BODY Idioms: 100+ Useful Body Parts Idioms in English

Last Updated on November 15, 2023

Body idioms are an essential part of the English language, and they are used by native speakers all the time. They can be used to express a wide range of emotions and ideas, from happiness and excitement to frustration and anger. In this article, we will cover a range of body idioms, from the head to the toes. We will explain the meaning of each idiom and provide examples of how they are used in context.

General List of Body Parts Idioms in English

  • A Hair’s Breadth
  • Bare-Bones
  • Be a Bundle of Nerves
  • Bend over Backwards
  • Birthday Suit
  • Bite One’s Tongue
  • Blood Is Thicker Than Water
  • Brain Drain
  • Breathe Easier (Easy)
  • Tongue-in-Cheek
  • Built Like a Brick Shit-House
  • Bust a Gut (Laughing)
  • Bust Someone’s Balls
  • Bust Someone’s Chops
  • Don’t Hold Your Breath
  • Eat, Sleep, and Breathe (Something)
  • Elbow Grease
  • Fit as a Fiddle
  • Forty Winks
  • Get Blood from a Stone
  • Get in Shape
  • Get on One’s Nerves
  • Get One’s Ass In Gear
  • Go Behind Someone’s Back
  • Gut feeling
  • Gut Reaction
  • Have a Stick Up One’s Ass
  • Have One’s Back Against the Wall
  • Have Skin in the Game
  • Joined at the hip
  • Jump Down Someone’s Throat
  • Knee-Jerk Reaction
  • Lose One’s Nerve
  • No-Brainer
  • Not Know Your Ass (UK: Arse) from Your Elbow
  • On the Blink
  • On the Nod
  • On the Rag
  • On Your Toes
  • Pick Someone’s Brain(s)
  • Pop Someone’s Cherry
  • A Hair’s Breadth
  • Put Muscle Behind
  • Put One’s Back Into Something
  • Rub Elbows (with)
  • Shanks’ Pony; Shanks’ Mare
  • Skeleton in One’s Closet
  • Skeleton in the Cupboard
  • Slap on the Wrist
  • Smell Blood (in the Water)
  • Tear One’s Hair out
  • To Have Butterflies in One’s Stomach
  • To Piss Into the Wind
  • To Work One’s Arse Off
  • Toe the Line (Mark)
  • Up The Wazoo
  • Vertically Challenged
  • Week at the knees
  • Work One’s Tail (Butt) Off
  • Zip It
  • Zonk Out

Useful Body Parts Idioms in English | Image 1

Commonly Used Body idioms in EnglishPin

Body Idioms with Meaning and Examples

List of body parts idioms and sayings in English from A to Z with meaning and example sentences.

Body Idioms (A, B)

Useful body parts idioms that start with A & B.

A Hair’s Breadth

  • Meaning: A very small distance or amount.
  • Example: “He missed the target by a hair’s breadth.”

Bare-Bones

  • Meaning: Only the most basic and essential elements.
  • Example: “We only have the bare bones of our project so far.”

Be a Bundle of Nerves

  • Meaning: To be very nervous or anxious.
  • Example: “I’m a bundle of nerves before every job interview.”

Bend over Backwards

  • Meaning: To do everything possible to help someone.
  • Example: “I bent over backwards to help my friend move.”

Birthday Suit

  • Meaning: Naked.
  • Example: “The baby ran around in his birthday suit.

Bite One’s Tongue

  • Meaning: To hold back from saying something.
  • Example: “I had to bite my tongue when my boss made a ridiculous suggestion.”

Brain Drain

  • Meaning: The loss of highly skilled workers to another company or country.
  • Example: “The company experienced a brain drain when several top engineers left.”

Breathe Easier (Easy)

  • Meaning: To feel relieved.
  • Example: “I can finally breathe easier now that the project is finished.”

Note: This idiom is common even though it’s grammatically incorrect. No one would say “breathe more easily.”

Built Like a Brick Shit-House

  • Meaning: To be very strong and muscular.
  • Example: “That bodybuilder is built like a brick shit-house.”

Bust a Gut (Laughing)

  • Meaning: To laugh very hard.
  • Example: “The comedy show had me busting a gut.

Bust Someone’s Balls

  • Meaning: To tease or harass someone.
  • Example: “My friends always bust my balls about my taste in music.”

Bust Someone’s Chops

  • Meaning: To criticize or nag someone.
  • Example: “My boss is always busting my chops about my deadlines.”

Body Idioms (D,E)

Useful body idioms that start with D & E.

Don’t Hold Your Breath

  • Meaning: Don’t wait for something to happen because it probably won’t.
  • Example:Don’t hold your breath waiting for him to call you back.”

Eat, Sleep, and Breathe (Something)

  • Meaning: To be completely devoted to something.
  • Example: “She eats, sleeps, and breathes basketball.”

Elbow Grease

  • Meaning: Hard work and effort.
  • Example: “We need some elbow grease to finish this project on time.”

Body Idioms (F)

Useful body idioms that start with F.

Fit as a Fiddle

  • Meaning: To be in excellent health.
  • Example: “My grandfather is 95 years old and still fit as a fiddle.”

Forty Winks

  • Meaning: A short nap.
  • Example: “I need to take forty winks before the meeting.”

Body Idioms (G)

Useful body idioms that start with G.

Get Blood from a Stone

  • Meaning: To try to get something that is impossible to obtain.
  • Example: “Trying to get a straight answer from him is like getting blood from a stone.”

Get in Shape

  • Meaning: To become physically fit.
  • Example: “I need to get in shape before the marathon next month.”

Get on One’s Nerves

  • Meaning: To annoy or irritate someone.
  • Example: “Her constant complaining is getting on my nerves.”

Get One’s Ass In Gear

  • Meaning: To start working or moving quickly.
  • Example: “We need to get our ass in gear if we want to finish this project on time.”

Go Behind Someone’s Back

  • Meaning: To do something without someone’s knowledge or approval.
  • Example: “He went behind his boss’s back to get the promotion.”

Gut feeling

  • Meaning: An instinctive feeling.
  • Example: “I have a gut feeling that something is wrong.”

Gut Reaction

  • Meaning: An immediate and instinctive response.
  • Example: “My gut reaction was to say no to the proposal.”

Body Idioms (H)

Useful body idioms that start with H.

Have a Stick Up One’s Ass

  • Meaning: To be uptight or overly strict.
  • Example: “My boss has a stick up his ass about punctuality.”

Have One’s Back Against the Wall

  • Meaning: To be in a difficult or challenging situation.
  • Example: “The company has its back against the wall with the new regulations.”

Have Skin in the Game

  • Meaning: To have a personal stake or interest in something.
  • Example: “He has skin in the game because he invested his own money in the project.”

Note: This expression is American.

Body Idioms (J)

Useful body idioms that start with J.

Joined at the hip

  • Meaning: To be very close and inseparable.
  • Example: “Those two are joined at the hip. They do everything together.”

Jump Down Someone’s Throat

  • Meaning: To criticize or attack someone harshly.
  • Example: “He jumped down my throat when I suggested a different approach.”

Body Idioms (K,L)

Useful body idioms that start with K & L.

Knee-Jerk Reaction

  • Meaning: A quick and automatic response without thinking.
  • Example: “When he asked me to marry him, my knee-jerk reaction was to say yes.”

Lose One’s Nerve

  • Meaning: To become too frightened or nervous to do something.
  • Example: “I was going to ask my boss for a raise, but I lost my nerve at the last minute.”

Body Idioms (N)

Useful body idioms that start with N.

No-Brainer

  • Meaning: Something that is very easy or obvious.
  • Example: “Choosing the salad over the burger was a no-brainer for me.”

Not Know Your Ass (UK: Arse) from Your Elbow

  • Meaning: To be completely clueless or ignorant.
  • Example: “He doesn’t know his ass from his elbow when it comes to fixing cars.”

Body Idioms (O)

Useful body idioms that start with O.

On the Blink

  • Meaning: Not working properly or malfunctioning.
  • Example: “My computer is on the blink again. I need to get it fixed.”

On the Nod

  • Meaning: To fall asleep or doze off.
  • Example: “After staying up all night studying, he was on the nod during his morning class.”

On the Rag

  • Meaning: To be menstruating.
  • Example: “She’s on the rag this week, so she’s not feeling very well.”

On Your Toes

  • Meaning: To be alert and ready for anything.
  • Example: “We need to be on our toes for this meeting. It’s going to be tough.”

Body Idioms (P)

Useful body idioms that start with P.

Pick Someone’s Brain(s)

  • Meaning: To ask someone for advice or information.
  • Example: “Can I pick your brains about the best way to start a business?”

Pop Someone’s Cherry

  • Meaning: To do something for the first time.
  • Example: “I’m going to pop my cherry and try skydiving this weekend.”

Note: This is crude.

Put Muscle Behind

  • Meaning: To use force or strength to accomplish something.
  • Example: “We need to put some muscle behind this project if we want to finish it on time.

Put One’s Back Into Something

  • Meaning: To work hard and put in a lot of effort.
  • Example: “If we all put our backs into it, we can finish this project by the deadline.”

Body Idioms (R, S)

Useful body idioms that start with R & S.

Rub Elbows (with)

  • Meaning: To socialize or network with someone.
  • Example: “At the conference, I got to rub elbows with some of the biggest names in the industry.”

Shanks’ Pony; Shanks’ Mare

  • Meaning: To walk, especially when you can’t afford transportation.
  • Example: “I don’t have a car, so I have to rely on shanks’ pony to get around.”

Skeleton in One’s Closet

  • Meaning: A secret or embarrassing fact that someone wants to keep hidden.
  • Example: “He’s a great candidate, but I’m worried there might be a skeleton in his closet.”

Skeleton in the Cupboard

  • Meaning: A secret or embarrassing fact that someone wants to keep hidden.
  • Example: “There’s a skeleton in the cupboard that we need to address before we move forward.”

Slap on the Wrist

  • Meaning: A mild punishment or reprimand.
  • Example: “He got off with a slap on the wrist for stealing the office supplies.”

Smell Blood (in the Water)

  • Meaning: To sense weakness or vulnerability in someone.
  • Example: “The competition smelled blood in the water and went after our market share.”

Body Idioms (T)

Useful body idioms that start with T.

Tear One’s Hair out

  • Meaning: To be very frustrated or upset.
  • Example: “I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to figure out this math problem.”

To Have Butterflies in One’s Stomach

  • Meaning: To feel nervous or anxious.
  • Example: “I always have butterflies in my stomach before a big presentation.”

To Piss Into the Wind

  • Meaning: To do something that is pointless or ineffective.
  • Example: “Trying to convince him to change his mind is like pissing into the wind.”

To Work One’s Arse Off

  • Meaning: To work very hard.
  • Example: “I worked my arse off to get that promotion.”

Toe the Line (Mark)

  • Meaning: To follow the rules or conform.
  • Example: “If you want to succeed in this company, you need to learn to toe the line.”

Tongue-in-Cheek

  • Meaning: To say something in a joking or ironic way.
  • Example: “He made a tongue-in-cheek comment about his terrible cooking skills.”

Body Idioms (U, V)

Useful body idioms that start with U & V.

Up The Wazoo

  • Meaning: To have a lot of something.
  • Example: “We have paperwork up the wazoo to fill out before we can start the project.”

Vertically Challenged

  • Meaning: To be short.
  • Example: “I’m not short, I’m just vertically challenged.”

Note: This has a humorous flavor.

Body Idioms (W)

Useful body idioms that start with W.

Week at the knees

  • Meaning: To feel weak or shaky, especially in the legs, due to fear, nervousness, or exhaustion.
  • Example:  “After the marathon, my legs were so sore that I felt weak at the knees.”

Work One’s Tail (Butt) Off

  • Meaning: To work extremely hard or to put in a lot of effort.
  • Example: “I had to work my tail off to meet the deadline for the project.”

Note: These are used euphemistically-”they are more polite than “work your ass off.”

Body Idioms (Z)

Useful body idioms that start with Z.

Zip It

  • Meaning: To be quiet or to stop talking.
  • Example: “When the teacher entered the classroom, the students were talking loudly, and she told them to zip it.”

Zonk Out

  • Meaning: To fall asleep or to be very tired and unable to stay awake.
  • Example: “After a long day at work, I usually zonk out as soon as I hit the bed.”

Note: This is rare. “Crash” would be a more common alternative.

Body Idioms and Expressions (2)

Body Idioms: Idioms with Eyes

List of eye idioms with meaning.

  • A Sight for Sore Eyes: Seeing someone or something is a relief or brings joy after a long absence or a difficult time. 
  • All Eyes And Ears: Be attentive and listen carefully. 
  • All Eyes Are On: Everyone is watching or paying attention to someone or something. 
  • An Eye for an Eye: If someone does something wrong, they should receive the same punishment. 
  • Catch Someone’s Eye: To attract someone’s attention. 
  • Cry Your Eyes Out: To cry a lot. 
  • Keep an Eye On: To watch or monitor something or someone closely. 
  • Keep an Eye Peeled: To be alert and watchful. 
  • See Eye to Eye: To agree with someone. 
  • See Something Out of the Corner of Your Eye: To see something or someone in your peripheral vision. 
  • Sight for Sore Eyes: A sight that makes you happy
  • To be the Apple of Someone’s Eye: To be someone’s favorite person or thing. 
  • Turn a Blind Eye: To ignore something or pretend not to see it. 
  • Wandering Eye: To look at someone else in a romantic or sexual way even when in a committed relationship. 
  • Black Eye: This idiom means a bruise around the eye caused by a punch or hit. 
  • Blue-Eyed Boy: This idiom means a favorite or privileged person.  
  • Baby Blues: This idiom means postpartum depression. 

Body Idioms: Idioms with Ears

List of ear idioms with meaning.

  • All Ears: Fully attentive and ready to listen to what someone has to say.
  • Give Someone an Earful: To give someone an earful means to scold or criticize them severely.
  • I’m All Ears: Ready to listen to someone. However, it also implies that we are eagerly waiting to hear what they have to say.
  • Lend an Ear: To listen attentively to someone who needs to talk.
  • Play It by Ear: To improvise or make decisions as the situation unfolds.
  • That’s Music to My Ears: what someone said is pleasing or gratifying to hear.
  • The Walls Have Ears We:  Someone may be listening in on a private conversation.
  • Wet Behind the Ears: To be wet behind the ears means to be inexperienced or naive.

Body Idioms: Idioms with Nose

List of nose idioms with meaning.

  • Cut Off Your Nose to Spite Your Face: to do something that will harm you more than it will harm the person you are angry with. 
  • Have Your Nose in the Air:  to have a snobbish or disdainful attitude. 
  • It’s No Skin off My (Your) Nose (Back): the outcome will not affect you personally. 
  • Keep Your Nose Clean: to stay out of trouble or to avoid doing anything wrong. 
  • Keeping One’s Nose to the Grindstone: Working hard on something repetitive or tedious
  • On the Nose: to be exactly right or accurate. 
  • Powder One’s Nose: to go to the bathroom, especially to apply makeup or freshen up.
  • Right Under (One’s) Nose: to be very close or nearby, but not noticed. 
  • Rub Someone’s Nose in (Something): to remind someone of their mistakes or failures in a way that is humiliating or hurtful. 
  • Stick Your Nose into Something: to interfere in someone else’s business or affairs. 
  • Have a Nose for (Something): to have an ability to detect or identify something. 

Body Idioms: Idioms with Leg

List of leg idioms with meaning.

  • The Story Has Legs: A story that has potential to continue or be successful.
  • To Pay an Arm and a Leg: To pay a high price for something.
  • To Pull Someone’s Leg: To tease or joke with someone.
  • Break a Leg: Good luck.
  • A Leg Up: An advantage or assistance.

Body Idioms: Idioms with Teeth

List of teeth idioms with meaning.

  • By the Skin of One’s Teeth: to barely succeed or survive. 
  • Cut Your Teeth on Something: to learn or gain experience in a particular field. 
  • Grind One’s Teeth: to be angry or frustrated, especially when you can’t express it. 
  • Armed to the Teeth: to have a lot of weapons or resources at your disposal. 

Body Idioms: Idioms with Mouth

List of mouth idioms with meaning.

  • All Mouth And No Trousers: to talk about doing something without actually doing it. 
  • Bad Taste In One’s Mouth: to have a negative feeling or experience that lingers. 
  • Butter Wouldn’t Melt in (Someone’s): To say that butter wouldn’t melt in someone’s mouth means that they seem innocent or harmless, even if they are not. 
  • By Word of Mouth:  to hear something from someone else, rather than from an official source. 
  • Put Your Foot In Your Mouth:  to talk too much or say things that are not necessary. 
  • Run off at the Mouth: to say something embarrassing or offensive by mistake. 
  • A Hair’s Breadth: A very small distance or amount

Body Idioms: Idioms with Heart

List of heart idioms with meaning.

  • After One’s Own Heart: to describe someone who has the same opinions, interests, or attitudes as you.
  • Bare One’s Heart (Soul): to reveal your deepest thoughts and feelings to someone.
  • Eat Your Heart Out!: to express satisfaction or triumph over someone else.
  • Follow Your Heart: to do what you feel is right or what you really want to do.
  • From the Bottom of One’s Heart: to express something sincerely and deeply.
  • In a Heartbeat: to do something very quickly or without hesitation.
  • Touch One’s Heart: to make someone feel emotional or sympathetic.

Body Idioms: Idioms with Heel

List of heel idioms with meaning.

  • Achilles’ Heel: A person’s weakness or vulnerable point.
  • (Fall) Head Over Heels: To be completely in love with someone or something.
  • Cool Your Heels: To wait patiently or to calm down.
  • Drag One’s Feet (or Heels): To delay or to be slow to take action.
  • Hot on the Heels (of): To follow closely behind someone or something.

Body Idioms: Idioms with Hand

List of hand idioms with meaning.

  • Hands are Tied: You are prevented from doing something. It is not within your power
  • Hands Down:  Without a doubt or easily.
  • Get One’s Hands Dirty: To do hard work or get involved in something that is unpleasant.
  • Know (Something) Like the Back of One’s Hand: To know something very well.
  • Right-Hand Man: Chief assistant
  • Wash Your Hands of (Something): To disassociate oneself from someone or something, to stop being involved or responsible for it.

Body Idioms: Idioms with Thumb

List of thumb idioms with meaning.

  • All Thumbs: To be clumsy or awkward.
  • Have Your Thumb Up Your Ass: Have nothing to do
  • Rule of Thumb: A general guideline or principle.
  • Thumbs-Up: To show approval or agreement

Body Idioms: Idioms with Neck

List of neck idioms with meaning.

  • Neck and Neck: To be in a tie or to be very close in a competition.
  • Stiff-Necked: To be stubborn or inflexible.
  • Neck of the Woods: A particular region or area
  • Up to One’s Neck: To be deeply involved in something, especially a difficult situation
  • Pain in the Neck: Something or someone that is annoying or troublesome

Body Idioms: Idioms with Arm & Belly

List of arm idioms and belly idioms with meaning.

  • Arm Candy: A good-looking person who accompanies someone to a social event
  • Keep Someone at Arm’s Length: To keep a safe distance from someone or to avoid getting too close to them
  • Fire in the Belly: A strong determination or motivation to succeed.
  • Belly Laugh: A loud and hearty laugh

Body Idioms: Idioms with Feet

List of foot idioms with meaning.

  • Drag Your Feet: to do something very reluctantly; delay doing something
  • Find Your Feet: to adjust to a new place or situation
  • Jump in with Both Feet: start doing something with a lot of enthusiasm
  • To Get Cold Feet: to suddenly become too scared or nervous to do something that one had planned to do
  • Vote with One’s Feet: to show one’s opinion by choosing to support or not support something with one’s actions
  • Have a Lead Foot: to drive too fast
  • On the Back Foot: to be at a disadvantage
  • Put Your Foot Down: to assert oneself and take a firm stand against something

Body Idioms: Idioms with Head

List of head idioms with meaning.

  • Bury (Hide) One’s Head In the Sand: Ignoring something that’s obviously wrong, not facing reality.
  • Head and Shoulders: Much better than someone or something else.
  • Head Start: An early start or advantage.
  • Heads Up (excl.): A warning to pay attention.
  • Heads Will Roll (Are Going to Roll): People will be punished or fired for a mistake or failure.
  • Off the Top of My Head: Without thinking too much about it, from memory.
  • Over One’s Head: Too difficult to understand.
  • Rear Its Ugly Head (said of a problem or something unpleasant): To appear again after being gone for a while.
  • Turn Something on Its Head: To completely change something.
  • Use One’s Head: To think carefully and logically.
  • Tongue-in-Cheek: Said ironically; not meant to be taken seriously
  • Shoulder A Weight Off Your Shoulders: You no longer worry about something or deal with something difficult
  • Have a Chip on One’s Shoulder: To harbor resentment; to have an angry attitude
  • Give Someone the Cold Shoulder: act hostile toward someone; to ignore, snub

Body Idioms: Idioms with Face and Chin

List of face and chin idioms with meaning.

  • Put the Best Face On (Something): to present something in the best possible light, even if the situation is not ideal. 
  • Rub (Something) in Someone’s Face: to remind them of something they failed at or to make them feel bad about it. 
  • Until You’re Blue in the Face: to do it for a long time without success. 
  • Chin Up/ Keep Your Chin Up: o stay positive and optimistic, even in difficult situations. 
  • Take It on The Chin: to accept a difficult situation without complaining. 

Body Idioms: Idioms with Finger

List of finger idioms with meaning.

  • Finger-Pointing: accusing someone of being responsible for a problem.
  • Not Lift a Finger: When someone is not willing to help or make any effort to do something, they are not lifting a finger.
  • Point the Finger: When someone is blaming or accusing someone else of doing something wrong, they are pointing the finger at that person.
  • Someone’s Fingerprints Are All Over (Something): hen someone has been heavily involved in something, their fingerprints are all over it. It means that they have had a significant impact on it.t
  • Work One’s Fingers to the Bone: To work very hard and for long hours.

Body Idioms: Idioms with Lip

List of lip idioms with meaning.

  • Give Lip Service to: to say something without actually doing it. 
  • Keep a Stiff Upper Lip: to remain calm and composed, even in difficult situations.
  • Tight-Lipped: to keep quiet and not share information. 
  • Zip One’s Lip: to be quiet or stop talking. 

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