Number Idioms

English Idioms 20 April 2010 | 4 Comments

I just love using idioms! They sometimes sum things up without you having to say much! Here are some of my favorite idioms that have numbers in them.

back to square 1 – This means you have to start something all over again.
Oh man, I dropped the sauce on the floor, it’s back to square 1 for me.

better half – This means your husband or your wife, if you are married.
Brian, my husband, is my better half.

catch 22 – This is when a situation has 2 possible choices, but both outcomes might be negative.
If I stay here and play with my kids, I’ll get no work done. However, if I don’t play with them they’ll be mad at me. It’s a catch-22.

to feel like a million dollars – It means you feel very well and are doing great.
She had a great sleep last night and woke up feeling like a million dollars.

lesser of 2 evils – When 2 things are both bad, but one is not as bad as the other.
Well, I guess I’ll vote for the lesser of 2 evils.

opportunity only knocks once – This means that you only have 1 time to take advantage of something that is offered (maybe a job) because you may not get that particular opportunity again.
Speaker A – I got a job in the Peace Corp.
Speaker B – Cool, are you going to take it?
Speaker A – I don’t know.
Speaker B – You know opportunity only knocks once.

put 2 and 2 together – This means you can figure something out by putting the pieces together.
Dorthy saw the lipstick on his shirt collar and smelled perfume on his shirt that wasn’t hers. She put 2 and 2 together and realized he was having an affair.

6 of 1 and half a dozen of another – You can use this when there are 2 options or things, but there are not any big differences between the two.
Speaker A – I don’t know if I should call her a stewardess or a flight attendant.
Speaker B – It’s 6 of 1 and half a dozen of another.

3rd degree – When someone asks you very intimidating questions and they really try to make you confess to something.
Wow, I think that cop thought I committed a crime, he was giving me the 3rd degree.

4 Responses on “Number Idioms”

  1. Elena says:

    Wow! I didn´t really know most of those idioms! Just “opportunity only knocks once” and “put 2 and 2 together”.
    THANKS for this post! It´s really good!

    P.S. When talking about your “better half”, we say “your half orange” here in Spain. Very fruity! I guess that´s because Spanish oranges are famous (at least here in Europe).

  2. Elena says:

    Oooops! My computer has gone crazyCan you delete one of them? 🙂

  3. Yvonne says:

    Done! Yes, that happens to me a lot – makes me annoyed. 🙂

  4. Yvonne says:

    Spanish oranges are famous here too! I like that expression! And I’m glad you learned some new ones from my site!

Leave a Reply


× 2 = eight