American Idioms & Proverbs 4

What is an idiom?

Idiom is an expression which has the meaning that is not obvious from the individual words.

Here we have provide you the most common and frequent American idioms which are used in everyone’s daily speaking.

American Idioms & Proverbs

Absence makes the heart grow fonder:

  • Our feeling for those we love increases when we are apart from them.

(To) act one’s age:

  • To behave in a more mature way. Frequently said to a child or teen. e.g. “Bill, stop throwing rocks! Act your age!”

(To) add fuel to the fire:

  • To make a bad problem even worse.

(To) add insult to injury:

  • To make a bad situation even worse.

Against the clock: against-the-clock

  • To attempt to do something “against the clock” is to attempt to do something as fast as possible usually before a deadline.

A little bird told me:

  • When someone says “a little bird told me” it means they don’t want you to know who told them.

All in a day’s work:

  • Typical. Normal. Expected. e.g. “Talking to famous celebrities is all in a day’s work for some Hollywood reporters.”

(From) all walks of life:

  • (From) all social, economic, and ethnic groups.

Apple of someone’s eye:

  • Someone’s favorite person (and sometimes thing). e.g. “Sarah was the apple of Tom’s eye for quite a long time. He was so in love with her.”

(To) bank on something:

  • To count or rely on something.

(To) bark up the wrong tree:

  • To ask the wrong person. To make the wrong choice. e.g. “The gangster told the cops they were barking up the wrong tree in thinking he was responsible for the robbery.”

(To) be a fan of someone/something:

  • To like, idolize, admire someone/ or something. e.g. “I’m not a big fan of heavy metal music.”

(To) beat around the bush:

  • To avoid getting to the point. e.g. “Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you really think.”

Big fish in a little sea:

Like a big fish in a little sea!

Like a big fish in a little sea!

  • A person who’s famous/well-known but only in an unimportant area/town.

Believe it or not:

  • Used at the beginning sentence to state that something is true whether one chooses to believe it or not. e.g. “Believe it or not, I still care for her.”

(The) birds and the bees:

  • Human reproduction. e.g. “It’s about time I talked to my son about the birds and the bees.”

At each other’s throats:

  • Fighting or arguing heavily. e.g. “They were at each other’s throats. The arguments never stopped.”

At this stage:

  • At this point. e.g. “At this stage, it’s difficult to say who will win the election.”

(To) act high and mighty:

  • To act proudly and arrogantly.

All thumbs:

  • Awkward. Clumsy.

Actions speak louder than words:

  • It’s better to do something about a problem than to talk about it.

4 thoughts on “American Idioms & Proverbs

  1. katey Dec 20,2009 1:00 am

    helpful and concise!

  2. Rahimi Nov 4,2010 9:28 pm

    very cool and so nice.

  3. sameha Mar 20,2012 3:17 pm

    it’s very useful article. I learned a lot. thank you.

  4. Akbari Jun 24,2014 11:57 am


    I appreciate u Mr shams. Hope u r luculent like your last name always. I studied English Translation in university and want u some suggestion : what can i do for speaking fluently and increasing my words . I’m teacher in english private institute and interpreter in our exporter company and i can speak well. but i want to be good more and more. advise me plz.

    tnx in advance

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