Category Archives: idiom

IOTW: ‘The Elephant in the Room’

Have you ever heard of the expression ‘the elephant in the room?’ Why is it elephant and why not other animals?

‘The elephant in the room’ is a metaphorical idiom that means an obvious or major problem that nobody mentions and seems to care about. Another version of this idiom is ‘the elephant in the living room.’

If we suddenly find an elephant in our room, we will have a lot of questions. But we will also do so if we find basically any animals that are supposed to spend their time outdoor. So why don’t we have ‘the tiger in the room’ or ‘the giraffe in the room?’

It’s because of the origin of the idiom itself. In 1814, a Russian fabulist and poet named Ivan Krylov wrote a fable titled ‘The Inquisitive Man.’ The story tells about a man who goes to a museum and notices everything except for an elephant. Since then, the phrase ‘the elephant in the museum’ became proverbial.

In the 20th century, the idiom has had many variations such as ‘the elephant in the living room,’ ‘the elephant in the classroom,’ and the more general ‘the elephant in the room.’

‘The elephant in the room’ doesn’t only mean a major problem that is ignored. It also refers to a situation where talking about that particular problem will cause embarrassment, controversies, or arguments, so everyone deliberately avoids discussing it.

“Her issues are caused by her unhealthy habits, but no one wants to tell her the elephant in the room as not to upset her.”
“If we are to slow down the virus mutation, we have to address the elephant in the room, that is vaccine equity.”

This is a handy chart of why there is an elephant in the room.


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 29 November 2021.

#EngTrivia: Idioms and Expressions with the Same or Similar Meanings in English and Indonesian
#IOTW: Idioms about Personality
#IOTW: Idioms for New Year
#IOTW: Idioms from Name of Place
#IOTW: Idioms That Mention Rome

#EngTrivia: Spilling the Beans vs. Spilling the Tea

What’s the difference of spilling the beans and spilling the tea?

Photo by Jessica Lewis on

If you spend enough time on the internet, you’ll find that people use the phrase ‘to spill the tea’ a lot, especially when there is a scandal or a controversy. How does it differ from ‘to spill the beans?’

Quick answer: both can mean the same thing, which is exposing or leaking private information that is not supposed to be made public. However, I tend to use ‘spill the beans’ for something that has an amount of truth in it, while I use ‘spill the tea’ for gossips.

‘Spill the beans’ is believed to have come from an ancient Greek voting system, wherein those in favour of something would put white beans into the jar. Those who opposed would put black ones. It’s not clear what type of beans were used.

If someone knocked over the jar and the beans were spilled, the results were out and were known to public before the voting ended. Thus came the phrase ‘spill the beans’.

We have a much clearer record of ‘spill the tea’. It first appeared in a 1994 non-fiction novel, John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In it, he interviewed Lady Chablis.

The lady said she avoided being in a close acquaintance with certain men because once the found out the T about her, they tended to become more violent. ‘T’ here stands for truth.

In her autobiography which was published in 1997, Lady Chablis once again used the letter ‘T’ to refer to the truth. Later on, this ‘T’ was officially spelled ‘tea.’

Unlike ‘spill the beans’ that carries some truth in it, the phrase ‘spill the tea’ can mean the truth or gossips. It can also mean our truth/gossips and the truth/gossips about us. So be careful when ‘spilling the hot tea,’ lest we get burnt.

Photo by Dmitriy Ganin on


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Tuesday, 1 June 2021.

#EngTrivia: Expressions in English and Their Indonesian Counterparts
#EngTrivia: Expressions in English and Their Indonesian Counterparts (2)
#EngTrivia: Idioms and Expressions with the Same or Similar Meanings in English and Indonesian
#IOTW: Idioms That Mention Rome
#IOTW: Idioms to Express Sadness

#IOTW: Idioms to Express Sadness

We are saddened over the massive flood that happened in West and East Nusa Tenggara. Our condolences to all the victims. May the disaster be contained soon.

Photo by George Becker on

Some idioms to express sadness and grief:
1. Down in the mouth
This is to describe the shape of someone’s lips that is downward because of feeling upset or sad.

“He’s been down in the mouth since he received his test results.”

2. Be reduced to tears
This idiom is used to describe someone overwhelmed by grief or sadness that they begin to cry.

“Jane was reduced to tears when she spoke to her ill father.”

3. Cry one’s heart/eyes out
Describing someone who cries for a long time.

“Lisa patiently listened to Santi as the later cried her heart out.”

4. One’s heart sinks
This idiom is used to express the sudden feeling of unease or unhappiness.

“My heart sunk as soon as I heard the news.”

5. A heavy heart
‘A heavy heart’ describes someone’s heart being heavy due to the weight of sadness.

“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation from the company.”

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 5 April 2021.

#IOTW: Idioms about Friendship
#IOTW: Idioms about Personality
#IOTW: Idioms about Skills
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Books and Reading
#IOTW: Idioms That Mention Rome


Rome. A city full of myths, legend, and history. Rome’s influence to the whole world is such that we have four idioms in English that mention Rome. We Indonesian will at least be able to name one of them, as it has an Indonesian version.

Photo by Chait Goli on

‘Banyak jalan menuju Roma’ is the Indonesian version of ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ In Indonesian, it’s commonly interpreted as there are a lot of ways to achieve something, which essentially means ‘never give up.’

The English version has a slightly different meaning. It means that all methods of doing something will lead to the same result. However, the idiom ‘all roads lead to Rome’ had a literal meaning once.

To mark the starting point of the Roman road system to the rest of Italy, Emperor Caesar Augustus of the Roman Empire instructed the building of Milliarium Aureum or the Golden Milestone around 20 BCE. All roads were considered to begin at this monument and all distances in the Roman Empire were measured relative to it.

Next, we have ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’ The first known reference to this idiom was actually made by a 12th-century cleric in the court of Phillippe of Alsace, the Count of Flanders, in present-day Belgium.

It was recorded in a mediaeval French poem around the end of the 12th century as ‘Rome ne fu pas faite toute en un jour’ and then it was included in the book Li Proverbe au Vilain by Swiss linguist Adolf Tobler in 1895. This idiom means that everything takes time and effort.

Another idiom is ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’ It means wherever we are in the world, it’s expected that we respect local people and local culture. The phrase’s origin can be traced back to the 4th century, written by Saint Augustine.

During that time, Saint Augustine moved from Rome to Milan to become a professor of rhetoric. In his previous Roman church, there was a custom to fast on Saturdays, but he didn’t find such tradition in Milan. Thus, he found the place quite different.

Saint Ambrose, a bishop of Milan, then advised Saint Augustine, “When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but here I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend if you do not want to give or receive scandal (create controversies)?”

These wise words left such a deep impression that Saint Augustine wrote it in a letter. Later on, similar phrases started gaining popularity and came to a conclusion as ‘when in Rome, do as the Romans do.’

The last one is ‘fiddling while Rome burns.’ It means to continue our regular activity to avoid dealing with something unpleasant or to do something trivial in the midst of an emergency. Sounds like celebrities and influencers who attend or host parties during a pandemic.

All shades aside, in July of 64 AD, a great fire ravaged Rome for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half of its population homeless. Emperor Nero, who was notorious for being a tyrant, was believed to quite literally play music, specifically a fiddle, during the fire.

However, historians debate this theory as Nero was at his villa in Antium, around 35 miles from Rome. Music historians believe the viol class of instruments (to which the fiddle belongs) was not developed until the 11th century, making it disputable for Nero to have played one during the fire.

Nero returned to Rome immediately and began disaster relief measures, but as he was known for being an ineffective leader, his people didn’t trust him. Many Romans accused him of instructing to start the fire in order to empty some lands which would then become his Golden Palace and its surrounding gardens. Nero himself accused and subsequently arrested and executed the Christians.

He cast the blame on the Christians because Christianity was a relatively unknown religious sect at the time. But the story that Nero played a fiddle during the Great Fire is considered more of a legend than a fact.

There they are, fellas, 4 idioms that mention Rome, each with its origin and history. Feel free to add anything that we’ve missed or correct us if there is any inaccuracy.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionary

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 8 February 2021.

#EngVocab: Places in Town
#EngVocab: Travel Phrasal Verbs
#IOTW: 5 Idioms from Ancient Times
#IOTW: Idioms from Name of Place
#IOTW: Traveling Idioms

#IOTW: Idioms that are related to birds

Hi Fellas! How’s your long weekend? Did you experience something great?

In this evening I want to share some idioms that are related to bird. You might be familiar with some of them.

1. A home bird. Meaning: somebody who love to spend the time at home.
Example: “She won;t go anywhere durin gthe weekend. She’s a home bird.”

2. Bird’s eye view. Meaning: a broad perspective.
Example: “You should see this problem with bird’s eye view.”

3. Fox in the henhouse. Meaning: a trouble maker.
Example: “Randy is such a fox in the henhouse sometimes.”

4. Flew the coop. Meaning: escape.
Example: “The thief had flew the coop.”

5. Sick as parrot. Meaning: very dissapointed.
Example: “He was sick as parrot because he didn’t win the competition.”

6. Eagle eyed. Meaning: having a sharp vision.
Example: “He knows the mistakes in the articles, even the smallest ones. He’s eagle eyed an editor.”

7. A little bird told me. Meaning: someone doesn’t wish to expose the informan.
Example: “A little bird told me that you are going to be promoted.”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Friday, October 30, 2020


Have you ever heard the phrase ‘the apple of her parents’ eyes,’ fellas? It means that a child is so loved by the parents.

@NoviTanurarini: I ever heard about this phrase… Emm, I’m not sure, maybe it’s in the “Rain-Bruno Mars” lyrics…
@diptaulia: Translated to Indonesian as “anak semata wayang”

Photo by wendel moretti on

On this article, we are going to discuss idioms that use the word ‘eye.’

‘An eye for an eye’
It means that a person who causes suffering to other(s) should also suffer from the same injury or damage.

‘To see eye to eye’
It means two or more parties having the same agreement or a mutual understanding on a topic.

‘To turn a blind eye’
It means that we choose to ignore or pretend not to see something.

‘To keep one’s eyes open/peeled’
It means being alert or watching someone or something carefully.

‘To have an eye for something’
It means that we admire something and we want to have it.

‘To cry one’s eyes out’
It means to cry bitterly and for a long time.

‘To catch one’s eyes’
It means that something or someone has caught our attention.

‘To hit the bull’s eye’
It means hitting the target precisely.

‘Without batting an eye’
It means doing something big without a change of expression, without showing any emotions, and acting like there’s nothing unusual.

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Monday, 12 October 2020.


#IOTW: Idioms on Human Body
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Body Parts
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Body Parts (2)
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Body Parts (3)
#IOTW: Idioms Related to Body Parts (4)

#EngTrivia: Idioms and Expressions with the Same or Similar Meanings in English and Indonesian

What are you doing for the Saturday night? I hope that you are staying safe at home but if you must go outside for essential purposes that cannot be delayed, please exercise safety precautions.

Several years ago, we posted an article about common expressions in English and its Indonesian counterparts. You can check it here: Expressions in English and Their Indonesian Counterparts Part 1 and Part 2. 

The background of these articles was that there are expressions in English that we cannot quite translate into Indonesian; we just know what they mean, thus we were trying to find similar expressions in Indonesian to help understand the English version better.

For this article, we are going to do something similar: we’ll start a series of idioms and expressions that have similar or even the same meanings in English and Indonesian. An example submitted by one of our followers on Twitter:

@fatfukuro: Don’t judge a book by its cover (Eng) and jangan menilai buku dari sampulnya (Ina).

Photo by Pixabay on

So here is the list of what we compiled so far:

  1. Backbone (Eng) = Tulang punggung (Ina)
    Meaning: the chief support of a system or an organisation.

  2. Backstab (Eng) = Menusuk dari belakang (Ina)
    Meaning: the action or practice of harming someone’s reputation whilst feigning friendship.

  3. Big-headed (Eng) = Besar kepala (Ina)
    Meaning: conceited or arrogant.

  4. Big-hearted (Eng) = Besar hati (Ina)
    Meaning: kind and generous.

  5. Big mouth (Eng) = Besar mulut (Ina)
    Meaning: a boastful person.

  6. Blue blood (Eng) = Darah biru (Ina)
    Meaning: a person of noble or royal birth.

  7. Bookworm (Eng) = Kutu buku (Ina)
    Meaning: someone who loves reading.

  8. Brainwash (Eng) = Cuci otak (Ina)
    Meaning: force someone to adopt a radically different belief.

  9. Brokenhearted (Eng) = Patah hati (Ina)
    Meaning: overwhelmed by grief or disappointment.

  10. Cold-blooded (Eng) = Berdarah dingin (Ina)
    Meaning: deliberately cruel or violent.

  11. Cool-headed (Eng) = Kepala dingin (Ina)
    Meaning: calm.

  12. Empty-handed (Eng) = Tangan hampa (Ina)
    Meaning: unsuccessful, fruitless effort.

  13. Fall in love (Eng) = Jatuh hati (Ina)
    Meaning: develop romantic feelings towards someone or deep liking for something.

  14. Flesh and blood (Eng) = Darah daging (Ina)
    Meaning: someone related to us by blood.

  15. Get some fresh air (Eng) = Cari angin (Ina)
    Meaning: go outside to take a break from a possibly stressful situation.

  16. Go in one ear, out of the other (Eng) = Masuk kuping kiri, keluar kuping kanan (Ina)
    Meaning: of a piece of information that is quickly forgotten.

  17. Golden child (Eng) = Anak emas (Ina)
    Meaning: a favoured child amongst a group of children.

  18. Half-heartedly (Eng) = Setengah hati (Ina)
    Meaning: not feeling fully committed or engaged to an activity.

  19. Head of the family (Eng) = Kepala keluarga (Ina)
    Meaning: someone who leads a family.

  20. Heavy heart (Eng) = Berat hati (Ina)
    Meaning: with much sadness and regret.

  21. Hot seat (Eng) = Kursi panas (Ina)
    Meaning: being in a position of heavy duty and responsibility.

  22. Iron fist (Eng) = Tangan besi (Ina)
    Meaning: of a government or someone exercising power in a ruthless or oppressive manner.

  23. Law of the jungle (Eng) = Hukum rimba (Ina)
    Meaning: of a world where those who are strong and apply ruthless self-interest will be most successful.

  24. Lift one’s hat to… (Eng) = Angkat topi (Ina)
    Meaning: praise, salute, congratulate, or pay tribute to someone.

  25. Open arms (Eng) = Tangan terbuka (Ina)
    Meaning: a warm welcome.

  26. Open secret (Eng) = Rahasia umum (Ina)
    Meaning: of a secret who is known to many people.

  27. Out of control (Eng) = Hilang kendali (Ina)
    Meaning: of something that’s no longer possible to manage.

  28. Pen pal (Eng) = Sahabat pena (Ina)
    Meaning: someone with whom we develop friendship by sending letters to one another, particularly if we live in different countries.

  29. Put one’s hands up (Eng) = Angkat tangan (Ina)
    Meaning: raise one’s hands to surrender.

  30. Quick on one’s feet (Eng) = Cepat kaki (Ina)
    Meaning: able to think and take quick action.

  31. Right hand (Eng) = Tangan kanan (Ina)
    Meaning: an assistant, the most important position next to someone.

  32. Scapegoat (Eng) = Kambing hitam (Ina)
    Meaning: someone who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others.

  33. Silent witness (Eng) = Saksi bisu (Ina)
    Meaning: an object that displays traces of evidences of a crime.

  34. Stage fright (Eng) = Demam panggung (Ina)
    Meaning: nervousness before or during an appearance before an audience.

  35. Stepping stone (Eng) = Batu loncatan (Ina)
    Meaning: an action or event that helps someone to make progress towards a specified goal.

  36. Take something to one’s heart (Eng) = Memasukan ke dalam hati (Ina)
    Meaning: take criticism seriously and be affected or upset by it.

  37. Tangled web (Eng) = Benang kusut (Ina)
    Meaning: of a situation or a problem that is confusing or difficult to solve.

  38. Throw a towel (Eng) = Lempar handuk (Ina)
    Meaning: stop trying or doing something because lacking of determination or conviction that one can win or be successful.

  39. Turn a blind eye (Eng) = Tutup mata (Ina)
    Meaning: pretend not to notice something is happening, usually something bad.

  40. Two-faced (Eng) = Bermuka dua (Ina)
    Meaning: of someone being insincere or acting one way in certain situations and then in a contrary manner in others.

  41. Walk away (Eng) = Ambil langkah seribu (Ina)
    Meaning: easily, casually, or irresponsibly abandon a situation in which one is involved or for which one is responsible.

  42. Wash one’s hands of… (Eng) = Cuci tangan (Ina)
    Meaning: not wanting to be involved with someone or something, not taking responsibility of someone or something.

  43. Watch one’s mouth (Eng) = Jaga lidah/mulut (Ina)
    Meaning: being careful of what one says.


Compiled by @alicesaraswati for EnglishTips4U on Saturday, 11 July 2020.


#IOTW : Idioms starting with “By”

Hello fellas, how are you today? Today, we will discuss idioms that start with “by”.

1. By heart mean: from memory

E.g: “You know their names by heart”.

2. By hand mean: not by machine

E.g: “All these fancy soap are made by hand”.

3. By chance mean: without planning

: “Suddenly, I meet Rebecca on the street by chance”.

4. By mistake Mean: not on

E.g: ” Sorry, I call you by mistake”.

5. By the book

mean: follows the rules E.g:” If you want to succeed, you have to work by the book”.

6. By and large mean: On the whole in general

: ” The weather today are sunny and rainy by and large”.

7. By leaps and bounds mean: tremendously a lot

E.g: “If somebody want to improve, must be by leaps and bounds”.

8. By word of mouth mean: through people talking each other.

E.g:” I know that it is delicious ice cream by word of mouth”.

That’s all for today fellas, see you tomorrow!!

Compiled and Written by @2013happyy for @englishtipsforyou, Wednesday, November, 20 2019

#IOTW: Idioms with the word ‘hit’

Hello fellas, how are you today? First of all, I want to wish you a happy Eid al-Fitr for you who celebrate it.

In today’s session we will be going to discuss some idioms formed with the word hit. Fellas, can you mention what is the meaning of ‘hit?’

The verb ‘to hit’ means ‘memukul’ in Indonesian language. When put in an idiom, ‘hit’ can change meanings. So fellas, here are idioms with ‘hit’:

1. Hit me
It means ‘say it now’ or ‘tell me’ or ‘give it to me right now.’ It could also mean that something is ‘clear to me’ or ‘I understand.’
E.g.: “And then it hit me. The weather feels so much warmer because of the humidity.”

2. Hit my funny bone
It means ‘something causes me to laugh.’
E.g.: “The word ‘pollywog’ always hits my funny bone.”

3. Hit the nail on the head
It means to ‘say the right word’ or ‘suggest a good idea.’
E.g.: “Your comment hit the nail on the head. You spoke the truth.”

4. Hit speeds of
It means to ‘travel at speeds of.’
E.g.: “The stolen car was hitting speeds of 120 kilometres per hour in the city.”

5. Hit the books
It means to ‘begin studying.’
E.g.: “Exams begin next week. It’s time to hit the books.”

6. Hit the rock bottom
It means to face a very unfortunate situation and and to feel very depressed about it.
E.g.: “After his farm was seized, he hit rock bottom and lost all hope.”

Fellas, now try to answer what exactly is the meaning of the idiom ‘hit and run?’

Thank you for your joining me today, fellas. You can use idioms with the word ‘hit’ to improve your English conversation skill. See you tomorrow.

Compiled and written by @2013happyy for @englishtipsforyou on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

#IOTW: Idioms related to work

Hi, Fellass… how are you doing this week?

Honestly, I’m a little bit unwell around these two months because I mostly worked overtime. Some of you might used to this work pattern while I’m not. Well, speaking of working, today I’m going to share some idioms related to work.

  1. “Ramp up” Meaning: increasing something.


  • “The manager push us to ramp the revenue up.”
  1. “On the back burner.” Meaning: something is less important at the moment.


  • “You can finish your task for today, this problem is on the back burner.”
  1. “Put (something) off.” Meaning: to delay something.


  • “Please put your current activity off. We have an urgent meeting.”
  1. “People person.” Meaning: someone with a great social skill.


  • “You need to be a people person if you are working as a marketing.”
  1. “Have a lot on your plate.” Meaning: you have a lot of work/resposibilities at the moment.


  • “I see you will have a lot on your plate next quarter.”
  1. “Selling like hotcakes.” Meaning: something is bought by customer in a brief moment.


  • “This book was popular. It was selling like hotcakes.”
  1. “Learning curve.” Meaning: the time that is needed to learn about the system.


  • “I found that this company has a difficult learning curve. I don’t quite understand until now.”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Friday, May 10, 2019

#IOTW: Idioms Related to Transportation and Travel

Hello, fellas! How’s your weekend?
Let’s discuss idioms related to transportation and travel! Here we go! #IOTW
On the same boat: sharing a particular experience or circumstance with someone else. 

E.g.: “You’re not the only one who failed to get the concert ticket. We’re on the same boat!” 

Jump on the bandwagon: to join or follow something once it is successful or popular. 

E.g.: “I heard Black Panther movie is phenomenal, but I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and watch it. Superhero movie isn’t my cup of tea.”

Paddle one’s own canoe: to be able to act independently. 

E.g.: “Since I turned 25 this year, mom expected me to paddle my own canoe.”

Backseat driver: someone who tells the others how to do things. 

E.g.: “I don’t need a backseat driver on this project. Stop pestering me with all your advice.”

Hit the road: to leave, especially on a road trip.

E.g.: “Let’s hit the road before dawn.”
Itchy feet: the need to leave or to travel. 

E.g.: “Seeing the picture of a beach really gives me the itchy feet.”

Sail through (something): to complete something quickly and with ease. 

E.g.: “My thesis sailed through the professor with no debate.”

A third/fifth wheel: An unwanted or unnecessary person. 

E.g.: “Ann invited me to go to the movies, but if she also invited her boyfriend, I wouldn’t be joining. I would feel like a third wheel there.”
That wraps up our session, fellas! See you on another session.

Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, March 24, 2018.

#IOTW: Idioms related to books and reading

Hello, Fellas. How’s your day? Do any of you love reading? Do you realise that tomorrow is a World Book Day? In order to welcome the day, I would like to share some idioms with the word ‘book.’

The first one is the famous one. I bet you regularly find it in some literature or even in your daily communication.

  1. “An open book.” Meaning: something/someone that is easily to be understand.
    • Example:
      • “My mom always know my way of thinking like an open book.
  2. “To take a leaf out of someone’s book.” Meaning: to imitate someone.
    • Example:
      • “Sometimes my sister irritates me because she always take a leaf out of my book.
  3. “To read between the lines.” Meaning: looking for an implied meaning.
    • Example:
      • “When you feel the world pushing you down over and over again, try to read between the lines. I believe something happens in order to lead you to be better or to a better place.”
  4. “The oldest trick in the book.” Meaning: the dishonest action that had been used over and over again.
    • Example:
      • “Aren’t you bored with the same oldest trick in the book, Matt?”
  5. “In someone’s good books.” Meaning: an expression that show if someone is pleased with you.
    • Example:
      • “His performance was in the jury’s good book.”
  6. “Bring someone to book.” Meaning: to punish someone.
    • Example:
      • “Charlie was brought to the book because of his fight with Ben.”
  7. “Balance the book.” Meaning: a process to make sure that your income and outcome match with your (bank) account note.
    • Example:
      • “I think you should balance the book. It’s strange that you always run out of money before the end of the month.”
  8. “Use every trick in the book.” Meaning: you have used every possible way to get/do something.
    • Example:
      • “I have used every trick in the book to pursue her, but she doesn’t even notice it.”
  9. “Have your nose in the book.” Meaning: to read all the time. On the other hand it also means to refer someone who is being oblivious to her/his surrounding because s(he) is to absorbed to the book.
    • Examples:
      • “She won’t respond if you call her while she’s having her nose in the book. Trust me.”



Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, March 1, 2018

#IOTW: Idioms with ‘party’

Hello, fellas! What are you doing in the last days of 2018? New Year will be coming soon! It’s a good time to look at idioms on party and celebration. Here we go!

  1. After-party. Meaning: a relaxed time in which people sit and talk after they have been at a party.
    • Example:
      • “When the New Year celebration finished, they had an after-party in the rooftop.”
  2. Party animal. Meaning: someone who loves going to parties.
    • Example:
      • “Jon is a real party animal. He’s rarely at home.”
  3. Party pooper. Meaning: a person who refuses to join in the fun of a party.
    • Example:
      • “It’s better not to invite my cousin. She’s a party pooper who always leaves first.”
  4. Party hearty. Meaning: to celebrate.
    • Example:
      • “Our basketball team won the competition, so we decided to party hearty!”
  5. Crash the party. Meaning: to attend a party without being invited.
    • Example:
      • “He crashed the party and ended up causing trouble.”
  6. Piss on (one’s) party. Meaning: to ruin or underestimate someone’s efforts, plans, or ideas.
    • Example:
      • “Sorry to piss on your party, but there’s no way we’ll finish the report in one night.”
  7. Party foul. Meaning: a term of behavior that is inappropriate or unacceptable at a party.
    • Example:
      • “You spilled wine on the carpet! That’s a party foul.”
  8. Party piece. Meaning: some ways (trick, song, poem) that someone often do to entertain people at parties.
    • Example:
      • “Her party piece has always been impersonating celebrity’s voices.”
  9. The life and soul of the party. Meaning: someone who’s at the center of all parties.
    • Example:
      • “The party isn’t complete without Dan. He’s truly the life and soul of the party!”
  10. Be a party to something. Meaning: take part in a (secret) plan or agreement.
    • Example:
      • “I don’t know that they held the surprise celebration. Were you a party to this, Nat?”

That wraps up our session, fellas! Have a great time in New Year! Good bye!
Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, December 30, 2017.



#IOTW: Idioms related to medical and health

Hello, Fellas, how are you? I hope you are always as fit as fiddle.

Today I am going to share some idioms related to health. I am sure that maybe you’ve heard about some of them.

  1. “Alive and kicking.” Meaning: (just like the previous phrase “as fit as fiddle”) to be healthy.
    • Example:
      • “Hello, John, how are you? You look alive and kicking.
  2. “Break out in a cold sweat.” Meaning: to perspire from fever/anxiety.
    • Example:
      • “It seems like you are going to break out in a cold sweat. Just relax, everything will be all right.”
  3. “Bring (someone) around.” Meaning: to cure someone/to restore consciousness.
    • Example:
      • “Donna’s one of the best cardiologist. She always brings her patients around successfully.”
  4. “Feel on top of the world.” Meaning: to be very healthy.
    • Example:
      • “I think this supplement works. I am currently feeling on top of the world.”
  5. “Flare up.” Meaning: (an illness) suddenly begin again.
    • Example:
      • “I thought I have completely recover from the flu, but the fever suddenly flared up.”
  6. “Go under a knife.” Meaning: to have an operation in surgery.
    • Example:
      • “She is going under a knife to remove the breast tumor.”
  7. “Head shrinker.” Meanimg: a psychiatrist.
    • Example:
      • “Well, I recommend you to see dr. Robert. He is a good head shrinker.”
  8. “In a family way.” Meaning: pregnant.
    • Example:
      • “Have you heard that Marissa is in a family way?”
  9. “Out cold” Meaning: unconscious.
    • Example:
      • “I don’t know what happened to him. He was shivering before he is out cold.
  10. “Pull through.” Meaning: to recover from serious illness.
    • Example:
      • “Hannah is still unable to go to school even though she has pulled through the dengue fever,”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, August 3, 2017.

#IOTW: Idioms in K-pop Song Titles

Hello, fellas! How familiar are you with K-pop songs?

I’ve noticed a trend where a lot of K-pop songs are using English titles or sometimes a Korean title with a different English title in parenthesis (e.g.: ‘서원을 말해봐 (Genie)’ by SNSD). The sentence 서원을 말해봐 (read: seo-won-eul mal-hae-bwa) which means ‘tell me your wish’ has a different title in English called ‘Genie.’

This might happens because K-pop are trying to expand into the international market, thus, having song title in English is more effective to garner the attention of overseas people. Another reason is because most of overseas listeners of K-pop can’t type the Korean alphabet, so with the English title, people can easily find the song and the music video.

Not only an English title, but some of popular K-pop song are using idiomatic expression in English too. Here are some idiom in K-pop song titles.

  1. One of a kind. (Song by GD, 2012)
  • Meaning: the only item of a particular type.
    • E.g.: “Kwon Jiyoung is a leader of popular boy-group who has produced more than 160 songs. He’s absolutely one of a kind.”
  1. Blood, sweat & tears. (Song by BTS, 2016)
  • Meaning: a lot of effort and suffering.
    • E.g.: “Namjoon produces the songs with blood, sweat, and tears to make it well known internationally.”
  1. Born with a silver spoon. (Inspired from Silver Spoon by BTS, 2015)
  • Meaning: to be in a high social class or be rich from birth.
    • E.g.: “Taehyung wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He earned his success through hard work.”
  1. Spine breaker. (Song by BTS, 2014)
  • Meaning: someone who demands the parents to always buy fancy things so he/she could keep up with expensive trends.
    • E.g.: “Jin is such a spine breaker. He wears a limited edition shoes after begging her mom to buying them for him.”
  1. Home run. (Song by GOT7, 2016)
  • Meaning: a highly successful achievement.
    • E.g.: “After starring a drama called Dream High 2, Jaebum & Jinyoung scored a home run. They debuted as a duo and later in a popular boy-group.”


  1. Mental breakdown. (Inspired from MTBD by CL, 2014)
  • Meaning: the state of being overwhelmed by a situation that one’s can’t handle.
    • E.g.: “Chaelin almost had a mental breakdown because she thought that she had lost the shoes given by Rihanna.”


  1. Lionhearted. (Inspired from Lion Heart by SNSD, 2015)
  • Meaning: exceptionally corageous or brave.
    • E.g.: “Hyoyeon is lionhearted. She usually dances with a cute concept in a group, but she dares to perform a ballroom dance all alone.”


  1. Play with fire. (Song by BLACKPINK, 2016)
  • Meaning: to do something that could cause a great trouble later.
    • E.g.: “Jennie is playing with fire because she doesn’t wear a helmet while driving the motorcycle.”


  1. Play Russian roulette. (Inspired from Russian Roullete by Red Velvet, 2016)

Russian roulette is a dangerous game of chance in which the player holds a gun containing one bullet to your head and shoot, the player wins if the bullet does not come out.

  • Meaning: to take big risks, in a way which is very dangerous.
    • E.g.: “Yeri is playing Russian roulette by pursuing her career in the entertainment industry since 12 years old.”
  1. Lovey-dovey. (Song by T-ara, 2011)
  • Meaning: to express affection in an extravagantly sentimental way.
    • E.g.: “There’s a lovey-dovey couple at Kirin-art School. They are Jiyeon and Jaebum whom are always holding hands together.”

– Cambridge Idioms Dictionary.
– McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs.

Featured photo by Jeon Han –

Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U on Saturday, July 1, 2017.

Related Post(s):

#IOTW: Idioms related to Science & Technology

Hey, fellas! How’s life? We’re going to share idioms related to science and technology.
1. On the same wavelength. Meaning: to have the same ideas or opinions as another person.

  • Example:
    • “We’re on the same wavelength. We see football in the same way.”

2. Light years ahead. Meaning: much more advanced than someone or something in terms of development or success.

  • Example:
    • “The new operation system puts this hand phone light-years ahead of its competitors.”

3. Hit the airwaves. Meaning: to be broadcasted on radio or TV for the first time.

  • Example:
    • “If you want to become famous, you have to hit the airwaves to promote your band.”


4. Hold the wire. Meaning: used when we want someone not to hang up during the phone call.

  • Example:
    • Hold the wire, please. I’ll pull you through.” 

5. Get your wires crossed. Meaning: If people get their wires crossed, they have a different understanding.

  • Example:
    • “We got our wires crossed about what time we were supposed to meet.”


6. Fire on all cylinders. Meaning: working at full strength; making every possible effort.

  • Example:
    • “The factory is firing on all cylinders to finish the orders on time.”


7. Cog in the machine. Meaning: a person who does an unimportant job in a large company or organization.

  • Example:
    • “I decided to set up my own online business because I was tired of being a cog in the machine.”

8. Well-oiled machine. Meaning: something that works very well; company that operates without problems.

  • Example:
    • “Willy-wonka factory runs like a well-oiled machine.”

That’s all I can share for today, fellas. I hope it could be useful for you.
Compiled and written by @anhtiss at @EnglishTips4U on Friday, May 19, 2017.




#IOTW: Idioms on clothing (3)

  1. Air one’s dirty linen in public. Meaning: to discuss someone’s private problem to others.
    • Example:
      • “Astrid is untrustworthy. I heard it when she was airing Vivi’s dirty linen in public yesterday.”
  2. As comfortable as an old shoe. Meaning: very comfortable/familiar.
    • Example:
      • “Ana’s family is very friendly. I felt as comfortable as an old shoe when I stayed at her home last night.”
  3. Best bib and tucker. Meaning: someone’s best clothing.
    • Example:
      • “This prom night only happens once in our life. You have to wear your best bib and tucker.”
  4. Bore the pants off. Meaning: to frighten someone very badly.
    • Example:
      • “Did you heard about the current plane crash? I thought it was Albert’s flight. It really bored my pants off.
  5. Emperor’s new clothes. Meaning: a situation in which people are afraid to criticize something because everyone seems to think it’s good. This idiom is used when many people believe that it is not true.
    • Example:
      • “It’s like an emperor’s new clothes when my sister tell us the reason why she runaway.”
  6. Hand in glove with (someone). Meaning: very close with someone.
    • Example:
      • “I used to be hands in glove with my friends, but we are like strangers now.”
  7. Hang on (someone’s) coattails. Meaning: to have one’s fortune or being successful because of another person.
    • Example:
      • “He won’t be a manager if he didn’t hang on Andrew’s coattails.”
  8. Wear sackcloth and ashes. Meaning: to behave that you are very sorry for something you have done.
    • Example:
      • “Tristan is still mad at me even though I have apologized to him and wore my sackcloth and ashes.
  9. Talk through one’s hat. Meaning: to say something without knowing/understanding the facts.
    • Example:
      • “I really hate my aunt because she always thinks that she’s right and talk through my hat.
  10. Stuffed shirt. Meaning: a person who is too rigid/formal.
    • Example:
      • “Just have a seat and relax. Don’t be a stuffed shirt.”

Compiled and written by @mettaa_ for @EnglishTips4u on Thursday, May 25, 2017.

#IOTW: Idioms with ‘books’

“How could I be such an open book to him when, half the time, I had no idea what was milling around in his head?” -Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Hi, fellas! Do you know what it means to be an open book? Open book is surely one of those idioms with word ‘book.’ It means sb or sth that is easily understood.

Just so you know, we have covered many idioms: from parts of the body, name of places, Ancient Times, and many more.

Today, we’re going to share idioms with word ‘book.’ Here are 7 idioms with word ‘book.’

  • hit the books (mainly US and Australian informal): to study
    Ann isn’t coming. She’s got to hit the books.
  • throw the book at somebody: to severely punish someone 

    My lecturer said that she would throw the book at me if I kept procrastinating over my assignments.

  • crack a book: to open up one’s books, especially in order to study 


    You had better crack the books if you want to pass the exams.

  • read sb. like a book: understand someone’s thoughts and motives easily 

    You don’t like this gift, right? I can read you like a book.

  • blot one’s copybook: to damage one’s own reputation through bad behavior 

    She really blotted her copybook by coming late to the meeting.


    turn-up for the book(s): a surprising or unexpected event 

    So among all candidates, I am the one getting the job. That’s a turn-up for the books.

  • sing from the same hymnbook: to make the same or similar statements, especially to express the same opinions in public asa result of a prior agreement. 

    Before we release any statements, make sure that everyone from the campaign sings from the same hymnbook.  #IOTW


Compiled and written by @nkusumawicitra for @Englishtips4u on Friday, April 7, 2017





#IOTW: Idioms in Taylor Swift’s songs

#IOTW: Idioms in Taylor Swift’s songs (2)

#IOTW: Idioms on human body

#IOTW: 5 Idioms from Ancient Times