Furniture and Household Idioms: Idioms are a collection of words that have been established through usage as having a meaning distinct from the meanings of the individual terms. There are various idioms related to home, furniture and household items.
We all know how significant idioms are, and hence we will be discovering some additional examples of common household sayings today.
Enrich your Vocabulary by practicing the English Idioms that are commonly used in everyday conversations and understand their actual meaning.
Idioms with objects are used in both American and British English as a form of expression. These expressions may or may not have to do anything with the furniture and household items, but the idioms easily represent these insights.
In this article on idioms in English, we have highlighted a handful of such idioms related to furniture and household items, or we can call them décor idioms, along with the meaning and example of each idiom that will help improve our idioms vocabulary and communication skills.
Names of Furniture and Household Items Idioms
List of Furniture and Household Items Idioms
- Armchair critic
- Armchair traveller
- Wet blanket
- You can’t put new wine into old bottles
- Bucket list
- Kick the bucket
- Not the brightest bulb in the box
- (Have a) light bulb moment
- See (something) in a new light
- Burn the candle at both ends
- Can’t hold a candle to somebody
- Roll out the red carpet
- Glass ceiling
- Clock in / out
- Couch potato
- Opens doors
- Darken somebody’s door
- The door swings both ways
- (as) dead as a doornail
- Out of the frying pan, into the fire
- Fly off the handle
- Bring the house down
- Eat you out of house and home
- Get on like a house on fire
- Not give house room
- On the house
- Put one’s house in order
- Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
- Under the knife
- Mug’s game
- A lot on your plate
- (Want someone’s) head on a platter
- A different kettle of fish
- The pot calling the kettle black
- Hit the roof / go through the roof
- Raise the roof
- Sweep (something) under the rug
- (Have a) brain / memory like a sieve
- (like) pouring water into a sieve
- Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth
- Greasy spoon
- Put / lay your cards on the table
- A storm in a teacup
- Tempest in a Teapot
- As useful as a chocolate teapot
- Not the sharpest tool in the shed
- A window on the world
- Window shopping
- Go out the window
- Turn the tables
- Under the table
- (No) strings attached
- (Searching for) A needle in a haystack
- (With a) fine-toothed comb
- Basket case
- Go to the mattresses
- Wake up on the wrong side of the bed
- In the toilet
Meaning and Examples of some commonly used Furniture and Household Items Idioms
Meaning: A person who gives advice based on theory rather than practice.
Example: The manager is such an armchair critic – no experience but plenty of advice.
Meaning: Someone who has knowledge about other places and countries by reading books or watching TV programmes, but doesn’t actually travel anywhere.
Example: If you want to go trekking, the opinions of armchair travellers should not stop you.
Meaning: Someone who dampens a festive occasion or spoils other people’s fun.
Example: Anish, don’t be such a wet blanket. You’re spoiling the party!
You can’t put new wine into old bottles
Meaning: You should not try to combine new concepts or innovations with an old or long-established system or organization.
Example: You will never get Photoshop to work on your father’s old computer – you can’t put new wine into old bottles.
Meaning: List of things a person would like to do or achieve before a certain age or before dying.
Example: I have never experienced sky diving, but it is on my bucket list.
Kick the bucket
Meaning: Talking about death in a light hearted way.
Example: He will inherit the property when his grandfather kicks the bucket!
Not the brightest bulb in the box
Meaning: Someone who is not very intelligent or is slow to perceive or understand things.
Example: Jack did the presentation wrong even after several instructions. He is undoubtedly not the brightest bulb in the box.
(Have a) light bulb moment
Meaning: When one has a sudden moment of inspiration, comprehension or realization.
Example: Harry had a light-bulb moment when he finally understood why the door got jammed.
See (something) in a new light
Meaning: To see something in a way that makes one change the opinion they had before.
Example: After listening to that speech by my professor, I began to see things in a new light.
Burn the candle at both ends
Meaning: When you exhaust yourself by doing too much work, especially both early in the morning and late at night.
Example: You will definitely fall ill if you keep on burning the candle at both ends.
Can’t hold a candle to somebody
Meaning: Not being able to measure up to someone or not being equal to them.
Example: Jenny is very intelligent, but she can’t hold a candle to her sister Mary when it comes to singing.
Roll out the red carpet
Meaning: To give special treatment to an important or honoured visitor.
Example: The management is going to roll out the red carpet for the visit of the President and CEO of the company.
Meaning: It is a discriminatory barrier perceived by women and minorities that stops them from rising to positions of power and responsibility.
Example: Sophia knew she would never break the glass ceiling and rise to a senior administrative position.
Clock in / out
Meaning: To record the time of arrival or departure from a job by marking a time clock to show the number of hours one has worked.
Example: I need to attend my cousin’s birthday party; I will clock out early today.
Meaning: Someone who is lazy or spends a lot of time sitting and watching television.
Example: People of your age should not become a couch potato and instead engage in some physical and fun activities.
Meaning: To provide opportunities or possibilities for the future.
Example: Good grades and participation in extracurriculars generally opens doors to top universities.
Darken somebody’s door
Meaning: Someone who is an unwanted or unwelcomed visitor.
Example: Our neighbours made sure that we never darken their door again.
The door swings both ways
Meaning: To express that the same principle or argument applies to both sides of a situation.
Example: The door swings both ways, and you should not blame others and make an effort yourself to make new friends.
(as) dead as a doornail
Meaning: An expression used to stress that a person or thing is very definitely dead.
Example: I poked the cockroach to check, but it was as dead as a doornail.
Out of the frying pan, into the fire
Meaning: To go from one difficult situation to another one which is usually even worse.
Example: I changed my job due to odd working hours, and now I have to work even harder in my new job – I’m out of the frying pan into the fire.
Fly off the handle
Meaning: To suddenly become very angry.
Example: My mother flew off the handle when I told her I broke her favourite vase.
Bring the house down
Meaning: To make an audience or group of people applaud or react enthusiastically.
Example: If she performs like this on the show, she’ll bring the house down.
Eat you out of house and home
Meaning: A humorous way of saying that someone is eating large quantities of your food.
Example: I stock up with food because of my roommate. He would eat you out of house and home!
Get on like a house on fire
Meaning: Two people who have similar interests and quickly become good friends.
Example: Emma and Isabella met at a party, and they got on like a house on fire.
Not give house room
Meaning: To not accept someone or something into your life or home because you dislike or disapprove of them.
Example: I will not give house room to people with such negativity.
On the house
Meaning: Something that is offered free of cost, generally a drink or meal in a bar or restaurant.
Example: A few days back, I visited a restaurant, and it was their opening day, so the meal was on the house.
Put one’s house in order
Meaning: To say that before giving advice to others, one should organize their own affairs or solve their own problems.
Example: You should put your house in order before passing judgements on others.
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer
Meaning: Someone who is not very intelligent.
Example: Everybody thought John would not be able to pass his exams as he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Under the knife
Meaning: Someone who undergoes surgery.
Example: I’m not scared of the surgery; I’ve been under the knife quite a few times.
Meaning: An unprofitable or ill-advised activity that only a fool or a mug would do.
Example: Spending hours making homemade cookies for a few customers is a mug’s game.
A lot on your plate
Meaning: Extremely busy or have several problems to handle at the same time.
Example: It’s not a good time to discuss the financial issues with Dany. Currently, he has got a lot on his plate.
(Want someone’s) head on a platter
Meaning: Someone makes you so angry that you want them to be punished severely.
Example: She was so angry when she saw the scratches on her car; she wanted the culprit’s head on a platter.
A different kettle of fish
Meaning: To describe a person, thing or situation as completely different from what has just been mentioned or another matter entirely.
Example: You may have good marketing skills, but actually selling the products to customers is a different kettle of fish.
The pot calling the kettle black
Meaning: Accusing someone else of something of which you are also guilty or being hypocritical.
Example: You are telling me I started the argument? That’s the pot calling the kettle black.
Hit the roof / go through the roof
Meaning: Someone getting very angry.
Example: My father went through the roof when his son broke his new golf club.
Raise the roof
Meaning: To make a lot of noise by cheering, shouting, whistling or clapping hands.
Example: The fans raised the roof when their team won the cup after so many seasons.
Sweep (something) under the rug
Meaning: Try to hide something because it is embarrassing.
Example: You need to stop sweeping your problems under the rug and face them instead.
(Have a) brain / memory like a sieve
Meaning: Someone with a very bad memory and forgets things easily.
Example: I completely forgot about the deadline – I’ve got a memory like a sieve these days!
(like) pouring water into a sieve
Meaning: Someone who spends time or energy trying to do something that is inefficient or useless.
Example: His mother used to say that teaching him good behaviour and manners was like pouring water into a sieve.
Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth
Meaning: Someone who is born into a very rich or wealthy family.
Example: William never had to worry about his expenses; he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Meaning: An inexpensive restaurant that serves fried food.
Example: The restaurant is just a greasy spoon, but it has great desserts.
Put / lay your cards on the table
Meaning: To speak honestly and openly about one’s own feelings and intentions.
Example: You should put your cards on the table when you are meeting your therapist.
A storm in a teacup
Meaning: An outrage that dies down quickly about something unimportant or making a lot of unnecessary fuss, or getting excited about something unimportant.
Example: They were arguing about what curtains to buy, but it was just a storm in a teacup.
Tempest in a Teapot
Meaning: A commotion about something unimportant or unnecessary.
Example: There was a big argument in the room over what should be the décor of the place, but it was a tempest in a teapot.
As useful as a chocolate teapot
Meaning: Something which is useless or of no practical use at all.
Example: It is hot in our city throughout the year, and my sweaters are as useful as a chocolate teapot.
Not the sharpest tool in the shed
Meaning: Someone who is not very clever or intelligent.
Example: John is not the sharpest tool in the shed, and we could clearly see it in today’s presentation.
A window on the world
Meaning: When something allows you to observe and learn about the people and cultures of other countries.
Example: In earlier times, books were the only window on the world.
Meaning: The activity of looking at things in shop windows without actually buying anything.
Example: I did not receive my salary yet, so I can only go window shopping.
Go out the window
Meaning: If a quality, principle or opportunity is forgotten, disregarded, lost or is abandoned.
Example: When the market closed down, all hopes of finding a job went out the window.
Turn the tables
Meaning: Reverse a situation.
Example: The opponent turned the tables on our school team, coming back from a five-goal deficit to win.
Under the table
Meaning: Without being officially recorded.
Example: Legally, I’m not supposed to pass you this information, but I’m doing this for you under the table.
(No) strings attached
Meaning: Without additional obligations or without any conditions.
Example: I’ll hand over the cash to you. If you can, repay me, but don’t worry about it; there are no strings attached.
(Searching for) A needle in a haystack
Meaning: Trying to find something in a mixture of other similar items.
Example: There must be hundreds of packages like this. We will have to search for a needle in a haystack.
(With a) fine-toothed comb
Meaning: Very closely inspected, scrutinized or examined.
Example: I’d like to thank my teacher for going over my essay with a fine-toothed comb. She really made it better.
Meaning: So much upset or stunned that one is unable to function or someone in a hopeless condition.
Example: After her mother passed away, she was a basket case. But she’s finally getting back to normal.
Go to the mattresses
Meaning: To go into a battle.
Example: The manager supports the protests of the employees, but he’s not willing to go to the mattresses for it.
Wake up on the wrong side of the bed
Meaning: To be grumpy, ill-humoured or in a bad mood.
Example: You must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed today; you looked stressed throughout the day.
In the toilet
Meaning: In a disastrous or miserable condition.
Example: Throughout the year, sales have been in the toilet. What can we do to encourage the consumers to purchase our goods?