English Idioms, Expressions, and Vocabulary for Shopping with English Outside the Box

English Expressions, Vocabulary, and Idioms for Shopping

Today seems like the perfect day to share with you some English expressions and English idioms related to shopping, since this weekend marks the busiest shopping time of the year. Not only do we have Black Friday the day after Thanksgiving, this year marks the 10th anniversary of Cyber Monday, a day dedicated to online deals and savings. According to CNN, last year was the biggest online shopping day ever, bringing in $2 billion in revenue; however, that number is estimated to increase to $3 billion this year. (Click the CNN link to watch the full video talking about the beginning of Cyber Monday for added listening practice).

Are you as surprised as I was to hear that amount of money? Why do you think so much money is spent on these particular days? Is it solely (only) because of the cheaper prices? Is their a cost for those cheap prices?

What do I mean by “a cost for the cheap price”?

This last question might seem strange because of the word “cost.” We usually use this word to talk about prices, or the money value. However, in this case I was talking about a cost as in something that is lost or given up to achieve something else. What is given up for consumers (shoppers) to receive these ridiculously low Black Friday and Cyber Monday prices? While this article will not focus on this issue today, I encourage you to read a little bit more about this topic on fellow English blogger Shanthi’s site, English with a Twist. In her article, “Are You An Ethical Shopper? Let’s Explore Some Vocabulary” she writes about how cheap prices can affect businesses and other related issues; plus, you’ll learn a lot of new vocabulary!

And speaking of vocabulary, that leads us to the topic of today’s post…

Before we begin, would you like to learn more natural English expressions, idioms, phrasal verbs and improve native-like fluency?



English Expressions, Vocabulary and Idioms for Shopping

  1. window-shopping [verb]: the action of shopping without any  intention of buying; a shopper that just looks at things through the window (or inside the store) knowing they will not buy them
    1. Sometimes I like to go window-shopping even when I know I don’t have the money to buy anything.
  2. shop around [verb]: to shop in many different stores to look for the best item (product), price, style, etc..
    1. Before Lucy bought her new laptop, she shopped around at a couple of different stores to compare the different features.
  3. shopping spree [noun]: to shop a lot in a small period of time; it usually involves spending a lot of money
    1. Bella won a $1,000 gift card to spend at her local mall, so she went on a major shopping spree.
  4. to shop till you drop [idiom]: to shop a lot in a day until you are so tired you feel you want “to drop” – to sit/lie down
    1. Many women love to shop till they drop; however, this is not as common in most men.
  5. retail therapy [noun]: (often used in funny way): the act of shopping for therapy, to make oneself feel better
    1. Dylan needed some retail therapy after he lost his job, which is why he went to his favorite shoe store yesterday.
  6. That’s a killer deal!” [expression]: used to say that something of high value has a very great price that is surprisingly low and affordable
    1. One of Best Buy’s Black Friday products was a TV being sold at nearly 75% off. That’s a killer deal!
  7. That’s a rip-off!” [expression]: used to say that something is too expensive for what it is; when one thinks the price doesn’t appropriately reflect the value it has (very negative meaning)
    1. Oliver saw an old, stained sofa being sold on Craigslist for over $500. That’s a rip-off!
  8. doorbuster [noun]: an item (or items) that have a very special [low] price for a very limited time, usually when the store is just opening its doors
    1. Target’s online store has a lot of doorbusters, from gaming systems and movies, to accessories and even a bike!
  9. to slash prices [verb expression]: to cut/reduce/decrease prices (the cost of something)
    1. Stores often slash their prices to get rid of old products or things that are no longer popular.
  10. rain check [noun]: the act of allowing someone to buy or do something at the sale price, at a later date (after the sale) because the item was unavailable
    1. Ben waited over 9 hours in line to get the newest iPhone at the Apple store, but it was no longer available when he got to the cashier. Luckily, they gave him a rain check.
  11. to shoplift [verb]: to steal something; to take something without paying for it
    1. Many stores have a sign in their dressing rooms that say, “Shoplifters will be prosecuted.” It’s illegal to steal things.

Don’t let your learning and vocabulary expanding stop at this post or with just reading these 11 useful verbs and phrases. I have 2 more things for you to do to take your English skills to the next level.

  1. If you are interested in even more helpful English expressions related to shopping, then make sure you check out FluentU, an English Language and Culture Blog. Double your shopping vocabulary list by reading their post, “11 Useful English Shopping Vocabulary Words and How to Use Them.”
  2. Practice using the words from this post to complete these sentences. Utilize the context to match the correct word or expression to a sentence on the infographic. The answers are at the very bottom of this post, in the smallest size font possible but don’t cheat! Give it an honest go (try to do it yourself) first, and then check your answers. GOOD LUCK!

Practice English Idioms, Vocabulary and Expressions for Shopping with English Outside the Box

Just a final thought:

Despite all this temptation to stay indoors and go shopping over the weekend, I decided to #optoutside and joined the movement to get outdoors. I visited Mt. Lemmon with my family! We were very cold up at an elevation of 9,000+ ft, but we bundled up in warm clothes and with each other to stay warm.

Follow Instagram @jenesl760 for more #realEnglish, English shown to you in authentic daily contexts!


What did you do this weekend? Did you go window shopping, or did you get some retail therapy? Did you get any killer deals or did you have to get a rain check? Tell me about your weekend shopping experience (or any recent experience) below in the comment section!


Please remember to share this post if you enjoyed reading it. Knowledge is power, and together we can help reach the world and everyone trying to improve their English skills! Thanks [xo]. As always…

Happy Studying! ♥


Infographic Answers: 1- f, c, g     2- b, d   3- a, e, h
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1 Comment

  1. Amber on November 21, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Super Helpful! Thanks Jen

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