20 English idioms that everyone should know - wordscoach.com

20 English idioms that everyone should know

Native English speakers love to use them in conversation, and you’ll often find them popping up in books, TV shows, and movies as well. To perfect your English, you really need to be confident in using idioms and know the difference between breaking a leg and pulling someone’s leg.

Here are 20 English idioms that everyone should know:

1. Under the weather

Meaning: Not very well

Example: Your wife’s under the weather, but you didn’t want to miss it.

2. The ball is in your court

Meaning: it is up to you

Example: The ball is in your court. What you do now is up to you.

3. Spill the beans

Meaning: To give away a secret

Example: I’m not telling you the details because I know you’ll spill the beans.

4. Break a leg

Meaning: good luck!

Example: Someone’s going to break a leg in this.

5. Pull someone’s leg

Meaning: deceive someone playfully

Example: I panicked when he said the test was tomorrow, but then I realized he was just pulling my leg.

6. Sat on the fence

Meaning: avoid making a decision or choice.

Example: They are sitting on the fence and refusing to commit themselves.

7. Through thick and thin

Meaning: through difficult times and situations

Example: Through thick and thin, no matter what happens at my trial.

8. Once in a blue moon

Meaning: very rarely; almost never

Example: The love that transforms in magic, Once in a blue moon.

9. It’s the best thing since sliced bread

Meaning: It’s really, really good

Example: I’ve bought a new touchscreen computer, it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, I can’t believe I ever worked without it.

10. Take it with a pinch of salt

Meaning: regard something as exaggerated

Example: You have to take everything she says with a pinch of salt, because she tends to exaggerate.

11. Come rain or shine

Meaning: No matter what

Example: I don’t know about you, but I plan to go out with my friends tomorrow come rain or shine.

12. Go down in flames

Meaning: be destroyed by fire.

Example: As your best friend, I cannot, in good conscience, watch you go down in flames anymore.

13. You can say that again

Meaning: That’s true

Example: A: “The weather is so hot and humid today.” B: “You can say that again.”

14. See eye to eye

Meaning: be in full agreement.

Example: My sisters don’t see eye to eye with me about the arrangements.

15. Jump on the bandwagon

Meaning: Following a trend

Example: Which is why so many politicians and union bureaucrats are trying to jump on the bandwagon.

16. As right as rain

Meaning: completely healthy and normal

Example: Couldn’t wake him up for a week, but now he’s as right as rain.

17. Beat around the bush

Meaning: discuss a matter without coming to the point.

Example: I shan’t beat around the bush, and I shall thank you to be absolutely blunt with me.

18. Hit the sack

Meaning: go to bed.

Example: Oh, actually, I’d love to, but I gotta hit the sack early tonight.

19. Miss the boat

Meaning: be too slow to take advantage of an opportunity.

Example: You can either get on board now, or you can miss the boat.

20. By the skin of your teeth

Meaning: only just

Example: You got away with that by the skin of your teeth.

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