Bone Idioms

Body Idioms Course Idioms | Vocabulary | English in Use

Idioms

I am determined to make idioms as accessible for all students as any other part of the English language. Reading and memorising lists of vocabulary is not the most productive, interesting, or useful exercise in English language learning. I created these Activities to encourage you to not only learn and remember many English idioms, but also to have fun with them, as having fun is a great aid to learning and remembering. It is important that you know as many idioms as possible as native English speakers use them with alarming regularity. I hope that as you work your way through the Idiom Activities you will make some of the idioms your own and use them regularly like a native.

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

English in Use

The Activities categorised as English in Use look at the way we use English in everyday life. The Activities cover the actual use of English and examine grammar, punctuation, and functionality of the language. For any student studying English as a second language or English as a foreign language, English in Use Activities are particularly useful for improving speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills. These Activities will help you to develop your confidence in using different types of text such as fiction, newspapers and magazines, as well as learning to speak and write about things such as the weather and travel, as well as preparing you for typical situations such as ordering in a restaurant or buying a train ticket.

Newest Comments All Categories Top Random Courses IPA Challenges Word Games

The 12 idioms are, make no bones about it, a bone of contention, have a bone to pick with someone, dry as a bone, chilled to the bone, feel it in your bones, bone idle, close to the bone, have a skeleton in the closet, skin and bones, work your fingers to the bone, and bone shaking. This British English idioms lesson will help to you learn, remember, and use 12 common British English idiomatic expressions which use the word bone. 

Body Idioms Course

BONE IDIOMS

MAKE NO BONES ABOUT IT

Make no bones about it means that what is said is accurate and cannot be objected to.

“He made no bones about the fact that he despised his ex-wife.”

A BONE OF CONTENTION

Where there is a subject or issue over which there is continuous argument we say there is a bone of contention.

“The riding bicycles on the pavement, while safer than on the road, is nevertheless a bone of contention.”

HAVE A BONE TO PICK WITH SOMEONE

Having a bone to pick with someone means to have a minor disagreement with them.

“I’ve got a bone to pick with the baker about that bread he sold me yesterday. It was stale.”

DRY AS A BONE

Something that is as dry as a bone is exceedingly dry.

“You need to water these flowers; the soil is as dry as a bone.”

CHILLED TO THE BONE

When you are extremely cold you are chilled to the bone.

“With no heating in the flat it wasn’t long before we were all chilled to the bone.”

FEEL IT IN YOUR BONES

If you sense something intuitively and with certainty, you feel it in your bones.

“Put some extra coal on the fire, tonight is going to be bitterly cold. I can feel it in my bones.”

BONE IDLE

Someone who is bone idle is extremely lazy.

“I really don’t understand why my daughter is so bone idle when it comes to her studies.”

CLOSE TO THE BONE

If you make a very personal or overly honest remark to somebody, it might be considered to be close to the bone.

“I know you are only joking, but what you said was a bit close to the bone.”

HAVE A SKELETON IN THE CLOSET

Having a skeleton in the closet/wardrobe/cupboard means that you have a hidden and terrible secret that you don’t want anyone to know about.

“Every family has a skeleton in the cupboard which would destroy their reputations if it ever got out.”

SKIN AND BONES

Someone described as skin and bones is extremely skinny and underweight.

“The dog was all skin and bones when we got him from the rescue home.”

WORK YOUR FINGERS TO THE BONE

To work/wear your fingers to the bone means to work very hard for a long time.

“I worked my fingers to the bone to write this book.”

BONE SHAKING

A situation which is violently unsteady, jolting, and uncomfortable, is said to be bone shaking.

“The roads were in such a bad state of repair that the entire journey was bone shaking.”

Body Idioms

I originally thought that I would find 100 to 200 idioms related to the body, but as I continued gathering the idioms for each part of the body, I realised there were going to be considerably more. With an ever-growing list of idioms before me, I despaired of ever being able to complete the definitions and examples that would be required for each one. However, with a bit of elbow grease, I put my back into it, and managed to complete all 522 of them. In this course, you will find many of the idiomatic expressions related to the body.

Responsive image

Back Idioms

This lesson will help to you learn, remember, and use 20 common British English idiomatic expressions. The idioms are, behind your back, break the back of something, watch your back, back to back, fell off the back of a lorry, scratch back, like water off a duck's back, turn your back on, get someone's back up, watch someone's back, put your back into something, back out of, on someone's back, a pat on the back, give the shirt off your back, back against the wall, stabbed in the back, back someone up, have or take the shirt off your back, when your back is turned, and bend over backwards.

Categories: Idioms | Vocabulary | English in Use


Responsive image

Blood Idioms and Expressions

Blood is the vital fluid found in humans and other animals. There are many expressions in English that use the word blood. The expressions in this lesson include get blood out of a stone, blood is thicker than water, bloodshed, cold-blooded, in cold blood, hot-blooded, blood up, blood boils, blueblood, fresh blood, new blood, half-blood, run in the blood, own flesh and blood, young blood, blood clot, blood bank, blood brother, bloodlust, bloodthirsty, blood sport, blood wagon, bloodhound, bloodletting, bloodshot, bloody, blood diamond, and bloodstained.

Categories: Idioms | Vocabulary | Listenings


If you are on a mobile device, or want to open the lesson in a new window, click the button below. The lesson will open in a popup window.

Popup Lesson



Use your study record to set lessons as completed, rate them with a 1-5 star rating, record vocabulary from the lesson for future reference, and take notes about the lesson for future reference.

Not Complete!

You have not completed this lesson yet. To complete it, click the Complete Lesson button.

Complete Lesson Completed Lessons


Lesson Rating

You have not rated this lesson.

Rate This All Ratings


Lesson Vocabulary

You have not created any vocabulary items for this lesson yet.

Add New Vocabulary All Vocabulary


Lesson Notes

You have not created any notes for this lesson yet.

Create Notes All Notes

Be the first to leave a comment about Bone Idioms.

You will need a free Britlisher account to leave a comment.

Click for Free Account


Learn English with the most innovative and engaging English lessons available anywhere on the Internet and all completely free of charge! To personalise your experience in the Britlish Library and to keep track of the lessons you have studied and the vocabulary you have recorded, or the notes you have made about each class, sign up for a free account today.