JSS 3 English Language (1st, 2nd & 3rd Term) English Language (All Classes)


What are idioms?


An idiom (also called idiomatic expression) is an expression, word, or phrase that has a figurative meaning conventionally understood by native speakers. This meaning is different from the literal meaning of the idiom individual elements. In other words, idioms don’t mean exactly what the words say. They have, however, hidden meaning.


“Kick the bucket”

“Spill the beans”

The meaning of these expressions is different from the literalmeaning or definition of the words of which they are made. Their meaning are however used figuratively. They mean respectively:

“to die ”

“to tell people secret information”

Idiomatic expressions are a type of informal English that have a meaning different from the meaning of the words in the expression.

Here’s an example of an idiomatic expression.

Hold your tongue.

This idiom does not actually mean that you should stick your fingers in your mouth and grab a hold of your tongue. It means that you shouldn’t talk. People “hold their tongues” when they are in situations where they want to talk, but it would be better if they didn’t. So, while their tongue is ready to do some talking, they “hold” it and don’t say anything.

Every language has idioms, and they can be difficult to learn if you’re not a native speaker of that language.

20 Common Idiomatic Expressions & Their Meanings

  1. She was tickled pink by the good news.

Made very happy

  1. You were hands down the best player on the team.

There was no competition

  1. I’ve been feeling pretty down in the dumps lately.

Sad or depressed

  1. I’m feeling sick as a dog!

Very sick

  1. I’ve been feeling under the weather.

Not well

  1. Rise and shine!

Wake up and be happy!

  1. Close, but no cigar .

You were very close, but you did not make it.

  1. I could play outside till the cows come home .

For a very long time

  1. Wow! It’s raining cats and dogs out there!

Very hard rain

  1. That sound is driving me up the wall!

Making me very annoyed

  1. This assignment is a piece of cake.

Very easy

  1. Although he broke the rules, he was only given a slap on the wrist.

A mild punishment

  1. Yikes! This shirt costs an arm and a leg.

It is extremely expensive.

  1. No, I was just pulling your leg.

Just joking

  1. It’s Greek to me !

I don’t understand.

  1. Keep your chin up.

Be happy.

  1. Hold your horses.

Be patient.

  1. We’re all in the same boat.

All of us are in the same position.

  1. He’s a bit of a loose cannon.


  1. I will clean my room when pigs fly.



Write with meaning twenty Idiomatic expressions


See also






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