Informal English Expressions I

Hello, dear Educall students and readers! How is it going? Yes, you are right, it is not a convenient way to greet someone in this way. Maybe some readers are asking the meaning of this question. I said ‘How is it going?’ instead ‘How are you?’. However, we should know and learn informal expressions in English even if we don’t need to or prefer to use them. When you go abroad or talk on the phone with your foreign friend or colleagues, have you ever realized that they use a lot of various expressions which are different from the ones in your coursebook? Yes, there are dozens of words that you are unfamiliar with. Informal expressions are the big part of street and friends’ conversation. We should put some efforts into learning new expressions so that you can catch every word during your conversation with others. Especially, idioms take an important place in informal English so you may not induce the meaning of words by analyzing with your current English. You should be prepared for these idioms and slang words. I will share some of commonly used those informal expressions weekly. Enjoy reading!


1. A horse of a different colour

Meaning:  Something that is completely different from another thing.

Ex:  I don’t like broccoli but today, we have cauliflower for dinner. It is a horse of different colour.


2. Alive and kicking

Meaning: A person is active and in good health.

Ex: Even though he had a terrible accident, he is alive and kicking.


3. As like as two peas in a pod

Meaning: People are exactly the same in appearance, behaviour, etc.

Ex: The two sisters are as like as two peas in a pod.


4. Be all talk

Meaning: Someone talks about doing something but never does it.

Ex: She is all talk as usual. You should see her work on the project.


5. Beat-up

Meaning: Someone/ something is in a bad/deteriorated condition.

Ex: Mark is too beat-up to play tennis this evening.


6. Be broke

Meaning: Someone doesn’t have even a penny.

Ex: I can't go to the cinema with you, I'm broke.


7. Be/get carried away

Meaning:  A person is so excited, angry, interested, etc. that he is no longer really in control of what you do or say, or you forget everything else.

Ex:  Calm down! Don’t get carried away. We have to sit down and talk sense.


8. Be/feel like a fish out of water

Meaning:  A person feels uncomfortable in a place because he doesn’t feel belong there.

Ex: I felt like a fish out of water when I was abroad for the first time.


9. Bend over backward

Meaning: Someone tries as hard as possible to help or please someone.

Ex: Her parents bent over backward for her to win the competition.


10. Be up to your ears in work/problem/debt

Meaning: A person has got a lot of work/problem/debt.

Ex: Sorry, I can't go out with you. I'm up to my ears in work.


11. Bowl of cherries

Meaning: It means something is full of pleasure and enjoyment but it is used negatively.

Ex: Marriage is not always bowls of cherries.

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