English Idioms Demystified: Unlocking the Hidden Meanings

3 min readJun 1, 2023


Language is a fascinating aspect of human communication, and idioms play a crucial role in adding color, depth, and cultural context to our conversations. Idioms are expressions or phrases that possess a figurative, rather than literal, meaning. While they may seem confusing or nonsensical at first glance, understanding these idiomatic expressions is key to becoming fluent in a language and grasping its nuances.

What are Idioms?

An idiom is a phrase that has a figurative or metaphorical meaning that is different from the literal meaning of the words. For example, the expression “it’s raining cats and dogs” doesn’t mean that animals are falling from the sky. Instead, it means that it’s raining heavily.

1.“Break a leg

This commonly used idiom may seem counterintuitive. Why would you wish someone harm or injury? In reality, “break a leg” is an expression of good luck, primarily used in the world of performing arts. It stems from the superstition that wishing someone good luck directly would bring about the opposite outcome. Instead, saying “break a leg” implies the hope that the person will have a successful performance, prompting applause and the bending of legs in bowing.

2.The ball is in your court”

This idiomatic expression, borrowed from the game of tennis, refers to the responsibility or decision-making authority being shifted to someone else. In tennis, when the ball is hit into the opponent’s court, it becomes their turn to play. In everyday conversations, using this phrase signifies that it’s now someone else’s turn to take action or make a decision.

3.Let the cat out of the bag

This idiom describes the act of unintentionally revealing a secret or surprise. Its origin can be traced back to medieval markets, where sellers would often substitute a cat for a piglet and place it in a bag. If someone dishonestly sold a bag containing a cat instead of a pig, they would be exposed when the buyer “let the cat out of the bag,” revealing the deception.

4.On cloud nine

When someone is “on cloud nine,” they are experiencing extreme happiness or euphoria. The origin of this idiom is uncertain, but it may be influenced by the idea of reaching the highest cloud in the sky, symbolizing the pinnacle of joy and contentment.

5.Piece of cake

Something that is extremely easy to accomplish. It’s a phrase that can be used to describe a task that requires minimal effort and can be completed quickly. Some people believe that the origins of this phrase date back to the early 19th century, when cakes were given out as prizes at fairs and were considered easy to win.

In addition to exploring the world of idioms in this blog post, we also encourage you to check out our Instagram page. LetMeSpeak is dedicated to language and communication, and we frequently post engaging and informative content about idioms. You’ll find colorful visuals and explanations that unravel the mysteries of various idiomatic expressions.

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