Body Idioms List with Meanings, Examples, & PDFs

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Body Idioms List

Download the Body Idioms List & PDF Worksheets

PDF Body Idioms PDF

View the updated web-version of the body idioms list in the table below.

The idiom worksheets and games are also free to download.

  • Download and print the PDFs.
  • Use the materials for interactive learning activities in class.
  • Students can also complete the worksheets to review or for self-study.

Body Idiom Worksheets for ESL Students

PDF Worksheet A: Defining Idioms & Writing Sentences with Idioms

PDF Worksheet B: Reading Idioms in Context & Describing Meanings

Fun Body Idiom Games for the Classroom

PDF Body Idioms Crossword

PDF Body Idioms BINGO

PDF Body Idioms Checklist (for BINGO)

54 Idioms and Phrases About Body Parts

*Updated: November 2021

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Idiom / PhraseMeaningExample Sentence
achilles' heelsomeone's weaknessVodka is his achilles' heel. He only loses his composure when he drinks it.
add insult to injuryworsen an unfavorable situationShe added insult to injury by picking her little brother's ice cream off the dirty floor and sticking it in his mouth.
all earslisten carefullyJane asked if I was paying attention. I told her, "I'm all ears!"
all hands on deckeveryone's help is neededWe need all hands on deck if we want to reduce carbon emissions.
all thumbsclumsyI'm all thumbs today. I keep dropping my phone!
an arm and a legvery expensiveThat new car costs an arm and a leg.
apple of my eyean adored personMy precious daughter is the apple of my eye.
break a leggood luckBefore the final exam, the teacher told his students to break a leg.
bust my chopssay something insultingShe always busts my chops about my low salary.
by the skin of my teethbarely or narrowlyI finished the test by the skin of my teeth just before the bell rang.
cold feetbeing nervous or anxious before a big eventShe got cold feet before the wedding.
cry your heart outcry a lotHe cried his heart out when his dog died.
dog-earedfolded corners of pages in a bookHe dog-eared the pages of the book instead of using a bookmark.
dog's bollocksthe bestThat new Tesla is the dog's bollocks.
face the musicdeal with unpleasant consequencesThe man confessed to the crime and faced the music in prison.
flesh and bloodfamilyI can't fire my brother. He's my own flesh and blood.
foot the billpay for somethingI'll foot the bill and pay for everyone's meal at the restaurant.
freeze your buns offbe very coldYou will freeze your buns off in Antarctica.
get a head startstart before othersDon always gets a head start and wakes up at dawn.
get something off my chestreveal or confess somethingI felt better getting it off my chest by confessing that I stole the money.
give a cold shoulderto deny or ignoreShe gave him a cold shoulder when he asked for her phone number.
give a hand or lend a handhelp someoneCan you give me a hand with lifting this laundry machine?
green thumbtalent for gardeningYour flowers live so long because of your green thumb.
have eyes in the back of your headperceptiveYou must have eyes in the back of your head. You always know what your boyfriend is doing when he's away.
have your head in the cloudsto be unaware or obliviousYou always have your head in the clouds. Do you have any idea what's happening?
head over heelsto be deeply in loveSarah was head over heels for her new boyfriend.
heavy heartsadnessShe left him with a heavy heart.
in over your headtrying something that is much too difficult for one's abilityYou're in over your head. You can't beat the computer at chess.
keep an eye onwatch carefully or take care ofPlease keep an eye on the kettle. It will boil soon.
keep my head above watertry not to fall behindI have so much work to finish. It's hard to keep my head above water here.
keep your chin upstay positiveKeep your chin up. You will win the next game.
keep your lips sealedpromise to keep a secretYou must keep your lips sealed about your affair.
know by heartmemorizeSteve knows all of the computer code by heart.
let your hair downrelax and have funYou should let your hair down on Saturday night and go dancing.
live from hand to mouthlive on very little moneyDuring the depression, we had to live from hand to mouth.
make my blood boilmake very angryDonald makes my blood boil when he talks.
neck of the woodsnearby locationThe restaurant is in my neck of the woods.
old handexperienced personPeter is an old hand when analyzing the stock market.
over my dead bodyto do anything to prevent something from happeningMy son wanted to get a face tattoo, but I told him over my dead body.
pat on the backgive recognitionYou deserve a pat on the back for fixing the furnace.
play something by earlet things occur without a rigid planLet's play it by ear and see what happens tonight.
pull your legtease or joke aroundI'm just pulling your leg. Don't take it too seriously.
puppy dog eyesinnocent facial expressionHis daughter showed him puppy dog eyes after dropping his ice cream cone.
put your money where your mouth isstop talking and start acting upon somethingYou should put your money where your mouth is and start your new business idea.
rule of thumbgeneral ruleAs a rule of thumb, you should get 8 hours of sleep per night.
see eye to eyeagreeMy wife and eye don't see eye to eye. We're getting a divorce.
stick your neck outhelp someone despite possible consequences for oneselfYou should stick your neck out for your teammate.
sweet toothlove sweet thingsSuzie has a sweet tooth. She always eats ice cream after dinner.
thick in the headstupid or foolishTommy is so thick in the head. He keeps licking the wall.
tongue in cheeknot meaning what one is sayingWhen I said to fly to Hawaii, I was speaking tongue in cheek. I didn't actually think you would book a ticket!
under my thumbunder my controlMick said the girl was under his thumb. She was the sweetest pet in the world.
wash my hands of somethingstop dealing with a problemI'm washing my hands of his troubled past and moving on with life.
water off a duck's backa harmful remark that has no effect on someoneShe insulted me but I didn't care. It was like water off a duck's back.
yellow-belliedcowardlyDon't be so yellow-bellied. It's only a small spider!

Extra Examples of Body Idioms in Use

Do you want to read more examples and sentences with body idioms?

Try entering the expressions in a corpus database or language app.

We highly recommend the following corpus resources and tools:

Watch on YouTube: How to Use Body Idioms in English

View more Idioms and Phrases on ESL Expat

View the complete list of English idioms and phrases.