40 Common English Idioms

Idioms that came from movies!

You can take portions of idioms and common phrases and use them to hint connections of theme, stories, and characters.

Who doesn’t enjoy movies and entertainment? If you are at all human, chances are that you can name your favorite movie, movie or TV star, and TV show reflexively if anyone asks you to.

Idioms that came from movies! - wordscoach.com


1. Popcorn movie

A popcorn movie is one that you watch almost purely for entertainment. While there are movies that will make you think and give you a new perspective on life, popcorn movies will not – nor are they made for that.

  • I know that some people will judge you for admitting that you enjoy popcorn movies, but they are really popular for a real reason!
  • Many of the summer blockbusters that you see each year are popcorn movies, but you might be surprised to realize that the ones that do the best are ones that really make you think.


2. Get the show on the road

If someone tells you to get the show on the road, they are urging you to get started on something! Rather than waiting somewhere for the preparation to finish, they want you to start, even if there might be some mistakes and things that hinder your progress.

  • The circus ringmaster was tired of all his employees spending time drinking and partying instead of packing up to move. He shouted, “Let’s get this show on the road!” to get them to move.
  • I know you are worried about leaving something important behind, but we have our passports and cash for our trip to Japan so let’s get this show on the road!

3. Bob’s Your Uncle

It’s as simple as that.

  • A comedy about some strange guy named Bob that may or may not be a character’s uncle?


4. Blue in the Face

Weakened or tired after trying many times.

  • Possibly a great title for a biopic of The Blue Man Group or a unique story about a character trying to be part of that strange performance group?


5. Kick something off, kick off

If you kick something off, you spark its beginning. If you are sitting in a meeting and no one says anything when the boss asks for feedback, it will be awkward.

  • The movie’s cast and crew wanted to celebrate the release of their movie by holding a private kick off party the night before the formal movie premiere.
  • Our local grocery store is helping the families in the community kick off the school year right by offering lots of discounts on all kinds of back-to-school items! They have reduced prices on backpacks, stationery like pens and notebooks, lunches, etc.


6. A Storm in a Tea Cup

A big fuss made about something of little importance.

  • It is a storm in a teacup: in terms of international waste disposal, we are talking about microscopic amounts of material.
  • It would seem that the process has come a long way forward and this is probably a storm in a teacup.
  • It seems to me to be a storm in a teacup about these business letters.
  • I will not say it is a storm in a teacup, but it is rather like one.
  • It is a complete storm in a teacup.


7. Sell out

Sell out has two meanings – one is positive and the other is negative. If you use sell out as a noun, it is not a good thing. This means that you have completely abandoned your principles in favor of something such as money.

  • If we are able to sell out the first show of our musical, we can show all these people that there is a market for the stories that we can tell and that people will like them!
  • I spent two years building up this blog and I will not sell out my brand for any amount of money by letting a bad service advertise on it.


8. Hold Your Horses

Wait a minute.

  • Just hold your horses, Bill! Let’s think about this for a moment.


9. Kick the Bucket

To die.

  • Every one of us will kick the bucket someday.
  • Have you heard? The old man down the street has kicked the bucket.
  • All the fish in my aquarium kicked the bucket when we went on a vacation.


10. Live up to the hype

If something lives up to the hype, it means two things. First, it means that there is enough interest in it, or hype. People will get excited for something by generating hype for it.

  • Jerry thought for sure the new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, Spiderman Homecoming, was going to fall short of the expectations of the fans. To his surprise, however, it really lived up to the hype!
  • I was not too sure how many details I wanted to share with my audience before the launch of my new podcast because I wanted it to live up to the hype.


11. Head in the Clouds

Living in a fantasy.

  • The government has its head in the clouds when it comes to the rebels.
  • Kim does not like the logic and keeps his head in the clouds all the time.


12. Pardon My French

Sorry for cursing.

  • Pardon my French, but that’s a damned shame!

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