Body Idioms

“Your body is your temple, it’s your home, and you must decorate it.”

Gabourey Sidibe, an American actress

Do you have a good head for figures? Would you like to get teeth into something new? What would you give your right arm for? Read on to know what the idioms mean and boost your vocabulary…

THE HEAD AND FACE

You can’t bury your head in the sand forever. You need to face up to reality.

I have a good head for business but not for heights.

There’s more to this story than meets the eye.

We need to put our heads together and come up with a solution.

Don’t let your success go to your head.

I can’t let you lose face!

I don’t know why I didn’t get the job. Perhaps my face just didn’t fit.

She was head and shoulders above the others.

Her promotion was one in the eye for her rivals.

Bite your tongue, Sam.

It’s the word that I have real difficulty getting my tongue around.

It’s just teething troubles. They’ll soon be over.

I need to get my teeth into the new language.

The first part is purely face-saving: both parties must simply declare their good will.

  • to bury your head in the sand – to refuse to deal with unpleasant realities, possible dangers, etc. by pretending they do not exist
  • to face up to sth. – to accept that a problem exists
  • to have a good head for sth. – to be good at something (if you have a good head for heights, you have no irrational fear of heights)
  • there’s more to it than meets the eye – it’s more complicated than it seems
  • let’s put our heads together – let’s plan together
  • to come up with a solution – to suggest/think of a solution
  • to go to one’s head – to make a person think they are very important and make them a less pleasant person
  • to lose face – to lose the respect of others
  • my face didn’t fit (UK) – my appearance/personality wasn’t suitable
  • to be head and shoulders above sb./sth. – to be much better than sb./sth.
  • to be one in the eye for sb. (UK) – it was a disappointment for sb.
  • bite/hold your tongue – stop yourself from saying (what you want to say)
  • to get your tongue around/round sth. – to pronounce
  • teething troublesproblems in the early stages of doing something new
  • to get your teeth into sth. – to become involved in sth. enthusiastically
  • face-saving – done so that other people will continue to respect you
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There is more to this than meets the eye…

MORE BODY IDIOMS

You have two great kids, which I would give my right arm for.

We said we wouldn’t tread on each other’s toes.

I think you have to point the finger at the parents.

The performance made my toes curl.

In this business it’s especially important to keep your finger on the pulse.

  • to give your right arm for sth./to do sth. – used for saying that you want sth. very much
  • to tread/step on one’s toes – to do sth. that could upset sb. by getting involved in sth. that is their responsibility
  • to point the finger at sb. to say that someone should be blamed
  • to make one’s toes curl – to make sb. feel embarrassed or ashamed for sb. else
  • keep your finger on the pulse – stay up-to-date