An idiоm is a grоup of wоrds in a fixеd оrdеr thаt hаvе а pаrticulаr mеаning thаt is diffеrеnt frоm the mеаnings of еаch wоrd оn its оwn.
Knоwlеdgе оf idiоms is аn impоrtаnt pаrt оf cоmprеhеnsiоn оf the English lаnguаgе.

Belоw is a list of sоmе cоmmоnly usеd English idiоms with thеir mеаnings

A bear with a sore head – an irritable person

A bit of a dark horse – person with hidden abilities

A bitter pill to swallow – a difficult fact to accept

A brainwave – sudden clear idea

A bull in a china shop – a very clumsy person

A cat in hell’s chance – no chance at all

A close shave – a narrow escape

A different kettle of fish – a totally different situation

A dog’s breakfast/dinner – a mess

A dog’s life - a difficult, hard life

A fish out of water – person who feels uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings

A memory like a sieve – a poor memory

A night owl – person who enjoys staying up late

Above board - honest

Against all odds – despite the difficulties

All along – from the beginning

All but – nearly, almost

All in - exhausted

All in all – when everything is considered

All the same – yet, however

An old wives’ tale – false belief

A pain in the neck – annoying person/thing

A piece of cake – sth very easy to do

A red-letter day – a very important day

A red rag to a bull – action liable to provoke sb

A sitting duck – an easy target

As busy as a bee/ a busy bee – very busy

As a last resort – when all else has failed

As the crow flies – in a direct line

At large – free, not caught

A wild-goose chase – a hopeless search

Bark up the wrong tree – to make a mistake

Be all at sea – to be in a state of confusion

Be all fingers and thumbs – to be awkward, clumsy

Be born yesterday – a long time ago

Be broke – to have no money at all

Be dying for sth – to really want sth

Be fit for – to be good enough for

Be flat out – to be very tired

Be full of beans – to be very lively

Be green – not be very experienced

Be/get soaked to the skin – to be/get very wet

Be in black – to be out of debt

Be in pink – to be healthy

Be in a quandary – to be confused

Be the apple of sb’s eye – to be very precious to sb

Be in the doghouse – to be out of favour, in trouble

Be in the sb’s shoes – to be in sb’s position

Be in the black books – not very popular

Be in the know – to be well-informed

Be in the same boat – to be in the same situation

Be in two minds about sth – not to know which of the two things to do

Be all very well – to appear satisfactory but in fact not be

Be up in arms – to be very angry

Beat about/around the bush – to avoid saying what one means directly

Beat sb black and blue – to hit sb repeatedly until bruised

Behind bars – in prison

Behind the scenes – in secret

Be on the cards – to be likely to happen

Be on the up and up – to improve steadily

Be over the moon – to be elated

Be second to none – to be as good as the best

Be sound asleep – to sleep heavily

Be the perfect image of sb – to look exactly like sb

Be thick – to be stupid

Big headed – conceited, boastful

Blue-eyed boy - favourite

Bolt from the blue - suddenly

Break even – to show neither loss nor profit

Break the ice – to ease the tension when one first meets people

Browned off – fed up, bored

Burry one’s head in the sand – to avoid or ignore reality/responsibility

Butter the boss up – to flatter sb

By and large – generally speaking

By trial and error – learning from one’s mistakes

Call it quits – to give up, to stop

Call sb names – to insult sb

Catch sb red-handed – to be caught while committing a crime

Chair a meeting – to preside a meeting

Cook one’s goose – to end one’s plans abruptly

Come out of one’s shell – to gain personal confidence

Come to a head – to reach a crisis

Come to a standstill – not to progress

Come to terms with – to accept a difficult

Come to the point – to reach the main point in a discussion

Cost a bomb – very expensive

Crocodile tears – false tears

Cross one’s mind – to think of sth

Cry over spilt milk – to grieve over sth that can’t be put right

Cut sb dead – to ignore sb

Deal a blow to – to damage one’s hopes

Different as chalk and cheese – very different

Dog eat dog – ruthless competition, rivalry

Donkey work – boring, monotonous work

Donkey’s years – a long time

Don’t hold your breath – wait for sb anxiously

Do time – to serve a prison sentence

Down in the dumps – not cheerful

Down the drain – wasted, lost

Drink like a fish – to drink a lot of alcohol

Drop a brick – to say sth tactlessly

Drop sb a line – send sb a letter

Eat one’s heart out – to feel jealous

Every nook and cranny - everywhere

Fair and square – within the rules

Fall head over heels – to fall in love quickly

Fall into place – to become clear

Feel blue – to be depressed

Feel down in the mouth – to feel discouragement or depression

Feel in one’s bones – feeling sth instinctively

Feel one’s ears burning – to be sure that sb is talking about you

Fine kettle of fish – confused state of affairs

Flog a dead horse – to waste time

Fly off the handle – to become very angry

For all I care – I don’t care

For all I know – as far as I know

For the time being - temporarily

Frosty welcome – unfriendly reception

Gatecrasher – sb attending a party, event etc without an invitation

Get a bit hot under the collar – to get angry, upset or embarrassed

Get a move on – to hurry up

Get cold feet - to lose courage

Get one’s nerves – to irritate or annoy sb

Get a problem off one’s chest – to tell sb else about your problem

Get off on the wrong foot – to argue or disagree at the beginning of a relationship

Get out of hand – get out of control

Get rid of sth – to give sth away

Get out of bed on the wrong side – to be in a bad mood

Get the sack – to be dismissed from the job

Get the wrong end of the stick – to misunderstand

Give way to – to give in, yield

Get your own back – to take/get revenge

Give and take – to compromise

Give sb the slip – to escape from sb

Give sb the cold shoulder – to ignore sb

Go for a song – to be sold very cheaply

Go without saying – to be a foregone conclusion

Golden opportunity – the best chance

Go to one’s head – to make conceited

Go to the dogs – to go to waste

Grease sb’s palm – to bribe sb

Grey matter – the brains, intelligence

Grow out of sth – to become too big for sth

Hand in glove with sb – to be in very close contact with sb

Have a bee in one’s bonnet – to have an obsession about sth

Have a cheek/nerve – to act rudely

Have a frog in one’s throat – inability to speak due to nervousness

Have a sharp tongue – to tend to say unkind or hurtful things

Have a job – to find it difficult

Have a yellow streak – to be a coward

Have an early night – to go to bed early

Have butterflies in one’s stomach – to be very nervous about sth

Have kittens – to be upset

Have many irons in the fire – to have a lot of plans/possibilities in progress

Have no option but – must, have no choice

Have one’s heart in one’s mouth – to be extremely anxious

Have time on one’s hands – to have free time

Have the cheek – to dare to complain

Have the gift of the gab – to be able to talk well, persuasively

Have words with sb – to have an argument

Hear it through the grape-vine – to find out information indirectly

Hit the nail on the head – to say exactly the right thing

Hit the roof – to get very angry

Hit the sack – to go to bed

Hold one’s horses – to wait, be patient

Hold water – to be able to be proved true

If I were in sb’s shoes – if I were sb

Ill at ease – embarrassed, uncomfortable

In a flash – very quickly

In a nutshell – briefly, in a few words

In a rut – to be fixed in a monotonous routine

In a tick – shortly, soon

In black and white – in writing, clear

In cold blood – done deliberately (of a murder)

In deep water – in trouble/difficulty

In public – in the presence of the other people

In the air – uncertain, spreading about

In the long run – after a long period of time

In the nick of time – just in time

It’s all Greek to me – sth new or foreign, not easily understood

Keep a straight face – to manage to look serious

Keep an eye on sth – to guard sth

Keep one’s chin up – not to be discouraged

Keep one’s fingers crossed – to hope that sth will turn out well

Keep oneself to oneself – to live quietly, unsociably

Keep sth quiet – to keep sth secret

Keep up with the Joneses – to compete with others in status/material goods

Kick the bucket – to die

Kill time – to pass time while waiting for sb/sth

Kill two birds with one stone - to solve two problems with one single action

Know the ropes – to know all the details of a business

Lay bare – to make public

Lend sb a hand – to give help

Let sleeping dogs lie – to avoid mentioning a subject which could cause trouble

Let the cat out the bag – to reveal a secret

Like cat and dog – disagree violently

Like water off a duck’s back – having no effect

Live out of a suitcase – to travel often

Lose heart – to become discouraged

Lose one’s head – to lose self-control

Lose one’s nerve – to back out because of fear

Lost cause – hopeless situation or case

Make a flying visit – to make a quick trip

Make a fool of oneself – to make oneself look stupid

Make a killing – to have a sudden, great success

Make a name for oneself – to become famous

Make a mountain out of a molehill – to cause a fuss about a trivial matter

Make a pig of oneself – to eat/drink to excess

Make light of – to treat sth as unimportant

Make/earn a/one’s living – to earn money

Make hay while the sun shines – to take advantage of favourable circumstances

Make head or tail of – to understand

Make money hand over fist – to make a lot of money quickly and easily

Make one’s blood boil – to cause sb to become very angry

Make one’s getaway – to escape

Make sb’s day – to make sb very happy

Meet behind closed doors – to meet secretly

Moon around – to look miserable

No/little wonder – not surprising

No room to swing a cat – no room at all

Not be one’s cup of tea – not to suit one’s mind

Null and void – invalid, not legally binding

Off colour – to look slightly unwell

Off the cuff – without preparation

Off the point - irrelevant

Off the record - unofficially

One’s flesh and blood – family member

On account of – because of

Once and for all – for the last time

Once in a blue moon – very rarely

On a shoe string – on a very small budget

On no account – under no circumstances

On second thought – having changed one’s mind

On the air - broadcasting

On the dole – receiving unemployment benefit

On the spur of the moment – without thinking about sth

On the rack – in a state of great anxiety

Open to debate – not decided/settled

Out-and-out – thorough, complete

Out of the blue – suddenly and unexpectedly

Out of the frying pan into the fire – from a difficult situation to a worse

Out of the question - impossible

Out of turn – not in the correct order/time

Paint the town red – to have a lovely time

Part and parcel of – basic part of

Pay one’s cards right – to act cleverly

Play cat and mouse with sb – to keep sb in a state of uncertain expectation treating alternatively cruelly and kindly

Play truant – to stay away from school without good reason

Plenty more fish in the sea – many opportunities in life, for love etc

Pop the question – to make a proposal of marriage

Pull a few strings – to use influential friends in order to obtain an advantage

Pull one’s socks up – to make a greater effort

Pull sb/one’s leg – to tease or trick sb

Put one’s foot down – to insist

Put one’s foot in it – to join or interrupt a conversation you are not a part of

Put one’s heart and soul into sth – to be devoted to sth

Put down roots – to settle down

Put sb’s name forward – to nominate

Put the cat among the pigeons – to cause trouble

Put words into one’s mouth – to pretend that sb has said sth that he/she hasn’t actually said

Quick/slow on the uptake – quick/slow to understand

Rain cats and dogs – to rain heavily

Red tape – unnecessary bureaucracy

Ring a bell – to remind sb of sth

See the back of – to be glad to see sb leave

See/look at sth through rose-coloured spectacles – to see sth from an unrealistically positive point of view

Shed light upon – to give new/further information

Short and sweet – very short and to the point

Show one’s true colours – to reveal one’s character

Sleep like a log – to sleep soundly

Sleep on it – to think about sth

Slip one’s mind – to forget about sth

Smell a rat – to suspect that sth is wrong

Speak volumes – to be strong evidence of sb’s merits etc

Spill the beans – to reveal a secret

Stand in sb’s way – to prevent sb from doing sth

Status symbol – possession that shows sb’s high social rank

Stew in one’s own juice – to suffer the consequences of one’s own actions

Straight from the horse’s mouth – from the most direct source

Strike gold – to come across sth useful

Take everything to heart – to take personally/ be hurt by

Take into account – consider sth

Take it easy – to calm down

Take one’s time – not to hurry

Take sb/sth for granted – to rely on sb to do things for you all the time

Take sth to heart – to take personally, to be offended

Take the bull by the horns – to take a bold step immediately

Take with a pinch of salt – not to believe sth completely

The black market – illegal trading of goods

The black sheep of the family – a disgraced family member

The boys in blue – the police

The ins and outs – the details of an activity

The last straw – the last and worst episode in a chain of bad experiences

The lesser of two evils - when given two bad choices, the one which is not as bad as the other should be chosen over the one that is the greater threat

The life and soul of sth – the most lively and amusing person present somewhere

The lion’s share – the biggest part/portion

The rat race – the competitive nature of modern urban life

The tip of the iceberg – small evident part of a much larger, concealed situation

The year dot – a long time ago

Thick-skinned - insensitive

Through thick and thin – whatever happens

Throw a party – to have a party

Tongue in cheek – not serious, ironic

Tooth and nail - fiercly

Touch and go – with uncertain result

Turn a blind eye to sth – to ignore

Turn over a new leaf – to make a new start

Under the weather – depressed, unwell

Until one is blue in the face – as hard/long as one possibly can

Until the cows come home – for a long time

Up and coming – likely to be successful

Ups and downs – alternate good and bad luck

Wet blanket – dull person who spoils people’s happiness

Wet behind the ears - inexperienced

Whet sb’s appetite – to make sb eager to have

With flying colours – with great success

With one’s heart in one’s mouth - fearfully

White elephant – useless possession

Work a miracle – to make sth impossible happen

Work to rule – to adhere strictly to the rules as a form of protest

Test your Englisg vocabulary