The following are very common English idioms with two words. They are used in everyday conversations. In modern communication more informal language is now frequently used to substitute for more formal words and phrases.
List of Idioms
11 Common English idioms with two words
this refers to a person who is overly fussy in their actions. They usually do not relax, do not dress casually and always operate by the rules.
Michael always wears a suit and a tie even when he goes to McDonald’s!! His friends said he was a real fuddy-duddy.
used to describe a situation when everything is confused, or untidy, or unsure
The weather was very bad. He was due to fly at noon, but he wasn’t sure whether the airport was open or closed. No one could answer a simple question. Everything was topsy turvy.
when what you understand is written in English (or your native tongue), but you cannot understand it as it may be written in ‘legalistic’ language
Nobody could understand the mortgage document from the bank. It was written in mumbo jumbo.
Intermediate to Advanced English Marathon
When a person is unable to make a decision decisively and is stuck between two choices. We can describe him as wishy-washy.
John could not decide whether to complain about the bad food in the restaurant. Eventually, he decided not to say anything ad even gave the waiter a tip!! His wife said he was wishy-washy.
someone who thinks he is better than everyone at everything, but in fact is not
He hired a hotshot lawyer from London to defend him in his law case but he was still found guilty.
when something is kept secret or covered up so no one can find out the facts.
He worked for the secret service but nobody knew exactly what he did it was all hush hush.
English Idioms with Two Words
to delay without cause or reason and not to rush.
He was late for the meeting but continued to do this and that in his office and took his time in everything. He dilly-dallied for over an hour.
this refers to ordinary routine aspects of our lives. People often look for some distraction from the humdrum of life.
He worked every day from 8 am to 6 pm and after six months decided to take a long holiday away from the humdrum of his work.
usually refers to the sound that small footsteps make and is used to refer to a happy announcement that a woman is expecting a baby.
She was delighted to tell her husband that after 2 years of marriage they were going to hear the tiny pitter-patter of baby feet. She would have her baby in about six months.
when you are in good health or when everything is working well.
He went to the doctor and was in perfect health. His business was doing well and his family were happy. He was tip-top. In fact, everything was tip-top.
used to describe a businessman who deals in lots of business transactions on a regular basis, buying and selling.
He bought and sold cars every day in all parts of the country. He bought them cheap and sold them for a small profit quickly. He was a real wheeler-dealer.
Idioms are fun to use and appear regularly in formal and informal speech. Enjoy using these common English idioms with two words where and when you can!
For more information on English Idioms, English Phrasal Verbs and English Grammar Rules, check out the following links:
How to Negotiate Price in English
Vocabulary for Renting an Apartment
Travel Phrasal Verbs in English
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