Vent Your Spleen and 49 Other Idioms about the Human Body - Part 2

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One of the reasons English is so difficult to learn is because it is a language full of idioms. An idiom is a combination of words that has a figurative meaning separate from the actual definitions of the words used. When someone talks about a ‘storm in a teacup’, for example, they probably aren’t referring to actual storms in actual teacups!

It can be quite hard, as a second-language English speaker, to keep up with all these expressions, and so this year we’ve been compiling lists of idioms alongside their meanings. Last week we looked at the first half of 50 Idioms about the Human Body – now it’s time for part two!

  • to have egg on your face – to feel foolish
  • to have your ear to the ground – to pay attention to your surroundings in case new information should arise
  • to have your hands are tied – to have no power to help
  • to hold your head (up) high – to be confident and proud (often while facing gossip)
  • to jump down someone’s throat – to criticise someone in a sudden, angry (and often uncalled for) manner
  • to jump out of your skin – to be startle
  • to keep your nose clean – to keep out of trouble
  • to lend a hand – to help/assist
  • to let your hair down – to relax and act without inhibitions
  • to lose face – to be humiliate/to lose respect
  • to lose your head – to lose self-control (i.e. to panic/become angry)
  • to pay through the nose – to pay more than the expected price
  • to play it by ear – to act depending on the current circumstance rather than according to a plan
  • to pull someone’s leg – to tease someone
  • to put someone’s nose out of the joint – to offend someone by hurting their pride
  • to put your foot in your mouth – to say something tactless
  • to see eye to eye – to agree
  • to shoot yourself in the foot – to make a situation worse for yourself
  • to stick out like a sore thumb – to be noticeably (and usually embarrassingly) different to surrounding people/things
  • to vent your spleen – to express anger/to lose your temper
  • to wash your hands of something – to renounce responsibility of something
  • to work your tail/butt off – to work extremely hard
  • up to your armpits/ears/elbows/eyeballs/neck – to be very busy/deeply involved with something (which, in the case of being ‘up to your armpits, might be rather unpleasant work)
  • warts and all – including unattractive/unappealing qualities
  • weak at the knees – overcome by strong emotions (usually love or desire)

If you’ve found this post useful, why not check out our other articles on idioms:

Have a good week!

Avani Shah

06 Oct 2014
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