Beatlemania was a portmanteau, or blend, word coined in the 1960s to describe the state of excitement (mania) felt by a group of hardcore fans about their favourite band (The Beatles). Here at LOS we are so enthusiastic about teaching English idioms that we have created our own blend word, based on the one inspired by The Fab Four, to headline our podcast; Idiomania. Each week or so, we will record an episode which highlights an everyday concept or setting, and then explore some of the common idioms and proverbs (and antonyms) surrounding that scenario. So don’t be frightened to try us out. Or should I say ‘fortune favours the brave’; or ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’; or…I’ll stop now, before my idiomania gets out of control! Or ‘out of hand’; or ‘runs riot’… Help me!


Episode 56: Embrace The Future!

  • Take the bull by the horns 
  • Dip one’s toe into the waters of something
  • Throw the baby out with the bathwater
  • Fortune favours the brave. 

Episode 55: What Is Time To You?

  • Tempus Fugit 
  • In the nick of time
  • Time heals everything.
  • Make up for lost time
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Episode 54: Star-Studded Cast

  • Jumping the shark 
  • A tear-jerker 
  • Fly-on-the-wall
  • A chick flick

Episode 53: Rhyming Phrases

  • You snooze, you lose. 
  • Argy-bargy 
  • Suited and booted
  • Heir and a spare

Read Gabriel’s blog


Episode 52: 21st Century Skills

  • A cunning plan
  • There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’. 
  • Hot off the press
  • Zero in / laser-like focus

Episode 51: Three Little Letters

  • ‘Ish’ used as a suffix 
  • Time and distance
  • ‘Ish’ on its own
  • More or less / give or take

Episode 50: Universal Studio

  • A universal spanner
  • Live in a parallel universe
  • Reach for the stars
  • Stars in your eye

Episode 49: Perception is Reality

  • Wake up and smell the coffee! 
  • Get real!
  • Be away with the fairies 
  • Unreal!

Read Martin’s blog 


Episode 48: Outside The Box

  • Blaze a trail
  • See something through the prism of something else
  • Blue-sky thinking
  • The swinging pendulum

Episode 47: Construction Industry

  • Go for the jugular
  • Dead as a doornail
  • Pay lip service to something
  • The curate’s egg

Episode 46: Lend Me Your Ears

  • In one ear and out the other
  • Ears burning
  • Be out on your ear
  • Play something by ear

Episode 45: Home Sweet Home

  • A homie
  • On the house
  • Not to give house room to someone  
  • Eat someone out of house and home

Episode 44: Let’s Get Cooking!

  • Just for starters
  • A porkie / pork pie
  • What’s your beef?  
  • Just desserts

Episode 43: Same Difference

  • Be the spitting image of somebody
  • Be like two peas in a pod
  • Birds of a feather … flock together 
  • Be cut from the same cloth

Episode 42: Foreign Exchange

  • Coup de grâce
  • Prima Donna
  • Smorgasbord
  • Zeitgeist

Episode 41: Six Feet Under

  • Pop one’s clogs
  • Kick the bucket
  • Bite the dust
  • Croak

Episode 40: Going For A Song

  • It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.
  • Be on song
  • Wine, women and song
  • Make a song and dance about something

Episode 39: Teach The Teacher

  • Don’t teach your grandmother how to suck eggs.
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. 
  • Teach to the test
  • Teach someone a lesson 

Read Eva’s blog 


Episode 38: Hanging Proverbs

  • The best laid plans … of mice and men often go awry.
  • Give someone an inch … and they’ll take a mile. 
  • Once bitten … twice shy.
  • People in glass houses … shouldn’t throw stones. 
7 English Proverbs

Episode 37: Maxims

  • Waste not, want not
  • Every dog has its day
  • Better safe than sorry
  • Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Read Gabriel’s blog


Episode 36: Trust

  • My word is my bond.
  • There’s no side to him/her.
  • Be bent as a nine-bob note
  • I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him.

Read Martin’s blog 


Episode 35: Animals Part 2

  • It shouldn’t happen to a dog.
  • You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
  • You’re having a giraffe!
  • You look like the cat that got the cream. 

Episode 34: Cutting A Dash

  • Grief-stricken
  • Star-crossed
  • Face-saving
  • A go-getter

Read Rory’s blog 


Episode 33: The Rule Of Law

  • Signed, sealed and delivered.
  • The jury’s out.
  • The law is an ass.
  • A bigwig

Episode 32: The Paranormal

  • Twilight Zone
  • Let the genie out of the bottle
  • Open Pandora’s Box
  • A bogeyman 

Episode 31: Friends

  • Have someone’s back
  • Be all ears
  • Chin up!
  • Written in blood

Episode 30: The New Normal 

  • Roll with the punches
  • Get into the swim of things
  • Take to something like a duck to water
  • An Achilles heel

Read Martin’s blog


Episode 29: Binomials 

  • Give or take
  • Head and shoulders
  • Bits and bobs
  • To and fro

Episode 28: Fortune-Telling 

  • A crystal ball
  • On the cards
  • Have a hunch about something
  • How long is a string?

Episode 27: Bizspeak

  • Take a rain check on something
  • Give someone a heads-up
  • A water-cooler conversation
  • Gobbledygook

Read Gabriel’s blog 


Episode 26: Oxymorons

  • Organized chaos
  • Same difference
  • A working holiday
  • Deafening silence

Episode 25: For Better Or Worse? 

  • As fit as a fiddle
  • Throw a sickie
  • Be green around the gills
  • A taste of one’s own medicine

Episode 24: Have We Got News For You!

  • Bad news travels fast.
  • No news is good news.
  • That’s news to me! 
  • A bearer of bad news
  • A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth can get its boots on.

Read Gabriel’s blog 


Episode 23: Crime

  • Be caught with his/her hands in the till
  • A highway robbery
  • An open-and-shut case
  • Set a thief to catch a thief 

Episode 22: Loneliness

  • Plough one’s own furrow
  • A lone wolf
  • Wallow in self-pity
  • Snap out of something
  • Be comfortable in one’s own skin
  • Retreat into one’s shell

Episode 21: Spontaneity

  • On the hoof
  • Off the cuff
  • Think on your feet
  • Off the top of your head

Episode 20: Errors & Failure

  • Come a cropper
  • Take something on the chin
  • Go belly up
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Read Gabriel’s blog


Episode 19: Leisure Activities

  • A hobby horse
  • Out of the woods
  • Have a foot in both camps
  • Lead someone up the garden path

Read Martin’s blog 


Episode 18: Workaholism

  • Keep your head above water
  • Put your nose to the grindstone
  • Work your fingers to the bone
  • Slog your guts out for something

Episode 17: Job Responsibility

  • The bottom line
  • Up to scratch
  • At the coalface
  • A jobsworth

Read Martin’s blog


Episode 16: Ball Games

  • A political football
  • Keep your eye on the ball
  • Drop the ball
  • A whole new ball game

Episode 15: Humour

  • Gallows humour
  • Schoolboy humour
  • Cringe humour
  • Toilet humour

Episode 14: What’s In A Name?

  • Gordon Bennett
  • Pete Tong
  • Even Stevens
  • Smart Alec

Read Rory’s blog


Episode 13: Animals Part 1

  • A spider’s web of something
  • Be blind as a bat
  • Cry wolf
  • Has the cat got your tongue?

Episode 12: Effective Communication

  • Talk over/at/to someone
  • Be on the same wavelength
  • Get your wires crossed
  • At cross purposes

Read Gabriel’s blog


Episode 11: Christmas

  • Turkeys voting for Christmas
  • The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
  • Good things come in small packages.
  • Christmas has come early!
  • An early Christmas present

Episode 10: Charisma

  • Be all mouth and trousers
  • Fur coat and no knickers
  • All that glisters is not gold.
  • A snake-oil salesman

Episode 9: Disagreement

  • Have a bone to pick with someone
  • Rock the boat
  • Play devil’s advocate
  • Nail one’s colours to the mast

Read Martin’s blog


Episode 8: End Product

  • Need a kick up the arse or an arm around the shoulder
  • Put one’s back into it
  • Get/pull one’s finger out
  • Breathe down someone’s neck

Read Rory’s blog


Episode 7: Routine Check

  • Nip something in the bud
  • Turn over a new leaf
  • Get one’s act together
  • Pull one’s socks up

Read Martin’s blog


Episode 6: Lifelong Learning & CPD

  • Be a little rusty
  • Behind the times
  • Brush up on something
  • Learn/know the ropes

Read Rory’s blog


Episode 5: Happiness

  • Be on cloud nine
  • Have a whale of a time
  • As sick as a parrot
  • Gutted

Episode 4: What’s Your Version?

  • She/he wouldn’t say boo to a goose.
  • A wallflower
  • Be the life and soul of the party
  • Not to be backward in coming forward

Read Martin’s blog


Episode 3: Travel

  • A globetrotter
  • Broaden one’s mind
  • Emotional baggage
  • Heavy-lifting

Read Marianne’s blog


Episode 2: Talent

  • A natural 
  • First-rate vs. second-rate
  • Second to none
  • Not to be cut out for something

Read Martin’s blog


Episode 1: Procrastination

  • Drag one’s heels
  • Dilly-dally
  • A stitch in time saves nine
  • Kick the can down the road

Read Rory’s blog