Learn Common Furniture and Household Items Idioms in English with meaning and examples.
List of useful furniture and household items idioms in English.
(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.