Five Funniest English Idioms and their Meanings

 In Fun facts, Idioms

Today we’re looking at the five funniest English idioms, their meanings and how to use them.

For intermediate learners (and above) who want to reach advanced levels of fluency, idioms are very important. Native English speakers use them all the time, and will use them without even thinking about how strange it might sound to a non-native!

The key for ESL learners is to not over think the vocabulary being used. The meaning is all in the sentence and conversation. I’ve had students in the past trying to analyse each word and getting very confused. Unfortunately, it is impossible to understand the meaning of an idiom if you think only about the vocabulary. Accept them for what they are – strange, funny phrases that do not make sense unless used in a sentence. If you think of an idiom as you do when seeing a new word for the first time, you will be just fine.Cool as a cucumber

So here they are, the five funniest English idioms I could think of and their meanings:

1. As Cool As a Cucumber:

We use this to describe when someone is very calm and relaxed, especially during a difficult situation.

Example: “Even though they had been fighting, he looked as cool as a cucumber.

2. Hold Your Horses:

This is used in an informal situation to tell someone to wait a moment.

Example: John: “We have to go Dave, you’re going to be late.”

Dave: “Hold your horses John! I haven’t definitely decided if I’m going yet.”

3. Blue in the Face:

This is used in a situation where you say or shout something  to/at someone with no chance of anything happening.

Example: “You can tell him to wash the dishes until you are blue in the face, but he will never do it.”

Blue in the face

4. Storm in a Teacup:

a lot of unnecessary anger and worry about a matter that is not important.

Example: “My brother and sister had a big argument about the television yesterday, but it was just a storm in a teacup.”

5. Bob’s Your Uncle:

Maybe my favourite idiom! We use this after explaining how to do something, especially to emphasise how simple it is.

Example: “Add two spoons of flour to the water and Bob’s your Uncle, it’s finished!”

Actually, I’ve just thought of one more – here’s a bonus number six!

6. As happy as Larry:

Who’s Larry? I have no idea! (I’m currently writing another blog on the history behind strange idioms – check back soon!) This is an idiom meaning ‘very happy’.

Example: “I gave my wife some flowers on our anniversary – she was as happy as Larry!”


I hope you enjoyed todays blog, and as always, if you have any questions about anything please comment below and I’ll get straight back to you.


***Want to learn more idioms…why not try a free Trial Lesson with Michael? It’s easy, just complete the form below***

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