Halloween is almost here! I love this holiday! Halloween makes me remember my childhood when I used to carve pumpkins and put candles inside them. Afterwards I lit the candles and walked with my friends on the street in front of my grandmother’s house in the evening until it got dark and I had to get back home. It was a lot of fun. Halloween is about wearing funny and scary costumes and eating a lot of candies. So let’s learn some spooky idioms to get into the Halloween spirit!
You look like you’ve just seen a ghost!
- you look frightened or upset
E.g. Are you all right? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost!
rolling over in one’s grave
- to be very upset (used to say that a dead person would be very upset about what someone has done or what is happening)
E.g. Mary remarried a year after her husband’s death. He must be rolling over in his grave.
to make someone’s blood boil
- to make someone very angry
E.g. Whenever I think about what happened to our poor aunt Linda, it makes my blood boil.
to dig one’s grave
- to do something silly which will cause you trouble
E.g. John digs his own grave by spending his entire salary on gambling.
in cold blood
- to do something deliberately and in an unemotional way, without feeling any remorse
E.g. He killed his wife in cold blood in order to get the insurance money.
scared to death
- very frightened
E.g. When the owl flew out in front of him it scared him to death
skeletons in one’s closet
- to have secrets hidden in your past that you don’t talk about
E.g. He was not offered the teaching job because he had hit a pupil at the last school he taught at- this was a serious skeleton in his closet.
- the minimum number of employees needed to operate a business
E.g. The Accident and Emergency Department at the hospital was closed at the weekends because it had only a skeleton staff.
like a bat out of hell
- to move very fast, describes something that happens very quickly or suddenly
E.g. After snatching the old lady’s purse he ran away like a bat out of hell.
out for blood
- looking to get revenge
E.g. Tomorrow we are playing the team who beat us last month so we are out for blood.
over my dead body
- to refuse to allow someone to do something
E.g. You will pay the ransom for removing the computer virus over my dead body.
stab in the back
- to betray someone
E.g. The boss giving me a bad reference for a new job was a real stab in the back.
- to harass people with unpopular views
E.g. There was a witch hunt against the boss for stopping overtime
the witching hour
- sometimes around midnight, the time late at night when the powers of a witch are believed to be the strongest
E.g. The magician cast his spell at the witching hour so it would have the greatest effect.
quaking in your boots
- to be so scared that your legs and feet are shaking
E.g. When the robber saw the policeman he was quaking in his boots.
not a ghost of a chance
- little to no chance of succeeding
E. g. The 95 year old man had not a ghost of a chance of swimming the channel.
to play the devil’s advocate
- to raise objections against a position purely for the sake of argument
E.g. The boss played the devil’s advocate against the design for the new car.
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