Definition of Idiom

An idiom is also called as expression, phrase or words that have a metaphorical meaning when certain words are combined but is different from the literal definition of the individual words. In other words, we can say that idioms don’t have exactly the same meaning what the words say or we can say that they have the hidden meaning. In this article we will talk about top 20 idioms and their meanings.

To understand the key concept of English idioms is never to look at them or read them in a literal sense. This will only confuse you without making any sense. If you need to learn them in a context so you just have to understand the true meaning of it. Idioms brings a spectacular illustration for everyday speech. There are estimated 25,000 idiomatic expression used in English language.

Ready to know Top 20 Idiomatic expression used in English Language –

Let’s go…

1. A Hot Potato


  • It means a situation that is awkward or we can say unpleasant to deal with.
  • A problem or a situation which is sensitive and controversial that is risky to deal with.
  • An issue about which people have different opinions.
  • Something that is terrible to handle.

Example: Air Pollution has become a political Hot Potato.

2. Once in a blue moon


  • Very rarely
  • Almost never
  • Something that happens very rarely.
  • After a long time.

Example:  I don’t know why she bought a new car she used it once in a  blue moon.

3. When pigs fly


  • Impossible
  • Something that never happens
  • Impossible
  • Highly unlikely to happen

Example:  I think he will pay your money back when pigs fly.

4. Let the cat out of the bag


  • to reveal a secret unintentionally
  • to speak a secret out in the open
  • to reveal something by surprise.

Example:  He let the cat out of the bag & finally told his parents about his plans of getting married.

5. On cloud Nine


  • On top of the world
  • In seventh heaven

Example:  Oh, I Just got promoted and I’m on cloud Nine.

6. See eye to eye


  • View something in a same way as others also do.
  • Agree with someone
  • Be in a full agreement

Example:  She is looking for a new job as she doesn’t see eye to eye with her manager.

7. To feel under the weather


  • Feel ill
  • hangover
  • feel sick
  • drunk

Example: Tomorrow is my exam and I ‘m feeling under the weather.

8. Break a leg


  • Good Luck
  • Best wishes
  • Stroke of luck
  • To wish someone a good luck for something

Example:  You have an exam tomorrow? Break a leg.

9. To hit the nail on the head


  • Find out the exact answer.
  • Be accurate or right about something
  • Say exactly the right thing
  • Perfect or exact

Example:  You have found the problem. David! You hit the nail on  the head.

10. Raining  cats and dogs


  • Rain comes down
  • Heavy Rain
  • Very heavily Raining
  • To much rain comes quickly

Example:  When the Monsoon hits in India, Its rains like cats and dogs.

11. Can’t do something to save my life


  • You absolutely have not done that thing.
  • Not done by you
  • Extremely bad at doing something

Example:  I Love watching others to dance but I can’t dance to save my life.

12. Fat Chance


  • Said Something that is unlikely to happen.
  • Little Likelihood
  • No possibility
  • None at all

Example:  I think there are fat chances of her getting promoted this time!

13. Head in the cloud


  • Not paying much attention
  • Attention is on their own thought
  • Unaware of what is going on.

Example:  Most of the time he is having his head in the clouds.

14. Mad as a hatter


  • Something crazy
  • Someone can’t understood by general folk and considered to be mad.

Example:  The way she dressed up for an event, She must be as mad as a hatter.

15. Bit of more than you can chew


  • Try to do something which is hardly achievable.
  • Take a promise that can’t be accomplished
  • To start or promise something to do more than accomplish.

Example:  He should never be bit of more than he can chew . He always does that!

16. Butter someone up


  • To say nice things to someone so that they can do a favor.
  • To charm someone with praise
  • Flatter someone

Example:  Rama is so good at buttering up people.

17. Pulling someone’s leg


  • Teasing someone
  • Jocking around for fun
  • Fool someone badly
  • Harmless way

Example:  Stop pulling my leg! Can’t you be serious about what I said?

18. Jump the shark


  • Something that was successful previously
  • to reach on a point where something stops
  • Impossible

Example:  The show jumped the shark an  year ago.

19. Don’t throw the baby out with bathwater


  • To remove something which is good in a bid to get rid of something bad.
  • Get rid of something valuable.
  • Get rid of something worthy.

Example:  People who leave Old Friends just because of small issues are throwing the baby out with bathwater.

20: Sleep Tight:


  • Sleep well
  • Good night sleep
  • Sleep very deeply
  • Adorable Good Night wishes to someone.

Example:  I’m going to bed now. Good Night and Sleep Tight!

It is very important for us to understand the concept and use correct idiom and phrases.



About the author

Asmita Gakhar

Asmita Gakhar is the owner and author of I am graduated as a Software Engineer from APIIT SD INDIA (Panipat). I have completed my Secondary Education from St. Mary's Convent Sr. Sec. School, Panipat.

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