Transport Idioms | List of Transport Idioms With Meaning and Examples

Transport Idioms: Transport or transportation is an essential commodity in our everyday life. The English language consists of various travel and transport idioms. These are road idioms that we encounter while in a conversation, reading or watching something.

To make things easier for you, this is an article we have created a transport idioms list that will help you increase your knowledge of English. They also have destination idioms which will further help you grasp some more things.

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

Name of Transport Idioms

List of Transport Idioms

Transport Idioms in English

Meaning and Examples of some commonly used Transport Idioms

(To have) itchy feet

Meaning: The desire to break away from one’s routine, usually by traveling.

Example: Claire gets itchy feet now and then and travels to a new country.

All hands on deck

Meaning: A summons to all members of a ship’s crew to the deck, generally during a crisis.

Example: All hands on deck. The ship is going to hit the storm soon.

Any port in a storm

Meaning: In times of crisis, any option, no matter how unappealing, is acceptable.

Example: I don’t like Meg, but I had to approach her for help because she was the only one who remained in the office when my computer crashed last night. I suppose any port in a storm.

Asleep at the wheel

Meaning: Failure to perform one’s responsibilities or duties

Example: Johnson was expected to ensure that someone completed the paperwork before the deadline, but it looks that he fell asleep at the wheel.

Backseat driver

Meaning: A passenger in a car (not always in the backseat) who tries to instruct or criticise the driver’s driving abilities.

Example: John rapidly grew tired of Mary’s habit of becoming a backseat driver every time he drove her somewhere, so he just let her go.

Bump in the road

Meaning: A difficulty that occurs and obstructs forward progress

Example: The project encountered a bump in the road when Tom abruptly quit, but I’m confident we’ll be fine—we just need to redistribute his assignment and keep going.

Burn one’s bridges

Meaning: To demolish a bridge or path in front of oneself so that others cannot follow.

Example: When the troops withdrew from the area, they made a point of burning their bridges behind them.

Carry coals to Newcastle

Meaning: To do anything extra, frivolous, or unneeded

Example: I thought a bottle of wine would be a great present, but when I saw their liquor cabinet, I knew I had carried coals to Newcastle.

Circle the wagons

Meaning: To only communicate with persons in a dedicated group.

Example: Callie’s new circle of friends has circled the wagons, so she hardly ever speaks to me anymore.

Criticise the paint job on the Titanic

Meaning: Obsessing over minor errors while overlooking major ones.

Example: Sally will occasionally lose sight of the more excellent picture and criticise the paint job on the Titanic.

Cross that bridge when one comes to it

Meaning: To address something only when it occurs or becomes a problem.

Example: I’m not anxious about the job interview because it’s only a week away—I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Fall off the wagon

Meaning: To resume any previously halted behaviour, usually one that is harmful in some way.

Example: I had quit smoking for about a year, but I fell off the wagon at Jeff’s bachelor celebration.

Fell off the back of a truck

Meaning: Buying something that one knows has been stolen.

Example: Pete once bought the lads a cheap bicycle that had fallen off the back of a truck.

Fly by the seat of one’s pants

Meaning: To act instinctively rather than according to a predetermined plan.

Example: I do not have any idea how to use this device; I’m just flying by the seat of my pants.

Fly highs

Meaning: To be delighted or cheerful.

Example: Molly has been flying high since passing her driver’s test.

Give the green light to

Meaning: To give permission or approval for something to happen or occur, or for someone to take action or complete a task.

Example: We’re only waiting for our management to give us the green light before releasing the latest software upgrade.

Go off the rails

Meaning: To fall into turmoil, malfunction, or disorder.

Example: Since the manager up and quit last month, our project has started to go off the rails.

Transport Idioms 1

Go the extra mile

Meaning: To go above and beyond what is required or anticipated to impress someone, achieve something, or do a task perfectly.

Example: I must state that our lawyer went go the extra mile to ensure that every component of our case was airtight.

Highways and byways

Meaning: Both primary and more minor, or less-travelled, highways are included.

Example: I’m spending the summer travelling around the Midwest, driving via highways and byways in search of interesting sites.

Hit the road

Meaning: To depart.

Example: We’d better hit the road before the traffic worsens.

In a rut

Meaning: Appearing to be trapped or stuck in a monotonous, unchanging pattern of life, employment, or personal behaviour.

Example: I had so many goals when I initially graduated from college, but now I am in a rut.

In someone’s wheelhouse

Meaning: In a person’s comfort zone.

Example: The political consequences of this topic, on the other hand, are clearly in the author’s wheelhouse.

In the driver’s seat

Meaning: in command or charge of things

Example: With the new CEO in the driver’s seat, the corporation has had its most lucrative quarter in years.

In the same boat

Meaning: Sharing a specific experience or event with another person.

Example: As tricky as living with a disability, remember that you are not alone—many other individuals are in the same boat as you.

It’s not Rocket Science

Meaning: It is not a quest, activity, or project that necessitates exceptional skill or intelligence.

Example: All you need to do is reformat your computer’s hard drive. It’s not rocket science!

Jump on the bandwagon

Meaning: To join something once it has achieved success or popularity.

Example: There will always be those eager to jump on the bandwagon and begin classes in whatever is trendy, even if they have little or no expertise.

Jump the track

Meaning: A train derailing from the track or deviate in unexpected directions

Example: The long-running drama has now deviated and jumped the track, so it would be ludicrous to attempt to explain it for the uninitiated.

Just around the corner

Meaning: Close to another area.

Example: The store isn’t far away; in fact, it’s right around the corner.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Meaning: A sign that something difficult or unpleasant is nearing its conclusion.

Example: I’ve been working on this book for almost a year, and now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Lower the boom

Meaning: To put a stop to something or bring it to an end.

Example: I utilised demerits to lower the boom of the silliness in my class.

Miss the boat

Meaning: To lose a chance or an opportunity to do something.

Example: You’ll miss the boat if you don’t return the recruiter’s call right away.

Off his trolley

Meaning: Wild or insane

Example: When he informed me about his plans to renovate the old, condemned house, I felt he was off his trolley.

On a wing and a prayer

Meaning: Without much planning

Example: I didn’t have time to edit my term paper, so I submitted it on a wing and a prayer.

On the fly

Meaning: Quickly and casually, with little thought or preparation.

Example: I ran into my supervisor in town, so I had to make up an excuse, on the fly, for not being at work on the spot.

On the home stretch

Meaning: In the final stages of an activity, project, competition, etc.

Example: You’ve finished ten examinations and have two more to go – you’re on the home stretch now.

On the right track

Meaning: Making progress in a direction that is likely to succeed.

Example: With this new environmental programme, I believe we are on the right track.

Transport Idioms 2

Puddle jumper

Meaning: A tiny aeroplane used for very short distance travel, such as flying over a small body of water.

Example: Are you sure that this puddle jumper is safe? It appears to be powered by triple-A batteries!

Put the cart before the horse

Meaning: To accomplish things in the wrong order.

Example: Starting the fundraising before we know how much money we need is like putting the cart before the horse.

Rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic

Meaning: To participate in or execute some task, activity, or course of action that will ultimately prove trivial.

Example: You’re looking for funding from the Arts Council? Why not rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic while you’re at it?

Rock the boat

Meaning: To do or say something that could jeopardise a stable arrangement or disturb the status quo.

Example: My family members aren’t arguing right now, so don’t rock the boat by bringing up politics or other contentious issues.

Run a tight ship

Meaning: To keep a location, group, or organisation well-organised and running smoothly.

Example: Jane sure kept everything running in a tight ship. Without her guidance, the department has degraded into anarchy.

Run-on fumes

Meaning: To be exceedingly ineffective, insignificant, or unsuccessful.

Example: The picture is visually attractive due to its high production value, but no amount of artistic beauty can save a film whose paper-thin plot runs on fumes from start to finish.

Send flying

Meaning: Throwing or flinging someone through the air and onto the ground

Example: The intoxicated motorist slammed into the guy in the crosswalk, sending him flying.

Shift gears

Meaning: To abruptly change what one is doing or talking about.

Example: About halfway through the plot, the book shifts gears and begins a narrative from the antagonist’s point of view.

Spin one’s wheels

Meaning: carelessly or frivolously wasting one’s time or energy

Example: They kept me on to oversee what was left of this division, but to be honest, I’ve been spinning my wheels here for the last few years.

Take the high road

Meaning: To select the noblest, ethical, or diplomatic path of action or manner

Example: Strive always to take the high road while interacting with people, especially if they have previously mistreated you. Those who can learn to turn the other cheek are rewarded in life.

Take the wind out of someone’s sails

Meaning: to diminish one’s zeal, joy, or optimistic perspective

Example: It took the wind out of his sails when he discovered that he would forfeit over half of his bonus to taxes.

That ship has sailed

Meaning: Some alternative or possibility is no longer available or likely.

Example: If you were hoping to ask Mollie out, your ship has sailed; she’ll be at the dance with Peter.

That train has left the station

Meaning: Some choice, option, or opportunity is no longer available or feasible.

Example: I assumed I’d still be qualified for their internship programme, but it appears that the train has already left the station.

The fifth wheel

Meaning: Someone who serves no real purpose or place in a circumstance.

Example: I didn’t understand that the party was restricted for couples, so when I arrived alone, I felt like a fifth wheel.

Third rail

Meaning: An problem or topic that is so divisive that it would immediately harm or destroy a politician’s political career or credibility.

Example: For the previous two decades or so, any discussion about dismantling or altering the current healthcare unit has been a political third rail.

Thirty-thousand-foot view

Meaning: A reference to the view of the landscape from an aeroplane.

Example: You are going to enjoy the thirty-thousand-foot view from the window seat.

Throw someone under the bus

Meaning: To cause harm to another person to obtain an advantage for yourself

Example: I’m not going to throw my friend under the bus for something he did 25 years ago.

To drive a hard bargain

Meaning: To be an effective and relentless negotiator or dealmaker.

Example: Sal is notorious for driving a hard bargain, so I doubt you’ll be able to get the car that you want at the price you desire.

Train wreck

Meaning: Failure, tragedy, or catastrophe that is severe or total.

Example: This project has devolved into a train wreck. We’ve already spent so much time and money that I’m not sure how we’ll make up the difference.

Turn the corner

Meaning: After an especially difficult or stressful period, to begin to achieve success or improvement.

Example: I know rehab has been complex for you, but I think you’ve finally turned the corner.

Walk the plank

Meaning: To be compelled to accept the implications of a decision.

Example: Once the identity of the person who is embezzling money from the company is revealed, they will have to walk the plank.

Your mileage may vary

Meaning: The level to which you like, appreciate, benefit from, etc., something will vary according to your unique preferences or needs.

Example: It’s not a mind-blowing or significant picture, but I appreciated it for its spectacle and wit. However, your mileage may vary.

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