Idioms with Nature
A snake in the grass: A deceitful or untrustworthy person, a hidden enemy.
Bark up the wrong tree: To take action in the wrong direction, to approach a problem or situation in the wrong way.
Bee in one’s bonnet: To have a fixed idea or obsession.
Birds of a feather: People with similar interests, characteristics, or backgrounds.
Bring home the bacon: To make a living, to provide for one’s family.
Carrying coals to Newcastle: To do something unnecessary, to bring something to a place where it is already abundant.
Cast pearls before swine: To waste valuable things on people who do not appreciate them.
Caught red-handed: To be caught in the act of doing something wrong.
Cool as a cucumber: Remaining calm and composed in difficult situations.
Cry wolf: To raise false alarm, to make false claims.
Feather one’s nest: To improve one’s living conditions, to acquire wealth or other advantages through selfish means.
Get back to the grindstone: To return to work after a break, to get back to a routine.
Grass is always greener on the other side: The tendency to believe that other people have it better than oneself.
Make hay while the sun shines: To take advantage of a good opportunity, to make the most of a favourable situation.
Nip in the bud: To stop something from growing or developing, to stop an issue from becoming a larger problem.
On the grapevine: Rumors or gossip spread informally through personal networks.
Out of the woods: To be safe, to be free from danger or difficulties.
Play cat and mouse: To play with or tease someone in an attempt to control or manipulate them.
The little bird told me: To hear something through indirect means, to know something through secret information.
The whole kit and caboodle: The entire collection of something, everything associated with a particular situation or thing.
Weather the storm: To endure a difficult situation, to overcome a challenge.
Idioms with Number
A baker’s dozen – Thirteen instead of the usual twelve.
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush – Having something that is certain is much better than taking a risk for more, because the opportunity might not be as good as it seems.
A dime a dozen – Something that is very common and not valuable or rare.
A drop in the bucket – A small or insignificant amount compared to what is needed or expected.
A handful – A small amount that is easy to control or manage.
A long shot – Something with little chance of success.
A numbers game – A situation where success depends on quantity, rather than quality.
A penny for your thoughts – A way of asking someone what they are thinking about.
A picture is worth a thousand words – A visual image can tell a story better than words.
A whole new ballgame – A completely different situation or set of circumstances.
A zero-sum game – A situation where one person’s gain is exactly balanced by another’s loss.
At sixes and sevens – In a state of confusion or disarray.
By the dozen – In large quantity, typically by the dozen.
Cost an arm and a leg – Something that is very expensive.
Count your blessings – To be grateful for what one has.
Cut it close – To come close to a deadline or a critical situation.
Fifty-fifty – An equal chance of two possible outcomes.
Hit the nail on the head – To accurately describe or solve a problem.
Nine lives – The idea that a person has several opportunities to escape death.
Two’s company, three’s a crowd – The idea that two people is a comfortable number, while three is too many.