Idioms are a fun element of the English language and idioms that have a body part reference can paint an interesting picture in your mind. Common idioms using body parts are a witty way to get your point across, although some of them, such as "break a leg" seem downright cruel at first glance.
There are many idioms in the English language that refer to body parts. Some of the most common are:
- Break a leg: Means to wish someone good luck (especially used among actors). We told her to break a leg before she went out on stage for her first performance.
- Cry your heart out: Means to cry very hard about something or someone. I cried my heart out when he broke up with me.
- My lips are sealed: Means that you are keeping a secret. When she confided in me that she was switching jobs and no one knows, I told her my lips are sealed.
- Pat on the back: Means a gesture done to recognize or thank someone. I gave him a pat on the back for all his hard work.
- Pull one's leg: Means to joke or tease someone. I was just pulling your leg, I am not giving away your new bike!
- Sweet tooth: Means to crave something sugary or sweet. I bought tons of candy because I have such a sweet tooth today.
- See eye to eye: Means to agree on something. His dad and him never saw eye to eye on any matters relating to politics.
- Look down your nose: Means to act like you are better than someone else. She is so arrogant and looks down her nose at everyone she meets.
- Foot in mouth: Means to say or do something that offends someone else. He put his foot in his mouth when he called her the wrong name for the second time that day.
- Cost an arm and a leg: Means that something is very expensive. The tires on my car cost me an arm and a leg to get replaced.
- Give the cold shoulder: Means to ignore someone. I could tell she was giving me the cold shoulder since she didn't even say hello at the party.
- Get off my back: Means to tell someone to stop criticizing or telling you what to do. She told him to get off her back and stop lecturing her on what she wanted to do with her life.
- Play it by ear: Means to do something without preparing for it. We had no plans for the evening so we were just going to play it by ear and see where we ended up.
- Cold feet: Means to have second thoughts about something. The groom got cold feet and didn't show up for his wedding.
- A sight for sore eyes: Means you are happy to see someone. I haven't seen my cousin for years and she was a sight for sore eyes when we finally reunited over the summer.
- Off the top of my head: Means to spontaneously say something. Off the top of my head, I would say the answer was one hundred.
- Keep your chin up: Means to be hopeful or happy. I told her to keep her chin up and try out for the team again next year.
- Bite your tongue: Means to force yourself not say something. I had to bite my tongue when she was claiming credit for the team's hard work.
- Drag your feet: Means to do something slowly or reluctantly. He was dragging his feet over ending the relationship, as he didn't want to hurt her.
- Cross your fingers: Means to hope for a positive result or outcome. I was crossing my fingers that his test results were fine.
You can use idioms containing body parts to express your thoughts in a fun and non-direct way. Idioms are commonly used in conversation to grab the attention of those around you and to relate your thoughts in a figurative manner.