There are times when you cannot find the right words to say how you feel. Perhaps, using English idioms for expressing emotions can help.
Expressing your feelings through words is essential for understanding yourself and finding ways to deal with your feelings. It can build bridges and foster strong relationships both in personal and professional setting. By using English idioms for expressing emotions, you can keep the mood light and colorful.
Read on if you want to know more about these creative phrases.
Common English Idioms for Expressing Emotions
Idioms about feeling sad
• Down in the dumps / To feel blue
It means being in a moody or depressed state.
I have been down in the dumps ever since I lost my job.
I am feeling blue because my favourite basketball team lost by one point during the finals.
• Face like a wet weekend / Hang your head
It is used to describe someone who looks unhappy.
Your face is like a wet weekend. I guess you are not happy about the announcement, too.
She does not need to hang her head. She already did her best.
• Heavy heart / Heart sinks
It means feeling melancholic, which gives the sensation that you are being weighed down.
She spoke with a heavy heart as she bids farewell to the people she has been working with for 20 years.
Her heart sank when she found out about her husband’s affair.
• Fall apart
It means feeling sorrowful to the point where he/she cannot control his/her feelings.
He fell apart at the funeral today. No matter what we do, we cannot console him.
• Cry one’s heart out
It is used to pertain to someone who has been crying for a very long time.
She has been crying her heart out since yesterday. She lost a lot of money when the stock market crashed.
• Lump in the throat
It is used to describe a person when he/she is about to cry.
Everything she said seemed so sad that I had a lump in my throat as I was listening.
Idioms about feeling angry
• Bear with a sore head / Have a short fuse
It refers to someone who is ill-tempered or easily irritated.
The boss is a bear with a sore head, so better not get on his bad side.
Everyone thought he was a calm and composed person, but they found out he had a short fuse when they saw him shouting at a kid who was crossing the street.
• Bite someone’s head off
It means to yell at a person or to be critical about what he/she is doing.
She just bit her co-worker’s head off because he was not helping her with the task assigned to them.
• Blow a fuse
It refers to a person who lost his/her temper.
He blew a fuse when he discovered that his brother broke the TV.
• Drive someone up a wall
It means irritating someone to the point that he/she gets upset.
He keeps driving his little sister up a wall. If he does not stop, his parents might scold him.
• Mad as a hornet / Hot under the collar
It means to feel intense anger or rage.
The police were mad as a hornet when they found out that the crime scene was tampered with.
She felt hot under the collar because her car broke down as she rushed to get to work.
• Chip on the shoulder
It means to feel furious, usually because a person is treated unfairly.
She has a chip on the shoulder for not being born rich.
Idioms about feeling happy
• On cloud nine / In seventh heaven
It means feeling extremely happy or elated.
She was on cloud nine when her parents surprised her during her birthday.
He is in seventh heaven! He just received the letter of acceptance from his dream school.
• On top of the world
It means feeling delighted or ecstatic. This idiom isn’t used much nowadays because it is often deemed as cliché.
He has been on top of the world ever since he won the raffle’s grand prize.
• Happy camper
It means being free from worries and being contented with what he/she has in life.
He is such a happy camper! He never complains about anything.
It means being extremely cheerful all the time.
As an optimist, I see myself as a happy-go-lucky person. I seldom feel sad or depressed.
• Having a whale of a time / Having a ball
It means having a good or fun time.
It seems like you are not having a whale of a time; is there something you don’t like about the party?
“How was the trip to Japan?”
“I had a ball! You should come with me next time. You will surely enjoy the experience!”
• Weep for joy
It means feeling extreme happiness to the point where you burst out tears.
She was weeping for joy when she found her lost dog.
• Grinning from ear to ear
It means smiling broadly because of bliss.
We were grinning from ear to ear when we heard the news about the 90% progress of the COVID-19 vaccine.
• Paint the town red
It means to go out and enjoy yourself.
Let us paint the town red later! Food and drinks are on me!
Idioms about feeling disgusted
• Turn one’s stomach
It refers to something that disgusts a person.
Videos showing persons who eat bugs turn my stomach.
• Make one’s skin crawl
It means to feel sick about something
She does not like worms. It makes her skin crawl.
Idioms about feeling scared
• Afraid of one’s shadow
It means getting scared easily.
I don’t think he would be a good security guard; he is afraid of his own shadow.
• Scare the daylights out of someone
It means to do something that frightens someone.
He scared the daylights out of me! I thought he was going to rob me.
• Whistle in the dark
It means to try to hide fear in a terrifying situation.
He whistles in the dark whenever he gets assigned to pick up a parcel on the outskirts of town at night.
• Tremble like a leaf / Shaking in one’s boot
It refers to someone trembling with fear.
The little boy trembled like a leaf when he saw a gun pointed at him.
She was shaking in her boot as she rode the space shuttle at the amusement park.
• Run scared
It means to panic because of terror.
The workers ran scared when they realized that the building was about to collapse.
• Nerves of steel
It pertains to a person who does not get easily scared.
No matter what he does, he can’t frighten his sister. She has nerves of steel.
Idioms about feeling excited
• On the edge of one’s seat
It pertains to something fascinating.
I was on the edge of my seat when they were announcing the winner of the car.
• Ants in one’s pants
It means feeling restless because of excitement.
He won’t relax. He has ants in his pants because his parents are finally coming home.
• Cause a stir
It refers to something that causes great interest.
All Time Low’s announcement of their new album caused a stir among their fans.
• Eager beaver
It pertains to someone overly enthusiastic about performing his/her duty.
She is an eager beaver. She goes to work even on weekends.
• Raring to go
It means being keen on doing something.
She is raring to go to the concert of her favorite band, All Time Low.
• Bounce off the walls / Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed
It refers to someone full of energy because of excitement.
He can’t wait for his new bicycle. He is bouncing off the walls!
She has been bright-eyed and bushy-tailed all day. She couldn’t wait to go to the museum.
Idioms about feeling nervous
• Butterflies in one’s stomach
It means feeling anxious about the situation.
He had butterflies in his stomach as he waited for the result of the board exams.
• Break out in cold sweat
It means feeling extremely nervous that one starts to sweat.
I broke out in cold sweat when I was called for the recitation. I didn’t study at all!
• Bundle of nerves / Like a cat on hot bricks
It refers to someone who is very tense or nervous.
I think he will have a hard time learning how to drive. He’s a bundle of nerves!
He was like a cat on hot bricks as he waited for his pregnant wife.
It pertains to something or someone that makes a person nervous.
Documentaries about real-life crimes give me the heebie-jeebies.
Life can be a bit puzzling. One day you feel like you are on cloud nine. Then, the next day, you feel down in the dumps. Feelings can be powerful. It wouldn’t be a good idea to keep them bottled up. The next time you find yourself out of words, try using these English idioms for expressing emotions.
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