Household Idioms

Think about all the items you have in your house, from furniture to tableware. How often do you talk about these things in your everyday English conversations? They come up more than you’d think, especially in idioms! If you’re interested in improving your English, knowing what these household idioms mean can be very useful in the development of your conversation skills.

Take a look and see which ones you’ve seen before and which ones are entirely new to you, then challenge yourself to incorporate them into your every day English. Have you seen any of these before? Take a look!


Brightest bulb in the box

Household idioms – Brightest bulb in the box

Meaning: To be extremely smart or witty; the negative use is also very popular to refer to someone who is not smart: “Not the brightest bulb in the box.”


Bun in the oven

Household idioms – Bun in the oven

Meaning: to have a baby growing in your belly, like how a bun rises in an oven while it cooks


Bring to the table

Household idioms – Bring to the table

Meaning: to provide something that adds benefit to a situation, especially in a group

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Have a lot on one’s plate

Household idioms – Have a lot on one's plate

Meaning: having many things – if not too many things – to deal with at the same time


Lift the curtain

Household idioms – Lift the curtain

Meaning: to make something public or to reveal something that a person wasn’t previously aware of


Sweep it under the carpet

Household idioms – Sweep it under the carpet

Meaning: to ignore a problem in the hope that it will eventually be forgotten


Test your knowledge

How many of these idioms do you think you can use correctly in your everyday English? Take our quiz and see how well you do!



Did any of these idioms surprise you? Have you heard of any others? Let us know in the comments below.

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