It is well known fact that there are lots of sad idioms in English like down in the mouth or down in the dumps. You can have an idea about them.

For those mastering English as a second language, it’s crucial to be adept at conveying emotions. This skill empowers you to apply your vocabulary effectively and engage in more seamless communication with native English speakers.

While the standard expressions like “I feel a little low/depressed” are always available, I encourage you to explore some intriguing idiomatic expressions, formally referred to as phrasal verbs, to enhance your ability to articulate your feelings.

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Best Sad Idioms & Phrases in English

Let’s get started! First up:

Lump in your throat

Typically, when we view a poignant film, such as a drama like “Titanic,” we experience a sensation in our throat indicating an impending urge to cry. We become distressed, sorrowful, and concerned about the well-being of the central characters in the movie.


His speech was so emotional that I lumped my throat.

Feeling blue/to have the blues

You’ve likely come across this expression in songs or movies. The color blue is linked with feelings of depression, a negative mood, and sadness, which is the origin of this phrase. We employ the expression “feeling blue” when discussing our own emotions or those of others, while “having the blues” is typically used to describe someone else’s state of mind.


She has the blues today.

I was feeling blue yesterday.

 Face like a wet weekend

This phrase is a part of British slang. It might originate from a scenario in which an individual desires to unwind, engage in outdoor activities, or enjoy some fresh air over the weekend but is unable to do so due to unfavorable weather conditions—be it cloudy, cold, or persistently rainy—leading to a sense of sadness or depression.


Billy, your face is like a wet weekend. What’s wrong?

Down in the mouth

The initial expression on our list conveying sadness refers to appearing unhappy. The origin lies in the observation that when a person is sad, the corners of their mouth typically downturn. This idiom is exclusively employed to characterize someone else and is never used for self-description.


She seems to be down in the mouth. Maybe she failed her exams.

Down in the dumps

Unlike the preceding idiom, this expression is less about describing a person’s physical appearance and more about their mood or emotional state.


Nina seems to be down in the dumps because she broke up with her boyfriend recently.

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 Reduce to tears

This expression signifies causing someone to cry or becoming so profoundly unhappy and disheartened that tears ensue.


My boss reduced me to tears with his constant criticism today.


Exploring sad idioms has taken us on a journey through the realm of shared emotions, cultural nuances, and the skill of self-expression. Whether employed for connection with others or recognizing their appropriateness, sad idioms play a significant role in articulating the human experience.

For English learners, becoming acquainted with these expressions can enhance your ability to connect with fellow speakers and effectively convey emotions during moments of sadness.

What is your English level?

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