Britlish

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.

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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.

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Idioms Activation Pack - Arms

There are 13 arms idioms in this Idiom Activation Pack. To be up in arms, Have one arm tied behind your back, Cost an arm and a leg, Lay down your arms, Strong-arm tactics, Keep somebody at arm’s length, Have a list as long as your arm, To give your right arm, Welcome someone with open arms, The long arm of the law, Twist someone’s arm, Chance your arm, and To bear arms. After you have seen, heard, and read the idioms and their meanings, you can activate them and make them part of your active vocabulary. You can do this by using the Idioms Activator which I have designed to give you plenty of practice in listening, reading, and writing the idioms you have learnt in this Idiom Activation Pack. These Idiom Activation Packs are designed to help you activate your English skills. I have been helping students learn, remember, and use the all-important idiomatic expressions for many years and now I want to reach many more students by using the latest technology. I have designed this Idiom Activation Pack to make learning British English idioms as easy and enjoyable as possible. Idioms Activation Pack - Arms

Categories: Idioms | Vocabulary


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Leg Idioms

Learn some common British English idioms in this video English lesson from Britlish. The idioms are: Tail between your legs, On its last legs, Get a leg up, Pulling your leg, Shake a leg, Break a leg, Not have a leg to stand on, Stretch your legs, Legwork, and Sea legs. This lesson is part of the Body Idioms series of idioms lessons.

Categories: Idioms | Vocabulary


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Lip Idioms

Learn some common British English idioms with this lesson from Britlish. The idioms are: Pay lip service, Lick your lips, Bite your lip, Give someone lip, My lips are sealed, Smack lips, Slip of the lip, Tight-lipped, Lock lips, Pass my lips, Stiff upper lip, A bit lippy, Read my lips, Loose lips, Button your lip, and On everyone’s lips. This lesson is part of the Body Idioms series at Britlish.com.

Categories: Idioms | Vocabulary


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