Body Idioms

How many English idioms do you know? Chances are, if you have had a conversation with an advanced English speaker, you’ve heard some idioms! Idioms are an essential part of the English language for expressing ideas, referencing culture and adding colour and description to our language.

English Idioms

You may have already checked out some of our previous posts on Cat Idioms, Dog Idioms, Weather Idioms, Earth and Environment Idioms, and so many more! In today’s post, we’ll look at eight useful body idioms.

Download a copy of our free ebook, Essential English Idioms to learn twenty five essential English idioms and practise using them with gap-fill exercises.

Body Idioms

Cost an arm and a leg

We use this idiom to describe something very expensive.

We won’t be going abroad this summer because the flights cost an arm and a leg.

Rob has a fancy new watch. He wears it every day and likes to show it off because it cost him an arm and a leg.

All ears

“I’m all ears” is a way of saying “I am listening intently.”

If anyone has any suggestions for how we can improve this project, please let me know. I’m all ears.

Sorry that I was distracted by that phone call earlier. Tell me about your day. I’m all ears now.

Get it off your chest

To get something off your chest means to talk about something that has been bothering or upsetting you. When you get this off your chest you normally feel better and lighter.

It was good to have a coffee with my best friend and get everything off my chest about what’s been going on at home recently.

Can we have a chat later? There’s a few things I need to get off my chest.

Cold feet

To get cold feet is to feel nervous about getting married and back out at the last minute. 

The bride got cold feet and called off the wedding the night before.

How are you feeling about tomorrow? No cold feet?

Head in the clouds

Someone with their head in the clouds is distracted and daydreaming.

Tanya had her head in the clouds all day on Friday. She couldn’t concentrate at all.

Sometimes his ideas are too ambitious. He has his head in the clouds. I think he needs to come back down to earth.

Old head on young shoulders

An old head on young shoulders describes a person who is wise or knowledgable beyond their years.

Simon has always been very sensible and never liked going out to nightclubs or parties. He has an old head on young shoulders.

Despite the fact she is much younger than me, I often go to my daughter for advice. She has an old head on young shoulders.

Twisting your arm

To convince someone of something they were previously unsure or unconvinced of is to twist their arm.

Oh go on then! You’ve twisted my arm. I’ll join you for the party tonight, but only for a couple of drinks.

Despite not being a big fan of rollercoasters, his coworkers twisted Lee’s arm and he agreed to go with them on the day trip to Alton Towers.

Two left feet

Someone who is very uncoordinated or clumsy at dancing has two left feet.

The politician on Strictly Come Dancing didn’t get very far in the competition because he had two left feet.

I wish I was a good dancer. I love music but I have no coordination. I’ve got two left feet.

Discussion questions

Think about your answers to the following questions. Post them in the comments to practise using these body idioms.

  1. Are you a good dancer? Or do you have two left feet?
  2. What is something you have bought in the past that cost an arm and a leg?
  3. What reasons do people have for getting cold feet?
  4. Do you know someone who has an old head on young shoulders? Why do you think so?


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