Learn useful Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions in English with meaning and examples.
List of common Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions in English.
You can jump to any section of this lesson:
- 1 All the Rage
- 2 Meeting of the Minds
- 3 Scare the Living Daylights out of Someone
- 4 Out of Sight, Out of Mind
- 5 Tear-Jerker
- 6 Pet Peeve
- 7 Pull Yourself Together
- 8 Get Carried Away
- 9 Think Big
- 10 Not Playing with a Full Deck
- 11 Under the Impression
- 12 Out of Sorts
- 13 Short Fuse
- 14 Off One’s Rocker
- 15 Bang One’s Head Against the Wall (Against a Brick Wall)
- 16 Young at Heart
- 17 Take It Easy
- 18 Passing Fancy
- 19 On the Ball
- 20 On the Fence
- 21 Living in Cloud Cuckooland
- 22 Mad as a Hatter
- 23 Freudian Slip
- 24 Fly off the Handle
- 25 Draw a Blank
- 26 Drive Someone Up the Wall
- 27 Down in the Dumps
- 28 Chuck a Wobbly
- 29 Cock-A-Hoop
- 30 Blow One’s Stack
- 31 At the End of One’s Rope (Tether)
- 32 At Wit’s End
- 33 Air Rage
- 34 Act One’s Age
All the Rage
- Meaning: Very much in fashion
- Example: Yoga pants are all the rage in North America right now, but in two years probably nobody will be wearing them.
Meeting of the Minds
- Meaning: Strong instinctive agreement on something
- Example: At first the negotiations weren’t going well, but when the president of the company and I sat down over drinks, we had a real meeting of the minds.
Scare the Living Daylights out of Someone
- Meaning: Frighten someone severely
- Example: I know my boyfriend was just trying to be nice, but when I opened the door to my apartment and everyone yelled “Surprise!” it scared the living daylights out of me.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
- Meaning: When you don’t see something or someone, you tend to forget about that thing or person.
- Example: When I broke up with Jake, I was heartbroken. But since he moved away, I hardly ever think about him. Out of sight, out of mind!
- Meaning: A film or book that makes you cry
- Example: The film “Love Story,” with its story of young love cut short by death, was one of the most successful tear-jerkers of all time.
- Meaning: A small thing that you find particularly annoying
- Example: My pet peeve is people who bring large numbers of items to the express checkout at the supermarket.
Pull Yourself Together
- Meaning: Control your emotions; recover from a strong emptional upset
- Example: I know it was hard seeing your ex-boyfriend at the bar, but you need to pull yourself together so we can go home.
Get Carried Away
- Meaning: Become overly enthusiastic
- Example: Sure, you can invest a little money, but don’t get carried away – people lose lots of money on the stock market.
- Meaning: Consider ambitious plans; avoid becoming overly concerned with details
- Example: Sales this year have been good. Caitlin said we should think big and consider whole new product lines.
Not Playing with a Full Deck
- Meaning: Stupid, mentally deficient or impaired
- Example: John’s suggestions in the meeting were ridiculous. Sometimes I think he’s not playing with a full deck.
Note: “A few bricks short of a load” is one of many variants.
Under the Impression
- Meaning: Believing something, perhaps mistakenly
- Example: I was under the impression that you were going to pick me up at the airport.
Useful Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions in English
… Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions …
Out of Sorts
- Meaning: Slightly ill; not feeling well
- Example: Sorry I was so quiet during the meeting. I’ve been out of sorts all day.
- Meaning: A quick temper; a tendency to anger quickly
- Example: Brandon has a short fuse, but he calms down as quickly as he gets angry.
Off One’s Rocker
- Meaning: Crazy, nuts, insane
- Example: Have you heard Dmitri is going to try to climb Mt. Rinjani in the rainy season? He must be off his rocker.
Bang One’s Head Against the Wall (Against a Brick Wall)
- Meaning: Try repeatedly to do something without making progress
- Example: Susana has been working on the data for three hours, but she says she’s just banging her head against the wall.
Young at Heart
- Meaning: Having a youthful outlook, regardless of age
- Example: Jack is young at heart. He’s 84 years old, but he’s always willing to go out dancing.
Take It Easy
- Meaning: Don’t hurry; relax; don’t get angry
- Example: I’ve been working too hard. I just want to head for the islands and take it easy for a few days.
- Meaning: A temporary interest or attraction
- Example: Many people thought Uggs were just a passing fancy, but they’ve been popular for several years now.
… Useful Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions …
On the Ball
- Meaning: Prepared, alert, competent
- Example: Ralph is on the ball. I think we can leave the office under his supervision for a few days.
On the Fence
- Meaning: Undecided between two choices
- Example: I’m on the fence about the election – both candidates have their good and bad points.
Living in Cloud Cuckooland
- Meaning: Having unrealistic or foolish beliefs or plans.
- Example: Norma thinks she’s going to be making $100,000 euros by next year. She’s living in cloud cuckooland.
Mad as a Hatter
- Meaning: Mentally ill, psychotic
- Example: Gerald used to be one of the most logical people I know. Now he’s mad as a hatter.
Note: This is rare in the USA.
- Meaning: Accidental use of an incorrect word; a revealing slip of the tongue
- Example: That was a real Freudian slip when Jane referred to her boyfriend as her father.
Fly off the Handle
- Meaning: To become suddenly enraged
- Example: How was I to know Tom would fly off the handle when I asked him about his father?
Draw a Blank
- Meaning: Be unable to remember something
- Example: I drew a blank when she asked me to name all of her sisters.
Drive Someone Up the Wall
- Meaning: Deeply irritate someone
- Example: When Marie hums at her desk, it drives up up the wall.
Note: Some people also say “drives me up a wall.”
Down in the Dumps
- Meaning: Depressed, sad
- Example: You’ve been down in the dumps all week. Let’s go to the football game – that’ll cheer you up.
Chuck a Wobbly
- Meaning: To act in an emotional way
- Example: I know you’re upset. But don’t chuck a wobbly in your meeting with the boss; he won’t like it.
Note: You can also say “throw a wobbly.”
- Meaning: Elated, excited
- Example: Fans are cock-a-hoop about the team’s acquisition of the new striker.
Blow One’s Stack
- Meaning: To lose one’s temper and explode in anger
- Example: I swear, if Cindy asks me about the tickets one more time, I’m going to blow my stack.
At the End of One’s Rope (Tether)
- Meaning: Running out of endurance or patience
- Example: Amber keeps whistling in the office. She doesn’t even realize she’s doing it, but I’m at the end of my rope.
At Wit’s End
- Meaning: Frustrated because all measures to deal with something have failed
- Example: I’m at my wit’s end trying to deal with the insect infestation – nothing I’ve tried has worked.
- Meaning: Angry behavior inside an airplane
- Example: Most people are calm on long plane flights, but once in a while you have to deal with air rage, usually fueled by alcohol.
Act One’s Age
- Meaning: To be mature, not childish
- Example: I don’t care if Amber did steal your doll. That’s enough crying. Act your age!
Useful Idioms to Express Feelings and Emotions in English.