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

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

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

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

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

Diamond in the rough
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
to succeed or fail completely
Example: It’s a do or die situation, we have to win this match.

Draw a blank
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
Deeply irritate someone
Example: When Marie hums at her desk, it drives up up the wall.

Down in the Dumps
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
to reveal unexpected or shocking news
Example: He dropped a bombshell by announcing he was quitting his job.

Eat your heart out
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
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
someone or something visually appealing
Example: The new car is real eye candy.

Face the music
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
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
an accomplishment or achievement to be proud of
Example: Winning the marathon was a feather in his cap.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kill two birds with one stone
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
to reveal a secret
Example: He let the cat out of the bag about the surprise party.

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

Look on the bright side
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
to become angry or upset
Example: He lost his cool when he saw the damage to his car.

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

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

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

No pain, no gain
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
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
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
to be released from responsibility or blame
Example: He got off the hook when someone else admitted to the crime.

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

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

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

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

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

Passing Fancy
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
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
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
to say something embarrassing or offensive
Example: He put his foot in his mouth when he made that inappropriate joke.

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

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

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

Sick at heart
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
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
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
to take a risk
Example: He stuck his neck out and invested all his savings in the startup.

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

Pull Yourself Together
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
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
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
through good times and bad
Example: They’ve been through thick and thin together and their bond is unbreakable.

Throw in the towel
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
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
feeling very sad or burdened
Example: She had a heavy heart after her dog died.

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

Take It Easy
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
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
to feel nervous or hesitant about something
Example: The athlete had cold feet before the big competition and considered dropping out.

Under the Impression
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
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
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
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
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
to make someone very angry
Example: His rude comment made her blood boil.

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

To save face
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
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
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
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
feeling sick or unwell
Example: I’m feeling under the weather and think I’ll stay home today.

When pigs fly
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
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
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
to get extremely lucky
Example: When she won the lottery, she hit the jackpot.

Your guess is as good as mine
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
feeling disappointed or disheartened
Example: Her heart sank when she saw the test results and realized she failed.

Your time will come
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
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
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
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
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
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
avoiding the main topic or question
Example: Don’t beat around the bush, just tell me what you want.

Bite the bullet
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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