Idioms are words, phrases or expressions which are commonly used in everyday conversation.
List of The 30 Most Useful Idioms and their Meaning
1. A bitter pill
Meaning: A situation or information that is in-pleasant but must be accepted
Example: Getting a poor performance review was a bitter pill to swallow, but it made me a better worker.
2. Actions speak louder than words
Meaning: People’s intension can be judged better by what they do than what they say.
Example: You keep saying that you’ll do your fair share of the housework. Remember that actions speak louder than words.
3. A dime a dozen
Meaning: Very common and no particular value
Example: Experts in this field are a dime a dozen.
4. Add insult to injury
Meaning: To act a way that makes a bad or displeasing situation worse
Example: My car barely started this morning, and to add insult to injury, I got a flat tire in the driveway.
5. All ears
Meaning: Listening intently, fully focused or awaiting an explanation
Example: I’m all ears, tell me what happened with you.
6. Barking up the wrong tree
Meaning: Looking in the wrong place, accusing the wrong person
Meaning: If you think I’m the guilty person, you’re barking up the wrong tree.
7. Beat around the bush
Meaning: Avoiding the main issue, not speaking directly about a topic
Example: Don’t beat around the bush—just tell me the truth.
8. Bed of roses
Meaning: An easy, comfortable situation or an easy life
Example: Who said life would be a bed of roses? If I had a million bucks, I would be in a bed of roses.
9. Best of both worlds
Meaning: To get all the advantages of two things at the same time
Example: She works in the city and lives in the country, so she gets the best of both worlds.
10. Bite off more than you can chew
Meaning: To talk a task that is way too big
Example: I bit off more than I could chew when I volunteered to manage three little league teams in one season.
11. Call it a day
Meaning: To declare the end of a task
Example: I’m tired. Let’s call it a day.
12. Can’t judge a book by its cover
Meaning: Cannot judge something primarily on appearance
Example: This report may look dull, but don’t judge a book by its cover
13. Cat nap
Meaning: To have a short, light sleep, a doze
Example: I’m really tired. I need a cat nap right now!
14. Couch potato
Meaning: A lazy person
Example: The only thing you do all day is watching TV. You’ve become a real couch potato, haven’t you?
15. Cry over spilled milk
Meaning: When you complain about a loss from the past
Example: Yes, we made a mistake, but there’s no point in crying over spilled milk.
16. Curiosity killed the cat
Meaning: Being inquisitive can lead to an unpleasant situation
Example: I know curiosity killed the cat, but I can’t stop the investigation until I know where the donations are really going.
17. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
Meaning: Do not put all your resources in one possibility
Example: relax! Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
18. Have a blast
Meaning: To have a good time or to enjoy
Example: The kids are having a blast running around the beach all day.
19. Hit the road
Meaning: To depart, to start the journey
Example: We better hit the road before traffic gets even worse.
20. Hit the sack/sheets/hay
Meaning: To go to bed
Example: It’s 10 pm. I’m going to hit the hay.
21. It takes two to tango
Meaning: Actions or communications need more than one person
Example: She may want to argue, but it takes two to tango and I won’t stoop to her level.
22. Kill two birds with one stone
Meaning: To accomplish two different things at the same time
Example: John learned the words to his part in the play while peeling potatoes. He was killing two birds with one stone.
23. Miss the boat
Meaning: Someone missed his or her chance
Example: There were tickets available last week, but he missed the boat by waiting till today to try to buy some.
24. Off the hook
Meaning: To escape a situation of responsibility, obligation or (less frequently) danger
Example: I couldn’t get myself off the hook no matter what I tried.
25. Pushing up daisies
Meaning: Euphemism for dying or death
Example: If you talk to me like that again, you’ll be pushing up the daisies!
26. A picture paints a thousand words
Meaning: A visual image is far more descriptive than words
Example: Wow! She is so elegant! A picture paints a thousand words!
27. Piece of cake
Meaning: A job, task or other activity that is easy or simple
Example: No problem. When you know what you’re doing, it’s a piece of cake.
28. Once in a blue moon
Meaning: Happens very rarely
Example: Once in a blue moon, I buy a fashion magazine, just to see what people are wearing.
29. He/she’s a big fish
Meaning: Being the boss, the leader
Example: I’d rather be a big fish in a small pond than move to New York City and be a nobody!
30. Spill the beans
Meaning: To reveal someone’s secret
Example: There is a surprise party for Heidi on Wednesday. Please don’t spill the beans.
English Idioms | Image