• (To) each his own
Everyone has his/her own preferences; not everyone likes the
• The early bird gets the worm
- If you start early, you have a better chance of success; it‟s good
to get an early start.
• Easier said than done
This means that it is very easy to say something than to
actually do it.
• Easy come, easy go
This means that when you get something (especially money)
very easily or without hard work, then it is easy to spend it or lose
it very easily and quickly, too.
• Every cloud has a silver lining
This means that every bad situation also brings
opportunities or good situations. We often say this to
comfort people and make them feel better.
• Eyes are bigger than one‟s stomach
We say this if someone orders or prepares a lot of
food because they are hungry (their “eyes are big”) but
they are unable to finish eating it all.
• (a) Face only a mother could love
This is a funny way to say that a person is very
• Failure is the mother of success
- People must fail before they can reach success.
Failure leads to success.
• Few and far between
If something is “few and far between” this means
that it happens only occasionally and not often.
First come, first served
This means that the first people to arrive are the first people who
get to eat (or participate in something).
Just for fun (“I‟m not a professional basketball player. I just play for
From rags to riches
If someone goes “from rags to riches,” this means that they start
life poor and become rich.
Full of hot air
If you say someone is “full of hot air” this means that you don‟t
• Kill two birds with one stone
If you “kill two birds with one stone,” this means that you
accomplish two tasks at the same time. (For example, if you go to a
mall or department store, you can 1) get a haircut, and 2) buy some
• Knock „em dead
This is a funny way to say “Good luck” (similar to “Break a leg”).
• Knock on wood
We “knock on wood” to hope for good luck or to hope for continued
safety. (For example, if someone says, “I‟ve never broken a bone
before,” he might then add, “Knock on wood,” which means that he
hopes to continue this pattern of good luck.)
• Keep in touch
To keep “communicating‟ (writing, calling, etc.), usually after
someone moves far away
• Keep your chin up
To keep confidence and not be sad or ashamed about
• Keep your shirt on
This means “calm down” or “don‟t get so excited.”
• Keep your fingers crossed
• Cross your fingers
We say this when we hope or wish for something to happen.
(We cross our fingers when we hope or wish for a positive result –
in a baseball game, in the lottery, or on a test, for example.)