Nature Idioms (Page 1)

Showing 1-50 of 67 results
A rising tide lifts all boats
This idiom, coined by John F Kennedy, describes the idea that when an economy is performing well, all people will benefit from it.
A shallow brook babbles the loudest
People who are loud and talk a lot usually have nothing of substance to say. This contrasts with "Still waters run deep." Other versions are "Shallow brooks babble loudest" and "Shallow brooks are noisy."
Across the pond
(UK) This idiom means on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, used to refer to the US or the UK depending on the speaker's location.
As cold as stone
If something is as cold as stone, it is very cold. If a person is as cold as stone, they are unemotional.
At sea
If things are at sea, or all at sea, they are disorganized and chaotic.
Beat the daylights out of someone
If someone beats the daylights out of another person, they hit them repeatedly. ('Knock' can also be used and it can be made even stronger by saying 'the living daylights'.)
Between a rock and a hard place
If you are caught between a rock and a hard place, you are in a position where you have to choose between unpleasant alternatives, and your choice might cause you problems; you will not be able to satisfy everyone.
Boil the ocean
If you are trying to boil the ocean, you are attempting to do something that's impossible or too big, or making something too complex.
Break the ice
When you break the ice, you get over any initial embarrassment or shyness when you meet someone for the first time and start conversing.
Clear as mud
If something is as clear as mud, then it is very confusing and unclear.
If something like a sports match or an election is a cliffhanger, then the result is so close that it cannot be predicted and will only be known at the very end.
Cuts no ice
If something cuts no ice, it doesn't have any effect or influence.
Dead air
When there is a period of total silence, there is dead air.
Someone who's down-to-earth is practical and realistic. It can also be used for things like ideas.
Drop in the ocean
A drop in the ocean implies that something will have little effect because it is small and mostly insignificant.
Four corners of the earth
If something goes to, or comes from, the four corners of the earth, it goes or comes absolutely everywhere.
Full of hot air
Someone who is full of hot air talks a lot of rubbish.
Grass may be greener on the other side but it's just as hard to mow
'The grass may be greener on the other side but it's just as hard to mow' is an expression used to mean a person's desire to have that which another person has in the belief it will make their life easieris false as all situations come with their own set of problems.
Head for the hills
If people head for the hills, they run away from trouble.
Hung the moon
If you refer to someone as having hung the moon, you think they are extremely wonderful, or amazing, or good.
In broad daylight
If a crime or problem happens in broad daylight, it happens during the day and should have been seen and stopped.
It takes all kinds to make a world
Diversity is essential- the world would be incomplete if everyone were alike.('It takes all sorts to make a world' is also used.)
It's an ill wind that blows no good
This is said when things have gone wrong; the idea being that when bad things happen, there can also be some positive results.
Lay of the land
The lay of the land is the way something is organised, runs, is arranged, etc. ('The lie of the land' is also used.)
Let the dust settle
If you let the dust settle, or wait till the dust settles, you wait until things have become calmer or have returned to normality after conflict or a problem.
Light a fire under
If you light a fire under somebody, you strongly motivate them to work faster.
Make a mountain out of a molehill
If somebody makes a mountain out of a molehill, they exaggerate the importance or seriousness of a problem.
Make waves
If someone makes waves, they cause a lot of trouble or stir things up a lot.
Many moons ago
A very long time ago.
Moral high ground
If people have/take/claim/seize, etc, the moral high ground, they claim that their arguments, beliefs, etc, are morally superior to those being put forward by other people.
Mountain to climb
If you have a mountain to climb, you have to work hard or make a lot of progress to achieve something.
Move mountains
If you would move mountains to do something, you would make any effort to achieve your aim. When people say that faith can move mountains, they mean that it can achieve a lot.
Mud in the fire
The things that cannot be changed in the past that we usually forget about are mud in the fire.
Nature abhors a vacuum
This idiom is used to express the idea that empty or unfilled spaces are unnatural as they go against the laws of nature and physics.
No smoke without fire
This idiom means that when people suspect something, there is normally a good reason for the suspicion, even if there is no concrete evidence.  ('Where's there's smoke, there's fire' is also used.)
Not the only pebble on the beach
If something is not the only pebble on the beach, there are other possibilities or alternatives.
Old flames die hard
It's very difficult to forget old things, especially the first love.
Older than dirt
Something or someone's that's older than the dirt is extremely old.
Older than dirt
Something or someone that's older than dirt is very old indeed.
Older than the hills
Something or someone's that's older than the hills is extremely old.
On ice
If plans are put on ice, they are delayed and no action will be taken for the foreseeable future.
On the rocks
If something, like a relationship, is on the rocks, it is in trouble and may come to an end.
Place in the sun
If you have your place in the sun, you find wealth, happiness or whatever you are looking for in life.
Pull out of the fire
(USA) If you pull something out of the fire, you save or rescue it.
Ride with the tide
If you ride with the tide, you accept the majority decision.
Run into the sand
If something runs into the sand, it fails to achieve a result.
Scare the daylights out of someone
If you scare the daylights out of someone, you terrify them. (This can be made even stronger by saying 'the living daylights'.)
Scattered to the four winds
If something's scattered to the four winds, it goes out in all directions.
Sea change
An expression that connotes big change; a significant change in comparison to a minor, trivial or insignificant change.
Sell down the river
If you sell someone down the river, you betray their trust.

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