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Useful Religion and Ethnicity Idioms and Phrases


Religion and Ethnicity Idioms in English! Learn useful expressions and idioms about ethnicity, nationality and religion with meaning, ESL picture and example sentences.

Ethnicity and Religion Idioms

List of Idioms about Ethnicity, Nationality and Religion

Ethnicity Idioms

  • Jim Crow

Nationality Idioms

  • Dutch Uncle
  • French Leave
  • It’s All Greek to Me
  • Welsh (Welch) on a Deal

Religion Idioms

  • (A) Snowball’s Chance in Hell
  • (Going to) Hell in a Handbasket
  • (The) Devil Is in the Details
  • (To) Dance with the Devil
  • All Hell Breaks Loose
  • All Over Hell’S Half Acre
  • Angel’s Advocate
  • Baptism by Fire
  • Be A Cold Day In Hell
  • Cross to Bear
  • Devil’s Advocate
  • Hail Mary (n. or adj.)
  • Is the Pope Catholic?
  • Not Have a Prayer
  • Preach to the Choir, Preach to the Converted
  • Sacred Cow
  • Saving Grace

Religion and Ethnicity Idioms with Meaning and Examples

Ethnicity Idioms

Jim Crow

  • Meaning: The system of racial segregation in the American South prior to the American civil rights movement.
  • ExampleJim Crow laws made it impossible for African Americans to stay in hotels, unless they were black-owned.

Nationality Idioms

Dutch Uncle

  • Meaning: A highly critical person
  • ExampleDespite the criticism of my friend, who has a tendency to be a Dutch uncle, I went ahead with the plan, and it has been successful.

French Leave

  • Meaning: Absence without permission
  • ExampleSheila is taking French leave. She’s going to be in trouble when she comes back!

It’s All Greek to Me

  • Meaning: It is unintelligible, impossible to understand
  • ExampleThe engineers probably understood the presentation, but it was all Greek to me.

Welsh (Welch) on a Deal

  • Meaning: Not observe the terms of an agreement
  • ExampleWe negotiated that agreement for months. But they welshed on the deal.

Religion Idioms

(A) Snowball’s Chance in Hell

  • Meaning: No chance at all
  • ExampleEddie, I have to be honest with you. There is basically a snowball’s chance in hell that I will go out with you.

(Going to) Hell in a Handbasket

  • Meaning: Declining rapidly; getting much worse quickly
  • ExampleSince the party I don’t support won the election, this country has been going to hell in a handbasket.

(The) Devil Is in the Details

  • Meaning: The idea sounds simple, but it’s likely to involve small things that prove difficult.
  • ExampleYes, it sounds like they’re enthusiastic about signing the contract, but the devil is in the details.

(To) Dance with the Devil

  • Meaning: Knowingly do something immoral
  • ExampleYou’re dancing with the devil if you keep going to the casino every night.

All Hell Breaks Loose

  • Meaning: The situation becomes chaotic.
  • ExampleAll hell breaks loose whenever we try to reduce employees’ break time.

All Over Hell’S Half Acre

  • Meaning: All over the place; everywhere.
  • ExampleThere are thunderstorms popping up all over Hell’s half acre. Drive carefully!

Angel’s Advocate

  • Meaning: Someone who takes a positive outlook on an idea or proposal
  • Example: Everyone is criticizing the boss’s plan. But I’m going to play angel’s advocate and point out that it would reduce our expenses.

Baptism by Fire

  • Meaning: A difficult task given right after one has assumed new responsibilities
  • ExampleThe hotline operator had to deal with three suicidal callers on her first day on the job-it was a real baptism by fire.

Be A Cold Day In Hell

  • Meaning: (Something that) will never happen
  • Example: It’ll be a cold day in Hell when I go out with you.

Cross to Bear

  • Meaning: A problem one must deal with over a long time, a heavy burden
  • ExampleMy son’s drug addiction is my cross to bear.

Devil’s Advocate

  • Meaning: Someone who argues a point not out of conviction, but in order to air various points of view
  • ExampleLet me play devil’s advocate here. What if the sales you’re projecting for the device don’t materialize?

Hail Mary (n. or adj.)

  • Meaning: A desperate, last-ditch attempt
  • ExampleThe ruling party is going to make one more hail Mary attempt to pass a tax increase, even though it’s failed twice.

Is the Pope Catholic?

  • Meaning: Isn’t the answer obvious?
  • ExampleAre we going to lose the championship game after all these injuries? – Is the Pope Catholic?

Not Have a Prayer

  • Meaning: Have no chance of success
  • ExampleMy son is entering the tennis tournament, but just between us, he doesn’t have a prayer of winning.

Preach to the Choir, Preach to the Converted

  • Meaning: To make an argument with which your listeners already agree
  • Example: When you say we need to fight crime in our community, you’re preaching to the choir.

Sacred Cow

  • Meaning: An indvidual or organization that one cannot criticize
  • ExampleTax exemptions for churches have long been a sacred cow in this country, but some people are beginning to question them.

Saving Grace

  • Meaning: Something that redeems a bad situation
  • ExampleThe Asian food scene in Mexico City is not good, but its saving grace is a group of excellent Lebanese restaurants.

Ethnicity and Religion Idioms | Image

Useful Religion and Ethnicity Idioms

Frequently Used Religion and Ethnicity Idioms in English

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