The question in the title is my question to you. What’s your favorite idiom? An idiom is a figure of speech, for instance, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” First of all, what on earth does that mean?
According to Phrases.org, this means: Don’t discard something valuable with something undesirable. The origins and uses vary over time, but generally speaking, in the 1500’s weekly bathing was done in order of hierarchy in a family. The head male of the house bathed in the water first, followed by the head female, followed by the children in order of age, leaving the baby of the family last to bath in the dirty bath water. So, the saying came from the dirty bathwater being thrown out and not seeing the baby in it. Meaning, don’t discard the baby with the dirty bathwater. And since then has been used over time in many scenarios.
Other favorites of mine are:
A hot potato
Speak of an issue (mostly current) which many people are talking about and which is usually disputed
A penny for your thoughts
A way of asking what someone is thinking
Actions speak louder than words
People’s intentions can be judged better by what they do than what they say.
Add insult to injury
To further a loss with mockery or indignity; to worsen an unfavorable situation.
An arm and a leg
Very expensive or costly. A large amount of money.
At the drop of a hat
Meaning: without any hesitation; instantly.
Back to the drawing board
When an attempt fails and it’s time to start all over.
Ball is in your court
It is up to you to make the next decision or step
Barking up the wrong tree
Looking in the wrong place. Accusing the wrong person
Be glad to see the back of
Be happy when a person leaves.
Beat around the bush
Avoiding the main topic. Not speaking directly about the issue.
Best of both worlds
Meaning: All the advantages.
Best thing since sliced bread
A good invention or innovation. A good idea or plan.
Bite off more than you can chew
To take on a task that is way to big.
Blessing in disguise
Something good that isn’t recognized at first.
Burn the midnight oil
To work late into the night, alluding to the time before electric lighting.
Can’t judge a book by its cover
Cannot judge something primarily on appearance.
The above from the 50 most useful idioms;
I’ve used these, many times. A lot of people have. So my question to you is, what’s your favorite or most commonly used idiom and why?