27 Idioms for Yourself


They might not make much sense when you take them literally, but they carry special meanings that can be quite useful.

In this article, we’ll explore a collection of idioms that involve the word “yourself.”

idioms for yourself

What is an idiom for yourself?

An idiom is a phrase that doesn’t mean exactly what the words say. Instead, idioms have hidden meanings that you need to understand in context.

Let’s take a closer look at some idioms that include the word “yourself” and what they really mean.


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

English Language Level Placement Test – (TEFL)

Take this quiz and find out how good your English is. Pass and receive an “English Language Level Placement” certificate.

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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IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
A penny for your thoughtsTo ask someone what they are thinking or to invite them to share their thoughts.“You look lost in thought. A penny for your thoughts?”
Biting the bulletTo face a difficult or unpleasant situation with courage and determination.“I had to bite the bullet and apologize for my mistake.”
Break a legTo wish someone good luck, especially before a performance or an important event.“Break a leg at your dance recital tonight!”
Don’t cry over spilled milkDon’t dwell on past mistakes or misfortunes; move on and focus on the present or future.“I know you made a mistake, but don’t cry over spilled milk. Learn from it and do better next time.”
A piece of cakeSomething that is very easy to do or accomplish.“The math homework was a piece of cake for me.”
Hit the nail on the headTo describe or identify something exactly right or accurately.“You hit the nail on the head with your analysis of the situation.”
It’s raining cats and dogsIt’s raining very heavily.“We can’t go outside right now; it’s raining cats and dogs.”
Kick the bucketTo die or pass away.“Sadly, my old pet fish kicked the bucket last night.”
Let the cat out of the bagTo reveal a secret or disclose information that was supposed to be kept hidden.“I accidentally let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.”
Read between the linesTo understand a deeper or hidden meaning in what someone is saying or writing.“She didn’t say it directly, but if you read between the lines, it’s clear she’s unhappy with her job.”
Stepping on someone’s toesTo unintentionally interfere with or offend someone by getting involved in their business or territory.“I didn’t mean to step on his toes by offering to help. I thought he needed assistance.”
A taste of your own medicineExperiencing the same treatment or negative consequences that you have given to others.“After all the teasing, he finally got a taste of his own medicine when others started making fun of him.”
A wolf in sheep’s clothingSomeone who appears harmless or friendly but is actually dangerous or deceitful.“Be careful; he may seem nice, but he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Actions speak louder than wordsWhat you do is more important and revealing than what you say.“Instead of promising to help, show your support – actions speak louder than words.”
All earsBeing fully attentive and eager to listen to someone.“I’m all ears; tell me what happened at the party last night.”
Beat around the bushTo avoid addressing a topic directly or to speak in a vague or evasive manner.“Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you really think.”
The ball is in your courtIt’s your turn or responsibility to take action or make a decision.“I’ve done everything I can to help. Now, the ball is in your court.”
Burn the midnight oilTo work or study late into the night.“She had to burn the midnight oil to finish the project on time.”
Don’t put all your eggs in one basketDon’t rely on a single plan or option; diversify your efforts to reduce risk.“Invest wisely and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
Every cloud has a silver liningThere is something positive or hopeful to be found in every difficult or challenging situation.“Even though I lost my job, I believe every cloud has a silver lining, and I’ll find a better opportunity.”
Face the musicTo confront the consequences or responsibilities of your actions.“He can’t avoid it any longer; it’s time for him to face the music.”
Go the extra mileTo make an additional effort beyond what is expected or required.“If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to go the extra mile.”
In the same boatIn a similar situation or facing the same challenges as others.“We’re all in the same boat when it comes to dealing with this difficult project.”
Jumping on the bandwagonTo adopt a popular trend or join a widely accepted movement.“She’s always jumping on the bandwagon and following the latest fashion trends.”
A leopard can’t change its spotsPeople cannot change their fundamental nature or behavior.“I tried to trust him again, but a leopard can’t change its spots; he betrayed me once more.”
Playing with fireEngaging in a risky or dangerous activity that may have negative consequences.“Getting involved with that group is like playing with fire; it’s not safe.”
The straw that broke the camel’s backThe final small event or problem that causes a situation to become unbearable.“The argument over the remote control was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and they decided to separate.”

Yourself is like a puzzle, made up of many pieces, each representing your experiences, emotions, and unique characteristics, and it’s up to you to put them together to create the complete picture of who you are. For more comparisons to describe yourself, you can check this link: Similes for yourself. And for a variety of metaphors related to yourself, you can explore this link: Metaphors for yourself.

Idioms for Yourself

1. A penny for your thoughts

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

In a Sentence: “You look lost in thought. A penny for your thoughts?”

2. Biting the bullet

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

In a Sentence: “I had to bite the bullet and apologize for my mistake.”

3. Break a leg

Meaning: To wish someone good luck, especially before a performance or an important event.

In a Sentence: “Break a leg at your dance recital tonight!”

4. Don’t cry over spilled milk

Meaning: Don’t dwell on past mistakes or misfortunes; move on and focus on the present or future.

In a Sentence: “I know you made a mistake, but don’t cry over spilled milk. Learn from it and do better next time.”

5. A piece of cake

Meaning: Something that is very easy to do or accomplish.

In a Sentence: “The math homework was a piece of cake for me.”

6. Hit the nail on the head

Meaning: To describe or identify something exactly right or accurately.

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

7. It’s raining cats and dogs

Meaning: It’s raining very heavily.

In a Sentence: “We can’t go outside right now; it’s raining cats and dogs.”

8. Kick the bucket

Meaning: To die or pass away.

In a Sentence: “Sadly, my old pet fish kicked the bucket last night.”

9. Let the cat out of the bag

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

In a Sentence: “I accidentally let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.”

10. Read between the lines

Meaning: To understand a deeper or hidden meaning in what someone is saying or writing.

In a Sentence: “She didn’t say it directly, but if you read between the lines, it’s clear she’s unhappy with her job.”

11. Stepping on someone’s toes

Meaning: To unintentionally interfere with or offend someone by getting involved in their business or territory.

In a Sentence: “I didn’t mean to step on his toes by offering to help. I thought he needed assistance.”

12. A taste of your own medicine

Meaning: Experiencing the same treatment or negative consequences that you have given to others.

In a Sentence: “After all the teasing, he finally got a taste of his own medicine when others started making fun of him.”

13. A wolf in sheep’s clothing

Meaning: Someone who appears harmless or friendly but is actually dangerous or deceitful.

In a Sentence: “Be careful; he may seem nice, but he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

14. Actions speak louder than words

Meaning: What you do is more important and revealing than what you say.

In a Sentence: “Instead of promising to help, show your support – actions speak louder than words.”

15. All ears

Meaning: Being fully attentive and eager to listen to someone.

In a Sentence: “I’m all ears; tell me what happened at the party last night.”

16. Beat around the bush

Meaning: To avoid addressing a topic directly or to speak in a vague or evasive manner.

In a Sentence: “Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you really think.”

17. The ball is in your court

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

In a Sentence: “I’ve done everything I can to help. Now, the ball is in your court.”

18. Burn the midnight oil

Meaning: To work or study late into the night.

In a Sentence: “She had to burn the midnight oil to finish the project on time.”

19. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Meaning: Don’t rely on a single plan or option; diversify your efforts to reduce risk.

In a Sentence: “Invest wisely and don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

20. Every cloud has a silver lining

Meaning: There is something positive or hopeful to be found in every difficult or challenging situation.

In a Sentence: “Even though I lost my job, I believe every cloud has a silver lining, and I’ll find a better opportunity.”

21. Face the music

Meaning: To confront the consequences or responsibilities of your actions.

In a Sentence: “He can’t avoid it any longer; it’s time for him to face the music.”

22. Go the extra mile

Meaning: To make an additional effort beyond what is expected or required.

In a Sentence: “If you want to succeed, you have to be willing to go the extra mile.”

23. In the same boat

Meaning: In a similar situation or facing the same challenges as others.

In a Sentence: “We’re all in the same boat when it comes to dealing with this difficult project.”

24. Jumping on the bandwagon

Meaning: To adopt a popular trend or join a widely accepted movement.

In a Sentence: “She’s always jumping on the bandwagon and following the latest fashion trends.”

25. A leopard can’t change its spots

Meaning: People cannot change their fundamental nature or behavior.

In a Sentence: “I tried to trust him again, but a leopard can’t change its spots; he betrayed me once more.”

26. Playing with fire

Meaning: Engaging in a risky or dangerous activity that may have negative consequences.

In a Sentence: “Getting involved with that group is like playing with fire; it’s not safe.”

27. The straw that broke the camel’s back

Meaning: The final small event or problem that causes a situation to become unbearable.

In a Sentence: “The argument over the remote control was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and they decided to separate.”

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Quiz 1:

  1. What does the idiom “A penny for your thoughts” mean?
    a) To pay someone for their thoughts
    b) To ask someone what they are thinking or invite them to share their thoughts
    c) To give someone a penny as a reward
    d) To criticize someone’s thoughts

Quiz 2:

  1. When would you use the expression “Break a leg”?
    a) To wish someone good luck before a dance recital
    b) To wish someone a speedy recovery after an injury
    c) To congratulate someone on their success
    d) To express sympathy for someone’s bad luck

Quiz 3:

  1. What does it mean if someone is told not to “cry over spilled milk”?
    a) They should cry whenever they want.
    b) They should cry when they see spilled milk.
    c) They shouldn’t dwell on past mistakes or misfortunes.
    d) They should cry to express their emotions.

Quiz 4:

  1. If something is described as “a piece of cake,” what does that imply?
    a) It’s a complicated task.
    b) It’s something that requires a lot of effort.
    c) It’s something that is very easy to do.
    d) It’s a piece of dessert.

Quiz 5:

  1. What does it mean to “hit the nail on the head”?
    a) To miss the target completely
    b) To accurately describe or identify something
    c) To avoid a difficult task
    d) To become a carpenter

Quiz 6:

  1. If someone says “It’s raining cats and dogs,” what does it indicate?
    a) It’s raining actual cats and dogs.
    b) It’s raining very heavily.
    c) It’s a sunny day.
    d) It’s time to go for a walk.

Quiz 7:

  1. What does the phrase “Let the cat out of the bag” mean?
    a) To keep a secret
    b) To reveal a secret or disclose hidden information
    c) To buy a cat
    d) To catch a cat

Quiz 8:

  1. What does the idiom “The ball is in your court” imply?
    a) It’s time to play a game of basketball.
    b) The responsibility or decision-making lies with you.
    c) Someone has lost a ball.
    d) You should pass the ball to someone else.

Quiz 9:

  1. If you are “burning the midnight oil,” what are you doing?
    a) Sleeping soundly
    b) Working or studying late into the night
    c) Lighting a fire at midnight
    d) Taking a nap during the day

Quiz 10:

  1. What does the expression “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” advise against?
    a) Collecting eggs in one basket
    b) Relying on a single plan or option and diversifying efforts
    c) Throwing eggs away
    d) Only using one basket for all your belongings

Feel free to use these quiz questions to test your knowledge of these idiomatic expressions or to challenge others.

Conclusion

Idioms for yourself are a fascinating part of our language. They allow us to convey complex ideas or emotions in a more creative and colorful manner. By understanding these idioms, you’ll be better equipped to express yourself and comprehend the hidden meanings behind these everyday phrases.

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