I’ve grouped here some useful English idioms that we can use in marketing, business and in general on our current life
I’ve added with each idiom a brief explanation and example.
1. A Lemon :
A lemon means a car that has many things wrong with it, so it was a bad purchase.
My friend has an old lemon, so she wants to trade it in and get a newer car.
2. One in a Blue Moon :
One in a blue moon means very infrequently or rarely
I used to go out eating with my friends quite a lot, but now I only do it once in a blue moon.
3. Are You Kidding Me :
A phrase that people say to express either frustration or excitement.
Are you kidding me? I have to work all day on a Sunday.
4. Add Insult to Injury :
To worsen a loss with mockery or teasing, or to take a bad situation worse.
Samir lost her job, and to add insult to injury, he found out that her car was broken.
5. Break the Ice :
To do or say something to relieve tension or get a conversation going at the start of a party or when people meet the first time.
My dad always liked to tell a funny story to break the ice when he would meet a new client for the first time.
6. By The Book :
By the book means strictly following the rules and not relaxing any of them.
Mustapha runs her class by the book, so if you do anything wrong you’ll be punished.
7. Down The Toilet :
When something goes down the toilet means it is ruined, spoiled, or wasted.
After it was learned that he took drugs, his whole career went down the toilet.
8. By The skin of your teeth:
By the skin of your teeth means just barely or almost didn’t succeed.
Fatima only got a 51 on the final test, so she passed the class by the skin of her teeth.
9. Around the Clock:
This idiom means all day and all night without stopping.
The police have been watching that person’s house around the clock to try to catch him breaking the law.
10. Cost an arm and a leg:
If something costs an arm and a leg, that means it is very expensive.
I would love to go to Malaysia for a winter vacation this year, but flights cost an arm and a leg.
11. Get a leg up on:
This idiom means to have an advantage over someone or to be ahead of someone.
Karim got a leg up on his competitor by getting up at 5:00 am each day and training for an extra two hours.
12. Couch Potato:
A lazy person who just sits on the couch and watches TV all the time.
My friend used to be in great shape because he worked out so much, but now he is a total couch potato.
13. Piece of Cake:
A Piece of cake is something that is very easy or effortless to do.
Yasmine got an A+ on today’s math test. She said it was a piece of cake for her.
14. Game On:
To signal the start of something that can be competitive and that someone wants to win.
Ibrahim said he thinks can finish in 2 minutes a cake. Well, game on.
15. Tied Up:
To say that you are too busy at that moment to be able to do something else.
I can’t call Fayçal back right now because I’m tied up at the moment.
16. Give someone the cold shoulder:
It means to ignore someone or treat someone in an unfriendly way on purpose.
I forgot my friend’s marriage, so he is giving me the cold shoulder this week.
17. Give someone the boot:
This idiom means to fire someone from their job or to break up with them.
My assistant was late three times this week, so I have to give him the boot.
18. Hit the Books:
Hit the books means to study really hard.
If you want to get an A+ in this class, you will have to hit the books every night.
19. Hold your Horses:
It means wait a minute, wait a while, or stop.
Sofiane wanted to leave, but Imane wasn’t ready so she told him to hold his horses.
20. In The Bag:
This idiom means you know or you are really certain that you’re going to win it or get it.
The boss really loved my sales presentation, so I think my promotion is in the bag.
21. Take a Back Seat:
To take a back seat means to be of secondary or less importance to someone or something else.
We have to take our friend to the hospital right now, so your homework problem has to take a back seat.
22. Music To My Ears:
It means something that is very pleasant to hear or discover.
The teacher said that we didn’t have to pass in our homework until next week. That was music to my ears.
23. Face The Music:
This idiom means to confront or be confronted with the bad consequences of one’s actions.
You cheated on your best friend, so now it is time for you to face the music. He will likely break up with you.
24. Pass the Buck:
Pass the buck means to transfer or move responsibility to another person.
No one likes working with Reda because he loves to pass the buck when a difficult duty comes up.
To score means to get or acquire something that you have wanted to own.
I scored two tickets for tonight’s soccer game, so do you want to go with me?
26. Run The Numbers:
To run the numbers means to analyze or study economic or financial data for a company project, or idea.
We ran the numbers and we believe our sales will increase by 30% this year.
27. On The Clock:
It means at work and being paid, so time is costing money.
I can’t go get a cup of coffee with you right now because I’m on the clock.
28. Singing a different tune:
Someone has had to change their opinion on something.
My boss said my idea wouldn’t work, but now that the president likes it, he is singing a different tune.
29. Tune someone out:
This idiom means to ignore someone or something even though it might be making noise or trying to bother you.
Our neighbors often have noisy parties on Sunday nights, but I’m able to tune them out and enjoy my evening anyway.
30. Smells Fishy:
Something smells fishy if some situation or explanation causes you to think someone is lying.
The government says this tax break will help poor people, but i think something smells fishy.
31. Dressed to Kill:
It means wearing very fancy or glamorous clothes to make a great impression.
That player was dressed to kill when accepted her award for best player of the world.
32. Spill the Beans:
This idiom means to reveal or tell someone’s secrets or give away information that should be kept secret.
I found out about my surprise dinner tonight because Abdelkader spilled the beans earlier.
33. Take a Rain Check:
Take a rain check means to politely refuse an offer, but imply that it may be accepted in the future.
I can’t come over for dinner tonight since I have to work, but I’ll take a rain check.
34. That Hit The Spot:
This idiom means that some food or drink was great and exactly what the person wanted to have.
I was really cold this morning, so that cup of hot chocolate really hit the spot.
35. You Can Say That Again:
It means I agree with you and what you say completely.
Faycal : I would love to take a trip to hawaii in January to get away from this cold weather.
Said: You can say that again.
36. Things that go bump in the night:
Things that go bump in the night are unexplained and scary noises at night, that people may believe are caused by ghosts.
I really love to hear people tell ghost stories because I get a thrill from things that go bump in the night.
37. A night to remember:
It is any night when something very special happens and you want to remember it.
I met my best friend on the marriage of my brother last year and it was certainly a night to remember.
38. When the Chips Are Down:
When a very serious and difficult situation comes up.
Halim is often in a bad mood and not fun to be around, but when the chips are down he is a great helper.
39. Phoned It In:
It means being generally lazy with a task and not doing one’s best.
Moussa finished the report, but he got a bad mark on it because he just phoned it in.
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