Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

love is blind

love is blind

Meaning

  • if you love someone, you cannot see the faults in that person
  • a person in love cannot see any imperfections in the person they love
  • if you love someone, it does not matter what they look like or what their faults are

Example Sentences

  1. I really don’t understand why Mia likes Chris so much. He’s very selfish and inconsiderate; and doesn’t even treat her well. Well, love really is blind.
  2. Everybody thought that Sam would not make a good match for Jill, but love is blind, and she was oblivious to all his bad habits.
  3. Love is blind, and it was so true in his case. The girl he was dating was obviously two-timing him, but he was blissfully unaware of everything.
  4. When you are in love, you tend to overlook the faults of the person you love as it is said that love is blind.
  5. Love is blind, it is said, but it is not good to completely close your eyes to the faults of the person you love.

Origin
This expression was first used by Geoffrey Chaucer in Merchant’s Tale in 1405. However, it gained popularity after Shakespeare used it in many of his plays during the late 1500s and early 1600s.

marry in haste, repent at leisure

marry in haste, repent at leisure

Meaning

  • if you marry someone without knowing the person well, you will later regret your decision to marry
  • those who rush into a marriage spend a long time repenting it later
  • if you marry someone without first carefully considering your decision, you will feel sorry for it later

Example Sentences

  1. Sally and Bob had hardly known each other for a few months before they decided to get married, and now they are having big problems. Marry in haste, repent at leisure!
  2. I feel you are rushing into your marriage; you don’t even know him that well. Haven’t you heard of the saying “marry in haste, repent at leisure”?
  3. With George and Susan, its a case of marry in haste, repent at leisure. They met at a friends wedding, fell in love immediately and decided to marry too soon. Now they are very unhappy together.
  4. I know she is nice girl, but I want to think about it before I decide to marry her. I don’t want to marry in haste and repent at leisure.
  5. She wanted some time to consider his proposal of marriage; she had heard of the saying “marry in haste, repent at leisure”.

Origin
This expression first originated in print in 1693, in “The Old Batchelour” by William Congreve.

love rat

love rat

Meaning

  • someone, usually a man, who has a secret affair while being in a relationship
  • a man who betrays, or is unfaithful to his wife or girlfriend
  • a man who cheats on his partner
  • a man who has had a secret sexual relationship with someone who is not his regular partner.
  • a man who commits adultery or is promiscuous.

Example Sentences

  1. I heard Bill had an affair with his wife’s best friend! What a love rat he is!
  2. He’s had affairs with numerous women while still being married to her. He’s a complete love rat.
  3. When it was discovered that the star footballer was having an affair with another woman while his wife was expecting, the press had a field time cashing in on the scandal and calling him a love rat.
  4. You are already in a relationship, why do you want to ask another woman out for a date? Don’t be a love rat.
  5. When the popular minister’s adulterous relationships were revealed, his political career came crashing down. The press called him a love rat and his image in the public took a huge beating.

Origin
This expression originated during the 1990s in journalism and is used by the press and popular newspapers.

every picture tells a story

every picture tells a story

Meaning

  • scene of happening that explains hidden reality
  • face or expressions that tells the truth or story
  • the idea of story as seen in any picture
  • hidden or unsaid explanation behind an outlook or sight

Example Sentences

  1. Shannon is denying but I am quite sure that she had done something wrong, every picture tells a story.
  2. Look at the face of Ricky he is so scared of being caught, every picture tells a story, he is the culprit.
  3. The emotions in this picture of a woman telling, she is in severe pain, every picture tells a story.
  4. Every picture tells a story and this is you who spoiled my painting, look at the paint on your hands and clothes, don’t try to make me fool.

Origin
The origin of the idiom “every picture tells a story” is fairly indistinct and unidentified till now. If you have any idea about it’s origin or meaning please share in comments.

This phrase lies slightly more in category of proverbs than the idioms.

stormy relationship

have a stormy relationship

Meaning

  • a relationship with many disagreements
  • a relationship with frequent quarrels
  • a relationship with a lot of arguments and shouting
  • an unpredictable but sometimes passionate relationship

Example Sentences

  1. After having a very stormy relationship for around two years, they decided to separate.
  2. Sometimes two people of opposite personalities are attracted to each other, but they usually have a very stormy relationship.
  3. He had a very stormy relationship with his boss, and so decided to look for a new job.
  4. The couple down the street in our neighbourhood have a very stormy relationship, and you can hear them shouting and arguing heatedly almost every day.
  5. After having watched her best friend go through an ugly divorce, Martha said she was glad that she did not have a stormy relationship with her husband.
  6. During the first few years of their marriage, they used to have a very stormy relationship, but over the time, they made the effort to understand each other and now they are the very supportive of each other.
  7. Sam and Sally had a very stormy relationship – they had frequent disagreements and were always arguing.
  8. Instead of carrying on with this stormy relationship, why don’t you call it off?

Origin
The origin of this phrase is not known.

one stop shop

one stop shop

Meaning

  • A store that fulfils various requirements which is preferable by customers.
  • It is usually a place of business that offers many services and products which are related.

Example Sentences

  1. That corner store is a one stop shop for anyone looking for video games.
  2. I just don’t have the patience to check prices with individual vendors so I go to a one stop shop for all my grocery requirements.
  3. In the current environment where everyone is in a rush for everything, one stop shops are the ultimate solution for grocery shopping.

Origin
The phrase actually refers to a business strategy which is to pull customers with the lure of getting more than one things done at the same time and in one visit. It is cost effective for the business because they can sell more items and time effective for the customers. Big super and hyper markets are the best examples of one stop shops and are commonplace for people with busy schedules.

A car repairing business in the United States of America used this phrase in their advertisement in the early 1900’s. The term was even explained in the same advert within the strapline.

eat humble pie

eat humble pie

Meaning

  • To become very humble in behaviour when someone points out a wrong doing by the person.
  • To admit an error and become submissive and apologetic in doing so.
  • When someone enforces an apology after a wrong has been committed.

Example Sentences

  1. I know for certain that the appliance should not be handled this way but if I turn out to be wrong then I’ll eat humble pie.
  2. One may often think that they are smarter than the others but such people always end up eating humble pie.
  3. The lawyer had to eat humble pie in the court because the facts he presented were wrong.

Origin
In the United Kingdom, what is known as offal meat which is the liver, heart, entrails of an animal was known as numbles in the early 14th century. Speculation is that the pies made from numbles eventually be came to know umbles through metanalysis (the process of change in the sound and the use of a word in the English language). Since 1330 the mention of numble or umble pies is common. Samuel Pepys used it in his diary at least on two occasions.

The word humble as an adjective means to have a low self-esteem. So the word play could have been to eat umble pie when feeling humble, which is a likely possibility of being the origin of the phrase.

keep schtum

keep schtum

Meaning

  • To be quiet when one knows that if the wrong thing is said then there will be more trouble.
  • To not say something to anyone.
  • To keep a sensitive matter a secret.
  • To not divulge any information.

Example Sentences

  1. I can’t tell you because you will not be able to keep schtum about it.
  2. She can keep schtum about such a sensitive thing, you can trust her.
  3. My aunt loves to gossip, she is not going to keep schtum if she ever finds out.
  4. The whole college kept schtum about the incident, nobody said a word about what happened there that day, it is truly remarkable.
  5. To keep schtum is a virtue that not everyone can carry.
  6. The prisoner kept schtum for years to keep his comrades safe. ‎

Origin
The word ‘stumm’ in the German language means to be silent. The phrase in question originates in the United Kingdom and comes from the criminal world. Frank Norman used the phrase in his book “Bang to rights: an account of prison life” in the year 1958. The phrase is mostly used in the United Kingdom itself.

Synonyms

  • keep stumm
  • keep shtoom
  • keep shtum

beyond the pale

beyond the pale

Meaning

  • Something that is not an acceptable way to behave.
  • An unacceptable way to express something.
  • Something that is not considered decent.

Example Sentences

  1. Nobody will want to be friends with you if you are considered beyond the pale in your social circle.
  2. They broke up because her behaviour was simply beyond the pale.
  3. One should discuss problems in a calm manner. To go beyond the pale makes coming to a reasonable conclusion a difficult thing.
  4. You have gone beyond the pale with your behaviour tonight.

Origin
The words ‘pail’ and ‘pale’ are not connected in anyway, definitely not by this phrase. ‘Pale’ as a noun refers to a pointed piece of wood. To pale the fence means to enclose an area with a fence, mostly home. Beyond the pale was hence outside the set home boundaries. In 1791, Pale of Settlement was created in Russia which separated the Jews so that they could not trade amongst the natives. There were some who lived beyond the pale still and continued interaction which was bit an acceptable act to all.

The origination of the phrase came later with John Harington’s lyric poem in the year 1657.

on the rocks

on the rocks

Meaning

  • likely to fail because of serious problems
  • in a state of difficulty, destruction or ruin
  • a relationship having problems and likely to end soon
  • a relationship on the brink of failing

Example Sentences

  1. Their marriage was on the rocks as they couldn’t get along with each other anymore and were having huge arguments very frequently.
  2. It is not a great surprise that they are getting divorced. Their marriage has been on the rocks for quite some time.
  3. Their decade long marriage was on the rocks because of one act of indiscretion by him.
  4. She had a big wedding, but a few months down the line, her marriage was on the rocks because she suspected her husband of cheating on her.
  5. They had been going steady for the last few years, but lately, their relationship has been on the rocks for some reason.
  6. When Kate arrived at the party alone, it was clear that her relationship with Stuart was on the rocks.
  7. I feel sorry for him. He has lost his job, his marriage is on the rocks and his kids don’t even speak to him.

Origin
The phrase “on the rocks” was originally used for ships which ran aground on rocks and broke apart. Since the late 1800s it has been used figuratively for other disasters or problems.

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