This article will tell you some useful, commonly used metaphors.


To take a person’s measure ( to form an estimate of a person’s character, abilities, etc.)

Nutshell (in the fewer words possible, the smallest possible place)

To have a thick skin (to be insensitive, not to be easily hurt)
To have a thin skin (to be sensitive, to be easily hurt)
To save one’s neck ( to escape the results of being foolish)
To feed out of one’s hand ( to be very willing and ready to obey)
Simmer down (become calm after being angry or excited)
To ram something ( to strike violently against it)
To wolf something (to eat it greedily)
The thin end of the wedge (a small change or demand likely to lead to big changes or demands)
As hard as nails (pitiless, unsympathetic)
Plain sailing ( course of action that is simple and without difficulties)
At a premium (highly valued or esteemed)
To toe the line (to obey orders as a member of a group or party)
On one’s toes (alert, ready for action)
Under the heels of (crushed by)
To the backbone (thoroughly, in every way)
One’s right hand (one’s most reliable helper)
Wheels within wheels (complicating motives and influence)
Beside (wide of ) the mark (not to the point, incorrect)
Milestone (important stage or event in history or in a human life)
Far-flung (widely extended)
To measure swords with someone (to try one’s strength)
Blood -thirsty (cruel and eager to take a life, taking pleasure in killing)
Blood-curdling (sending feelings of horror through the body)
Blood and iron (relentless use of force)
Maelstrom of war (violent or destructive force)
Befogged (puzzled, muddle-headed)
Double-faced (not honest, treacherous)
He is playing with edged tools (dangerous things)
To pour oil on the troubled waters (to end quarreling)
To fan the flames (increase excitement or emotion)
This is a fishy business (dishonest, underhand)
He was foxing (pretending)
He was guessing away (talking nonsense)
He was hand in glove with the robbers (closely connected with)
They goaded him on (urged).
He was constantly harping on this subject (talking endlessly)
It harrowed my feelings (wounded)
He blows his own trumpet (praises himself)
To put the lid on (put an end to)
A knotty problem (difficult to solve)
It is all plain sailing (easy)
He is a leper (outcast)
A nosy fellow (prying, inquisitive)
Palm it off on him (give it to him by a trick)
Put some pepper into it (energy, force)
Ginger it up (put energy into it)
He is a pest (troublesome)
The battle was a mere picnic (a trifling affair)
He is a stormy petrel (person whose coming causes trouble)
He sponges on his friend (takes money from, lives on)
He has all gone to pot (gone to ruin)
There’s no punch in it (force)
To curb one’s impatience (control)
To ride rough shod over (act disregarding one”s feelings)
He is on the shelf (in retirement)
They are on the rocks (ruined)
To spin a yarn (tell a story)
To spur on (urge)
To husband one’s resources (take great care of)
To whet one’s curiosity (sharpen)
A windfall (unexpected gain)
To duck someone (to plunge him in water and bring him up quickly)
To hound someone (to hunt him, or worry him continually)
To fox someone (make a cunning move against him)
He is an ass (stupid)
He apes his betters (imitates)
Don’t monkey about with it (play tricks)
He was the apple of his eye (his darling)
To dog his foot-steps (follow him like a dog)
He is a regular wet blanket (a depressing influence)
To give the cold shoulder (treat coldly)
To look rosy (careful)
To look blue (dismal)
You’re a brick (strong, sold, good)
They buttered him up (flattered)
To crow over a person (express triumph)
She’s a cat (spiteful)
We must brazen it out (put on a bold front)
A chicken-hearted fellow (timid)
A bull in a China shop (a rough person among fragile things)
Don’t play the goat (behave foolishly)
They combed out the city (searched thoroughly)
He’s a mere cog in the machine (unimportant part of it)
To dot the i’s and cross the t’s (give precise details)
A crusty fellow (ill tempered)
Drum it into them (repeat and repeat)

Still not enough lifeboats 100 years after Titanic,…. (the failing of government regulation)

Rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic (futile, irrelevant actions taken in times of crisis)

© 2016, All rights reserved. All original content on this website is created by its respective writers and is thus considered to be the intellectual property of Reproduction and re-publication of the content is strictly prohibited.

About Admin

has written 786 post at