Idioms based on buildings. Select an idiom for more details. Also try Building Idioms Quiz.

an ivory tower

You can say someone's in an ivory tower if they're in a place that separates them from everyday life, such as a university.

chickens come home to roost

If chickens are coming home to roost, someone is suffering the unpleasant consequences of their bad actions in the past.

hit the roof

You can say someone hits the roof if they lose their temper and show their anger.

hold the fort

If you hold the fort, you look after a place or a business while the person who is normally in charge is away.

make yourself at home

If you make yourself at home, you relax and feel comfortable in someone else's home.

nothing to write home about

If you say something is nothing to write home about, you mean it isn't very important or it isn't very good.

put your own house in order | get your own house in order

If you say to someone "put your own house in order", or "get your own house in order", you think they should solve their own problems before telling someone else how to solve theirs.


Something is run-of-the-mill if it is ordinary and nothing special.

the writing | handwriting is on the wall

If the writing is on the wall, or the handwriting is on the wall, there are signs that a person or organization is in trouble and might soon fail.

waiting in the wings

If you're waiting in the wings, you're ready to take over a role or a position when you have the chance to do so.
Also try Building Idioms Quiz.

Contributor: Matt Errey