13 English Idioms about Buildings

There are more parts to a building than just the walls. Here are some more commonly used English idioms about buildings or parts of a building.

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13 English Idioms about Buildings

IN THE BACK DOOR

this is often used to describe how someone might get a job or an appointment or an interview that other people might find difficult to achieve.

Example: I have wanted to get a job working for that newspaper for such a long time. Finally I got an interview through the back door. My uncle is best friends with the new CEO.

TO OPEN DOORS FOR YOU

to provide new opportunities for someone

Example: My friend was so well known that he could literally call anyone in the football club and get me interviews with all the stars. He was able to open so many doors for me. I was really impressed.

AN OPEN DOOR POLICY

a business term usually used to signify that a manager/boss is always willing to meet a member of staff to discuss work issues.

Example: If you have any suggestions on how to improve our processes, my door is always open.

THROUGH THE CEILING 

or

THROUGH THE ROOF

often related to prices, prices increase quickly due to inflation, profits and other financial issues

Example: The prices of petrol has risen very quickly this year, it has gone through the ceiling.

THROUGH THE FLOOR

this is again in relation to prices, prices fall down, decrease quickly due to economic downturn, recession

Example: The market has weakened no one wants to buy these cars now the prices have gone through the floor (fallen quickly).

TO HIT THE CEILING/ROOF

to become angry suddenly

Example: He was really angry and got very annoyed when I told him I had crashed the new company car. He hit the ceiling (or hit the roof) when I told him!!

TO HAVE THE FLOOR

In a debate or in a discussion when someone is allowed to address the audience or answer questions he is said to “have the floor”, i.e. control the meeting at that time.

Example: Company CEO had the floor for questions and comments.

THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL

When the result can be predicted or the outcome is known in advance.

Example: When he failed to achieve his targets for the third month in a row, the writing was on the wall. He was surely going to get fired!

English Idioms about Buildings - Infographic

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TO TAKE THE FLOOR

to stand up and address an audience

Example: He took the floor and made a proposal, and it was a success.

FROM DOOR TO DOOR

going to all houses on the street

Example: There are some school kids going from door to door collecting money.

FROM PILLAR TO POST

from one place to another with no planning or purpose

Example: Sarah’s stepbrother Jack moved from pillar to post during his teens.

WINDOW SHOPPING

someone only looks at the goods in the shop windows, they don’t go inside or buy

Example: When I was in New York, I went window shopping on Fifth Avenue.

WINDOW DRESSING

something that makes something or somebody look better than it really is

Example: A new eye-catching ad for fizzy drinks involves a lot of window dressing.

More Information

You’d love reading these! For more information on English everyday vocabulary, English idioms and English phrasal verbs, check out the following links:

English Phrasal Verbs with Look

Idioms related to Happiness and Sadness

Making Suggestions in English – How about…?

Different explanation on English idioms about buildings can be found here

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