Body Idioms | List of Body Idioms With Meaning and Examples

Body Idioms: Idioms are phrases or statements with a symbolic, non-literal meaning attached to them; yet, some phrases can become figurative idioms while keeping their literal meaning.

Idioms with body parts are used to convey ideas in both American and British English and are known as body idioms. These expressions often have nothing to do with the body, but the idioms easily portray these thoughts.

Idioms are essential since they allow you to express yourself in unique and imaginative ways. When learning a language, especially for communication, it is beneficial to incorporate idioms because they help us sound fluent and familiar.

They’re also the quickest way to convey some expressions for which no other words exist. In this article on idioms in English, we will learn the idioms of body parts with meaning and the body idioms examples, which will help improve our idioms vocabulary.

Enrich your Vocabulary by practicing the English Idioms that are commonly used in everyday conversations and understand their actual meaning.

Name of Body Idioms

List of Body Idioms

Body Idioms List

Meaning and Explanation of a Few Commonly Used Body Idioms

To keep at arm’s length

Meaning: To avoid being connected to someone or something.

Example: I did not trust the guy, so I kept him at arm’s length.

In over one’s head

Meaning: Taking on a task that one cannot handle.

Example: I was in over my head when I agreed to complete all the presentations by the weekend.

Have one’s head in the clouds

Meaning: Be unaware or unrealistic about something.

Example: Steve always has his head in the clouds. He does not care about any of his father’s problems.

Thick in the head

Meaning: Not very intelligent.

Example: I’m a little thick in the head when it comes to studying mathematics.

Head over heels

Meaning: Deeply in love.

Example: The couple has been married for 25 years and is still head over heels for each other.

Off the top of my head

Meaning: Information offered quickly, without research or calculation.

Example: I remember we had our submissions the last Saturday, Off the top of my head.

Head start

Meaning: An earlier start.

Example: The kids gave Martha a head start in the bicycle race because she was the youngest of them all.

To pick someone’s brain

Meaning: To talk with someone to find out information about something from them.

Example: Lisa is very good at literature, so I picked her brain about our essay homework.

See eye to eye

Meaning: Agree on something.

Example: The business partners don’t see eye to eye on any of the issues.

A sight for sore eyes

Meaning: Be very happy to see someone or something.

Example: After the long wait, the food came, and it was a sight for sore eyes.


Meaning: To catch your attention.

Example: All the dresses in the store are very eye-catching.

Keep an eye on

Meaning: Take care of, have a watch in order to protect.

Example: I’ll keep an eye on the barbeque while you prepare the sauces.

Look down your nose

Meaning: To think of yourself as better or more important than someone else.

Example: He looks down his nose at all his employees, and hence no one likes him.

Body Idoms 1

All ears

Meaning: To give someone their full attention.

Example: Once I am done with my assignments, I’ll be all ears to hear about your day.

Play something by ear

Meaning: Do something without a plan.

Example: We don’t know if this is the correct way to the restaurant. We will have to play it by ear.

On the tip of my tongue

Meaning: To be almost able to remember or express.

Example: The name of the monument was on the tip of my tongue, but I needed to ask the guide.

Sweet tooth

Meaning: To have a taste or extreme liking for sweet food.

Example: I have a sweet tooth, and so I like different types of chocolates and candies

Like pulling teeth

Meaning: To be very difficult.

Example: Getting Jimmy to drink milk is like pulling teeth.

(By the) skin of one’s teeth

Meaning: Just barely.

Example: I passed my science exam by the skin of my teeth.

(My) lips are sealed

Meaning: Promise to keep a secret.

Example: I won’t tell your mother about the broken vase. My lips are sealed.

Keep your chin up

Meaning: To try to stay positive when things seem negative.

Example: Keep your chin up! I’m sure you’ll make some friends in your new school soon.

Let one’s hair down

Meaning: Relax, have fun.

Example: Go on the trip and let your hair down this weekend.

To cost an arm and a leg

Meaning: To be very expensive.

Example: The bags by Gucci costs an arm and a leg!

To stick one’s neck out

Meaning: To take a risk with possible bad consequences for oneself.

Example: I stuck my neck out with the television I bought. I hope it will be working well.

Get something off one’s chest

Meaning: To tell someone your problems or frustrations.

Example: I needed you to listen to my problem to get it off my chest.

Give someone a hand (with something)

Meaning: To help someone.

Example: Jennifer has raised her children to give a hand for cleaning up after the meals.

Cold shoulder

Meaning: To ignore someone intentionally.

Example: I believed she liked me, but she gave me the cold shoulder the next day.

Body Idoms 2

Cry your heart out

Meaning: Cry very hard

Example: She cried her heart out when she had to leave for Australia for higher studies.

Learn by heart

Meaning: Memorize.

Example: One needs to learn the multiplication tables by heart to be good at maths in the coming years.

Rule of thumb

Meaning: Basic rule or principle.

Example: A good rule of thumb while cooking is to add the ingredients when the water starts to boil.

Long arm of the law

Meaning: Describes how efficient the law system can be.

Example: The CEO was caught by the police for money laundering. He could not escape the long arm of the law.

Wash one’s hand of something

Meaning: Stop dealing with an issue or problem.

Example: I’m washing my hands of the leakage problem of the house. We need to call the plumber as soon as possible.

Old hand

Meaning: To have lots of experience.

Example: The surgeon in this hospital has an old hand in treating accident injuries.

Elbow room

Meaning: To be very crowded.

Example: I do not like to travel in the morning buses; there is hardly any elbow room.

Break a leg

Meaning: Good luck.

Example: Break a leg in today’s interview you have prepared really hard for this day.

Cold feet

Meaning: Nervous just before a big event.

Example: I got cold feet right before the presentation at the meeting.

Itchy feet

Meaning: To move around a lot.

Example: She has itchy feet and wants to travel in the holidays.

(My) flesh and blood

Meaning: Relative.

Example: No one understands me like my mother; after all, she’s my own flesh and blood.

Makes my blood boil

Meaning: To make someone very angry.

Example: It makes my blood boil when people mistreat animals.

Neck of the woods

Meaning: Nearby location or area where one lives

Example: I got to know that they might be opening a new school in our neck of the woods soon.

Over my dead body

Meaning: Not unless I’m dead and can’t stop you anymore.

Example: My daughter is considering getting a tattoo. Over my dead body, I told her she’d get one.

Pat on the back

Meaning: Recognition or a thank you.

Example: The students deserve a pat on the back for the farewell they organised.

Pull one’s leg

Meaning: Joke or tease someone.

Example: Jackson was pulling Sean’s leg and convinced him that he lost the car keys.

English Grammar Notes present on our website covers popular grammar points using simple explanations, examples with answers and makes your practice easier.

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