Idiom and Phrases are a poetic part of the English language. A set expression of two or many words that mean something together, instead of the literal meanings of its words individually.
People use idioms to make their language expressive and more poetic. They are used to express subtle meanings or intentions. Idioms are generally used to convey the meaning of an expression or a word. Sometimes, Idioms and Phrases can be very useful in explaining the meaning compared to the literal word. They make the reader understand with a poetic touch to the writing.
“If natural language had been designed by a logician, idioms would not exist."
(Philip Johnson-Laird, 1993).
An idiom is an expression or way of speaking that is used in common parlance. They are the amalgamation of words which convey a separate meaning altogether.
His patience was put to an acid test.
His patience was not actually put through an acid test but it means that the effectiveness of his patience was checked.
A Blessing in Disguise
Meaning: A good thing that initially seemed bad
A Dime a Dozen
Meaning: Something that is very common, not unique
Adding Insult to Injury
Meaning: To make a bad situation even worse
Beat Around the Bush
Meaning: Avoid sharing your true viewpoint or feelings because it is uncomfortable
Beating a Dead Horse
Meaning: Giving time or energy to something that is ended or over
Bite the Bullet
Meaning: To get an unfavourable situation or chore over with now because it will need to get finished eventually
Best of Both Worlds
Meaning: The choice or solution has all of the advantages of two contrasting things at the same time
Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
Meaning: Not having the capacity to take on a new assignment or task that is just too taxing
By the Skin of Your Teeth
Meaning: Just barely making it
Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover
Meaning: Not judging something by its initial appearance
Doing Something at the Drop of a Hat
Meaning: Doing something at the moment of being asked
Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch
Meaning: Not to count on something happening until after it’s already happened
Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Meaning: Making a choice between two unpleasant choices
Costs an Arm and a Leg
Meaning: Something that is overpriced or very expensive
Meaning: Not performing a task or duty correctly in order to save time or money
Meaning: To take the side of the counter-argument, or offer an alternative point of view
Feeling Under the Weather
Meaning: Not feeling well, or feeling sick
Fit as a Fiddle
Meaning: Being in good health
Getting a Taste of Your Own Medicine
Meaning: Being treated the way that you have been treating others
Getting a Second Wind
Meaning: Having energy again after being tired
Giving the Benefit of the Doubt
Meaning: Believing someone’s story without proof even though it may seem unbelievable
Giving Someone the Cold Shoulder
Meaning: Ignoring someone
Going on a Wild Goose Chase
Meaning: Doing something that is pointless
Heard it on the Grapevine
Meaning: Hearing rumours about someone or something
Hitting the Nail on the Head
Meaning: Performing a task with exactness
Killing Two Birds With One Stone
Meaning: Accomplishing two different tasks in the same undertaking
Letting Someone Off the Hook
Meaning: Not holding someone responsible for something
Letting the Cat Out of the Bag
Meaning: Sharing information that was intended to be a secret
No Pain, No Gain
Meaning: You have to work hard in order to see results
On the Ball
Meaning: Doing a good job, being prompt, or being responsible
Once in a Blue Moon
Meaning: Something that doesn’t happen very often
Piece of Cake
Meaning: A task or job that is easy to complete
Pulling Someone’s Leg
Meaning: Joking with someone
Speak of the Devil
Meaning: When the person you have just been talking about arrives
Stealing Someone’s Thunder
Meaning: Taking credit for someone else’s achievements
Straight from the Horse’s Mouth
Meaning: Reading or hearing something from the source
The Last Straw
Meaning: The last difficulty or annoyance that makes the entire situation unbearable
The Elephant in the Room
Meaning: An issue, person, or problem that someone is trying to avoid
Throwing Caution to the Wind
Meaning: Being reckless or taking a risk
Your Guess is as Good as Mine
Meaning: To not know something
Can’t Make an Omelette Without Breaking Some Eggs
Meaning: You can’t make everyone happy
You Can Lead a Horse to Water, but You Can’t Make Him Drink
Meaning: You can’t force someone to make what is seemingly the right decision
Clouds on the Horizon
Meaning: Trouble is coming or is on its way
A phrase is a collection of words that stands together as a single unit in a sentence, typically as part of a clause or a sentence.
A phrase does not contain any subject and verb as so it cannot convey any thought.
Examples of Phrases
There are different types of phrases in the English language.
A group of words which consists of nouns and any modifiers.
A group of words which consists of nouns and modifiers.
A group of words that begins with a preposition and helps to explain the relationship between two things.
Examples of Phrases
The brown hat
In the wind
Example of Phrases Put Together in a Sentence
The brown hat was blowing away in the wind.
Examples of Noun Phrases
The brown hat
My English teacher
The grocery store
Examples of Verb Phrases
Has been raining
Examples of Prepositional Phrases
On the boat
Above the stove
Around the corner
1. What Are the Uses of Idioms?
An idiom is an expression with a figurative meaning that differentiates from the literal meaning. We can hear idioms in our daily lives – both in conversation and in the media. Used correctly, idioms can exaggerate messages in a way that draws readers in and helps to awaken their senses.