Images sourced from:

Hey look! Idioms can be fun too!

An idiom is a phrase with a figurative meaning that cannot be understood just by knowing the meaning of the words inside the phrase.

Why do we use idioms?

Idioms are coined to communicate a specific and quite precise meaning for which there is no exact word. Clever and creative idioms tend to be memorable and tend to stay in someone’s head. Having idioms in your essay makes the read more enjoyable for the reader as well. You could think of idioms as something which fills the gaps in our vocabulary. They could just be a more casual way to talk about an idea. As idioms tend to be an informal, social language, the use of idioms also helps you to bond with other people and make a situation less tense and awkward!

Here are a few idioms out of the 25,000 idioms in the dictionary!


What it means

A bee in one’s bonnet

A wild and crazy idea

A bolt from the blue

A completely unexpected and often an unpleasant surprise

A breach of faith

To act contrary to what one has promised

A dog with two tails

One who is extremely pleased

A fish out of the water

In an uncomfortable or new situation

A wet blanket

Someone who disheartens others

An eye for an eye


At sixes and seven

In confusion

Bite the hand that feeds you

Ungrateful to somebody who has helped you

Child’s play

Very easy to do

Curry favour

Seek favour by flattery

Eat humble pie

Act in a humble way

Face the music

Take scolding or penalties

Get on the bandwagon

Recognise the popularity and success of a person or plan and support him in the hope of personal gain

Hornet’s nest

A source of great trouble

Laugh up your sleeve

Laugh secretly at somebody

Leave no stone unturned

Try one’s hardest

On tenterhooks

In a state of suspense and anxiety

On thin ice

In a dangerous and difficult position

Paddle your own canoe

Do things by yourself

Pay lip service

Pretend to be loyal

The salt of the Earth

The best people

Throw in the sponge

Admit defeat

Wash your dirty linen in public

Show people your troubles and problems

Of course, this list is not exhaustive. As you read more, you may chance upon many other fun and tacky idioms which you could use in your writing! To learn more idioms, sign up here (link to English lessons) for a free trial class AND you’ll get a more comprehensive list of idioms that you’ll need to know in your lifetime!