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Common Nature Idioms in English with Meaning and Examples


Nature Idioms and Phrases! List of common idioms about the natural world in English with meaning, pictures and examples. Learn these nature idioms to improve your English vocabulary and speaking skills.

Nature Idioms in English

Flowers Idioms

List of flowers idioms in English.

  • Pushing Up Daisies: Dead
  • Nip (Something) In The Bud: Deal with a problem before it becomes large

Geographical Features Idioms

List of geographical idioms in English.

  • (It’s a) Small World!: It is surprising to encounter connections with familiar people in unexpected places.
  • (The) Grass Is (Always) Greener in the Next Pasture (on the Other Side): A different situation may often seem better than one’s own
  • Across The Pond: On or to the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Back Forty: Remote, inaccessible land
  • Back Of Beyond: A remote location
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Caught between two undesirable options
  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: In a difficult position
  • Beyond the Pale: Too morally or socially extreme to accept
  • Go with the Flow: To accept the way things naturally seem to be going
  • King of the Hill: At the top of one’s field; the most influential person in a given field or area
  • Living Under a Rock: Ignorant of important events. Usually used as a question: Have you been living under a rock?
  • Make a Mountain out of a Molehill: To take something too seriously; to make too much of something
  • Man Cave: A part of the house, often the basement, that is left to the man of the household, perhaps with a workshop, a television for watching sports, etc.
  • Out in the Sticks: In a remote location; far from a city
  • Over the Hill: Past one’s prime
  • Over the Moon: Extremely happy
  • Set the Thames on Fire: Do something amazing. Usually used in the negative.
  • Slippery Slope: A series of undesirable effects that, one warns, could result from a certain action
  • Stem the Tide: To stop or control the growth of something, usually something unpleasant.
  • Swim Against the Tide: Do something contrary to a trend or usual opinion
  • Test the Waters: Experiment with something cautiously
  • The Coast Is Clear: We are unobserved; it is safe to proceed.
  • Tip of the Iceberg: A small, visible part of a much larger problem
  • Too Busy Fighting Alligators to Drain the Swamp: So occupied with multiple challenges that one can’t keep the big picture in mind
  • Up a Creek: In a very bad situation
  • Virgin Territory: Something that has never been explored, physically or intellectually
  • Water Under the Bridge: Something in the past that’s no longer worth worrying about

Plants Idioms

List of plants idioms in English.

  • (The) Wrong End of the Stick: To have the wrong idea about something
  • (To Be) Out of One’s Gourd: Crazy, irrational
  • (To) Beat About the Bush (UK); Beat Around the Bush (USA): To speak in an unclear way and reluctantly instead of being direct and frank
  • Bed of Roses: A comfortable situation
  • Can’t See the Forest for the Trees: Is unable to maintain a wider perspective
  • Doesn’t Amount to a Hill of Beans: Is unimportant, is negligible
  • Go Out on a Limb: Assert something that may not be true; put oneself in a vulnerable position
  • Hear (Something) Through the Grapevine: To learn something via gossip
  • In Clover: Benefiting from a positive financial situation
  • Knock on Wood; Touch Wood: Let’s hope I have good luck or continue to have good luck.
  • Make Hay (While the Sun Shines): To take advantage of an opportunity at the right time.
  • Mother Nature: The natural world
  • No Tree Grows to the Sky: Growth cannot continue indefinitely.
  • Olive Branch: A peace offering, an attempt at reconciliation.
  • Put Down Roots: Establish oneself in a place; settle
  • Stick-in-the-Mud: A person who dislikes or adapts slowly to new ideas
  • Too Many To Shake A Stick At: A large number
  • Bean Counters: Accountants, finance professionals in an organization
  • Out of the Woods: No longer in danger
  • Beat Around the Bush: To speak in a roundabout way in order to avoid confronting an unpleasant topic
  • (The) Last Straw: A problem, burden, or mistake that finally makes someone run out of patience
  • To Bear Fruit: To develop in a profitable or positive way
  • Apples and Oranges: Of two different classes, not comparable

Weather Idioms

List of common weather idioms in English.

  • (A Breath of) Fresh Air: Something new and innovative, especially in contrast to a stagnant state of affairs
  • (Every Cloud Has a) Silver Lining: A positive aspect of a bad situation
  • A Cold Day In July: (Something that) will never happen
  • Have (one’s) head in the clouds: Not know what is happening around you or out of touch with reality
  • Break The Ice: To get something started, particularly by means of a social introduction or conversation
  • Brainstorm: To generate many ideas quickly
  • All Wet: Completely mistaken
  • A Snowball’s Chance in Hell: Little to no likelihood of occurrence or success
  • Under the Weather: Feeling ill
  • On Cloud Nine: Extremely happy
  • Rain Cats And Dogs: Rain heavily
  • Cold Day in Hell: A condition for something that would be extremely unlikely to occur
  • In a Fog: Confused, not mentally alert
  • Chase Rainbows: To pursue unrealistic goals
  • Batten Down the Hatches: Prepare for a storm
  • Get Wind of: Hear about
  • Spit into The Wind: Wasting time on something futile
  • Cook Up a Storm: Cook a great deal of food
  • Come Rain and Shine: Do regularly, whatever the circumstances
  • Right as Rain: Absolutely correct
  • (Be) a Breeze: Very easy
  • Blood and Thunder: A dramatic, spectacular performance
  • Dead of Winter: The coldest, darkest part of winter
  • A Storm in a Teacup: Unnecessary anger or worry about an unimportant or trivial matter
  • Take a Rain Check: Decline an invitation but suggest that you’ll accept it at a later time.
  • Throw Caution to the Wind: To act in a daring way, without forethough
  • Bone Dry: Completely dry, totally without moisture
  • When Hell Freezes Over: Never
  • On Thin Ice: In a risky situation, especially in an interpersonal relationship
  • Dog Days of the Summer: The hottest day of summer
  • Be Snowed Under: Be extremely busy with work or things to do
  • Blow Hot and Cold: Shift one’s level of enthusiasm repeatedly
  • Bolt From the Blue: Something completely unexpected
  • Catch Some Rays: To sit or lie outside in the sun
  • Come Hell or High Water: No matter what happens
  • Heavens Open: Start to rain heavily
  • In the Dark: Not informed
  • It Never Rains but It Pours: Bad luck and bad things tend to happen at the same time
  • Old Man Winter: Winter
  • Once in a Blue Moon: Very rarely
  • Perfect Storm: A rare combination of disastrous occurrences
  • Pure as the Driven Snow: To be innocent and chaste (frequently used ironically)
  • Rain on Someone’s Parade: Spoil someone’s plans
  • Soak Up the Sun: To enjoy the sun
  • Steal Someone’s Thunder: Upstage someone
  • Stormy Relationship: Relationship that has a lot arguments and disagreement
  • Three Sheets to the Wind: Very drunk

Animals Idioms

List of commonly used animals idioms in English.

  • (A) Different Kettle of Fish: Not comparable (with something that has been under discussion
  • (A) Leopard Can’t Change Its Spots: People can’t successfully disguise or change their essential natures.
  • (Bird in a) Gilded (Golden) Cage: In a luxurious but confining situation
  • (Don’t) Have a Cow: To get upset, angry (usually used in the negative)
  • (Go) Hog Wild: Act in a completely uninhibited way
  • (Have a) Kangaroo Loose: In The Top Paddock Be slightly crazy
  • (His) Bark Is Worse Than His Bite: Hostile in manner, but actually friendly
  • (Like) Herding Cats: Difficult to coordinate (said of members of a group)
  • (Like) Tits on a Bull, As Useless as Tits on a Bull: Completely useless
  • (On a) Fishing Expedition: Looking for evidence without any solid suspicion of wrongdoing
  • (Open Up a) Can of Worms, A Whole New Can of Worms: Create a new set of difficult problems
  • (Play) Whack-a-Mole (Confront): a situation in which when one problem is solved, another appears
  • (Someone’s) Goose Is Cooked: In serious trouble, with no hope of improvement
  • (Straight From the) Horse’s Mouth: Heard directly from one of the people involved
  • (That’s the) Nature of the Beast: The essence of something; just the way something is
  • (The) Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back: A single small thing that exceeds a limit of patience
  • (The) Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back: A final difficulty that exhausts someone’s patience or causes the collapse of something
  • (The) Tail That Wags the Dog: A small part of something that controls the whole thing
  • (The) Worm Has Turned: The situation has been reversed.
  • (There’s) More Than One Way to Skin A Cat: There are multiple ways to accomplish this task.
  • (To Be a) Fly on the Wall: To be an unnoticed observer
  • (To Have a) Bee In One’s Bonnet: To be excited in a negative way; to express a pet peeve
  • (To Have the) Bit Between One’s Teeth: In control of a situation
  • (To Put the) Cat Among(st) the Pigeons: Cause a disturbance or disruption, usually intentionally
  • (To) Beat a Dead Horse: To continue to argue about something that has been settled
  • 800-Pound Gorilla: A person or group powerful enough to disregard the rules; a big, dominant person or group
  • A Busy Bee: A busy, active person who moves quickly from task to task.
  • A Cat Has Nine Lives: Cats seem to get away with dangerous things
  • A Cat Nap: A short sleep during the day
  • A Cold Fish: Someone who is not often moved by emotions, who is regarded as being hard and unfeeling.
  • A Cat in Gloves Catches No Mice: You can’t get what you need if you’re too careful.
  • A Dog in The Manger: A person who selfishly prevent others from using, enjoying or profiting from something even though he/ she cannot use or enjoy it himself.
  • A Guinea Pig: Someone who is part of an experiment or trial
  • A Home Bird: Somebody who prefers to spend his social and free time at home.
  • A Lame Duck: A person or enterprise (often a business) that is not a success and that has to be helped.
  • A Little Bird Told Me: I don’t wish to divulge where I got the information
  • A Lone Wolf: Someone who is not very social with other people
  • A Rare Bird: Somebody or something of a kind that one seldom sees.
  • A Scaredy-Cat: Someone who is excessively scared or afraid.
  • A Sitting Duck: A person or object in a vulnerable position that is easy to attack or injure.

Fruits Idioms

List of common fruits idioms in English.

  • A Bite at The Cherry: A good opportunity that isn’t available to everyone
  • A Plum Job: An easy and pleasant job that also pays well
  • Apples and Oranges: Of two different classes, not comparable
  • As American as Apple Pie: Very or typically American
  • As Red as A Cherry: Very red
  • Bad Apple: A discontented, trouble making, or dishonest person
  • Cherry-Pick: To select the best or most desirable
  • Cool as A Cucumber: Calm and composed even in difficult or frustrating situations; self-possessed
  • Go Bananas: To become irrational or crazy
  • Go Pear-Shaped: To fail; to go wrong
  • A Lemon: A vehicle that does not work properly
  • Life is A Bowl of Cherries: Life is wonderful or very pleasant
  • Not Give A Fig: To not care at all about something
  • To be A Peach: Someone or something that is extremely good, impressive, or attractive
  • Peaches and Cream: A situation, process, etc., that has no trouble or problems
  • Second Banana: A person in a subservient position
  • Sour Grapes: Disparagement of something that has proven unattainable
  • Speak with A Plum in (one’s) Mouth: To speak in a manner that is indicative of a high social class.

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