20 English idioms that everyone should know

20 English idioms that everyone should know

Do you know what the phrase Everything But the Kitchen Sink means? If not, just don’t try to amuse native speakers with a literal translation of each word. Better read our today’s article about idioms that you should definitely know!

Often in English, you can hear phrases or expressions that can confuse any foreigner for whom English is not a native language. These idioms or phrases for English-speaking people are simply an integral part of daily communication. So, if you decide to improve your level of English, then pay attention to these 20 idioms that are quite common in English. Some of them will have a good time.

A Chip on Your Shoulder
No, this does not mean that a fragment fell on your shoulder. “To have a chip on one’s shoulder” means an insult to failure in the past, as if passing through a ruined building, a fragment of it remained with a person for many years.

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew
This idiom means something like when you bite into a huge piece of sandwich and as a result, can not chew it. That is, you take on much more than what you can successfully handle. For example, you agree to create 10 sites a week, when in reality you can only make 5.

You Can’t Take It With You
The point of this idiom is that you can’t take anything with you when you die, so you shouldn’t constantly deny yourself everything, save money “for a rainy day”, or keep things for a special occasion. You Can’t Take It With You encourages you to live in the here and now, because as a result, material things will survive you.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink
This phrase means that almost everything was packed/taken/stolen. For example, if someone says “The thieves stole everything but the kitchen sink!” this means that the thieves stole everything they could take with them. In fact, it is very difficult to lift and take the sink with you.

Over My Dead Body
Most of us will understand this phrase. An idiom that has the same meaning as the Ukrainian expression “Only through my corpse.”

Tie the Knot
The meaning is to get married. The phrase has remained since the existence of the tradition of tying the hands of the newlyweds with a ribbon to symbolically fasten their lives together for many years.

Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover
Literally, this phrase can be translated as “do not judge a book by its cover.” It is used when you want to explain that things are not always what they seem at first glance, and even if the first impression was not positive, sometimes it is worth giving another chance.

When Pigs Fly
We have the phrase “when cancer on the mountain whistles”, only with another protagonist. The idiom means “never”.

A Leopard Can’t Change His Spots
The meaning of the phrase: “you are what you are”. Man cannot change who he really is in the depths of his soul, just as a leopard cannot change the pattern on his skin.

Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
That is, express your emotions freely, as if your heart was not in the body, but somewhere outside.

Bite Your Tongue!
Another interesting phrase – “bite your tongue” (soft expression). Used when a person is advised to shut up. It goes hand in hand with the following idiom.

Put a Sock In It
And this expression is sharper – it means “shut up”. The idea here is clear – if you put a sock in your mouth, a person will not be able to speak. Probably, it is used when the previous idiom did not work.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
The point is that when several dogs are sleeping peacefully after a fight, it is better to leave them alone. The idea is not to stir up old disputes / hot topics, as they can cause conflict again.

Foam at the Mouth
Describes a condition where a person screams and growls with foam in his mouth like a rabid dog. Our analog is “boiling with anger”.

A Slap on the Wrist
Means a very lenient punishment. A slap on the wrist will not cause severe pain, but it will always hold you back when you do something wrong.

You Are What You Eat
An idiom, the literal translation of which is firmly established in our language. “You are what you eat.”

It’s a Piece of Cake!
Means it’s incredibly easy. What could be easier than eating a piece of cake?

It Takes Two to Tango
The point is that one person cannot dance the tango. Therefore, if two people were involved in the case, then only one person cannot be held responsible for its consequences.

Head Over Heels
The idiom means to be incredibly happy and in a good mood, especially with a sense of love (close meaning – “fall in love with the ears”). It’s like coming down from the mountain on wheels, flying headlong.

An Arm and a Leg
A great phrase that means a very high price for anything. When the price is so high that you have to sell a part of your own body to afford it.

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