Can You Identify These Body Idioms?

Becky Stigall

A fresh pair of ____.

The saying "a fresh pair of eyes" means asking someone else, or yourself after a break, to take a look at something that's been giving you trouble.

Absence makes the _____ grow fonder.

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder" means that when someone is away, you are likely to miss them.

All _______ and thumbs.

"All fingers and thumbs" means that someone is clumsy. Sometimes we just say that someone is "all thumbs."

Don't bite the ____ that feeds you.

"Don't bite the hand that feeds you" is an expression used to indicate that you should be kind to people who help you out, so that they will continue to do so.

Armed to the _____.

"Armed to the teeth" means that someone is well prepared. This is an old military saying, indicating that someone is well armed.

Keep your ____ up.

"Keep your chin up" is an expression used to tell someone to not let something get them down. People look down when they're sad or discouraged.

At each others' _______.

"At each others' throats" is an expression used to indicate that people are fighting. People who are fighting in earnest may try to strangle one another, hence the expression.

Bad _____ in your mouth.

"Bad taste in your mouth" is a phrase used to indicate that something just isn't right. It can also be used to describe a bad memory.

Beauty is in the _____ of the beholder.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is a phrase used to indicate that beauty is subjective. What one person finds beautiful, another person might not.

It cost an arm and a _____.

Something that is said to have "cost an arm and a leg" is very expensive.

Better than a kick in the _______.

"Better than a kick in the teeth" is used when one wants to express that something is better than something worse. Certainly a kick in the teeth is pretty bad.

Bite someone's _____ off.

To "bite someone's head off" is to yell or snap at them. The images this causes are a bit disturbing.

Bless your pointy little ______.

"Bless your pointy little head" is an expression used to patronize someone who isn't very bright.

Blind leading the _____.

"Blind leading the blind" is a saying used to indicate that no one knows what they are doing.

Born with a silver spoon in your _____.

If you were "born with a silver spoon in your mouth," you were likely born rich.

Bright-____ and bushy-tailed.

"Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed" may be used to describe someone who is enthusiastic and energetic, especially first thing in the morning.

Bury your ______ in the sand.

To "bury your head in the sand" is to ignore the obvious or the inevitable. Fun fact: ostriches don't really bury their heads in the sand to ignore danger.

Can't see your ____ in front of your face.

The expression "can't see your hand in front of your face" might be used literally if visibility is bad, or figuratively if someone is ignoring the obvious.

A still ______ keeps a wise head.

"A still tongue keeps a wise head" means that smart people do not talk too much. Sometimes it's best to watch and learn.

Cross my _____ and hope to die.

Well, you don't literally hope to die, but if you say this, you are highlighting the sincerity of your promise.

Cut off your ____ to spite your face.

"Cut off your nose to spite your face" is an expression used to indicate that doing something rash might make things worse. If you're mad at your face, don't cut off your nose.

Cut someone off at the ________.

To "cut someone off at the knees" means to cut them down or stop them in their tracks. This is an expression that is typically used to indicate that the cut-ee has been humiliated by the cutter.

Deep pockets but short ____.

Someone who has deep pockets but short arms has money but will not often reach into his/her pockets to spend it.

Your ____ are bigger than your stomach.

If your eyes are bigger than your stomach, you've literally bitten off more than you can chew, but that's another idiom altogether.

Have the ______ of someone.

If you "have the ear of someone," you are likely a trusted advisor. That person listens to you.

In one _____ and out the other.

"In one ear and out the other" is an expression used to indicate that what someone heard didn't get processed through their brain because it was too complicated, boring, or unnecessary.

In the land of the blind, the one-____ man is king.

The expression "in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king" is used to indicate that even someone who has a disability can shine in certain circumstances.

Jump down someone's ______.

If you "jump down someone's throat," you have snapped at them in a critical way. This is akin to biting someone's head off.

Keep someone at _____ length.

To "keep someone at arm's length" is to keep them at a distance. This is usually used figuratively, but it can also be used literally.

Keep someone on their ____.

To keep someone "on their toes" is to keep them moving, usually due to things that are unexpected.

Keep your ___ to the ground.

"Keep your ear to the ground" means to stay informed.

Keep your ____ peeled.

To "keep your eyes peeled" is to stay vigilant about something.

Keep your ____ to the grindstone.

If your nose is to the grindstone, you're probably working as hard as you can.

Left hand doesn't know what the right ____ is doing.

"Left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing" is an expression used to indicate that one person or department within a company doesn't know what's going on. Communication is bad.

Little pitchers have big ____.

"Little pitchers have big ears" is a phrase used to indicate that children hear everything.

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About This Quiz

"About face" and "backhanded" are expressions we use every day. But these idioms are not literal. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about body-related idioms.

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