Popular idioms


What’s an idiom? An idiom is a natural manner of speaking to a native speaker of a language.



Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because chances are you might lose everything.

Something good that isn’t recognized at first.

Being upset for something that happened in the past.

Anything that is common and easy to get.

A skeptic who needs physical or personal evidence in order to believe something.

A very small part of something big or whole.

It’s easy for a foolish person to lose his/her money.

Everyone involved must unify and function together or it will not work out.

You cannot change who you are.

By not spending money, you are saving money (little by little).

A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.

A task that can be accomplished very easily.

A very mild punishment.

When you are mistreated the same way you mistreat others.

A result that is still unclear and can go either way.

It’s better to actually do something than just talk about it.

Whenever something is done to make a bad situation even worse than it is.

Rushed and short on time.

When someone is threatening and/or aggressive but not willing to engage in a fight.

Meaningless and incomprehensible like someone who cannot read, speak, or understand any of the Greek language would be.

When everyone is facing the same challenges.

Very expensive. A large amount of money.

To have a dispute with someone.

Someone who is cherished above all others.

Anything that is high up in the sky.

At The Drop Of A Hat:
Willing to do something immediately.



People who criticize from the sidelines, much like someone giving unwanted advice from the back seat of a vehicle to the driver.

Having to start all over again.

When an attempt fails and it’s time to start all over.


A mistake made in something you are trying to achieve.

To force an issue that has already ended.

Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.

Do whatever it takes to help. Willing to do anything.

Stuck between two very bad options.

To take on a task that is way to big.

To avoid talking.

The family bond is closer than anything else.

A rare event or occurance.

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

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



Someone who isn’t adequate enough to compete or participate.

Someone who has no problems, complications or ill effects with eating anything or drinking anything.

Stiffness in the leg / A leg cramp.

Verbally scold someone.

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

To eat.


To be very near and almost accomplish a goal, but fall short.

An unbelievable tale.

Any difficult situation or obstacle.

To make someone laugh.

To hope that something happens the way you want it to.

When you complain about a loss from the past.

Intentionally raise a false alarm.

A cup of coffee.

Being Inquisitive can lead you into a dangerous situation.

Leave out all the unnecessary details and just get to the point.



One who was previously unknown and is now prominent.

100% identical. A duplicate.

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.

The hottest days of the summer season.

Don’t rely on it until your sure of it.

When someone gives you a gift, don’t be ungrateful.

Do not put all your resources in one possibility.

Something outstanding.

Something that ends at the last minute or last few seconds.

When you are extremely desperate you need to take extremely desperate actions.

To drink very heavily.

To irritate and/or annoy very much.

A large number of people either falling ill or dying.




A certain item is no longer available. Or this idiom can also mean, to throw away.

The show has come to an end. It’s all over.

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

Be optomistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.

Almost everything and anything has been included.

Please forgive me for cussing.



An aggressive attack on someone by a group.

An enjoyable day or circumstance.

To become more comfortable in whatever you are doing.

A very tasty food or meal.

Not willing or wanting to change from your normal way of doing something.

Something that shows potential or looks promising in the beginning but fails to deliver anything in the end.

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

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

To raise your middle finger at someone.

To be enraged and show it.


Iron pyrites, a worthless rock that resembles real gold.

An open mouth kiss where tongues touch.

To go from being very poor to being very wealthy.

An old-fashioned and foolish type of person.

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

A mental institutional facility.



To become serious about something.

To move beyond something that is bothering you.

Someone who is having a horrible day.

Get fired from a job.

To get away from. To escape.

To be received badly by an audience.

To gamble everything you have.

Put yourself in a tough position in order to support someone/something.

Going above and beyond whatever is required for the task at hand.

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

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

Intelligent people think like each other.

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.



Quickly doing things results in a poor ending.

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.

Angry and overcome by emotions.

Very excited and/or joyful, especially when in love.

Deteriorating and headed for complete disaster.

Slapping palms above each others heads as celebration gesture.

Living in Luxury.

To study, especially for a test or exam.

Go to bed or go to sleep.

Do something exactly right or say something exactly right.

Go to bed or go to sleep.

In general, a term used in magic or trickery.

Be patient.



When you already have it good and get something on top of what you already have.

You are more likely to get in trouble if you have nothing to do.

When one thing goes wrong, then another, and another…

To be easily successful, especially when sexual or romantic.

To have something secured.


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

An aggressive and bold confrontation.

A two person conflict where both people are at fault.

You frequently see the same people in different places.

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.



Crossing the street (from the middle) without using the crosswalk.

Joshing Me:
Tricking me.



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:

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.



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.



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.



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.



Getting a bad start on a relationship or task.

No longer have to deal with a tough situation.

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.


When multiple people all agree on the same thing.

Something that suddenly and unexpectedly occurs.

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

To enjoy yourself by going out.

When you absolutely will not allow something to happen.

Very excessive.



Avoid responsibility by giving it to someone else.

To go full speed, especially while driving a vehicle.

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

Pick up your ears:
To listen very carefully.

A deal that is made without first examining it.

To eat alot and eat it quickly.

To shut-up or be quiet.

By constantly practicing, you will become better.

To stop something. To bring something to an end.

Tricking someone as a joke.

To tell noisy person or a group to be quiet.



Destroy or ruin a plan.



An offer or deal that is declined right now but willing to accept later.

A very loud and noisy rain storm.

Seperated usual judgement to guarantee protection, especially project funds.

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

If you want something to be completely properly, then its going to take time.

A rough estimate.

Run out of steam:
To be completely out of energy.



Saved at the last possible moment.

Someone else who takes the blame.

To escape and not have to pay.

To be very sick (with the flu or a cold).

Riding in the front passenger seat of a car.

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

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

To detect somone in the group is betraying the others.

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

A scamp.

Someone who is left-handed.

The exact likeness or kind.

To do it all over again from the beginning.



It is your decision this time.

There are two choices and you have them both.

While the bigger and stronger opponent might be alot more difficult to beat, when you do they suffer a much bigger loss.

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

Everything. All of it.

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

To get married.

A long time.

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 take the credit for something someone else did.

Humor, not to be taken serious.

Refuse to acknowledge something you know is real or legit.

To be turned away.



Feeling ill or sick.

Going down a course of action that leads to a bad outcome.

Use your head. Think smart.



Tone deaf.

The more experiences you try the more exciting life can be.



Wag the Dog:
A diversion away from something of greater importance.

Anything from the past that isn’t significant or important anymore.

To openly and freely express your emotions.

Since it rarely rains, when it does it will be a huge storm.

Something that will never ever happen.

Uncultured and without laws.

When somebody is treated to an expensive meal.

For certain.



A phrase that is said when someone finds something he/she has been looking for.



In order to stay healthy you must eat healthy foods.

Decisions shouldn’t be made primarily on appearance.

Enjoy what you have and not what you don’t have, since when you die you cannot take things (such as money) with you.

I have no idea.



No crime or law breaking big or small will be overlooked.

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