Learn Common Furniture and Household Items Idioms in English with meaning and examples.
List of useful furniture and household items idioms in English.
You can jump to any section of this lesson:
- 1 (No) Strings Attached
- 2 (Searching for) A Needle in a Haystack
- 3 (With a) Fine-Toothed Comb
- 4 Another Nail In One’s Coffin
- 5 Basket Case
- 6 Cutting-Edge
- 7 Go to the Mattresses
- 8 Greasy Spoon
- 9 In the Hot Seat
- 10 In the Toilet
- 11 Iron Out (Problems, Difficulties)
- 12 On Tenterhooks
- 13 Pot Calling the Kettle Black
- 14 Push the Envelope
- 15 Storm in a Teacup
- 16 Sweep Under the Rug
- 17 Tempest in a Teapot
- 18 Turn the Tables
- 19 Under the Table
- 20 Wake Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed
- 21 Wet Blanket
(No) Strings Attached
- Meaning: Without additional obligations, without conditions
- Example: I’m giving you the money. Pay me back if you can, but don’t worry about it. There are no strings attached.
(Searching for) A Needle in a Haystack
- Meaning: Trying to find something that is mixed in with many similar items
- Example: There must be 300 bags on this carousel. We’ll be searching for a needle in a haystack.
(With a) Fine-Toothed Comb
- Meaning: Very closely scrutinized. Generally used with a verb like “examine.”
- Example: I’d like to thank Patricia for going over my presentation with a fine-toothed comb. She really made it better.
Another Nail In One’s Coffin
- Meaning: Something that leads to someone’s death, literally or figuratively.
- Example: OK, buy another pack of cigarettes. It’s another nail in your coffin.
- Meaning: So upset or stunned that one is unable to function; in a hopeless condition
- Example: After Elena’s boyfriend broke up with her, she was a basket case. But she’s finally getting back to normal.
- Meaning: Very novel, innovative
- Example: Cutting-edge musical styles often originate in Britain.
Useful Furniture and Household Items Idioms
Go to the Mattresses
- Meaning: To go to into battle
- Example: The President supports an increase in the minimum wage, but he’s not willing to go to the mattresses for it.
- Meaning: An inexpensive restaurant that fries foods on a grill
- Example: The place is just a greasy spoon, but it has great breakfasts.
In the Hot Seat
- Meaning: Undergoing criticism or scrutiny; under pressure publicly
- Example: Our CEO is in the hot seat. He was questioned by a Congressional committee today about price-fixing conspiracies.
In the Toilet
- Meaning: In disastrous condition
- Example: Sales have been in the toilet all year. What can we do to make people want to buy our products?
Iron Out (Problems, Difficulties)
- Meaning: To resolve
- Example: There are just a few difficulties to iron out, and then we’ll be ready to sign the contract.
- Meaning: Tensely awaiting a decision or development
- Example: I’m on tenterhooks waiting to hear whether I’ve been admitted to the university.
Pot Calling the Kettle Black
- Meaning: Accusing someone of something of which you are also guilty; being hypocritical
- Example: You’re telling me I’m too impatient? That’s the pot calling the kettle black.
Push the Envelope
- Meaning: Go beyond common ways of doing something, be innovative
- Example: Vera Wang has become well known because her clothing designs consistently push the envelope.
Storm in a Teacup
- Meaning: A commotion that dies down quickly, about something unimportant
- Example: The argument over what mousepads to buy was a storm in a teacup. By afternoon everyone had forgotten all about it.
Sweep Under the Rug
- Meaning: Attempt to temporarily conceal a problem or error
- Example: You can sweep your mistake under the rug, but the audit will make clear what you did.
Tempest in a Teapot
- Meaning: A commotion about something unimportant
- Example: There was a big argument at the meeting over what mousepads to buy, but it was a tempest in a teapot. By afternoon everyone had forgotten about it.
Turn the Tables
- Meaning: Reverse a situation
- Example: Man United turned the tables on Real Madrid, coming back from a three-goal deficit to win.
Under the Table
- Meaning: Without being officially recorded
- Example: Legally I’m not supposed to work in this country, but the boss pays me under the table.
Wake Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed
- Meaning: Be grumpy or ill-humored. Generally used in past tense
- Example: Wow, you’ve been unpleasant this morning. Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?
- Meaning: Someone who dampens a festive occasion
- Example: Anita is such a wet blanket. Even though it’s a holiday party, she always reminds us that alcohol isn’t permitted in the office.