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Twenty Idioms about Nature

Last Friday was the first day of spring. All over the country, leaves are turning green, blossom is blooming, and flowers are pushing their way up out of the ground – it’s no wonder nature has inspired many an English expression!

Here are twenty idioms about plants, flowers, and trees:

  1. Oops-a-daisy! – an expression of encouragement said to a child who has fallen/has hurt him or herself, an expression of mild annoyance used when something has gone wrong

  2. a late bloomer – someone who is slower than their peers to develop in a particular field

  3. a needle in a haystack – something that is difficult/impossible to find because it is hidden among many other things

  4. a shrinking violet – a (comically) shy person

  5. as fresh as a daisy – healthy, energetic, youthful

  6. flowery – a word used to describe speech, writing, or language that uses elaborate (but not necessarily effective) literary words or devices

  7. grass roots – at the most basic level of an organisation

  8. out of the woods – out of danger

  9. pushing up the daisies – dead and buried

  10. the grass is always greener on the other side – other people’s situations always seem superior to one’s own

  11. to bark up the wrong tree – to follow the wrong line of thought, to make a false assumption or mistake, to completely misunderstand something

  12. to beat about the bush – to approach or discuss a matter without directly getting to the point, to put off getting to the point in a conversation

  13. to come up (smelling) roses – to emerge from a situation in a favourable manner

  14. to have green fingers/a green thumb – to have gardening skills

  15. to hit the hay – to go to bed

  16. to hold out an olive branch – to offer a reconciliation

  17. to lead someone up the garden path – to deceive someone by giving them misleading information/clues

  18. to let something go/run to seed – to neglect something, to let something deteriorate

  19. to let the grass grow under your feet – to delay in taking an action/opportunity

  20. to nip something in the bud – to put an end to something before it has the chance to grow out of hand and into a problem (or metaphorical weed)

If you found this post useful, why not take a look at our other articles on idioms?

Are there any idioms you’d like to know the meanings or origins of? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below and we’ll include them in a future blog.

Have a good week!

23 Mar 2015
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