10 BODY IDIOMS IN ENGLISH

Unsurprisingly, the most vivid words and phrases surround the human body. After all, speech is an extension of looks and manners.

hair-raising(adj.) – shocking, exciting. e.g. The stormy flight was a hair-raising experience. We were glad when we landed at the airport.

cool-headed(adj.) – calm, reasoning. e.g. The manager thanked the waiter for the cool-headed way in which he put out the kitchen fire.

keep an eye on – watch, look after. e.g. “Keep an eye on my bag, will you? I’ll be back in a minute.”.

play by ear – listen and follow a situation. e.g. “There is no programme for the wedding reception this evening. We shall have to play it by ear.”.

nosy parker – a too-curious person. e.g. “That’s my private diary! Don’t be so nosy! You‘re such a nosy parker!”.

stick one’s neck out – be brave, take a risk. e.g. “The hotel guests were afraid to complain about the food. One woman stuck her neck out to tell the manager.”.

let your hair down – to relax, enjoy (literally to undo your done up hair). e.g. “It’s the Christmas party next week. It’s a chance for everybody to let their hair down.”.

get something off your chest – to unburden yourself, share a trouble, to tell somebody about something. e.g. “It was Sue who broke the vase. She felt better for telling her mum. She felt better for getting it off her chest.”.

get cold feet – lose enthusiasm, to suddenly become too frightened to do something you had planned to do. e.g. Do you still want to do this parachute jump or are you getting cold feet?.”.

keep your hand in – to practise. e.g. “Yes, I’m an English teacher. I’m visiting Britain again next week. I have to keep my hand in!”.

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