25 Most useful and common English Idioms- With examples, sentences and meanings

25 Most useful and common English Idioms- With examples, sentences and meanings

In our today’s blog post, we will discuss what English Idioms are and their usage in English language. To be completely responsive in English, one needs to be well-versed in Idioms.

They make the point accurate and effective. The Cambridge dictionary defines idioms as a group of words in a fixed order that have a particular meaning that is different from the meanings of each word on its own.

Hence, though they may seem confusing to a beginner level English student, they are however very commonly used. Thus, it is imperative that learners should know if not all but the common English idioms that native speakers routinely use.

At Speechify, the best online English speaking course, we make it a point to teach these in our online Spoken English lessons.

Our online English tutors also ensure that students know the meaning and sentence usage of most of these to enrich their English communication skills.

Let us now learn about the 25 most common and useful Idioms in the English language:

1. Under the weather

Meaning - To feel sick

For Example –

‘Reena was feeling a bit under the weather, so she decided not to go to work today’

‘You should stay at home when you feel under the weather’

2. The ball is in your court

Meaning – To be responsible for making the next move or decision.

For Example –

‘You have got the chance to speak so the decision is in yours hand’

‘You have scored the highest marks now the ball is in your court you can ask for gift from your parents’

3. Spill the beans

Meaning – Revealing the secret or hidden facts

For Example –

‘Have you heard that Mike is allergic to garlic? His mother just spilled the beans’

‘Promise me that you will not tell my secret to anyone, you will never spill the beans’

4. Pull someone’s leg

Meaning - To make fun of someone

For example –

‘Relax, I’m just pulling your leg!’

‘Stop pulling his leg, he is your brother’

5. Sit on the fence

Meaning – Do not make a decision or take a side when given options or possibilities.

For example –

‘He chose to sit on the fence in meetings to avoid conflicts’

‘You have to take the decision on joining the classes, you can sit on the fence’

6. Through thick and thin

Meaning - Being faithful and loyal in all the circumstances

For example –

‘The true friend supports you through thick and thin’

‘Family always stood through thick and thin’

7. Once in a blue moon

Meaning – An act that rarely happens

For example –

‘Once in a blue moon I go to mall. I prefer local markets only’

‘He comes to parties once in a blue moon’

8. The best of both worlds

Meaning – Enjoying the two different situations

For example –

‘Work from home comes with huge benefit of enjoying the best of two worlds by staying at home and having a job’

‘By taking up the part time work you can enjoy the family life as well, best of the both worlds’

9. Take it with a pinch of salt

Meaning - Not being very serious about something

For example –

‘Reporters mostly exaggerate the news so some news should be taking with a pinch of salt’

‘You can take the hard words of the people with a pinch of salt’

10. When pigs fly

Meaning - Something impossible to happen

For example –

‘Children do not demand for mobiles or tablet is possible only when pigs fly’

‘Politician stop taking bribes can happen only when pigs fly’

11. Go down in flames

Meaning - To fail miserably

For example –

‘Since the contractor did not read the contract properly so his project went down in flames’

‘If you will not plan properly your dreams can go down in flames’

12. To cost an arm and a leg

Meaning – something is very expensive

For example –

‘Some branded cosmetics can cost an arm and a leg as they are very highly priced’

Luxury cars can something cost an arm and a leg to people’

13. See eye to eye

Meaning - To accept or agree with each other’s opinion

For example –

‘My brother and I sometimes do not see eye to eye on certain matters’

‘You can see eye to eye with people who do not agree to your opinion’

14.A piece of cake

Meaning - Something very easy and simple to do or perform.

For example –

‘Trekking is not a piece of cake for kids. They need supervision’

‘With mock practice an interview can be a piece of cake’

15. To cut corners

Meaning – to perform or do something fastest, easiest or cheapest way.                    

For example –

‘Sometimes cab drivers try to cut corners to avoid the traffic’

‘One should not cut corners when the dreams are high’

16. Beat around the bush

Meaning – Avoiding the main matter

For example –

‘Beating around the bush does not always help, one must discuss the main point’

‘You should stop beating around the bush and discuss your career option to your parents’

17. Hit the sack

Meaning - Go to bed for sleep.

For example –

‘Children needs to Hit the sack early to get up on time’

‘After a hectic day anyone would like to Hit the sack’

18. A blessing in disguise

Meaning - Something seems to be bad at first but turned out to be good later

For example –

‘Work from home turned into a blessing a disguise for many as they could spend quality time with their family’

‘In pandemic many people could get time for workout which in turned a blessing in disguise’

19. Fit as a fiddle

Meaning: Being in good health

For example –

‘Eating healthy food can make you fit as a fiddle’

‘To become fit as a fiddle you need to avoid junk food’

20. Getting a taste of your own medicine

Meaning – when someone experiences the same harm as the caused to others

For example –

‘He made fun of others baldness today he has lost all his hair. He got the taste of his own medicine’

‘If you will thing bad for others then you may get the same in return and can experience the taste of your own medicine’

21. Straight from the horse’s mouth

Meaning – getting the information directly from the person’s mouth regarding who the news is.

For example –

‘I have got to know about his secret. Not from anyone else but directly from the person, from the horse’s mouth’

‘I get the information from the right source, straight from the horse’s mouth’

22. Think outside the box

Meaning - Thinking creatively.

For example –

‘To develop new idea, we have to think outside the box which means we need to try different ways than the traditional ones’

‘To develop the vaccine for coronavirus, doctors have to think out of the box’

23. Action speaks louder than words

Meaning - What you do have a stronger effect than just talking about it.

For example –

‘Lot many time people just talk about good health but do not act. But action speaks louder than words’

‘We should not just talk about helping others we must act. Action speaks louder than words’

24. What goes around comes around

Meaning - What you do to the world, the same will happen to you.

For example –

‘We must be good to others as some day we can come across with people who would speak bad to us. As says what goes around comes around’

‘A helping hand to someone can get us the help in the time we need it. As says what goes around comes around’

25. Bite off more than you can chew

Meaning - Taking more responsibilities than one can manage.

For example –

‘Sometimes to please the manager, I accepted the excess work so I bite off more than I can chew’

It may feel A LOT once you read through this list, but regular usage with common memory will help you use them in your conversations more often. Slowly and steadily, you shall become a PRO!


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