Idioms: Beauty of the English Language

Beauty of the English Language

The English language is a treasure of colourful expressions that go beyond the literal meaning of the words themselves. Idioms are phrases that unfold a deeper understanding of the language and culture. Hence, it is necessary to understand the concept of an idiom.

Some of the best private universities in Nashik have a dedicated Department of English Language to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the language even when pursuing a technical degree. Let us understand how idioms beautify the English language:

What is an Idiom?

An idiom is a phrase which has a figurative meaning. The words themselves do not make logical sense, but the overall meaning is widely understood. For example, “kick the bucket” does not mean actual feet or buckets, but it means “to die.” In the same way,  “break a leg” is used to wish someone good luck, and not to fracture a leg.

The Importance of the Idioms

  • It helps to sound like a native. These idioms make your English sound more natural and fluent. Non-native speakers will be speaking the language the way native speakers do.
  • It also helps to express oneself clearly. Idioms add flavour to your communication, making it more engaging and impactful.
  • Lastly, it helps to understand native speakers. Non-native users can comprehend native speakers after recognising and understanding these common phrases.

Here are some popular idioms and expressions, categorised by their meaning:

Feelings and Emotions

  • On cloud nine (extremely happy): “He was on cloud nine after winning the final cricket match.”
  • Under the weather (not feeling well): “I am under the weather, so I might apply for leave.”
  • See eye to eye (to agree): “I do not see eye to eye on the nation’s economic policy.”

 Difficulties and Challenges

  • Hit a snag (face a problem): “He hit a snag when he realised that he missed the due date to submit the project.”
  • Uphill task or battle (a difficult task or battle): “Climbing Mount Everest is an uphill task.”
  • Bite the bullet (do something unpleasant but necessary): “It is time to bite the bullet and start practising mathematical calculations.”

Success and Achievement

  • The best of both worlds (have two desirable things): “This B.Tech. degree offers me the best of both worlds: good pay and a scope for self-improvement.”
  • Break a leg (good luck): “Break a leg in your examination!”
  • A piece of cake (very easy): “Getting the Best Student award was a piece of cake for him.”

Some funny idioms in English

  • Chew the fat: This idiom means gossiping casually. “When I met my childhood friends, we chewed the fat for four hours.”
  • Cool as a cucumber: Used to describe someone as calm. “My father is as cool as a cucumber.”
  • Go bananas: To go crazy or lose control. “The mob went bananas when Michael Jackson started singing on the stage.”
  • Everything but the kitchen sink: This idiom describes something that includes a vast number of things. “We ordered everything but the kitchen sink for our lunch.”
  • To drink like a fish: This means an alcoholic person. “My neighbour drinks like a fish.”
  • Cost an arm and a leg: This idiom means very expensive. “A trip to Europe would probably cost an arm and a leg.”

Secrets and Information

  • Let the cat out of the bag (to reveal a secret): “I did not mean to let the cat out of the bag about your surprising visit.”
  • Spill the beans (disclose information): “My brother spilt the beans about the Myanmar trip.
  • Keep it under wraps (keep something secret): “I kept this new project under wraps until the promotion date.”

Get ready to Learn Idioms!

Learning idioms needs practice and exposure. Here are some tips:

Read a lot: Books, newspapers, and articles written by native speakers can be a great help. They are good sources of idioms. Pay attention to how idioms and expressions are used in context.

Watch Movies and TV Shows: Pay close attention to the spoken language in movies and TV shows. You will get a lot of idioms and expressions this way.

Use Flashcards and Quizzes: Prepare flashcards with the idiom on one side and its meaning on the other or online quizzes can also be a fun way to test and enhance your knowledge.

Make the error, mend the error: It is perfectly normal to make mistakes when learning new idioms. Do not be discouraged, keep practising and you will improve over time.


Idioms beautify the English language. By making an effort to learn and use them, you will not only improve your fluency but also gain a deeper appreciation for the richness and creativity of English. So, explore these fascinating idioms to gain linguistic competence.

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