More idioms than you can shake a stick at !

27th October 2021

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Idioms are used frequently in conversational English, not to mention formal and informal writing, and in song lyrics. Additionally I have heard British politicians, speaking in Received Pronunciation, employ an idiom in two in their remarks.

Generally students like having a few idioms under their belt, as it makes them feel that they are closer to everyday English, and can hold their own in a conversation.

Therefore, here is a one-stop shop for various idioms I’ve introduced over the years. Now, put your nose to the grindstone and get cracking.

Idioms

it’s raining cats and dogs

it costs an arm and a leg

piece of cake

I’m burning the candle at both ends

once in a blue moon

pass with flying colours

turn over a new leaf

Another string to (your) bow – a new skill or learning experience

bear with me – please wait a very short time (usually spoken as opposed to written)

bit of a sore point – something that makes you sad or angry

down in the dumps – depressed, unhappy, feeling gloomy

hit the ground running – to start something immediately and with all your energy

like a madhouse – a place or area that is crazy, too noisy, too busy etc

run of the mill – ordinary, typical, normal, usual, boring

up in arms – to be very angry about something, to protest strongly

you take your life in your hands – doing something that is extremely dangerous

tickled pink = very happy – I’m tickled pink

fit as a fiddle = very healthy

Keep an eye on = watch something carefully

under the table = to give money to someone unofficially

kick the bucket = to die (informal) Did you hear ? Old Tom kicked the bucket.

A spanner in the works = a serious problem

In the right ball park (US) = not correct but close

On the right track (UK) not correct but close

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Learning the ropes = learning what the job involves

Snowed under = very busy

number-cruncher = a slang term for an accountant

cooking the books = writing false information in accountants – a serious crime

Let’s call it a day = We can finish work now

Can you run that by me again ? = Please repeat.

Food Idioms Bulletin Board Kit by Apples to Zippers | TpT

tea / cherries / nutshell / cucumber / carrot

Growing up is hard, life isn’t always a bowl of _________ . 

He walked in, as cool as a _________ , and told the boss he wanted a pay rise.

We’re going to try using a _________ and stick approach 

I’m not a fan of karaoke, it’s not my cup of _________ at all. 

To put it in a _________ , philosophy is very difficult.

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Speaking Practice can be accessed on this blog: https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/06/cat-got-your-tongue-time-to-talk-idioms/

what have you been getting up to ? // raining cats and dogs

chockablock // hold your horses // under the weather // chop chop // vicious circle

// can you follow me ? // a screw loose // not my cup of tea // kick the bucket

cut and dry // turn over a new leaf // pull your socks up //

as much use as a chocolate teapot // let’s call it a day

You may not know some of the above, so just ask your teacher, or do an online search

Extra idioms lessons may be found on these pages:

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/01/idioms-a-piece-of-cake/

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/02/idioms-part-2-are-you-pulling-my-leg/

https://thaypaulsnotes.com/2020/06/04/idioms-part-3-all-above-board-nothing-under-the-table/

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