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Uncover the allure of English body idioms in this brief article. Decode meanings and master their conversational use.

Numerous nouns, adjectives, and verbs in English pertain to the human body, and for the enjoyment of English learners, there are idioms! Let’s explore these words, and by associating them with specific body parts, we can seamlessly connect them to idioms.

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Cheek

• Idiom – “turn the other cheek”

Choosing not to retaliate or harm someone who has injured you.

“When someone attacks you personally, the best approach may be to turn the other cheek”.

Teeth

• Idiom – “fight tooth and nail”

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“I’ll fight tooth and nail to keep that tree from being cut down by the council.”

Mouth

• Idiom – “all mouth and no trousers”

Characterized by arrogant or pompous speech, often by a male who is unable to fulfill his exaggerated claims. Commonly observed in the UK.

“He talks a big game, but when it actually comes to asking out a woman, he’s all mouth and no trousers”.

Tongue

• Idiom – “Tongue in cheek”

When you make a statement “tongue in cheek,” it means your words are intended as a joke, even if they may appear serious.

“And we all know what a passionate love life I have!” he said, tongue in cheek.

 

Laughing is a familiar verb, but we have various ways to express it—giggle, chuckle, titter, and more. What other mouth-related actions can we engage in?

smile = make your mouth wide to show friendliness or because you find something funny.

bite  = use your teeth to break something.

“The boy hungrily bit the sandwich.”

Employ your teeth to fracture or snap something.

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swallow = Consume or ingest something (such as food) down your throat.

“Drink some water to help you swallow the aspirin.”

• Swallow your pride (idiom) –To choose to undertake something despite the potential for embarrassment or shame.

He was forced to swallow his pride and ask if he could have his old job back.

sip = Sip in tiny quantities.

lick = Employ your tongue.

“The dog licked the bone.”

blow  = Exhale air from your mouth.

“She blew on the coffee because it was too hot.”

whistle = Press your lips together and create a melody while exhaling.

“He always whistles when he’s working.”

 

What is your English level?

Find out your A1 A2 B1 B2 C1 C2 level of English with our quick, free online test.