Construction Idioms | List of Construction Idioms With Meaning and Examples

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

Meaning and Examples of some commonly used Construction Idioms

House of cards

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.

My way or the highway

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.”

Straddle the fence

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.

A bridge too far

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.

Bag of hammers

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.

Thick as a brick

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.

Water under the bridge

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.

Down the drain

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.

Bring the house down

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.

Get your foot in the door

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.

Behind closed doors

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.

Drive someone up the wall

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.

Window of opportunity

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.

Construction idiom

Rome wasn’t built in a day

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.

Hold down the fort

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.

Bury the hatchet

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.

Know the drill

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.

Lay the groundwork

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.

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones

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

Set in concrete

Meaning: Something that cannot be changed and is fixed.

Example: The marriage date is set in concrete.

Under the hammer

Meaning: Something that is put up and sold at an auction.

Example: The painting went under the hammer last Wednesday at

Like a house on fire

Meaning: Very excellent; Vigorous.

Example: The friendship between Dwight and Pam started like a house on fire.

Off the wall

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.

Hit the nail on the head

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.

Shit a brick

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.

Drop the hammer

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.

Get the ax

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.

Castles in the air

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?

Cross that bridge when you come to it

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.”

Strike while the iron is hot

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.

The nuts and bolts

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.

Tough as nails

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.

Pull wires

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.

An ax to grind

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.

Mend fences

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.

Tighten the screws

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.

Hammer out a deal

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.

A bolt from the blue

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.

Construction idiom 2

Break ground

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.

Burn your bridges

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.

Cash on the nail

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.

Climb the walls

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.

Come out of the closet

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.

Hit the ceiling

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.

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