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English Idioms, American & British Idiomatic Expressions

Learn American English Idioms in Texas.

An idiom is a phrase understood by many people in a specific culture or subculture, and that phrase has a different meaning from the meaning it appears to have.

A very good example of this is “to bend over backwards.” This phrase is understood in English speaking culture to mean “to work very hard to do / get something.” The meaning it appears to have (the literal meaning), however, is the physical act of bending over in the opposite direction. Very few people can actually do this physical act.

Idioms are used in both spoken and written English, and often appear in newspaper articles.

Idioms with the same meanings and use in your own language may use a different word than the English idiom. Do not try to change any word / vocabulary in an English idiom!  Also be careful when you use idioms in your writing exercises. They can be very effective if used carefully and sparingly, but the writing becomes very unnatural if too many idioms are used in one paragraph or essay.

Definitions and Examples (We have made lists of some very popular idioms for you. See below.)

Choose a group of idioms below, to see definitions and examples for idioms in this collection. (For example, choose “Animal” for all animal idioms)


We recommend the following English Idioms Books for further study or the ESL schools below.

English language schools & courses: Location
Amity College London London, England, UK & England
Kaplan International Los Angeles Los Angeles, California, USA
New York English Academy Manhattan, New York, USA
Southern States University, San Diego & Orange County Newport Beach, California, USA
Free English Level Test Online Dubai, UAE
Uptrend College Singapore, Singapore
Amity College London Merton, England, UK & England
Language Skills English Center, Boston Boston, Massachusetts, USA
A F International College, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California, USA
English Language Company, Sydney Sydney, NSW, Australia
The International Language Centre Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
American Language Programs, California Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA
Omnicom School of Languages Calgary, Alberta, Canada
NSL Mondial, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California, USA
Pro-language Institute - PLI Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
English at St Andrews, Scotland St Andrews, Scotland, UK & England
Focus Education Centre of Canada, Mississauga Toronto, Ontario, Canada
American National College, Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Crossing Borders - Katy TX (Houston area) Katy, Texas, USA
ABC Languages, Los Angeles Los Angeles, California, USA