Head over heels!

Have you ever noticed how many English idioms involve body parts? These idioms are often much more expressive than their non-idiomatic synonyms. Many thanks to our Guest Blogger Lavinia!

For example, we don’t say that someone is impetuous but that they are “hot headed”.  A sudden lack of courage is often described as “having cold feet.”  When you begin to think about it there are countless similar anatomical expressions.  If a person is “half hearted,” they are lacking in commitment or enthusiasm while if they are hurrying very fast, they may be going at “breakneck” speed. We need “elbow room” to exist comfortably together and we can “work our fingers to the bone” and use “elbow grease” to get a manual job finished. If the work is not finished and your boss is likely to complain, you may say “he’ll be on my back if I don’t get this done” or “I’ll get it in the neck if I fail.”  Even when we fall in love, it’s “head over heels;” maybe referring to how painful love can often be!


impetuous (adj.) – impulsive, spontaneous

countless (adj.) – a large number of sth.

anatomical (adj.) – relating to the body

to be lacking in sth. (adj.) – to not have enough of sth.

to hurry (v.) – to go somewhere or do sth. very fast

to complain (v.) – to say sth. is not good

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