50 Idioms Your Child Can Use for Composition Writing!

50 Idioms Your Child Can Use for Composition Writing!

Idioms are extremely useful when you want to add some colour into your writing.


However, the words in an idiom do not make up its literal meaning. Instead, we have to understand or find out its ‘hidden’ meaning in order to use it appropriately.


The quirkiness of idioms makes them so fun to use and read.


Here is the FULL LIST of 88 AWESOME IDIOMS that you can learn and apply immediately.  Boost your language marks for compo writing and WOW your teacher!

Click the button below to download this free ebook for your child!

  • Simple & Easy-to-use
  • Minimal Memory Work
  • Examples provided
  • Learn the meaning of these idioms!


The following idioms are a preview of what is in the ebook…


 1. A dime a dozen


Something that is ‘a dime a dozen’ is very common and not very valuable.


Example: Although John was very proud of his new water bottle, I thought it looked a dime a dozen.


2. A sight for sore eyes


‘A sight for sore eyes’ is used to describe something or someone you are glad to see.


Example: Today turned out to be horrible. The hot meal that Mom prepared for me when I reached home was a sight for sore eyes.


3. A taste of your own medicine


To get ‘a taste of your own medicine’ is to experience the same unpleasant thing that you had done to others.


Example: Harry put the fake cockroach into Sally’s pencil case and laughed at her when she screamed. He got a taste of his own medicine when a real cockroach suddenly landed on his desk.


4. All ears


To be ‘all ears’ is to be prepared to hear what someone has to say.


Example: “You may explain yourself, I am all ears,” the principal said to Jacob.


5. At the drop of a hat


To do something ‘at the drop of a hat’ is to do it immediately.


Example: At the drop of a hat, I ran away from the fierce dog.


6.Back on one’s feet


To be ‘back on your feet’ is to recover after a failure.


Example: After losing all his money to gambling, Jack decided to quit. It took him some time before he could get back on his feet and live normally again.


7. Beat around the bush


To ‘beat around the bush’ is to intentionally talk about something in a vague manner instead of talking about it directly.


Example: “Stop beating around the bush and tell me who broke the vase!” Mom demanded.


8. Best thing since sliced bread


Something described as the ‘best thing since sliced bread’ is excellent and innovative or new.


Example: The new sea salt and vinegar potato chips flavour is the best thing since sliced bread.


9. Bite the bullet


To ‘bite the bullet’ is to finally accept something unpleasant or something you did not want to do initially.


Example: Sam had to bite the bullet and finish his homework or he would get a scolding from his teacher.


10. Bread and butter


‘Bread and butter’ is usually used to describe a job or something that you get your income from.


Example: Being a writer is Tom’s bread and butter.


11. By the skin of your teeth


‘By the skin of your teeth’ means the same as the word ‘barely’.


Example: I made it to first place in the race by the skin of my teeth.


12. Call it a day


To ‘call it a day’ is to end work for the day.


Example: I finished all my homework before calling it a day.


13. Coast is clear


When the ‘coast is clear’, it means there’s nothing standing in your way.


Example: George was afraid to run into the principal. He made sure the coast is clear before leaving the restroom.


14. Costs an arm and a leg


Something that ‘costs an arm and a leg’ is very expensive.


Example: My father’s Ferrari costs an arm and a leg.


15. Crack up


To ‘crack up’ is to laugh a lot and loudly. You can also cause someone to ‘crack up’.


Example: The clown’s stunts made everyone crack up.


16. Cream of the crop


Something or someone that is described as ‘cream of the crop’ is of the best quality.


Example: Jack was the top student of my class, he was the cream of the crop.


17. Cut somebody some slack


To ‘cut somebody some slack’ is to go easy on that person because he or she had been through enough.


Example: Seeing that Holly was regretful of her actions, the principal decided to cut her some slack and giving her a light punishment.


18. Drive someone up the wall


To ‘drive someone up the wall’ is to make that person very angry or annoyed.


Example: The commotion of the construction work drove me up the wall.


19. Egg someone on


When you ‘egg on’ someone, you are urging them to do something, often something bad.


Example: The bully’s friends egged him on to push Alex.


20. Elephant in the room


The ‘elephant in the room’ is something obviously embarrassing or unpleasant, and no one wants to talk about it.


Example: The room was silent. Then, Mr Tan cleared his throat. “We need to talk about the elephant in the room,” Mr Tan said. “Who broke the window with the basketball?”


21. Fan the flames


To ‘fan the flames’ is to worsen something that is already bad.


Example: The teacher was furious at Eddie because he was caught cheating, but he fanned the flames by arguing with her.


22. Far cry from


Something described as a ‘far cry’ is very different from something else.


Example: Elizabeth’s grade for her latest Maths exam was a far cry from what she expected, and it shocked her.


23. Fish for compliments


When you ‘fish for compliments’, you are trying to get someone to say something good about you.


Example: She fished for compliments about her new hairstyle by constantly flipping her hair.


24. Fly off the handle


To ‘fly off the handle’ is to become very angry.


Example: After finding out Jeffrey was responsible for the prank, I flew off the handle.


25. Full of hot air


Someone who is ‘full of hot air’ is someone who is full of nonsense.


Example: “You’re full of hot air,” Cathy said. “I know you were the one who spoiled the computer, so stop trying to blame me.”


26. Get a kick out of something


To ‘get a kick out of something’ is to find something very interesting.


Example: The baby got a kick out of throwing her food at the walls.


27. Get out of hand


Usually used to describe a situation, something that has ‘gotten out of hand’ has lost control.


Example: Without a teacher around, the classroom was like a zoo. The noise was getting out of hand.


28. Get your act together


To ‘get your act together’ is to get yourself organised so that you can achieve something.


Example: I should get my act together if I want to win the race.


 29. Get to the bottom of it


To ‘get to the bottom of’ something is to solve an investigation. It is usually used to refer to a situation.


Example: Who could have stolen my wallet? I would not rest until I got to the bottom of it.


 30. Give someone a hand


To ‘give a hand’ means the same as ‘help out’.


Example: The old lady was struggling with her groceries, so I gave her a hand.


31. Give something a shot


To ‘give something a shot’ is to try something for the first time.


Example: Despite not being good at sports, Mary decided to give swimming a shot.


 32. Give someone the cold shoulder


When you ‘give someone the cold shoulder’, you are ignoring that person.


Example: I gave Barry the cold shoulder when he teased me for my hair.


 33. Green light


To get the ‘green light’ is to get permission.


Example: I asked my mother if I could go play soccer with my friends, and she gave me the green light.


 34. Go against the grain


To ‘go against the grain’ is to do something that is not typical. It is usually used to praise someone.


Example: Derek constantly went against the grain, that was why he was so innovative.


35. Green with envy


‘Green with envy’ is used to describe someone who is jealous.


Example: Janet’s pretty pencil case made me green with envy.


 36. Hit the books


To ‘hit the books’ is to study hard.


Example: It was very late at night, but Leonard had to hit the books if he wanted to finish his homework by tomorrow.


 37. Hit the nail on the head


To ‘hit the nail on the head’ is to be correct.


Example: The old man was too close to the edge of the platform and Jason was worried he might fall. He hit the nail on the head – the old man suddenly lost his balance and fell onto the train tracks.


38. Hit the roof


To ‘hit the roof’ is to be very angry.


Example: My mother hit the roof when she found out I had forgotten to buy the salt.


 39. Hit the sack / sheets / hay


To ‘hit the sack, sheets or hay’ is to go to sleep.


Example: After a long day at work, I was relieved to finally hit the sack.


40. Hold one’s tongue


To ‘hold your tongue’ is to not say something even though you want to say it. It is usually used when the thing you want to say is unpleasant.


Example: “Hold your tongue!” Mom warned me just as I was about to argue with her.


41. In the bag


‘In the bag’ is usually used when we are sure we will win something, usually a competition.


Example: As I had trained very hard, I was confident I had first place in the bag.


42. In the clear


To be ‘in the clear’ is to be safe from punishment or getting caught.


Example: Once he lost the policemen, the robber was in the clear.


 43. Joined at the hip


When two people are ‘joined at the hip’, they are close friends and spend a lot of time together.


Example: Karen is my best friend, we are joined at the hip.


44. Jump on the bandwagon


To ‘jump on the bandwagon’ is to follow a trend or do what everyone else is doing.


Example: Since everyone is using Instagram, I decided to jump on the bandwagon too.



 45. Keep an eye on something or someone


To ‘keep an eye on something’ is to watch it very closely.


Example: I had to keep an eye on my brother to make sure he was not doing anything dangerous at the playground.


46. Know by heart


To ‘know by heart’ is to have something memorised.


Example: I was lost in the shopping mall but luckily, I knew my parents’ phone numbers by heart.


 47. Know something like the back of your hand


To ‘know something like the back of your hand’ is to know something very well.


Example: I would never get lost in the woods. I knew the paths like the back of my hand.


 48. Leave no stone unturned


To ‘leave no stone unturned’ is to investigate something very thoroughly.


Example: It was very important that we find the wallet. We had to leave no stone unturned.


 49. Let someone off the hook


To ‘let someone off the hook’ is to let them go unpunished.


Example: Even though Patricia had ruined the walls with her crayons, she was let off the hook because she is a baby.


 50. Let the cat out of the bag


When we ‘let the cat out of the bag’, we have revealed a secret.


Example: Jonathan let the cat out of the bag. He pointed at Sean and said, “He came up with the idea for the prank.”


Enjoyed these idioms?


Here is the FULL LIST of 88 AWESOME IDIOMS that you can learn and apply immediately.  Boost your language marks for compo writing and WOW your teacher!

  • Simple & Easy-to-use
  • Minimal Memory Work
  • Examples provided
  • Learn the meaning of these idioms!