Halloween Idioms



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.


skeleton staff

  • 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.


witch hunt 

  • 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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