facility.
G
Get Down to Brass Tacks: 
To become serious about something.

Get Over It: 
To move beyond something that is bothering you.

Get Up On The Wrong Side Of The Bed: 
Someone who is having a horrible day.

Get Your Walking Papers: 
Get fired from a job.

Give Him The Slip: 
To get away from. To escape.

Go Down Like A Lead Balloon: 
To be received badly by an audience.

Go For Broke: 
To gamble everything you have.

Go Out On A Limb: 
Put yourself in a tough position in order to support someone/something.

Go The Extra Mile: 
Going above and beyond whatever is required for the task at hand.

Good Samaritan: 
Someone who helps others when they are in need, with no discussion for compensation, and no thought of a reward.

Graveyard Shift: 
Working hours from about 12:00 am to 8:00 am. The time of the day when most other people are sleeping.

Great Minds Think Alike: 
Intelligent people think like each other.

Green Room: 
The waiting room, especially for those who are about to go on a tv or radio show.

Gut Feeling: 
A personal intuition you get, especially when feel something may not be right.
H
Haste Makes Waste: 
Quickly doing things results in a poor ending.

Hat Trick: 
When one player scores three goals in the same hockey game. This idiom can also mean three scores in any other sport, such as 3 homeruns, 3 touchdowns, 3 soccer goals, etc.

Have an Axe to Grind: 
To have a dispute with someone.

He Lost His Head: 
Angry and overcome by emotions.

Head Over Heels: 
Very excited and/or joyful, especially when in love.

Hell in a Handbasket: 
Deteriorating and headed for complete disaster.

High Five: 
Slapping palms above each others heads as celebration gesture.

High on the Hog: 
Living in Luxury.

Hit The Books: 
To study, especially for a test or exam.

Hit The Hay: 
Go to bed or go to sleep.

Hit The Nail on the Head: 
Do something exactly right or say something exactly right.

Hit The Sack: 
Go to bed or go to sleep.

Hocus Pocus: 
In general, a term used in magic or trickery.

Hold Your Horses: 
Be patient.
I
Icing On The Cake: 
When you already have it good and get something on top of what you already have.

Idle Hands Are The Devil’s Tools: 
You are more likely to get in trouble if you have nothing to do.

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another: 
When one thing goes wrong, then another, and another…

In Like Flynn: 
To be easily successful, especially when sexual or romantic.

In The Bag: 
To have something secured.

In The Buff: 
Nude.

In The Heat Of The Moment: 
Overwhelmed by what is happening in the moment.

In Your Face: 
An aggressive and bold confrontation.

It Takes Two To Tango: 
A two person conflict where both people are at fault.

It’s A Small World: 
You frequently see the same people in different places.

Its Anyone’s Call: 
A competition where the outcome is difficult to judge or predict.

Ivy League: 
Since 1954 the Ivy League has been the following universities: Columbia, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Yale, Pennsylvania, Princeton, and Harvard.
J
Jaywalk: 
Crossing the street (from the middle) without using the crosswalk.

Joshing Me: 
Tricking me.
K
Keep An Eye On Him: 
You should carefully watch him.

Keep body and soul together: 
To earn a sufficient amount of money in order to keep yourself alive .

Keep your chin up: 
To remain joyful in a tough situation.

Kick The Bucket: 
Die.

Kitty-corner: 
Diagonally across. Sometimes called Catty-Corner as well.

Knee Jerk Reaction: 
A quick and automatic response.

Knock On Wood: 
Knuckle tapping on wood in order to avoid some bad luck.

Know the Ropes: 
To understand the details.
L
Last but not least: 
An introduction phrase to let the audience know that the last person mentioned is no less important than those introduced before him/her.

Lend Me Your Ear: 
To politely ask for someone’s full attention.

Let Bygones Be Bygones: 
To forget about a disagreement or arguement.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie: 
To avoid restarting a conflict.

Let The Cat Out Of The Bag: 
To share a secret that wasn’t suppose to be shared.

Level playing field: 
A fair competition where no side has an advantage.

Like a chicken with its head cut off: 
To act in a frenzied manner.

liquor someone up: 
To get someone drunk.

Long in the Tooth: 
Old people (or horses).

Loose Cannon: 
Someone who is unpredictable and can cause damage if not kept in check.
M
Make No Bones About: 
To state a fact so there are no doubts or objections.

Method To My Madness: 
Strange or crazy actions that appear meaningless but in the end are done for a good reason.

Mumbo Jumbo: 
Nonsense or meaningless speech.

Mum’s the word: 
To keep quiet. To say nothing.
N
Nest Egg: 
Savings set aside for future use.

Never Bite The Hand That Feeds You: 
Don’t hurt anyone that helps you.

New kid on the block: 
Someone new to the group or area.

New York Minute: 
A minute that seems to go by quickly, especially in a fast paced environment.

No Dice: 
To not agree. To not accept a proposition.

No Room to Swing a Cat: 
An unsually small or confined space.

Not Playing With a Full Deck: 
Someone who lacks intelligence.
O
Off On The Wrong Foot: 
Getting a bad start on a relationship or task.

Off The Hook: 
No longer have to deal with a tough situation.

Off the Record: 
Something said in confidence that the one speaking doesn’t want attributed to him/her.

On Pins And Needles: 
Anxious or nervous, especially in anticipation of something.

On The Fence: 
Undecided.

On The Same Page: 
When multiple people all agree on the same thing.

Out Of The Blue: 
Something that suddenly and unexpectedly occurs.

Out On A Limb: 
When someone puts themself in a risky situation.

Out On The Town: 
To enjoy yourself by going out.

Over My Dead Body: 
When you absolutely will not allow something to happen.

Over the Top: 
Very excessive.
P
Pass The Buck: 
Avoid responsibility by giving it to someone else.

Pedal to the metal: 
To go full speed, especially while driving a vehicle.

Peeping Tom: 
Someone who observes people in the nude or sexually active people, mainly for his own gratification.

Pick up your ears: 
To listen very carefully.

Pig In A Poke: 
A deal that is made without first examining it.

Pig Out : 
To eat alot and eat it quickly.

Pipe Down: 
To shut-up or be quiet.

Practice Makes Perfect: 
By constantly practicing, you will become better.

Pull the plug: 
To stop something. To bring something to an end.

Pulling Your Leg: 
Tricking someone as a joke.

Put a sock in it: 
To tell noisy person or a group to be quiet.
Q
Queer the pitch: 
Destroy or ruin a plan.
R
Raincheck: 
An offer or deal that is declined right now but willing to accept later.

Raining Cats and Dogs: 
A very loud and noisy rain storm.

Ring Fencing: 
Seperated usual judgement to guarantee protection, especially project funds.

Rise and Shine: 
Time to get out of bed and get ready for work/school.

Rome Was Not Built In One Day: 
If you want something to be completely properly, then its going to take time.

Rule Of Thumb: 
A rough estimate.

Run out of steam: 
To be completely out of energy.
S
Saved By The Bell: 
Saved at the last possible moment.

Scapegoat: 
Someone else who takes the blame.

Scot-free: 
To escape and not have to pay.

Sick As A Dog: 
To be very sick (with the flu or a cold).

Sitting Shotgun: 
Riding in the front passenger seat of a car.

Sixth Sense: 
A paranormal sense that allows you to communicate with the dead.

Skid Row: 
The rundown area of a city where the homeless and drug users live.

Smell A Rat: 
To detect somone in the group is betraying the others.

Smell Something Fishy: 
Detecting that something isn’t right and there might be a reason for it.

Son of a Gun: 
A scamp.

Southpaw: 
Someone who is left-handed.

Spitting Image: 
The exact likeness or kind.

Start From Scratch: 
To do it all over again from the beginning.

T
The Ball Is In Your Court: 
It is your decision this time.

The Best Of Both Worlds: 
There are two choices and you have them both.

The Bigger They Are The Harder They Fall: 
While the bigger and stronger opponent might be alot more difficult to beat, when you do they suffer a much bigger loss.

The Last Straw: 
When one small burden after another creates an unbearable situation, the last straw is the last small burden that one can take.

The Whole Nine Yards: 
Everything. All of it.

Third times a charm: 
After no success the first two times, the third try is a lucky one.

Tie the knot: 
To get married.

Til the cows come home: 
A long time.

To Make A Long Story Short: 
Something someone would say during a long and boring story in order to keep his/her audience from losing attention. Usually the story isn’t shortened.

To Steal Someone’s Thunder: 
To take the credit for something someone else did.

Tongue-in-cheek: 
humor, not to be taken serious.

Turn A Blind Eye: 
Refuse to acknowledge something you know is real or legit.

Twenty three skidoo: 
To be turned away.
U
Under the weather: 
Feeling ill or sick.

Up a blind alley: 
Going down a course of action that leads to a bad outcome.

Use Your Loaf: 
Use your head. Think smart.
V
Van Gogh’s ear for music: 
Tone deaf.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life: 
The more experiences you try the more exciting life can be.
W
Wag the Dog: 
A diversion away from something of greater importance.

Water Under The Bridge: 
Anything from the past that isn’t significant or important anymore.

Wear Your Heart On Your Sleeve: 
To openly and freely express your emotions.

When It Rains, It Pours: 
Since it rarely rains, when it does it will be a huge storm.

When Pigs Fly : 
Something that will never ever happen.

Wild and Woolly: 
Uncultured and without laws.

Wine and Dine: 
When somebody is treated to an expensive meal.

Without A Doubt: 
For certain.
X
X marks the spot: 
A phrase that is said when someone finds something he/she has been looking for.
Y
You Are What You Eat: 
In order to stay healthy you must eat healthy foods.

You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover: 
Decisions shouldn’t be made primarily on appearance.

You Can’t Take it With You: 
Enjoy what you have and not what you don’t have, since when you die you cannot take things (such as money) with you.

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine: 
I have no idea.
Z
Zero Tolerance: 
No crime or law breaking big or small will be overlooked.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s