An idiom is a phrase or an expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. In this lesson, you will learn body idioms in English.
Body Idioms in English
1. Give your right arm (informal)
- Meaning: If you say that you would give the right arm to do or have something, you mean you would like it very much
- Example: I would give my right arm to meet the president.
2. Put your foot in it (Mainly the US, put your foot in your mouth – informal)
- Meaning: To say something by accident that embarrasses or upsets someone
- Example: I really put my foot in it with Alison. I had no idea she was divorced.
3. Pull somebody’s leg
- Meaning: To try to persuade someone to believe something that is not true as a joke
- Example: Is it really your car or are you pulling my leg?
4. Put your finger on sth
- Meaning: To discover the exact reason why a situation is the way it is, especially when something is wrong
- Example: There’s something odd about him, but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
5. Come to a head (also bring sth to a head)
- Meaning: If something comes to a head or someone brings something to a head, a situation reaches a point where something must be done about it
- Example: Things hadn’t been good between us for a while and this incident just brought it to a head.
6. Go to somebody’s head
- Meaning 1: If something goes to someone’s head, it makes them think that they are very important and makes them a less pleasant person
- Example: Don’t let fame/ success go to your head.
- Meaning 2: If alcohol goes to your head, it makes you feel slightly drunk
- Example: Champagne always goes straight to my head.
7. Cost an arm and a leg/ a small fortune (UK – also cost a bomb/ the earth/ a packet)
- Meaning: To be extremely expensive
- Example: I’d love to buy a Rolls-Royce, but they cost an arm and a leg.
8. Find your feet
- Meaning: To become familiar with and confident in a new situation:
- Example: Did it take you long to find your feet when you started your new job?
9. Bury/ have your head in the sand
- Meaning: To refuse to think about unpleasant facts, although they will have an influence on your situation
- Example: You’ve got to face facts here – you can’t just bury your head in the sand.
10. Get sth off your chest
- Meaning: To tell someone about something that has been worrying you or making you feel guilty for a long time.
- Example: I had spent two months worrying about it and I was glad to get it off my chest.
Body Idioms | Image