Episode 42

English with Kirsty – episode 42

Body idioms!

Kirsty working with students

You can listen to episode 42 here:

In this episode, I talk about some common idioms that feature parts of the body.

1. to twist someone’s arm

This means that you get people to do what you want by making it really hard for them to refuse. It’s not as strong as saying that you force someone to do something – if they really wanted to, they could still say “no”. However it’s more than just persuading them as there is some element of pressure involved.

2. To keep your fingers crossed

To be hopeful for a positive outcome or to hope that something will happen as you want it to.
Whereas in German you might press your thumbs, in English you cross your fingers or keep your fingers crossed.
Good luck for tomorrow. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the weather stays dry for the weekend.

3. To be on its last legs

This means that something is in such bad condition that it won’t be working for much longer.
My friend offered me a lift to the airport, but I didn’t go with her. Her car’s on its last legs, so I decided to take the bus.

4. Out of sight, out of mind

This means that if you don’t see someone for a long time, you will forget about them.
The opposite to this is:
absence makes the hart grow fonder.

5. To poke your nose into someone else’s business

This means that you try to ask questions about, make comments on or be a part of something that has nothing to do with you. Your involvement is not welcome.

6. To get your head around something

This basically means to be able to understand something and it is usually used in negative sentences:
These instructions are so confusing. I can’t get my head around them

7. To let your hair down

To enjoy yourself and behave in a less restrained way than you usually would.
You’re working too hard. Why don’t you come out with us and let your hair down for once.
It can sometimes be used in a slightly negative way, for example if people behave too freely or were enjoying themselves but had too much to drink.

8. For your heart not to be in something

This means that you have no motivation to do something or no enthusiasm for it. I used to go to dance classes with my friends. I still go, but now that my friends aren’t there, it’s not the same. My heart’s not in it any more.

9. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach

This means that you want to eat more than you can physically eat or you think that you are really hungry, but really you aren’t.
He piled his plate up high, but he couldn’t eat it all. His eyes were bigger than his stomach.

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