Construction Idioms: In the English language, there are different types of idioms that are related to other things. This article includes a list of construction idioms that are often used while conversing with people.
Construction is the art and science of forming organizations, objects, plans, systems, etc. Since there are various building phrases, infrastructure idioms, and construction idioms, people often get confused with the actual meaning of these idioms.
To remove this confusion and ensure proper remembrance of these architecture idioms or construction idioms, we have put together a list of construction idioms along with their correct meanings and examples that will help one hold proper conversations using these idioms and create a good impression.
Enrich your Vocabulary by practicing the English Idioms that are commonly used in everyday conversations and understand their actual meaning.
Names of Construction Idioms
List of Construction Idioms
- House of cards
- My way or the highway
- Straddle the fence
- A bridge too far
- Bag of hammers
- Thick as a brick
- Water under the bridge
- Down the drain
- Bring the house down
- Get your foot in the door
- Behind closed doors
- Drive someone up the wall
- Window of opportunity
- Rome wasn’t built in a day
- Hold down the fort
- Bury the hatchet
- Know the drill
- Lay the groundwork
- People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones
- Set in concrete
- Under the hammer
- Off the wall
- Hit the nail on the head
- Shit a brick
- Drop the hammer
- Get the ax
- Castles in the air
- Cross that bridge when you come to it
- Strike while the iron is hot
- The nuts and bolts
- Tough as nails
- Pull wires
- An ax to grind
- Mend fences
- Tighten the screws
- Hammer out a deal
- A bolt from the blue
- Break ground
- Burn your bridges
- Cash on the nail
- Climb the walls
- Come out of the closet
- Hit the ceiling
Meaning: A plan, situation, or a specific structure that is very weak, fragile, and insubstantial can collapse anytime.
Example: The road trip plan was like a house of cards since nobody ended up going.
Meaning: This phrase is used by the speaker for saying that everyone has to follow what the speaker says or undergo sufferings since there is no other way.
Example: Phyllis was sick of the argument between the boys regarding the trip destination, and hence she said, “now, it’s either my way or the highway.”
Meaning: It refers to indecisiveness, where one keeps avoiding giving answers or picking a particular side in an argument.
Example: Maya always straddled the fence and escaped, but this time, she has to choose a side and decide her love life.
Meaning: Something that overreaches its actual capability and goes too far, causing problems.
Example: Last year, while hiking, we went a bridge too far and got ourselves trapped in that deadly situation.
Meaning: Used for referring to the stupidity and uselessness of someone or something.
Example: Nobody asked Trish for help since everyone thought that she was a bag of hammers.
Meaning: The above phrase is used to refer to someone who is exceptionally dimwitted and stupid.
Example: Just being good-looking will not get her a promotion since she is thick as a brick.
Meaning: This refers to those incidents that have already occurred and are now in the past, and thus there is no longer any need to bring them up.
Example: Gina asked Mary not to apologize since everything happened and the water is under the bridge now.
Meaning: This refers to something that is being wasted or being demolished.
Example: After my brother started living in our old house, the house went down the drain.
Meaning: Used when a performance makes the audience overjoyed, and they applaud and laugh with zeal.
Example: The stand-up comedian was highly talented, and hence whenever he performed, he made sure to bring the house down.
Meaning: To make the first step towards one’s goal by doing something to initially achieve the goal.
Example: John started his own business to get his foot in the door.
Meaning: When something is done privately or secretly without anyone watching or knowing about it.
Example: What happened in that haunted house that made the girl insane always remained behind closed doors.
Meaning: The expression is used when someone gets super annoyed, angry, or irritated about something the other person is doing.
Example: Oliver screamed at Lily and asked her to stop the loud music since that was driving him up the wall.
Meaning: Used to state that there is a limited opportunity available for doing something and one has to work upon it as fast as possible.
Example: Kiyoko lost her window of opportunity of clicking a picture of the setting sun.
Meaning: The phrase indicates that everything takes time and nothing can be achieved quickly, so one should patiently complete their designated tasks.
Example: The group knew that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and hence they worked diligently, and now they are one of the most lovable bands.
Meaning: To take care or be in charge of a particular situation or place when the actual person responsible for taking care of the place or condition is not available.
Example: The band members held down the fort while their captain was sick and going through treatment.
Meaning: This phrase is used when two individuals or a group of individuals decide to end their fight and arguments and finally become friends.
Example: The two neighbors decided to bury the hatchet and celebrate Christmas together.
Meaning: To be familiar with a specific procedure so that assistance is not needed while performing that procedure.
Example: The teacher told the students that everyone should know the drill within the next week regarding their morning assembly.
Meaning: Before starting an event or a specific process of doing something, one should complete and get over the basics.
Example: For the preparation of my exams, I have already laid the groundwork properly.
Meaning: The phrase states that people who have faults should not belittle or criticize other people for having the same responsibility.
Example: Olivia told her friend that she also forgot to submit her assignment and hence she shouldn’t make fun of others because people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones
Meaning: Something that cannot be changed and is fixed.
Example: The marriage date is set in concrete.
Meaning: Something that is put up and sold at an auction.
Example: The painting went under the hammer last Wednesday at
Meaning: Very excellent; Vigorous.
Example: The friendship between Dwight and Pam started like a house on fire.
Meaning: The above expression refers to something that is unusually strange but in an amusing way. Someone whose ideas are off the wall; they are usually called stupid.
Example: Emma’s theory regarding the old mansion is really off the wall, but somehow, I feel that they are true.
Meaning: Used when someone says something that is exceptionally correct.
Example: Even though the company put in a lot of effort in creating their new product when Hope said that it wouldn’t get much popularity, the director knew that she hit the nail on the head.
Meaning: Become extremely scared
Example: Everyone among the group of friends shit a brick after hearing what happened to the girl at that haunted house ten years ago.
Meaning: To crackdown or legislate on a particular injustice or violation.
Example: Olivia denied dropping the hammer on the kids to keep them in school.
Meaning: This phrase is used when someone gets fired, rejected, expelled, or discharged.
Example: Now, when the two companies are merging, some employees are bound to get the ax.
Meaning: Having unrealistic and almost impossible plans and hopes regarding one’s future.
Example: You sound like you are building castles in the air regarding your new house. Would you please stop that?
Meaning: This phrase is used for saying not to worry about something that may happen in the future. That problem will be dealt with once we face it and not right now.
Example: Chandler readily gave away his savings to plan the grand wedding, and when Monica enquired about his future plans, he said, “let’s enjoy now; we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”
Meaning: This expression states that one should do whatever they want to while the opportunity or the excellent chance is still viable.
Example: Vernon decided to strike while the iron was hot and got himself the international tour ticket.
Meaning: The essential and necessary details regarding any job or any other activity.
Example: Before starting to construct the dollhouse, Selena made sure she went through the nuts and bolts of constructing it.
Meaning: Someone whose attitude towards others is solid and rigid, usually not showing any emotions, or maybe someone who is physically very tough and aggressive.
Examples: She is the tiniest member of the cat family, yet she is as tough as nails.
Meaning: This is used to indicate a situation where someone of importance can use their power and influence on others who are under them.
Example: John decided to pull wires and get the work done without any legal complications and procedures.
Meaning: Used when someone does something out of selfish intentions or has an ulterior motive behind doing the work.
Example: The secretary always seemed too sweet and innocent; she sure has an ax to grind.
Meaning: Putting effort in mending or fixing an unstable or already damaged relationship.
Example: After the huge fight, the band members tried to mend fences and get back together without disbanding.
Meaning: This phrase is used when intense pressure or force is exerted on someone. Sometimes people also use violence and threat to put pressure.
Example: The group of delinquents tightened matt’s screws until he paid the money he was supposed to pay.
Meaning: To finally decide after discussing it for a long time or arguing about it.
Example: The merging companies finally hammered out a deal regarding the new employee structure.
Meaning: Something that happens suddenly and astonishingly.
Example: Even though it was my best friend’s marriage, the news felt like a bolt from the blue.
Meaning: To begin something new, either a project or something else, or take the first step towards achieving the desired goal.
Example: The constructing company broke ground as they started their new project.
Meaning: When one does something that makes it impossible for them to go back to where they were and forces them to continue down a particular path.
Example: The coach advised Frank not to burn his bridges since it would harm no one except himself.
Meaning: Used to refer to payment that is made instantly without any delay.
Example: My father always pays cash on the nail while we shop for groceries.
Meaning: When one has an excessive amount of energy but has no way to utilize it, they end up feeling annoyed and frustrated.
Example: After the summer vacation started, Joanne kept climbing the wall as she could not go out due to her injury.
Meaning: This phrase is usually used to publicly announce one’s sexual preference though other beliefs or hidden things can also be announced.
Example: Oscar finally decided to come out of the closet and tell everyone that he is gay.
Meaning: This is used when someone becomes extremely angry.
Example: After seeing the terrible and poor dance practice, Joshua hit the ceiling since he was responsible for the dance department.