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50 Examples of Idioms Commonly Used in Daily Conversations


If you’re reading this, you’re probably searching for examples of idioms in English. Good news, you’ve come to the right place! Your spouse cooks dinner for your birthday and you say it is “killer”. Or you go out with friends, and after a fun evening, you tell them you need to “bounce”. Idioms are fun for a lot of reasons. One reason might be the way people freeze in mid-sentence and stare, wondering whether they ought to do something.

Your spouse, who cooked the killer meal, might be wondering whether to call the doctor. Your friends might wonder whether to call your therapist. But there is no doubt about it, idioms add a whole new facet to language, and English is full to the rafters of more idioms than it knows what to do with.

Examples of Idioms

List of 50 common English idioms and their meanings

1. Will you choose the carrot or the stick?

Would you rather do what you’re supposed to and be rewarded, or do what you want, and get punished?

2. She acts like she just fell off the turnip truck

She acts unpolished.

3. He is cool as a cucumber

He doesn’t get upset easily.

4. He is a carrot top.

He has red hair.

5. Don’t be such a sad sack


6. Cut off at the Knees

All opportunity was taken away.

7. Shoot, I forgot.

I am disappointed that I forgot.

8. Bingo, bango, bongo

There. That’s done.

9. The Banana Republic

Weak or failing government

10. One-trick pony

A person who can only do one thing at a time.

11. Apple polisher

A person who does things to please the one in authority

12. Kissing up

Trying to get on the good side of the person in authority.

13. Try to weasel out

Try to get out of punishment for wrong by whatever means possible

14. You are the apple of my eye

I love you

15. Gets a wild hair

Do crazy things/has crazy ideas sometimes

16. Just take some hair of the dog

Comes from hair of the dog that bit you. Means to take some more of what made a problem in hopes of lessening

the initial effects. Usually used when someone has a hangover from drinking too much alcohol.

17. Started out on the wrong foot.

Usually refers to when two people who just met don’t act very nice.

18. Take the lion’s share.

Lion’s share is the larger portion.

19. That really gets my goat.

That irritates me.

20. Don’t let the cat out of the bag

Don’t tell the secret.

21. Pulling my hair out over this

Can’t figure out how to solve this problem

22. Ankle biters

Small children.

23. It’s a nail biter

It is causing worry.

24. One way or the other

It will get accomplished somehow

25. They froze him out.

They stopped interacting with him.

26. Mudslinger

A person who says bad things about another person

27. Whether you like it or not

Self-explanatory. Used a lot by parents to children.

28. Take it or leave it

You might not like your choices, but these choices are all you’ve got.

29. Dance faster than a cat on a hot tin roof

Get things done fast.

30. Nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs


31. He’s got one foot on a banana peel

Getting old. Often said together with the next one.

32. One foot in the grave.

Close to dying.

33. He always has his foot in his mouth.

Always saying the wrong thing.

34. Get a toe in the water

To get started at something or in a place, even in a small way. Can also mean to try something out.

35. Get a foot in the door.

Usually refers to a job, getting in a company, and starting at the bottom.

36. A real bird brain.

Doesn’t think things through/isn’t a very deep thinker.

37. Sure as God made little green apples.


38. I saw the light

Had an epiphany/spiritual awakening.

39. Fighting like an old married couple

Having a big argument

40. Pass the olive branch

Make a conciliatory gesture.

41. Nectar of the gods

Delicious drink

42. Too good for words

Kind of says it all.

43. Gate swings both ways


44. Has his foot on their neck

Is holding them down

45. I will get out of your hair

I will get out of your way

46. Let sleeping dogs lie

Allow what is in the past to stay in the past.

47. It is a lemon

It is no good.

48. I don’t give a fig

I don’t care

49. I consider it sour grapes

I consider it not worth bothering with.

50. The assignment was a plum assignment.

It was an incredible assignment.

Examples of Idioms | Infographic

Examples of Idioms | Top 50 Common English Idioms and Their Meanings

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