Idioms are common ways of expression and their meaning cannot be inferred from the words that make them up. Read on to learn some examples of idioms and their connotations.

Examples Of Idioms

An idiom is a kind of expression of two or more words that means something other than the literal meaning of its individual words. One of the best examples of an idiom is “kick the bucket”. This idiom does not literally mean ‘kick the bucket’; the actual meaning of this idiom is “to die”. There are thousands of idioms used in the English language that are used to express a particular idea or thought. An idiom is by and large a conversational figure of speech used by native speakers. To use an idiom, the two persons conversing must have a similar cultural backdrop to understand the meaning of the idiom correctly. As a result, it can be said that idioms are not part of a particular language, but much of a part of a particular society. If you are interested to learn the most common idioms and their meanings in the English language, then read through the next sections to learn more.

Idiom Examples
  • A thorn in the flesh - A continuous source of difficulty or trouble.
  • Throw down the gauntlet – To issue a challenge.
  • Learn or know the ropes – To become familiar with something new: become skilled at a new task.
  • Hit the hay – Means to go to bed or go to sleep.
  • Spill the beans or to let the cat out of the bag - To tell or reveal a secret.
  • Until hell freezes over or when pigs fly - Until forever, until the end of time or never.
  • To put your foot in it or to step in it - To make an embarrassing mistake.
  • To be a social butterfly -To be gregarious and enjoy talking to anyone and everyone.
  • To hit someone below the belt - To do something unfair to someone.
  • To be broke -To be without money.
  • A couch potato - To spend too much time on the sofa, watching TV.
  • Drive someone up the wall - To irritate someone, to make them crazy.
  • Dirt cheap - Extremely inexpensive.
  • Jump the gun -To do something prematurely, before it is time to do it.
  • Kick bucket -To die.
  • Once in a blue moon - Very rarely.
  • Miss the boat -To miss an opportunity.
  • Cool as a cucumber - Someone who stays very calm.
  • To be a chicken - Someone who is a coward or easily scared.
  • To be caught red-handed - To be discovered in the middle of the crime, or in a way that proves guilt instantly.
  • Never bite the hand that feeds you - One should never hurt a person who has helped him/her.
  • Practice makes perfect - Doing a particular thing over and over makes us perfect in that activity.
  • Rome was not built in one day - If one has to do something worthwhile, enough time and efforts need to be reserved for that activity.
  • Run out of steam - To feel exhausted or out of energy while doing a particular task.
  • Smell something fishy - To detect some wrongdoing or malice in a particular activity.
  • Start from scratch - To start a particular activity or task once again from the beginning.
  • Tongue and cheek - To indicate that humor was intended and that one shouldn't take the speech/action seriously.
Remember, the above mentioned examples of idioms will help you communicate better if you try and use them often.

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