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Edustation's blog > Funny English Idioms

Funny English Idioms

Added by Tomasz H. 20 January 2014 in category: English, General tips

You probably know that idioms are weird and often have nothing to do with their literal meaning. An idiom is a combination of words that has a figurative meaning owing to its common usage. There're also some funny idioms. Let's learn the meaning and how to use them!

The lights are on but nobody's home

Something that you say when you think someone is stupid.

Example: He really has no clue - the lights are on but nobody’s home!

Off the back of a lorry

If you say that you got something off the back of a lorry, you mean that it was probably stolen.

Example: I don’t know where you get this credit card. I suspect off the back of a lorry.

To have Van Gogh's ear for music

To be tone deaf.

Example: John really shouldn’t play the guitar - he has Van Gogh’s ear for music.

To pig out

To eat very fast.

Example: After a football match I pigged out the dinner.

Do a Devon Loch

If someone does a Devon Loch, they fail when they were very close to winning. Devon Loch was a horse that collapsed just short of the winning line of the Grand National race.

Example: It was shocking how Chelsea did a Devon Loch in the last minutes of the match against Arsenal.


Bob's your uncle

"Everything is all right" and the simple means of obtaining the successful result is explained.

Example: Go straight on until you reach the main road, turn left, and Bob’s your uncle - that's the main square!

Donkey's years

For a very long time

Example: I've been doing this job for donkey's years.

Pardon my French

Excuse my use of swear words or taboo words.

Example: What she needs is a kick in the ass, if you'll excuse my French.

To put a sock in it

To tell someone noisy to be quiet.

Example: Tom was yelling while I was studying so I told him to put a sock in it.

When pigs fly

Something that will never happen.

Example: Yea, right! You will get Natalie Portman to ask you on a date when pigs fly!

Cat got your tongue

You are unable to speak.

Example: How are you? How's your wife? Your silence is oddly suspicious. What's the matter, has the cat got your tongue?

More holes than a Swiss cheese

If something has more holes than a Swiss cheese, it has a lot of problems; there are many things wrong with it.

Example: You can do this better. Your paintings have more holes than a Swiss cheese.

The world is your oyster

If the world is your oyster, you have the ability and the freedom to do anything or go anywhere.

Example: You're young and healthy you can go anywhere - the world is your oyster!

The worm has turned

Something that you say when someone who has always been weak and obedient starts to behave more confidently or take control of a situation.

Example: He isn't listening to you anymore. The worm has turned.

Have ants in your pants

To not be able to keep still because you are very excited or worried about something

Example: He's got ants in her pants because he's going to Paris tomorrow.

Top banana

The head person, leader, boss.

Example: Mr. Cooper is the top banana in our company.

What English Idioms would be on your "Funny English Idioms" list? Add your own favorites in the comments!

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