in a toy shop, a grandfather bounces energetically on a pogo stick, watched by his young grandson

Boundless energy and oomph (Language relating to energy, Part 2)

in a toy shop, a grandfather bounces energetically on a pogo stick, watched by his young grandson
Sean Justice/The Image Bank/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

Part 1 of this ‘energy’ series looked at adjectives for describing lively, energetic people. This post looks at nouns that mean ‘energy’ and idioms that we use to describe energetic people. Continue reading “Boundless energy and oomph (Language relating to energy, Part 2)”

three boys leaping in the air and shouting as they play in a park

Bouncy and boisterous (Language relating to energy, Part 1)

three boys leaping in the air and shouting as they play in a park
Nick David/Stone/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

Some of you reading this post will have enjoyed a break from your work or studies over the summer months. You might (I hope!) be feeling refreshed and ready to throw yourself into your work (=start working with energy and enthusiasm). With this in mind, I thought I’d take a look at words and phrases that relate to energy – and a lack of it! Part 1 will look at adjectives in this area and Part 2 will focus on nouns and phrases. Continue reading “Bouncy and boisterous (Language relating to energy, Part 1)”

a little boy is crying as his mother holds and comforts him

Sobbing or pouring your heart out (‘Heart’ senses and phrases, Part 3)

a little boy is crying as his mother holds and comforts him
Catherine Falls Commercial/Moment/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

In the last of these three ‘heart’ posts I’ll be looking at phrases for expressing emotions. There are quite a lot and I won’t be able to cover them all so if you can think of a useful ‘heart’ idiom or phrase on this theme that I haven’t included, do please leave a note below. Continue reading “Sobbing or pouring your heart out (‘Heart’ senses and phrases, Part 3)”

close up of a woman's hands tearing a pink paper heart in half

Losing and breaking your heart (Heart senses and phrases, Part 2)

close up of a woman's hands tearing a pink paper heart in half
Jamie Grill/Tetra images/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

In Part 1 of this ‘heart’ series, I looked at common ‘heart’ idioms and phrases for saying that someone is kind. In this post, I’ll consider various figurative senses of the word ‘heart’ and then focus on idioms and phrases that relate to love and romance. Continue reading “Losing and breaking your heart (Heart senses and phrases, Part 2)”

A foil wrapped heart on a pink background with lots of hearts.

A heart of gold or a heart of stone? (‘Heart’ senses and phrases, Part 1)

A foil wrapped heart on a pink background with lots of hearts.
Jennifer A Smith/Moment/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

The word ‘heart’ is used a tremendous lot in English. As you might imagine, it’s often used to say things about love and emotions, but it has other less predictable meanings too. In this three-part post, I’ll look at the way we use this word, focusing on its various senses and a range of ‘heart’ idioms and phrases. As ever, I’ll present language that is current and useful. Continue reading “A heart of gold or a heart of stone? (‘Heart’ senses and phrases, Part 1)”

close-up image of a man in business clothes fastening his belt

Tightening your belt and wearing the trousers (Clothes idioms, Part 2)

close-up image of a man in business clothes fastening his belt
GSO Images/The Image Bank/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

In Part 1 of this post, we looked at English idioms containing words for items of clothing that cover the top half of the body. This week, we’re working our way down the body with idioms that include words such as ‘belt’, ‘trousers’ and ‘shoe’. (Footwear features in a surprising number of current idioms!) Continue reading “Tightening your belt and wearing the trousers (Clothes idioms, Part 2)”

young man raising his straw hat and smiling at the camera

I take my hat off to you! (Clothes idioms, Part 1)

young man raising his straw hat and smiling at the cameraby Kate Woodford

English has a number of really useful, current idioms and phrases that feature items of clothes. This week we’ll start by looking at idioms with the word ‘hat’ and we’ll work our way down the body to ‘shirt’ idioms. In Part 2, we’ll consider idioms containing words for clothes that cover the bottom half of the body. Continue reading “I take my hat off to you! (Clothes idioms, Part 1)”

a trowel used to dig up gold coins from a hole in the ground

Digging up and getting wind of information (Finding information words and phrases)

a trowel used to dig up gold coins from a hole in the ground
undefined undefined/iStock/Getty Images Plus

by Kate Woodford

I recently published a post on this blog about the language of looking for information (Probing and digging around). This related post looks at words and phrases that we use to talk about finding and getting information. Continue reading “Digging up and getting wind of information (Finding information words and phrases)”

a black dog digging a hole on a sandy beach

Probing and digging around (Searching for information)

a black dog digging a hole on a sandy beach
STasker/DigitalVision/GetttyImages

by Kate Woodford

I recently heard someone say that they had left no stone unturned in their search for information, meaning that they had done everything they possibly could to find it. I started thinking about the concept of trying to find out facts and the various words and phrases that we use to convey it. This post is the result of these musings. Continue reading “Probing and digging around (Searching for information)”

a man reading a newspaper

Clearing the air and chopping and changing (Idioms and phrases in newspapers)

a man reading a newspaper
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/DigitalVision/GettyImages

by Kate Woodford

The idioms and phrases in today’s post were taken from a selection of national newspapers published on the same day. I write a newspaper idioms post like this every few months in order to provide you with a regular supply of common, contemporary English idioms. Continue reading “Clearing the air and chopping and changing (Idioms and phrases in newspapers)”