English@HighSchool would never be complete without idioms, proverbs, and expressions which are an important part of everyday English. They come up all the time in both written and spoken English. Because idioms and proverbs don’t always make sense literally, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the meaning and usage of each idiom. That may seem like a lot of work, but learning idioms is fun, especially when you compare English idioms and try to decipher their meanings.
An idiom is a common expression understood figuratively, as the literal definition makes no sense.
Each sentence given below contains a boldfaced idiom/phrase which is explained at the end.
- A red herring is a distraction or an attempt to misdirect attention to something that is not important.
- To throw the baby out with the bathwater is to discard something valuable or useful along with something disagreeable or unusable.
- Something that is under wraps is kept a secret or not made public.
- To have a fire in one’s belly is to have a strong desire to accomplish difficult or creative tasks.
- To nickel and dime someone is an attempt to acquire a small financial advantage or gain.
- To eat one’s heart out is to become very jealous or resentful of another’s success.
- To be behind the eighth ball is to be stuck in a difficult situation.
- Left holding the bag means he or she receives the blame or responsibility for the actions of another.
- When someone bites their tongue, that person is refraining from saying something because of the feelings of another person.
- To build a nest egg is the total savings or material value possessed by a person or company.
- When the ball is in one’s court means he or she is responsible for the outcome of a decision.
- When the cat has someone’s tongue that person is uncharacteristically quiet in the face of charges or criticism.
- A diamond in the rough is a person or thing of rare quality found in an unexpected place.
- To pull one’s leg is to misinform or mislead a person for amusement.
- To hit the books means to study or to focus intensely on one’s academics..
- A kangaroo court is a trying body that judges people unfairly or without proper authority.
- A basket case is a person who is not emotionally fit to function.
- To push up daises is to no longer be of this world, to have passed away or perished.
- To wake up on the wrong side of the bed is to be grumpy or irritable for seemingly no reason.
- Ten dollar words are large or difficult vocabulary words that most people would not understand.
How did you find these idioms? Please leave a comment below.
Good luck in all your efforts.