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Cheek, Chest, Chin Idioms

Idioms Course Patrons


Learn English idioms easily and have fun with them! Our idioms activities are designed to make learning idioms as accessible as any other part of the English language. Instead of just memorizing lists of vocabulary, our activities aim to make the learning process interesting and productive. Knowing as many idioms as possible is important as native English speakers use them frequently. With our activities, you'll be able to master idioms and use them like a native speaker in no time!


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.

The 7 idioms are, turn the other cheek, tongue in cheek, cheek by jowl, get something off your chest, keep something close to your chest, take it on the chin, and keep your chin up. This British English idioms lesson will help to you learn, remember, and use 7 common British English idiomatic expressions which use the words cheek, chest, and chin. 

CHEEK IDIOMS TURN THE OTHER CHEEK If you can ignore someone’s abuse or insults against you, you turn the other cheek. “Sometimes the best way to defuse a situation is to turn the other cheek.” NOTE: This is an idiom taken from the bible: “but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39) TONGUE IN CHEEK When you say or do something that seems to be serious but is actually humorous, it’s tongue-in-cheek. “Brian got really angry with Mark over his comments, until they realise they were tongue-in-cheek.” CHEEK BY JOWL Cheek by jowl means very close together, or side-by-side. “In many Spanish cities businesses and housing are cheek by jowl.” NOTE: The jowl is another word for the cheek.   CHEST IDIOMS GET SOMETHING OFF YOUR CHEST To confess something, say how you feel, or express your criticism of something or someone, is to get it off your chest. “I was getting fed up with her selfish and thoughtless behaviour, and I had to get it off my chest and tell her how I felt.” KEEP SOMETHING CLOSE TO YOUR CHEST When you keep something close to your chest you keep your intentions, plans, or tactics secret and confidential. “When everything is finalised, I’ll tell you. But in the meantime, I have to keep things close to my chest.”   CHIN IDIOMS TAKE IT ON THE CHIN When you are brave enough to avoid complaining about bad things which have happened to you, you take it on the chin. “Sacked for incompetence, he took it on the chin.” NOTE: This is an allusion to the ability of a boxer to take a punch without falling. KEEP YOUR CHIN UP When someone has to overcome some difficulties, particularly emotional ones, we can encourage them by telling them to keep their chin up. “I know it’s not an easy time, but you just have to keep your chin up.”

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