Get Out of My Hair—8 of My Favorite English Body Idioms

by and | 6 comments

Recently a friend told me it was time for me to let my hair down. She definitely wasn’t talking about a new hairstyle! So what do you think she meant? This is actually one of my favorite English body idioms. And when my friend said it, I immediately wanted to share it with you.

Plus, I haven’t done a lesson on English idioms for over a year.

So in today’s lesson, I’ll share 8 English idioms that focus on different parts of the body. You’ll learn exactly what those idioms mean, how to use them with examples, and get practice.

Don’t worry—you’ll also find out what it really means to let down your hair.

After you review the video lesson, be sure to check out the practice questions I have for you below.

Start using these English body idioms in your daily conversation.

Lesson by Annemarie

Review: 8 English Body Idioms with Examples

Idiom 1: To get cold feet

Imagine you have a presentation to give an English next week. You’ve been preparing but you’re still nervous. Just before the presentation you tell your colleague, “I don’t know if I can do this. I’ve got cold feet.”

Idiom 2: To get something off your chest

You have something difficult and uncomfortable to tell you’re friend. You really don’t want to do it but you know you have to. You might start with, “Sarah, this is really hard for me but I have to get something off my chest.”

Idiom 3: To have a chip on your shoulder

You come home from work. There are dishes in the sink that need to be cleaned and suddenly you get very frustrated or angry. It’s a small thing but you have an immediate reaction. Your spouse might say, “Why do you have such a chip on your shoulder?” In other words, why did you get so upset about something so small?

Idiom 4: To pull someone’s leg

Let’s imagine that you’ve just spent the last three months working really hard to organize a big event at your work. The day before the event, your colleague says, “Oh, did you hear we’re going to cancel it?”

You’d probably feel frustrated and shocked. After a moment your colleague says, “I’m just pulling your leg.”

In other words, she’s just joking.

“I wish everyone would just get out of my hair!!” This one is perfect for those days when you can’t get your work done because so many people are interrupting and bothering you.

Idiom 5: To let your hair down

Let’s go back to that situation where you’ve spent 3 months planning an event for 500 people at work. Thankfully, it went perfectly but after three months you’re feeling a quite stressed. When the event is over, your colleague says, “That was amazing. You did such a great job and now it’s time to let your hair down.”

Of course, she means it’s time to relax and have some fun.

Idiom 6: To be a pain in the neck

Planning an event for 500 people probably included moments that were a pain in the neck.

Now we could mean that you really do have pain in your neck, but in this situation it means something different. When we use this idiomatically, we mean that something is annoying, frustrating or it’s bothering us.

We can use this idiom to describe people as well. It’s definitely not positive, but we can do it. Maybe you have a colleague who loves to complain, never does his work, and shows up 20 minutes late to work every day. So you might say, “My colleague is such a pain in the neck!”

Idiom 7: To get out of someone’s hair

This one is perfect for those days when you can’t get your work done because so many people are interrupting and bothering you. You might think, “I wish everyone would just get out of my hair!!” You want them to stop bothering you.

Idiom 8: To rub elbows with somebody

Your friend might tell you, “I hope to rub elbows with some celebrities while I’m in Hollywood.” In other words, she hopes to spend time with someone or with a group of people she doesn’t normally spend time with.

Now it’s time to get some practice!

This week I’ve got 3 questions for you:

1. Have you ever gotten cold feet? If you have, what was the situation and what did you do about it? Did you give up? Did you cancel the event or did you find some way to go through with it to continue?

2. Imagine that you need to tell your best friend something difficult. It’s something that you’ve needed to tell her for a very long time. What would you say?

3. And finally, you’ve planned a really big vacation with your family and you decided to go skydiving. It’s the very last moment and you’re feeling super nervous, so what would you say?

Thanks for joining me this week and have a fantastic Confident English Wednesday!

~ Annemarie

BONUS Question: Which idiom from today’s lesson was your favorite? Try using it in your own example sentence and share it with me.

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