How to Create A Dynamic Piece of Writing Using Idioms

Hello lil’ ones! I hope you’re feeling on top of the world since there are going to be quite a few public holidays coming up! In fact, it will be good to let your hair down. However, if you are preparing for your examinations in school, do bite the bullet and hang in there!

How to Create A Dynamic Piece of Writing Using Idioms. Creative Writing & Compo

I wonder if any of you has made it a goal to make your writing shine this year? If that is you, let me share with you how you can make this goal a reality. Did you notice that I have used quite a few idioms so far? Well, we will be learning about idioms today. Buckle up and keep your eyes peeled!

What Are Idioms?

Idioms are phrases or expressions that provide a figurative meaning to a simple sentence. It is not meant to be read literally. For example, if you let the cat out of the bag, it does not mean that you have let the cat escape by letting it out of the bag. Rather, it is an idiom that signifies that someone has revealed a secret.

Idioms reflect an action or emotion in a succinct way that is easy to understand. Each idiom has a fixed definition. When used properly, idioms can express complex situations clearly. It magnifies the message and makes your writing more attractive to readers.

Why Do We Use Idioms?

They keep your readers engaged.

Idiomatic expressions keep your readers engaged as they help to transform dull writing into something more impressive. For instance, wouldn’t it be more interesting to say that you are at the end of your tether at the end of a busy day instead of just exclaiming, “I am tired!”?

It displays your flair for language.

The purpose of idioms is to encourage writers to think outside of the box by replacing simple descriptions with a figurative language. To create a powerful visual image through the use of idioms, you need to be creative in finding the right words or expression. When you are able to do so, you are showing your readers how well you are able to use the language to express yourself effectively.

Take Note!

While idiomatic expressions enhance the language in writing, they require a balancing act. One should select a few idioms to create an impactful story. Using too many idioms make the story seem cluttered and the essence of the story will be lost. Readers may lose interest when they need to use up a lot of time and energy to process the idioms used, especially if there are too many of them. If they are too complex, readers may also find it hard to follow the story since they are unable to comprehend the figurative meaning and how it expands the story.

Will I Be Tested On Idioms?

Even if idioms are not your cup of tea, it is important to note that they can be found in your examinations. Therefore, you must have a list of common idioms ready at your fingertips. Idioms may be tested in the Vocabulary MCQ, Cloze Passage, Editing, and Comprehension sections of Paper 2.

To see examples of questions that test your knowledge on idioms and how to answer them, you can check out this post on Vocabulary Questions Type 3: Idioms are a Piece of Cake!

What Is The Best Way To Learn Idioms?

There are hundreds of idioms out there and the list may look daunting. Don’t fret! We can categorise idioms into keywords or themes. Here are some ways you can categorise idioms to help you along.

Idioms And Their Categories



1. Eleventh hour: at the very last minute
Sentence: Peter always starts his homework at the eleventh hour.

2. Beat the clock: complete something before the time is up
Sentence: Michael managed to beat the clock and completed his exam paper.

3. Against the clock: rushing to get something done within a short period
Sentence: The paramedics were working against the clock to get the injured victim to the hospital.


1. Sell like hotcakes: items that are sold quickly and in large amounts
Sentence: The tickets to that pop idol’s concert are selling like hot cakes.

2. Tough nut to crack: a problem that is hard to solve or a person who is difficult to understand
Sentence: This puzzle is a tough nut to crack!

3. Drop (something) like a hot potato: abandoning something that one was doing
Sentence: Michael dropped his homework like a hot potato when his favourite television show started.


1. Out of the blue: all of a sudden without warning
Sentence: Out of the blue, the whale emerged from the surface of the ocean.

2. Tickled pink: to be extremely pleased with something
Sentence: Mother was tickled pink that she received a surprise gift from John.

3. White lie: a small lie that is told so as not to upset someone by telling him/her the truth.
Sentence: Rebecca wanted to study for her upcoming test, so she told a white lie to her best friend when she invited her to an outing.


1. Ants in one’s pants: unable to keep still because you are excited or worried about something
Sentence: Roger had ants in his pants while waiting for the teacher to share more about the excursion.

2. Make a beeline: to go for something immediately
Sentence: Everyone made a beeline for the new bubble tea shop.

3. Take the bull by the horns: to deal bravely or confidently with a difficult, dangerous or unpleasant problem
Sentence: You will have to take the bull by the horns if you want to be the fastest runner in the school.


1. A million miles away: distracted, not focused
Sentence: William rarely completes his work in class as he is always a million miles away.

2. Forty winks: a short nap
Sentence: Father had forty winks in the afternoon.

3. It takes two to tango: a situation where both parties are responsible
Sentence: It is not right to blame your brother for breaking the window. It takes two to tango.


1. Achilles’ heel: a weakness
Sentence: Mother’s Achilles’ heel is chocolate.

2. Pandora’s box: an action that causes all sorts of trouble that you did not anticipate Sentence: The bullying incident opened a Pandora’s box as upset parents questioned the school leaders’ practices and decisions.

3. Jack-of-all-trades: someone who can do many different jobs
Sentence: My father can drive a car, build a house, and repair computers! He is a jack-of-all- trades.

Body Part

1. (by the) Skin of one’s teeth: just barely
Sentence: I passed my test by the skin of my teeth.

2. See eye to eye: agree
Sentence: Jawdan and John do not see eye to eye about their science project.

3. Let one’s hair down: to relax
Sentence: After the piano recital, Taylor let her hair down at the beach.

You can check out this other blog post (Learning Idioms: Have The Upper Hand With These 3 Tips) from Ms Nora on idioms to learn more tips and tricks on how to learn idioms effectively.

For more resources on idioms, you can check out this website to find out more idioms and their definitions. Do you have a collection of your own favourite idioms? Share them with us in the comments section below!

I hope that this post has shed a light on idioms. Go ahead and have a whale of a time learning idioms so you can incorporate them into your next writing practice. Have fun!

Ms. Junisa

Writing is Ms Junisa’s favourite way to express how she feels. She loves it so much that she went to NTU to complete her bachelor’s degree in English Literature. It was there that she truly appreciated how authors use language and their skills to make stories come alive for both you and me! And that’s exactly what we’re doing at Lil’ but Mighty – creating stories beyond our imagination.

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