Different Idiomatic/Slang Expressions to Improve the Vocabulary of English Learners

The following expressions (phrasal verbs, idioms, and slang) can be used to teach people who want to learn the English language. Before ending your conversation with someone who wants to learn English from you, make it a point to give a new expression related to your topic.  I hope that this will be of great help to enhance the vocabulary skills of English learners out there.

If you some helpful expressions, you may contribute below.

Agreeing

fine by me

suits me fine or it suits me fine 

 

Altruism

philanthropist

Bank

float a loan – it means to make a loan.

Example:

I have to float a loan for the renovation of our house.

 

floating interest rate

 

Business

accept an offer

in full swing

gravy train

keep track

top-down and bottom-up decision making

Publicly-listed companies

 

Office/Work

 

from here on out 

flattery

figure in 

give (or lend) a hand – it means to help or assist a person in doing something.
Example: 
It will be a big event. Can you send some people to give me a hand with
infographic
on the run

 

Slow day at work – This is the opposite of swamped. This is the season or time when you don’t do many things at work.

Example: 

Sure, I can listen to your presentation later because I am on a slow day at work.

 

put off

 

slated to do something

 

swamped – it means you are busy.

Example:

Oh, I’m sorry I can’t go, I’m swamped with a lot of deadlines on my desk.

 

360-degree feedback

Marketing

CPV – cost per view

Computer/Technology

E-commerce payment system

Cooking

out of season

 

 

Driving

backseat driver

Drinking 

 

two or three sheets to the wind – drunk or intoxicated
Example: You are three sheets to the wind.
a stiff drink

Family

black sheep

come of age 

talk shop

 

Fashion

getup

polka dot

visual merchandising

 

 

Feelings/Reactions/Emotions

horror  of horrors

sentimental value

under threat

wake-up call

 

Food

all-you-can-eat – it means the customers in a restaurant can eat all the food that they want to eat.
Example:
Let’s go to the newly opened all-you-can-eat restaurant in our town. I heard they serve various delectable dishes for only 2000 yen.

delectable – it means the food is delicious or tasty.

Example:
Oh, this spicy chicken that you said you cooked is so delectable.

Ordering food

Would you like a starter?

cutlery

 

 

Friendship

fair-weather friend

 

Games/Gambling

All bets are off

Giving Directions

go past – it means to pass by a certain place.

Example:

After going through the park, just go past the convenience store. Next to it is the building that you are looking for.

 

Hobbies

cup of tea  

downtime

 

pique – it means to provoke or awaken something such as the emotion of a person or the person’s curiosity.
Example:
It was the powerhouse band that piqued my interest in that program.

Home

 

up for grabs –  it means that something can still be taken because it is available.
Example: 
This work assignment is still up for grabs. Anyone?
move house

rip to shreds

 

 

Hotel

 

peak season  

 

 

fully booked – it means all the rooms are occupied and there is nothing left to be reserved.

Example:

I’m sorry, sir but we are fully booked on that date.

wake-up call

Losing Something

lost in the shuffle 

 

Music

powerhouse

Nature

 

freak of nature – it means something is really different or not normal

Example: What? You can eat 20 red spicy peppers? You a real freak of nature.

 

 

Parenting

know best- it means you are the most knowledgeable about something.

Example:

I miss my mother’s chicken curry. Mom really knows best about everything.

 

Products/Services

high-class

ship out

Transportation

 

shove over – it means to move over and give space to other people.

Example: Could you shove over so that Lisa can sit down.

 

bustle around 

highways and byways

 

Payment

overdue – it means not doing the thing that you are supposed to do at the time it was expected for you to do it.

Example: Your electric bill is two months overdue.

 

Shopping

shop around – it means going from store to store to compare the price and quality of the item you are buying.

Example: I will shop around for a concert

 

It’s a steal – it means something is super cheap

Example: Definitely, I’ll buy that one. It’s a steal.

 

It’s a rip-off – it costs a lot that it is already unreasonable because its price is higher than it supposed to be.

Example: I am not buying a smartphone for 70 000 pesos. It’s a rip-off.

 

Sales

sales pitch

sales talk

Teaching

teach (someone) a lesson

 

Telephone Conversation

Can I take a message? – it means you are asking the caller if she wants to leave a message for the person he/she is looking for.

Example:

I’m sorry but Ruby is not here. Can I take a message?

 

Travel

 

alleviating poverty through tourism

bump up – it means to move up to a much higher position which in travel means to be transferred to a more expensive seat.

Example:

Guess what? I was bumped up to the business class! Isn’t that amazing?

 

getaway

holidaymaker

jet lag

the holiday spirit

a short-haul flight (medium-haul or long-haul)

unwind

Weather

 

muggy – it means the weather is humid.

Example: 

Summer is just around the corner. Prepare for muggy days again.

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