|bare your heart (or soul) to someone||If you bare you heart (or soul) to someone, you reveal your innermost thoughts and feelings to them.|
Mike couldn’t keep things to himself any longer. He decided to bare his soul to his best friend.
|bear the brunt||A person who bears the brunt of something is the one who suffers the most when something bad or unpleasant happens.|
When things go wrong, his assistant always has to bear the brunt of his anger.
|bent out of shape||If you get bent out of shape, you become annoyed or upset about something that is usually not that important or cannot be avoided.|
Don’t get bent out of shape if you’re delayed. We’ll wait for you.
|beside yourself (with emotion)||If you are beside yourself (with an emotion), you lose your self-control because of the intensity of the emotion you are feeling.|
He was beside himself with grief when he lost his son.
|bored to tears|
(also: to distraction/to death/silly)
|If you find something so dull and uninteresting that it makes you sad enough to cry, you are bored to tears.|
I could see that my son was bored to tears by the historical documentary.
|carry the torch for||If you carry the torch, you have strong feelings for someone with whom you do not or cannot have a relationship.|
He’s been carrying the torch for Julie since their college days, before she married Ted.
|wouldn’t be caught/seen dead||If someone says that they wouldn’t be caught or seen dead in a particular place or doing something, they mean that they would be too ashamed or embarrassed.|
My seven-year-old son thinks he’s a big boy; he wouldn’t be caught dead holding my hand in front of his friends!
|cheesed off||If someone is cheesed off with something, they are annoyed, bored or frustrated.|
Jenny is absolutely cheesed off with her job.
|chip on your shoulder||If someone has a chip on their shoulder, the feel resentful because they feel they are being treated unfairly, especially because of their background, their sex or their colour.|
He’s got a chip on his shoulder because he’s from a working-class family.
|close to home||If a remark or comment is close to home, it is so true, or it affects you so directly, that you feel uncomfortable.|
Alan looks embarrassed. Bob’s comment must bave been close to home.
|come apart at the seams||To say that someone is coming apart at the seams means that they are extremely upset or under severe mental stress.|
Bob has had so many problems lately, he’s coming apart at the seams.
|cork up something||If you cork up your feelings or emotions, you fail to show or express them.|
It would be better if she showed her grief and didn’t cork up her feelings.
|cut to the quick||If you cut someone to the quick, you hurt their feelings or offend them deeply.|
Alan was cut to the quick when Joe expressed doubt about his sincerity.
|deep down||If you talk about how someone is, or feels, deep down, you are describing what they are like or what they really feel deep inside, behind the outward appearance.|
He appears to be indifferent to his success, but deep down he’s very happy.
|fish out of water||If you feel like a fish out of water, you feel uncomfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.|
As a non-golfer, I felt like a fish out of water at the clubhouse.
|fit of pique||Someone who reacts by showing their resentment or annoyance when their pride has been wounded, or they feel insulted, is said|
to have a fit of pique.
She left the table in a fit of pique.
|freudian slip||A Freudian slip is a mistake made by a speaker which is considered to reveal their true thoughts or feelings.|
So you got the job – I’m so sad … Sorry, I mean ‘glad’!
|have your heart in the right place||A person who has their heart in the right place has kind feellings and good intentions, even if the results are not too good.|
The old lady’s cake wasn’t wonderful but she’s got her heart in the right place!
|get a grip on yourself||If you get a grip on yourself, you try to control your feelings so as to be able to deal with a situation.|
After the initial shock, Lisa got a grip on herself a nd called an ambulance.
|get something out of your system||This expression means that you get rid of a strong emotion or desire by expressing it openly or trying to fulfil it.|
Tell you parents how you feel – it’s better to get it out of your system.
|get worked up||If you get worked up about something, you become upset, annoyed or excited, often unnecessarily.|
It’s his first day at school tomorrow and he’s all worked up about it.
|go bananas||If someone becomes very emotional and starts behaving in a crazy way, they go bananas.|
If you announce that you are going to drop out of school, your parents will go bananas!
|go off the deep end||If a person goes off the deep end, they become so angry or upset that they cannot control their emotions.|
Eva will go off the deep end if her kids leave the kitchen in a mess again.
|go to pieces||If you go to pieces, for example after a terrible shock, you are so upset or distressed that you cannot lead a normal life.|
Jack nearly went to pieces when his son died in a car crash.
|groan inwardly||If you groan inwardly, you feel like expressing despair, disapproval or distress, but you remain silent.|
On his return, when Pete saw the pile of files on his desk, he groaned inwardly.
|hard as nails||A person who is (as) hard as nails is unsentimental and shows no sympathy.|
Don’t expect any sympathy from him. He’s as hard as nails.
|head over heels in love||When a person falls passionately in love with another, they are said to be head over heels in love.|
Tony’s only interest at the moment is Maria. He’s head over heels in love with her!
|change of heart||If someone has a change of heart, they change their attitude or feelings, especially towards greater friendliness or cooperation.|
He was against charity, but he had a change of heart when he saw the plight of the homeless.
|couldn’t give a hoot!||To say that you don’t or couldn’t give a hoot means that you don’t care at all about something.|
She wears eccentric clothes but she couldn’t give a hoot about what others think.
|hot under the collar||If you get hot under the collar, you feel annoyed, indignant or embarrassed.|
If anyone criticizes his proposals, Joe immediately gets hot under the collar.
|keep a stiff upper lip||If a person keeps a stiff upper lip, they contain their emotion and do not let other people see their feelings.|
When she heard the bad news, she kept a stiff upper lip.
|lick one’s wounds||When a person licks their wonds, they try to recover their confidence or spirits after a defeat, failure or disappointment.|
Poor Harry is licking his wounds after being dropped from the team.
|look on the bright side|| If you look on the bright side, you view a mostly unpleasant situation in a positive and optimistic way and the see the favourable aspects.|
OK. You know nobody. But look on the bright side – you’ll make lots of new friends!
|love me, love my dog||This expression means that if someone loves you, they must love everything about you, including everyone and everything you love.|
Harry didn’t like Sally’s best friend, but Sally said : ‘love me, love my dog!’
|lump in your throat||If you have a lump in your throat, you have a tight feeling in your throat because of a strong emotion such as sadness or gratitude.|
The speech was so touching that I had a lump in my throat.
|makes your ears burn||If something makes your ears burn, you are embarrassed by what you hear, especially if the conversation is about you.|
The comments I overheard made my ears burn.
|makes your flesh crawl||Something that makes your flesh crawl fills you with disgust or makes you feel very nervous.|
Just talking about snakes makes my flesh crawl!
|mixed feelings||When you have mixed feelings about something, you react to it with conflicting emotions; you are happy and unhappy at the same time.|
I had mixed feelings about leaving the company. I was excited about my new job but sad to be leaving my colleagues.
|no hard feelings||If you have no hard feelings, you feel no resentment or bitterness about something.|
When Alan was promoted instead of Steve, he said to Steve : ‘No hard feelings I hope.’
|not give a hang||If you do not give a hang about something, you are totally indifferent to it and do not care at all about it.|
I’m not interested in football so I don’t give a hang about which team wins.
|not turn a hair||If someone does not turn a hair, they show no emotion in circumstances where a reaction is expected.|
When the police came to arrest him, he didn’t turn a hair.
|nose out of joint||If something puts your nose out of joint, it offends or annoys you.|
When he discovered he wasn’t on the invitation list, that really put his nose out of joint!
|open/reopen old wounds||If you open or reopen old wounds you revive memories of an unpleasant event, situation or dispute that took place in the past.|
He carefully avoided the subject so as not to open old wounds.
|pour your heart out||If you pour your heart out to someone, you express your feelings freely.|
When she needs to pour her heart out to someone, Elsa goes to visit her grandmother.
|proud as a peacock||A person who is as proud as a peacock is extremely proud.|
When his son won first prize, Bill was as proud as a peacock.
|proud/pleased as punch||Someone who is as proud or pleased as punch is delighted or feels very satisfied about something.|
Dad was as proud as punch when he won the tennis match.
|put foot in mouth||If you put your foot in your mouth, you say something that offends, upsets or embarrasses someone.|
She really put her foot in her mouth when she mentioned the housewarming party – Andy hadn’t been invited.
|reduce to tears||If your behaviour or attitude makes someone cry, you reduce them to tears.|
The teacher criticized her presentation so harshly that she was reduced to tears.
|regain one’s composure||If you regain your composure, you calm down and control your emotions again after a stressful or upsetting event.|
It took her a while to regain her composure after hearing the insulting remarks.
|save face||When someone saves face, they manage to avoid humiliation or embarrassment and preserve their dignity and the respect of others.|
They allowed him to save face by accepting his resignation.
|have a soft spot||If you have a soft spot for someone or something, you particularly like them.|
My grandfather has always had a soft spot for his first grandchild.
|speak volumes||If something speaks volumes, it expresses a reaction or opinion very clearly, with no need for words.|
The happy smile on the child’s face when he opened the box spoke volumes about my choice of gift.
|let off steam||A person who lets off steam releases surplus energy or strong feelings either through intense physical activity or by talking in an unrestrained manner.|
Let’s bring the kids to the playground so they can let off steam.
|steamed up||If someone gets steamed up about something, they become very angry, excited or enthusiastic about it.|
Calm down – there’s no need to get all steamed up about it!
|in a stew||When someone is in a stew about something, they are worried and agitated.|
When she was organizing the wedding reception, Laura got into a stew over the seating arrangements.
|a stitherum||Someone who is (all) in a stitherum is excited, agitated or confused about something.|
The mayor’s resignation created quite a stitherum in the town.