Commonly Used Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions in English.

Learn useful Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions in English with meaning and examples.


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Learn useful Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions in English with meaning and examples.

All the Rage

  • Meaning: Very much in fashion
  • Example: Yoga pants are all the rage in North America right now, but in two years probably nobody will be wearing them.

Meeting of the Minds

  • Meaning: Strong instinctive agreement on something
  • Example: At first the negotiations weren’t going well, but when the president of the company and I sat down over drinks, we had a real meeting of the minds.

Scare the Living Daylights out of Someone

  • Meaning: Frighten someone severely
  • Example: I know my boyfriend was just trying to be nice, but when I opened the door to my apartment and everyone yelled “Surprise!” it scared the living daylights out of me.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

  • Meaning: When you don’t see something or someone, you tend to forget about that thing or person.
  • Example: When I broke up with Jake, I was heartbroken. But since he moved away, I hardly ever think about him. Out of sight, out of mind!

Tear-Jerker

  • Meaning: A film or book that makes you cry
  • Example: The film “Love Story,” with its story of young love cut short by death, was one of the most successful tear-jerkers of all time.

Pet Peeve

  • Meaning: A small thing that you find particularly annoying
  • Example: My pet peeve is people who bring large numbers of items to the express checkout at the supermarket.

Pull Yourself Together

  • Meaning: Control your emotions; recover from a strong emptional upset
  • Example: I know it was hard seeing your ex-boyfriend at the bar, but you need to pull yourself together so we can go home.

Get Carried Away

  • Meaning: Become overly enthusiastic
  • Example: Sure, you can invest a little money, but don’t get carried away – people lose lots of money on the stock market.

Think Big

  • Meaning: Consider ambitious plans; avoid becoming overly concerned with details
  • Example: Sales this year have been good. Caitlin said we should think big and consider whole new product lines.

Not Playing with a Full Deck

  • Meaning: Stupid, mentally deficient or impaired
  • Example: John’s suggestions in the meeting were ridiculous. Sometimes I think he’s not playing with a full deck.

Note: “A few bricks short of a load” is one of many variants.

Under the Impression

  • Meaning: Believing something, perhaps mistakenly
  • Example: I was under the impression that you were going to pick me up at the airport.

Out of Sorts

  • Meaning: Slightly ill; not feeling well
  • Example: Sorry I was so quiet during the meeting. I’ve been out of sorts all day.

Short Fuse

  • Meaning: A quick temper; a tendency to anger quickly
  • Example: Brandon has a short fuse, but he calms down as quickly as he gets angry.

Off One’s Rocker

  • Meaning: Crazy, nuts, insane
  • Example: Have you heard Dmitri is going to try to climb Mt. Rinjani in the rainy season? He must be off his rocker.

Bang One’s Head Against the Wall (Against a Brick Wall)

  • Meaning: Try repeatedly to do something without making progress
  • Example: Susana has been working on the data for three hours, but she says she’s just banging her head against the wall.

Young at Heart

  • Meaning: Having a youthful outlook, regardless of age
  • Example: Jack is young at heart. He’s 84 years old, but he’s always willing to go out dancing.

Take It Easy

  • Meaning: Don’t hurry; relax; don’t get angry
  • Example: I’ve been working too hard. I just want to head for the islands and take it easy for a few days.

Passing Fancy

  • Meaning: A temporary interest or attraction
  • Example: Many people thought Uggs were just a passing fancy, but they’ve been popular for several years now.

… Useful Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions …

On the Ball

  • Meaning: Prepared, alert, competent
  • Example: Ralph is on the ball. I think we can leave the office under his supervision for a few days.

On the Fence

  • Meaning: Undecided between two choices
  • Example: I’m on the fence about the election – both candidates have their good and bad points.

Living in Cloud Cuckooland

  • Meaning: Having unrealistic or foolish beliefs or plans.
  • Example: Norma thinks she’s going to be making $100,000 euros by next year. She’s living in cloud cuckooland.

Mad as a Hatter

  • Meaning: Mentally ill, psychotic
  • Example: Gerald used to be one of the most logical people I know. Now he’s mad as a hatter.

Note: This is rare in the USA.

Freudian Slip

  • Meaning: Accidental use of an incorrect word; a revealing slip of the tongue
  • Example: That was a real Freudian slip when Jane referred to her boyfriend as her father.

Fly off the Handle

  • Meaning: To become suddenly enraged
  • ExampleHow was I to know Tom would fly off the handle when I asked him about his father?

Draw a Blank

  • Meaning: Be unable to remember something
  • Exampledrew a blank when she asked me to name all of her sisters.

Drive Someone Up the Wall

  • Meaning: Deeply irritate someone
  • ExampleWhen Marie hums at her desk, it drives up up the wall.

Note: Some people also say “drives me up a wall.”

Down in the Dumps

  • Meaning: Depressed, sad
  • ExampleYou’ve been down in the dumps all week. Let’s go to the football game – that’ll cheer you up.

Chuck a Wobbly

  • Meaning: To act in an emotional way
  • Example: I know you’re upset. But don’t chuck a wobbly in your meeting with the boss; he won’t like it.

Note: You can also say “throw a wobbly.”

Cock-A-Hoop

  • Meaning: Elated, excited
  • ExampleFans are cock-a-hoop about the team’s acquisition of the new striker.

Blow One’s Stack

  • Meaning: To lose one’s temper and explode in anger
  • ExampleI swear, if Cindy asks me about the tickets one more time, I’m going to blow my stack.

At the End of One’s Rope (Tether)

  • Meaning: Running out of endurance or patience
  • ExampleAmber keeps whistling in the office. She doesn’t even realize she’s doing it, but I’m at the end of my rope.

At Wit’s End

  • Meaning: Frustrated because all measures to deal with something have failed
  • ExampleI’m at my wit’s end trying to deal with the insect infestation – nothing I’ve tried has worked.

Air Rage

  • Meaning: Angry behavior inside an airplane
  • ExampleMost people are calm on long plane flights, but once in a while you have to deal with air rage, usually fueled by alcohol.

Act One’s Age

  • Meaning: To be mature, not childish
  • ExampleI don’t care if Amber did steal your doll. That’s enough crying. Act your age!

Source: https://7esl.com/idioms-to-express-feelings/


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