idioms kid definition

30 Cool idioms for kids with meaning

Idioms are word combinations that have a different figurative meaning than the literal meanings of each word or phrase. They can be confusing for kids or people learning a language as they don’t usually mean what they say.

Take for example a sentence such as “He’s as cool as a cucumber”. It is probably one of the most used types of idiom, considered to be an everyday idiom, but honestly if you’ve never quite heard it before or if you’re just a kid, you might be wondering why a person is a cold fruit (or vegetable?) and what all this has to do with the state of things. However, ‘calm as a cucumber’ simply means “he’s very calm”. What a fun way to say something, right?

Well, we’ve compiled a huge list of common examples of idioms for good kids, 30 of them; for kids to learn and become more familiar with these these crazy, creative phrases. Have your kids useĀ  these idioms for new kids to express yourself in an interesting way.

While you’re at it, you can also check out our analogies for kids.

Here are the idioms for kids with definition

Animal Idioms

Kids will love these types of idioms the most. They are idioms involving or containing animals to carry out the expression. You most likely have heard of most of them before.

A bull in a china shop – Someone who is very clumsy

A little birdie told me – Someone told me a secret

Bee in her bonnet – She is upset

Birdbrain – Someone who is not very smart

Busy as a bee – To be very active and working hard at something

Cat got your tongue? – Why aren’t you talking?

Cry crocodile tears – To pretend to be upset

Curiosity killed the cat – Asking too many questions may get you in trouble

Different kettle of fish – Something completely different

Doggy bag – A bag to take home leftovers from a restaurant

Fish out of water – Being somewhere you don’t belong

For the birds – Something that is not worth anything

Get off your high horse – Quit thinking you are better than others

Goose is cooked – Now you’re in trouble

Hold your horses – Wait a minute

Horse of a different color – Something that is quite different, a separate issue

Hot dog – A person doing athletic stunts that are dangerous

Let the cat out of the bag – Tell a secret

Make a mountain out of a molehill – Make something unimportant into a big deal

Night owl – Someone who stays up late

Pig out – To eat a lot

Put a bug in his ear – Make a suggestion

Raining cats and dogs – It is raining very hard

Snail’s pace – To move extremely slow

Stir a hornet’s nest – To cause a lot of trouble

Teacher’s pet – The teacher’s favorite student

The world is your oyster – You can achieve whatever/go wherever you want

When pigs fly – To say something is impossible

Wolf in sheep’s clothing – A person who pretends to be nice but is not

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks – It’s harder for older people to learn new things

We’ve added other types of idioms for kids to enjoy learning about and use too

Everyday Idioms

These idioms are ones that can be used in day to day activities, and you’ll find that they are very common

A grey area – Something unclear

A rip-off – Too expensive

Add fuel to the fire – To add more to an existing problem

As easy as ABC – Something is very easy

Call it a day – Time to quit

Cool as a cucumber – To be very calm under stress

Crack a book – Open up a book and study

Down to the wire – At the last minute

Draw a blank – Can’t remember

Fill in the blanks – Provide more information

Get a kick out of it – Really enjoy/like something

Get your act together – Behave properly

Give it a shot – To try to do something

Have mixed feelings – Be unsure of how you feel

Have second thoughts – Have doubts

In hot water – Be in trouble

In the same boat – Be in the same situation

It’s in the bag – It’s a certainty

I’ve got your number – To say you can’t be fooled by someone since you have them figured out

Miss the boat – You missed your chance

Mumbo jumbo – To call something total nonsense

Out of the blue – With no warning

Pass with flying colors – To succeed at something easily

Piece of cake – Something very easy

Read between the lines – Find the hidden meaning

Second to none – The best

The icing on the cake – Something additional that turns good into great

Body Part Idioms

These idioms have to do with parts of the body.

Cross your fingers – For good luck

Fell on deaf ears – People wouldn’t listen to something

Get cold feet – Be nervous

Giving the cold shoulder – Ignore someone

Have a change of heart – Changed your mind

I’m all ears – You have my full attention

It cost an arm and a leg – It was expensive

Play it by ear – Improvise

See eye to eye – Agree

Slipped my mind – I forgot

Speak your mind – Say what you really feel

Additionally, we’ve thrown in a few food related idioms to humor you a bit. Enjoy!

Food Idioms

As busy as popcorn on a skillet – Very active.

As flat as a pancake – Very flat.

As sour as vinegar – Disagreeable person.

As sweet as honey – Very sweet person.

Have a sweet tooth – Love for sugary and sweet foods.

Like taking candy from a baby – Easy to do.

Salt of the Earth – Ordinary and decent people.

Sell like hotcakes – Sell quickly and in large amounts.

Sugarcoat – Gloss over bad information.


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