English Idioms about Memory and Mind

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  • Post last modified:20/04/2023
  • Post category:English Idioms
  • Reading time:11 mins read

Here you will learn 12 English idioms about Memory and Mind. Lose the plot, to be miles away, a gut reaction meaning.

By the end of this post, you will have a better understanding of these idioms and be able to use them in your own conversations to sound more natural and fluent in English.

Scroll down to check your understanding and complete a short quiz.

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English Speaking Expressions

12 English Idioms about Memory and Mind

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Learning English idioms is an excellent way to improve your English vocabulary and become more fluent in English.

Idioms about memory and mind are especially useful as they are common and popular expressions that native speakers use in everyday conversations.

In this post, we will introduce some popular English idioms about memory and mind and discuss their meanings, usage, and examples. 

your memory is playing tricks on you

Meaning: the memories you have may not be entirely accurate or reliable


I thought I remembered the exact words of the conversation we had, but now I’m not sure if my memory is playing tricks on me.

She insisted that she had completed the task, but I knew her memory was playing tricks on her because I had witnessed her forgetting to do it.

bear something in mind

Meaning: to remember or keep something in your thoughts or consideration, especially when making a decision or taking action


When you’re making your travel plans, bear in mind that it’s hurricane season in that region during the summer months.

I know you’re excited about the job offer, but bear in mind that the commute will be quite long and may impact your work-life balance.

food for thought

Meaning: something that provides mental stimulation or something to think about. It can refer to an idea, concept, or piece of information that is worth considering or pondering.


The speaker’s presentation provided some interesting food for thought about the future of the industry.

I never considered the environmental impact of fast fashion until I read that article. It gave me some serious food for thought.

a gut reaction

Your gut is slang for your stomach or the area around your stomach.

Meaning: an instinctive or intuitive response to a situation or stimulus, often based on a person’s emotions or past experiences rather than on logic or analysis.


When I first heard the news, my gut reaction was that it couldn’t be true.

She had a strong gut reaction to the proposal, even though she couldn’t explain exactly why she felt that way.

12 English Idioms about Memory

10 English idioms about memory and mind. Memory like a sieve meaning. Improve speaking skills at www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #tienganh #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

lose the plot

Meaning: to become confused, disorganised, or unable to understand or follow what is happening in a situation or story. It can refer to a person who becomes mentally or emotionally overwhelmed and loses their ability to cope with a situation.


The movie started out okay, but then it lost the plot and became really confusing.

He was doing well in the game, but after a while, he lost the plot and started making silly mistakes.

(to be) miles away

Meaning: to be lost in thought or daydreaming and not paying attention to what is happening in the immediate surroundings


I tried to get his attention, but he was miles away, lost in his own thoughts.

She missed her stop on the train because she was miles away, thinking about her upcoming exam.

12 English Idioms about Memory

be in two minds

Meaning: to be undecided or unsure about something, to be torn between two options or opinions.


I’m in two minds about going on the trip – on one hand, I really want to go, but on the other hand, I’m not sure if I can afford it.

She was in two minds about accepting the job offer because although it was a great opportunity, it meant moving to a new city.

memory like a sieve

Meaning: to have a poor memory or forgetting things easily


I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast this morning – my memory is like a sieve!

He has a memory like a sieve and always forgets people’s birthdays.

on the tip of your tongue

Meaning: something that is almost remembered, but not quite


What’s the name of that actor? It’s on the tip of my tongue, but I just can’t remember it.

She knew the answer to the question, but it was on the tip of her tongue and she couldn’t quite say it.

ring a bell

Meaning: to sound familiar or to trigger a memory


I don’t remember meeting him, but his name rings a bell.

The movie title doesn’t ring a bell, but I might have seen the trailer.

The name of the song didn’t ring a bell, but as soon as I heard the first few notes, I remembered it.

rack your brain

Meaning: to think very hard or make a great effort to remember something


I’m trying to remember the name of my fifth-grade teacher, but I’m really racking my brain.

I racked my brain all night trying to come up with a good idea for the project.

She had to rack her brain to remember where she put her passport.

off the top of your head

Meaning: to say something without giving it much thought or without checking for accuracy


How many people live in your city? I don’t know off the top of my head, but I think it’s around one million.

Off the top of my head, I can think of three good reasons why you should take that job offer.

I can’t remember the exact date off the top of my head, but I know it was in June.

Confusing English Verb Pairs - Remind vs Remember

 In this English video lesson, you will learn what the difference between REMIND and REMEMBER is. Very useful for intermediate English students to help you improve your speaking skills.

10 English Idioms about Memory and Mind - Quiz

More Information

For more information in English Expressions, English Phrasal Verbs and English Grammar Rules, check ou the following links:

Food Phrases and Idioms

English Idioms about Dreams

English Phrasal Verbs with OVER

Phrasal Verbs with WEAR

There’s plenty of learning material available on BBC Learning English.

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