English Idioms

Show of hands
Vote among a group

Wrap up the meeting
Finish the meeting

Getting a second wind
Having energy again after being tired or worn out

Having your head in the clouds
Day dreaming, not paying attention

My hands are tied
I cannot help with the problem

On the ball
Doing a good job, being prompt, or being responsible

Once in a blue moon
Something that doesn’t happen very often

We do not see eye to eye
We do not agree on anything

I dropped the ball
I made a mistake

In full swing
At the highest level of an activity

Hit the books
To study

Best of both worlds
The choice or solution has all the advantages of two contrasting things at the same time

Fit as a fiddle
Being in good health

Call it a day
To stop working on something

Cut me some slack
Don’t be so critical

A blessing in disguise
A good thing that seems bad at first

A dime a dozen
Something common, and not valuable

Beat around the bush
To avoid saying what you mean

Better late than never
It’s good that something happened, even though it was late

Bite the bullet
To stop avoiding something unpleasant, and do it

Break a leg
Good luck

Cut corners
To do something poorly to save time

Easy does it
Slow down or calm down

Get out of hand
Get out of control

Get something out of your system
Do the thing you’ve been wanting to do, so you can move on

Get your act together
Do better, because I’m not satisfied

Give someone the benefit of the doubt
Trust what someone says

Go back to the drawing board
Start over

Hang in there
Don’t give up

Hit the sack
Go to bed

It’s not rocket science
It’s not complicated

Let someone off the hook
To not hold someone responsible for something

To make a long story short
Tell something briefly

Miss the boat
It’s too late

No pain, no gain
Hardship is required to get what you want

On the ball
Being attentive and doing a thorough job

Pull someone’s leg
To joke with someone

Pull yourself together
To calm down or collect oneself

So far, so good
Things are going well so far

Speak of the devil
The person we were just talking about showed up

That’s the last straw
My patience has run out

The best of both worlds
A situation that satisfies two desires

Bent out of shape
To get upset

Make matters worse
Make a problem worse

Like riding a bike
Something that you never forget how to do

Like two peas in a pod
Two people who are always together

Run like the wind
To run really fast

Under the weather
To be ill

Wrap your head around something
To understand something complicated

You can say that again
That’s true, I agree

Your guess is as good as mine
I have no idea

A hot potato
Speak of an issue (mostly current) which many people are talking about and which is usually disputed

A penny for your thoughts
A way of asking what someone is thinking

Actions speak louder than words
People’s intentions can be judged better by what they do than what they say

A perfect storm
Multiple factors have come together to create a terrible situation

Barking up the wrong tree
Looking for solutions in the wrong place

Break the ice
Get something started, or make people feel comfortable

At the drop of a hat
Do something impulsively

Get a taste of your own medicine
To be harmed in the same way you’re harming others

Give someone the cold shoulder
To ignore someone

Have bigger fish to fry
To have more important things to do

Piece of cake
Something that is easy to do

A bed of roses
Easy option

When pigs fly
Something that will never happen

Miss the boat
Miss the chance

Zip your lip
To stop talking

Raining cats and dogs
Raining very heavily

Apple of eye
Someone very precious or dear