The Most Useful English Idioms and Their Meaning

English The Most Useful English Idioms and Their Meaning


The Most Useful English Idioms and Their Meaning

In this lesson we will examine the most useful English idioms and their meaning. Every language has a richness in itself. This richness is seen more clearly in the form of various phrases, especially in everyday speaking language. Instead of sometimes a long sentence or a difficult situation to explain in each language, a group of two words is used. In fact, it is possible to see these word patterns, which we have briefly defined as “idioms”, in almost any language.

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Idioms in English are used quite frequently in daily life. However, the subject of idioms can often be ignored when learning grammer topics, times, conjunctions, concepts. Moreover, although it is used very often, English idioms can greatly facilitate your work during a conversation or a mutual dialogue. It can help you to explain your problem more easily and to understand the other side more easily and clearly. Knowing the most preferred phrases in English will benefit you a lot in speaking.

Note: Idioms are patterns that are generally needed for an easy use to describe a particular situation. However, when you look at the words that make up a phrase one by one, it may not mean anything to you. Translating word phrases while learning English idioms often causes the idiom to lose its meaning.

Here are; +300 English Idioms, Definitions and Examples


For example, the term ‘raining dogs and cats’ that you hear most means ‘dog is pouring cat’ when translated, but the intensity of the falling rain is the main thing to be mentioned. For this reason, it would be much more accurate to look at the word group you encounter as a whole. For this, you should try to learn as many expressions as possible while learning a language. So let’s examine what are the most common idioms in English with their meanings.

A hard nut to crack: Used for people who are difficult to deal with.

A piece of cake: Indicates that a job or person is simple.

Better late than never: It means to be late but not at all.

To be closefisted: Be stingy.

As cold as stone: Indicates that it is quite cold.


A perfect storm: Used to mean the worst possible situation.

Between a hard place and a rock: Staying together in a creek, that is, being in a dilemma.

Hit the sack: It means to hit the head and lie down and sleep.

Break a leg: If you go to America or England and hear someone say this English idiom, don’t worry, there is no way that the person in front of you can actually take it with your bones. This English idiom means wishing luck.

Hit the nail on the head: This English idiom means exactly catching a situation like many languages, that is, hitting from exactly 12.

Scratch someone’s back: This phrase means doing a favor to someone in anticipation of getting something in return. In other words, it is the equivalent of the statement to draw fat with its shortest expression.

Bite off more than you can chew: Imagine a huge steak put in front of you when you are very hungry; you probably try to put the whole steak in your mouth all at once and while doing this you will cause a silly image. This statement precisely tells you to avoid such behavior. The equivalent of this English idiom is to take off from work.

Let the cat out of the bag: The meaning of this idiom, in fact, the bag and the cat in it are completely independent. Who wants to put his cat in a bag, anyway? This English idiom is used in terms of not being able to hide a situation or a secret that needs to be kept secret.

When pigs fly: Have you ever seen a flying pig? Of course, you did not see, you can not see. This statement is used to describe a situation or phenomenon that is impossible to realize for this very reason.

Hit the books: If you are going to spend your education life in a native English language such as America or England, you should prepare yourself to hear this phrase frequently. Let’s not go without warning; Be the first to hear this phrase, do not find yourself suddenly hitting your nearest book. This English idiom actually just means study.

You can’t judge a book by its cover: Imagine that you saw a book while visiting the stands in the bookstore. But you did not receive this book because the cover was not designed or interested. Also later you learned how beautiful and exactly the same book was written in a style that would be of interest to you. . Isn’t it sad? Although this English idiom is not said for books, it actually applies to all areas of life. This statement corresponds to the promise to judge anyone by his appearance.

Piece of cake: If you hear that a person whose native language is completely English uses this phrase after a job, it doesn’t mean that he really wants a piece of cake or someone has been given a nice piece of cake. This statement means that the work done is actually very easy.

Red tape; Official or bureaucratic tasks

To be yellow; To be cowardly

To see red; To be very angry

Black out; Faint

Black and blue; Describe something that is badly bruised

Golden opportunity; The perfect chance

Have the blues; Be sad or depressed

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

Blood Is Thicker Than Water

Family relationships take precedence over others.

Example: No matter how much I’ve fought with my brother, but blood is thicker than water.


Brain Drain

Departure of talented, well-educated individuals from a place.

Example: Venezuela is experiencing a brain drain right now, with many professionals leaving for other countries because of bad conditions at home.



Something that not requires thought.

Example: If the salary offered to me is more than my current salary, the decision is a no-brainer.


On the Blink

Not working, intermittently not working.

Example: We have work piling up, the computer’s on the blink.


Bend over Backwards

You make every effort to achieve something, especially you should to be fair or helpful.

Example: I’ve bent over backwards to please you. But it never seems to be good enough.


A Hair’s Breadth

A very small distance or space.

Example: He was going to set a more successful a hair’s breadth than his predecessors, unfortunately he got tired in the last kilometer of the race.

Pink tickling; means that very pleased with the situation.

Example: My uncle was tickled pink that you called on her birthday!

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

Example: I knew it would be sad, so I couldn’t say I didn’t like your clothes, and I lied a white lie.

Example: He had forgotten his mother’s birthday, but he lied a white lie not to upset him.

With flying colors: with great or total success.

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

Example: Out of the blue my cousin came to visit and he came with bad news. I was caught unprepared.

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

Example: She really envies me because I can get shopping as much as her want.

Gray area; is an unclear, undefined something.

Example: Allowing mobile phones at work is now a gray area, available and not available.

Speaking English well means knowing English words and English phrases and knowing the grammar of English as well as being familiar with the daily use of language. When using the daily spoken language, using the above and many other expressions in your sentences will add fluency and color to your speech.