A great way to learn English idioms, and avoid the overwhelming feeling of their abundance, is to separate the idioms by category. I will help you with that by giving you some common English idioms related to our BODY. This is also a great way to review vocabulary of body parts, because it’s so easy to forget these words we may not use on a daily basis.
1. get under (someone`s) skin
– to really annoy, or bother someone. To make someone upset
My coworker is really getting under my skin, he’s always complaining, and never wants to do his own work. He also never cleans up after himself in the lunch room!
– not sensitive, and not easily upset
Jackson had a very rough childhood. He was overweight, and the kids at school often bullied him. However, he learned to defend himself and love his body, so now he’s quite thick-skinned; nothing can hurt his feelings.
3. a breath of fresh air
– something that is new, or different from before
My soccer team finally won a game, which was a breath of fresh air, because we had lost the last 7 games!
4. Don’t hold your breath.
– an expression used to tell someone not to wait for something, because it probably won’t happen (implies you’d pass out from not breathing before the action would happen)
For her 16th birthday, Lucy really wanted a brand new car from her parents as a birthday present. When she asked her dad if she could have a new BMW, he dad replied, “Don’t hold your breath.”
5. at each other’s throats
– people who are arguing or fighting
Mark and his brother never get along, and have fought since they were children about everything. They are at each other’s throats every time they are together.
6. a shoulder to cry on
– someone that gives you support, advice, or is there for you when you need help or are upset
I am so grateful for my best friend last year, because when my parents got divorced she was my shoulder to cry on.
7. behind (someone`s) back
– doing something without someone knowing, often used negatively when you do something bad and don’t want the person to find out
John found out that his coworker, Jan, was talking bad about him behind his back. Jan was telling everyone that he was lazy and unintelligent.
8. get off (someone`s) back
– to leave someone alone, and stop nagging, bothering, or criticizing them
My parents didn’t like my job, because they thought I deserved a better one. It’s been weeks that they’ve been bothering me about finding a new one, and I really wish they’d get off my back.
Lately, I have been making discussion questions, or sentence ‘fill in the blanks’ for you to practice these new idioms; however, this week there is a new challenge! I would like to answer YOUR questions. In the comment section, practice your idioms and questions by writing a question for me to answer using these new idioms. Here is an example:
Q: Is there anyone you would like to get off your back?