40 + Useful English Idioms and their meanings

What is a Idiom?

Idioms can be defined as a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not gathered from those of the individual words & meanings.

Why idioms are important…

It gives a new way to express yourself and communicate better, idioms are often used by native speakers, so if you want to sound like one, you should start using them.

It may seem to be tricky and complicated at first but it’s lots of fun to learn them. So here are some of the most common idioms and what they mean.


 42 Most common English idioms:  

              Idioms                  Word meanings
A blessing in disguise A good  thing that seems bad
A dime a dozen Something that is very common
Beat around the bush Avoid sharing what you mean or feel because it is uncomfortable
Bite the bullet To get something over with because it is inevitable
Break a leg  Good luck
Caught between a rock and a hard place Making a choice between both
Call it a day Stop working
Cost an arm and a leg Something that is over expensive
Cutting corners not doing a task properly in order to save time or money
Devil’s advocate  To take side of the counter argument, or offer alternative point of view
Easy does it Slow down
Fit as fiddle Being in good health
Get out hand Getting out of control
Getting a taste of your own medicine Being treated the same way you had being treating others
Get your act together Leave or work better
Go back to the drawing board  Starting over 
Giving someone the cold shoulder Ignoring someone
Hang in their Not giving up
Hearing it on the grapevine Hearing rumors about something
Hit the sack Off to sleep
It’s not rocket science It’s not complicated
Killing two birds with one stone Completed two different tasks in the same undertaking
Letting someone off the hook Not holding someone responsible for something
Miss the boat  It’s too late
No pain , no gain Work hard for what you want 
On the ball Being responsible, doing a good job
Once in a blue moon Something that doesn’t happen very often
Piece of cake A task easy to do
Pull someone’s leg To joke with someone
So far so good Thing going well so far
Speak of the devil Person you are talking about just arrives
The last straw Last difficulty that makes the entire situation unbearable
Take it with a grain of salt Not taking it too seriously
Time is money Working  more efficiently
The ball is in your court  Your decision
We see eye to eye Agree
Weather storm Going through something difficult
When it rains it pours Everything going wrong at once
Wrap your head around something Understanding something very complicated
You can say that again That true 
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink Can’t force someone to take decision
You can’t make an omelet by breaking some eggs There always a cost to do something


English idioms, proverbs, and expressions are an important part of everyday English. They are frequently used both in written and spoken. So, knowing a number idioms can be useful to increase your English vocabulary.

Written by Supriya Debbarma