27 Idioms for Short: Expressions That Say It in a Snap


Idioms, those colorful expressions that add spice to our language, often have a way of saying a lot in just a few words.

From “A penny for your thoughts” to “When pigs fly,” we’ll explore the meanings behind these idioms and how they can be used in everyday conversation.

So, let’s dive right in and discover the world of idioms for short and sweet communication!

Being short is like standing in the front row of a crowded concert, having an unobstructed view but not always reaching the same heights as others. For more comparisons to describe being short, you can check this link: Similes for short. And for a variety of metaphors related to being short, you can explore this link: Metaphors for short.


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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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What is an Idiom for Short?

Idioms for short are brief and concise expressions that convey a message or idea in a clever and succinct manner.

These idioms often provide a vivid picture or metaphorical meaning that can be easily understood. Let’s break down the meanings and see these idioms in action:

IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
A Penny for Your ThoughtsAsking someone to share their thoughts or opinions“You’ve been quiet all day. A penny for your thoughts,” she said to her friend.
A Piece of CakeDescribing an easy task or activityPassing the math quiz was a piece of cake for him; he aced it without any trouble.
Actions Speak Louder Than WordsEmphasizing that actions are more significant than wordsSarah always says she’ll help, but actions speak louder than words, and she never shows up.
Beat Around the BushAvoiding addressing a topic directlyInstead of explaining the issue, he kept beating around the bush, making the conversation confusing.
Bite the BulletFacing a difficult or unpleasant situation with courageShe had to bite the bullet and apologize for her mistake, even though it was embarrassing.
Break a LegWishing someone good luck, often in the performing artsBefore her dance recital, her friends told her to break a leg for good luck.
Don’t Cry Over Spilled MilkAdvising not to dwell on past mistakes or things that cannot be changedI accidentally deleted my presentation, but there’s no use crying over spilled milk; I’ll start over.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One BasketCautioning against relying solely on a single plan or resourceHe invested in multiple stocks to diversify his portfolio because he knew not to put all his eggs in one basket.
Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They HatchWarning against making plans based on something that may not happenShe was excited about her job interview but remembered not to count her chickens before they hatched.
Easy as PieDescribing an easy and effortless task or activityLearning to ride a bicycle was easy as pie for him; he picked it up in no time.
Every Cloud Has a Silver LiningReminding that there’s a positive aspect even in challenging situationsDespite the setback, they believed that every cloud has a silver lining and looked for opportunities.
Hit the Nail on the HeadDescribing someone who makes an accurate or precise statementWhen she guessed the exact number of candies in the jar, she really hit the nail on the head.
Kick the BucketA euphemistic way to say someone has passed awayAfter a long battle with illness, he sadly kicked the bucket.
Let the Cat Out of the BagRevealing a secret or disclosing confidential informationShe accidentally let the cat out of the bag by mentioning the surprise party to the birthday person.
Once in a Blue MoonDescribing something that happens very rarelySeeing a shooting star is like finding a four-leaf clover; it happens once in a blue moon.
Pull Someone’s LegTeasing or playing a joke on someone in a friendly wayHe couldn’t believe it when they told him he won the lottery; they were just pulling his leg.
Put All Your Eggs in One BasketInvesting all your resources in a single plan or venture, which can be riskyInstead of putting all her eggs in one basket, she diversified her investments to minimize the risk.
The Ball Is in Your CourtIndicating it’s someone’s turn or responsibility to make a decision or take actionAfter the meeting, the ball is in your court to decide on the next steps.
The Early Bird Catches the WormEncouraging prompt action as those who act early are more likely to succeedShe woke up early every day, believing that the early bird catches the worm.
The Straw That Broke the Camel’s BackReferring to the final incident that causes someone to lose patienceMissing the bus was the straw that broke the camel’s back after a day of mishaps.
Under the WeatherDescribing someone who is not feeling well or in poor healthShe stayed home from school because she was feeling under the weather.
Up in the AirDescribing a situation that is uncertain or undecidedThe plans for the weekend are still up in the air; we haven’t made any final decisions.
When Pigs FlyExpressing extreme skepticism or doubt about something ever happeningShe said she’ll clean her room when pigs fly, which means it’s unlikely to happen.
You Can’t Judge a Book by Its CoverAdvising not to form opinions based solely on appearanceHe may look quiet, but you can’t judge a book by its cover; he’s actually quite talkative and friendly.
You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It TooHighlighting the impossibility of having everything one desiresShe wanted to go to both parties on the same night, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too; she had to choose one.
You’re in Hot WaterBeing in trouble or facing consequences for one’s actions or decisionsAfter missing the deadline, he knew he was in hot water with his boss.
idioms for short

Idioms for Short

1. A Penny for Your Thoughts

Meaning: To ask someone what they are thinking or to invite them to share their thoughts or opinions.

In a Sentence: “You’ve been quiet all day. A penny for your thoughts,” she said to her friend.

2. A Piece of Cake

Meaning: Describing a task or activity that is very easy to accomplish.

In a Sentence: Passing the math quiz was a piece of cake for him; he aced it without any trouble.

3. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Meaning: To emphasize that what people do is more significant than what they say.

In a Sentence: Sarah always says she’ll help, but actions speak louder than words, and she never shows up.

4. Beat Around the Bush

Meaning: To avoid addressing a topic directly or to speak indirectly instead of getting to the point.

In a Sentence: Instead of explaining the issue, he kept beating around the bush, making the conversation confusing.

5. Bite the Bullet

Meaning: To face a difficult or unpleasant situation with courage and determination.

In a Sentence: She had to bite the bullet and apologize for her mistake, even though it was embarrassing.

6. Break a Leg

Meaning: A way to wish someone good luck, often used in the performing arts.

In a Sentence: Before her dance recital, her friends told her to break a leg for good luck.

7. Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk

Meaning: Advising someone not to dwell on past mistakes or things that cannot be changed.

In a Sentence: I accidentally deleted my presentation, but there’s no use crying over spilled milk; I’ll start over.

8. Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

Meaning: Cautioning against relying on a single plan or resource, as it can be risky.

In a Sentence: He invested in multiple stocks to diversify his portfolio because he knew not to put all his eggs in one basket.

9. Don’t Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

Meaning: Warning against making plans based on something that may not happen.

In a Sentence: She was excited about her job interview but remembered not to count her chickens before they hatched.

10. Easy as Pie

Meaning: Describing a task or activity that is very simple and effortless.

In a Sentence: Learning to ride a bicycle was easy as pie for him; he picked it up in no time.

11. Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Meaning: Reminding that even in difficult or challenging situations, there is a positive aspect or outcome.

In a Sentence: Despite the setback, they believed that every cloud has a silver lining and looked for opportunities.

12. Hit the Nail on the Head

Meaning: To describe someone who has made an accurate or precise statement or guess.

In a Sentence: When she guessed the exact number of candies in the jar, she really hit the nail on the head.

13. Kick the Bucket

Meaning: A euphemistic way to say someone has passed away or died.

In a Sentence: After a long battle with illness, he sadly kicked the bucket.

14. Let the Cat Out of the Bag

Meaning: To reveal a secret or disclose information that was supposed to be kept confidential.

In a Sentence: She accidentally let the cat out of the bag by mentioning the surprise party to the birthday person.

15. Once in a Blue Moon

Meaning: Describing something that happens very rarely or infrequently.

In a Sentence: Seeing a shooting star is like finding a four-leaf clover; it happens once in a blue moon.

16. Pull Someone’s Leg

Meaning: To tease or play a joke on someone in a friendly and light-hearted way.

In a Sentence: He couldn’t believe it when they told him he won the lottery; they were just pulling his leg.

17. Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

Meaning: To invest all your time, money, or resources in a single plan or venture, which can be risky.

In a Sentence: Instead of putting all her eggs in one basket, she diversified her investments to minimize the risk.

18. The Ball Is in Your Court

Meaning: Indicating that it’s someone’s turn or responsibility to make a decision or take action.

In a Sentence: After the meeting, the ball is in your court to decide on the next steps.

19. The Early Bird Catches the Worm

Meaning: Encouraging the idea that those who act promptly or arrive early are more likely to succeed.

In a Sentence: She woke up early every day, believing that the early bird catches the worm.

20. The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

Meaning: Referring to the final, minor incident that causes a person to lose patience or tolerance after a series of frustrating events.

In a Sentence: Missing the bus was the straw that broke the camel’s back after a day of mishaps.

21. Under the Weather

Meaning: Describing someone who is not feeling well or is in poor health.

In a Sentence: She stayed home from school because she was feeling under the weather.

22. Up in the Air

Meaning: To describe a situation that is uncertain or undecided, with no clear resolution.

In a Sentence: The plans for the weekend are still up in the air; we haven’t made any final decisions.

23. When Pigs Fly

Meaning: To express extreme skepticism or doubt about something ever happening.

In a Sentence: She said she’ll clean her room when pigs fly, which means it’s unlikely to happen.

24. You Can’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

Meaning: Reminding us not to form opinions about someone or something based solely on their appearance.

In a Sentence: He may look quiet, but you can’t judge a book by its cover; he’s actually quite talkative and friendly.

25. You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too

Meaning: Highlighting the impossibility of having everything one desires, especially when choices must be made.

In a Sentence: She wanted to go to both parties on the same night, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too; she had to choose one.

26. You’re in Hot Water

Meaning: To be in trouble or facing consequences for one’s actions or decisions.

In a Sentence: After missing the deadline, he knew he was in hot water with his boss.

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

  1. Question: What does the idiom “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” mean?
    • A) It’s a good idea to carry multiple baskets.
    • B) Diversify your investments or resources to reduce risk.
    • C) Keep all your eggs in one place for safekeeping.
    • D) Avoid using baskets to store eggs.
  2. Question: When someone says, “The ball is in your court,” what are they suggesting?
    • A) It’s time to play a game of basketball.
    • B) You should pass the ball to them.
    • C) You need to make a decision or take action.
    • D) They want to challenge you to a sports match.
  3. Question: What does the expression “Every cloud has a silver lining” mean?
    • A) Silver clouds are rare but beautiful.
    • B) Bad situations always lead to good outcomes.
    • C) Clouds can be made of silver.
    • D) Silver linings make clouds look more attractive.
  4. Question: When someone says, “You’re in hot water,” what are they implying?
    • A) You are taking a relaxing bath.
    • B) You are experiencing hot weather.
    • C) You are facing consequences or in trouble.
    • D) You should drink something cold.
  5. Question: What does the idiom “Once in a blue moon” describe?
    • A) An event that occurs frequently.
    • B) A rare or infrequent event.
    • C) A nightly occurrence.
    • D) The presence of a blue-colored moon.
  6. Question: If someone tells you to “bite the bullet,” what are they encouraging you to do?
    • A) Chew on a piece of metal.
    • B) Give up on a difficult task.
    • C) Face a challenging or unpleasant situation with courage.
    • D) Refuse to take any action.
  7. Question: What does the expression “You can’t judge a book by its cover” mean?
    • A) Books with attractive covers are always better.
    • B) Appearances can be deceiving, and you shouldn’t judge someone or something based solely on their appearance.
    • C) Books should have interesting covers.
    • D) You should judge everything by its cover.
  8. Question: When someone says, “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” what are they advising?
    • A) Crying is a good way to deal with accidents.
    • B) You should clean up spilled milk immediately.
    • C) It’s important to grieve over small losses.
    • D) Don’t dwell on past mistakes or things that cannot be changed.
  9. Question: What does the idiom “Put all your eggs in one basket” caution against?
    • A) Storing eggs in multiple baskets for safety.
    • B) Diversifying your investments or resources.
    • C) Concentrating all your resources or efforts on a single plan, which can be risky.
    • D) Using too many baskets for a single task.
  10. Question: If someone tells you to “break a leg,” what are they wishing you?
    • A) They want you to have an accident.
    • B) They hope you fail in your performance.
    • C) They wish you good luck, especially in a performing arts context.
    • D) They want you to take a break from your activities.

Answers:

  1. B) Diversify your investments or resources to reduce risk.
  2. C) You need to make a decision or take action.
  3. B) Bad situations always lead to good outcomes.
  4. C) You are facing consequences or in trouble.
  5. B) A rare or infrequent event.
  6. C) Face a challenging or unpleasant situation with courage.
  7. B) Appearances can be deceiving, and you shouldn’t judge someone or something based solely on their appearance.
  8. D) Don’t dwell on past mistakes or things that cannot be changed.
  9. C) Concentrating all your resources or efforts on a single plan, which can be risky.
  10. C) They wish you good luck, especially in a performing arts context.

Conclusion

These idioms for short are like little nuggets of wisdom, allowing us to convey complex ideas or emotions with just a few words. From encouraging someone to share their thoughts with “A penny for your thoughts” to warning against relying too heavily on a single plan with “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” these idioms are versatile and effective tools for effective communication.

Cite this entry:

Phrasesdirectory.com. “,” Retrieved from Phrases Directory – Accessed

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