House and Home Idioms – Part 2

Five cardboard houses in a row on a wooden table

Welcome to part two of this House and Home Idioms mini-series.

In the first part of the series, I introduced five common idioms based around the theme of Houses and Homes: ‘go around the houses’, ‘get on like a house on fire’, ‘home truths’, ‘safe as houses’ and ‘the lights are on but nobody’s home’.

If you haven’t already, I recommend completing the exercises at the bottom of Part 1 before you tackle Part 2, below. 

All done? Great! In today’s instalment, I’ll talk about another five House and Home Idioms. There are some useful exercises at the bottom to test your understanding. 

Let’s get started!

1. On the house

When something is described as on the house, it is free in a restaurant, bar or café. This can often be by way of an apology for bad service, or perhaps as a friendly gesture to a loyal and long-serving customer.

  • “Sorry about the delay with your food. The dessert is on the house.”
  • “I’m afraid we don’t have any of your usual wine in stock at the moment. As you’re one of our best customers, please accept a glass of this wine on the house.”


2. Home and dry

When you are past the difficult part of a task or process, you are home and dry.

  • “We’re home and dry now we’ve got that second investor on board!”
  • “It’s been a tough few weeks of working overtime but I think we’re home and dry with the new website design now.”


3. Make yourself at home

This is an expression that you may hear when you visit a person’s house. If someone says “make yourself at home,” they want you to feel comfortable to relax in their house.

  • “Come on in! It’s great to see you! Make yourself at home! Would you like a cup of tea?”
  • “I’m going out for a bit but make yourself at home. There’s plenty of food in the fridge, just help yourself if you want anything.”


4. Eat (someone) out of house and home

If someone is eating large amounts of the food you have in your house, you might say they are eating you out of house and home. This phrase is often used jokingly to describe growing children or pets.

  • “All three of Julie’s kids are back from University for the summer. They’re eating her out of house and home!
  • “It’s lovely to have Vincent to stay for a while, but he’s got such a big appetite. He’s eating us out of house and home!”


5. Hit home/ Hit close to home

When something hits home you realise something on a deep level. Similarly, if something hits close to home you are affected by it emotionally in a deep or personal way. Perhaps someone tells you a home truth you’d rather not hear.

  • “The reality of failing all her exams really began to hit home.”
  • “She knew that they were only joking, but the comments about losing her job really hit close to home.



Now test your understanding! Fill in the sentences below with the correct idiom from the list above.

  1. “Her comments about his management style really _______________.”
  2. “We have got to stop adopting dogs now. Any more and they will ________ us ____________________.”
  3. “Come in! Take your coat off and _____________________ Have you already eaten, or can I get you anything?”
  4. “We just need to secure a few more clients and then we’ll be _____________.”
  5. “Our meal took a long time to arrive so they gave us some wine _______________ to apologise.”



  1. Have you ever received something on the house? What was it and why?
  2. In whose house can you always make yourself at home?

Post your answers in the comments below.

This blog was written by Intrepid English teacher, Kate.

You can visit my Intrepid English Teacher profile page to find out more about me and add me as a friend! 


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