Commonly Used Idioms: Body Parts!?

11.04.2016 |

Episode #7 of the course “English idioms” by Dina, itaki

 

So from workplace idioms, we shift gears and take a look at some idioms that incorporate references to body parts. These idioms can be used in any setting, be it work, school, or at the mall with friends.

Break a leg!: to wish good luck. This idiom is used in the theatre by performers who think that wishing “good luck” will actually bring bad luck. People also say it outside theatres to express the same idea.

Example: Today’s your exam, right? Break a leg!

Skin and bones: very thin / more than slim, perhaps because of a lack of nutrition. This idiom refers not only to people but also animals. The opposite would be fat or overweight.

Examples:

  • Tom never gains weight. He is all skin and bones.

  • My neighbour’s cat is skin and bones, I don’t think she feeds him regularly.

To give a hand: to help (someone) do something. This is especially related to physical work.

Example: I can give you a hand when you redecorate your room.

To keep an eye on: to take care of. This could mean to monitor or to give protection. You can keep an eye on things and people.

Example: Could you keep an eye on dinner and the baby while I answer the door?

To have one’s head in the clouds: daydreaming. This describes someone who is unrealistic about something and unaware of what is going on. The opposite meaning would be to have one’s feet on the ground.

Example: You’ve got your head in the clouds if you think you can become a talented musician without practising.

I really hope that you didn’t hear someone say ‘you’ve got your head in the clouds’ while you were at work. Or ‘keep an eye on (person)’. But if someone said they could give you a hand with a project, you’ve been blessed with some kind coworkers.

 

Recommended book

“Urban Dictionary: Freshest Street Slang Defined” by urbandictionary.com, Aaron Peckham

 

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