Nouns and Expressions about the Body- Introduction

We’re starting a new series on body parts and idiomatic expressions in English. The goal is to determine what they actual mean in English and you will have a chance to interpret them in your native tongue. You will find the series in the Menu under the title The Fun With Foreign Languages

To start off the series, we will start with an overview of the most common expressions regarding this topic in English. We will then go from head to toe with each body part.


Most Common Expression with Body Parts:

Exercise 1: Matching

Match the following idiomatic expressions on the left with the meanings on the right. One answer only!

A.  To cost an arm and a leg1. To joke or tease someone
B.  Head start2. To start earlier than planned/ expected
C.  To keep an eye on someone3. To listen to someone fully and carefully
D. To pull one’s leg4. To be  (deeply) in love with someone
E. To get a pat on the back5. To watch someone for his actions/ behavior
F. To be all ears6. To wish someone the best of luck
G.  To be head over heals7. To (offer) help to someone
H. To break one’s leg8.  To be extremely expensive; exorbitant
I. To give/ lend someone a hand9. To agree with someone
J. To see eye to eye10. To thank someone for her hard work/ service


Exercise 2: Multiple Choice

Determine the correct meaning of the following expressions below.  One answer only!

  • „Thou shall not steal!“ is a common example of a ____________ when interacting in society
  • Green thumb
  • Broken thumb
  • Rule of thumb
  • The Bible’s thumb

  • The restaurant is in my neck of the woods. The bold-marked expression means…….
  • Nearby
  • Near my home
  • In the area
  • All are possible

  • In order to master Latin, you must ………… the words and their conjugations ………
  • Turn on with your head
  • Learn by heart
  • Write on your fingers
  • Head by heart

  • Hey, chin up, buddy. Things can only go up from here.  To chin up means…..
  • Look up
  • Cheer up
  • Think positive
  • Both b & c

  • One can have cold feet before a wedding, which means…….
  • To be cold and unloving
  • To be cruel
  • To be nervous
  • To be sensitive

  • If your students are giving you a bad day in class, what is the first thing you would do?
  • Get something off your back
  • To have one’s back
  • To have one’s head
  • To get something off your chest

  • The only time that person will be elected mayor is when hell freezes over. Hell freezes over is the same as this body expression?
  • When Jesus Christ walks on water
  • Over my dead body
  • When pigs fly
  • When the world comes to an end.

  • Well, there goes my job promotion. We better…….. and accept the consequences.
  • Face the facts
  • Face the music
  • Talk face to face
  • Talk about facts

  • You can cry your heart out if you……….
  • Are jumping with joy
  • Are angry and infuriated with someone
  • Have a broken heart
  • Have an injury.

  • I have a twin sister. She’s my
  • Flesh and blood
  • Blood and honor
  • Blood brother
  • Bad blood.

You will find the answers plus other expressions in this link. Each most commonly-used  expression also has an example sentence to help you.




After giving you a brief overview on body expressions, we’ll now look at the each body part, which starts with………