Seeing red and green with envy (Idioms with colours, part 1)

by Kate Woodford Idioms are sometimes easier to remember when they create a vivid image in your mind. The English idioms in this post all contain a word for a colour which might help you to commit them to memory.

Beds of roses and sore thumbs (Newspaper idioms)

by Kate Woodford Readers of this blog often ask us for posts on English idioms. Understandably, they also tell us that it’s important that the idioms are used now. One way that we make sure we focus on up to date idioms is by looking at expressions used in current newspapers. The expressions in this …

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Black sheep and white lies (Idioms with colours, part 2)

by Kate Woodford This is the second of two posts that focus on idioms that contain a word for a colour. A couple of weeks ago, we looked at blue, green and red idioms. This week, we’re rather monochrome, looking mainly at idioms with ‘black’ and ‘white’ in them. The phrase in black and white …

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Pieces of cake and sour grapes: food idioms

by Kate Woodford This week, we’re looking at English idioms that feature food and drink words. As there are lots of these idioms, we’re focusing today on idioms containing words for sweet food. Next month, we’ll publish a post on savoury (UK) or savory (US) food idioms.

He’s pulling your leg! Idioms with ‘pull’.

by Liz Walter There are a surprising number of commonly used idioms that contain the verb ‘pull’. This post will look at some of the most useful ones. Let’s start with the idiom in the title. If you accuse someone of pulling your leg, you mean that you believe they are teasing you by saying …

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Couch potatoes and peas in a pod: more food idioms

by Kate Woodford Last month, we looked at idioms featuring words for sweet items of food. Changing the order in which we usually eat food, (savoury, then sweet), we’re now focusing on idioms that feature words for savoury (UK)/savory (US) food.

The ball’s in your court now: idioms with ‘ball’

by Liz Walter There are a surprising number of idioms that contain the word ‘ball’. This post looks at some of the most useful ones. It seems appropriate to start with the idiom get/start the ball rolling, which means to do something to make an activity start or to encourage other people to do something …

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Sitting on the fence and turning a corner (Everyday idioms in newspapers)

by Kate Woodford The idioms and phrases in this week’s post are taken from a range of national newspapers that were published during the course of a weekend. We write a newspaper idioms post every couple of months in order to keep you supplied with up-to-date, commonly used English idioms. One newspaper reports on the …

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Bird’s-eye views and headless chickens: animal idioms, part 3

by Kate Woodford This is the third in our popular series of blogs about common animal idioms. We’ll start with a creature that is found in a few frequently used idioms: the bird. (Sadly, the first two idioms have their origin in hunting.) If you want to say that with one single action you achieve …

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Hot under the collar? Idiomatic phrases with ‘hot’.

by Liz Walter Sitting in my office in Cambridge UK, with cold, windy weather outside, it is nice to think about phrases containing the word ‘hot’. There are quite a lot of them, and this post looks at some of the most useful ones. Let’s start with the phrase in the title. If someone is …

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