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Interesting List of 50+ Commonly Used Idioms in English

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English idioms are a group of words which have a meaning which isn’t obvious from looking at the individual words. In this lesson, you will learn commonly used idioms in English.

Common Idioms in English

List of Common Idioms

  • “To have a chip on your shoulder”
  • “To have an ax to grind”
  • “To let the cat out of the bag”
  • “To call it a day”
  • “To pull someone’s leg”
  • “To have a blast”
  • “To be in the same boat”
  • “To be a ball of fire”
  • “To be a wet blanket”
  • “To be a pain in the neck”
  • “To be a breath of fresh air”
  • “To be a square peg in a round hole”
  • “To be a snake in the grass”
  • “To be a wild card”
  • “To be at the end of your rope”
  • “To be at the top of your game”
  • “To be behind the times”
  • “To be between a rock and a hard place”
  • “To be caught red-handed”
  • “To be clear as mud”
  • “To be down in the dumps”
  • “To be a fish out of water”
  • “To be a fly in the ointment”
  • “To be a good egg”
  • “To be a hard nut to crack”
  • “To be a hot potato”
  • “To be a loose cannon”
  • “To be a open book”
  • “To be a thorn in someone’s side”
  • “To be a wild goose chase”

Common Idioms with Meanings

1. A penny for your thoughts

A way of asking what someone is thinking.

2. Actions speak louder than words

People’s intentions can be judged better by what they do than what they say.

3. Back to the drawing board

When an attempt fails and it’s time to start all over.

4. Ball is in your court

It is up to you to make the next decision or step.

5. Blessing in disguise

Something good that isn’t recognized at first.

6. Burn the midnight oil

To work late into the night, alluding to the time before electric lighting.

7. Costs an arm and a leg

This idiom is used when something is very expensive.

8. Curiosity killed the cat

Being Inquisitive can lead you into an unpleasant situation.

9. Don’t sweat it

Don’t worry about it.

10. Get out of town

I don’t believe you.

11. Hands down

For certain the right answer

12. How’s it going?

How are you?

13. I made a key decision

Make an important decision.

14. I was knocked on my heels

I was surprised.

15. See eye to eye

Agreeing with someone

16. A piece of cake

Something is very easy.

17. To feel under the weather

To not feel well

18. To hit the nail on the head

Describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem

19. Close but no cigar

Close but fail at the end

20. Hang on a second

Wait for a moment

21. Spill the beans

To tell the secret

22. Stray on track

To stay focused on the goal

23. Take it easy

Calm down

24. Throw an idea around

Casually suggest an idea

25. Your guess is as good as mine

To have no idea, do not know the answer to a question

26. Taste of your own medicine

Something happens to you, or is done to you, that you have done to someone else.

27. Off one’s rocker

Crazy, demented, out of one’s mind, in a confused or befuddled state of mind, senile.

28. Can’t stand (something)

To dislike something

29. Driving me bananas

Making me feel crazy

30. Picture paints a thousand words

A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.

English Idioms | Image

Commonly Used Idioms in English

Commonly Used Idioms in English


Wednesday 9th of October 2019

Great !!! I think it should include an example for each

Mai Mai

Wednesday 15th of November 2017

Great Job! But i think its better to have the sound of the idioms with