Phrases and Idioms List

1.  A piece of cake: Something that is simple or easy.

2. Break a leg: This means ‘Good luck’ (usually said to actors before they go on stage).

3. Hit the nail on the head: To describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem.

4. Let the cat out of the bag: To share a secret that wasn’t supposed to be revealed.

5. The ball is in your court: It is up to you to make the next move.

6. Barking up the wrong tree: Looking in the wrong place or accusing the wrong person.

7. Kill two birds with one stone: To solve two problems at once.

8. Bite the bullet: To get an unavoidable task over with because it is inevitable.

9. The whole nine yards: Everything that is related to something. It is the full package.

10. Spill the beans: To reveal a secret.

11. Through thick and thin: In both good and bad times.

12. The devil is in the details: It looks good from a distance, but when you look closer, there are problems.

13. Cut corners: To do something badly or cheaply.

14. Beat around the bush: Avoid saying what you mean, usually because it is uncomfortable.

15. Bend over backwards: To do whatever it takes to accomplish a task.

16. The last straw: The final problem in a series that makes a situation impossible to tolerate.

17. The silver lining: The positive aspect of a negative situation.

18. Throw in the towel: To give up on something.

19. Off on the wrong foot: To start something badly.

20. Sweep someone off their feet: To quickly and thoroughly make someone become infatuated with you.

21. Kick the bucket: To die.

22. Up in the air: Uncertain or unsure; not resolved.

23. Every cloud has a silver lining: There’s a positive or beneficial aspect to every bad situation.

24. Bite the dust: To fail at something; to die.

25. Out of the frying pan into the fire: Going from a bad to a worse situation.

26. Take it with a grain of salt: Don’t take it too seriously; believe only part of something.

27. Cut to the chase: Leave out all the unnecessary details and just get to the point.

28. Have your work cut out: Have a difficult task to do.

29. You can’t judge a book by its cover: You can’t judge something primarily on appearance.

30. Let sleeping dogs lie: Avoid interfering in a situation that is currently causing no problems.

31. An arm and a leg: A lot of money.

32. Close, but no cigar: To fall short of a successful outcome and get nothing for your efforts.

33. On the back burner: Not a priority; something that can be done later.

34. Front runner: The person or thing most likely to succeed.

35. Go with the flow: To accept what happens and move with it.

36. Twists and turns: Complicated and unpredictable developments.

37. By the skin of your teeth: Just barely; narrowly.

38. In the nick of time: Just in the right time; not too late, but very close.

39. Turn a blind eye: To ignore something that you would normally object to.

40. Out of the blue: Something that suddenly and unexpectedly occurs.

41. Take with a pinch of salt: Not to take something too seriously.

42. Cut to the chase: Get to the point without wasting time.

43. Hit the sack: Go to bed or go to sleep.

44. Bite off more than can chew: Take on a task that is way too big.

45. Add insult to injury: To make a bad situation even worse.

46. When pigs fly: Something that will never happen.

47. Costs an arm and a leg: Something is very expensive.

48. Straight from the horse’s mouth: Getting information directly from the most reliable source.

49. Let the cat out of the bag: To mistakenly reveal a secret.

50. Off one’s rocker: Crazy, demented, out of one’s mind, in a confused or befuddled state of mind, senile.