Improve your vocabulary with some common English Idioms

Every language has its own collection of wise sayings. They offer advice about how to live and also transmit some underlying ideas, principles and values of a given culture. These sayings are popularly called idioms.

Idioms are expressions that are not to be taken literally; instead, one must understand the meaning that lies behind them. For example, it’s raining cats and dogs has nothing to do with cats and dogs falling from the sky, but actually refers to heavy or unusual rains. 

Some idioms are very common in the English language. Take a look at them 👇🏿

1. Break a leg

Meaning – Good luck!

  • Mary’s friends told her to break a leg right before she began her speech.

2. When pigs fly

Meaning – Something that will never happen

  • He will surely submit his assignments when pigs fly.

3. Eat a horse

Meaning – extremely hungry

  • I’ve been so busy all morning, I could eat a horse for lunch.

4. Beat around the bush

Meaning – avoid the subject by talking about irrelevant topics

  • Jessica doesn’t beat around the bush; she’s up front and honest.

5. Piece of cake

Meaning – very easy

  • National level entrance examination is not a piece of cake.

6. Don’t judge a book by its cover

Meaning – don’t judge someone/something based on appearance

  • The hotel did not look appealing from the outside, but you should not judge a book by its cover. The food was really good.

7. Under the weather

Meaning – slightly sick or ill

  • My brother did not go for the tournament because he was under the weather.

8. Get down to business

Meaning – start getting serious about something

  • The students will be honouring the chief guest with welcome songs and memento before we get down to business.

9. In a nutshell

Meaning – to summarise something into few words

  • In a nutshell, the newspaper article blamed the citizens for an increase in crimes in the city.

10. The elephant in the room

Meaning – problem or matter of great importance which is not discussed openly

  • The fact that his 40-year-old brother was still living with his parents was a big elephant in the room at the wedding.

Wish to learn more? Take a look at these festive idioms 👇🏿💃

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