21 Common Idioms in English & their meanings! You were using half of them wrong!


Idioms are probably the craziest things in English! You hear a phrase, something that is totally impertinent to the conversation, yet you can make complete sense out of it! We think that it's amazing how these things have caught up! You may have heard some of these idiomatic expressions before, but wouldn't have totally understood it, or sometimes you use them albeit in a completely different sense than intended! Well, happens sometimes. To avoid such situations, we have a collection of these crazy phrases lined up fo you, along with meanings and usage. Take a look.




1. A penny for your thoughts



This one means to ask someone about what they are thinking, at the moment.

Ex. He sat there for 5 min gazing into the fire, suddenly she said "A penny for your thoughts, Ron."




2. Add insult to injury




Behave in a way/ Do something that worsens an already bad situation.

Ex. To ask our soldiers to double shift the night would be adding insult to injury.




3. Costs an arm and a leg




Something that costs a huge amount of money, or in general very expensive.

Ex. The textbooks alone this year cost me an arm and a leg!




4. The ball is in your court




It means that it is up to you (the person to whom it is said) now to take a decision or make the next move in a particular situation.

Ex. They have made a reasonable offer, now the ball is in our court. What should we do?




5. Back to the drawing board




This means that an endeavour or scheme has been unsuccessful and a new one must be made.

Ex. The Govt. has to go back to the drawing board and reconsider their failed plan to curb black money.




6. Barking up the wrong tree




To have a wrong notion or thought about something or someone

Ex. She thinks he's cheating on her, but I'm sure she's barking up the wrong tree!




7. The best thing since sliced bread




Someone or something that is extremely useful and brings about significant positive changes.

Ex. People say the new smartwatch is the best thing since sliced bread, and rightly so!




8. Burn the midnight oil




It means to work or study, basically do anything productive late into the night.

Ex. She burnt the midnight oil preparing for the finals.




9. Cut corners




Do something in a frugal manner, so as to cut down on the resources (mostly money).

 Ex. We think he's secretly trying to cut corners by not adding cheese to the burgers.




10. Don't give up the day job




Another, humorous way of saying that someone will likely be unsuccessful at something, and say that they shouldn't do it.

Ex. So, you want to pursue novel writing? I have seen your writing, do not give up your day job!




11. Elvis has left the building




This means that a show or a performance has come to an end.

Ex. At the end of the horrible movie, Jake said, "Elvis has finally left  the building, let's go home!"




12. A far cry from




To indicate that something isn't even remotely similar to another thing that it is being compared to.

Ex. He is a far cry from a real detective!




13. Under the weather




To say that someone is ill or that they aren't feeling well.

Ex. I'm feeling a bit under the weather today, can you take my shift, Marley?




14. Hit the sack




Meaning, to go to bed. 

Ex. I have an early class tomorrow, I'm gonna hit the sack.




15. In the heat of the moment




That moment when you give no thought to your actions due to extreme anger, excitement etc.

Ex. I'm in love with your body! I didn't mean it! I'm sorry, that was in the heat of the moment!




16. It takes two to tango



To say that both the parties involved are equally responsible for something that has happened.

Ex. She was cross with her Mikaela for making out with her boyfriend. After all, it takes two to tango!




17. Last straw




The last thing in a series of disappointing events, one which finally calls for a response.

Ex. I've had it with her! Calling me names was ok, but bringing my mother into it was the last straw!




18. Missed the boat/bus




To say that someone has missed an opportunity due to being late or ignorance

Ex. Sorry miss, you missed the boat, the tickets are sold out.




19. Not playing with a full deck




Mentally ill or not having a stable mental state.

Ex. He was not making the right moves at all. He's not playing with a full deck bro




20. See eye to eye



Having the same opinion or fully in agreement with someone on some issue.

Ex. We're not exactly seeing eye to eye on the unemployment issues.




21. Cross that bridge when you come to it




To take care of something at the time when it arises and not worry about it beforehand.

Ex. I'm not worrying about college now, mom. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it



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