Top 10 Festive Idioms and Expressions

By Jasmine Damen

Category: ELT Resources

And just like that, it’s the end of the year – this time of year always comes around quickly! We hope everyone has a lovely festive season, and makes some time to actually relax!

Back in October, we posted a collection of our favourite spooky idioms and expressions. Idioms are a great tool you can use in the ESL classroom, and they provide a bit of fun, too. You can have a look at the Halloween idiom blog post here. In a similar vein, we thought it would be fun to ask our Illustrator Doug to whip up a few festive and winter themed idioms.

Have a look at the images below … can you guess what idioms they represent? Once you’ve guessed, you can click to reveal the answer!

Roll up your sleeves and get ready … here’s number 1!

Click here to reveal the idiom.

1. BLANKET OF SNOW

Meaning: a complete and even covering of snow
Example: Edinburgh woke up this morning to a blanket of snow.

Click here to reveal the idiom.

2. TRIM THE TREE

Meaning: to decorate a Christmas tree with ornaments, baubles and other decorations
Example: We have to wait for Uncle Bobo before we trim the tree; it’s his favourite Christmas activity!

Click here to reveal the idiom.

3. RUSHED OFF MY FEET

Meaning: extremely busy
Example: Zara was rushed off her feet trying to get everything ready for Christmas Day.

Click here to reveal the idiom.

4. TO GET COLD FEET

Meaning: to have apprehension or doubt about a plan
Example: She was getting cold feet about moving to a different country.

Click here to reveal the idiom.

5. SNOWBALL EFFECT

Meaning: a situation in which one event in turn causes many other similar events at an increasing rate
Example: Forgetting my phone really had a snowball effect on my day.

Click here to reveal the idiom.

6. TO BE SNOWED UNDER

Meaning: to have a lot of work to do
Example: I’m absolutely snowed under this week, can I look at your report next week?

Click here to reveal the idiom.

7. SNOWED IN

Meaning: unable to leave because of too much snow
Example: Last winter, we got snowed in at Mum’s house – we played board games all night!

Click here to reveal the idiom.

8. ON THIN ICE

Meaning: doing something that is likely to get you in trouble or cause upset
Example: You’ve got to stop being late for work, you’re on thin ice as it is.

Click here to reveal the idiom.

9. BREAK THE ICE

Meaning: to do or say something to relieve tension and get a conversation started, typically between strangers
Example: On my first day of class, my teacher made us all play a game to break the ice and get to know each other.

Click here to reveal the idiom.

10. OUT IN THE COLD

Meaning: ignore, forgotten or excluded
Example: No one told me about the Christmas party – I felt a bit out in the cold.

And that’s that! Thanks for reading, and we hope you all have wonderful festive season!

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