100 idioms and their meanings

100 idioms and their meanings

English Idioms and Phrases with Meanings and Examples pdf




Idioms or idiomatic expressions are known as sentence combinations that have different meanings rather than separate meanings of individual words. It has idiomatic meanings that are symbolic and figurative. Many people find it difficult to understand idioms because of their idiomatic meanings.

Here are 100 idioms and their meanings

1. Cheapskate: someone who hates to spend money

2. Joined at the hip: to be exceptionally close to someone

3. Elbow grease: hard physical effort

4. Oddball: a weirdo or a strange person

5. Down-To-Earth: sensible and realistic

6. Go-Getter: a person who is active, energetic, and has the initiative to pursue the things they want.

7. Break a leg: good luck

8. Cutting corners: Doing something poorly in order to save time or money




9. Hang in there: Don’t give up

10. Pull yourself together: Calm down

11. Red tape; Official or bureaucratic tasks

12. To be yellow; To be cowardly

13. To see red; To be very angry

14. Black out; Faint

15. Black and blue; Describe something that is badly bruised

16. Golden opportunity; The perfect chance

17. Have the blues; Be sad or depressed

18. Black sheep; A person who is a disgrace to a family or group

19. So far so good: Things are going well so far

20. A busybody: always wants to know about other people’s private lives

21. Oddball: a weirdo or a strange person

22. Down-To-Earth: sensible and realistic

23. Forty winks: a short nap

24. Barrel of laugh: someone who is very funny

25. Old as the hills: some who is very old

26. Black sheep; means that to be the outcast, odd one out, unlike the others.

27. Blue once a month; means that it is very rarely seen.




28. Take the red eye; means that a late night flight that arrives early in the morning.

29. Caught red-handed; means that to catch someone in the act of doing something.

30. Green thumb; means that to be skilled at gardening.

31. Gray area; is an unclear, undefined something.

32. Green with envy; means that  to be very jealous, envious.

33. With flying colors: with great or total success.

34. Out of the blue; means that randomly, without warning, immediately.

35. White lie; is a small lie that is said politely or avoiding hurting one’s feelings.

36. Pink tickling; means that very pleased with the situation.

37. Clean bill of health: Report showing that a person is healthy.

38. Fit as a fiddle: Excellent state of health.

39. In the pink of health: In very good health.

40. Under the weather: means that slowly unwell or in low spirits.

41. Look or feel like death warmed up: To look or feel very ill and tired.

42. Frog in one’s throat: Difficulty in speaking because of a cough or sore throat.

43. Go under the knife: To have a surgery; it could also mean cosmetic surgery.

44. On one’s last legs: To be very tired, ill or near to death.

45. As right as rain: To be in excellent health.

46. Blood Is Thicker Than Water: Family relationships take precedence over others.

47. Brain Drain: Departure of talented, well-educated individuals from a place.




48. No-Brainer: Something that not requires thought.

49. On the Blink: Not working, intermittently not working.

50. Bend over Backwards: You make every effort to achieve something, especially you should to be fair or helpful.

51. A Hair’s Breadth: A very small distance or space.

52. Be a Bundle of Nerves: Someone who is extremely nervous.

53. A storm of protest; means that a situation in which people suddenly protest about or criticize something, showing very strong feelings.

54. To be under a cloud (of suspicion); means that to be suspected of doing something illegal or wrong.

55. A sunny smile; means that a happy and friendly smile.

56. A storm in a teacup; means that a lot of fuss about something unimportant.

57. To flood the market; means that to produce and a sell a large number of one type of thing, so that its price goes down.

58. To be flooded with something; means that to receive so many letters or inquiries that you cannot deal with all of them.

59. Dogs – and – pony show: It is used in movements to attract someone’s attention.

60. Fight like cat and dog: We can use this phrase when we want to indicate fighting like a cat and dog.

61. The tail wags the dog: It means that the most insignificant part affects the most important part.

62. Every man and his dog: It refers to a large number of people. If we want to talk about a very crowded environment, we can use this phrase.

63. Go to the dogs: When we want to indicate the infamous phrase in a sentence, we should use the phrase ‘go to the dogs’.

64. My dogs are barking:  It means moving feet or walking until you get tired. Our feet hurt from standing for a long time and we can express this with this phrase.

65. Spin doctor: This phrase can be used to name news referring specialists or pro-government people.

66. Politically correct: Political correctness of all work done has been accepted.

67. Witch hunt: It is a smear policy applied against opposing ideas in power.

68. (Commit) Political suicide: These men are putting their political lives at risk.

69. Caught red – handed: He was caught red-handed last night, we watched family television in the evening.

70. Five – finger discount: If we talk about a shop theft, we can use this phrase.

71. Foul play: When we are talking about assassination, murder or games that don’t follow the rules, we can use this idiom.

72. Stick it to the plan: This time we must stick to this plan, guys, please be careful everyone.

73. A Shot across the bow:  If you talk about firing a warning, we can use this phrase.

74. Pin someone down on something: We can use this phrase when asking someone to give an exact answer on a topic.




75. A Fish Story: Used for people who fail, incompetent, thoughtless and lie in the face of a job, event or situation.

Example: Elissa told a big fish story. It is not even necessary to listen!

76. The Cat Would Eat Fish But Would Not Wet Her Feet: Refers to stress, stress, and willingness to take risks to get what you want.

Example: It will be a very difficult period for you, but the cat would eat fish but would not wet her feet.

77. Big Fish In A Small Pond: It is used to describe a situation where a person has much more knowledge, experience, power, influence or experience than other people in a small group.

Example: Jessica wants to be a big fish in a small pond as the manager of a small company.

78. Fish Out of Water: This phrase is used for people who suddenly enter an unknown environment.

Example: My friend hasn’t left home for a very long time. The moment he came near us, he returned to the fish out of water.

79. Fish Memory: It is a phrase that means having a very weak memory and forgetting it quickly.

Example: My classmate forgot everything very quickly, it was a child with a fish memory.

80. A different kettle of fish: A statement used to describe a different topic or event than any other subject mentioned earlier. The origin of this statement dates back to the early 1700s, and its literal meaning is uncertain. Maybe if you are out of fishing and put the fish you caught in a kettle, you might think that each kettle you collect should be different from the last one.

Example: Formula 1 race is a completely different kettle of fish compared to horse racing.

81. Of the night (At all hours): It means very late, all the time of the night.

Example: Her mother was very worried and thought of her at any time of the night.

82. All bets are off: Indicates that all bets on the tender are closed.

Example: I was going to bid, but all bets are off.

83. Blow smoke: This statement means that a person exaggerates things more than they should be and makes them look like they are doing a job they cannot do.

Example: In the evening, he commented on the whole match and blow smoke like he was a football player.

84. To make matters worse: A statement that an event that is in a bad condition has become worse.

Example: John had an accident by car to make matters worse, he had some fractures in his feet and hands.

85. At each other’s throats: It means that people fight and argue with each other in the face of an event, situation and action.

Example: They spoke very badly and Mark at each other’s throats.

86. About time: An idiom that describes the upcoming and even passing time.

Example: About time to buy a new house and car.

87. Easy-going: It means tolerant, easy to understand and naive.

Example: Samatta is easy-going person I have ever seen. He is never happy and upset for any event.

88. Enough is enough: This statement means that it should not be enough and more. It is generally said when a certain situation is sufficient.

Example: You just eat enough is enough. If you eat more, you will gain excess weight.

89. Money talks: In a case, it means a statement stating that the money has more money.

Example: Money talks from this football game.

90. Build bridges (between): We have been with you for almost 5 years, I think it’s time to build bridges our relationships.

91. Birds of a feather: Today, a new girl has come to school, we have been chatting for a couple of hours, we think our birds of a feather is the same.

92. Man’s best friend: I think he is my most loyal friend.

93. To be on the same page / wavelength: We both understood that we were on the same frequency since the first day.

94. To get on like a house on fire: There was a idiom we learned at school today, ‘to get on like a house on fire.’

95. To speak the same language: We get along so well because we always speak the same language with you.

96. To know someone inside out: It is such a nice feeling to know someone in all directions, there is even a saying that is said on it, ‘to know someone inside out.’

97. You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs first: I mean, sometimes we can break someone to make something happen.

98. A leopar can’t change its spots: If a person has acquired a habit, whatever we do, we cannot discourage it. Why break the habbit of a lifetime. Old habits die hard.

99. Every cloud has a silver lining: fair is foul, foul is fair! Tomorrow is another day.

100. The grass is always greener on the side of the fence: The apples on the side of the wall are the sweetest.


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