Tell a classroom full of English students that there is an elephant in the room and they will likely think you have gone crazy and reply with “No there isn’t!”
English idioms can be very confusing to English language learners, especially kids and beginners. However, teaching English idioms is incredibly fun as students often come up with some hilarious predictions as they try to figure out what these funny English sayings mean. In this post, we have put together a list of 25 funny English idioms to teach your students. You’ll also find some useful tips on how to teach English idioms in a fun and memorable way.
Funny English Idioms
Here is a list of our favorite funny English idioms and expressions. All these English sayings are suitable for kids, teenagers, and beginner English language learners.
1. When Pigs Fly
It is very unlikely that you will ever see pigs fly right? ‘When pigs fly’ is an English idiom used to express that something is very unlikely to happen. It is often used to mock something. For example, “I’ll believe you’re going to give up chocolate when pigs fly.”
2. Put A Sock In It
This is a funny English idiom you can use with students in your English class. ‘Put a sock in it’ is used to tell someone to be quiet or stop talking. For example, “You two! Put a sock in it! Other students are trying to study.”
3. Cat Got Your Tongue?
This funny idiom is one you can use in class with students. ‘Cat got your tongue?’ is used when someone cannot speak or think of anything to say. For example, “Chris. Why aren’t you answering? What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?“
4. Blue In The Face
This English idiom means to to be extremely tired from making a lot of futile effort to do something. For example, “You can ask me until you are blue in the face but I won’t change my mind.”
5. Raining Cats and Dogs
Raining cats and dogs means that it is raining very heavily. For example, “Don’t forget to take your umbrella. It’s raining cats and dogs out there.”
6. Hold Your Horses
Hold your horses is used to tell someone to wait a minute or to be patient. For example, “Hold your horses! I can’t go yet. I’ve not even ate my breakfast.”
7. Piece Of Cake
The English idiom ‘Piece Of Cake’ is used to express that something is very easy. For example, “How was the test?” – “It was a piece of cake.”
Similar to the previous idiom ‘cakewalk’ means that some challenge or some victory was very easy. For example, “Who won the game?” – “Manchester United did. It was a cakewalk.”
9. A Storm In A Tea Cup
A storm in a tea cup is an English idiom which means that a small issue has been exaggerated and blown out of proportion. For example, “I got really angry at the teacher for giving us some homework yesterday but I guess it was just a storm in a teacup.”
10. Elephant In The Room
The idiom ‘elephant in the room’ is used to when there is a big problem or issue that nobody wants to talk about. For example, “I think we need to talk about the elephant in the room. Our company has lost a lot of money and some people might lose their jobs.”
11. Head In The Clouds
For someone to have their ‘head in the clouds’ means that they have unrealistic or unlikely ideas. For example, “He’s got his head in the clouds if he thinks he can get the job without any experience.”
12. Kick The Bucket
Maybe this idiom is not so funny because to ‘kick the bucket’ means to die. For example, “I want to experience as much as I can before I kick the bucket.”
13. Cool As A Cucumber
To be ‘cool as a cucumber’ means to be calm, relaxed, and composed in stressful situations. For example, “I thought Sally would be stressed out about the big test but she was as cool as a cucumber“
14. Dead As A Door nail
Another perhaps not so funny idiom, ‘dead as a door nail’ means to be completely without life. For example, “A mosquito tried to attack me so now it is as dead as a door nail. “
15. Out Of The Blue
For something to come up out of the blue means for it to come up unexpectedly. For example, “I hadn’t heard from Rachel for 10 years and then she just called me out of the blue.”
16. It’s All Greek To Me
The idiom ‘It’s all Greek to me’ means that something is really hard to understand. For example, “I tried to follow the instructions on how to put the table together but it’s all Greek to me.”
17. I Could Eat A Horse
This idiom is a funny way to say you are very hungry. ‘I could eat a horse’ means that the person is extremely hungry. For example, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!”
18. Beat Around The Bush
The idiom to ‘beat around the bush’ means to talk about a topic without talking about the main point of the subject. It means to talk about something in a round about way rather than directly. For example, “Stop beating around the bush and tell me what happened.”
19. Bob’s Your Uncle
This is a very funny and confusing English idiom that your students will find difficult to guess the meaning of. The expression ‘Bob’s your uncle’ to mean ‘It’s as simple as that.’ / ‘And there it is’. For example, “To tie your shoelaces just tie a knot here and Bob’s your uncle, it’s done!”
20. Frog In Your Throat
This English idiom is a fun way to say that your have difficulty speaking because your throat feels dry. For example, “Craig just stood there and didn’t say a thing. I think he had a frog in his throat“
21. Thick As Thieves
Teachers often use this English idiom to describe students in their class. Thick as thieves means to be very close friends. For example, “Chris and Tom are as thick as thieves. They are always together.”
22. Keep Your Eyes Peeled
‘Keep your eyes peeled’ means to look out or watch out for something. For example, “The teacher will be back any minute so keep your eyes peeled.”
23. Pick Your Brain
Here’s a funny English idiom that kids enjoy. ‘Pick your brain’ is often used when one person wants to see what a particular person knows about a topic. So, ‘Can I pick your brain?’ means ‘Can I ask your opinion about something?’
For example, “Kelly. Do you mind if I pick your brain for just a minute? I’d like to ask you some questions about this new project.”
24. Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
To say that something is ‘the best thing since sliced bread’ means that you think something is really good. For example, “My new smart phone is the best thing since sliced bread.”
25. Keep Your Shirt On
This idiom is used when you want to tell someone to calm down. ‘Keep your shirt on’ means ‘calm down’ or ‘relax’. For example, “Why did you borrow my pencil without asking?” – “Keep your shirt on! It was only for a second.”
Tips For Teaching English Idioms
Teaching English idioms to English language learners can be incredibly fun. It can also be quite challenging and confusing to students as idioms often don’t make much literal sense. To ensure your English lessons about Idioms are fun and useful to your students, follow these simple tips.
Help Students Understand What Idioms Are
Before students learn some fun English idioms, they must first understand what exactly idioms are. All languages are full of idioms so a great way to introduce the topic of English idioms is to first talk about an idiom in the students’ native language. For example, in Korean there is an idiom which translates as ‘When Am I going to eat your noodles?’ which means ‘When are you going to get married?’.
Using an example from the students’ native language, you can explain that idioms are expressions in which the meaning cannot be understood by the individual words in that sentence.
Guess The Meaning Of Some Idioms
Once students have an understanding of what idioms are, write a few fun idioms on the board and ask students to guess the meanings of those idioms based on their first impression. This can lead to some very funny guesses and is a great way to make your English idioms class more fun.
Provide Example Sentences
After students have made their initial guesses, write some example sentences with idioms to put them in context. If possible provide some pictures to help students visualize the situations in which these idioms would be used in English conversation.
After providing some examples, ask students again to try and guess the meaning and usage of the idioms and see if their guesses have changed. Then let your students know the true meaning of the English idioms and see if they guessed correctly.
A wonderful way to get students to practice speaking using English idioms is to ask them to come up with a short role play in pairs or small groups. Give each group a particular English idiom and an example sentence/situation to help them understand how to use the idiom.
Ask them to imagine a situation where they can use that idiom and to create a simple dialogue that they can act out which includes that expression. This fun activity will help students to truly understand the meaning and usage of English idioms and will help them to retain the information going forward.
Thanks for reading. I hope your students enjoy these funny English idioms. Before you go, check out these related posts: 30 Funny Debate Topics, 30 Fun Conversation Topics For Kids, 30 Funny Would You Rather Questions For Kids