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 new audio programme; 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 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


Episode 19: Leisure Activities

A hobby horse, out of the woods, have a foot in both camps, lead someone up the garden path


Episode 18: Workaholism

keep your head above water, have your nose to the grindstone, work your fingers to the bone, slog your guts out


Episode 17: Job Responsibility

bottom line, up to scratch, at the coalface, a jobsworth


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

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


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


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


Episode 7: Routine Check

Nip something in the bud, turn over a new leaf, get one’s act together, pull one’s socks up


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, a whale of a time, as sick as a parrot, gutted


Episode 4: What’s Your Version?

Wouldn’t say boo to a goose, a wallflower, be the life and soul of the party, not backward in coming forward


Episode 3: Travel

A globetrotter, broaden one’s mind, emotional baggage, heavy-lifting

Read Marianne’s blog


Episode 2: Talent

A natural, first-rate, second-rate, second to none, not to be cut out for something


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