10 Idioms Using Parts of the Body

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There was a garden shop in my neighborhood. They sold lots of plants, tools and other gardening supplies. But everything in there cost an arm and a leg, and after just six months, the store went belly up. My sister liked going there, despite the prices, because she has a green thumb and loves gardening. The staff was very friendly and was always willing to give her a hand. There was one salesman in particular who she liked, and she was soon head over heels for him!

For today’s free English Lesson, we are going to look at ten idioms that use words which are parts of the body. Have a look at the paragraph above once more and then check the lesson.

An arm and a leg

  • How to use it: [something] costs (or) [someone] pays an arm and a leg
  • Explanation:  Something that costs an arm and a leg is very expensive.
  • Example: It costs an arm and a leg to buy beer at a baseball stadium.

Give someone a hand

  • How to use it: [someone] gives another person a hand
  • Explanation: When you give someone a hand, you help them.
  • Example: I asked Jack to give me a hand painting the house.

Go belly up

  • How to use it: [a business] goes belly up
  • Explanation: When a business goes belly up, it goes bankrupt.
  • Example: The new café in town went belly up after just six months.

Green thumb

  • How to use it: [someone] has a green thumb
  • Explanation: Someone who has a green thumb is good at gardening.
  • Example: My mom has a green thumb and grows a lot of flowers and vegetables.

Have a memory like a sieve

  • How to use it: [someone] has a memory like a sieve
  • Explanation: When you have a memory like a sieve, you cannot remember things well.
  • Example: I was trying to remember Jack’s phone number, but I have a memory like a sieve.

Have an iron stomach

  • How to use it: [someone] has an iron stomach
  • Explanation: Someone who has an iron stomach has a strong stomach and can eat almost anything without feeling sick.
  • Example: Jack ate pizza, a donut and fried rice. He has an iron stomach.

Have no spine

  • How to use it: [someone] has no spine
  • Explanation: Someone who has no spine has no courage.
  • Example: Ted can’t confront his boss about the problem because he has no spine.

Have the upper hand

  • How to use it: [someone] has the upper hand
  • Explanation: Someone who has the upper hand has an advantage in a situation.
  • Example: The workers have the upper hand over management.

Have two left feet

  • How to use it: [someone] has two left feet
  • Explanation: Someone who has two left feet is not a good dancer.
  • Example: I don’t go to dance clubs because I have two left feet.

Heart of gold

  • How to use it: [someone] has a heart of gold
  • Explanation: Someone who has a heart of gold is kind and caring.
  • Example: David is a good guy and always willing to help someone. He has a heart of gold.

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