27 Idioms for School: Mastering the Lingo Like a Pro


Idioms are like hidden treasures in the English language, adding spice to our conversations and making language more colorful.

In this article, we’ll unravel the meaning behind some common idioms for school, giving you the inside scoop on how to use them effectively.

idioms for school

What is an idiom for school?

Before we dive into the list, let’s quickly refresh our memories about what an idiom is.

An idiom is a group of words whose meaning is not necessarily deducible from the individual words. In simpler terms, it’s a phrase that doesn’t mean exactly what it says.


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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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So, when someone says, “Hit the books,” they’re not suggesting literal violence towards textbooks but encouraging you to start studying.

Now, let’s explore the fascinating world of school-related idioms.

IdiomMeaningIn a Sentence
Hit the BooksTo study or read intensively“I need to hit the books if I want to do well on tomorrow’s exam.”
Burn the Midnight OilTo work late into the night“She burned the midnight oil to finish her science project.”
A Piece of CakeSomething very easy to do“Solving that math problem was a piece of cake for him.”
Break the IceTo initiate a conversation in a social setting“He told a joke to break the ice at the new student orientation.”
Hit the Nail on the HeadTo describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem“You hit the nail on the head with your analysis of the novel.”
Cut ClassTo skip a class without permission“I decided to cut class and go to the library instead.”
Ace the TestTo perform exceptionally well on a test“She studied so hard that she was able to ace the history exam.”
Pass with Flying ColorsTo succeed easily and with great distinction“Despite the challenging questions, she passed with flying colors.”
Bells and WhistlesAdditional features that make something more attractive but are not essential“The new computer comes with all the bells and whistles, but is it really necessary?”
Call it a DayTo stop working on something for the rest of the day“We’ve been working on this project for hours; let’s call it a day and continue tomorrow.”
Chew the FatTo have a casual conversation“During lunch, we like to sit together and chew the fat about various topics.”
Down to the WireSomething happening at the very last moment“Finishing the assignment was down to the wire, but I submitted it just in time.”
Kick the BucketTo die“I hope I’m not late for the movie; I don’t want to kick the bucket before the climax!”
Learn the RopesTo understand the basic details of a task“It took me a while, but I’ve finally learned the ropes of using the school’s computer system.”
Make the GradeTo reach a satisfactory standard“If you want to make the grade in this class, you’ll need to put in more effort.”
Play HookyTo skip school or work without permission“Let’s play hooky and spend the day at the amusement park.”
Raining Cats and DogsHeavy rainfall“We had to cancel the outdoor event because it was raining cats and dogs.”
Read Between the LinesTo understand a hidden meaning“When the teacher smiled, I knew there was something to read between the lines.”
Rule of ThumbA practical and approximate way of doing something“As a rule of thumb, you should start your assignments well before the due date.”
The Ball is in Your CourtIt’s your turn to make a decision or take action“You’ve been given all the information; now the ball is in your court.”
Throw in the TowelTo give up or surrender“After hours of trying, I decided to throw in the towel and ask for help.”
Under the WeatherFeeling sick or unwell“I won’t be able to come to school today; I’m feeling a bit under the weather.”
Up in the AirUncertain or undecided“The date for the school play is still up in the air; we haven’t finalized it yet.”
Vanishing ActTo disappear suddenly and without explanation“He pulled a vanishing act after the test; no one has seen him since.”
Wear Your Heart on Your SleeveTo openly display one’s emotions“Unlike others, she doesn’t hide her feelings; she wears her heart on her sleeve.”
X Marks the SpotA specified location“Look for the red flag; that’s where X marks the spot for the treasure hunt.”
Zip Your LipTo be quiet or stop talking“I don’t want anyone to know our secret, so zip your lip about it.”

Metaphors can describe school in various ways, like comparing it to a stepping stone on the path to knowledge. To explore more metaphors for school, you can visit this link: Metaphors for School. Similarly, similes offer comparisons that make school more relatable, such as saying it’s as busy as a beehive. Discover additional similes for school here: Similes for School.

Idioms for School

1. Hit the Books

Meaning: To study or read intensively.

In a Sentence: “I need to hit the books if I want to do well on tomorrow’s exam.”

2. Burn the Midnight Oil

Meaning: To work late into the night.

In a Sentence: “She burned the midnight oil to finish her science project.”

3. A Piece of Cake

Meaning: Something very easy to do.

In a Sentence: “Solving that math problem was a piece of cake for him.”

4. Break the Ice

Meaning: To initiate a conversation in a social setting.

In a Sentence: “He told a joke to break the ice at the new student orientation.”

5. Hit the Nail on the Head

Meaning: To describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem.

In a Sentence: “You hit the nail on the head with your analysis of the novel.”

6. Cut Class

Meaning: To skip a class without permission.

In a Sentence: “I decided to cut class and go to the library instead.”

7. Ace the Test

Meaning: To perform exceptionally well on a test.

In a Sentence: “She studied so hard that she was able to ace the history exam.”

8. Pass with Flying Colors

Meaning: To succeed easily and with great distinction.

In a Sentence: “Despite the challenging questions, she passed with flying colors.”

9. Bells and Whistles

Meaning: Additional features that make something more attractive but are not essential.

In a Sentence: “The new computer comes with all the bells and whistles, but is it really necessary?”

10. Call it a Day

Meaning: To stop working on something for the rest of the day.

In a Sentence: “We’ve been working on this project for hours; let’s call it a day and continue tomorrow.”

11. Chew the Fat

Meaning: To have a casual conversation.

In a Sentence: “During lunch, we like to sit together and chew the fat about various topics.”

12. Down to the Wire

Meaning: Something happening at the very last moment.

In a Sentence: “Finishing the assignment was down to the wire, but I submitted it just in time.”

13. Kick the Bucket

Meaning: To die.

In a Sentence: “I hope I’m not late for the movie; I don’t want to kick the bucket before the climax!”

14. Learn the Ropes

Meaning: To understand the basic details of a task.

In a Sentence: “It took me a while, but I’ve finally learned the ropes of using the school’s computer system.”

15. Make the Grade

Meaning: To reach a satisfactory standard.

In a Sentence: “If you want to make the grade in this class, you’ll need to put in more effort.”

16. Play Hooky

Meaning: To skip school or work without permission.

In a Sentence: “Let’s play hooky and spend the day at the amusement park.”

17. Raining Cats and Dogs

Meaning: Heavy rainfall.

In a Sentence: “We had to cancel the outdoor event because it was raining cats and dogs.”

18. Read Between the Lines

Meaning: To understand a hidden meaning.

In a Sentence: “When the teacher smiled, I knew there was something to read between the lines.”

19. Rule of Thumb

Meaning: A practical and approximate way of doing something.

In a Sentence: “As a rule of thumb, you should start your assignments well before the due date.”

20. The Ball is in Your Court

Meaning: It’s your turn to make a decision or take action.

In a Sentence: “You’ve been given all the information; now the ball is in your court.”

21. Throw in the Towel

Meaning: To give up or surrender.

In a Sentence: “After hours of trying, I decided to throw in the towel and ask for help.”

22. Under the Weather

Meaning: Feeling sick or unwell.

In a Sentence: “I won’t be able to come to school today; I’m feeling a bit under the weather.”

23. Up in the Air

Meaning: Uncertain or undecided.

In a Sentence: “The date for the school play is still up in the air; we haven’t finalized it yet.”

24. Vanishing Act

Meaning: To disappear suddenly and without explanation.

In a Sentence: “He pulled a vanishing act after the test; no one has seen him since.”

25. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve

Meaning: To openly display one’s emotions.

In a Sentence: “Unlike others, she doesn’t hide her feelings; she wears her heart on her sleeve.”

26. X Marks the Spot

Meaning: A specified location.

In a Sentence: “Look for the red flag; that’s where X marks the spot for the treasure hunt.”

27. Zip Your Lip

Meaning: To be quiet or stop talking.

In a Sentence: “I don’t want anyone to know our secret, so zip your lip about it.”

10 Quizzes About The Idiom in The Article

Quiz 1: Hit the Books

Question 1: What does the idiom “Hit the Books” mean?

a) To throw books at someone
b) To study or read intensively
c) To avoid books at all costs
d) To organize books on a shelf

Question 2: In which sentence is “Hit the Books” correctly used?

a) “I love to hit the books on the basketball court.”
b) “I need to hit the books if I want to do well on tomorrow’s exam.”
c) “My friend asked me to hit the books, so I gave him a book.”
d) “Hit the books and watch a movie tonight.”


Quiz 2: Break the Ice

Question 1: What does the idiom “Break the Ice” mean?

a) To break a block of ice
b) To initiate a conversation in a social setting
c) To create ice sculptures
d) To avoid talking to people

Question 2: Choose the correct usage of “Break the Ice”:

a) “The ice cream truck will break the ice at the party.”
b) “He told a joke to break the ice at the new student orientation.”
c) “Break the ice and bring me a glass of water.”
d) “Break the ice by playing loud music.”


Quiz 3: Up in the Air

Question 1: What does the idiom “Up in the Air” mean?

a) Flying in the sky
b) Certain and decided
c) Uncertain or undecided
d) Upsetting the air quality

Question 2: Identify the correct use of “Up in the Air”:

a) “The airplane is up in the air.”
b) “I’m feeling up in the air about my lunch choice.”
c) “The weather forecast is up in the air for tomorrow.”
d) “The decision is up in the air, and we know exactly what to do.”


Quiz 4: Play Hooky

Question 1: What does the idiom “Play Hooky” mean?

a) To play a game with a hook
b) To skip school or work without permission
c) To play sports with a hooked stick
d) To play a trick with a hook

Question 2: Choose the correct sentence using “Play Hooky”:

a) “Let’s play hooky and clean the house.”
b) “Playing hooky is a responsible way to spend the day.”
c) “She decided to play hooky and attend extra classes.”
d) “Playing hooky is a great strategy for academic success.”


Quiz 5: Vanishing Act

Question 1: What does the idiom “Vanishing Act” mean?

a) A magic show with disappearing tricks
b) To suddenly disappear without explanation
c) To perform a disappearing act in a play
d) A scientific experiment on vanishing substances

Question 2: Identify the correct usage of “Vanishing Act”:

a) “The magician performed a vanishing act with a rabbit.”
b) “He did a vanishing act after winning the lottery.”
c) “The book described a vanishing act in great detail.”
d) “She avoided doing a vanishing act when asked for help.”


Quiz 6: Make the Grade

Question 1: What does the idiom “Make the Grade” mean?

a) To create a mark or impression
b) To reach a satisfactory standard
c) To form a grade in a material
d) To make a grade in gardening

Question 2: Choose the correct usage of “Make the Grade”:

a) “She decided to make the grade for the art project.”
b) “If you want to make the grade in this class, you’ll need to put in more effort.”
c) “Making the grade involves planting flowers in the garden.”
d) “Make the grade by avoiding hard work.”


Quiz 7: X Marks the Spot

Question 1: What does the idiom “X Marks the Spot” mean?

a) Marking the center of a target with an X
b) A specified location
c) Finding treasure on a map where X is marked
d) Crossing out incorrect answers with an X

Question 2: Identify the correct usage of “X Marks the Spot”:

a) “X marks the spot for our picnic location.”
b) “She drew an X to mark the spot for the meeting.”
c) “The treasure map showed X marks the spot near the mountain.”
d) “Crossing out the spot with an X indicates success.”


Quiz 8: Rule of Thumb

Question 1: What does the idiom “Rule of Thumb” mean?

a) Measuring the size of a thumb
b) A practical and approximate way of doing something
c) Following strict thumb-related guidelines
d) Deciding based on the length of one’s thumb

Question 2: Choose the correct usage of “Rule of Thumb”:

a) “As a rule of thumb, always count your fingers.”
b) “Using a rule of thumb, estimate the cooking time.”
c) “Thumb wars are the best rule of thumb.”
d) “Follow the rule of thumb by measuring with your pinky.”


Quiz 9: Down to the Wire

Question 1: What does the idiom “Down to the Wire” mean?

a) A wire used in extreme sports
b) Something happening at the very last moment
c) A wire-themed art project
d) Running a race on a wire track

Question 2: Identify the correct usage of “Down to the Wire”:

a) “The marathon was down to the wire at the finish line.”
b) “Finishing the assignment was down to the wire, but I submitted it just in time.”
c) “Down to the wire, the artist completed the wire sculpture.”
d) “She decided to down to the wire her presentation.”


Quiz 10: Bells and Whistles

Question 1: What does the idiom “Bells and Whistles” mean?

a) Decorative items made of bells and whistles
b) Additional features that make something more attractive but are not essential
c) A musical performance using bells and whistles
d) Playing with bells and whistles as toys

Question 2: Choose the correct usage of “Bells and Whistles”:

a) “The new phone comes with all the bells and whistles.”
b) “Bells and whistles should be avoided in technology.”
c) “The room was filled with bells and whistles for the party.”
d) “He decorated the car with bells and whistles for the parade.”

Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve just expanded your idiom vocabulary for school, making your language skills even more impressive. Idioms add a unique flair to your expressions, helping you communicate more effectively.

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