Category Archives: Idiomatic Expressions

A chip off the old block

A person (usually a male) who behaves in the same way as his father or resembles his father.


That son of yours has a great sense of humour.” “Yes, I like to think he’s a chip off the old block!”

This episode helps to understand the expression!


Tit for tat (Noun)

Something bad that you do to someone because they have done something bad to you. This expression refers to an injury or insult given in return for one received.


He kicked me, so I kicked him – it was tit for tat!

This story helps us to understand the meaning and is marvelous !


At minute: 22:18

The Storyteller: …So if you come one day to a lake and there’s an island and a ferry goes back and forth rowed by an old sad man, turn around. Griffins live there, you may never get off the boat. For the ferryman was once a wicked king who ignored a prophesy, whose heart was cruel. And nature, my dears, is a wize woman who pays us back, tit for tat.

Get your fingers burnt

If someone gets their fingers burnt, they suffer as a result of an unsuccessful action and are nervous about trying again. To suffer the unpleasant results of something that you have done.


I tried a dating agency once, but got my fingers badly burnt – I’ll never do it again.

He got his fingers burnt so badly in the last elections that he decided to withdraw from politics

Hit/reach rock bottom

 To reach the lowest possible level or be in the worst possible situation. 
She used illegal drugs for eight years and quit before she hit rock bottom.
The department has reached rock bottom, with employees being fired and supervisors facing criminal charges.

A wet blanket

A person whose low spirits or lack of enthusiasm have a depressing effect on others. a dull or depressing person who spoils other people’s enjoyment.


Jack’s fun at parties, but his brother’s a wet blanket.

I was with Anne and she was being a real wet blanket.

Idiomatic expression with “brain”


  • Rack one`s brain:

To try hard to think of something or remember something.

e.g. I racked my brain to try and decide what to do about the computer problem. 

  • Beat one’s brain out (to do something):

To try very hard to to do something.

e.g. If you think I’m going to beat my brains out to do this, you are crazy. 

I beat out my brains to do this for you!

 I won’t beat my brains out again for you!

  • Ain’t got the brains God gave a squirrel and ain’t got the sense God gave geese:

Is or are very foolish.

e.g.  There goes John, running around barefooted in the snow. He ain’t got the brains God gave a squirrel. 

No use trying to explain anything to Jane. She ain’t got the sense God gave geese.

  • Pick the brains of (someone) or pick (someone’s) brains:

To talk to someone in order to get some information about something.

We picked the brains of the official who was talking about the pollution problem.

Idioms with animals

Let sleeping dogs lie:  Prov. Do not instigate trouble.; Leave something alone if it might cause trouble. To not talk about things which have caused problems in the past, or to not try to change a situation because you might cause problems.


A: Detective, I believe my husband is involved with another woman.

B: Mrs. Murray, do you love your husband?

A: Yes, I do. 

B: Then, let sleeping dogs lie.

A: But I have to know!

Expressions with body parts.

  • Old hand ( at sth. / at doing sth.) : A person with a lot of experience and skill in a particular activity.

e.g. She’s an old hand at dealing with the press.

  • Behind sb’s back: Without somebody’s knowledge or permission. 

e.g. Have you been talking behind my back?

  • Go to your head (of success, praise): To feel too proud of yourself in a way that other people find annoying.

e.g. You have changed master, I think power’s gone to your head.

  • Be on your/its last legs: To be about to die or to stop functioning very soon; to be very week or in bad conditions.

e.g. I ‘m having a lot of problems with my car lately, I think it’s on its last legs.