Interesting Idioms

An idiom is a word or phrase that has a different meaning than the literal meaning. For example, if you say, "I'm feeling blue," you are not talking about color at all. "To feel blue" is an idiom which means "to feel sad." Idioms can be confusing because of the different meanings, but they are often very interesting and they are used in every language.

A piece of cake means something is very easy.
"How was the test?" - "Oh, it was a piece of cake! I didn't even have to study!"
"Dancing is a piece of cake. I'll teach you in no time."

Under the weather means you're feeling sick.
"I can't meet you for lunch today. I'm feeling under the weather."

Keep your chin up means to stay positive. Don't get depressed about things not working out the way you want. It's an encouraging phrase to urge someone keep trying.
"I know you're sad because you didn't get the job you wanted, but keep your chin up! You'll find something even better."

Tickled pink means delighted or very happy.
My grandmother was tickled pink to see all of her family at her birthday party.

To have butterflies in your stomach means you're feeling nervous.
"Oh my gosh, I have to give a speech in one hour. I have butterflies in my stomach!"

To bend over backward means to do everything you can to help someone, maybe even too much to help someone.
I've bent over backward trying to teach that kid algebra, but he still doesn't understand.

To be in the same boat means in to be in the same situation.
The huge snowstorm means we can't go to basketball game today. But it's ok; we're all in the same boat.

At the end of my rope means you have had enough - and are giving up.
"My computer has crashed three times! I don't know what to do. I'm at the end of my rope."
"The kids have been fighting all day, and now they're fighting again! I'm at the end of my rope. That's it, they are going to their rooms."

'Break a leg!' is a way of saying "good luck," especially for stage performers.
When my sister went on stage, I told her to break a leg.


PRACTICE WITH IDIOMS: Use the idioms above to finish the sentences:

1. When I gave my mom a necklace for her birthday, she was ______________.

2. Learning to drive isn't hard at all. It's a ________________!

3. I have to sing a song in front of the whole school. I feel like I ________________!

4. I have a bad headache today, so I feel _______________.

5. I know you feel upset, but don't worry, things will get getter. ______________!

6. I told my friend the actor to ____________ before her show.

7. The economy is bad in almost every country. I think we're all ________________.

8. I ________________ trying to find a job for my cousin, but I know now that he doesn't even want to work.

9. I spent all day trying to build a table, and it's not turning out well at all! I'm ________________.

(See answers at the bottom of the page.)

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Proverbs: words of wisdom

A proverb is a famous, wise saying, usually considered to be true. Have you heard of these proverbs?

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
This means that we will always want something that we don't have. Maybe you look at your neighbor's house and decide that their house is better and their life is better, even if your own life is pretty good!

The early bird catches the worm.
If you start on something early, you'll be more successful than the people who wait until the last minute.

The show must go on.
There will always be problems, but you have to keep going anyway. Life goes on!

Don't make a mountain out of a molehill.
Don't take a tiny problem and make it a huge problem. Just deal with it and move on.

Leave no stone unturned.
Look everywhere until you find what you're looking for.

Look before you leap.
Think before you act!

Too many cooks spoil the broth.
When too many people are trying to help, it can make the problem even worse.

Two heads are better than one.
Two people working together can often come up with a solution.


Idioms Answers: 1. tickled pink, 2. piece of cake, 3. have butterflies in my stomach, 4. under the weather, 5. Keep your chin up, 6. break a leg, 7. in the same boat, 8. bent over backward, 9. at the end of my rope.

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- Czech Proverb

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