Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Idioms - Body parts


There are many idioms to learn in the English language and a good way to practice them is to learn them in groups. Today I am going to give you some popular idioms that use different body parts. In my ESL classes I like to give the students a quiz so that they can have fun with the different expressions. See how many of the following idioms you can remember!


  • To learn/know something by heart - meaning to memorize something. The students know these idioms by heart.
  • To lose heart - to become discouraged or to lose faith in something. Jackie began to lose heart in the stock market. Overnight she lost everything she owned.
  • After one's own heart - someone who is the kind of person you like because of shared interests . Jenny loves cooking , she's a person after my own heart.
  • A heart of gold - a kind person. Andrea cares a lot about children. She adopted four kids , she has a heart of gold.
  • A heart of stone - a cold, uncaring person. Barbara has a heart of stone. She didn't offer to help me , even though she could see I was crying and upset.
  • Face the music - to have to deal with the consequences. Toby stayed out late last night and didn't get his homework finished. Now he will have to face the music with his tutor!
  • Face value - to accept something as true or genuine. I trust Harry , I take him at face value.
  • Put on a brave face - to bravely go about your business even though you may be suffering a great upset. I really admire Sarah, she just lost her job but she is putting a brave face upon it and is getting on with looking for a new job.
  • Two faced - a deceitful person. Don't believe a word she says, she is two faced and doesn't tell the truth.
  • Bite your tongue - to stop yourself from saying what you truly think and fee. Martha's children behave horribly, but I have to bite my tongue and not say anything when they are here!
  • On the tip of your tongue - to try and remember something, but not quite succeed. Oh what is the title of that new movie...it's on the tip of my tongue but I just can't remember it!
  • The bee's knees - to be the best or to be thought highly of. Mindy thinks she's the bee's knees now that she got a big pay rise.
  • Pull somebody's leg - to kid or fool someone . Don't take it so seriously, I am just pulling your leg!
  • Turn up one's nose up - to look down on something, to be superior about something. Zoe turned her nose up at the offer of coming to the movies with me. I guess she has better things to do!
  • Keep your nose to the grindstone - keep focused and working hard on a project. We will be here all night finishing off this paint job. We will have to keep our nose to the grindstone.
For more idioms click here.

I am a qualified ESL tutor. If you need help with the English language please contact me.