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Learn British idioms video

In this lesson I discuss useful British English idioms. Many are taken from this webpage: http://www.englishclub.com/ref/Idioms/British/index.htm

Please see the written explanations below to help you understand.




Learn English as easy as pie Facebook page (admin Mojtaba Yaghoubi)



Guide to idioms

A drop in the ocean

If an amount is a drop in the ocean, it’s a very small portion of the amount that’s needed.


“They tried to minimise their expenditure so that they could pay off their debts, but it was like a drop in the ocean.”


A new lease of life

If someone has a new lease of life, they have a new enthusiasm for living.


“That new job has given him a new lease of life.”


A piece of cake / as easy as pie

If you say that something is a piece of cake, you mean that it is extremely easy.


“Learning English is a piece of cake if you use the Learn English as easy as pie Facebook page.”


Push the boat out

If you “push the boat out”, you are putting a lot of money and effort into a particular endeavour.


“They really pushed the boat out for that wedding ceremony.”


An axe to grind

If you have an axe to grind, you are angry or unhappy about something and you express this opinion whenever you can.


“A lot of British students have a real axe to grind over tuition fees.”


Another string to your bow

If you have another string to your bow, you have another skill that you can use.


“Attending training courses shows employers you have another string to your bow.”


At a loose end

If you’re at a loose end, you have nothing to do.


“He’s been at a loose end since he was made redundant.”


Can’t see the wood for the trees

If you can’t see the wood for the trees, you can’t see the whole situation clearly because you’re looking too closely at small details, or because you’re too closely involved.


“You’re too emotional to make this decision, you can’t see the wood for the trees.”


Come a cropper

If you come a cropper, you make a mistake which has serious consequences for you.


“Liverpool came a cropper in the big Premier League match today.”


Come up trumps

If you come up trumps, you succeed in something that you may not have been expected to succeed in.


“Manchester United came up trumps in the match today.”


Eat humble pie

If you eat humble pie, you admit that you are in the wrong and behave apologetically.


“He was wrong and she made him eat humble pie.”


Go down a treat

If something goes down a treat, it’s a great success and everyone enjoys it.


“Their latest song is really popular. It’s gone down a treat.”


Itchy feet

If you have itchy feet, you feel the need to go somewhere different or do something different.


“I fancy travelling around the world. I’ve got itchy feet from being in the UK so long.”


Just the ticket

You can say something is just the ticket if it’s the perfect thing or if it’s exactly what’s needed.


“I hope that this lesson is just the ticket for you to learn new idioms.”


Make a song and dance about something

If you make a song and dance about something, you make a big deal out of, or a fuss over, something that isn’t very important.


“It doesn’t matter much so stop making such a song and dance about it.”


Right up your street

If something is right up your street, it would be perfect for you or ideal for your skills and interests.


“Her new job is right up her street – she’s very good at it.”


Take the mickey / take the mick out of someone or something

If you’re taking the mickey out of someone, or taking the mick out of them, you’re making fun of them or copying their behaviour for a laugh.


“Are you taking the mick?”


Um and ah

If you “um and ah” you’re having trouble deciding what to say, or you’re having trouble telling somebody something.


“He asked her out but she could only um and ah.”


Over the moon / on cloud nine

If you are “over the moon” or “on cloud nine”, you’re absolutely delighted and very happy about something.


“Manchester United supporters are over the moon / on cloud nine today.”

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