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 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


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, to give someone a heads-up, a water-cooler conversation, gobbledygook

Read Gabriel’s blog 


Episode 26: Oxymorons

Organized chaos, same difference, 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 someone, 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, 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

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

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


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

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, 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