27 Common Idioms about Geographical Features in English

Idioms are an essential part of the English language, and they are used frequently in everyday conversations. One type of idiom that is often used is those related to geographical features. These idioms are used to describe various aspects of the natural world, such as mountains, rivers, and oceans.

List of idioms about Geographical Features

  • (It’s a) Small World!
  • (The) Grass Is (Always) Greener in the Next Pasture (on the Other Side)
  • Across The Pond
  • Back Forty
  • Back Of Beyond
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place
  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
  • Beyond the Pale
  • Go with the Flow
  • King of the Hill
  • Living Under a Rock
  • Make a Mountain out of a Molehill
  • Man Cave
  • Out in the Sticks
  • Over the Hill
  • Over the Moon
  • Set the Thames on Fire
  • Slippery Slope
  • Stem the Tide
  • Swim Against the Tide
  • Test the Waters
  • The Coast Is Clear
  • Tip of the Iceberg
  • Too Busy Fighting Alligators to Drain the Swamp
  • Up a Creek
  • Virgin Territory
  • Water Under the Bridge

Geographical Idioms with Meaning 

Idiom Meaning
(It’s a) Small World! Used to express surprise at unexpectedly meeting someone known in a distant place.
(The) Grass Is (Always) Greener in the Next Pasture (on the Other Side) People often desire what they don’t have, believing it to be better than what they do have.
Across The Pond Refers to the Atlantic Ocean, used to describe something or someone from the UK in the US, or vice versa.
Back Forty A remote or distant place, often used to refer to a rural area.
Back Of Beyond A very remote or isolated place.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place To be in a difficult situation with no good options.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea To be faced with two equally difficult or dangerous choices.
Beyond the Pale Outside the bounds of acceptable behavior or standards.
Go with the Flow To act as events or situations dictate, without trying to change or control them.
King of the Hill The most successful or dominant person in a particular group or activity.
Living Under a Rock To be unaware of current events or popular culture.
Make a Mountain out of a Molehill To exaggerate or overreact to a minor problem, making it seem much more serious than it really is.
Man Cave A room or space, typically in a home, where a man can relax and pursue his interests.
Out in the Sticks In a remote or rural area, far from urban centers.
Over the Hill Past one’s prime; no longer young or in the peak of one’s abilities.
Over the Moon Extremely happy or delighted.
Set the Thames on Fire To do something extraordinary or remarkable.
Slippery Slope A situation that is likely to lead to further difficulties or problems.
Stem the Tide To stop or slow down a negative trend or situation.
Swim Against the Tide To oppose the prevailing opinion or trend.
Test the Waters To try something cautiously or tentatively before fully committing to it.
The Coast Is Clear The situation is safe or no longer dangerous.
Tip of the Iceberg A small, noticeable part of a larger problem or issue that is not immediately obvious.
Too Busy Fighting Alligators to Drain the Swamp To be too preoccupied with minor issues to address the major problems.
Up a Creek In a difficult or problematic situation; without a solution or way out.
Virgin Territory An area or field that is unexplored or not yet used.
Water Under the Bridge Past events or issues that are no longer important or relevant.

Geographical Idioms with Examples

Idiom Example 
(It’s a) Small World! After bumping into an old friend in a foreign country, she exclaimed, “It’s a small world!”
(The) Grass Is (Always) Greener in the Next Pasture (on the Other Side) She thought about changing jobs, but she knew that the grass was always greener in the next pasture.
Across The Pond She moved to London, so now she lives across the pond from her family in New York.
Back Forty He’s out working on the back forty, getting the land ready for planting.
Back Of Beyond The cabin was so remote, it felt like it was in the back of beyond.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place She was between a rock and a hard place, having to choose between two equally difficult options.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea Trying to decide whether to stay in a job she hated or start over in a new career felt like being between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Beyond the Pale His behavior was beyond the pale and not acceptable in any circumstance.
Go with the Flow Instead of stressing about the changes, she decided to go with the flow and adapt to the new situation.
King of the Hill After winning the competition, he felt like the king of the hill.
Living Under a Rock You’ve never heard of that famous actor? Have you been living under a rock?
Make a Mountain out of a Molehill She made a mountain out of a molehill, turning a minor issue into a major crisis.
Man Cave His garage has been converted into a man cave, complete with a big-screen TV and a bar.
Out in the Sticks They live out in the sticks, far away from the city and all the noise.
Over the Hill Some people think that once you’re over the hill, you’re too old to try new things.
Over the Moon After getting the job offer, she was over the moon with excitement.
Set the Thames on Fire His groundbreaking invention set the Thames on fire and revolutionized the industry.
Slippery Slope Skipping one workout may seem harmless, but it can be the start of a slippery slope of inactivity.
Stem the Tide The new policies helped stem the tide of employee turnover at the company.
Swim Against the Tide In a conservative town, opening a progressive art gallery is like swimming against the tide.
Test the Waters Before making a major investment, it’s wise to test the waters and gather some preliminary feedback.
The Coast Is Clear Once the security team confirmed the area was secure, they radioed, “The coast is clear.”
Tip of the Iceberg The financial discrepancies revealed in the audit were just the tip of the iceberg.
Too Busy Fighting Alligators to Drain the Swamp With so many urgent tasks at hand, she felt like she was too busy fighting alligators to drain the swamp.
Up a Creek After getting lost in the wilderness, they found themselves up a creek without a map.
Virgin Territory The unexplored market presented a great opportunity to enter virgin territory.
Water Under the Bridge After they reconciled, they considered their past arguments as water under the bridge.

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Last Updated on November 21, 2023

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