Top 10 English idioms and their meanings


Every language has their own idioms that we don’t think about as they come to naturally to us. But if you take a step back and think about the idioms we use they can sound a little strange. Especially when you hear idioms in other languages and their meanings, they often don’t have much logic. Here is a list of 10 of the most common idioms in English and what they really mean.

  1. I wasn’t born yesterday

This is a saying people use to say they aren’t stupid. If a person is being assumed to be unaware of something they would say “I wasn’t born yesterday”.

  1. Beat around the bush

To ‘beat around the bush’ would be to talk around a subject and avoiding saying the real thing. To beat around the bush rather than just to beat the bush.

  1. Don’t give up your day job

This is a phrase used when someone is trying to do something but not doing such a great job and you would tell them not to give up their usual job for it.

  1. Kill two birds with one stone

To solve two problems with one action.

  1. Let the cat out of the bag

This means to say something that previously was concealed. Usually something that wasn’t supposed to be said.

  1. Wouldn’t be caught dead

To say “I wouldn’t be caught dead doing…” is something you would never to seen doing, maybe because it’s too embarrassing or something you wouldn’t want people to see.

  1. I know it like the back of my hand

This is supposed to mean to know something extremely well, whether it be a place or a person or something else.

  1. The foggiest idea

A foggy idea is one which is imprecise and unsure. Often people will say “I don’t have the foggiest idea” meaning they couldn’t even have a guess at and therefore not knowing at all.

  1. Fight fire with fire

This is a phrase referring to when someone tries to fix something with something that will make the problem worse.


10. Cross the line

This means you have done something too much and this is the final time, normally something bad.


What are the most common idioms in your language?
Check out our Facebook page and our Twitter feed for more articles and information.