English idioms

This website teaches conversational English through dialogues with English idioms and supplemental grammar notes. We present the context of informal English you might hear anywhere anytime in America — restaurants, post offices, street corners, or college classrooms. There is no natural everyday speech without idioms, because English is full of them and native speakers use them everywhere all the time. EFL teachers will find adequate resources here to teach informal English, beginning with “Marathon World Record.” Students will achieve mastery of idioms here, properly defined in context. That is our commitment!

This index of 480 English idioms lists alphabetically the idioms and phrasal verbs you will learn here in 140 informal English dialogues. Every lesson in the main section of this website presents two dialogues with two levels of challenge in everyday English usage — Basic (A1-A2) and Intermediate-Advanced. Study them both.

As you get familiar with the layout of the lessons, you should focus (as teacher or student) on the Vocabulary and Idioms. These are all explained in context with audio. Remember too that the optional 140 English Dialogues, 480 Idioms is available on Amazon in Kindle or print version for anyone who wants a single volume of all the dialogues, idioms and phrasal verbs on the site.

Good luck in your quest for fluency!

Eric Woro

Ace Dialogues with Idioms
Ain’t that the truth Neck and Neck
All set to go Housekeeping
All the way Canada On Fire
Anal Retentive The Painter
Apply yourself English Grammar and Dialogue
As common as pig tracks Dialogues with Idioms
As rich as Croesus Student Debt Relief
At a crossroads Car Repair
Back to the wall Cat in a Tree
Bad apple Got Lemons?
Banana-head Hound of the Baskervilles
Barrel of fun Hound of the Baskervilles
Barrel of laughs Christmas Shopping
Beat him like a drum Like A Drum
Beat the crap out of Like a Drum
Belch out Housekeeping
Be oneself Doing the Laundry
Best laid plans of mice and men Telephone Problems
Bet my bottom dollar Neck and Neck
Beyond belief San Diego Zoo
Beyond me Hate Crimes
Big cheese You Can’t Fight Progress, Happy as a Clam
Bite the bullet Car Repair
Bits and pieces Recap
Blown away Midterm Elections, The Painter
Blow out of proportion Reunion
Blow up Dialogues with Idioms
Bode well Hardline Government
Bookworm Relationships from School
Boost to the max Covid Workouts
Born and raised Local Library
Break up Relationships from School
Bring about Politics in America
Bring down Cultured Meat
Bring up Shopping or Eating?, Pillars of Society
Bro Happy as a Clam
Build up Housekeeping
Burn in effigy Creatures from Hell
Burn the candle at both ends Riding the Wave
Butter up Happy Birthday
Cabin Fever Let’s Go Camping
Call over Getting in Shape
Can of worms Robots with Shotguns, Hate Crimes
Carbon credit scheme Climate Change Conferences
Carry around Another Mass Shooting
Catch a break Pencil and Pen
Catch by surprise San Diego Zoo
Change her mind Post Office Services
Check out Soccer Upset, Happy Birthday, Spy Balloon, Find Apartment
Chowderhead Relationships from School
Climate change Where is the Sun
Close by San Diego Zoo
Clean-cut School Dropout
Cloud-Cuckoo-Land Another Mass Shooting
Clown around English Grammar and Dialogue
Cold as a witch Got Lemons? Make Lemonade
Come by Calling a Babysitter
Come down Telephone Problems
Comes across A New Contender
Comes along Recap
Come up Birthday Present, Spy Balloon
Coming right up Post Office Services
Con game The Big Jackpot
Cool down Riding the Wave
Cooped up Yoga for Outsiders
Cost an arm and a leg Student Debt Relief
Count on Local Library
Cover letter Email Job Application
Crack up Yoga for Outsiders
Crap Hate Crimes
Creepy Drone Warfare
Creepy-crawly Creatures from Hell
Cross the great divide True Blue
Cry in one’s beer School Dropout
Cry over spilled milk Covid Workouts
Cultured meat Cultured Meat
Cup of joe Doing the Laundry
Cut back Cultured Meat, Neck and Neck
Cut off Poverty and Inequality
Cut the mustard English Grammar and Dialogue
Cut ties Ye for President
Dash off Turtles Are Faster
Day off True Blue
Dead in the water Dialogues with Idioms
Devil is in the details Email Job Application
Die-hard Birthday Present
Different kettle of fish Robots with Shotguns
Dinghead Pharmacy Products
Dinero Spring is Sprung
Doc-in-a-box Doc-in-a-Box
Dog-eat-dog Student Debt Relief
Dollars to donuts Ye for President
Doofus Got Lemons?
Doom and gloom Riding the Wave
Down memory lane True Blue
Draw a blank Post Office Services
Dress up Candy Basket Peril
Drives me up the wall Spy Balloon
Drop out Pillars of Society
Dystopia Robots with Shotguns
Easy as pie Email Job Application
Eat crow Cat in a Tree
Eat like a horse Getting in Shape
Elbow grease Housekeeping
End up Neck and Neck
Eternal checkout True Blue
Ever since Poverty and Inequality
Face the music Car Repair
Fairy dust Spring Is Sprung
Fall behind School Dropout
Far off Anti-Cheating Hats
Fed up Poverty and Inequality, Where is the Sun
Feel-good Drone Warfare
Feel sorry for Calling a Taxi
Figure out Relationships from School
Fill out Local Library
Find out Midterm Elections, Politics in America
Fired up Hate Crimes, Poverty and Inequality
First of all Marathon World Record
First past the post Cultured Meat
Fish out of water Getting in Shape
Float an air biscuit Cultured Meat
Fly around The Painter
Flying high You Can’t Fight Progress
Flunk out School Dropout
Follow in one’s footsteps Riding the Wave
For all I know School Dropout
For my money Drone Warfare
For one thing Ordering a Hamburger
For that matter Calling a Taxi
Freak Soccer Upset
Free-range Cultured Meat
Fringe groups Robots with Shotguns
From soup to nuts Car Repair
Front line Recap
Fungus-face You Can’t Fight Progress
Garden hose Marriage Ceremony
Gave me an earful Pharmacy Products
Get along Calling a Babysitter
Get back Calling a Babysitter, School Dropout
Get hold of Telephone Problems
Get in Where is the Sun
Get in the groove You Can’t Fight Progress
Get in trouble Calling a Taxi
Get into Learn a Language, Drone Warfare, Pillars of Society
Get one’s mojo back Spring Is Sprung
Get on her case Telephone Problems
Get out Ye for President
Gets the boot Politics in America
Get past San Diego Zoo
Get this Ye for President
Give a break Student Debt Relief
Give anything Soccer Upset
Give away Candy Basket Peril
Give his all Like a Drum
Give it my best shot English Grammar and Dialogue
Give out Marathon World Record
Give the axe Suffering from Allergies
Give up Pencil and Pen, Reading Books
Global warming Canada On Fire
Go easy Marathon World Record
Go figure Local Library
Going on Recap
Going the extra mile Marriage Ceremony
Going to the dogs Poverty and Inequality
Good egg Pillars of Society
Go mental Yoga for Outsiders
Go out Candy Basket Peril, Covid Workouts
Go over True Blue, Finding a Better Apartment
Go through Student Debt Relief, Pencil and Pen
Go to sleep Calling a Babysitter
Go viral Anti-Cheating Hats
Go wild Calling a Babysitter
Got it Calling a Taxi, Ordering a Hamburger, Dialogues with Idioms
Got lemons Got Lemons?
Graveyard shift Another Mass Shooting
Greenhouse gas Cultured Meat
Green Marketing Climate Change Conferences
Greenwashing Climate Change Conferences
Gruesome Twosome Dialogues with Idioms
Gut reaction Like a Drum
Had our backs Birthday Present
Hair will grow on my palm Politics in America
Hand out Candy Basket Peril
Hang back Like a Drum
Happy as a clam Happy as a Clam
Happy as a pig in mud Happy as a Clam
Har-de-har Pencil and Pen
Has a screw loose Make Lemonade
Hate crime Hate Crimes
Have a blast Yoga for Outsiders
Have a cow Telephone Problems
Have a screw loose Yoga for Outsiders
Have in mind Pillars of Society
Have them over Hound of the Baskervilles
Have what it takes School Dropout
Hearth and home Housekeeping
Hell of a mess Recap
Help out San Diego Zoo
High noon Got Lemons?
Hinge on Climate Change Conferences
Hold back Dialogues with Idioms
Hold down Getting in Shape
Hop, skip and a jump Spring is Sprung
Hornet’s nest Poverty and Inequality
Hop in Calling a Taxi
How far along Riding the Wave
Hung up English Grammar and Dialogue
I’d bet my bottom dollar Neck and Neck
I get it Robots with Shotguns
I guess not A Train Accident
I’m afraid so Recap
In case Calling a Taxi
In charge Pillars of Society
In clover Christmas Shopping
Inch my way Soccer Upset
In general Hardline Government
In high gear In the Post Office
In my face Happy as a Clam
In seventh heaven Happy Birthday
In shape Covid Workouts, Getting in Shape
Intelligence gathering Spy Balloon
In that department Calling a Babysitter
In the cards Marathon World Record
In the limelight Got Lemons?
In the loop Candy Basket Peril
In the way of Climate Change Conferences
In the wings A New Contender
Is it just me? Hate Crimes
I think so Hardline Government
It’s (not) like Learn a Language
It sucked Happy as a Clam
Just in case Calling a Babysitter
Keep tabs on Drone Warfare
Kind of Candy Basket Peril
Knocks me for a loop Housekeeping
La-la land Rainbow
Lay odds Doc-in-a-Box
Lay off Neck and Neck
Leave high and dry Got Lemons?
Lemon Car Repair
Let one’s hair down Doing the Laundry
Let’s face it Reading Books
Let up on Learn a Language
LGBTQ Hate Crimes
Life force Yoga for Outsiders
Locked up Hound of the Baskervilles
Load up Dialogues with Idioms
Look ahead Marathon World Record
Look forward to Email Job Application
Lord it over Dialogues with Idioms
Lose heart School Dropout
Lose it Dialogues with Idioms
Lose sight of Turtles Are Faster
Lost it Make Lemonade
Low-key Email Job Application
Mad as a March hare Turtles Are Faster
Make a beeline for Shopping or Eating?
Make a mess The Painter
Make hay while the sun shines Let’s Go Camping
Make up San Diego Zoo
Meds Pharmacy Products
Melt away Spring is Sprung
Mess around Turtles Are Faster
Mess up Suffering from Allergies, Pencil and Pen
Middle of nowhere Rainbow in the Desert
Might as well Car Repair
Moolah Happy Birthday, The Big Jackpot
Moonshine on the water Spy Balloon
More power to you The Painter
Move in Hound of the Baskervilles, Relationships from School
Move forward Turtles Are Faster
Muck up Relationships from School
Nail Reunion
Naked eye Spy Balloon
Neck and neck Neck and Neck
Never say never Politics in America
New man Marriage Ceremony
No big deal Robots with Shotguns
No-brainer In the Post Office
No great shakes Pharmacy Products
Nooks and crannies Housekeeping
No problemo Dialogues with Idioms, Soccer Upset
Not at all Suffering from Allergies
Nothing like that Calling a Babysitter
Not to mention Ordering a Hamburger, Hardline Govt.
No way Turtles Are Faster
Nutjob Midterm Elections, Another Mass Shooting
Oh well Ye for President
Once in a blue moon Rainbow
One in a million Happy Birthday
On high Creatures from Hell
On its last legs True Blue
On the air Soccer Upset
On the hook A Train Accident
On the street Happy as a Clam
Open up Drone Warfare
Out of control Canada On Fire
Out of hand A New Contender
Out of his depth Cat in a Tree
Out of sorts English Grammar and Dialogue
Out of the question Shopping or Eating?
Out of the way Covid Workouts
Out of this world San Diego Zoo
Over the top Neck and Neck
Packed like sardines You Can’t Fight Progress
Pain in the neck English Grammar and Dialogue
Panic attack Yoga for Outsiders
Pay attention Turtles Are Faster, Politics in America
Pay off English Grammar and Dialogue
Peace offering Pencil and Pen
Pencil-pusher Relationships from School
Pep talk Relationships from School
Phony-baloney Anti-Cheating Hats
Pick apart Email Job Application
Pig out Telephone Problems
Pigs might fly Politics in America
Pitch camp Let’s Go Camping
Play it by ear Getting in Shape
Play of colors Happy Birthday
Point out Student Debt Relief
Point taken Marathon World Record
Poverty line Poverty and Inequality
Preaching to the choir Recap, Anti-Cheating Hats
Presence of mind A Train Accident
Pretty much Riding Wave, New Contender, Painter, Where Sun
Profit motive Reunion
Pronto Telephone Problems
Psych out Pencil and Pen
Pull it out of the hat Midterm Elections
Pulling someone’s leg Doc-in-a-Box, Another Mass Shooting
Pull the levers of power Spy Balloon
Put a cork in it Finding a Better Apartment
Put a hex on Creatures from Hell
Put down Reading Books, Reunion
Put on ice Make Lemonade
Put off Shopping or Eating?, Car Repair
Put the kibosh on Local Library
Rain on your parade Relationships from School
Reinvent the wheel Covid Workouts
Rent hike Pillars of Society
Riding the wave Riding the Wave
Right away English Grammar and Dialogue
Right on Cultured Meat
Rile someone up Hate Crimes
Ring some bells Covid Workouts
Rip on someone Pharmacy Products
Rob me blind Doc-in-a-Box
Rolling in money Student Debt Relief
Round about Marathon World Record
Run around Yoga for Outsiders
Run down The Big Jackpot, Pencil and Pen
Run for Ye for President
Running mate Ye for President
Run-off Midterm Elections
Runs deep Pillars of Society
Rush hour Calling a Taxi
Same difference Robots with Shotguns
Same here Candy Basket Peril
Screaming abdabs Reunion
Screw around Turtles Are Faster
Screw it up Pencil and Pen
Screwed the pooch Make Lemonade
Scrub brush Housekeeping
Scrub down Housekeeping
Second thoughts Doc-in-a-Box
Seems like Doc-in-a-Box
Sell your soul Anti-Cheating Hats
Sexual preference Hate Crimes
Shack (up) Happy as a Clam
Shake my head Like a Drum
Shangri-La Another Mass Shooting
Shoot Soccer Upset
Shoot down Spy Balloon
Shoot the breeze You Can’t Fight Progress
Shop for Shopping or Eating?
Short Happy Birthday
Short and sweet Email Job Application
Shortchange English Grammar and Dialogue
Show up Midterm Elections
Sign in Local Library
Sign off Email Job Application
Sit tight Post Office Services
Sitting pretty Christmas Shopping
Sleep in True Blue
Slowly but surely Turtles Are Faster
Snowball’s chance in hell The Big Jackpot
Social Distancing Covid Workouts
Something else Pillars of Society
Something else again Hound of the Baskervilles
So much for Got Lemons?
So what? Turtles Are Faster
Spill over Hardline Government
Spinning our wheels Anti-Cheating Hats
Spot on Rainbow
Spring chicken True Blue
Spring fever Spring Is Sprung
Spring is sprung Spring Is Sprung
Spur of the moment Rainbow
Stay over Happy as a Clam
Stay up late Calling a Babysitter
Steer clear of Cat in a Tree
Step out Relationships from School
Step over Post Office Services
Stew in my own juice Spring is Sprung
Stick around Marriage Ceremony
Stoke the flames Student Debt Relief
Strap on Neck and Neck
Street people Relationships from School
Stretch out The Painter
Sucks to be you Suffering from Allergies
Swear on my mother’s grave Pencil and Pen
Take a position Spy Balloon
Take a shot Student Debt Relief
Take lying down Creatures from Hell
Take my breath away Rainbow in the Desert
Take off Rainbow in the Desert
Team player Email Job Application
Tell you the truth Make Lemonade
That’s really something Christmas Shopping
That will be the day Politics in America
The big cheese Happy as a Clam
The good old days Candy Basket Peril
The green Student Debt Relief
The hard way Turtles Are Faster
The name of the game The Big Jackpot
There and back Reading Books
The sky is the limit Marriage Ceremony
The spring in your step Covid Workouts
The thing is Calling a Babysitter
Thingamabob Housekeeping
Thingy Housekeeping
Thins out Let’s Go Camping
Third wheel Marriage Ceremony
This, that, and the other Pharmacy Products
Threw the fight Like a Drum
Throw in the towel School Dropout
To die for Reunion
Toe the line Spy Balloon
To no avail Pencil and Pen
Tons of friends Dialogues with Idioms
Totally Happy as a Clam
Tough it out Where Sun
True blue True Blue
Truth be told The Painter
Try on Shopping or Eating?
Try out Soccer Upset
Turned around Make Lemonade
Twist my arm Reading Books
Until hell freezes over Politics in America
Up against Telephone Problems
Up for Local Library
Up front Car Repair
Up in the air Recap
Upset the apple cart Happy as a Clam
Up to snuff Learn a Language
Vacuum cleaner Housekeeping
Virtual reality Neck and Neck
Waffle about Neck and Neck
Walk away Yoga for Outsiders
Warm and fuzzy Drone Warfare
Watch out for Christmas Shopping
Watershed moment Cultured Meat
Weather for ducks Make Lemonade
Wet behind the ears Marriage Ceremony
What if Reunion
Whatnot Pencil and Pen
What’s the buzz Neck and Neck
Wheeler-Dealer A New Contender
Which way the wind blows Spy Balloon
Who knows? Housekeeping
Will do Riding the Wave
Work out Covid Workouts
Worry about Learn a Language, Let’s Go Camping
Wreak havoc Telephone Problems
Wuffo Doc-in-a-Box
Yes way Marathon World Record
Zoomer Local Library

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