Oh My! idioms

It’s amazing what little treasures you can sometimes find on Pinterest – a few days ago someone shared this wonderful video from Oh My!

It’s a collection of short illustrations of nine English idioms that are frequently used in everyday speech – see if you can guess the idioms from the scenes.

One or two of them made me laugh, so I hope you like them too.

And if you’re not sure of some of the meanings,  you’ll find the definitions below the video 🙂

Idioms from Oh My! on Vimeo.


♦ a close call – in the video, two men are standing next to each other and one is calling (phoning) the other.

Idiomatic meaning

A close call is something bad that nearly happened. If you have a close call you only just escape from danger or trouble close to being in danger or trouble manage to avoid

Examples of use:

1. News headline (Guardian): A close call for asteroid big enough to flatten London.

2. Wow, that was a close call! That car nearly hit us.


♦ dog eat dog

In a dog eat dog world people are ruthlessly competitive and selfish and they will do anything to survive.

Example of use:

It’s dog eat dog in our office.


♦ a far cry from

To be a far cry from something is to be completely different from it.

Example of use:

His latest book is a far cry from his last one.


♦ spill the beans

To spill the beans is to reveal a secret or information.

Informal English.

Examples of use:

1. Everyone’s trying to make me spill the beans about who will be our new boss.

2. We wanted to surprise our parents with a party for their anniversary, but my daughter spilled the beans.


♦ the cold shoulder

If you give someone the cold shoulder, you treat them coldly and ignore them in an obvious way.

Example of use:

Whenever I see my neighbours they pretend not to see me. I don’t know why they’re giving me the cold shoulder.


♦ curiosity killed the cat

Cats are very curious creatures and we use this expression to say that being too curious might get you into trouble. We often say it if we think someone is asking too many questions about something private.


Robert: ‘What have you got in that box under your bed?’

Alice: ‘Curiosity killed the cat.’


♦ no dice

No dice is something you say when you want to say that something is not possible or will not happen.

Example of use:

Ernie: Can you lend me $20 until Friday?

Peter: Sorry, no dice, I’m broke.


♦ a piece of cake

If something is a piece of cake it is very easy to do, and takes little or no effort.

Example of use:

My English exam was a piece of cake.


♦ when nature calls

The call of nature is a euphemism for the need to go to the toilet.

Informal English.

Examples of use:

1. I had to leave the meeting early to answer the call of nature.

2. Annie: ‘Why are you stopping the car?’

    Ricardo: ‘Nature calls.’


Did you understand all the idioms in the video?

And are you on Pinterest? You can find me here. 🙂



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