“Let’s call it a day.”
“Don’t beat around the bush.”
“That’s the last straw!”

You’ve no doubt heard some of these expressions before. They’re known as idioms – expressions with figurative meanings that differ from their literal meanings (according to Grammarly). Adding a few idioms to your writing can help “add colour” to your essay. So the next time you’re writing a creative piece, try inserting one of these idioms appropriately to spruce up your writing.

A bag of bones
Meaning: someone who is extremely thin
Example sentence: She has lost so much weight. She is turning into a bag of bones.

A bitter pill to swallow
Meaning: something that is very unpleasant but must be accepted
Example sentence: Losing to a less experienced player was a bitter pill to swallow for last year’s gold medalist.

At a snail’s pace
Meaning: moving very slowly
Example sentence: The traffic is moving at a snail’s pace.There is no way I am going to reach school in time!

Clean bill of health
Meaning: a decision by a doctor that someone is healthy
Example sentence: My mother was given a clean bill of health by her doctor.

Get your ducks in a row
Meaning: organise or prepare well
Example sentence: Make sure you get your ducks in a row before submitting your group project.

Guinea pigs
Meaning: test subjects
Example sentence: There is a new drug that is not available yet as they are still gathering people who agree to act as their guinea pigs to test the claims.

Head in the clouds
Meaning: to be oblivious, or to have fanciful and unrealistic ideas
Example sentence: He always has his head in the clouds instead of paying attention in class.

Hold your horses
Meaning: wait for a moment
Example sentence: Hold your horses! Do not announce your decision as yet. Let’s think about this for a while.

Nursing (someone) back to health
Meaning: to care for a sick person until good health returns
Example sentence: Despite the row that occurred the day before, Sally was by her side nursing her back to health after the accident.

Puppy love
Meaning: feelings of love that are innocent and temporary
Example sentence: I had a crush on her in secondary school but that was just puppy love.

Inspire Issue 19, p. 47
‘I’ Issue 11,p. 37