10 GREAT ENGLISH BODY IDIOMS AND METAPHORS


English Body Idioms and Metaphors

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English body idioms and metaphors are often used to describe personality and ability. They are also extremely common across all varieties of the English language.

Are you a hot head or do you keep a cool head even under pressure? Do you have a heart of gold or a golden tongue? Do you have the guts to keep challenging yourself, or do you often get cold feet?

So don’t be a knucklehead, improve your English with these idioms and metaphors of the body!

Below, we will see many English weather idioms and metaphors with examples, and questions  to answer. Challenge your English language ability!

 

1. English body idioms and metaphors – A big head

 

to have a big head                          to be arrogant, to be conceitedEnglish body idioms and metaphors - A big head: arrogant, conceited

get a big head                                   to become arrogant, to become conceited


In English body idioms and metaphors, to have a big head means to be in love with yourself, to be overconfident in a negative way. On the other hand, to get a big head means to become overconfident because something happened that made you feel that way.

 

Example 1:

“Colin has had a big head ever since he got promoted: we’ve worked together for 15 years but now he talks to me like I don’t know anything.”

 

Example 2:

It is easy to get a big head when you’re rich and famous. Everyone will constantly tell you how great you are.

 

Example 3:

Jack has such a big head now that he has pilot’s license.

 

Questions:

 

Do you know anyone who has a big head?

Do you ever act big headed, arrogant or narcissistic?

Is it easy to work with someone who has a big head?

 

2.English body idioms and metaphors – Big mouth

 

a big mouth                       a person who gossips, a person who tells secrets

a person who talks about things they shouldn’t talk aboutEnglish body idioms and metaphors - A big mouth: loud, gossipy

a person who talks loudly

 

In English body idioms and metaphors, to have a big mouth means to be someone who boasts, or gossips. It can also mean someone who is noisy and loud.

 

Example 1:

“Diane has such a big mouth. I told her I was looking for a new job, and she told everyone in the office!”

 

Example 2:

“Never tell anything private to James. He has such a big mouth everyone will know by the next day.”

 

Example 3:

A big mouth at work can get you in trouble: always be careful that you speak appropriately.

 

Questions:

 

Do you know anyone who has a big mouth and loves to gossip?

Have you ever told someone a secret, but they had a big mouth and told everyone your secret?

Are you good at keeping other people’s secrets, or do you have a big mouth?

 

3. English body idioms and metaphors – Cold feet

 

to get cold feet                                  to become nervous before an event and cancelling itEnglish body idioms and metaphors - Cold feet: nervous, scared into giving up

                                                            to become too scared to complete a plan

 

In English body idioms and metaphors, to get cold feet means to become so nervous before an event that you cancel it, or at least want to cancel it. It is often used to talk about someone getting nervous before a wedding.

 

Example 1:

“They cancelled the wedding the day before it was meant to happen! The bride suddenly got cold feet and ran away to her parent’s house.”

 

Example 2:

Scott quit his job and sold his house to begin his new life in Dubai, but then he suddenly got cold feet. The next day he was begging his boss to let him have his old job back.

 

Example 3:

“Come on, don’t get cold feet now! We’ve already paid for this skydiving trip, so let’s do it!”

 

Questions:

 

Have you ever got cold feet before you were meant to do something? Did you manage to overcome the fear, or did you give up?

Why do you think it is quite common to get cold feet before a wedding?

Aside from weddings, what else do you think it is common to get cold feet before?

 

4. English body idioms and metaphors – Golden tongueTo have a golden tongue: to be eloquent and convincing

 

to have a golden tongue:  to be eloquent, to be able to speak convincingly

golden-tongued: eloquent, persuasive

 

In English body idioms and metaphors, to have a golden tongue means to be a convincing speaker. A golden-tongued person can convince others of anything. We use this phrase to describe someone who is able to convince others to do something even when it is harmful for them.

This statement can often have a negative nuance, though not always.

 

Example 1:

“Paul is always getting out of trouble because he’s good at making excuses. He’s got a golden tongue.”

 

Example 2:

Barrack Obama, whose golden tongue charmed America during his campaign, found it difficult to capitalise on his Administration’s popularity.

 

Example 3:

“This man is a well-known con-artist, a man with a golden tongue who convinced over a hundred vulnerable old people to give him their life savings.”

 

Questions:

 

Have you ever been convinced to do something you didn’t want to do by a person with a golden tongue? What happened?

Are there any stories currently in the news about people who have been tricked by someone with a golden tongue?

 

 

5. English body idioms and metaphors – Heart of goldEnglish body idioms and metaphors - Heart of gold: kind and loving

 

to have a heart of gold: to be generous, to be kind

 

In English body idioms and metaphors, to have a heart of gold means to be a kind, loving person. If someone has a heart of gold, they are a lovely person who can be trusted to do the right thing for others. We use this phrase to emphasize that someone is a good person..

 

Example 1:

“Jemma is one of life’s treasures. She has a heart of gold and an amazing way of working with people to bring out the best in you.”

 

Example 2:

“People considered him as a simple, good man with a heart of gold and true friendly feelings for everyone that he met and could help. He was an amazing person.”

 

Questions:

 

Who do you know that has a heart of gold? What makes you think this?

Would others say you have a heart of gold? Why or why not?

Do you know anyone who seems gruff and uncaring, but actually has a heart of gold?

 

 

6. English body idioms and metaphors – Pulling someone’s legEnglish body idioms and metaphors - pulling someone's leg: to play a joke on someone

 

to pull <someone’s> leg: to try to convince someone of something not true as a joke, to tease or lie jokingly.

 

In English body idioms and metaphors, to pull someone’s leg means to trick them in a funny way. It means to play a prank on them, or to play a joke on them. However, when we “pull someone’s leg,” we are not being mean or malicious. The term does not usually have a negative nuance.

 

Example 1:

“What is the marking scheme for this course? I’m sorry, if you’re asking genuinely and not just pulling my leg, then I would suggest you research the exam process much more thoroughly before enrolling in the course.”

 

Example 2:

“I told my sister her pet snake had died, but I was only pulling her leg. Problem is, she got really upset and started to cry. Should not have done that – I felt really bad afterwards!”

 

Example 3:

“I thought my father was probably joking because he was always pulling my leg and telling me funny stories, but he was serious.  The car really was gone.”

 

Questions:

 

When was the last time someone was pulling your leg but you believed what they said?

What has happened in the past five years that, if you could go back five years and tell everyone, they would think you were pulling their leg?

 

 

7. English body idioms and metaphors – Two left feetTo have two left feet: to be uncoordinated, clumsy

 

to have two left feet: to be uncoordinated, to be clumsy, to be unable to dance or play sports

 

In English body idioms and metaphors, to have two left feet means to be bad at athletic activities, and activities that require coordination. It means to be bad at dancing, and to be bad at sports like football.

 

Example 1:

“I had two left feet on the football pitch today. The ball went everywhere except where I wanted it to go!”

 

Example 2:

A simple dancing style anyone can learn! So even if you have two left feet, come and join us.

 

Example 3:

The gender stereotype that men tend to have two left feet more often than not, yet women can hit the dance floor with natural grace.

 

Questions:

 

Are you a natural dancer, or do you feel like you have two left feet?

Do you know anyone with two left feet but that loves to dance anyway?

Do you believe people can really have two left feet, or can everyone learn to dance and play sports if they practice enough?

 

 

8. English body idioms and metaphors – Red handed

 

to catch red handed: to catch someone in the process of committing a crime, to catch someone doing something wrong

 to be caught red handed: to be caught while doing something wrong

 

In English body idioms and metaphors, to be caught red handed means to “be caught in the act,” to be caught while in the middle of doing something bad. It is usually criminals or children who are caught red-handed!

 

Example 1:

“I caught my husband and his secret lover red handed. It was devastating, but I’m going to try to get everything in the divorce.”

 

Example 2:

The mother expected to catch her kids red handed eating the cookies, but when she got closer to the sound, she saw her dog happily eating them down!

 

Questions:

 

Have you ever been caught red handed doing something wrong? Did you get in trouble?

 

When was the last time you caught someone red handed doing something wrong?

 

9. English body idioms and metaphors – Cool HeadTo have a cool head: to be calm and composed

 

to keep a cool head: to remain calm in a difficult situation, to control your emotions when frustrated or scared

 

In English body idioms and metaphors, to keep a cool head means to stay calm and in control when there is trouble. If you have a cool head, you do not panic when things go wrong. Good leader, for example, need to keep a cool head in a crisis.

 

Example 1:

“The fire spread quickly, but everyone kept cool heads and calmly left the building. There were no problems or injuries.”

 

Example 2:

It is important to keep a cool head in an earthquake. Find cover and remain there. Do not panic.

 

Example 3:

There have been moments in history where nuclear war could have begun, if leaders had had slightly less cool heads.

 

Questions:

 

When was the last time you needed to keep a cool head or you would start to panic?

Are you good at keeping a cool head, or are you more of a hot head?

 

10. English body idioms and metaphors – Hot headA hot head: someone quick to anger

 

a hot head:  someone who easily becomes angry or violent

 be a hot head: to be quick to anger 

 

In English body idioms and metaphors, to be a hot head means you do NOT have a cool head. In fact, you are the opposite! A hot-head is someone who is quick to become angry, someone who argues and fights for the smallest of reasons.

 

Example 1:

“We wish Alex wasn’t such a hot head, because his anger is seriously making problems for his family.”

 

Example 2:

“I have always been a hot head – the one that got into arguments as soon as someone said something stupid.”

 

Example 3:

Trump’s knee-jerk reaction to the report strengthened the impression that he is a hot head and likely to act in an unthinking manner.

 

Questions:

 

When was the last time you were too hot headed? Do you regret it now?

Who is the biggest hot head you know?

Are you good at keeping a cool head, or are you more of a hot head?

 

 

Idioms and metaphors are everywhere in English. Learn as many as you can!

We have many more examples of English weather idioms and metaphors for you on our site. Good luck studying them, and have fun!

 

 

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