Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

pop the question

pop the question

Meaning

  • propose marriage to someone
  • to ask your romantic partner to marry you
  • ask someone to marry you

Example Sentences

  1. I heard you had a special date with Tom yesterday; so did he pop the question, then?
  2. Maggie was deeply in love with Stuart, so when he popped the question, she said yes without any further thought.
  3. Jim and Clara had been dating for about two years when he popped the question to her.
  4. He is taking you to the most lavish restaurant in town. Do you think he is going to pop the question?
  5. He popped the question to her in the middle of the sea, when they had gone on a cruise together.
  6. After months of deliberation, he finally mustered the courage to pop the question to her when they went for a movie together.
  7. The setting was perfect, and she waited expectantly for him to pop the question then, but when he didn’t, she was really disappointed.
  8. He had given her enough hints for the past few days, so when he finally popped the question, she was ready with her answer.

Origin
This phrase has been used since 1725, but with other meanings related to asking about something important. The specific sense of proposing marriage has been used since 1826.

double date

double date

Meaning

  • a date on which two couples go together
  • an occasion when two couples go out together
  • a date where two people and their partners go together
  • a social engagement in which two couples participate together

Example Sentences

  1. When Jim and Sam went on a double date with their girlfriends, they had a fun evening together.
  2. Well, now that you are dating my girlfriend’s brother, we can go on a double date sometime; it would really be fun, what do you say?
  3. They had gone on a double date with another couple who were their friends, and had a really good time together.
  4. When they went on a date to the restaurant, they met an old friend who was on a date with his partner, so they joined up and had a double date.
  5. Bill asked two girls at the club whether they would like to go on a double date with him and his friend.
  6. Tom wanted Sally to go on a date with a friend of his, but when she was reluctant, he said that he would also go along with his wife, so it would be a double date.

Origin
The origin of the phrase is not known.

those three little words

those three little words

Meaning

  • the three words “I love you”

Example Sentences

  1. It is obvious that Steve really loves Sarah, but she told me that he has not said those three little words yet.
  2. After a few months of dating, Joe said those three little words to his girlfriend.
  3. Eve and Martin had been dating each other for the past six months, and now she was eagerly anticipating when he would say those three little words.
  4. Dale was really happy when his girlfriend said those three little words to him.
  5. Though Rachel and Thomas have been going around for quite some time, they have not said those three little words to each other yet.
  6. She glowed with pleasure and smiled coyly when he said those three little words to her for the first time.
  7. Have you said those three little words to her yet? If you don’t say them soon, she might be disappointed and think that you are not really interested in her.
  8. For the love-struck couple, it was a moment to cherish when they said those three little words to each other for the first time.

Origin
The origin of this phrase is not known.

walk out on

walk out on

Meaning

  • end a relationship with someone suddenly
  • leave someone with whom you have a romantic relationship
  • to abandon someone
  • leave your spouse and end the relationship with them

Example Sentences

  1. Everyone was shocked when he walked out on his wife of fourteen years and their two beautiful children aged ten and seven.
  2. After having a bitter argument, Jose walked out on Anne without so much as a final goodbye.
  3. Upset over her husband’s drinking habits, she walked out on him, ending their three year old marriage.
  4. Her husband had walked out on her a year ago, but she still clung on to his belongings, hoping that someday he will return to her.
  5. Mary walked out on Roy when she found out that he had been cheating on her right from the beginning of their relationship.
  6. He walked out on her when he realized that she was not serious about their relationship anymore.
  7. He realized that he had made a mistake when he had walked out on her, and knew that he would have to regret his indiscretion for the rest of his life.
  8. You have been together for so long, don’t walk out on him just like that, give your relationship another chance.

Origin
The origin of the phrase is not known.

leave at the altar

leave at the altar

Meaning

  • decide not to marry someone at the very last moment
  • decide not to marry someone just before the wedding

Example Sentences

  1. Judy was devastated when her fiance did not turn up for their wedding and left her at the altar.
  2. A few days before his wedding date, James started feeling extremely nervous and finally decided to leave his girlfriend at the altar.
  3. Your wedding is just a week away, don’t you get cold feet now. You don’t want to leave your partner at the altar, do you?
  4. You realize now, so close to your wedding date, that you still have feelings for your ex? What are going to do about Ron now? Will you leave him at the altar?
  5. After having being left at the altar for the second time, he decided never to think about marriage again.
  6. Sue had been very excited about her best friend’s wedding, but it turned out to be disaster when the groom left her friend at the altar.
  7. Think about whether you are ready for marriage yet. You should not say yes to him now and later leave him at the altar because you were not sure.

Origin
The origin of the phrase is not known.

break up | split up

break up

also split up

Meaning

  • end a romantic relationship with someone
  • end of a marriage or relationship
  • to become separated after being in a marriage or relationship

Example Sentences

  1. After having been married for eight years, their decision to break up came as a huge surprise to their friends.
  2. Tom has finally broken up with the girl he met at the club. Theirs was a relationship that was not meant to last.
  3. She split up with her boyfriend after he kept embarrassing her in front of her friends.
  4. After years of being in a miserable relationship, they finally decided to split up and go their separate ways.
  5. Celebrity break ups and split ups are the toast of the media. In their quest for the latest piece of gossip, they forget that they are dealing with human beings who are going through a difficult time.
  6. The news of their break up followed soon after his wife discovered his adulterous relationships.
  7. They had always come across as a happy and supportive couple; so when they announced that they were splitting up, it came as surprise for many.
  8. He broke up with his partner of three years when he found out that she was dating another man.

Origin
The origin of the phrase is not known.

kiss and make up

kiss and make up

Meaning

  • to become friendly again after an argument
  • to forgive each other and be friends again
  • to settle one’s differences
  • to reconcile and forget past animosity
  • to stop being angry at someone
  • to kiss each other and apologize

Example Sentences

  1. After having a heated argument the previous night, the young couple kissed and made up and decided to settle their differences amicably.
  2. They were a peculiar couple. They were always fighting with each other, but at the end if the day, they would always kiss and make up; only to start all over again the next day.
  3. My friend and her partner have not been speaking to each other for the past five days. I wish they would stop all this and just kiss and make up.
  4. Steve realized his mistake and apologized to his wife for having been so rude to her; and they finally kissed and made up.
  5. They never let their differences come in way of their goals. They did have their arguments, but they always kissed and made up and decided to start afresh.

Origin
This phrase originated in the mid 1900s and replaced another phrase “kiss and be friends” which was in use since the 1400s.

wear heart on sleeve

wear your heart on your sleeve

Meaning

  • display your emotions openly
  • make your feelings apparent and obvious
  • openly reveal your feelings and emotions
  • unable to hide your emotions and feelings
  • be emotionally transparent
  • be open or forthright about your emotions.

Example Sentences

  1. It was evident that he was in love with her. He wore his heart on his sleeve and you could see how he felt about her.
  2. She is a very sensitive person and wears her heart on her sleeve, so it very easy to hurt her feelings.
  3. Sam always wears his heart on his sleeve, so everyone knew how he was feeling.
  4. He wore his heart on his sleeve and it was obvious that he was shattered by his recent breakup with his girlfriend.
  5. If you wear your heart on your sleeve, you will be very vulnerable and people are going to take advantage of you.
  6. She used to be a very passionate woman who wore her heart on her sleeve, but repeated rejections and mistreatment at the hands of the ones she trusted made her go into a shell and bottle her emotions up.

Origin
This phrase was first recorded in Shakespeare’s play “Othello” in 1604, where the treacherous Iago says this to feign openness and vulnerability.

let your heart rule your head

let your heart rule your head

Meaning

  • do something based on emotions rather than logic
  • act according to what you feel rather than what is sensible
  • do something because you want to, rather than for practical reasons
  • let your emotions control your sense of reasoning

Example Sentences

  1. I think it would be unwise for you to be in a relationship with him; he is a known womanizer. Don’t let your heart rule your head.
  2. I know he is not rich and does not have much social status, but he loves you and cares for you a lot, so for this one time, I would say let your heart rule your head; you’ll be glad you did.
  3. Most romantic movies and stories paint this rosy picture about love and tell you that all will be well if you let your heart rule your head, but the reality is quite the opposite in most cases.
  4. I had warned him that he would suffer if he let his heart rule his head, but he was too enamoured by her charm then; and now that she’s left him, he’s completely broken.
  5. Sometimes, it pays off to ignore all logic and let your heart rule your head.

Origin
The origin of this phrase is not known.

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Meaning

  • different people have different ideas and views about what is beautiful
  • not all people have the same opinions as to what is attractive or beautiful
  • the perception of beauty is subjective
  • it is not possible to judge beauty objectively
  • what one person finds beautiful may not appeal to another

Example Sentences

  1. I don’t see why he finds her attractive, I think she is downright ugly; but, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say.
  2. Jane was gushing about how handsome her partner looked in his brand new tuxedo, but I thought he was looking pretty ordinary. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  3. Even the ugliest of people will have someone who finds them attractive, for beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as goes the saying.
  4. I can’t believe he finally settled for that ugly little car. And he loves it too! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
  5. Well, she’s an ordinary looking girl, but if finds her attractive, good for him. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Origin
The meaning that this phrase conveys has been used since the 3rd century BC in Greek. Thereafter, it has been used in various other forms. In the current form, it was first used in 1878 by Margaret Wolfe Hungerford in her book “Molly Bawn”.

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