66 Common Idioms
Idiomy to wyrażenia, których nie tłumaczymy dosłownie na inny język. Niemniej jednak niektóre idiomy zostały zapożyczone od jednych języków przez drugie, dlatego występują one w dwóch lub większej liczbie języków. Oto lista najpopularniejszych idiomów w języku angielskim:
- A hot potato.
Speak of an issue (mostly current) which many people are talking about and which is usually disputed.
- A penny for your thoughts.
A way of asking what someone is thinking.
- Actions speak louder than words.
People’s intentions can be judged better by what they do than what they say.
- Add insult to injury.
To further a loss with mockery or indignity; to worsen an unfavorable situation.
- An arm and a leg.
Very expensive or costly. A large amount of money.
- At the drop of a hat.
Meaning: without any hesitation; instantly.
- Back to the drawing board.
When an attempt fails and it’s time to start all over.
- Ball is in your court.
It is up to you to make the next decision or step.
- Barking up the wrong tree.
Looking in the wrong place. Accusing the wrong person.
- Be glad to see the back of.
Be happy when a person leaves.
- Beat around the bush.
Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.
- Best of both worlds.
Meaning: All the advantages.
- Best thing since sliced bread.
A good invention or innovation. A good idea or plan.
- Bite off more than you can chew.
To take on a task that is way to big.
- Blessing in disguise.
Something good that isn’t recognized at first.
- Burn the midnight oil.
To work late into the night, alluding to the time before electric lighting.
- Can’t judge a book by its cover.
Cannot judge something primarily on appearance.
- Caught between two stools.
When someone finds it difficult to choose between two alternatives.
- Costs an arm and a leg.
This idiom is used when something is very expensive.
- Cross that bridge when you come to it.
Deal with a problem if and when it becomes necessary, not before.
- Cry over spilt milk.
When you complain about a loss from the past.
- Curiosity killed the cat.
Being Inquisitive can lead you into an unpleasant situation.
- Cut corners.
When something is done badly to save money.
- Cut the mustard (possibly derived from „cut the muster”).
To succeed; to come up to expectations; adequate enough to compete or participate.
- Devil’s Advocate.
To present a counter argument.
- Don’t count your chickens before the eggs have hatched.
This idiom is used to express „Don’t make plans for something that might not happen”.
- Don’t give up the day job.
You are not very good at something. You could definitely not do it professionally.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Do not put all your resources in one possibility.
- Drastic times call for drastic measures.
When you are extremely desperate you need to take drastic actions.
- Elvis has left the building.
The show has come to an end. It’s all over.
- Every cloud has a silver lining.
Be optimistic, even difficult times will lead to better days.
- Far cry from.
Very different from.
- Feel a bit under the weather.
Meaning: Feeling slightly ill.
- Give the benefit of the doubt.
Believe someone’s statement, without proof.
- Hear it on the grapevine.
This idiom means 'to hear rumors' about something or someone.
- Hit the nail on the head.
Do or say something exactly right.
- Hit the sack / sheets / hay.
To go to bed.
- In the heat of the moment.
Overwhelmed by what is happening in the moment.
- It takes two to tango.
Actions or communications need more than one person.
- Jump on the bandwagon.
Join a popular trend or activity.
- Keep something at bay.
Keep something away.
- Kill two birds with one stone.
This idiom means, to accomplish two different things at the same time.
- Last straw.
The final problem in a series of problems.
- Let sleeping dogs lie.
Meaning – do not disturb a situation as it is – since it would result in trouble or complications.
- Let the cat out of the bag.
To share information that was previously concealed.
- Make a long story short.
Come to the point – leave out details.
- Method to my madness.
An assertion that, despite one’s approach seeming random, there actually is structure to it.
- Miss the boat.
This idiom is used to say that someone missed his or her chance.
- Not a spark of decency.
Meaning: no manners.
- Not playing with a full deck.
Someone who lacks intelligence.
- Off one’s rocker.
Crazy, demented, out of one’s mind, in a confused or befuddled state of mind, senile.
- On the ball.
When someone understands the situation well.
- Once in a blue moon.
Meaning: Happens very rarely.
- Picture paints a thousand words.
A visual presentation is far more descriptive than words.
- Piece of cake.
A job, task or other activity that is easy or simple.
- Put wool over other people’s eyes.
This means to deceive someone into thinking well of them.
- See eye to eye.
This idiom is used to say that two (or more people) agree on something.
- Sit on the fence.
This is used when someone does not want to choose or make a decision.
- Speak of the devil!.
This expression is used when the person you have just been talking about arrives.
- Steal someone’s thunder.
To take the credit for something someone else did.
- Take with a grain of salt.
This means not to take what someone says too seriously.
- Taste of your own medicine.
Means that something happens to you, or is done to you, that you have done to someone else.
- To hear something straight from the horse’s mouth.
To hear something from the authoritative source.
- Whole nine yards.
Everything. All of it.
- Wouldn’t be caught dead.
Would never like to do something.
- Your guess is as good as mine.
To have no idea, do not know the answer to a question.