English Idioms List

This English idioms lists includes expressions which have a main word that begins with the letters "X, Y or Z." If you want to learn idioms that start with other letters of the alphabet: click here to go to the main idioms page

An idiom is a group of words whose meaning is different from the individual words if you looked them up separately in the dictionary. Here are the most common idioms beginning with these letters - and you'll immediately notice that there are very few idioms that have a main word beginning with "X." This is not surprising since there aren't many words that start with the letter "X."

X Idioms


x marks the spot:  an “x” is used to show the exact location (spot) of something.  Example:  As you can see on the diagram, x marks the spot where the murder occurred... read more


Y Idioms

YEAR(S)

year after year:  every year for many years.  Example:  Year after year my kids give me ugly ties as Christmas gifts... read more


year in, year out:  every year for many years.  Example:  He worked at the company year in, year out for decades before he was laid off... read more


(all) year round:  during the whole year, happening all year.  Example:  Most people only eat roast turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving and Christmas but we keep it on the menu all year round at our restaurant... read more


in years:  in a long time.  Example:  I hadn’t seen my high school English teacher in years but she looks exactly the same... read more


getting on in years:  becoming old.  Example:  My mom is getting on in years so we’re building an extra room in our house for her.... read more


YELL

yell bloody murder:  to scream really loudly.  Example:  When the thief tried to grab my bag, I yelled bloody murder and he let go and ran away... read more


YES

yes man:   someone who always agrees with authority (always says “yes”).  Example:  My boss is a total yes man so now we have an impossible sales target from upper management... read more


YOU, YOU’RE, YOURSELF

you can say that again:  you strongly agree with something someone said.  Example:  "This pie is delicious." "You can say that again"... read more


you can’t take it with you:  enjoy life today because you can’t take your money or possessions with you when you die.  Example:  Why don’t you ever drive your sports car? You can’t take it with you, ya know... read more


you can’t teach an old dog new tricks:  the idea that older people can't learn new skills or learn how to do new things.  Example:  My grandfather has 5,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram—who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks!.. read more


you get what to pay for the price of something usually equals its quality (especially cheap things are of low quality).  Example:  It’s true you get what you pay forthis $239 laptop is unbelievably slow... read more


you’re toast:  you’re in trouble.  Example:  You’re toast when your mom finds out you ruined her blouse... read more


by yourself:  all alone.  Example:  If you just want to be by yourself, why don’t you say so?.. read more


keep to yourself:  Keeping or having something only for you.  Example:  If that’s what you really believe, I suggest you keep your opinions to yourself... read more


yours truly:  me, myself.  Example:  "Wow, who cooked all this good food?" "Yours truly"... read more


Z Idioms

ZERO

zero in on something:  to focus or pay attention to one particular thing.  Example:  I think you should zero in on chapter two because it’s the most relevant for your situation... read more


ZIP

zip one's lips:  to be silent; to not tell a secret (as if the lips were zipped with a zipper so the person cannot talk).  Example:  I’m going to resign in two weeks but zip your lips please!.. read more


ZONE

zone out:  to not pay attention to things happening around you.  Example:  As soon as my boyfriend talks about sports, I automatically zone out...read more


ZOOM

zoom in on something:  to examine or look at something more closely.  Example:  Zoom in on that part of the map; I think I recognize that area... read more


Have you signed-up for my free newsletter? I include an audio magazine article every month that's choc full of new vocabulary and idioms.

You can also find many idiom definitions with the different online learner's dictionaries.


Practice from this English idioms list

It's most important for beginning and intermediate students to focus on understanding, rather than using idioms at the beginning. Idioms are a bit tricky and it's easy to make mistakes. But you'll remember them better if you try to form your own sentences and I'm here to help correct any mistakes. 

So in the comments section below, please try to use one or two expressions from this English idioms list to create your own sentences.

› "X, Y & Z" Idioms

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