Space Idioms

When you explore space idioms, you’re venturing into a world where words form constellations of meaning, inviting you to unlock metaphorical significance in everyday conversation. Understanding these idioms can both enrich your expression and reveal the depth of language woven into the fabric of English. It connects you with a broader universe of communication, echoing the human fascination with the vastness of space and the reflections of that intrigue in the way you express thoughts, experiences, and feelings.

What Are Space Idioms?

Space idioms are expressions that use celestial terms and concepts metaphorically to describe everyday experiences and emotions. When you use phrases like “it’s not rocket science” or “I need some space,” you’re employing space idioms. These phrases take inspiration from the physical universe, stars, planets, and the vastness of space, creatively applying them to human life to add color and imagery to language.

36 Space Idioms in English With Meanings and Examples For understanding, consider the following examples:

  • “Out of this world”: Signifies something extraordinary or incredibly impressive.
  • “Space out”: Refers to losing concentration or daydreaming.
  • “A star is born”: Typically used when someone shows an outstanding talent for the first time.
  • “Star-crossed lovers”: Describes a pair whose relationship is often thwarted by outside forces.

These expressions are embedded in cultural and linguistic usage, making them familiar to many English speakers. By integrating elements from the cosmos into dialogue, you can convey complex ideas clearly and vividly. Remember, when you’re feeling overwhelmed and someone says, “Don’t worry, the world doesn’t revolve around this,” they’re putting things into perspective using the imagery of Earth’s rotation—a classic example of a space idiom.

List of Space Idioms

Idioms Meaning and Example Sentence
Out of this world Extraordinary or exceptional.

Example: The dessert she made was simply out of this world.

Space cadet A person who is perceived as out of touch with reality, often daydreaming.

Example: He’s such a space cadet during meetings.

Spacing out Losing concentration or daydreaming.

Example: I missed what you said because I was spacing out.

To shoot for the stars To set high goals or ambitions.

Example: She always encourages her students to shoot for the stars.

Rocket science Something very complex or difficult to understand.

Example: You don’t need to be a genius, it’s not rocket science.

Lost in space Completely unaware of what is happening around one.

Example: Ever since the breakup, he’s been lost in space.

On another planet Not paying attention or engaging with the current situation.

Example: When it comes to politics, he’s on another planet.

A star is born Someone is newly recognized for their talents and achievements.

Example: After her performance, everyone said a star is born.

To live on another planet To have no understanding or awareness of the practicalities or realities of life.

Example: He must live on another planet if he thinks that plan will work.

To be over the moon To be extremely pleased or happy.

Example: She was over the moon when she heard the good news.

To come back down to earth To return to reality after a period of dreaming or excitement.

Example: After the holiday, I need to come back down to earth and focus on work.

To promise the moon To make extravagant promises that are unlikely to be kept.

Example: Politicians often promise the moon during their campaigns.

To be in orbit To be very happy, excited, or active.

Example: The kids have been in orbit since we told them about the trip to Disneyland.

To see stars To be dazed or stunned, often from a blow or shock.

Example: I fell and hit my head so hard that I started seeing stars.

To reach for the stars To aim for something ambitious.

Example: She has big dreams and is always reaching for the stars.

To have stars in one’s eyes To be naively or unrealistically optimistic.

Example: The young actor had stars in his eyes when he landed his first role.

To be light-years ahead To be far more advanced than the competition.

Example: In terms of innovation, they are light-years ahead of their rivals.

To be a black hole A situation where money or resources seem to disappear without a trace.

Example: The company’s investment in that project turned out to be a black hole.

To be star-crossed To be ill-fated or doomed to have bad luck, especially in romance.

Example: The lovers in the story were said to be star-crossed.

To live in a bubble To exist in a protected or unrealistic environment, isolated from the real world.

Example: He seems to live in a bubble, unaware of the hardships people face.

To be a satellite To be dependent on or a follower of someone else.

Example: He’s always been a satellite to his more charismatic brother.

To eclipse something To overshadow or surpass.

Example: Her singing performance eclipsed all others that night.

To be in the dark To be uninformed or unaware about something.

Example: I was completely in the dark about the surprise party they planned for me.

To be under the stars To be outdoors at night.

Example: They spent the evening under the stars, sharing stories by the campfire.

To be a universal truth Something that is true in all circumstances.

Example: It’s a universal truth that kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life.

To move heaven and earth To do everything possible to achieve a desired result.

Example: She would move heaven and earth to help her children succeed.

To be like a meteor To rise or fall quickly and dramatically.

Example: His rise in the company was like a meteor, fast and brilliant.

To be on cloud nine To be extremely happy or euphoric.

Example: After hearing the news of her promotion, she was on cloud nine.

To go supernova To explode or expand suddenly and dramatically.

Example: The small protest went supernova, becoming a nationwide movement.

To be a rising star To be someone who is becoming increasingly popular or successful.

Example: The young athlete is considered a rising star in her sport.

To have one’s head in the clouds To be impractical, daydreaming, or lost in one’s thoughts.

Example: He often has his head in the clouds, dreaming about unrealistic ventures.

To be a falling star To be someone or something that is losing popularity or declining in power.

Example: The aging actor was once an A-lister, but now he’s a falling star.

To be in the shadow of To receive less attention or be less prominent compared to someone else.

Example: She always felt she was in the shadow of her talented sister.

To be out in space To be disconnected from what is happening; similar to spacing out.

Example: During the meeting, he seemed to be out in space.

To be a flash in the pan To be something that shows potential or success initially but fails to last.

Example: The new tech company was just a flash in the pan; it closed down within a year.

To be starry-eyed To be naively enthusiastic or idealistic.

Example: The volunteers were starry-eyed about the difference they could make.

Space Idioms in Different Contexts

Out of This World

The idiom “out of this world” is used to describe something as exceptionally good, extraordinary, or beyond what is usual. It often conveys a sense of amazement or exceptional quality.

Describing Food:

  • When someone tastes something incredibly delicious and far beyond their expectations, they might use the idiom to express their delight.
  • Example: “The chocolate lava cake at that new French restaurant is out of this world! You have to try it!”

Praising a Performance:

  • After witnessing an exceptional performance, such as a concert, play, or athletic event, people might use the idiom to communicate their high level of enjoyment and admiration.
  • Example: “Did you see the figure skating championship last night? The gold medalist’s routine was out of this world!”

Commenting on an Experience:

  • If someone has an experience that is unusually thrilling, enjoyable, or impressive, they might describe it with this idiom to emphasize its remarkable nature.
  • Example: “The view from the top of the mountain was out of this world. I’ve never seen anything so breathtaking in my life.”

Lost in Space

The idiom “lost in space” is often used to describe a situation where someone is disoriented, distracted, or out of touch with reality. It can imply that a person is not paying attention to what is happening around them, either because they are daydreaming, confused, or unaware.

Daydreaming or Not Paying Attention:

  • When someone is not focused and their mind is wandering, they may seem detached from their immediate surroundings or the task at hand.
  • Example: “During the meeting, I could tell that John was lost in space; he couldn’t recall any details when asked about his thoughts on the project.”

Not Understanding a Complex Topic:

  • When an individual is struggling to grasp a complicated subject or conversation, they might appear to be confused or disengaged.
  • Example: “I tried to follow the professor’s lecture on quantum mechanics, but it was so over my head that I was just lost in space the whole time.”

Feeling Out of Place or Unfamiliar with the Environment:

  • When someone is in a new or unfamiliar situation and feels disconnected from it, they may be described as being “lost in space.”
  • Example: “It was her first day at a new school, and with all the new faces and classrooms, she felt completely lost in space.”

To be Over The Moon

The idiom “over the moon” is used to express a state of extreme happiness, delight, or joy. It conveys that someone is so pleased or excited about something that they could metaphorically jump over the moon.

Receiving Great News:

  • When someone receives news that is exceptionally positive or fulfilling, they might use this idiom to describe their elation.
  • Example: “She was over the moon when she found out she’d been accepted into her first-choice university.”

Achieving a Goal:

  • Upon reaching a significant personal or professional milestone, an individual might express their immense satisfaction with this phrase.
  • Example: “After years of hard work, he was over the moon to finally open his own restaurant.”

Special Personal Events:

  • Significant life events, such as engagements, weddings, or the birth of a child, can elicit feelings of immense joy that might be described using this idiom.
  • Example: “They were over the moon when they saw their newborn daughter for the first time.”

To See Stars

The idiom “to see stars” is commonly used to describe the sensation of seeing flashes of light, often as a result of a sudden impact to the head or eyes. It can be taken quite literally or used metaphorically in different contexts.

Physical Impact:

  • When someone experiences a blow to the head, they might literally see flashes of light that resemble stars.
  • Example: “He bumped his head on the low ceiling so hard that he saw stars for a few moments.”

Feeling Dizzy or Lightheaded:

  • The idiom can also be used when someone feels dizzy or lightheaded, which can cause a similar visual sensation.
  • Example: “After spinning around in circles, she was so dizzy that she started to see stars.”

Being Stunned or Amazed:

  • Metaphorically, “to see stars” can describe a state of being stunned or amazed by something, as if the surprise or shock creates a sparkling effect in one’s vision.
  • Example: “When she walked into the surprise party her friends had organized for her, she was so overwhelmed that she saw stars.”

To be Star-Crossed

Doomed Romantic Relationships:

  • When a couple experiences continuous misfortune that prevents them from being together, they might be described as star-crossed.
  • Example: “Despite their deep love for each other, their families’ feud made them star-crossed lovers, just like Romeo and Juliet.”

Fictional Narratives:

  • Authors and screenwriters might use the term to describe characters in a book, play, or movie whose romantic relationship is marked by bad luck and external obstacles.
  • Example: “The main characters in the novel were star-crossed from the beginning, with war and distance keeping them apart.”

Real-Life Situations with Unfortunate Outcomes:

  • The term can also be applied more broadly to refer to any situation or endeavor that seems to be ill-fated or consistently hampered by bad luck.
  • Example: “The two political allies turned out to be star-crossed, as scandal and rivalry led to their mutual downfall.”