English idioms relating to the house, home, household furniture and equipment
Idioms about the House
1. halfway house
something that combines the qualities of two different things
This band is a halfway house between rock and pop.
2. a house of cards
an organization or plan that is weak and can easily be destroyed.
Their plan turned out to be a house of cards.
3. as safe as houses
be very safe
I’ve locked the door. They’re as safe as houses.
4. eat out of house and home
eat everything in somebody’s house
That big dog will eat us out of house and home!
5. get your own house in order
solve your problems or get organized
You should get your own house in order before telling me what to do.
6. house of correction
She said he’s out of the house of correction.
7. a house divided cannot stand
an organisation that is divided by internal disagreements will not be able to cope with external pressures
8. get on like a house on fire
if two people get on like a house on fire, they like each other very much and become friends very quickly
My neighbour and I got on like a house on fire from the first time we met.
9. go round the houses
waste time saying a lot of things that are not important before you get to the subject you want to talk about
There’s no need to go round the houses, just tell me what’s wrong.
10. wear the pants in the house
be the boss in the house, run a household
All right, if you have to wear the pants in the house, have it your way.
11. get a foot on the housing ladder
manage to buy your first house so that you can buy a bigger second one later
It’s becoming more difficult for young people to get a foot on the housing ladder.
12. basket house
a bar, coffee, or other public venue where musicians perform and are paid only by the collection of money from the audience in a basket or similar receptacle
Many of the most famous musicians began their careers eking out a living in basket houses around Greenwich Village in New York City.
Idioms “Around the House”
1. throw in the towel
quit, give up
After struggling with my homework, I finally threw in the towel and went to bed.
2. throw money down the drain
That’s a worthless investment. He’s throwing his money down the drain.
3. skeleton in the closet
an embarrassing or shameful secret
Most people have at least one skeleton in the closet.
4. hit the roof
become very angry
When I found out Tom crashed my car, I hit the roof.
5. smoke like a chimney
smoke a lot
Jeff smokes like a chimney. I worry about his health.
6. go out the window
no longer exist, disappear
His diet went out the window during the holidays.
7. build castles in the air
create dreams, hopes, or plans that are impossible, unrealistic, or have very little chance of succeeding
You need sound financial advice and a strong plan if you’re going to start your own business—don’t just build castles in the air.
8. lead (someone) up the garden path
He really led her up the garden path with his promises of promotion and career advancement.
9. everything but the kitchen sink
take a lot of things when you go somewhere
They took everything but the kitchen sink when they went on holiday.
1. there’s no place like home
your home is a special place
The holiday was great! Still, there’s no place like home.
2. home sweet home
said to show happiness when returning home after being away
Every evening after work, she enters her house and thinks, “Home sweet home!”
3. home away from house
a place that is as pleasant and comfortable as your own home
When I was young, my best friend’s house was my home away from home.
4. make yourself at home
make yourself comfortable
Make yourself at home! Can I get you a drink?
5. close to home
affect someone in a strong and personal away
Some of my relatives criticize the education system. As a teacher, their comments hit close to home.
6. be home and dry
have successfully completed something, as a project or activity
I just need one more source for this essay and then I’ll be home and dry.
7. ram (something) home
force somebody to understand something important
The terrible injuries I saw in that accident really rammed home for me the importance of wearing seat belts.
8. home in on
become closer to your target
Police are homing in on the suspects.