Body Idioms

I'm all ears.

Here are some common idioms based on the human body. Each entry includes the meaning of the idiom and shows the idiom in context in an example sentence. At the end is a body idioms quiz to check your understanding.

idiom meaning example sentence
all ears fully listening Give me a minute to finish my work and then I'll be all ears to hear about your project.
break a leg good-luck Today's the big game, eh? Break a leg!
cold feet nervous just before a big event My sister didn't get cold feet until she put her wedding gown on.
cost an arm and a leg be very expensive These cakes are delicious, but they cost an arm and a leg.
cry your heart out cry very hard I cried my heart out when my best friend moved away.
face the music meet, stand up to unpleasant conseqences, for example criticism or punishment I stayed out all night. When I eventually got home I had to face the music from my wife.
(my) flesh and blood relative I have to hire Mia. She's my own flesh and blood.
get something off one's chest tell someone your problems Thanks for listening to me complain about my boss. I just needed to get this off my chest.
give a hand, lend a hand help (someone) do something I can give you a hand when you move if you like.
have one's head in the clouds be unaware or unrealistic about something Amy has her head in the clouds if she thinks she's going to pass her exams without studying.
head over heels deeply in love My brother is head over heels for his new girlfriend.
head start an earlier start The kids gave Anthony a head start in the bicycle race because he was the youngest.
in over one's head taking on a task that you can't handle I was in over my head when I agreed to babysit the triplets and the dogs.
keep an eye on take care of, watch in order to protect I'll keep an eye on the dinner while you're on the phone.
keep one's chin up try to be cheerful Keep your chin up. I'm sure you'll make some friends soon.
learn by heart, know by heart memorize I learned my multiplication tables by heart in the fourth grade.
let one's hair down relax, have fun Go to the cottage and let your hair down this weekend.
(my) lips are sealed promise to keep a secret Don't worry, I won't tell your mother how much you spent. My lips are sealed.
makes my blood boil makes me very angry It makes my blood boil when people don't tie up their dogs.
neck of the woods nearby location or region I heard that they might be opening a post office in our neck of the woods soon.
(an) old hand an experienced person My uncle's an old hand at car repair. He'll know what the problem is.
over my dead body not unless I'm dead and can't stop you My daughter wants a tatoo. I told her she'd get one over my dead body.
pat on the back recognition or a thank-you The party organizers deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.
play something by ear do something without a plan We don't know if the weather will be good enough for camping. We'll have to play it by ear.
pull one's leg joke or tease someone I was just pulling your leg. I'm not really a police officer.
rule of thumb basic rule (not always followed) The rule of thumb is that the students wear black pants and white shirts.
see eye to eye agree The couple don't see eye to eye on how to train their pets.
(by the) skin of one's teeth just barely I passed my exam by the skin of my teeth.
stick your neck out help someone a lot, with possible bad consequences for oneself I stuck my neck out for Bessie when she was thrown out of her house.
sweet tooth a love of sugar or sweet things I need three spoonfuls of sugar in my tea. I have a sweet tooth.
thick in the head not very intelligent I'm a bit thick in the head when it comes to reading a map.
wash one's hands of something stop dealing with an issue or problem I'm washing my hands of Mary's addiction. She is going to have to get some professional help.