Idioms that use parts of the body

As you already know, English is a very rich language. And very creative, if you ask me. For example, English has so many idioms with body parts, it’s hard to remember them all. But, as English learners, it’s our duty to try.:)

As I promised you last week, we are going to learn some more idioms that use parts of the body.

The Face 

  • face-to-face = in person

„We need to arrange a face-to-face meeting.”

  • be two-faced = be hypocritical

„I can’t believe she told you that she likes Harry – she told me she hates him! She’s so two-faced!”

  • save face = avoid humiliation or embarrassment, preserve dignity

‘Rather than fire him outright, they let him save face by accepting his resignation.’

The Ears 

  • be all ears = listen attentively

„So, you’ve got an idea. I’m all ears.”

  • up to your ears in something = be extremely busy

„I’m sorry I can’t come out this weekend – I’m up to my ears in work.”

The Eyes 


  • keep your eyes peeled = watch extremely attentively

„Keep your eyes peeled for him – he’s in the crowd somewhere.”

  • keep an eye out for = watch for someone or something

„Keep an eye out for the next turning on the left.”

  • have your eye on something / someone = want someone or something

„I’ve got my eye on a new computer.”

  • see eye to eye on something = agree with someone

„Those two don’t always see eye to eye – they often argue.” 

Nose, tongue, neck


  • stick your nose in = get involved in something or someone else’s business

„I wish she wouldn’t stick her nose in like that – I really don’t want anyone else’s help.”

  • on the tip of my tongue = when you’ve forgotten the word you want to say

„What’s the word for it – it’s on the tip of my tongue…”

  • tongue-tied = when you can’t say anything because you feel shy

„She’s tongue-tied when she has to speak in public.”

  • breathe down someone’s neck = check constantly what someone else is doing

„I can’t write this letter with you breathing down my neck!”

The Head

  • off the top of your head = when you give an answer to something without having the time to reflect

„What’s our market strategy?” „Well, off the top of my head, I can suggest…”

  • have your head in the clouds = dream

„He’s always got his head in the clouds – he makes all these impossible plans.”

  • keep your head = stay calm

„He always keeps his head in a crisis.”

  • be head over heels in love = be completely in love

„You can see that he’s head over heels in love with her.”

  • keep your head above water = manage to survive financially

„Despite the recession, they kept their heads above water.”

Autor: Laura Sîrbu

Laura Sîrbu este absolventă a Facultăţii de Litere din cadrul Universităţii Bucureşti, specializarea Română – Engleză. Tot în cadrul Universităţii, ea a absolvit masteratul „Studii Americane”, organizat la Facultatea de Limbi şi Literaturi Străine.

Laura deţine autorizaţie de traducător pentru limba engleză şi atestatul lingvistic „Cambridge Proficiency Certificate.”