Figures of Speech IloveIndia

Idioms are ideas or expressions which provide hidden meaning to words in a language. Read through the article to know about the examples of idiom in English language.

Idiom Examples

You find idioms everywhere - in books, newspapers, magazines, radio, televisions and in conversations. Idioms are ideas, or expressions, forming an integral part of any language and literature as they explain different situations using minimum phrases. Idioms challenge the conventional usage of words which otherwise would have reduced to the literal definitions. But remember that learning idioms is not easy - a casual reading can make those idioms look hilarious and they make the already difficult English language even more intricate. But, you are left with less options as being a master of those complicated idioms is essential to make your language similar to that of the native speakers. Idioms can be learned only by looking at the context and figuring out the hidden meanings of a word. These tricky figures of speech originate from older usages where the literal meaning of the words is somewhat different than what they suggest. Idioms are also effective in replacing a literal word or expression and there are times when they describe a word with its complete shades of meaning. Doing this, they reduce the effort of explaining a situation by elaborating it in a few words. Sometimes, also considered the most difficult figures of speech, idioms cannot be translated literally.

Examples Of Idiom

Examples Of Animal Idioms
Following are some animal idioms which are in regular use:
  • Act like an ape - behaving badly, foolishly and wildly
  • Bark up the wrong tree - selecting the wrong course of way
  • In the doghouse - In disfavour or in disgrace
  • Let the cat out of the bag - reveal something which is supposed to be a secret
  • Monkey business - mischief or a bad activity
  • Put the cart before the horse - doing things in the wrong order
Examples Of Idioms For Kids
Kids must be taught how and when to use idioms in English language as they tend to not only love learning new things but also do so faster than adults. However, you must always ensure that the usage is in the right context or else it could be quite a blunder. Here are some common English idioms:
  • "Hat trick" - Scoring successively three times in a sport
  • "Fill someone's shoes" - Get someone else's place.
  • "The buck stops here." - Taking up the responsibility for something, in place of finding fault in someone else.
  • "The fat's in the fire" - The damage is already complete.
  • "A flash in the pan" - Something which looks like a huge success, but fails to work out.
  • "Strike someone funny" - To appear funny to someone
  • "In a pickle" - In an embarrassed or discomforting situation
  • "The nick of time" - Just before time is up.
  • "Pull the wool over someone's eyes" - Trick or mislead.
  • "Bite off more than you can chew" - Take on more than one can manage.
Example Of Idioms In Poetry
Idioms in poetry are used in rhymes or possess rhyming words in themselves. Take a look at few of them:
  • "A rolling stone gathers no moss" - Something which is in motion does not collect problems.
  • "Curiosity killed the cat" - inquisitive about things can be risky.
  • "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" - Healthy and good practices benefit your life.
  • "A stitch in time saves nine" - Doing something in advance, saves having to do much harder work later.
  • "A herd of elephants" - Noisy, obvious. Something which is not possible to overlook.
  • "All bark and no bite" - A person who talks far more insistently than they act.
  • "Finding your feet" - To gain self-confidence in what you are doing.
  • "A world of their own" - Insular, completely isolated to the reality of others.
Examples Of Idioms in Prose
Prose is one field which has made the best use of idioms and there are many authors who find it simpler to explain situations with idioms. Read on the following few examples:
  • "Get on one's high horse" - Act with arrogance.
  • "Hit the bulls eye" - Arrive at the most important point.
  • "Lead a dog's life" - Work hard and get treated callously
  • "Live high on the hog" - Have the finest of everything.
  • "Her bark is worse than her bite" - Someone's words are worse than their act.
  • "Bet on the wrong horse" - Misread the future.
  • "Bull in a china shop" - A person with no diplomacy and one who disturb others or upsets plans.
  • "Cat get one's tongue" - Cannot speak due to nervousness
  • "Every dog has his day" - Everyone will have his chance or everyone will get what he ought to have.
Examples Of Regularly Used Idioms
  • Sting for - Cheating someone for a specific amount or making someone pay for something
  • Scowl at - to make a frown to show the displeasure at someone or something
  • Win hands down - to win easily
  • An arm and a leg - plenty of money
  • A lounge lizard - A man who spend plenty of money by meeting rich people, including women in social occasions.
  • Plumb the depths - To experience great sadness or to scrutinize something in detail in order to elucidate it.
  • Rolling in the aisles - Laughing loudly
  • To pay through the nose - Paying money for something which is not worth that amount.
  • To throw in the towel - To give up and stop trying
  • To be one card short of a deck - A person being a bit sluggish or stupid
  • Face the music - To accept the unacceptable results of an action
Idioms facilitate the effective usage of a language by maintaining the same subject and providing its hidden meanings. Making language colourful and richer, they convey subtle shades of meaning and intentions of a word. They make use of fewer words and convey more and provide an accurate statement for the occasion they are being used for - even more accurate than what literal meaning would offer. To master every language, you need to have a thorough knowledge of idioms in that language. It can help you learn about the culture of the community that speaks the language. Learning idioms means exploring the language to its maximum. And that, can never be a bad thing.

blt1Adjunction Examples
blt1Allegory Examples
blt1Alliteration Examples
blt1Allusion Examples
blt1Anadiplosis Examples
blt1Analogy Examples
blt1Anaphora Examples
blt1Anastrophe Examples
blt1Antecedent Examples
blt1Anticlimax Examples
blt1Antimetabole Examples
blt1Antithesis Examples
blt1Antonomasia Examples
blt1Apostrophes Examples
blt1Appositive Examples
blt1Assonance Examples
blt1Asyndeton Examples
blt1Chiasmus Examples
blt1Climax Examples
blt1Consonance Examples
blt1Double Negative Examples
blt1Enthymeme Examples
blt1Epistrophe Examples
blt1Epithet Examples
blt1Euphemism Examples
blt1False Analogy Examples
blt1Funny Metaphors Examples
blt1Hyperbole Examples
blt1Idiom Examples
blt1Imagery Examples
blt1Irony Examples
blt1Jargon Examples
blt1Examples Of Litotes
blt1Metaphor Examples
blt1Metonymy Examples
blt1Onomatopoeia Examples
blt1Oxymoron Examples
blt1Palindrome Examples
blt1Paralipsis Examples
blt1Parallelism Examples
blt1Parenthesis Examples
blt1Personification Examples
blt1Polysyndeton Examples
blt1Pun Examples
blt1Rhetorical Questions Examples
blt1Simile Examples
blt1Stereotypes Examples
blt1Symbolism Examples
blt1Synecdoche Examples
blt1Tautology Examples
blt1Understatement Examples
blt1Verbal Irony Examples
blt1Zeugma Examples
blt1Abstract Nouns Examples
blt1Commonly Misspelled Words
blt1Types Of Verbs
blt1Usage Of Semicolon
blt1Demonstrative Adjectives
blt1Comma Splice Examples
blt1Usage Of Colon
blt1Apostrophe Usage
blt1Helping Verbs
blt1List of Prepositions
blt1Parts Of Speech
blt1What Are Prepositions
blt1What Is A Noun
blt1Whom Vs Who
blt1Types Of Adjectives
blt1Types Of Sentences
blt1Types Of Tenses
blt1What Are Adjectives
blt1What Are Adverbs
blt1What Is A Predicate
blt1What Is A Pronoun
blt1Ensure Vs Insure
blt1Empathy Vs Sympathy
blt1Degrees of Comparison
blt1Dangling Modifiers
blt1Compliment Vs Complement
blt1Common Homophones List
blt1Common Grammatical Errors
blt1Colon Vs Semicolon
blt1Affect Vs Effect
blt1Linking Verbs
blt1Prepositional Phrases List
blt1Types of Clauses
blt1Use Of Articles In English
blt1When To Use A Comma
blt1When To Use A Hyphen
blt1Passive Voice & Active Voice
blt1Subject Verb Agreement

More from