27 Idioms for Language + Quiz


Language is a fascinating thing. It’s not just about words and grammar; it’s also about the quirky phrases we use every day.

These phrases, called idioms, add color and depth to our conversations. But what exactly are idioms, and why do we use them?

Metaphors for language. If you prefer comparisons that are as clear as day, explore the world of similes for language to make your expressions shine.

What is an idiom for language?

Idioms are phrases that have a meaning different from the literal interpretation of the words used.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

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1 / 20

What is a simile?

2 / 20

Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

7 / 20

What is an adjective?

8 / 20

Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

9 / 20

What is an abbreviation?

10 / 20

What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

11 / 20

What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

20 / 20

Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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They often convey a cultural or social message and can be confusing if taken word for word. Instead, idioms rely on shared understanding among speakers of a language to convey their intended meaning.

Summary

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
A penny for your thoughtsAsking someone what they are thinking or feeling, usually out of curiosity.“You seem lost in thought; a penny for your thoughts?”
Bite the bulletTo face a difficult situation with courage or determination.“I knew I had to bite the bullet and tell her the truth.”
Don’t beat around the bushGet to the point without wasting time.“Please don’t beat around the bush; just tell me what happened.”
Kick the bucketTo die.“When I’m old and gray, I hope I kick the bucket peacefully.”
Piece of cakeSomething very easy to do.“Don’t worry, solving this math problem is a piece of cake.”
Break the iceTo alleviate tension or awkwardness in a social situation.“His joke helped break the ice at the party.”
Cost an arm and a legTo be very expensive.“That designer purse must have cost her an arm and a leg.”
Hit the nail on the headTo describe something accurately or to be correct.“You hit the nail on the head with your analysis of the situation.”
Let the cat out of the bagTo reveal a secret.“I can’t believe you let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party!”
On the same pageTo be in agreement or understanding with someone.“We’re all on the same page about the project deadline.”
Pull someone’s legTo tease or joke with someone.“Are you serious, or are you just pulling my leg?”
A dime a dozenSomething common and easy to find.“In this city, coffee shops are a dime a dozen.”
Actions speak louder than wordsWhat you do is more important than what you say.“Don’t just tell me you’ll help; show me. Actions speak louder than words.”
Burning the midnight oilWorking late into the night.“I have a big presentation tomorrow, so I’ll be burning the midnight oil tonight.”
Caught between a rock and a hard placeFacing a difficult decision with no easy solution.“I’m caught between a rock and a hard place; either choice has serious consequences.”
Cry over spilled milkTo be upset over something that has already happened and cannot be changed.“Yes, it’s unfortunate, but there’s no point crying over spilled milk.”
Don’t cry over spilled milkDon’t dwell on past mistakes or misfortunes.“I know you made a mistake, but don’t cry over spilled milk; learn from it and move on.”
Fit as a fiddleTo be in good physical health.“Despite his age, he’s as fit as a fiddle.”
It’s raining cats and dogsRaining very heavily.“We can’t go outside; it’s raining cats and dogs!”
Jump on the bandwagonTo join others in doing something that has become fashionable or popular.“After seeing her friends do it, she decided to jump on the bandwagon and start her own business.”
Kill two birds with one stoneAccomplishing two tasks with a single action.“By carpooling, she was able to kill two birds with one stone: save money and reduce her carbon footprint.”
Make a long story shortSummarizing a long-winded explanation.“To make a long story short, we ended up getting lost and missing the concert.”
Put all your eggs in one basketTo risk everything on a single venture or decision.“Investing all your money in one stock is like putting all your eggs in one basket.”
The ball is in your courtIt’s your turn to make a decision or take action.“I’ve given you all the information you need; now the ball is in your court.”
Under the weatherFeeling unwell or sick.“I’m feeling a bit under the weather; I think I’ll stay home today.”
When pigs flySomething that will never happen.“You think he’ll apologize? Yeah, when pigs fly.”
You can’t judge a book by its coverYou shouldn’t judge someone or something based solely on appearance.“She may seem shy, but you can’t judge a book by its cover; she’s actually quite outgoing.”
idioms for language

Idioms for Language

1. A penny for your thoughts

Meaning: Asking someone what they are thinking or feeling, usually out of curiosity.
In a Sentence: “You seem lost in thought; a penny for your thoughts?”

2. Bite the bullet

Meaning: To face a difficult situation with courage or determination.
In a Sentence: “I knew I had to bite the bullet and tell her the truth.”

3. Don’t beat around the bush

Meaning: Get to the point without wasting time.
In a Sentence: “Please don’t beat around the bush; just tell me what happened.”

4. Kick the bucket

Meaning: To die.
In a Sentence: “When I’m old and gray, I hope I kick the bucket peacefully.”

5. Piece of cake

Meaning: Something very easy to do.
In a Sentence: “Don’t worry, solving this math problem is a piece of cake.”

6. Break the ice

Meaning: To alleviate tension or awkwardness in a social situation.
In a Sentence: “His joke helped break the ice at the party.”

7. Cost an arm and a leg

Meaning: To be very expensive.
In a Sentence: “That designer purse must have cost her an arm and a leg.”

8. Hit the nail on the head

Meaning: To describe something accurately or to be correct.
In a Sentence: “You hit the nail on the head with your analysis of the situation.”

9. Let the cat out of the bag

Meaning: To reveal a secret.
In a Sentence: “I can’t believe you let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party!”

10. On the same page

Meaning: To be in agreement or understanding with someone.
In a Sentence: “We’re all on the same page about the project deadline.”

11. Pull someone’s leg

Meaning: To tease or joke with someone.
In a Sentence: “Are you serious, or are you just pulling my leg?”

12. A dime a dozen

Meaning: Something common and easy to find.
In a Sentence: “In this city, coffee shops are a dime a dozen.”

13. Actions speak louder than words

Meaning: What you do is more important than what you say.
In a Sentence: “Don’t just tell me you’ll help; show me. Actions speak louder than words.”

14. Burning the midnight oil

Meaning: Working late into the night.
In a Sentence: “I have a big presentation tomorrow, so I’ll be burning the midnight oil tonight.”

15. Caught between a rock and a hard place

Meaning: Facing a difficult decision with no easy solution.
In a Sentence: “I’m caught between a rock and a hard place; either choice has serious consequences.”

16. Cry over spilled milk

Meaning: To be upset over something that has already happened and cannot be changed.
In a Sentence: “Yes, it’s unfortunate, but there’s no point crying over spilled milk.”

17. Don’t cry over spilled milk

Meaning: Don’t dwell on past mistakes or misfortunes.
In a Sentence: “I know you made a mistake, but don’t cry over spilled milk; learn from it and move on.”

18. Fit as a fiddle

Meaning: To be in good physical health.
In a Sentence: “Despite his age, he’s as fit as a fiddle.”

19. It’s raining cats and dogs

Meaning: Raining very heavily.
In a Sentence: “We can’t go outside; it’s raining cats and dogs!”

20. Jump on the bandwagon

Meaning: To join others in doing something that has become fashionable or popular.
In a Sentence: “After seeing her friends do it, she decided to jump on the bandwagon and start her own business.”

21. Kill two birds with one stone

Meaning: Accomplishing two tasks with a single action.
In a Sentence: “By carpooling, she was able to kill two birds with one stone: save money and reduce her carbon footprint.”

22. Make a long story short

Meaning: Summarizing a long-winded explanation.
In a Sentence: “To make a long story short, we ended up getting lost and missing the concert.”

23. Put all your eggs in one basket

Meaning: To risk everything on a single venture or decision.
In a Sentence: “Investing all your money in one stock is like putting all your eggs in one basket.”

24. The ball is in your court

Meaning: It’s your turn to make a decision or take action.
In a Sentence: “I’ve given you all the information you need; now the ball is in your court.”

25. Under the weather

Meaning: Feeling unwell or sick.
In a Sentence: “I’m feeling a bit under the weather; I think I’ll stay home today.”

26. When pigs fly

Meaning: Something that will never happen.
In a Sentence: “You think he’ll apologize? Yeah, when pigs fly.”

27. You can’t judge a book by its cover

Meaning: You shouldn’t judge someone or something based solely on appearance.
In a Sentence: “She may seem shy, but you can’t judge a book by its cover; she’s actually quite outgoing.”

Conclusion:

Idioms are like hidden treasures in language, adding spice and depth to our conversations. Understanding them can unlock a whole new level of communication, allowing you to express yourself more vividly and understand others better.

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