Follow us on Facebook
Facebook icon

Welcome to my guestmap
Please place a pin on the guestmap to show where you come from.

Free Guestmap from Bravenet.com

Many thanks for all your encouraging messages.

Guestmap information



  Learn-English-Today  

Idioms and Proverbs eBooks
Complete lists of idioms and proverbs
now available for purchase.

 Buy Here! 




Visitors:
 

English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical lists of English idioms with their meaning and an example.


Idioms are words, phrases or expressions commonly used in everyday conversation by native speakers of English. They are often metaphorical and make the language more colourful.

Example:- Let the cat out of the bag :   If you let the cat out of the bag, you reveal a secret.

N.B. It is important to remember that idiomatic expressions are used when speaking informally. They are not used in formal exchanges.



ALPHABETICAL LISTS:

The lists below show the first and last idiom on each page:

  • Alphabetical idioms - lists A :
    • list A1 :  abbreviated piece of nothing → (hold all the) aces
    • list A2 :  achilles heel → alarm bells
    • list A3 :  all along → all the rage
    • list A4 :  all sizzle and no steak → apple of your eye
    • list A5 :  (upset the) applecart → at all costs
    • list A6 :  at this stage of the game → (have an) axe to grind
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists B :
    • list B1 :  (leave someone holding the) baby  →  in bad shape
    • list B2 :  badger someone →  whole new ball game
    • list B3 :  ballpark figure  →  battle lines are drawn
    • list B4 :  battle of wills  →  beat a dead horse
    • list B5 :  beat a hasty retreat  →  before your very eyes
    • list B6 :  beggars can't be choosers  →  beside yourself
    • list B7 :  best bet  →  beyond any reasonable doubt
    • list B8 :  beyond one's wildest dreams →  bite the bullet
    • list B9 :  bite the dust → blamestorming
    • list B10 : blank cheque  →  blow away the cobwebs
    • list B11 : blow a fuse  →  above board
    • list B12 : in the same boat   →  bored to tears
    • list B13 : born with silver spoon in your mouth  →  all brawn no brain
    • list B14 : know which side your bread is buttered  →  a breeze
    • list B15 : bricks and mortar/bricks and clicks  →   pass the buck
    • list B16 : kick the bucket  →  burning question
    • list B17 : bury your head in the sand  →  by degrees
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists C :
    • list C1 :  (in) cahoots with  →  burn the candle at both ends 
    • list C2 :  (paddle one's own) canoe  → carrot and stick 
    • list C3 :  carry the can  →  fat cat
    • list C4 :  cat nap  →  catch as catch can
    • list C5 :  caught in the crossfire  →  change the face of
    • list C6 :  change of heart  →  chicken out
    • list C7 :  chickens come home to roost  →  chips are down
    • list C8 :  (as useful as a) chocolate teapot  →  clip someone's wings
    • list C9 :   clock in/out  →  cold calls
    • list C10 : cold turkey  →  come to grips
    • list C11 : come to a head  →  common ground
    • list C12 : common knowledge  →  couch potato
    • list C13 : cough up  →  cream of the crop
    • list C14 : cream rises to the top  →  at cross purposes
    • list C15 : cross the Rubicon  →  a cut above
    • list C16 : cut both ways  →  cut it fine
    • list C17 : cut it out  →   cutting edge
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists D :
    • list D1 :  dab hand at something → dead in the water
    • list D2 :  dead loss  →  (like a) deer caught in the headlights
    • list D3 :  (by) degrees → dice are loaded
    • list D4 :  dice with death → disappear into thin air
    • list D5 :  disaster written all over → dog-eat-dog
    • list D6 :  dog and pony show → (in the) doghouse
    • list D7 :  (in the) doldrums → down in the mouth
    • list D8 :  down payment  →  dressed to kill
    • list D9 :  dressed up to the nines  →  dry (or dummy) run
    • list D10 :sitting duck → dying for
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists E :
    • list E1 :  eager beaver →  eat crow
    • list E2 :  eat dirt → (walk on) eggshells
    • list E3 :  ego trip  →  even keel
    • list E4 :  even the score  →  eagle eyes
    • list E5 :  eyes in the back of your head  →  eyes on stalks
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists F :
    • list F1 :   face like a bulldog  → facts speak for themselves
    • list F2 :   fair and square → fall on deaf ears
    • list F3 :   fall on sword → fat cat
    • list F4 :   fat chance → feet of clay
    • list F5 :   (back on your) feet → (play second) fiddle
    • list F6 :   fiddling while Rome burns → finger in every pie
    • list F7 :   put a finger on →  in the first place
    • list F8 :   (of the) first water  →  fit for purpose
    • list F9 :    fit to be tied → fly-by-night
    • list F10 :  fly by seat of one's pants → (on a) fool's errand
    • list F11 :  fool's paradise  →  forewarned is forearmed
    • list F12 :  forty winks → freudian slip)
    • list F13 :  friends in high places → fur coat
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists G :
    • list G1 :  gift of the gab →  get cracking
    • list G2 :  get down to brass tacks → get off the hook
    • list G3 :  get on your high horse →  get your skates on
    • list G4 :  get to bottom → give run-around
    • list G5 :  give the shirt off one's back  → go against the tide
    • list G6 :  go all out → go hand in hand
    • list G7 :  go haywire  →  go postal
    • list G8 :  go to hell in a handcart   →  gone with the wind
    • list G9 :  good as gold →green fingers
    • list G10 : green light → gutter press
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists H :
    • list H1 :  (old) habits die hard →  half a mind
    • list H2 :  hammer home → hands tied
    • list H3 :  (wash your) hands of → happy as Larry
    • list H4 :  happy-go-lucky→ have you gone out of your mind?
    • list H5 :  have kittens → hear through grapevine
    • list H6 :  heart's content → heebie jeebies
    • list H7 :  hell broke loose → hidden agenda
    • list H8 :  high and dry → hit panic button
    • list H9 :  hit the road  → (not) hold water
    • list H10 : holier-than-thou  →  horns of a dilemma
    • list H11 : horse of a different colour → (not give) house room
    • list H12 : (on the) house → hustle and bustle
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists I :
    • list I1 : break the ice → in essence
    • list I2 : in the first place → in retrospect
    • list I3 : in safe hands → be an item
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists J :
    • list J1 : jack of all trades → jump the gun
    • list J2 : jump for joy → just the ticket
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists K :
    • list K1 : kangaroo court → keep your nose to the grindstone
    • list K2 : keep your options open → kick yourself
    • list K3 : a kickback → kowtow to someone
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists L :
    • list L1 : labour of love  → laugh all the way
    • list L2 : laugh off → leave high and dry
    • list L3 : leave no stone unturned → let bygones be bygones
    • list L4 : let me bounce this off you  →  keep a lid on
    • list L5 : lie in → see in new light
    • list L6 : (shed) light → lipstick on a pig
    • list L7 : live beyond your means → (a) load off your mind
    • list L8 : loan shark → look the picture of health)
    • list L9 : look a sight → at a loss
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists M :
    • list M1 : mad as a hatter →make an exhibition of
    • list M2 : make flesh crawl → make nothing of
    • list M3 : (can't) make an omelette → (find your) match
    • list M4 : matter of time → middle of nowhere
    • list M5 : (smack dab in the) middle → mind your Ps and Qs
    • list M6 : (in one's) mind's eye → money for old rope
    • list M7 : money doesn't grow → (once in blue) moon
    • list M8 : reach for the moon → move heaven and earth
    • list M9 : move in the same circles → my way or the highway
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists N :
    • list N1 : nailing jelly to the wall → nest egg
    • list N2 : never a dull moment → night owl
    • list N3 : nine-day wonder→ no hard feelings
    • list N4 : no holds barred → not give the time of day
    • list N5 : not in the same league → nuts and bolts
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists O :
    • list O1 : odds and ends  → can't make an omelette
    • list O2 : on the cards  → one good turn
    • list O3 : one hand washes the other → open secret
    • list O4 : open-and-shut case → out on a limb
    • list O5 : out to lunch → over and done with
    • list O6 : over the hill → world is your oyster
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists P :
    • list P1 :  put through paces → paper tiger
    • list P2 :  paper trail → not a patch on
    • list P3 :  pay dearly for → penny drops
    • list P4 :  in for a penny → no picnic)
    • list P5 :  picture of health → pillar to post
    • list P6 :  (at a) pinch → play with fire
    • list P7 :  play footsie → pleased as punch
    • list P8 :  pluck out of the air→ politically correct
    • list P9 :  pop one's clogs → pour one's heart out
    • list P10 : power behind the throne → (a) proper do
    • list P11 : proud as a peacock → push one's luck
    • list P12 : if push comes to shove → put one's house in order
    • list P13 : put in one's place  → Pyrrhic victory
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists Q :
    • list Q :  quaking in one's boots  →  quiet as a mouse
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists R :
    • list R1 :  race against time → rake in the money
    • list R2 :  ram down someone's  throat  → rear its ugly head
    • list R3 :  recharge one's batteries → refresh someone's memory
    • list R4 :  regain one's composure →  (a) rip-off
    • list R5 :  ripple effect → (when in) Rome do as the Romans
    • list R6 :  (go through the) roof   →  (bend the) rules
    • list R7 :  run down → (in a) rut
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists S :
    • list S1 :  (get the) sack  → (in the) same boat
    • list S2 :  (by the) same token  → scales fall from your eyes
    • list S3 :  scarce as hen's teeth → sea legs
    • list S4 :  seal of approval → seen better days
    • list S5 :  sell down the river  → settle a score
    • list S6 :  shake like a leaf → ship has sailed
    • list S7 :  ships that pass in the night  → short end of the stick
    • list S8 :  short fuse → shrug something off
    • list S9 :  shut the stable door when horse ...  → simplicity itself
    • list S10 : since time immemorial → skeleton staff
    • list S11 : skin a cat  →  slice of the cake
    • list S12 : sling mud  →  (a) smash hit
    • list S13 : smoke like a chimney → sneak preview
    • list S14 : (not to be) sneezed at → spanner in the works
    • list S15 : (go) spare → spin a yarn
    • list S16 : spinach cinema  →  (no) spring chicken
    • list S17 : (on the) spur of the moment  → starter marriage
    • list S18 : state of the art → step on someone's toes
    • list S19 : step out of line → sticky fingers
    • list S20 : (on a) sticky wicket  →  (a) storm is brewing
    • list S21 : (a) storm in a teacup  →  stretch the truth
    • list S22 : (in) strict confidence → stubborn as a mule
    • list S23 : stuck in time warp → sweet nothings
    • list S24 : sweet tooth → (all) systems go
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists T :
    • list T1 :  tail wagging the dog → take with a grain of salt
    • list T2 :  take the law into your own hands → take the rough with the smooth
    • list T3 :  take shape → take stock
    • list T4 :  take to the cleaners → (run a) taut ship
    • list T5 :  (not for all the) tea in China  → text-walking
    • list T6 :  thank one's lucky stars   -  thick as thieves
    • list T7 :  through thick and thin → thrilled to bits
    • list T8 :  (at each other's) throats →  (rule of) thumb
    • list T9 :  (all) thumbs → time after time
    • list T10 : (for the) time being → toing and froing
    • list T11 : token gesture  →  toot your own horn
    • list T12 : (fight) tooth and nail → toy with an idea
    • list T13 : trade secret  → tunnel vision
    • list T14 : turkeys voting for Christmas → (in the) twinkling of an eye
    • list T15 : twist someone's arm  →  put two and two together
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists U :
    • list U1 :  ugly as sin → up in arms
    • list U2 :  up in the air → useful as chocolate teapot
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists V :
    • list V1 :  vanish into thin air  →  vote with one's feet
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists W :
    • list W1 :  on the wagon  → walk a tightrope
    • list W2 :  walking on air  →  wax lyrical
    • list W3 :  ways and means → wet blanket
    • list W4 :  whale of a time→ white lie
    • list W5 :  whiz kid →  get wind of)
    • list W6 :  (know) which way wind blows  →  wise after the event
    • list W7 :  wise up to → can't see the wood for the trees
    • list W8 :  touch wood → work like a charm
    • list W9 :  work to rule → best of both worlds
    • list W10 :worlds apart  →  written all over your face
  • Alphabetical idioms - lists X-Y-Z :
    • list X-Y-Z : xerox subsidy  →  zero tolerance



Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.