Feelings and Emotions idioms - wordcoach.co

110+ Feelings and Emotions idioms


110+ Feelings and Emotions idioms with meanings and examples


Learn useful Idioms to express feelings and emotions in English.


All the Rage
Meaning:
Very much in fashion
Example: Yoga pants are all the rage in North America right now, but in two years probably nobody will be wearing them.

Air Rage
Meaning: Angry behavior inside an airplane
Example: Most people are calm on long plane flights, but once in a while you have to deal with air rage, usually fueled by alcohol.

Break a leg
Meaning: good luck
Example: Break a leg for your performance tonight.

Butterflies in my stomach
Meaning: feeling nervous or anxious
Example: Before the exam, I had butterflies in my stomach.

Act One’s Age
Meaning:
To be mature, not childish
Example: I don’t care if Amber did steal your doll. That’s enough crying. Act your age!

Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Meaning:
When you don’t see something or someone, you tend to forget about that thing or person.
Example: When I broke up with Jake, I was heartbroken. But since he moved away, I hardly ever think about him. Out of sight, out of mind!

Chase your tail
Meaning:
to be busy but without achieving anything
Example: I’ve been chasing my tail all day and haven’t completed anything.

Cold feet
Meaning:
being scared to do something that you have agreed to do
Example: He got cold feet before the wedding and ran away.

Cry over spilt milk
Meaning:
to lament something that has already happened
Example: Don’t cry over spilt milk, just move on and find a solution.

Cup of tea
Meaning:
something that one enjoys or is interested in
Example: Playing sports isn’t really my cup of tea.

Cut the mustard
Meaning:
to meet the required standard
Example: He didn’t cut the mustard and was fired from his job.

Devil’s advocate
Meaning:
taking an opposing view for the sake of argument
Example: She played devil’s advocate and presented the opposite opinion.

Diamond in the rough
Meaning:
someone or something with potential but needs improvement
Example: The new singer is a diamond in the rough, but needs some polishing.

Do or die
Meaning:
to succeed or fail completely
Example: It’s a do or die situation, we have to win this match.

Draw a blank
Meaning:
to be unable to recall or remember something
Example: I drew a blank when I was asked the answer to the question.

Drive Someone Up the Wall
Meaning:
Deeply irritate someone
Example: When Marie hums at her desk, it drives up up the wall.

Down in the Dumps
Meaning:
Depressed, sad
Example: You’ve been down in the dumps all week. Let’s go to the football game – that’ll cheer you up.

Drop a bombshell
Meaning:
to reveal unexpected or shocking news
Example: He dropped a bombshell by announcing he was quitting his job.

Eat your heart out
Meaning:
to be jealous of someone or something
Example: He can eat his heart out as I got the promotion he wanted.

Elephant in the room
Meaning:
an obvious problem or issue that people avoid discussing
Example: His drinking problem was the elephant in the room that no one wanted to talk about.

Eye candy
Meaning:
someone or something visually appealing
Example: The new car is real eye candy.

Face the music
Meaning:
to accept the consequences of one’s actions
Example: He knew he was going to be fired and had to face the music.

Fair-weather friend
Meaning:
someone who is only a friend during good times
Example: She is a fair-weather friend who is only around when things are going well.

Feather in one’s cap
Meaning:
an accomplishment or achievement to be proud of
Example: Winning the marathon was a feather in his cap.

Feel blue
Meaning:
feeling sad or depressed
Example: I’m feeling blue today, and don’t feel like doing anything.

Fit as a fiddle
Meaning:
in good health and physical condition
Example: She exercises daily and is fit as a fiddle.

Fly off the handle
Meaning:
to become very angry quickly
Example: He flew off the handle when he saw the damage to his car.

Get cold feet
Meaning:
to become nervous or scared about something
Example: She got cold feet and cancelled her wedding.

Get the ball rolling
Meaning:
to start something
Example: Let’s get the ball rolling on this project.

Get Carried Away
Meaning: Become overly enthusiastic
Example: Sure, you can invest a little money, but don’t get carried away – people lose lots of money on the stock market.

Get your act together
Meaning:
to start behaving properly
Example: You need to get your act together and start studying.

Give someone the cold shoulder
Meaning:
to ignore someone
Example: She gave him the cold shoulder after their argument.

Go the extra mile
Meaning:
to do more than is expected
Example: She always goes the extra mile to help others.

Have a heart of gold
Meaning:
to be kind and generous
Example: She has a heart of gold and is always helping others.

Head in the clouds
Meaning:
to be daydreaming or not paying attention
Example: He has his head in the clouds and didn’t hear what I said.

Hit the nail on the head
Meaning:
to be exactly right
Example: She hit the nail on the head when she said we needed more staff.

In the heat of the moment
Meaning:
acting impulsively or without thinking
Example: He said some hurtful things in the heat of the moment during the argument.

Jump for joy
Meaning:
to be extremely happy or excited
Example: She jumped for joy when she got accepted to her dream school.

Kick the bucket
Meaning:
to die
Example: He kicked the bucket last night after a long illness.

Kill two birds with one stone
Meaning:
to accomplish two things at the same time
Example: By going to the supermarket on my way home from work, I killed two birds with one stone.

Let the cat out of the bag
Meaning:
to reveal a secret
Example: He let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.

Live and learn
Meaning:
to learn from one’s mistakes
Example: I made a mistake and now I know better, live and learn.

Look on the bright side
Meaning:
to focus on the positive aspects of a situation
Example: Instead of dwelling on the negative, try to look on the bright side.

Lose one’s cool
Meaning:
to become angry or upset
Example: He lost his cool when he saw the damage to his car.

Love at first sight
Meaning:
falling in love immediately upon meeting someone
Example: They fell in love at first sight and have been together ever since.

Make a long story short
Meaning:
to summarize briefly
Example: To make a long story short, I lost my wallet and had to cancel all my credit cards.

Make ends meet
Meaning:
to have enough money to pay for necessities
Example: With a part-time job, it’s hard to make ends meet.

Miss the boat
Meaning:
to miss an opportunity
Example: He missed the boat by not applying to the job on time.

Meeting of the Minds
Meaning:
Strong instinctive agreement on something
Example: At first the negotiations weren’t going well, but when the president of the company and I sat down over drinks, we had a real meeting of the minds.

Money talks
Meaning:
having financial power or influence
Example: Money talks, and he was able to buy his way out of trouble.

No pain, no gain
Meaning:
to achieve success, one must work hard and endure difficulties
Example: She knew that no pain, no gain and worked hard to achieve her goals.

Not Playing with a Full Deck
Meaning:
Stupid, mentally deficient or impaired
Example: John’s suggestions in the meeting were ridiculous. Sometimes I think he’s not playing with a full deck.

Scare the Living Daylights out of Someone
Meaning:
Frighten someone severely
Example: I know my boyfriend was just trying to be nice, but when I opened the door to my apartment and everyone yelled “Surprise!” it scared the living daylights out of me.

Off the hook
Meaning:
to be released from responsibility or blame
Example: He got off the hook when someone else admitted to the crime.

On cloud nine
Meaning:
to be extremely happy or excited
Example: She was on cloud nine after getting engaged.

On the ball
Meaning:
being alert and aware
Example: She is always on the ball and never misses a deadline.

Out of the blue
Meaning:
unexpectedly
Example: The news came out of the blue and was a shock to everyone.

Over the moon
Meaning:
to be extremely happy or excited
Example: He was over the moon when he got accepted to his dream school.

On the Fence
Meaning:
Undecided between two choices
Example: I’m on the fence about the election – both candidates have their good and bad points.

Passing Fancy
Meaning:
A temporary interest or attraction
Example: Many people thought Uggs were just a passing fancy, but they’ve been popular for several years now.

Play it by ear
Meaning:
to improvise or make decisions as one goes along
Example: We don’t have a plan yet, so let’s just play it by ear.

Pull someone’s leg
Meaning:
to tease or joke with someone
Example: He was just pulling your leg about the meeting being cancelled.

Put one’s foot in one’s mouth
Meaning:
to say something embarrassing or offensive
Example: He put his foot in his mouth when he made that inappropriate joke.

Pet Peeve
Meaning:
A small thing that you find particularly annoying
Example: My pet peeve is people who bring large numbers of items to the express checkout at the supermarket.

Raining cats and dogs
Meaning:
that it’s raining heavily, usually in a sudden and unexpected manner
Example: The storm was so severe that it was raining cats and dogs, and we could barely see the road while driving.

Red as a beet
Meaning:
blushing or embarrassed
Example: When he realized his mistake, he turned red as a beet.

Ruffle someone’s feathers
Meaning:
to irritate or upset someone
Example: Her comment about his cooking skills really ruffled his feathers.

See eye to eye
Meaning:
to agree with someone
Example: We see eye to eye on most things, but not on this issue.

Sick at heart
Meaning:
feeling deeply saddened or troubled
Example: She was sick at heart after hearing about the tragic accident.

Six of one, half a dozen of the other
Meaning:
two alternatives that are equally good or bad
Example: It doesn’t matter which restaurant we go to, they’re both the same, six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Steal someone’s thunder
Meaning:
to take credit for someone else’s idea or achievement
Example: She stole his thunder by presenting his idea as her own.

Stick one’s neck out
Meaning:
to take a risk
Example: He stuck his neck out and invested all his savings in the startup.

Tear-Jerker
Meaning:
A film or book that makes you cry
Example: The film “Love Story,” with its story of young love cut short by death, was one of the most successful tear-jerkers of all time.

Take the bull by the horns
Meaning:
to confront a problem directly
Example: She decided to take the bull by the horns and talk to her boss about the issue.

Taste of your own medicine
Meaning:
experiencing the same negative treatment that you have given to others
Example: He finally got a taste of his own medicine when his boss yelled at him in front of everyone.

The ball is in your court
Meaning:
it’s your turn to take action or make a decision
Example: I’ve given you all the information you need, now the ball is in your court.

The best of both worlds
Meaning:
to have the advantages of two different things
Example: Working from home gives me the best of both worlds – I can be productive and still spend time with my family.

The devil is in the details
Meaning:
small things can cause big problems
Example: We need to pay attention to the details, the devil is in the details.

Pull Yourself Together
Meaning:
Control your emotions; recover from a strong emptional upset
Example: I know it was hard seeing your ex-boyfriend at the bar, but you need to pull yourself together so we can go home.

The last straw
Meaning:
the final problem or event that causes someone to reach their limit
Example: When he was late for the third time, it was the last straw and she broke up with him.

The writing on the wall
Meaning:
a clear indication of what is to come
Example: The declining sales were the writing on the wall that the company was in trouble.

Through thick and thin
Meaning:
through good times and bad
Example: They’ve been through thick and thin together and their bond is unbreakable.

Throw in the towel
Meaning:
to give up or quit
Example: After months of trying, he finally threw in the towel and admitted defeat.

To have a frog in one’s throat
Meaning:
to have difficulty speaking due to nervousness or emotion
Example: She had a frog in her throat and couldn’t finish her speech.

To have a heavy heart
Meaning:
feeling very sad or burdened
Example: She had a heavy heart after her dog died.

To have a chip on one’s shoulder
Meaning:
to be easily offended or defensive
Example: He has a chip on his shoulder and always thinks people are criticizing him.

Take It Easy
Meaning:
Don’t hurry; relax; don’t get angry
Example: I’ve been working too hard. I just want to head for the islands and take it easy for a few days.

To have a gut feeling
Meaning:
to have a strong intuition or instinct
Example: She had a gut feeling that something was wrong and it turned out she was right.

To have cold feet
Meaning:
to feel nervous or hesitant about something
Example: The athlete had cold feet before the big competition and considered dropping out.

Under the Impression
Meaning:
Believing something, perhaps mistakenly
Example: I was under the impression that you were going to pick me up at the airport.

To have one’s head in the clouds
Meaning:
to be unrealistic or impractical
Example: She has her head in the clouds if she thinks she can become a millionaire overnight.

To hit the nail on the head
Meaning:
to be accurate or correct
Example: He hit the nail on the head when he identified the main problem.

To let the cat out of the bag
Meaning:
to reveal a secret
Example: She let the cat out of the bag and told everyone about the surprise party.

To make a long story short
Meaning:
to summarize something briefly
Example: To make a long story short, they got lost on their way to the concert and missed the opening act.

To make one’s blood boil
Meaning:
to make someone very angry
Example: His rude comment made her blood boil.

To play devil’s advocate
Meaning:
to argue against something for the sake of debate
Example: I’m not actually against your idea, but let me play devil’s advocate for a moment.

To pull someone’s leg
Meaning:
to tease or joke with someone
Example: I was just pulling your leg, I didn’t actually win the lottery.

To save face
Meaning:
to avoid embarrassment or humiliation
Example: He apologized to his boss to save face after his mistake.

To spill the beans
Meaning: to reveal a secret
Example: He spilled the beans and told everyone about their surprise trip.

To take a rain check
Meaning:
to postpone a plan to a later time
Example: Can we take a rain check on the movie tonight? I’m not feeling well.

To walk on eggshells
Meaning:
to be cautious and sensitive in dealing with someone
Example: She had to walk on eggshells around her boss to avoid offending him.

To wear one’s heart on one’s sleeve
Meaning:
to openly show one’s emotions
Example: He wears his heart on his sleeve and is not afraid to show his vulnerability.

Under the weather
Meaning:
feeling sick or unwell
Example: I’m feeling under the weather and think I’ll stay home today.

When pigs fly
Meaning:
an expression used to say that something is impossible
Example: You think he’ll apologize? When pigs fly!

You can’t judge a book by its cover
Meaning:
appearances can be deceiving
Example: She may seem quiet, but you can’t judge a book by its cover- she’s actually very smart and interesting.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too
Meaning:
you can’t have two incompatible things at the same time
Example: You can’t have your cake and eat it too- you have to choose between a high-paying job and flexible working hours.

You hit the jackpot
Meaning:
to get extremely lucky
Example: When she won the lottery, she hit the jackpot.

Your guess is as good as mine
Meaning:
to say that you don’t know the answer
Example: How long will the meeting last? Your guess is as good as mine.

Your heart sinks
Meaning:
feeling disappointed or disheartened
Example: Her heart sank when she saw the test results and realized she failed.

Your time will come
Meaning:
to encourage someone to be patient and wait for their turn
Example: Don’t worry, your time will come and you’ll get the promotion you deserve.

Actions speak louder than words
Meaning:
what someone does is more important than what they say
Example: He promised to help me move, but he never showed up actions speak louder than words.

All that glitters is not gold
Meaning:
the attractive external appearance of something is not a reliable indication of its true nature.
Example: He bought a used car that looked great on the outside, but all that glitters is not gold- it turned out to have many mechanical problems.

A penny for your thoughts
Meaning:
a request to know what someone is thinking about
Example: A penny for your thoughts you seem lost in thought.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs
Meaning:
to achieve something good, it’s necessary to make sacrifices or endure difficulties
Example: Starting a new business is hard work, but you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.

Barking up the wrong tree
Meaning:
pursuing the wrong course of action
Example: If you think he’s the one who stole your wallet, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

Beat around the bush
Meaning:
avoiding the main topic or question
Example: Don’t beat around the bush, just tell me what you want.

Bite the bullet
Meaning:
to face a difficult situation with courage
Example: She had to bite the bullet and tell her boss she was resigning.

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