Informal English Vocabulary, Idioms – A – M

Here you will find idioms and other useful phrases.

Idioms/Informal Phrases Sample Sentences
about to Peggy is about to leave.
in advance We booked the tickets in advance.
alive and kicking I love Berlin. It's alive and kicking.
all of a sudden I went out in the sun. Then, all of a sudden, it started to rain.
all over the place There are environmental problems all over the place.
to go from bad to worse My marks went from bad to worse last term.
to bag sth. Tom bagged this special offer at an online-shop.
beat-up Mark is too beat-up to play tennis this evening.
to do the best He always does his best.
blabber Don't listen to him, he's a blabber.
to blag sth. Once in a while young Tim blags his father's cigarettes.
bloody What a bloody day!
to be blue She's been feeling blue all day.
a closed book  
bouncer A bouncer's task is to keep out those who might cause trouble.
bowl of cherries Marriage it's not always bowls of cherries.
be broke I can't go to the cinema with you, I'm broke.
to brush up on sth. I have to brush up on my Spanish.
buck You can buy a DVD player for less than 100 bucks.
butt You're a pain in the butt.
buzz Parachuting gives me a real buzz.
Buzz off! Buzz off! I have told you not to come to my place anymore.
a close call I had a close call. A stone almost hit me!
like cat and dog  
to catch sth. Sorry, I didn't quite catch your telephone number.
to catch (a) cold I walked out in the rain, so I caught (a) cold.
not to have a clue I don't have a clue about repairing the faucet.
Come off it! Come off it! This isn't the truth.
as far as I'm concerned As far as I'm concerned, I'd like to watch the film.
cop A big crowd of cops gathered in front of the Bank of England.
corner shop Mother really liked corner shosp when she was a child.
cram school Many pupils have to go to a cram school in the afternoon.
on credit I'd not buy the new TV on credit.
cut Mr Brown made big cuts of $500 million.
damned I hate going through that damned rush hour.
to drive like the devil  
to dig in one's heels If you take or express an opinion and refuse to change it, you dig in your heels.
dirt cheap  
to disrespect sb. Poor people shouldn't be disrespected.
to do one's best He does his best to fix the car.
to do someone good Let's go on a holiday. The sun will do us good.
to do without If there's no milk for the tea, it'll do without.
down under Down under will be my next destination.
to be up to one's ears Sorry, I can't go out with you. I'm up to my ears in work.
to eat like a horse  
to eat like a pig  
every now and then Every now and then I play the piano.
every other He comes to me every other week.
to see eye to eye World Bank and IMF see eye to eye on Asia
fair enough Fair enough! Let's go out for dinner tonight.
fiddle Especially fiddles are necessary to play folk music.
to keep the fingers crossed I have to see the doctor for a checkup. - I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.
flutter The old lady loves a flutter on the slot machine.
folk We all are fond of the Irish folk.
for free I was lucky. I got this CD for free.
freak out Ron freaked out when he heard that Peter had broken his car.
fridge Butter must be kept in the fridge.
to get a lot of stick In his new job Jack gets a lot of stick.
to get cold feet He wanted to speak to the boss, but he didn't. He got cold feet.
to get fed up with sth. They get fed up with their neighbour's parties.
to get rid of sth. We have to get rid of that old car.
to get sth. Jason, did you finally get your exercise?
to take sth. for granted I took it for granted the meeting was on Tuesday.
greasy spoon I'd rather starve instead of eating at a greasy spoon.
groovy This cocktail tastes greasy spoon.
guy Jennifer fell in love with the guy from the supermarket.
had better You'd better go now.
on the other hand Sue likes pop music, on the other hand she doesn't like discos.
to give a hand Can you give me a hand with the cupboard?
hard graft Building our house has been a hard graft.
by heart My brother has to learn the poem by heart.
hip Molly always knows what's hip.
to hold s.o.'s horses ›Hold your horses‹, I said when John began to leave the room.
to be hooked on sth. Bill is hooked on car racing.
to jump down sb.'s throat The boss jumped down my throat because I was late for work.
knackered What has happened? You look so knackered.
to keep an eye on sth./sb. Will you keep an eye on my baby?
little by little Andrew had an accident while playing ice-hockey. Little by little he begins to walk.
to look forward to sb. I look forward to my holidays in Rome.
to make ends meet She's been out of work for years. How can she make ends meet with four children?
to make friends easily Chris makes friends easily.
to make oneself at home Come in, please. Make youreself at home.
to make the most Let's make the most of the last day of our holidays.
to make up one's mind Did you make up your mind to buy a new computer?
mash I love Grandma's homemade mash.
What's the matter? You look sad. What's the matter? with you?
to be mean Grandfather is mean with money.
to meet sb. halfway I don't like his ideas, but I can imagine that we should meet halfway.
to mess around The clown messed around to make the children laugh.
to mess up Sandy has really messed up this time.

Thanks to Alina, Elisabeth and Friedrich.