Real Life English: Body Idioms

All ears

Does learning English give you itchy feet to leave home and see the many eye-catching destinations around the world? Did you know you can also meet native speakers without leaving your city?

Either way, if you want to speak and understand native speakers in any place or situation, the idioms we use in English are very important! native speakers use them all the time in both formal and informal situations.

Body Idioms Are Everywhere


This is your chance to learn about body idioms, and thanks to these entertaining illustrations from Kaplan International Colleges, we’re going to make this lesson A LOT OF FUN!

Ready? Are you all ears?

We encourage you to check out Kaplan International College, which has a very nice selection of amazing illustrations that teach idioms in a fun and dynamic way. 

kaplan body idioms
All Ears:
To be all ears is to enthusiastically give all of your attention to somebody. (Example: Tell me all about your trip to London. I’m all ears.)

Cold Shoulder: To give somebody the cold shoulder is to ignore, not pay attention to somebody you know. (Example: I can’t believe my ex-girlfriend gave me the cold shoulder when I saw her again.)

Itchy Feet: To have itchy feet means that you have a very strong impulse to travel. (Example: I can’t wait for my visa to arrive. I prefer to travel now and not next week because I have itchy feet.)

Long Arm of the Law is the extensive reach/influence of the government/authorities to control people. (Example: Many famous people have tried to evade paying taxes, but the long arm of the law always find them.)

An Old Hand is a person who has a lot of experience in something. (Example: If you need help studying for your test on Roman history, I can help. I’ve studied this for years and I’m a bit of an old hand on this topic.)

Sweet Tooth: To have a sweet tooth is to have a special craving/liking for foods that have a sweet taste. (Example: Of course I want a piece of cake. I have a really bad sweet tooth for desserts.)

To have Elbow Room is to have enough space to move or work in. (Example: To learn to speak English well, it’s important to have enough elbow room to experiment and use the language in authentic situations.)

Eye-Catching: Something that is eye-catching tends to catch your attention (or catch your eye). (Example: The best way to learn new English vocabulary is to use eye-catching images that are easy to remember.) See a list of Kaplan illustrations here!

The Best Way to Learn Real Life English Idioms!

Do you want to know the best and most efficient way to learn these expressions? Use the amazing vocabulary tool, Anki. Your vocabulary will never be the same.

If you enjoyed this article, we invite you to have a look at the amazing selection of resources that Kaplan has to offer.

If you have a second, we encourage you to practice these expressions in the comments below. If you make any mistakes, we’ll be happy to correct you.

If you haven’t already, take a look at past RLE posts with Kaplan illustrations:

  • buenisimo

  • Excellent!

    • Justin says:

      I appreciate it Patricia!

  • Noura Aloui says:

    Interesting 🙂

  • Eak Duwadi says:

    find it useful!

  • bingo 🙂

  • Anna Lobacheva says:

    Hi, I didn't catch the meaning of the idiom "Elbow room" could you give one more example please?

    • Justin says:

      A literal example of elbow room: “I don’t like to go to crowded places because I prefer a bit of elbow room to move around.” A figurative example is, “I don’t like my job. My boss is always micro-managing me and he doesn’t give me any elbow room to be creative.”

  • Jonata fontela says:

    I think I have a BAD SWEET TOOTH I really love eating candys!lol thanks guys I love it your post!

    • Justin says:

      I’m glad it helped. Thanks for commenting, Jonata!

  • Your posts r always helpful sir…….

  • Eak Duwadi says:

    Tnx Kumud Adhikari

  • U r welcome…

  • Toby Wheeler says:

    elbow room would mean having enough space to move easily I imagine. like on the underground you don't have elbow room.